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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Calling all Writers


Cayman writers circle open to new members


DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR CREATIVE WRITING?

JOIN US AT CAYMAN WRITERS’ CIRCLE

WHEN: EVERY TUESDAY AT 7.30 PM

where: 535 south church street

FOR WRITING EXERCISES 

AND PRACTICE IN PROSE AND POETRY,

GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR SHORT STORIES OR NOVEL

Writers at all levels of experience are welcome

For further information contact:

Text or call: 323 9111


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cayman Writers Circle on Sabbatical

Cayman Writers Circle is not meeting at the moment. Anyone interested in reconvening the group, please contact pwestin@easyconnect.ky or pimentel@candw.ky.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Writing An Allegory

An allegory is a story that is about one subject on one level, but can be read on a deeper level to symbolize something else.

On 10th September, we approached this activity in 5 steps.

1. Write 5 well-known similes, eg "Happy as Larry".

2. Write 4 of your own similes, eg "As lazy as a sloth, on its day off".

3. Write 3 metaphors, eg "She was a tree trunk of a woman".

4. Extend 2 of the metaphors into descriptions, eg "She was a tree trunk of a woman. Her legs were thick and solid. Her arms were heavy as branches, and it cost her to lift them. Her face was plump and radiant, like a flower in full bloom."

5. Write an allegorical story.

Endless Toil
The ants hurried through the tunnel in single file. Each one carried a small crumb, almost bigger than himself. Again and again, they chipped away at the crusty surface to break off their tiny crumb, carried it along the tunnel, then deposited their load on the pile beside the rest. Back they went, working silently, never complaining, though their eyes were growing dim from lack of sunlight. The work was endless, but they kept going, even while knowing that others would benefit more than themselves from their toil.
When they could carry no more, they crawled along the earth, in search of light and air. Still quiet, they followed each other, nose to tail, until they reached the shaft that would take them to the surface, and to the comfort of home, beer and cigarettes.
Cayman Writers Circle meeting tonight at 7.30 at 535 South Church Street, George Town

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Summer Break

Cayman Writers' Circle is now on a break for the summer. We will meet again on Tuesday, 3rd September, at Sunset House, "My Bar" (outside, covered bar area).

In the meantime, Happy Writing!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Writer's Block and getting started writing again

Writer's Block is described as an inability to write, which is not due to lack of skill. According to Wikipedia it is often due to lack of inspiration or lack of confidence, or a feeling that the particular project is too overwhelming.

One of the suggested solutions to Writer's Block is to attend a Writers' Group, where there are other writers who may suffer from the same condition. The group offers support to writers, and also the opportunity to start writing again, by the use of writing games and exercises, as well as the discipline of having to produce something.

Another suggestion is to write about reality. Going to a new place and describing the scenery in as much detail as possible, analysing the character of someone you know, reporting on a conversation you've had, or journaling your feelings are all ways of returning to writing.

Reading is the obvious source of inspiration and learning, and we can gain much from observing someone else's style, but it is important to write with your own "voice," in your own style. People often worry about how to develop their own style, but this is something that should come naturally, in the same way that speech comes to us naturally.

Writers are their own worst critics, and it often seems that the more talented they are, the more harshly they assess their writing. They hesitate to start until they are confident that what they produce is near-perfect, but in reality, the best way to start writing again is just to sit down and write, without worrying about the results.  

