WOKING WRITERS CIRCLE MEETING AT ST MARY’S CHURCH HALL, HORSELL ON 23 AUGUST 2018
Present: Peter One, Amanda, Alan, Hilary, Liz, Peter Two, Heather
Apologies: Sarah DD, Sarah SH, Tricia, Carla, Simon, Greg
Alan’s article ‘England’s Hovering Heralds’ has been published in This England magazine after a four and a half year wait. All agreed that the article was beautifully presented with wonderful photographs. Alan has pitched another idea which has been accepted.
Liz mentioned that the book group would be meeting at The Crown at 8pm on Tuesday 28 August.
Subscriptions (£24) will be due in September and should be paid to Hilary, who is happy to take cheques or cash.
Amanda has kindly agreed to be acting secretary until the agm.
Theatre reviews were discussed and also the possibility of reviewing other events, including art exhibitions. It was agreed that this was a worthwhile activity and might be more easily accommodated over the winter months.
Liz talked about a fascinating exhibition at The Lightbox – A History of Woking. She felt that there was a wealth of potential inspiration here for writers.
Thanks are due to those who undertook the search for a suitable meeting venue. Everyone agreed that St Mary’s Church Hall was an excellent meeting place.
Liz read ‘The Mother of the Bride’s Tale’ which was a colourful account of her daughter Catriona’s love story. The initial meeting between Catriona and Craig was sensitively and very amusingly described and the contrast between the quiet American and a bevy of loud and giggling girls was memorable. There were suggestions for some clarification at one point in the piece and the question of the target audience was raised. It was also suggested that the inevitable tensions between two very different cultures could be included. Alan suggested that this piece might be suitable for the Heritage Writing Competition hosted by Senior Travel Expert. The deadline is 31 October 2018. A list of travel writing competitions is provided on the Birds of a Feather website.
Peter Two contributed another excerpt from his book featuring Concepta, the Hyacinth Bucket of Ireland. This part of the tale featured Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – a family heirloom which Concepta has embraced with slightly unnerving enthusiasm. Once again, everybody enjoyed the fluency and humour of Peter’s writing. It was suggested that the first passage could be broken up with a reflection and also that it would add to the realism to have a marker locating the soda bread recipe rather than have the book fall open at that place – and possibly a dried-up lump of mixture as this was a much-used book. There was one point where the point of view changed from Concepta to her husband Michael which interrupted the flow.
Heather read an article, ‘Party Animals’ which featured the badgers that had taken over her garden and enjoyed wiping their snotty noses over the patio door. There were suggestions that the term “piebald” related to horses rather than other black and white animals and the word had also been repeated. Rather worryingly, everybody enjoyed the snot. It was suggested that the magazine Evergreen might be a possible market.
Amanda read from the prologue of Stella’s story, parts of which had featured at previous meetings. All agreed that the writing moved at a cracking pace with a wonderfully light touch and a feeling that the writer was very definitely in control. One comment was that the various sections could be seen as parts of a dream sequence. The pace, humour and realism of the dialogue were unanimously appreciated.
Alan’s story, ‘Little Boxes’ related to the homework, ‘There is No Justice in the World’. The hero was Knut, winner of a design award for his ‘Aspirational Hoogah House’. The humour was rich and satisfying, making full use of contrasts and unlikely pairings to point up the snobbery of the design world. A strength of the story was the author’s confidence that the reader would understand, for example, that “hoogah” was “hygge” without tedious explanations.
Hilary read a further excerpt from her novel featuring Sam. This section related an incident which had occurred before Sam’s mother was found dead and spoke volumes about the mother’s character and the relationship between her and Sam. The problems and tensions were skillfully conveyed in the incident which involved the mother’s insistence on Sam going to London with her on that particular day with no regard to the arrangements that Sam had already made. After hearing this reading, the group had a very clear impression of the mother’s character and associated drinking problem. Humour was provided by the arrival of Mrs B, the (very) loud and down-to-earth cleaner. All agreed that this was a skilful and very powerful piece of writing.
Next meeting: Thursday, 27 September 2018 at 7.30pm
Tea, coffee, biscuits: Hilary
Homework: Please see picture above.
Please note that parking spaces are available in adjacent side streets. The school car park opposite the church will only be opened by arrangement.