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.) 

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