Workshop Blog 26/02/24

Hello one and all. I missed off some beautiful poems with my report of last week’s event, then when I sent them out I neglected to state that they were by Stephanie, our Georgia-based member. Blinking Flip!!!

But this time we had another good week with 16 present, and we managed to squeeze seven readers in. This may seem a low number, but almost all were of fairly lengthy pieces and attracted great deals of feedback. One piece of great news is that Sharif’s much-delayed book is due for publication (launch date to be confirmed but location probably Abergavenny) with minor changes to the cover picture. Well done sir.

First to read was Eryl, with To Look Into The Abyss, which he has entered into a couple of competitions. He didn’t win but wanted feedback to see if he could change it to be more successful. He is very fond of the piece and read us the first two of three parts of it. Part one is day three, in which the two protagonists are not getting on at all well, while part two was day one, in which they are perfectly happy but then things may give a hint of something going wrong. We haven’t heard part three – day two – but we hope to in the near future. Very well written but some suggestions were brought forward.

Next up was Daniel, who gave us the first part of his short story The Story-Teller. This was really good too, and I loved ‘…she wouldn’t ask for a glass of water if her legs were on fire…’ and there was plenty more of that. A kind of magic/sy-fy/realism/fantasy thing. If that’s what Daniel wants it to be. Anyway, more please young sir.

Following Daniel was Adam, a first-timer, with a (longish) flash fiction called The Rite Of Aldabina (apologies if I have this wrong Adam). This was very tongue in cheek and really funny, with a group of people trying to magically bring back a slaughtered deity. It turns out that the deity is not human but a walrus, who isn’t pleased to be brought back by humans. Lots of great lines in this, and I especially loved the devotees’ chant of ‘…arf, arf, arf…).

A couple of weeks ago Gill gave us a show and tell about her grandfather(?) who was an author, and how things were done almost 100 years ago. It was suggested she should write about it and she did. It would in no way do justice for me to quote snippets but it was pure gold, and it was suggested to Gill that this is not ‘a book’ but probably a series. Some of the younger and more ‘with-it’ members suggested a series of pod-casts. I agreed with them and now, having looked up what those are, believe I was correct to agree. JFDI Gill. Just Do It!!!

Jack then gave us part of his SF novel and we dropped into chapter eight, about halfway through. This SF piece was really clever and my memorable piece snatched from it is ‘…branches cracked and spat splinters across him…’. Very nice.

Calvin gave us most of the first chapter of his novel, which was magically-based, and full of great quotes. One of my fave bits was ‘…somewhere between a lungfish and a chimpanzee’. Also very nice.

Finally, we heard from Zelia, with Alfie’s Caerphilly History Lesson. In this, we hear of how Zelia takes a friend’s dog for a walk through and around and about the now-crumbling aforementioned medieval construction, whilst telling him all about its history. He listens keenly but the ‘very happy pit-bull mix’ is unable to answer questions subsequently, so probably wasn’t taking anything in. Dogs are like that. Ungrateful so-and-so’s. This was really fun and nice to hear from Zelia, and she constantly surprises with a piece you never expect from her.

I mentioned that when I was in (quite early) school, we were all taken on a stage coach trip out to Caerphilly castle, where the guide told us of its history, including that the walls were in such a dreadful state because of the cannons of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army during the Civil War. OC then made a decree that the castle be not repaired so that it would stand as a warning to all who would defy the NMA and Lord Protector. Zelia explained that this was all b*****x, and the walls fell over because of subsidence. Apparently there was no ten-year NHBC guarantee on it. Bad planning. And Zelia gave her borrowed dog a better history lesson than my field trip. That’s how I ended up where I am.

Next week is via ZOOM, and here are the details:

Meeting ID:  836 2067 4224

Link:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83620674224?pwd=4DmmfNGc52LvdIK6Cm8lI9Cq8koyta.1

Passcode:  019874Hide

Bestest, P.

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