The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Jonathan’s Jottings June 2019


Jonathan’s Jottings

7:00pm Friday 7th June 2019, The Beefeater meeting place again. Doombar, Doombar, it’ll be the death of me.

Next meeting

7:00pm Friday 5th July 2019, Beefeater again.


Jenni, Kevin, Bev, Diana, Tony, Fiona, Aidan, Erica, Freda, Jonathan.

Jenni’s Announcements

Jenni welcomed us all. We agreed that the Beefeater is working well, although we should be looking for an even better fit. Basically, a large enough room, private, easy to access, somewhere in the middle of the Island, tea and coffee facilities, quiet, and FREE! Shouldn’t be that hard to find, surely… we’re all going to keep looking.

Jenni is contacting everyone on her list of members and past members, to find out who still wants to be active members and who still wants to keep hearing from us, and who’s actually dropped out.

We’re going to meet in July, but we ‘ll probably miss out August, partly because of school and other holidays, and mostly because the Beefeater will be packed out. Watch the social media announcements for dates.

Achievements, Confessions, and Excuses

Jenni will have Chapter 1 of her novel available soon. She asked about the difference between Active and Passive voice, and we all chipped in with our views and opinions. Basically, the consensus, if I dare use such a word, was that a passive voice is far less involved, because it’s usually a neutral point of view that explains or lists what is happening, rather than getting into the heads of any of the participants and describing it through their feelings and reactions. It’s useful for setting context, but doesn’t encourage the involvement of the reader. For instance, it’s possible to write this – ‘The boy was taken through to the Master’s study, where he was beaten.’ Writing this in the active voice, either first-person or third-person, allows us to see and feel the event from the point of view of any or all participants. We can describe the terror or triumph, attribute feelings to those involved, and generally make it far more colourful to the reader. But of course, there are no rules, so we have to write it and edit it to our own satisfaction and for the effect we want to make on the reader. This was a very interesting discussion.

Kevin brought us a prototype of one of his illustrated stories. He told us he’s been trying to get interest from publishers and agents, and he has submitted to Unbound, a crowdfunding site. We were interested to hear how this might progress, and hope to hear more. He brought other stories, and has asked anyone who would like to read them to contact him. Jenni will send out his contact details.

At this point, the idea was raised about having a member’s only page on the website, so that active members only can use a password to go to a page that contains contact details and other content that we don’t want to be available to the public. Jenni said she would mention it to our webmaster, but it’s always difficult when someone is offering their services freely, and has a busy life. Erica raised a point about putting stories on the website, because some publishers consider that to be actual publishing, and this could cause difficulties on occasion.

Bev has not been writing, but she has an idea she’s developing, about a group of seven friends who are all privy to a secret. She’s looking at competitions, too.

Diana has been to Portugal, and had a such a wonderful time on a horse ranch that it has killed her writing. She wants to go back there and stay. For ever. She’s also getting interested in writing a play about a charity shop. We all thought that would be a great idea.

Tony has been very busy. He has picked up a commission for 10 murals and two commissions this month. He has finished the Nightingale Hotel. He is going to paint the arches in front of the Zoo, and some work at Bar 21 in Newport. We had a lively discussion about music, and it turns out that he loves Drum and Bass.

Fiona is continuing with her Zoo Life stories. She’s complaining about her hands. Working with animals s bad for the hands, apparently. Lots of cuts and injuries, and scratches and bites from the animals. Not all deliberate, but nonetheless a constant stream of cuts and bruises. Nothing more serious. Let’s hope that continues. She loves the work.

Aidan has finished Chapter 2 of his novel. He regularly publishes his work on social media and is receiving good feedback from that.

Erica is in a muddle. She’s spending six hours per day writing her novel, and it’s slow. After a good start, with lots of interest from agencies, it has all dried up, and she’s not sure whether she should rework or carry on with the new novel. She is also thinking about workshopping and collaboration. There was a good discussion about plays and playwriting, traditional and collaborative. It was very interesting to see the difference between plays hat are written and where the text is fixed, and an approach where the writer brings the idea to the cast and the director, and the version that is written and performed is the result of that collaboration.

Jonathan has had a slow time with his writing, with less Column output and not much else. He has committed to edit his novella about time and explosions, and will make it available to anyone who wans to read it. There’s the difficult ending to write too…

Freda has been looking at a schoolgirl annual from years ago, and is going through all her writing, on scraps of paper that need to be organised and collected.

End notes

This month there wasn’t a large turnout, but we had a good quality of discussion about a wide range of topics. Everyone was happy with the meeting, and went away with their heads buzzing with new ideas and thoughts. That, of course, is how it should always be, and usually is, in our group. Long may that last.

I have an apology to make. My month has been complicated, and I’m very late with these jottings. I suggested in the meeting that I wanted to experiment with writing the jottings in different styles each time. I was going to write these in a Gothic Punk style, and I was looking forward to the challenge. But I’m so late that I’ve just written them straight. I’ll do it next time, I promise…

The next meeting will be on 7:00pm Friday 5th July 2019, at the Beefeater again. 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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