Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Rowan Tree

The meeting was short and rather sombre. Chris did not attend due to a family bereavement. Our thoughts are with him.

Linda read ‘The Rowan Tree’ another extract from her novel ‘A Headful of Budgerigars’. The humour and vivid descriptions blended to create a piece that elicited many positive responses from the members that were present. Rob described it as ‘a near-perfect piece of writing’. One particular description ‘fairies dancing in wisps of silk the colour of a starling’s egg,’ delighted all. Linda revealed that this ornithological reference had come from a paint swatch card rather than a guide book to British birds, proof enough that the aspiring writer should always be ready to collect interesting and unusual expressions from a variety of sources.

As with all meetings of the SVA there was much discussion over the finer details such as the use of hyphens: zigzagged, harebrained and whitewashed all came under scrutiny.

Linda had continued editing and so the version that had been sent out and the version she read from had minor differences. There was a unanimous vote to keep in ‘checking for poos.’

The chapter ended with a surreal and dramatic paragraph – another excerpt from one of Lily’s dreams. This technique is working well and I am looking forward to the next chapter and its ending.

No -ly adverbs were used in the writing of this blog. Effortlessly, certainly and slightly were all totally annihilated from this passage. Having read the article ‘Those Pesky –ly Words’ I must admit that Rob may have a point. ‘I am certainly looking forward’ has become ‘I am looking forward’ and it is stronger as a result. I am willing to go adverb free as an experiment and see what happens!


  1. I know it's too late but you could have given up adverbs for Lent. Something for next year. Happy Easter to us all; God bless us, every one.

  2. I wonder if it's ever possible to give up adverbs totally, utterly and completely. Yours satirically. Anthony

  3. Only if you take an irrevocable oath of abstinence.