Monday, 27 January 2014

Death by Asparagus Cream Doughnut

It's asparagus officinalis, Watson.

Why does a group of writers meet? If you ask a member of Severn Valley Authors they'd probably answer that it's the high standard of workshop feedback that attracts them. Perhaps it's also that it provides motivation to have a piece of writing ready to present to the group. The camaraderie of sharing anecdotes and news with like-minded people is a plus. And don't forget the cake.

To be exact, on this occasion Krispy Kreme Donuts. For Annie had gone a long way out of her way to supply us with a selection of her favourite confection. Thanks, Annie. Yum! Yum!

When the first round of finger-lickin' (or is that another import from our former colony) had finished, Tony introduced the subject of The AsparaWriting Festival Short Story Competition. An entry should be in the crime genre, set in the Vale of Evesham and feature asparagus! Members immediately saw the possibilities of the 'locked room' murder where the weapon is a frozen asparagus spear. The detective finds only a dead body with a hole in it and a plate of cold, limp asparagus. Suggestions of what other dastardly deeds can be committed with the versatile vegetable soon followed.

With Chris being absent due to work commitments and there being a paucity of exciting news we soon moved on to Annie's writing which consisted of a re-working of Aunty Faye and an introduction to her new children's book Do You Think He Saw Us. Annie is establishing a style for her books - tight rhyming and total nonsense with an educational intent. This may sound contradictory but it isn't when collected into the original and clever packages that Annie envisages.

The session ended with five serious writers discussing the fashion faux-pas of dinosaurs and the reader's likely reception to the names knicker-pickersorus and teapoticorus while licking the surplus donut sugar from their lips.

Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Krispy Kreme and Missing Persons

Izzie was almost late as she’d ended up in Birmingham on a last minute mercy mission and returned home minutes before the meeting was due to start. Confessing that she’d eaten a Krispy Kreme doughnut for lunch, there was much discussion about the relative merits of the aforementioned confection.
Chris and Linda were mysterious by their absence. Linda had telephoned Izzie’s husband, but he was a little vague in the handing over of the message and so the remaining members jumped to their own highly imaginative conclusions. Were Chris and Linda…

a)      Abducted by aliens.

b)      Gobbled up by a boa constrictor.

c)       Working.
It later transpired that they were both working.

In news, Rob mentioned that he had been suffering with something described only as a ‘pigment of his imagination,’ i.e. writers’ block. Happily, this has been overcome by sitting in a café with a notebook.

Izzie had been working on marketing her e-book and continues to blog.

Annie reported that she’d had a new idea for a children’s book all about the history of the Tudors, written in rhyming verse. She’d also though about changing the title of Auntie Faye’s Beach Café to Uncle Jack’s Snack Shack. There was heated discussion and the general consensus among members was that we all preferred the original title.
Tony was disappointed that his entry for the Costa Coffee short story competition hadn’t been shortlisted. Sadly, he’s also had to prioritise coursework over creative pursuits. Although luckily, he had found the time to re-work a short story for the meeting called ‘Sugar Beet Harvest.’

Izzie preferred this version to the original one and thought the liberal sprinkling of humour was incredibly cynical. Having grown up in the area mentioned in the story she thought the descriptions of the town were very accurate.
Annie suggested that the town in question should not be mentioned by name and wasn’t sure what to make of the story. She also thought it was a little too far-fetched and struggled to get to grips with the earthquake.

Rob thought it was quite introspective and a little confusing, describing it as ‘a ludic-playful story.’ He liked the distinction of ‘safe snow,’ as opposed to unsafe snow that caused people to fall over. He felt that talking about a sick giraffe before the earthquake gave too much away. He’d also have liked the ending to have been a little longer.
Tony admitted that the story was a series of mostly true anecdotes woven into a story. These had been improvised upon and used in a surreal, absurd way. He agreed that the ending could be re-worked and expanded and was keen to point out that no creature was harmed in the creation of this story!

The next meeting is to be held at Annie’s on 14th January 2014.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Krispy Kreme – sadly!