The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings July 2019


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 5th July 2019, The Beefeater meeting place again. Doombar, Doombar, it’s worth a song.

Doombar, Doombar, you’re so fine

Doombar, Doombar, tastes like wine…  (to the tune of Freight Train).

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 6th September 2019, Beefeater again. No meeting in August, it’ll be full of tourists and the music will be on, and most of us will be away on holiday…


Jenni, Mary, Martin, David, Aidan, Sue, Freda, Diane, Piers, Irene and Jonathan.

Jenni’s Announcements

Jenni welcomed us all. Maggie has decided to step right back, at least for the time being. Her life has changed, and she’s very busy with other things, And although she’ll keep an eye open to see what we’re doing, she won’t be participating for the foreseeable future. We wish her well, and thank her for her ceaseless hard work and leadership for so long. We’ll miss you.

Jenni mentioned the 50-word Travel article invitation from the Daily Telegraph called Just Back. Might be worth a try.

She also mentioned a website called Theatre 503 Studio, which is welcoming submissions.

Jonathan mentioned Ryde Library asking for 500 Words (or thereabouts), either a story or a poem, or indeed anything else that would fit onto a piece of A4 paper, to put on the wall of the gallery during august. It’s not a competition, just a wall of writing for people to read and enjoy. If you would like to write something for this or dig up something in your stash, please either hand it in at Ryde Library or email Jonathan at address below.

We also learned two new words:

Logophile – a lover of words

Snollygoster, which is self-explanatory.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Jenni has been working on Chapter 1 of her novel, and will make it available soon.

Mary has completed her latest book. Her first draft (the first of many) has been read by her husband, who has given her lots of useful hints from a reader’s point of view. We look forward to reading it in due course. There was a short discussion of the usefulness, or otherwise, of having partners who are willing to take on this task.

She mentioned an interview she heard by David Nichols, author of One Day and Starter for Ten, talking about his latest book, and his terror of writing his second book (and every one subsequently). He seems to be a genuine and honest person, and proves that writers can be successful but remain the same person with the same worries and fears. So there’s hope for us all.

Martin has now had 8 rejections. He’s committed to putting £2.50 in the Rejection Jar for each one, so he won’t be going on that holiday of a lifetime yet… We all encouraged him to keep at it.

David told us of his band’s triumphant gig at Ryde Library, which I went to and enjoyed very much. Money was raised for Mountbatten Hospice too. He had a poem published in the Daily Mail, about literally raining cats and dogs, and he read us his latest poem about the delights of trying to speak like a contemporary teenager. Like so cool!

Aidan is continuing to write his novel, chapter by chapter, and he’s still adding pieces to his Facebook page. But weather and work and new nieces do keep slowing him down.

Sue has had a positive response from Mary who has beta-read her latest book. Her husband has been reading it too. She has now stated on her 5th book. There’s been a problem with a mis-spelling of Scrotes. We tried to imagine what a Scrotie might be. It was suggested that her book would look good in the Richard and Judy chart. Lots of people thought they had finished with this, but they just removed themselves to an obscure TV channel instead. We had a brief discussion on book genres, which Sue likes. Apparently this latest novel is a ‘dark domestic literary thriller’. I’m already eager to read it.

Freda has had a visit from the lady who would like to turn her novel about April Harrison into a sitcom. She thinks it would need a lot of rewriting, and will be reporting back again soon. Good luck with that. Freda’s family has been visiting from Australia, and otherwise she has been doing a lot of people-watching.

Jonathan has been editing the Explosion novella, and struggling to write his column, because nowadays everything turns into a Brexit rant and is consequently unpublishable and unreadable.

Diana is writing a play. She’s also going to write a book about how to learn Algebra for people who hate maths but need to pass an exam in it. She brought the two latest Amy Wild books, published by Usborne. They’re very smart. If they sell well, the whole series will be revisited and reissued as a set. She has had a letter from her Japanese publisher, and hopes for great things there. Well done!

Piers has been investigating Wattpad, and isn’t too impressed yet. He has been reading about H G Wells, who was a bit of a revolutionary as well as a visionary, and well ahead of his time. He has been reading Stealing Roses by Heather Cooper. He’s practically giving away copies of 1969, his first memoir-inspired book. He’s planning the second volume, to be called Brighton Days. His son Titus has published a book about Roger Deakin and wild swimming.

Irene lost a lot of her new work, but has managed to retrieve it from her PC. Phew! This caused a discussion about housekeeping and how to save work so it never gets lost. Suggestions included the Cloud, portable memory devices and sticks, and emailing work to yourself. It’s very important to do sop regularly. Obviously. Make sure you do. She has been very busy at the Law Centre, and is finding it difficult to disengage. She will have more of her new book rewritten in September. She explained the complexity in international law of a Dominican divorce.

End notes

This month we had a great meeting, with lots of discussion about several interesting topics, and our corner was quiet and comfortable, without much external noise to interrupt the conversational flow.

I’ve made another compromise, and written this in two styles. First, here, the standard thing, and, separately, the Gothic Steampunk version. I leave it up to you whether to encourage me or not in this literary genre odyssey.

The next meeting will be on 7:00pm Friday 6th September 2019, at the Beefeater again. I can’t wait. Have a great summer, keep writing, and see you all in September.

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

Jonathan's Jottings July 2019

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