The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings October 2018


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 5th October 2018, Orchard House Care Centre. No Make-it-yourself coffee and tea. Water from tap, but no glasses. Very hot room.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 2nd November 2018, Orchard House again.


Maggie, Martin, Tony, David, Jonathan, Fiona, Jenni, Aidan, Bev and Freda.

Maggie’s Announcements

Maggie drew our attention to this year’s Isle of Wight Society for the Blind Short Story competition. Entries must be n by 9th November 2018. You can download your entry form here:

Since I won last year I shall be entering again, but I have absolutely no chance of winning twice. I know there’s a club for people who have been struck by lightning twice, but there’s no chance of it happening again to me. So the field’s wide open. Go for it.

We discussed the lack of support from Orchard House again, with nobody responsible being available, and no coffee or tea or hot water or glasses even for cold water, and we have decided to try to find another venue somewhere in the middle of the Island that might be able to accommodate us. It needs to be free, large enough, and it needs facilities for drinks etc. If any of you know of such a place, please get in touch with Jenni or Maggie.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Martin hasn’t done much editing. He has received good feedback from his beta readers, and has started his ‘Hard Edit’. It sounds painful. He’s looking forward to starting the next one.

We had a long discussion about plotting, and how often a story or book writes itself and the characters take over and argue. I love that moment.

Tony has been busy. He’s got a commission for Halloween at Blackgang Chine, and a Gothic Circus coming up, and he’s busy making prints to sell at ComicCon. He has also got a commission to paint a whole hotel in Shanklin. Watch out for photos on social media.

David has been out with his band, busking in Busy Bee, collecting for the Hospice. He read his latest poem about White Vans to us, and then a poem about a Wedding Photo. Greatly appreciated. He probably won’t play Santa this year, because he didn’t feel that the whole thing was treated with the right reverence last year, and became rather a money-driven circus.

Jonathan: I saved my bacon this month because I have been reading my (currently) novella about being stuck in a bomb explosion situation. I’ve got a working title of ‘Boom’, and I’m trying to get it to work but I’m not sure I ever will. I’m also not sure about the ending, but I can’t imagine what else I can do right now. Once I have a working version I’m quite happy to put it in the ‘Shorts’ so people can read it if they want. I’m also going to start writing Christmas stories, and enter at least one in the competition. See above.

There was a long discussion about plotting and character, and what we write and why we write and about being writers even though we may not be currently writing, and why we keep turning up to thee meetings even if we have nothing to show ‘this month’. It was all very gratifying.

And I’m still churning out my column, almost every weekend.

Fiona is still volunteering at the Zoo. She is now a very responsible dangerous wild cat keeper, and spends a lot of time not being eaten. She has completed or is in the middle of most of her 50 challenges for the year, and is about to take part in a Trapeze course. Shudder!

She hasn’t written any fiction, because she feels that she hasn’t a fiction bone in her body, and should stick to non-fiction, which she is so good at.

Jenni has been writing. She has 8 stories in various stages of preparation and completion, and a Christmas story. She aims to complete the 8 stories, which share a loose theme, and then self-publish, to see how it works, and then plans to publish a book of stories by us, the members of this fair writing group.

Aidan has written two prose pieces for his Facebook page. He feels he has lost the thread a bit, because of being so bored at work, since the season has effectively ended but he’s still there, dealing with very few customers. He’s hoping he’ll perk up soon, when his period of employment is over.

Bev is writing short stories. She has completed two, and has sent them out and received good feedback. She isn’t doing so much painting at the moment, partly because she’s selling her house, but she has been weaving quite a lot.

Freda has been crying softly to herself, because she’s unlucky in love. Her Prince Charming has turned out to be less charming than he should have been, and she is looking for someone to love and look after. So if you know someone who would fit the bill, do let her know. She continues to write poetry.

End notes

I wasn’t able to attend the September meeting, and there weren’t any Jottings. I thought about knocking up some fake Jottings, just to see if anyone noticed, but I stopped myself just in case nobody actually noticed.

I won’t be able to come to the next meeting, so there’s an opportunity for any of you to engage in the wonderful world of Jottings for yourself. It’s easy. You try not to fall asleep, write down a word of two in a notebook, and then make most of it up. I’ll be running a quiz on the night, so I have a legitimate reason for not attending.

I won’t be at the December meeting either, because I had  the difficult decision of attending Bach’s Christmas Oratorio right in the middle of the front row at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square instead. It was hard, but in the end Bach won out. It’ll be a life-affirming and life-changing experience for me. I know it’s religious and all that, but it’s the music. Ever since the Sixties ended, I’ve been looking for something to give me joy and peace and love, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio does that for me nowadays. I shall be living in bliss. And someone will have to do the Jottings again. I’ll be back in January though. Have a great time until then.

This meeting was fun, despite the lack of refreshments, and stimulating too. Thank you all.

The next meeting will be on Friday 2nd November at Orchard House. I won’t see you then, but I’ll miss you all.

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

Jonathan's Jottings October 2018

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