Friday, 19 July 2013

Beginning a Story

"They say that when beginning a story you should always try to catch people at some interesting juncture of their lives, like when they have to make a choice or a decision, or when someone has betrayed them, or at the start of love or the end of love. It's better to come across them at some kind of crisis than in the middle of a long, lazy summer where nothing happens."  - Maeve Binchy

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Joining a Writers' Group

"Writing can be very lonely, and you can get great attacks of self-doubt. So...it makes sense to bond with a group of like-minded people who have also set out on the same kind of journey. For one thing, it will stop you from thinking that you are the only person in the world mad enough to believe that there's a book in you, and for another, it means you will meet sympatheitc people instead of dealing with those who think you are crazy and should be learning belly dancing or car maintenance instead." - Maeve Binchy

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Getting Started as a Writer - Quote from Maeve Binchy

"Writing is a bit like going on a diet: you should either tell everyone or no-one. If you tell everyone, then you can never be seen feeding your face in public without appearing weak willed. So that's a way of reinforcing your decision, and some people find it helpful. It does mean that you're somehow obliged to lose the weight you had promised aloud, or indeed finish the book. Or you could go the other route, and tell nobody - just hug your secret to yourself. Get thin by stealth, write the book, then burst onto an unsuspecting world with your new shape or finished manuscript. But whichever way you do it, you will need discipline and some kind of plan." Maeve Binchy.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Analysing a Piece of Writing

For the month of July, the group will be bringing our writing and commenting on each others' work. Here are some questions that might be useful when commenting on someone else's writing.



Analysing a Piece of Writing
 
1. Setting
 
i)                    How well does the writer describe the place where the story is set?
 
 
 
ii)                   What details are there to give you an idea of the time the story is set in?
 
 
 
2. Characterisation
 
i)                    How believable are the characters?
 
 
 
ii)                   How do the characters develop?
 
 
 
3. Structure and Development
 
i)                    What kind of structure does the plot/poem have?
 
 
 
ii)                   How well does the plot/poem develop?
 
 
 
4. Conflict
 
i)                    What internal or external conflicts are you made aware of?
 
 
 
ii)                   How is this brought to a climax and turning point?
 
 
 

 
5. Theme
 
i)                    What is the theme or message to the story/poem?
 
 
 
ii)                   What did the writer set out to achieve, and to what extent have they achieved it?
 
 
 
6. Style
 
i)                    How would you describe the use of language?
 
 
 
ii)                   What use does the writer make of symbolism or metaphors?
 
 
 
7. Clarity
 
i)                    How easy is it to understand this writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   How well does the dialogue work?
 
 
 
8. Your Reaction
 
i)                    What is your emotional response to this piece of writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   Does the writer make you want to read on, and if so how?
 
 
9. Improvement
 
i)                    What, in your opinion, may be missing from this piece of writing?
 
 
 
ii)                   How can this piece of writing be improved?


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Ten Basic Story Plots

1. Discuss what you consider to be the main basic story plots. Agree on a list together.

2. Consider Christopher Bookers 7 (plus) Basic Plots list:
a) Overcoming the Monster;
b) Rags to riches;
c) The Quest;
d) Voyage and Return;
e) Rebirth;
f) Comedy (happy ending romance);
g) Tragedy (sad ending romance);
h) Rebellion against "the One"
i) Mystery
j) Combinations of the above.

3. Discuss what each plot category means and name examples.

4. Choose one plot category and make a 5 step plan. Read out the name of each step.

5. Write the first step of the story, stop and read aloud. Continue through all the steps. (Resist the temptation to write the whole story in one go).

6. Go over the story and make improvements. Read the whole story out.

An Unusual Arrangement - by Fiona Pimentel

Nabil Al-Hamsi and his family had lived in the West Country (Southwest of England) for ten years. Nabil couldn't remember much about his native Syria, as he had left it at the age of seven. He knew it had been peaceful in those days, and that they had lived with his grandparents in Damascus.

They were lucky that although Exeter was a provincial city, there had been a Mosque there since the seventies, because of the highly respected Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University. Most of the people his family knew were regulars at the Mosque, at least on Fridays or Jummah.

On Saturdays, Nabil worked at Sports Supply in town. This particular morning had been a frantic one. They had a sale on trainers, so parents were busily buying for every family member. Sports enthusiasts were buying several pairs each.

