Goldthorpe Writers: “the old man”

The group is still very much in its infancy and we’re still finding our feet, so the library forgot that we’d changed the start time this week from 2:00pm to 2:30pm.

When I got there, I was quite excited to see that a space at the table had been “bagsied”. I’d seen a chap walk in before me with a rucksack on his back, and then he came out again to go to his car and had left the rucksack on our table. I knew it was our table because “R”‘s latest work was sitting there, waiting to be read.

Unfortunately for the group, but fortunately for the library, the chap was there to do some study and/or reading work and had just dropped his bag on our table thinking no one else was using it. Ah well.

Also unfortunately, we received news that “H” had been in hospital for an operation (speedy recovery to you, “H”!), and “P1” had been put on a course for two days a week that clashed with the writers’ group. “P2” had made it again, though, so that was very good news.

This week’s theme was “the old man”, mostly because that was the title of the chapter that “R” wanted to read out to us. He’d already done some work on this chapter, but then tweaked it following the feedback from his previous reading.

“R” now has a title for his book too, which is also good news as it has been “untitled” for many years. He kicked us off with chapter one of this book. The book is called The Ruhak Chronicles: Book One (I particularly like the “book one” part of that title), and the first chapter was entitled The Old Man, funnily enough.

He read out 779 words (he counted them because he knew I would ask), and we thought that this was already an improvement on what he read out to us last time as there was less “head-hopping” and exposition and more action.

“P2” didn’t have time to write something especially for the meeting as her family had descended on her for the week. She did bring us the result of an instant writing exercise she’d done for one of her creative writing classes, entitled Problems and Solutions.

This was around 750 words and was the result of a prompt from a newspaper cutting. “P2” has a lovely reading manner, and it emerged that she sometimes records speaking newspapers for the blind and partially sighted.

I re-read my “death at the pit-head” offering, for “P2″‘s benefit, which was 568 words, and then I read out the latest scene from The Fool, which was 891 words. These are still very much first-draft-stage, but both listeners seemed to enjoy them.

I then asked if I could read some of Catch the Rainbow so that I could have some live feedback. I read out the prologue, which is scene one set in 1964, and then scene two, which is set in 1998. I also gave them the opening of scene three …

“Birmingham Post and Mail?”
“There is a bomb planted in the Rotunda. There is a bomb planted in New Street at the tax office. This is Double X.”

Fortunately, both would like to hear more.

Because we still had a little time, “P2” read out two of her delightful little poems in that wonderful reading voice of hers.

Mister Job Centre Man, who has a session at the library, thinks he may have another new member for us, and “P2” also thinks a friend of hers may come along in the future too.

Next week’s theme, for those not already working on material, is “this is the end”.

Goldthorpe Writers meet every Monday at Goldthorpe Library, Barnsley Road, Goldthorpe, Barnsley S63 9NE, from 2:30pm until 4:00pm. There is free parking to the rear of the library, buses stop almost outside, and the railway station is a short walk away. Refreshments are also currently available for free. All are welcome.

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