Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 17 May 2018.
Present: Adele, Mike, Jenny, Pip, Ian (chair).
Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.
Ian reported with regret that he’d received the resignation of Sandra on health grounds, with her request to rejoin if her health improved. A short discussion ensued on the mechanics of re-joining the Whitby Writers Googlegroup once dropped off. This is more difficult than it was in the past, thanks to Google’s measures to curb abuses.
Jenny — reported that Merry Melody (her musical group) now had bookings for Devereux in York, Leeds, Malton and Hull.
She read her recent poem entitled Forest Fire. Some discussion ensued on the experimental layout of the text on the page, intended to evoke the sporadic leaping-up of flames from a new quarter.
Adele — had re-drafted the ten-minute play presented at the last meeting, now entitled It’s A Family Affair. Ian volunteered to take the part of Richard, Adele taking the part of Jane.
Pip undertook to time the reading, reporting afterwards that the play still overran the allotted time slightly. Ian commended the writing of the part of Richard, which he found flowed naturally off his tongue without his needing to read ahead.
Pip [Caicos Moon] — It is still the heroine’s first week on the island of South Caicos. The Salinas (“salt-pans”) are described, as are the problems encountered by her mother in making a garden on the bare rock surrounding the house. This activity benefits from an Oxfam job-creation scheme which pays the wages of islanders employed to bring earth from the centre of the island. The heroine is formally introduced to the community in a party at the residence, and the same week starts her new typing job with Liam, taking great pains not to put a foot wrong. However the arrival of a helicopter, a rare sight on the island, stops work for the day as everybody dashes to the landing site to catch a glimpse of it.
The islanders catch a feral horse for her, which she names Nimrod. The somewhat harsh process is described which has to be followed to break-in one of these feral horses, descendants of farm beasts left behind by Bermudan farmers who long ago returned from whence they came. However the heroine goes out secretly by herself to the untamed stallion to talk to him and fondle him, and thus wins his confidence, as a result of which she becomes the only person whom Nimrod ever permits to ride him.
Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — handed out copies of the story so far, and read another section from his SF novel-in-progress Anitra’s Petition.
Peter Zwillinge, recuperating under armed guard in the Galen Clinic, gets a visit from Commissioner Nilsson, who angrily reports that the surgeon cannot find the plutonium pellets Peter claims to have lodged in the nasal passages of two suspects. Peter maintains that therefore they are not his assailants. Nilsson, initially sceptical, comes round to Peter’s view. In which case the HR assassins are still at liberty and pose a mortal danger to Anitra.
However Nilsson makes it clear that she needs Anitra as a prosecution witness in Peter’s trial and meanwhile will not permit her to resume her journey to Mars. The only way Peter can secure her departure is to make a full confession. Peter refuses and Nilsson storms out.
The meeting concludes on time at 1 PM.