Lucy wanted a tennis racquet. Everyone at her new school played tennis, and she didn't want to be left out. But she had no idea how to select a racquet. She wondered what the letter L on the side of the handle meant. Could all these racquets be left-handed?
"Need any help?" asked a kind voice behind her.
"Yes, can you tell me about these racquets?"
Nabil didn't play tennis, but he told Lucy everything he could remember from his shop training.

"So how often do you play tennis?" enquired Lucy, trying to hide a smile.
"Well, actually I never play," was Nabil's reply, and he felt embarrassed as he realised this must have been obvious to the girl.
"Don't worry, I don't play either, but all my new friends do, so I'm going to try and learn. Would you happen to know any good teachers?"
Nabil gave her the number of his colleague and good friend, John, who also gave tennis lessons in his spare time.

On Wednesday, Nabil's phone rang, and it was John inviting him to come to the tennis lesson with Lucy.
"But I don't know how to play, man."
"Honestly, she's useless, you'd be doing me a favour if you came," insited John, whose Syrian name was Yehyeh.

That's how their weekly tennis lessons were set up. He was just doing his friend a favour, nothing else. After all, John was like a brother to him.
Actually the lessons were quite fun, and under John's instruction, they were soon able to keep up a reasonable rally. Nabil didn't feel embarrassed by his lack of skill, as John had been right, Lucy was really quite uncoordinated.
After lessons, they chatted for a while, and Lucy noticed that although Nabil was friendly, there was always something reserved about him, as if there was something he was holding back.

It was John who first started to make comments to his friend about how Lucy was interested in in him. Nabil doubted she would be interested in a tame Muslim boy like him. He acknowledged that they got on well, and were becoming friends. They were finding more and more things in common, and that was great. "That's all though, Yehyeh," he explained.

The weeks went by and soon it was clear to all three of them that there was more than a flicker between Lucy and Nabil.
"For goodness sake, just ask her out," teased John.
"My parents would kill me," replied Nabil, "you know how strict they are. It's easy for you Christians."
But over the next couple of months, Lucy and Nabil couldn't help themselves. They were young, and couldn't deny they were in love.

Nabil had to think of a way to broach the subject with his parents. But he knew there would be so much trouble if he did. They could easily forbid him from seeing Lucy, and even prevent him from doing any "Western activities," as they called them.
Lucy, on the other hand, was so laid back. She didn't suffer from any of these problems at home. She was under no pressure to bring her boyfriend home, and really didn't understand the conflict Nabil was having. It was almost becoming a source of disharmony between them.

One Friday, coming back from Kutbah (Friday worship), Nabil's Dad casually remarked that there were some nice Muslim girls in their acquaintance. Nabil immediately felt the rush of adrenalin in his body, as he surmised that this was going to be a talk about a proposed arranged marriage.
"Dad, I'm British now... I 'm not ready to get married."
"Who's talking about getting married now, Son? I'm just noticing that Tariq's daughter is pretty, and he is my closest relative here, you know."
"I mean it. I don't want you to tell me who to marry, Dad."
"Relax," said his mother, although he could hear tension in her voice. "Your father knows that you've grown up here, and you'll want to meet the girl a few times first. Lots of young British Muslims do these days."
"What if I've already met a girl?...Lucy...," he blurted out, regretting it immediately.
"Lucy?" yelled his father, "We don't know any Lucy!"
"An English girl?" asked his mother, visibly shocked after her generous efforts to be so reasonable.
The rest of the journey continued in silence. His parents were alarmed, angry and upset, and Nabil thought it best not to disturb them further.
For the next two weeks, there was tension in the house. Nabil heard his parents arguing almost every day, and he kept himself to himself. Ever since they had met, Nabil had told Lucy never to call him at home, but the following Thursday, she called his cellphone.
Nabil was in the shower, and his mother, passing his room, went in and answered the phone for him.
"Oh, um, is Nabil there?" asked a tearful voice.
Nabil's mother explained that he was in the shower.
"Oh..." said the voice, then there were a few seconds of silence, followed by an almost imperceptible sobbing.  
The older woman could not ignore that the younger one was quite distraught, and her maternal instinct took over. Besides, what mother wouldn't want to know her son's business?
"Is that Lucy?' she enquired, "What's wrong?"

