The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings August 2018


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 3rd August 2018, Orchard House Care Centre. Make-it-yourself coffee and tea. On a diet anyway.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 7th September 2018, Orchard House again.


Maggie, Aidan, Irene, Michelle, Tony, Mary, Martin, Fiona, Jonathan, Freda, Jenni and David.

Maggie’s Announcements

Maggie reminded us that our contributions each month, should we be willing to put money in the pot, will be given to the management at Orchard House in December as a thank-you for allowing us to meet there.

We all agreed to keep it reasonably short because of the continuing intense heat.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Aidan hasn’t done much because of the heat. He has been making notes, and studying Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse, so he can use names that feel right for all his characters.

Irene promised to write three chapters, and she has. Well done! This is an inspiration! She now has seven chapters of her book written, and has promised to write three more in the coming month.

Michelle has not had a lot of time to write, mainly because of her children. She has managed to write two chapters, but has made the mistake of editing these each time before writing anything new, and as an inevitable result, has failed to write anything new. We all told her to stop that, and just get on with writing the thing. Afterwards she can edit to her heart’s content.

Her book has evolved from a romance to a horror story, and is taking place in Ventnor.

Tony has been painting his trademark eyeball a lot lately. He’s involved with Ventnor Fringe, up in the cemetery, painting on recycled scrap. He’s very excited about the Peruvian street artist Phlegm, who’s going to paint a huge mural on a wall in Ventnor.

Mary has taken two weeks off from writing for the first time in five years. She also had a scary experience doing a live video on Facebook, talking about writing and answering questions. It’s available to see if you want to. She’ll put it on her own website. She really enjoyed it, and apparently she gave a very good account of herself. Well done!

Martin is nearing the end of his long editing period. On Chapter 29, with one more chapter to go. He’s discovered that the secret to successful editing during a heatwave is investing in an industrial fan. We’re wondering what he’s going to do when he finishes editing.

Fiona has been preparing  press releases for Tony. They have received application forms for the Flightless programme, which w2ilkl air for seven weeks in October and November. They’re hoping to be selected for the epic trip from England to somewhere in the Middle East w2ithout leaving the ground, and accompanied by a camera crew. It sounds extraordinary, and very exciting. Let’s hope their application is successful.

She is writing a story about a zoo, and asked the group if we think she can give animals voices and allow them to talk. We generally said that in children’s books, anything goes. Good luck with that.

Jonathan: I finally talked about my second novel. I didn’t choose this, but it forced itself on me. The idea is about as impossible for a story as it could be. Basically, there is only one character, no time passes, there is no movement at all, nothing happens, and it’s all inexplicable. I have written about 40,000 words so far, I’ve come to an end, but I have no idea if it’s any good or not.

The idea is this: A young man is sitting in a crowded coffee shop before work one morning, stirring his coffee, and he’s thinking, about stuff, because that’s what he does. He happens to be thinking about time, and at that moment, three things happen. He notices a man with a rucksack start to explode, at the same moment he sees the girl he loves coming in the door, and everything stops still. It’s like a still from a film, He’s in mid-stir, the man’s head is coming apart unpleasantly, he can’t move, but his mind is working.

That’s the set-up.

Everyone listened to this very politely, without saying how insane this idea is, and they asked questions, and I answered as much as I could without giving away spoilers. I have an ending, but I don’t know whether it’ good enough. I said I would read it all again in the coming month and decide what to do about it. Whatever else I do, I will write 3000 words, or three chapters. Of something.

Freda has been away with her family. She went to Treorchy, which is just like Sandown. She met a lady poet and professor, and talked about poetry, and listened to this lady read her verse. She will write a poetic response. We became a little confused about whether she’s going to become a grandmother or a great-grandmother, or even more than that.

Jenni has suffered injuries, and has suffered in the heat. But she has three ideas for short stories and three drafts. She had an idea for a Science Fiction book, and intends to write some chapters by December. Her problem is that everything is in her head, and she knows she has to convert all of it into files in her computer, but it’s a bit of a daunting task. Good luck with that.

David has being doing gigs in aid of the Hospice. He’s still writing one poem each week for his poetry group. His New Zealand family is visiting. He read us his latest poem, called Pink Thoughts, about working in a department store. Excellent.

End notes

We had another enjoyable meeting, and talked about a wide range of topics, and everyone went away with a mixture of inspiration and incredulity and puzzlement in our heads. Well, at least I did…

We all get so much from these meetings. That’s why our group is so vibrant and lively, and why we all keep turning up every month. It’s a good place for us to open our hearts and minds, without fear of ridicule or criticism, where we can say what we can’t say to anyone who doesn’t write or create themselves.

It’s often said that writing is a solitary and lonely occupation, and it is generally, but we have a place where we can come and be ourselves, as our writing selves, and it feels good. I hope we continue to meet for a long time. I appreciate every one of you, and every meeting I attend. Thank you all.

The next meeting will be on Friday 7th September at Orchard House. 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.

posted under Jonathan's Jottings

News Archive