Thursday, 19 September 2013

SVA on the BBC

Picture by Jo Thoenes

It's not often one of our members is on national radio so we celebrated Izzie Anderton's appearance on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour talking about parent blogging. Listen again here. Izzie's piece starts at 37 minutes.
In previous posts we haven't perhaps made as much as we should of Izzie's success as a blogger. She's built a national profile in The World According to Izzie  and is working on ways to develop spin-offs. She's also writing for an Internet gift company.
In other news: Annie is fully recovered and looking at picking up the thread in both her children's story and her collaborative project. Linda is submitting her finished novel. Rob has been distracted by his involvement with the Bewdley Book Week and Bewdley Cinema organising teams and Chris is trying to find time to work on his masterwork between working 15-hour work shifts. 
Rob read a short story The Reflected Woman. It was received positively with the usual suggestions for improving word choices and punctuation. Rob asked for advice about the points at which the reader realised that mirrors were important to the story's outcome and whether the final twist worked. He took on board the recommendations that the title should be changed because it reveals too much and that there were too many mirrors. A revised and improved story called The Other Woman will emerge.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Scone But Not Forgotten

The latest meeting was held at Izzie's on the 27th August.

Homemade M&S scones with clotted cream and jam were served.

Latest News

Chris is still working long hours, but had recently given a talk to a large audience at the U3A in Shifnal which led to the sale of 22 books!
Tony had nothing to report, but announced that his brother, Phil Gillam has recently published a book called, 'Shrewsbury Station Just After Six.' As fellow authors, we have decided to include the link here:
Linda reported that she had just started working for a credit union and had had an interesting day. She has also been busy at local craft fairs.
Izzie has been approached by a new company in London and asked to be a gift editor on their site. She is currently investigating and seriously considering their offer. She has also received a request from a company in the US requesting to sponsor a blog post.
Rob was absent as he's currently walking from Gloucester to Upton upon Severn in aid of St George's Community Hall. Not wishing to exclude him from the meeting, Tony sent a text requesting an update.
Annie was also absent.

Linda read a short story titled 'The Girl With Blue Eyes.'
Izzie thought it quite different to anything else she'd read previously by Linda. She loved that matter-of-fact style of writing and that the mum in the story cared deeply for her son.
Tony suggested that an alternative title might attract the reader's attention more and came up with 'The Dragon Keeper.' He loved the authoritative terminology on drugs. He thought the recurring theme of shells and hippy-like imagery at odds with the serious subject matter. He also found the line 'Who's looking after Pauly - you useless cretin.'very funny indeed.
Chis thought the story well-written, descriptive and loved the description of the stairs being 'thick and fluffy.'

In Linda's right to reply, she disclosed that she's currently working on a new book titled, 'A Dog Called Dave.' Her short story is a suggested idea to be included in the book and features a nice, normal woman who loves her child, has pretty things, but ends up making poor decisions with dire consequences. We all look forward to reading more of this in the future.

In the absence of leader Rob (and his magical SVA algorithm) fellow members of the SVA decided that the next meeting would be held at Rob's on 10th September, with Rob to submit and Rob to blog.
As luck would have it, Rob replied to the text from Tony just as the meeting was closing. He had arrived safely at Upton upon Severn and declared the SVA algorithm well and truly broken!


Monday, 2 September 2013

‘I’m Half Asleep but I Haven’t Lost my Umph!’

This is just one of the wonderful quotes that came out of the meeting at Tony’s house on 13th August 2013. I’m sorry but I can’t remember who said it!
Rob did not attend as he was away on holiday.
Tony has entered the Costa Short Story Competition with the story, ‘Weekend on Call’ which was a real favourite with the group. He also has a gig at the Little Pack Horse in Bewdley. His musical duo ‘Fracture Zone’ will be playing during Bewdley Festival week on the 10th October. 
Jayne is busy completing her mini-e-book which will be out in September. She then plans a move into fiction.
 I (Annie) was encouraged by the feedback from the last meeting and intend to continue with my current project.
Linda entered, ‘Telling the Bees’ into the Costa Short Story Competition. She is planning to enter her novel into both the Marie Claire Debut Novel Competition and the Myslexia Novel Competition. She is still working on her manuscript and making improvements.
Chris’s book ‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ will be out in China shortly. He is working insane hours and is spending all his spare time working on, ‘Karl Marx and Careful Driving’.
Chris read his extract from Karl Marx and Careful Driving entitled ‘Shift 8: Thursday 22nd July.’ Linda thought the piece beautifully written but controversial. The camaraderie between the truckers was clearly apparent and she enjoyed the spoken interaction between Chris and the guard. The nickname ‘Scooter-boots’ was mentioned by Linda as it was so amusing.
 For me (Annie) the piece still contained sections that were difficult to follow but many sections were very accessible and enjoyable. Scooter-boots’ choice of literature: ‘A Sven Hassel paperback recounting the gruesome exploits of a German penal battalion on the Eastern Front,’ gave a great insight into this character. I still felt there was more room for the personal details of life on the road. Scooter-boots bemoaned the fact that during his work schedule there had been: ‘Not a single Italy.’ I can imagine why Italy would be good to drive through in a truck compared to other parts of Europe but I would love to hear why from Chris.
Jayne loved the piece. She too was instantly drawn to Scooter-boots and wanted an explanation of how he got his nickname. The spelling of Vladimir’s pronunciation was highly entertaining; ‘Kreess’ rather than Chris. A particular favourite of Jayne’s was the reference to fairies at the bottom of the garden. 
Tony felt that there was great balance between humour and philosophy and that the writing gave real insight into life on the road. The characters often spoke in short-hand to one another and this attention to detail in Chris’s recording adds real authenticity. Tony’s favourite quote was ‘Fuck Socrates,’ he felt this was a microcosm of the book.
Chris was pleased with the feedback that he received. He asked the group for some assistance with a particular sentence construction: ‘Possessed of a level of intelligence as many times greater than ours is higher than the intelligence of a mouse , they are neither benevolent or malevolent.’ We mused on this and made some suggestions but I am sure once Chris has had some sleep he will incisively edit the sentence.
As a final point Chris had brought along a clipping from The i. It was an article by Neil Norman covering Mark Ravenhill’s speech at the Edinburgh Festival about whether austerity could be good for the arts.
The article can be found by following this link:
A full transcript of Mark Ravenhill’s speech can be found below:
Finally, Tony showed us a delightful book by Ben Irvine entitled ‘Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling.’
The next meeting is at Jayne’s house on 27th August. Linda will be reading and Rob will still be gallivanting. 

(Written by Annie; posted by Rob.)