"What were you doing in my room? Who were you talking to?"
Ignoring his disrespect, Nabil's mother simply replied, "I spoke to your girl, Lucy. She was very upset."
From then on, Lucy was invited to their home, and the two women tentatively became friends. Even Nabil's Dad gradually got used to the idea, and started telling his friends about his son's "very modern arrangement."

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

New Meanings - Writing a Poem with Nonsense Words

Activities for 18 June 2013 - Results will appear below as they come in.


1. Dictionary Definitions
Look up a word and write out the definition. Then make up a new definition for the word. Read the definitions only to the other members of the group, and see if they can guess which is the correct definition and which one you made up, and work out what the word is.

2. Create a Story together
Each person contribute one sentence to the story. Each time it is your turn, include in your sentence one nonsense word, or an existing word, to which you have given a new meaning. Try to make clear what the new meaning is.

3. Write a poem
Include in your poem some made up words, and try to make it clear what their meanings are, without actually defining them.

4. Read the poems aloud
See if people can work out the meaning of the made up words.

after they left - by Tony Walton

we roam your steel towers
scavenging the tired relics,
fanged strolls down the wide avenues
delicious stabbed plates went
first devoured hours after,
we reconciled quick with the dogs
(even the impractical little ones - your
design) their sinful ancient collaboration
                forgotten,
cats are still aloof as ever
well they used to be tigers,
homes and  sewers echo
lonely calls,
unaccompanied subways we
learned to use,
a razored fox lives
on a skyscraper - by himself
cracked molars of a dental construction site with
an earthdigger teethy smile frozen
never again to strike terra!
and we don't miss you.

Conversation in a Hospital - By Fiona Pimentel

When spoken to by the nurse,
The man loudly began to curse,
"I'm not a Trinitarian,
I've always been a Jupitarian".
The doctor came in and felt his head.
"My goodness, Sir, I do believe you're dead!"
To which the gentleman replied,
"I think you're quite cutterslide."
He proceeded to untie his fliques,
And they both clearly saw his obliques.
"Come, Sir, don't be so cacksleed,
I'm quite certain that what you need
Is a portionally quaft of droze,
Inserted into your naftern nose."
"Naftern, you say? Why so drade?"
"Sir, I simply haven't got the flade."
With that she left with a flourish,
Saying "I have other craddicks to nourish."

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Writing a Short Story in 5 Steps

Activities for the 11 June 2013 - Writing a Short Story - results will follow below, as they come in


Warm-up exercise – word associations
First write 3 nouns, 3 verbs, 3 adjectives and 3 adverbs. Now write 3 word associations for each one. Write the first word that comes into your head, without thinking about it.

Write a short story using the following 5 steps:
i) Start your story by describing the context with some background information.
ii) Introduce 2 characters and include some dialogue and start to build the plot.
iii) Add more characters and develop the plot.
iv) Bring your story to a climax.
v) Bring your story to a conclusion.


By Anonymous


His childhood was sheltered under the black umbrellas of older women. There was a certain comfort and familiarity with these relationships, their judgement could always be counted on. Father provided a break from the structure and he welcomed the days at building sites and football games, these things stayed with him through the years and were often at the center of thought as the years of reflection came into view- a kind of mourning for one's youth.

He was 12, large, and designed for football, staring out to the buzzing noise of the stadium, drowning his pre-game stomach churn. He was late, and the team had started calisthenics. He greeted the fellow linemen, with the camaraderie that only war and sports spawn and started mid jumping jack.

