Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Onwards and Upwards in 2013

SVA meeting at Izzie’s, 8th January 2013.                                                                       
Blogger: Izzie

The group were subjected to chocolate lolly pops and Mrs Crimble’s coconut rings.

Chris had nothing to report after suffering from ‘Man flu’ over the New Year. (Sorry Chris).
I have been trying to set up a blog. There is more work involved in this than I had originally thought and so I have enlisted expert help (my husband).
Rob originally had nothing to report, but then let slip that he had picked up his book again and was busy changing the theme to guilt and destiny.
Annie has been working on ‘Auntie Faye’s Beach Café’ and reported that her rhyming was unravelling, it was going horribly wrong, but progress was being made.
Tony announced that he’d had an article printed in the Shrewsbury Chronicle and the South Shropshire Journal. Unfortunately there was no payment for his efforts, but he did receive a Thank you note from Malcolm Saville’s daughter. He has also entered the Commonwealth Short Story competition.
Linda has also had flu, although hasn’t suffered as much as Chris (obviously). She reports being a quarter of the way through a re-write of ‘A Head Full of Budgerigars’ and is planning to submit around March/April time.

Linda read Chapter 26 from ‘A Head Full of Budgerigars.’

Chris thought it was well-polished and liked the liberal sprinkling of French throughout. He also queried the use of a hyphen in Prussian blue. The group were split fifty-fifty on whether or not this was required.
I thought it was well-written, but felt out of the loop coming in at Chapter 26. I queried whether, or not councils were referred to as such in France and whether or not, a comma was required in line 146. More to follow on the comma…
Rob queried the use of ‘Alcoholic ether,’ but the general consensus from the group was that it was quite acceptable and that we could almost smell the fumes. Rob was also uncertain about the phrase ‘Smile as wide as Woking.’ It was suggested that it might be better to insert the name of a French location beginning with W instead, to avoid potential problems with translation when Linda’s book goes global.
Annie loved the descriptions and in particular the rhyming line, ‘He must have left his head in the shed this morning.’ There was much discussion about the comment, ‘He must have been born without pants,’ more to follow on this too.
Tony loved the poetic language that never stopped telling the story and queried the use of ‘clenched fists and fish eyes,’ to describe Malcolm.
Linda agreed that there were too many animals used to describe Malcolm’s character and explained the famous Greek phrase that was puzzling everyone. Apparently ‘He must have been born without pants,’ translates quite simply to ‘He’s an idiot.’

The Prussian blue argument was eventually resolved by the dictionary. Apparently if used as a noun it isn’t required. When used as an adjective a hyphen is required. It would be unfair to list those members who were in the wrong on this, especially as I was one of them!

The following paragraph is entirely for my benefit, so feel free to skip it. Vocative commas are placed before, after, or around a noun or pronoun used independently in speaking to a person, place, or thing. E.g. ‘I hope, Izzie, that you will remember this.’ Several members of the group claimed to not knowing about vocative commas before joining the group, although this may have been said to make me feel better.

For those of you who are interested in the Prima short story competition, here are the details. Email your entry, which should be no longer than 300 words to: including your name, age, address, phone number and a recent photo. This is a monthly competition and the prize is typically an eReader with magazine subscriptions to Prima for the runners-up.

The next meeting will be at Rob’s house on 22nd January. We are all looking forward to testing out Rob’s baking. Tony will be reading and Rob will be blogging.


  1. Well done, Jayne, on your debut post on the SVA blog. (Note the stylish use of the vocative comma in the preceding sentence!)