Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Get your coati, you've pulled!

Our preliminary discussion turned once again to the difficulties of a writer’s life. Christmas is coming which means lots of sponsored writing opportunities for Izzie but the PR companies that approach her expect her to write for peanuts. Tony is reeling from the blow of a magazine rejection but undaunted has entered a short story competition. He's also drafting a mental health non-fiction book proposal.  Rob performed his Rattling the Family Skeleton talk to a group of 70 people and sold only three books.
Izzie's coati buddy
Izzie read her blog post entitled Two Weeks in Mexico. This was received enthusiastically with the overall comment being ‘pretty damn-near perfect’. Okay, we maybe would have liked to get to know the animals better – what sort of personality does a coati have? (Annie’s was the dissenting voice here. She didn’t like the idea of ‘rodents’ roaming the pathways and attacking the guests.)
There was some debate about whether ‘sugary-white sand’ created a picture of sublime Pacific bliss or a sticky mass that stuck to the soles of your feet like bubble gum on a pavement. The majority opinion was positive.
In summary, all agreed that, as the piece was more a review than personal travel writing, this required disinterest and impartiality. However, the most interesting parts for the reader were Izzie’s personal reactions to the various elements of an all-inclusive resort and we asked for more of them.
In the planning  section, it was agreed that the next meeting will be Monday 23rd November at Annie’s at 8pm when Linda will read. The only meeting in December is going to be the Christmas social in the week commencing 14th December.
Christopher J Smith
In a sad postscript, it is this scribe’s duty to report that one of the founder members of SVA, Chris Smith, has decided to resign from the group because his work commitments preclude him from attending meetings. We shall all miss Chris’s wise counsel, particularly his knowledge of punctuation. Chris can parse a sentence with the precision of a brain surgeon wielding a scalpel. Our work will be poorer for his absence and we all hope he stays in touch if only to remind us of where to stick our commas.
We wish him luck with his magnum opus, Karl Marx and Careful Driving.

Best wishes for the festive season to all our readers from SVA!


  1. Hi Rob,
    Nice blog post but I found the elegiac tone of the 'sad postscript' slightly disturbing as this is news of Chris's stepping down from the group and not an obituary. As with Mark Twain, any suggestions of Chris's demise may have been exaggerated! Chris is, of course, alive and well and we wish him continued success with his writing.
    While some say Twain never actually said those famous words about his premature obituary, he is reported to have said: "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." I'm also a fan of well-written obituaries of fascinating lives. One I particularly enjoyed recently was that of Kevin Corcoran (child actor who starred in Disney's 1957 film 'Old Yeller' and went on to produce 'Baywatch' and 'Murder, She Wrote'.)
    If any of the Severn Valley Authors are able to create similarly popular and enduring works, we'll have done well!

  2. Hi Tony. Thanks for your feedback. As the other founder member of the group perhaps I'm feeling the loss of Chris more than some others. Hence the 'sad postscript'. Sorry if it read like an obituary.
    In my response to Chris's note telling us of his decision I suggested we get together regularly for a coffee when he he has his day off and I hope to see him very much alive on these occasions.

    1. I can assure you all that Chris is alive and kicking and he will probably return to SVA when he retires!

    2. I can assure you all that Chris is alive and kicking and he will probably return to SVA when he retires!