WOKING WRITERS CIRCLE MEETING AT ST MARY’S CHURCH HALL, HORSELL ON 22 NOVEMBER 2018

Present: Peter One, Amanda, Alan, Liz, Heather, Cathy, Greg, Peter Two, Carla, Tricia

Apologies: Sarah DD, Sarah SH, Hilary

News:

Liz reported that the next meeting of the Book Club would take place on 27 November at the Crown pub and attendees would be discussing ‘Howard’s End’.

Liz brought news of Guildford School of Acting productions. She had seen ‘9 – 5’ and said it was an uplifting and joyous experience.

Alan had submitted an article on apprenticeship to ‘Best of British’ magazine.

Liz brought news of Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre. This competition is free to enter and the closing date is 1 February 2019.

Readings:

Peter One read an article, ‘I’ve Found my Triumph’,  detailing his search for a motorcycle similar to the one his father took to war. All approved of the authenticity of the piece and found it satisfying – a fine example of how to pitch a technical article to a specialist publication. The last paragraph appealed to everyone as it skilfully sketched the distance we have travelled since the day that Peter’s father left for France with the British Expeditionary Force. Peter said he was contemplating a novel about his father and had done some work on it.

Heather, after a recent hip replacement operation, inflicted her experiences at Ashford Hospital on the unsuspecting and captive audience in a poem. Everyone said they liked it,  Liz asked for a second reading, and Greg requested that it might be featured on the WWC website.

Carla’s two poems, ‘Madonna dei Miracoli’ and ‘Canada Water’ were full of lyrical and simply beautiful language. ‘Canada Water’ was particularly admired, linking images of the Underground station of that name with the wider canvas of Canada. Carla confirmed that she writes in English rather than translating from Italian.

Amanda read her review of ‘La Traviata – Behind the Curtain’,  staged by the Glyndebourne company at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking. Amanda had seen the production the previous evening and had completed the review immediately afterwards to meet the tight deadline. There was some confusion over the use of the word ‘contemporary’ but all agreed that it was a brilliant piece of writing that gave a vivid picture of the nature of the work.

Liz had based her life writing sketches on the letter G and read sections on ‘Grand/Great’ featuring her Grand Northern Tour, a family tradition, The Great Gatsby and a French book that may have inspired it. The next piece dwelt on ‘Grudges’ and how to cope with them and the final piece featured ‘Grandparents and Gravestones’, which provided a compelling picture of hunting through family possessions. It was agreed that the third piece was particularly successful and it was hoped that Liz would develop this further.

Alan’s story ‘Eeyore’s Non-Contributory Policy’ was an immensely enjoyable and clever romp of a story,that faithfully reflected the nature of AA Milne’s characters and also succeeded brilliantly in satirising many present-day issues. The focus of the story was the threat to the Hundred Acre Wood which was likely to be destroyed to accommodate a new vapour deposition plant run by Fartgas. There were lots of wonderful references, including the mention of benefits Toadstool and Beech Mast Relief and Acorn Benefit being replaced by Universal Fungus Credit.

Tricia had also responded to the homework subject, ‘Pooh’, with her long and rewarding poem, ‘Pondering Pooh’, which discussed the search for the origin of Pooh’s name. She skilfully involved the entire cast of Pooh characters and maintained rhythm and interest throughout, cleverly including some factual details, such as the reference to Winnipeg, the bear from Canada.

Cathy read a lively and vivid account of a recent trip to Berlin, which conveyed the edgy cool of the city. The similarities between Berlin and the UK were touched on and the possibility of writing three separate pieces was discussed. On balance, however, it was felt that this worked best as one piece, presenting as it did Berlin as a kaleidoscope of vegan restaurants, sex shops and Ampelmann – the iconic figure featured on pedestrian traffic signals.

 

Next meeting: Thursday, 24 January at 7.30pm

Chair: Heather

Minutes: Greg

Wine: Cathy

Milk and biscuits: Liz

Homework: Start Again

 

Please note that parking spaces are available in adjacent side streets. The school car park opposite the Church will only be opened by arrangement.

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