Past Meetings - 2021
May meeting 2021
Nine members were present for the May meeting. There was no speaker for the meeting which was once again held via Zoom. We enjoyed an evening of readings of current work in progress by five members.
The first reading from Janet was a chapter from her saga ‘Sold for a Status’. She reported that she had been working hard on this during lockdown and had gone through the whole manuscript re-writing and amending. We all agreed this was an absorbing story. She also spoke about her plans for self publishing and the various options for this.
Piers read three monologues which could be read as poetry. ‘Country Churchyard 1 and 2’ and ‘Ghosts’ had similar themes and good descriptions.
‘Secrets’ is Christabel’s first novel and she read the first chapter which all agreed had an enticing suspenseful opening which made us want to read on.
Christine’s contribution was a description of a Heartsmart walk, ‘Spring in Petworth’ reminding us how good it is to get outside after so many months in lockdown.
John’s poem, ‘They Can’t Touch me Now’ gave thoughts on looking back, remembering and moving on.
Sharon reported that she had finished her novella and asked for a volunteer to read it. Several hands were raised and she said she would send it out.
Ten members logged on to zoom for the January meeting when Christine gave a brief talk on poetry and read some examples including on of her own poems. Several members had written poems and read them out.
We also talked about the Winter Solstice writing challenge and a couple of these were read. Piers's poem was called 'Winter Solstice' which fitted both challenges.
Although the zoom meetings are filling the gap left by not being able to meet in person it is a shame that Lesley and Barbara both had difficulty and kept 'fading away'.
Eight members logged on to Zoom for the February meeting which had kindly been set up by Sharon. We started off with Christine who said a few words about poetry and recommended some modern poets to us, including Les Murray and May Oliver. Christine then read three of her own poems. The first, 'A Day in Brid' evoked childhood memories of visits to the seaside. This was followed by 'Drawn from Life' and 'Back to the Drawing Board' about a drawing life class. Christine's poetry always goes down well and provoked a lively discussion.
Next up was Piers with a further chapter of his novel, continuing the story of Tori and her friends at Uni. Another lively discussion centred on the dialogue between the young people and the difficulty of keeping up with trends.
Sharon's contribution, 'The Book Ghost' was an atmospheric piece with some lovely descriptions which left us wanting to hear more.
'Reality', John's contribution asked some interesting questions and debated the 'reality' of dreams. Another interesting discussion ensued.
Finally, Christabel read 'The Shell Collector' bringing to a close an evening that showed what a diverse group we are.
The meeting closed after Robbie reminded everyone that the next meeting is the AGM and asked members to let her have any items to be discussed.
March 3rd 2021 AGM
Due to lockdown, this year’s AGM was held via zoon. Nine members attended and there was one apology for absence.
Annual reports had been circulated beforehand and were taken as read. There were no matters arising. We were pleased to report that despite a difficult year with Covid restrictions and lockdown, we had managed to keep the circle going.
There were no nominations for the committee posts. All officers and committee members offered themselves and they were re-elected en bloc. John had recommended that we add an additional member in the person of Christine, who readily agreed and was voted in unanimously.
It was ageed that, Sharon who had been awarded the John Murray Cup last year, should hold it for a further year as it had not been possible to present it to her until quite late in the year. She was also thanked for her help with Zoom.
After the business of the AGM there was a discussion on writing during a pandemic and, following on from Christine’s Poetry session last month, several people read their poems.
Nine members were able to log on for the April meeting via Zoom. Despite poor connections for some the meeting went well with a lively discussion on the theme ‘Power Words’.
Joe had sent a link to a website giving lists of power words and what they are. The lists are under various headings and Joe screen shared some of them. Power words are used mainly by advertisers and copywriters but can be helpful for fiction and non-fiction writers too. Book titles need to grab attention and Joe show cased two book covers with very different titles and graphics. The contents were exactly the same, but one book sold in six figures while the other got nowhere.
The second half of the meeting was devoted to readings of their work by Piers, Joe and Christine. Piers read another chapter of his story ‘The Island,’ which is progressing well. There was a discussion of his vivid descriptions.
Joe’s piece was a synopsis of his book ‘Why Punish me?’ which describes his Catholic school days and its effects on him growing up.
Christine’s story of a walk at Middleton-on-Sea generated discussion on writing in different tenses – past and present.
Joe reported that his book is being edited and will then be self-published.
Barbara sent apologies and reported that her new book, ‘Vistula Mermaid’ is due to be published soon.