"There's a f'n spade sitting on your helmet, you better check that shit out," Stan announced to him - and the rest of the offensive line, doing groin stretches. He glanced over and his heart sank. Thinking practically, the boy jogged over nervously, "Heeey, I need the helmet now". "Good luck," his dad beamed out. "Cheers, we'll need a bit of that", a hurried reply.
"Who the hell was that?" moaned Coach Stram. "Got my helmet-I'm ready!" he grinned, a clumsy 11 year old attempt at a clumsy segway, a skill he learned to master in later years.

The ride home was long and there were no disagreements as they drove along encased safely in the car, a road split by the center line. Practiced vowels, consonants and syllables roll predictably with the hum of tires. Each topic measured as the roadside poles, the conversation's selected tone mirrors the ca-thump ca-thump ca-thump of the paved highway joints.We think of things that must be said - instead, the words shift, twist, and turning our mouths like worms, then sit angrily, before we brood them out of separate windows in silence and continue down the road to somewhere, the receding light of the sun searching through glass then fading in the rear window, frame by frame until the light is gone.






The Transformation of Hope Farm - by Fiona Pimentel

Hope Farm was an old farm that had become a riding school. There were twelve stables, and eight of them were currently inhabited.
Every afternoon, Isabel taught riding to kids after their regular school day. In the mornings she fed the horses, groomed them and mucked out the stables. She had some help from the school kids with this, but mostly the work fell on her.
Isabel woke up on Tuesday morning and breathed a huge sigh.
“What’s wrong?” asked her husband, David, while shaving in the ensuite bathroom.
“I’m just sick of cleaning up shit every day,” she answered.
Her husband rolled his eyes and went to put on the coffee.
“Why don’t you get some help?” was what he was finally able to offer when Isabel came through to the kitchen.
“The kids help a bit in the afternoon, only with the grooming though.”
“I’ll have a think about how to get you some help,”
A week later, an advert for Hope Farm appeared in the local paper. It didn’t advertise riding lessons, as you would have expected. Instead it invited people to a new kind of spiritual experience, where they would learn to appreciate what they have in life, and develop a sense of community service.
“I can’t believe you’ve passed off shoveling shit as a spiritual experience,” exclaimed Isabel.
But the phone-calls came in. People were actually making bookings for “day retreats.”
“We’ll need to have an inspiring speaker of course,” commented David, “and I have just the right person.”
“Who’s that?”
“Me, of course.”
Isabel laughed at how ridiculous the whole situation was.
“Actually it’s brilliant,” declared her husband.
The following Saturday, five people came to the farm, wanting spiritual enlightenment.
Isabel almost screamed, as she saw the cars arriving.
“It will be alright, don’t worry,” said David calmly.
He walked out to greet the guests, introduced himself and his wife, and acted as if this were the most normal thing in the world.
David was amazing. He gave a welcome speech to Karen, Mike, Alison, Margaret and Steve. He asked them all to say why they were there.
Karen and Mike were searching for deeper meaning in life, Alison was unemployed and depressed, Margaret was just bored, and Steve had split up with his boyfriend.
David gave them a passage to read which was from the Dalai Lama’s latest book. Then they had twenty minutes of silent meditation.
Isabel watched the whole thing in disbelief. When had David had time to prepare all this? How would they react to the work they would have to do?
She needn’t have worried, thought Isabel. David told them how in clearing up the horse dung, they were purifying their souls, and putting order into their lives. “What bullshit,” muttered Isabel to herself quietly.
The retreatants went into the stables, and spent a happy two hours shoveling. They were relaxed and smiling.
The stables looked perfect. The group members, who had arrived well-presented, were now slightly less tidy in their appearance, but they were “clean on the inside,” as David called it.
Back inside, they all cleaned themselves up, and seemed reluctant to leave. Isabel offered them tea or coffee and biscuits.
Then came the best bit. They actually paid for the privilege of cleaning the stables: $75 per person. They were genuinely pleased they had come, and would recommend Hope Farm to their friends!
Isabel thought about the expression ‘from the sublime to the ridiculous,’ and mused to herself that this morning the case had been the opposite: ‘from the ridiculous to the sublime’. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Writing a Story Using The Senses

