Friday, 24 October 2014

Marked with Melancholy and Pre Christmas Despondency

(Written by Annie but, due to technical difficulties, posted by Rob.)

We met at Izzy's on 14th October 2014. Chris was still missing and is still missed!!

The group was able to report the following news: 

Rob is giving a talk at Mistley Book Lovers' Dining Event on Thursday 6th November. This is for the launch of his book 'Out of Such Darkness.'

Linda told us that Chris had enjoyed a dramatisation of ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ on Radio 4. Only 18 days left to listen so hurry and click on the link below. 

Izzy has bought the domain name for her blog and has written a blog post about the benefits of getting up early. Send me the link when you are finished Iz, anything to get me up in the morning. She has another idea for a blog post following a discussion with a friend about what would happen if men were left to organise Christmas. I think this started the Pre-Christmas despondency conversation. 

Annie is going to the Society for Children's Book Writers' and Illustrators' Conference in Winchester at the start of November. She has also had her first rejection email.

Tony has received a rejection from the London magazine for his story but is continuing with his novel and his dissertation on Well Being and Mental Health Nursing. 

Our piece for the evening was Chapter 4 from Tony's novel. The chapter was entitled 'Marked with Melancholy,' having a chapter title already meant it was a winner for Linda. Everyone was in agreement that the chapter had intrigue and was gripping. 

All of the readers thought Tony had evoked student life well and we were transported back to a time of Pot Noodles and un-emptied ashtrays. There was some disagreement about whether the cliché 'a necessary evil' should be used to describe Renaissance poetry, Rob was keen it replaced by something fresher. 

The group felt the theatrics of Dr Garrison had been well drawn and Izzy identified with the confusion of not knowing when a lecturer is inviting a student to speak or merely asking rhetorical questions. There were several occasions when reference to Edith, the chapter's protagonist, could be removed as we already knew we were following her.

Rob felt that pacing was an issue and felt that the piece could move more quickly. The little nuggets of plot that would unfold later needed to be provided less often and Tony has to trust his reader more. 

The group also asked Tony to focus on his plot. The characters speak a different language called 'Anglish' but everything else is seemingly the same. There was much grinning from Tony so maybe he has something up his sleeve or maybe he’s busy planning Christmas.

The next meeting is on 31st October is at my house. Then somehow we got very organised and this happened.

11th November: Izzy to submit at Tony’s house.

25th November: Rob to submit at Izzy’s house.

9th December: Linda or Chris to submit at Rob’s house.

16th December: Christmas Meal

13th January is out first meeting of the New Year