Izzie wasn't able to be with us for our first meeting in January so it was a band of five who settled down to bought cakes and cookies to swap success stories. After ten seconds of silence we moved on to other news.
Tony has taken on board the group's comments after his last reading and is much happier with the new draft of his Idle Speed Control story. Rob is putting the final touches to the first full draft of his novel. During this process the pupa that was The Sting Inside has morphed into the butterfly that is The Sign. Linda has spent some time grappling with technology and now has a new blog. She is also taking part in a podcast with some writers in New Zealand. Chris is on the home stretch of his marathon opus - he is now only six chapters from the end. Annie is thinking about doing the illustrations for her children's book herself.
Indeed it is Annie's children's book Aunty Fay's Beach Café that was the subject of the reading. Annie also read the submission letter she intends to send to her selected agent. Clue: she likes baking.
As far as the letter was concerned the overall judgement was that it could be improved in a couple of sections by going back to the original and that Annie should be more forthright about her writing successes.
We all enjoyed 'Aunty Fay…' - no I'd better rephrase that. We all enjoyed Annie's reading of the poem about the cafe and the weird food that is served there. Each of us pinpointed a favourite word-combination or image. Chris and Rob became over-heated about whether 'boy-twins' or 'twin-boys' fitted the poem better. Linda as ever was called upon to stop the boys coming to blows.
An interesting discussion centred around the two 'schools of nonsense'. In the first, Linda called it the Owl and the Pussycat school, the author uses commonplace objects (animate and inanimate) and connects them in a nonsensical way. In the second, (here I have to own up to not noting whether it was Tony or Linda who gave it the name) the Jabberwocky school, the objects themselves are nonsensical. Annie's poem mixes these two approaches in an innovative way and opinions were divided as to whether this was a good or bad thing to do.
As the pointilators on the tempranillo showed that the slumpty hour approacheth, the percolator slammed down his gampel and declared the conpetication slorpeth. But only until the nonsense resumes at Tony's house on the 26th.