These are the writing activities for the 4th June - the resulting stories will appear below


i)                   Look around you
Describe ten things that you see. Use adjectives in full sentences.

ii)                What sounds have had an impact on you?
Write down five sounds that have had an impact on you at any time in your life, including songs that are significant to you.

iii)              What smells can you remember
See how many smells you can remember that evoke memories for you, and say why.

iv)              Describe tastes
Try to describe three different tastes, pleasant, unusual or unpleasant, and any associations you have with them.

v)                 Touch
What sensations of touch can you think of, and what is your reaction to them? Describe them as fully as you can.

vi)              Write a story about the people you see around you
Use some of your thoughts on the senses in your story. Imagine the people’s lives, their past, their present and their future. Include some dialogue that you imagine they may be having now.



My Bar, Sunset House - by Fiona Pimentel
Seated at the wooden table in front of me are two women in their early to mid thirties. Above their heads, palm fronds are waving calmly in the gentle breeze.                                                                                                        
Alicia comes from Philadelphia, and is of Chinese origin. She has a passion for reading. She has come to the island recently, and is keen to meet as many new people as she can.
 Simone grew up in the Cayman Islands and has lived here all her life. She dresses sensibly, wears glasses and comes from a conservative background.
These ladies know each other from work, and although they aren’t well acquainted, each one is hoping to gain something from sharing a drink with the other.
 “So, Alicia, tell me about your interests,” enquires Simone, making an effort to speak over the loud music.
“Well, I love reading. When I find a good book, I just can’t put it down.”
“What type of books do you like to read?”
“Mostly I enjoy anything about vampires and also alchemy. I love mystery.” She sways her shoulders in time with the rhythm. She glances at the friendly group of people at the next table and thinks to herself that she would like to meet them.
“Oh, how unusual!” exclaims Simone. She suddenly becomes aware that the Christmas lights on the trees are quite out of place in the summer, and starts to feel quite uncomfortable.
 “Why? What kind of thing do you read?”
“I don’t really have time to read, other than books about accountancy.” She is aware of how pathetic that sounds but can’t think of anything else to say.
“I see…” replies Alicia, starting to drum her fingers on the table. She notices that the amber light gives the place an atmosphere of the nineteen seventies, and is slightly bemused by this.
She instinctively looks over Simone’s shoulder, as if wanting to be rescued, and is delighted to spot a pleasant-looking man who emerges out of the dark and makes straight for them, carrying a pad and pen. He is smiling at her, as if he knows her or wants to know her. The smell of B & H cigarettes reminds her of her grandmother, and she instantly feels comfortable in his presence.
“Is this the Cayman Writers’ Circle meeting?” he asks.
“Yes, yes, it is,” replies Alicia, grateful for the distraction.
Simone’s eyes widen and her mouth opens. She is just about to say something but the look on Alicia’s face stops her.
Settling down in a chair at their table, the man asks “So what are we doing?”
“We are writing a story about the people here," lies Alicia, "at the bar at Sunset House. There was a group of people at the next table I’ve been writing about, but they have just gone. They kept staring at us. They were probably all crazy.”
It dawns on Simone that the group at the next table must have indeed been the real Cayman Writers’ Circle, and she determined to check out their blog to see if they’d written about Alicia, and more worryingly herself. 



The table by the sea - By Michel Powery                                      

Somebody said: “brotherhood is built while climbing mountains.” I can now say, “writing makes brothers and sisters become as one. It is what happened on the night of June 4th, 2013 at Sunset Bar during the Cayman Writers Circle meeting. People who love the art of writing, gathered there with the intention of contributing to the effort of a building better world. They probably did not suspect the magnitude of what was occurring at that precise moment.

Fiona, hosting the meeting with a wide range of methods and techniques, started introducing everyone seated by the small wooden table. The table was, as a matter of fact, really small but it did not bother anybody since the human warmth and kindness were taking over the stage, as soon as the sea welcomed, blowing a fresh breeze all over the place.

