From 21st July 2011, we have another administrator, who is already a member of the group in the shape of David Gary. Please keep submitting your stuff.
July 21, 2011
June 26, 2011
We had a marvellous turnout and beautiful weather for our final get together before the summer break. A total of twelve people attended, making this our largest meeting yet.
Those that had managed to write a story for the subject of Roads read out their offerings, and a lively discussion ensued, with many topics being bandied around. When the talking stopped, we moved inside to partake of lunch, and after a break for eating, the chatting continued.
We all said our goodbyes, au revoirs and a bientots.
That’s all, folks!
June 15, 2011
Our next meeting will be our last before the long summer break and will take place at the usual venue, but at 12.30, on Monday 20th June.
The subject for stories is anything to do with roads!
Come along, even if you have no story to share, and we will have a lunchtime celebration!
See you all there, I hope.
May 28, 2011
Jon Stark, Tony, Marjorie, Maria, Marion, Jon Getman and Ian were present today. We started reading stories right away because of time constraints.
The assignment for today was a horror story. We talked a little bit about what a horror story is and is not, because some of us were uncertain we had written one. We also discussed a little bit whether it is still a good idea to limit our writings to 500 words or not and what the alternatives are. We didn´t agree on anything specific. It is felt that if we bring pieces to the meeting that are longer than that, we can´t do justice to them in terms of really critiquing them in a way that is meaningful.
After considering several ideas for our next task, we agreed on a piece entitled “Something Funny”. Next meeting will be on June 9.
Submitted by Maria
May 3, 2011
Seven members were present for our latest meeting in the park. The weather was kind to us – relatively speaking!
Tony told us about the poetry reading in Rupit, then we all read our stories based on the picture prompt. A wide and varied selection they turned out to be.
A discussion ensued about the origin of various words, knickerbocker was the first, which appears to have been the name of early Dutch settlers in New York. Another mystery word was sideburns which we were informed were named after Ambrose Burnside, an American civil war general. Finally, Gordon Bennett was mentioned but not widely recognised. The apparent origin of this phrase was a US newspaper publisher called James Gordon Bennett.
Our next project is another picture prompt, this time of a suspension bridge, see photo below. Thanks to Jon G for this.
April 29, 2011
I’d like to share this with you all. It’s the winner of the 2010 Fish one page short story competition. I think it’s stunning – brilliantly crafted, very visual, and a wonderful example of what can be done with just 300 words. As for the ending – totally unforgettable. Cheers, Tony
Well, the big day is here at last! I do so wish you and Daddy could be here, but it’s a terribly long drive down from Yorkshire and it’ll all be over so quickly that it hardly seems worth the trip. So you’re not to fret, and besides, Bobby is here. She popped in last night, and she’s promised faithfully to tell you everything just as soon as she gets back. Anyway, everything is ready. I feel very calm, which is nice, because when I married Archie I was in a fearful flap, wasn’t I? Oh, mummy, I know you and Daddy wanted me to stay married to Archie for ever but really, I couldn’t. Anyway, Archie’s dead now, and there’s nothing to be done about it. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to the funeral, though I do see it would have been rather odd-looking, but Bobby said it all went off splendidly. I hear they had “The Son of God Goes Forth to War” which I think is bad taste given that the poor old chap took it between the eyes from his service revolver. The vicar’s been trying to get me into a suitable frame of mind for this morning, even talking about Archie and saying I’ll see him in Heaven. In that case, I hope I’m going the other way (sorry, mummy) because it was bad enough being Mrs Archie on earth, let alone for all eternity.
Gosh! There’s the bell. Now, mummy, you’re not to worry about me, because I’m not a bit nervous. You know I’ve always been brave – remember the time I fell off Pippin? I didn’t squeak then, even when they set my arm. It didn’t hurt a bit. And I don’t suppose being hanged will, either.
All my love
April 27, 2011
If this works it’ll be a first for me, and mean that I’m making progress in understanding how this blog functions, and how to post. One thing’s for sure – if I can manage it, anyone can!
BTW – did anyone read Napoleon’s Button?
April 15, 2011
We welcomed two new members today, both from the United States, so we were nine in total.
After introductions, we read our project pieces which were one half of a telephone conversation, and they were a very varied selection. Our original plan had been to exchange stories for the completion of the other side of the conversation, but as each story was explained and critiqued, we decided against this course of action. Tony illustrated his by showing us a poster of a painting by Hieronymus Bosch!
During our discussion after our stories, which covered many subjects, David recommended that we read The Empty Raincoat by Charles Handy.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 28th April.
April 3, 2011
On an almost springlike day we were able to hold our get together outside for the first time this year. Eight members were in attendance, plus a new member, welcome Kate.
We discussed various aspects of publishing versus self publishing, as we do occasionally.
We read out our mini sagas, mostly twice or thrice, and the exercise was deemed to have been a success.
Inspired by Maria’s theme, David suggested our next project could be one side of a telephone conversation. This should be between 200 and 300 words, with the possibility of exchanging our stories with another member to complete the other side of the conversation.
Next meeting will be Thursday 14th April.
March 20, 2011
There were blue patches in the sky and some sunshine for last week’s meeting. This gave rise to a slight ripple of interest in doing the business outside, but in the end we opted to stay indoors and try and make ourselves understood above the chatter of the giggling gaggle of schoolgirls seated next to us and what must surely be the noisiest coffee machine in Girona.
We kicked off around 11.15 having welcomed Jonathan back from his recent sojourn in Argentina. The homework topic was supposed to have been a piece aimed at a particular and very specific audience, and all of them should be available elsewhere on this blog. Marion led the way with an elegant and highly visual piece inspired by the circus, specifically clown antics. I followed with what I afterwards explained was the introduction to a short story I was writing. This was supposed to be a horror story aimed at a Steven King-type audience. Marjorie followed with a very descriptive short story revolving around the healing properties (perhaps) of the Northern Lights. Ian’s took its cue from Some Like it Hot – prohibition and the anti-tobacco laws featured prominently. Christine contributed a piece that she said a friend of a friend of hers had written in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake. Jonathan explained he had been to busy having a good time in Argentina to contribute anything this time round, but promised to come up with the goods for the next meeting.
The homework for the next meeting, it was agreed, should be a mini-saga. The definition of a mini-saga (for the purposes of this exercise) is a complete story told in less than 50 words. This is a strict maximum. Is this possible? There was some discussion around this, but speaking for myself I would say definitely yes. Ian proved the point by contributing the classic short story told in just five words:
Baby’s shoes. Unused.
Finally, I want to give a personal reaction to the piece that Christine read out. At the time, I said I found it really odd, and reading it again I have to say I think it is more than that – it’s really offensive in places (sorry Christine), as in the last line: This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, yet magnificent. Actually, I sometimes set out to ruffle a few feathers and write stuff that is offensive too, but this seems to me to be different, and all too typical of a lot of the clap-trap that is spouted on the internet by people with very questionable agendas.
But it provides a good opportunity to think seriously about the power of words (thanks Christine) and the uses to which they can be put. Now there’s a huge topic for you. Maybe we should be thinking afresh about what our group is for? For me, it’s about taking the opportunity to try new stuff, hear what other people have to say, follow a brief, experiment with new forms, and learn new things. It’s not about just staying in a personal comfort zone in terms of writing and doing the same stuff we’ve always done. That’s the point of having a homework task, and trying to follow it through, isn’t it?
Whaddya think, folks?
Last thought from me – if the task for the next meeting is just a 50-word piece we might have some time to do a short work-shop activity, i.e. an actual writing activity during the meeting. If you want, I can come up with something but if anybody else has got an idea perhaps they could bring it along?