The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings 5th January 2018


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 5th January 2018, Costa Ryde. Large Latte, Old Paradise Street blend again. I ate before the meeting, so Sorry Costa, no snacks. Shucks.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 2nd February 2018, Costa Ryde.


Maggie, Anna, Jonathan, Fred, David, Tony, Aidan, Fiona and Martin.

Maggie’s Announcements

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

There were a couple of questions about the web site, now Maggie and Jenni are sharing the pain of running tis rabble. They’re going to get together and make some management decisions. Watch this space.

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

Anna’s book is still being scrutinised by the same three agents. She’s going to start sending it out again, and remind them that they’re not alone, and they should snap it up before they miss out. She’s going to keep going for a year or 100 submissions, and then take stock.

There’s going to be another Local Author’s event at Newport Library in April. Watch this space.

Jonathan was all puffed up and still full of his triumph at the Isle of Wight Blind Society Annual Christmas Short Story Competition, and went on embarrassingly about it. A few days after the event, there was an opportunity to read the story aloud at Ryde Library to a real audience, and it was wonderful. Everyone should get the chance to read their stories out. It’s thrilling. The Christmas stories are now on our website.

There was a moment of panic when someone tore a strip out of his notebook.

Fred has nearly finished his Bournemouth-set family saga. He’s deciding the fates of his characters. He’s still struggling with the usual emotional roller coaster. One day everything he’s written feels awful and rubbish, and then it seems rather good, and so on. We’ve all been there, and there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. We learn to live with self-loathing, being misunderstood, and ignored by publishers. We are too good for this world.

On the other hand, one of his stories was published in an anthology in Ireland.

There was a discussion about remembering and forgetting, and about writers who carry notebooks. We decided that everything is remembered, but the great difficulty is how we retrieve these memories. Jonathan suggest his Soup Theory of memory and writing. Apparently everything seen and heard and experienced, and all thoughts and ideas and dreams get poured into a deep tureen of stuff somewhere in the brain, and it gets stirred occasionally. Writing a story is a matter of dipping your spoon in and out pop the appropriate ingredients.

David performed songs and poetry at Carisbrooke Castle, including his School Reunion poem. He read his Library poem to an audience which included a librarian called Joyce, who luckily saw the funny side of it. He sat on King Charles’s bed, and caused the alarm to go off. He submitted his poem about tights, which was rejected, but it apparently caused an entire office full of women to cry. He’s definitely doing something right.

Aidan has started his website, and published one new story on it. He’s working on the idea of setting himself targets. Her really wants to get on with his novel. And he will.

Fiona is getting on with her Year of 50 Challenges. She has already made some bread, and doesn’t like dough very much. She has written a press release for Tony. She has been having trouble finding a story idea for her Literature Challenge, but has been inspired by several pieces on this subject in Writing Magazine, and thinks they have worked. Something about a grumpy zoo-keeper, maybe. Good luck with that.

She also wants to learn to say Thank you in 50 languages, and ride a unicycle. She wants to sleep in a lot of bothies. Apparently there’s a Bothy Association, and she’d going to get in touch with them. Watch this space.

Martin had a Good Christmas, with lots of writing. He has written/rewritten three more chapters, and is on Chapter 21 now. His tame readers are reporting back to him, and he’s pleased with the feedback so far. Keep up the good work.

End notes

Because it was so close to Christmas and the New Year it was a small meeting, but that didn’t affect the quality of our discussions or the interesting items and topics that we all brought to the table. Maggie is still at the helm, which is very good, and she and Jenni will forge a good partnership to steer us through another great year, with lots of books being finished and submitted, and with lots of good angst along the way.

The next meeting will be on Friday 2nd February 2018. See you then. I can’t wait.

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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