The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings 7th April 2017


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 7th April 2017, Costa Ryde. Large Latte, Old Paradise Street blend, Bakewell Tart. Nice cherry.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 5th May 2017, Costa Ryde.


Maggie, Jonathan, Karen, Anna, Fran, Mary, Lucy, Diana, Piers, Roy, Freda, Irene, Fiona, Tony, Georgina, Sue, Karen, Bev, Aidan, Fred, Zoe, Krissy, but not necessarily in that order.

Maggie’s Announcements

If you haven’t yet done so, please send a short bio-blurb and a recent photo so you can appear in the Members page.

There’s plenty of room in the Fair Members’ Shorts page for your short stories or poems or, in fact, any other type of creative output. They have already provided much pleasure.

Next month’s Musings will be written by Karen. Thanks for volunteering.

Next month’s Jottings will be written by Krissy, who has volunteered because I’ll be away. She has also bravely volunteered to produce June’s Jottings. Thanks for that. My holiday will not be ruined now by worrying about the jottings. I’m sure Krissy will do a far better job than me anyway.

There will be an event at Cowes Library on Saturday 27th May featuring published authors and their work. Several of these will attend, and they’ll be glad to dish out advice and answer questions.

For the time being, there will be no New members section, because we’re full-up.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Anna has been sending her first novel to agents, and is feeling slightly traumatised by the experience. It’s too early to report any progress yet, but we wish her luck. She has been getting on with her second book, YA fiction.

Fran has been working on the structure of her second novel, and she has also been creating a dream drawing every day, illustrating each night’s dream when she wakes up. She’s not sure what these will become, but she’s enjoying doing this very much. Various members were inspired by this.

Mary has been attending a course at Curtis Brown and is finding it interesting and useful. She has set up a website, and is creating an audio book with Amazon AX, in conjunction with a professional reader. There was a lot of interest and discussion about audio books.

Lucy also set up a website,

Diana hasn’t sold her website business yet, although she has revamped it to make it more marketable. She has spent an inordinate amount of time transferring huge numbers of reviews from the previous site, Now she wants to retire from websites and publishing and concentrate on writing. Good luck with both of those.

Piers is getting on with his novel in four parts about an old gaffer who likes boats. He has produced 200 pages so far, and is wondering just how long the final version will be, and what form it will take. There is a lot of interest in this from Japanese people, apparently.

Roy has completed his mammoth A1 map of Bembridge, and has posted it in the ex-museum next to Bembridge Library. He hopes many people will see it and purchase the A2 copies that are available. His children’s books now have twins as main characters. He distributed a picture of them which he selected from a clipart site. These books are progressing.

Freda has been side-tracked by Life. Despite annoying events and family crises, she continues to write her very personal and emotional poetry.

Irene has had similar problems, with a lot of work continuing to come in, and a complicated move, but is looking forward to a few weeks’ time, when hopefully she’ll be able to give more time and concentration to her writing.

Fiona has been distracted by the loss of the Acacia tree she used to stare out at whilst working. She thought the chainsaws were there to trim it, but they took the whole thing down instead. She feels its loss keenly, and her productivity has suffered. She is up to about 80,000 words for her travel memoir book, and expects this to rise to 150,000. Meanwhile she’s networking to get review work on social media.

Martin was with us in spirit rather than body, although he wrote something on social media about fiery balls of idiocy.

Tony is very busy. He talked about once being a geologist, and the fact that we on the Wight have missed out on the Jurassic Coast idea, because ours is better than that one on the other island, and has produced more dinosaurs. He’s getting involved in something called the ‘Fossil Art Trail’, with various organisations, to try and make more of it. It’s an exciting project. He also initiated a long discussion on Instagram. Apparently there’s manoeuvring in the social media world, with some software companies arguing with others and changing their algorithms so we can’t see messages from those friends we used to see all the time. Apparently we now have to be cleverer, and use Instagram ‘stories’, and respond much more to people if we want to see their messages. It’s all rather depressing.

Georgina has finished the first draft of her book. She spent several minutes describing the plot and themes, and we’re all agog. It starts with a black tree in a desert… and takes on all human and inhuman life, and the stuff of dreams, and runs amok in the realms of fairy tale and fantasy, and if her writing is half as good as her talking style, it’ll gain cult status in no time. Good luck.

Sue has now written 103k of her third book, and has gone back to work part-time. She has a list of words and phrases she uses too much, and has gone through the whole thing ruthlessly excising them. She has put it away for a couple of weeks, and will read it right through again then.

Karen is seriously thinking about writing again, despite her other activities threatening to swamp her. She’s going to write the Musings next month. We look forward to that.

Bev has been living in a house suffering from long-term refurbishment. She has no kitchen. However, she has managed to write 30,000 words of her YA novel about a 13-year-old pregnant girl. We are assured it’ll be a best-seller.

Aidan hasn’t managed so much writing this month, mainly because he has been abandoned in his house with a very needy puppy. I can understand that.

Fred is 66,000 words into his third novel, a family saga set in Bournemouth. He’s been worrying about having so many characters elbowing their way into the story, and he thought they might end up taking over. We were all delighted and somewhat jealous, and he was surprised at our reactions. Generally, the consensus was that he should just write it all down, and think about what to keep or lose in the editing. Sadly, the judges of various short story competitions were all incapable of recognising the greatness of his writing. Keep at it. One day they will.

Zoe has raised the first £1,000 in crowdfunding on for her new book. Only £11,000 to go, but she has high hopes of succeeding. The book is going to be called ‘Chasing Butterflies’, and investors receive special editions and other goodies. Also, Kickstarter is allied to Penguin, so there’s a door that can be opened. She says it’s really hard work, but she’s up for it. Good for her. She passed round one of her notebooks, filled with lovely illustrations.

Krissy has helped West Wight Sports Centre get Lottery funding for a Training Café, to teach kitchen skills. She is writing her blog, and has had an article accepted by Writing Magazine. Krissy and Zoe have started West Wight Writers too, and they’ve recently joined ‘Book Fairies’, a revolutionary movement dedicated to leaving good books all over the place for people to pick up and read. They are also starting a small press publishing company called ‘Inky Ever After’, and expect to print, publish and market books, for themselves and others. It’s been a bit of a quiet month…

Jonathan is still writing his weekly column for, and occasional reviews, and these jottings, and hasn’t yet begun writing anything else, but his novel that breaks every rule is calling again. He recently became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, for no discernible reason, and has asked them if they would accept blog entries on their website. They said he could try, but he’s feeling rather terrified about it. It’s not quite the same thing as the columns.

End notes

A fantastic meeting, filled with enthusiasm and discussion and new information. And so many members! We’re a success!

I had so much fun I’m thinking of cancelling my holiday so I won’t miss any of it.

See you in July. I can’t wait. Over to you, Krissy.

As always, if you’ve been mis- or under-represented, please let me know and I’ll correct it next month.

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