Workshop Blog 02/10/23

Hello again one and all.

 

This week we had 17 present, including some who have been only once or twice and one who had attended a little while ago and has now returned. We also had some long-standing regulars and opened with a rare beast. Someone who has been in CWC longer than I.

 

Young Jeff gave us three poems. A long one and two shorter ones, all of which were pretty fresh out of Jeff’s pen. Jeff began with the long one, A Spaceman Came Calling, and it was nothing to do with a Chris de Burgh Xmas song. (Thankfully.) Instead it was an amusing journey through the tale of an alien invasion, that did not take scale into account, and the aliens were squished because they were so tiny as to be ignored. Very funny. Let There Be Life was really nice and The Ultimate Penalty was an ode to the 20MPH speed limit now in place in most of Wales. (Footnote, police are no longer picking up kerb-Crawlers as they could just be drivers sticking to the new speed limit. All really good and so varied. The man’s a genius.

 

Steve is another long-time member and he gave us the second part of the opening of a novel that will probably be called The Temptations Of Jonathan Yorke. The piece is excellently written and Steve is an effective user of the vernacular, even though it shocks everyone to hear him use such terminology. I particularly enjoyed one character’s statements ‘…as I live and s**g..’ and ‘…I s**g therefore I am…’ both of which gave great insight to the character. Which is why use of language is so important in great literature. More please Steve.

 

Someone else who excels in her use of language is Sarah Mayo. Sarah gave us a poem entitled The Secret and oh, this was beautiful. Words and phrases such as ‘…a hand-written note in invisible ink…’ and ‘…eye-lashes… like butterflies take flight…’. This was full of wonderful imagery and beauty. This is why I don’t write proper poetry any more.

 

Sarah Smith also excels, but her field is quite different. She dips into history to write slightly fictionalised accounts of real people and events and also imagined conversations and events around actual occurences with known outcomes. When Sarah reads you could really be there. In the Napoleonic wars, a house that remains the same but its residents change over the centuries, in the camp/village of a King of Ireland, or in the early days of the crusades at home with the families of a ransomed knight. The last of these is where we are in this short story, about a lady whose husband has squandered the family’s fortune and now been captured. He offers his loyal wife’s right hand as payment of his ransom. We heard the first section previously and now the conclusion was brilliant. Sarah’s conversation between the lady and a priest whose help she needs was excellent. I shall not give away the ending because it was very well thought out and you can all buy the story when it is published.

 

Ian was in a different location and he re-read a love poem he gave us two or three weeks ago, but the title eludes me. Sorry. Anyway, you will all know Ian as an hilarious diarist of Lloyd the boy who wants to be a cook. Well I’m here to tell you that Ian has written a lovely poem of love and after he gave us the poem, he showed us the object of his desire. Stephanie. Who was also in the room with him but on a different video feed. Steve said that she was ‘the prettiest rabbit he had ever seen pulled out of a hat’. We all agreed. We also agreed that Ian may wish to put pen to paper with more poetry. He is thinking about this but has much on his mind. (They were both in Stephanie’s Georgia house, by the way.)

 

Bianca then gave us the opening of her novel Their Souls Are Reflected In Her Eyes. This was interesting and had great detail, disclosed in economic but lovely language. Bianca also played around with tenses in the work, and she told us why. A great idea and we should like to hear more so that we can experience the changes from present to past and possible have a little future thrown in??? Who can tell.

 

Rachel then told us that she has previously written poetry, but then moved to short stories, and is now writing a children’s book – perhaps middle-grade – which features magic but in a realistic setting. Magic realism? Rachel will reads us a piece on her next attendance.

 

We then heard from Stephanie, the prettiest rabbit, who gave us a poem I believe was called Never-Green. Great lines in this and some wonderful images. I loved the thought of a line of fir trees ‘pining’ and lines such as ‘…trees breathing in the woods…’ all of which came with some really clever in-line rhyming. As they say in Scotland fandabbydozy.

 

Matt was next up with another piece from The Stained-Glass Cat. Things are getting really tight and sticky now for Louse the kitten, as he escapes the Malefant but fears for his friends the Something-In-The-Ivy and the Stained-Glass Cat, as he finds his way to a house where he believes a possible friend could be found. But there is something threatening there as well. This is brilliantly written and has such great concepts, we are all on the edges of our seats. Matt, you really really must get this to an agent or publisher.

 

Claire was our last reader with the rest of her short story The Drop Dead Cafe, and this was quite nerve-racking until the end, when a big reveal explains everything. This would be ideal to send off to various places Claire, especially as we approach Halloween. Well written and a good story underneath as well. Thank you. More of this stuff will help us stay awake at night. You and Pam will cause me to never sleep again.

 

Information:

  1. Jericho Writers is an organisation selling courses and stuff, but you can obtain a free booklet (downloaded I believe) on self-publishing from their website.
  2. Check out Fiction Desk who publish excellent collections and are seeking ghost stories now: https://www.thefictiondesk.com/submissions/ghost-stories.php

Need to announce the rules and closing dates for entries for our upcoming competitions:

Article/review entries in by email no later than 6th Nov. 500 – 1000 words, one entry per member, £4 to enter. No names on the entry document but a cover sheet with title, word count, and name. Adjudication on 4th Dec by Emily Garside.

Flash fiction entries in by email no later than 27th Nov, 250 words max, one or two entries per member, £4 for one £6 for two, any subject/genre/style. No names on the entry document but a cover sheet with title, word count, and name. Adjudication to be announced.

Free to enter humorous short story (Phil Beynon award) Christmas party comp, entries to be read out by the authors on the evening and voted on by the other members present, 500 words please. Also bring along food and drink for the Christmas party on the same evening.

 

By popular request please see our Membership fees below:

CWC can accept cash payments at meetings by crossing Jeff’s palm with our late queen’s image stamped on round pieces of metal and printed on rectangular pieces of toughened paper, or by transfers into our Metro Bank account, for those who have electricity in their homes.

 

Here are the details:

 

Account number: 39655934  Sort code: 23-05-80

Account name: CARDIFF WRITERS’ CIRCLE (all capitals and with an apostrophe)

Please include your name or your membership number.

 

Annual charge £30 per annum or £10 per term

 

Weekly meetings, ZOOM or YMCA, £4 each attendance

 

Competitions £4 for one entry £6 for two where applicable

 

Anyone facing issues please speak with a committee member about a reduction

 

New members get their first two sessions free of charge

 

Byeee, P.

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