Saturday, 14 February 2015

Picture books and straitjackets

We met at Izzie's house
Izzie, Annie, Rob and I.
No Chris, because of work;
no Linda, because of illness.
(Get well soon, Linda.)

A small, writerly exchange of news:
Izzie's blog is 42 in the lifestyle blog charts;
Rob has launched his crowd-funding scheme;
Annie's organising a poetry recital competition;
Tony's just surviving.

The red velvet cake and white wine for some and then the
business of the evening:  the reading and critique of Annie's
submission to the group.  And the tension felt between the
need to have a narrative versus the pure
fun with words, and Rob doubting whether he was
qualified to judge poetry and yet finding the rhythm of the words
inconsistent. When it works well, he said, it really
works and Izzie liked the sweet imagery of the characters having their
bath with suds and foam but worried about two stories being
told at the same time and Tony wondered if the rhyming couplets were a
straitjacket and whether Annie might be better off
translating the whole thing into free
verse so she wouldn't have to worry about the
rhythm or the meter or where the
stress fell or how many syllables there were but could
concentrate on either moving the story forward or just
revelling in the sheer joy of the nonsense of it all.

Plan for future meetings (subject to change)

Tuesday 24 February
Izzie submitting
Tony hosting

Tuesday 10 March
Rob submitting and hosting

Tuesday 24 March
Linda or Chris submitting
Annie hosting

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Has Anyone seen Linda?

Has anyone seen Linda? Did we even know what week it was? Had the four members that turned up for the meeting got it wrong? We blame Linda’s absence on Tony and decide that in future, SVA members are to be monitored on performance, attendance and quality of cake. Luckily Annie was able to confirm that Linda had not succumbed to any misfortune and had only forgotten the date.

Back to business…

Annie continues to work on her children’s short stories; we hope to read a revamped version at the next meeting. Meanwhile Izzie is just back from a short break in Pembrokeshire, where she’s been reviewing a popular holiday destination. Rob has tickets available for his book launch on 13th March at St George’s Hall and at time of writing this post, his books should have arrived – exciting news indeed. Tony continues to astound fellow members of the group, with a dissertation on the go as well as full-time work - it’s incredible that he finds the time to sleep, let alone write anything and enter short story competitions.

Tony submitted a short story, ‘One of the Few,’ for the group to critique. While we were bemused by McKenzie’s acceptance of the time traveller and thought that the horrors of war could be added to, general consensus was - a deceptively simple story creating great intrigue throughout. The title was especially clever as it linked to Churchill’s famous wartime speech from 1940 and this created a sense of relief for the main character. After suggested revisions and praise for the story, Tony went on to explain that this was written for children and a previous short story using the same characters had been published in Aquila Magazine.

And so, after an interesting meeting we arranged to meet at Izzie’s on 10th February, with Annie to submit. Please can everyone remind Linda.