Thumbs Up!

Really people, you are spoiling us with these great stories ( please don't stop!)  Yes, it was another good night at Willesden Green, and yes, Judith did read out.  

We started with Maithreyi and a piece featuring the mysterious cousin G.  Again, her piece took us on a magical mystery tour; just why did cousin G turn up to stay every May and fill the house with his pungent aftershave and tobacco fumes?  And why after so many years, did he suddenly decide to treat his hosts to a week in Istanbul (such beautiful descriptions of Istanbul I wanted to book my ticket straight away).  Uncle G is always disappearing and re-appearing without warning - then he is spotted in ernest discussions with a man in a shop selling ak 47s. I have a feeling that uncle G won't be welcome to stay next year.

I must say Judith's writing was well worth waiting for - a fabulous introduction to the group that featured a hopeless drunk musing about a longed for cup of tea, speculations about ice and the spaces inbetween it oh, and not one, but two off licences.  Which off licence really has his heart?  It was a brilliant piece that earned comparisons with Samuel Beckett no less.  I absolutely loved it and can't wait to hear more.

Alistair was our newbie of the night and came with an impressive resume and a YA story set in a London that is a slightly different London to the one you and I know.  I hope he comes back as I want to know where this story is going to take us and exactly what is, 'down there.'

Sajidah is still heroically trying to get that difficult first chapter sorted, I do feel for her, it's agony searching for the right way to introduce your story, especially such a complex one. Have faith Sajidah, you will get there!

Another person who almost failed to 'get there' was Marsha who only had time to read her poem and get a thumbs up or down on it as we were leaving at the evening's end (we do have to finish at 8pm folks as we don't want to get locked in the library) I think there were more thumbs pointing up than down...

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Mystic cooking incantations

Well, that was a very interesting evening!  Three new people came and it's always exciting to see new faces around the table, you just can't tell by looking at them what sort of tales they are about to unleash on the group.

So, first newbie up was Maithreyi who gave us a tale set in Bristol, a brilliant cook married to a brilliant musician, what an earth could go wrong?  Quite a lot as it happens.  Such tension at the start of the story and such beautiful descriptions of food, I could smell the curry cooking ( and I also learnt how to pronounce asafoetida...)  We certainly look forward to hearing more from Maithreyi...

Next newbie up was Sita.  It's not often you hear a poem that's unlike any that you've heard read out at the group before, and boy, was this one a stunner!  Part poem, part incantation, rhythmic gymnastics sparking throughout, I think it's fair to say the room was gobsmacked by this poem.  What a wonderful introduction to the group read by a very nervous Sita.  What she was nervous about I have no idea, her work is fabulous!

Then Sajidah read the next section of her mystic journey in which her protagonist learns something very surprising about his family history.  Where will this news take him I wonder?

So we were just rounding off a very lively and interesting evening when in came Marsha.  Oh dear Marsha, if you leave it until 7.30 to arrive, then I'm afraid you are not guaranteed a place to read, but we certainly look forward to hearing your piece next meeting on the 19th.

So, eight people at the group, and six of them joined us down the pub afterwards, what a good evening and we still have to hear newbie Judith read out - perhaps next time?

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Spring in our step

Last group meet in April and after last time's lack of participants we were a bit worried for a second. Worries be damned, we had members turn up! A small but lively group. New member David introduced us to a selfish librarian, Sajidah's protagonist turned over a new leaf and Marsha's retiree made his escape.  Good discussions were had about how horrid women characters are allowed to be, the manifestation of grief and staying true to your voice. That's what we love about the group, you never know where the work will take enquiring minds.

Next group May 5th. 

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Can it be true?

So, due to neither of the usual facilitators being available last night, Lynn boldly stepped up and girding her loins declared herself ready and willing to take the group.  

However, upon enquiring, later that night, 'Went the day well?' I received this reply...

 Wash out! 

Come on you writers!

Oh dear, we must do better wgwg'ers.  You know that novel/slim volume of poetry/collection of short stories is never going to get published at this rate.

So, yes Lynn, we will see you on the 21st....

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An intimate gathering.

We thought Willesden Green would be heaving with emerald St Patrick's day celebrations but it seemed rather muted.  Saying that, it might explain our low numbers this week... First there were 3, then we became 4.

Sajidah's new chapter led us into the cosy environs of wise leaders and set up the beginnings of what promises to be a life-changing relationship between a weak man and a strong woman. This led to a varied discussion on scene-setting, character, dramatic build-up and spirituality. Marsha read a short story about what happens when artefacts are dug up and ascribed meaning. Then, we were done.

No pub, though we did walk past one Irish pub heaving. Someone's Everyone's probably got a very sore head this today.

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Hello, Goodbye

Tonight we said hello to one new member and a sad farewell to another, for Abidah is returning home to America.  So, after hearing one last fine poem from her, we bid her a fond farewell - we hope you come back and visit us again sometime Abidah! 

The new member is Judy ( although she's not really new, as apparently she came once before years ago, but as neither of us could remember the occasion, we will just count her as a newbie) A fine poem about a puddle was her contribution and it just shows what treasures can be found in the most unlikely of subjects. In fact, I don't think I will ever look at a puddle in the same way again.

Steve returned to the fold tonight with a great piece that included the word 'aileron' which none of us knew and had to look up ( see, the group is still being educational...) Don't forget to go to Liars' League on Tuesday if you want to hear more of his work, as one of his stories featuring the unforgettable Carmencita will be being read out by an actor. 

We heard another extract of Sajidah's continuing piece about a boy searching for meaning in the world and ended with Marsha reading out another piece from her very funny Sci Fiction series. As always, her story had a kick in the end with a very unusual way of defeating invading aliens. Don't make me tell you what it was - you will just have to wait until it's published...

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Stop Press!

Well, look who's got a story being read out at Liars League on March 8th...
Our own Steve Moran, that's who.
Liars League
Justice and Mercy
Crimes of Passion by Michael Skansgaard *NEW AUTHOR*
Jailbreak by Stephen Moran *NEW AUTHOR*
Rated by Matthew Harrison *NEW AUTHOR*
The H-Meister Gets Hitched by Quintin Forrest
Judgement Day by James Smyth
Mercy Road by Liam Hogan
This month we've got disputed virginity and disgraced royalty, absconding prisoners, eager-to-please executioners, a taste of post-apocalyptic justice, and the thoughts of an actual fly on the wall, plus our merciless book quiz and of course the chance to judge our chosen stories for yourself. Entry costs a bargain £5 (cash only)
7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) downstairs at:
The Phoenix
37 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PP
The Phoenix is a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube, which is on the Victoria, Bakerloo & Central lines.

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