At the very beginning there were beside the host, Brian and Barbara, a very happy and enthusiastic couple. They were extremely nice persons who filled the night with lovely stories of what Barbara like to call “the good old times,” referring to her childhood days. There were nostalgic memories of homemade bread, casava cake and the smell of coffee made by her grandma every morning. 

Brian, for his part, spoke continuously about his cherished memories of those moments in his native Canada. The remembrances of the coming spring after a long and snowy winter, the passion for the flowers and the soothing wind rubbing his face. But, he did not mention he was considered a milkoholic, as her wife told us suddenly. “Oh, that’s not fair!” he exclaimed, “I have not told anybody about your addiction to baked pork chops,” he said, trying to take revenge. 

Barbara just let a shy smile escape, like a kid caught doing something terrible. “Huun!” She yells at her life partner, immediately after that.

After a while, Grace Chambers joined the group, introductions are unnecessary for Grace; who does not know her? She is allergic to fish and peanuts sometimes, it is something yet to be understood but there the meeting kept going on. 

This girl has a phenomenal sense of hearing and an enviable  capacity to remember. All that had moved, was said, or done, etc, around there was caught in her net. Some divers, getting ready for a night immersion and their instructor’s advice, in order to achieve a certain qualification, for example, were heard clearly by Grace, even though they were some meters from the table in which the rest of the group continued answering the requested exercises. She can hear, oh yes, she can! She could also catch the name of two of them and also listen to the complete story from the lady with the new full-back tattoo. 

One might wonder, how can a person pay attention to so many things at the same time? It is this writer’s opinion that Ms. Chambers was so concentrated in the diving activities that night due to her fear of cold water. Maybe she had remembered the competition in which it was tested who could resist the coldest water in the face, from where she left hugely traumatised about cold water, such is the case that she does not like to take showers... cold showers, I guess.


“Hi Fiona,” waved a tall man from the opposite end- “I can’t believe you guys have been here all night. We were looking for you desperately, I was worried we were lost”- said the newcomer, named Tony, in a funny way. While some laughs and greetings took place, two women accompanying him approached the small table, they were Valorie and Blanca. 

The chairs were moved back a bit more to let the arriving attendants be part of the improvised circle, formed around the table. The leader explained to them the objectives and activities developed during the night. It is relevant to inform you that this occurred almost at the end of the gathering, but anyway, the invitation was extended to join the group in the last task, although they basically participated as listeners.

Regardless of the time each one reached the event, or what was drunk or eaten, it could be considered a wonderful night at Sunset bar. Right there, by the sea, seated around the small wooden table, the sound of the waves embellishing the moment, the wind blowing peacefully and the very nice environment, it became the perfect excuse to create new relationships, new friends, new brothers and sisters. 

The table was the ideal link to tie together the participants’ minds, hands and souls through an invisible thread. It is healthy to predict that many others will be tied by the same passion, by the love of writing, which could unite brothers and sisters with one heart. 



