The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings 1st December 2017


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 1st December 2017, Costa Ryde. Large Latte, Old Paradise Street blend again, one of those mince pies with a star cut into it. Festive.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 5th January 2018, Costa Ryde.


Maggie, Fiona, Sue, David, Jenni, Fred, Aidan, Roy, Anna, Erica, Jonathan, Martin and Tony.

Maggie’s Announcements

Maggie thanked David for his excellent Musings. Fiona agreed to write the next Musings.

It was only three weeks since the last meeting, so nothing much seemed to have happened, except that many of us have been phoned by the Society for the Blind, and warned to be present at Newport Minster on Monday 18th for the prize-giving, because a lot of our stories have been awarded prizes. We don’t know whether they’re major prizes or just honourable mentions, but we’re quite excited about it, and we’ll make a good showing.

Good luck to everyone who has been phoned, which includes me for some extraordinary reason, despite my assumption that having people get injured or dying or having car crashes should be a component of any good Christmas story.

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

There’s still 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.

No New members section, because we’re still full-up.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Fiona has set herself 50 challenges for next year, including running a marathon, writing a short story and submitting it to a competition, and reading and reviewing 18 books. Good luck with all the challenges.

Sue has finished editing her 3rd book and sent it to her publisher. It’s currently being raked over by 2 proof-readers. It may be published on NetGalley. The title is a well-kept secret and won’t be revealed until the publishing launch. She’s continuing with her dark psychological thriller, and is enjoying writing it, not knowing what’s going to happen. She’s secretly worried it’ll turn itself into a romcom, with a murder in it. But you never know.

David is waiting to start work as Santa in Busy Bees. He has been reading his poems out in public, including one venue where he frightened the audience, who were convinced that he had actually deep-fried his goldfish, and needed calming down. Who says poetry has lost the power to move people? He read us his latest poem, about a fancy-dress party, with the usual delicious sting in the tail. And he wrote an excellent Musings.

Jenni is trying to read Martin’s chapters. She’s enjoying them very much. She has temporarily given up on her current book, because she can’t get the first chapter right. We suggested she should skip to Chapter 2 and return to Chapter 1 later, but she has become more interested in another book. Good luck with that.

Fred won £10 for an honourable mention in a short story competition. He’s happy with that, but he really wants to win, preferably in Writer’s News. We’re all sure he will one day. He has reached 106k words in his Bournemouth family saga, and expects it to be about 120k when it’s done. Nearly there!

Aidan had a wonderful time in the Philippines. He posted his December short on his website before he left. He’s now going to try to become more proactive with the social media, but he feels stuck in the Writers’ Block. That’s somewhere we’ve all been. We suggested writing more short things, and setting deadlines, as in one item per week on Facebook, shorter but regular as clockwork. He’ll see how it goes. Good luck. You usually need to carry a torch, a compass, and lots of sandwiches in the Writers’ Block, in case you get stuck in it.

Roy brought in his books about the Temple Twins, in the mock format he has submitted to various publishers. They travel the world back in the 60s, and it’s illustrated with Roy’s own photos. He has had them read in local schools, and has been given valuable feedback from that experience. He hasn’t been able to buy his guidebooks, but they have been sold on, so they will continue to be published and available, although sadly by someone else.

Anna reported that her first book is now with 3 agents. She’s still waiting for any of them to respond, and is considering letting them all know of the existence of their rivals, which might make them buck up a bit. It’s positive, but very frustrating. She’s still editing her 2nd book, and is at that stage where she hates it. It’s darker than the first one. There are several more to go, so it’s going to be a long-term project. Good luck.

Erica is 80k into her 2nd book. She will finish it soon, and start the process of pushing it out to agents. Her first book is still with 2 agents, who are also taking their time. Good luck.

Jonathan hasn’t done anything much since the last meeting. His NaNoWriMo novel turned into a NaNoWri3Days, after losing his job. But he has been heartened by writing several short stories recently, and the good reception they have had (Thanks for your kind words), and a phone call from the Blind people. The novel is alive, and he knows what’s going to happen next, although not what’s going to happen after that. He needs to get a job or grow some self-discipline, so he can shape his days and achieve things.

Martin has been writing. He has sent out several chapters to various people, and is pleased that they like it. He’s pleased with his progress, especially his fantasy characters, which he hasn’t really done before, and he’s very pleased with the ‘Shift’ that occurs within the book. He’s currently on Chapter 19 of 29, so he’s going well.

Tony has been remembering Pink Rubber Ball Magazine from many years ago, which suggested he should paint at least one picture every day, and he has been doing just that ever since. He described his incredible work-rate and dedication, and there was a good discussion about how an artist’s lifestyle and output can be compared.

There are many great differences, but underneath there’s the desire to create and the determination to get on with it and be successful. We all pondered the idea of becoming fitter through practice, so the energy or creativity flows easier and faster through the mind and the muscles working together like a well-oiled team.

Maggie has finished her house at last, or so she says. She’s looking forward to writing new stuff in 2018. We wish her success, and we’re looking forward to reading it. Good luck.

End notes

We had another fascinating and lively meeting this month, with stimulating discussions and a lot of news. Many of us will be irresistibly drawn towards Newport Minster on Monday 18th, hoping for Prizes and Glory. Or should it be Glory and Prizes? I don’t care both, I’ll take them whichever way they come. I’ll be there, in a state of amazement and excitement, whatever the result.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and we’ll assemble again like small change at the bottom of an old handbag on Friday 5th January 2018. It’ll be a New Year, and good things are going to happen!

See you then. I can’t wait.

P.S. Thank you to Anna, who pointed out that I confused Mary and Fran in my last Jottings. I apologise to them both. Either Anna is the only one who reads them, or everyone is very kind, and didn’t want to mention it. I shall hope to do better in future.

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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