First Impressions - By Valorie Grant

I arrived at 7:30 pm - Sunset House was packed. I’d had a heck of time parking, but fortunately someone left as I was turning to go back home.
I went inside ‘My Bar’ and looked hopefully around the crowds of people. No writer types popped up. I asked the barman where the “Writer’s Circle” were meeting?
“The what.” Looking at me as if I had just dropped out of the sky.
I give him my best smile. “I understand there is a writer’s group meeting here this evening.”
“Oh, let me check.” He picks up the phone and speaks to a mystery voice on the other end.
“Sorry,” he said shaking his head. “No one knows about any meeting.”
“Are you looking for the writers group?” asks a handsome young man standing at the bar..
“Yes, but at the moment it’s non-existent.” I smile at the young lady standing beside him. “Are you looking for the writers group as well?”
“Yes, the email said the first table as you come into ‘My Bar’.” She holds out her hand. “My name is Blanca”
I nodded, “We all got the same email.” I shake hands with Blanca and then with the young man, whose name was Tony.
“I’ve looked all around but I don’t see anyone looking like writers.” Said Tony.
We all have a laugh. “May I suggest we get a table and wait until someone comes along who looks like a writer.” I lead the way to a table.
After ordering some drinks, ‘2 – lemonade and a beer’ we settle down to wait, It’s now about 7:55.
In the background we could hear the scuba divers coming in from their late evening dive. The scraping of their tanks on the walk-way below us and their chatter and laughter drifted pleasantly around us.
“Where are you from.” I ask Blanca.
“From Spain.” She replies
‘That’s a long way from home.” intercedes Tony. What do you do?
“I’m a psychiatrist.”
“Oh my that must keep you busy. Where is your office?” I ask, thinking to myself, it’s always good to know a psychiatrist.
“Opposite Books and Books, it’s a private clinic.
“What kind of writing do you do?”
Blanca laughs, “Oh no I don’t write, I just wanted to join a group and see what it’s all about.”
“Oh my goodness you would have plenty of characters to chose from. Maybe we can get you interested enough to start writing, it’s very fascinating.” I turn to Tony. “What do you write?”
“Poetry, I’ve actually been published in a few magazines. I’d like to try a novel. What do you write?
“Historical Romance, not published yet, but working toward it.”
As this stage, it’s now about 8:15 pm, Tony decides to go and have another look and happily finds the group on the lower level around an umbrella topped table.
We are introduced to the rest of the group who are industrially writing. Brian, a fun type and very loyal I’d think, and Barbara, lovely lady who I’m sure can organize anything and get things done. Michel, he looks like he’s a lot of fun, a total extravert, always ready to help out. Grace, has a quiet personality but I’m sure with people she knows, she blossoms out. Fiona, couldn’t quite fathom her out, maybe next time. Blanca is studious, and likes to assess things before she becomes involved. A very gentle person. Tony, is industrious, likes to see things done correctly, and now Valorie. Doesn’t like to wait. And is persistent.
I love to analyze people. I spend hours in airports and restaurants studying people and thinking what their lives are like and what they do. Then I create them into characters in my novels.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Introductions

As we have some new people joining the group, and this blog is being resurrected, we will start with some Introductions. This was the exercise for the 28 May 2013.

See below for what people wrote. (Please send in your work).


i)                   Who are you? 
Write a brief introduction on who you are

ii)                Describe your family

iii)              Describe your work

iv)              Describe the sort of people you value as friends

v)                 What makes you unhappy?
List
vi)              What makes you happy?
List

vii)            What makes you different from other people?
One or two things

viii)         What special qualities do you have?
Characteristics, skills, talents

ix)              What is the purpose of your life?
Write a “Mission Statement” for yourself

x)                 Write a poem introducing yourself, incorporating the above aspects of yourself.


                 Poem: Introducing Myself

I’m Fiona and I’m over forty,
Mostly I’m good, but sometimes I’m naughty.
Of children I have been blessed with four,
Although I really can’t say I’d want any more.

Holding a business hasn’t happened here,
So at the moment, I’m a volunteer.
I love painting and writing and singing,
I’m sure to others it looks like I’m winging.

The people I value as friends
Are happy and honest and warm.
If they do wrong they make amends,
And don’t turn everything into a storm.

Silence and lies are what I hate
And not achieving, and being late.
I’m happy in the presence of God above,
And when I’m allowed to love and love.

To successful society I must be a freak,
And appear to be pathetic and weak,
As I’m honest and mean every word I say,
But my life has meaning every day.  

I’m compassionate and good at listening,
Though often my own eyes are the ones that are glistening.

I know I’ve been put right here on earth,
To inspire others to know their worth,
To share my joy as well as my pain,
And to turn my losses into gain.


By Fiona Pimentel