Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 31 May 2018.

Present: Adele, Mike, JonathanPipIan (chair).

Guest: Julia Organ.

ApologiesLouise, Jenny.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.

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Ian reported that he’d been in touch with Julia Organ, a past member who had moved to Weardale. Julia was back in Whitby on a short visit and had been invited to drop in. On arrival she was welcomed and introduced to the more recent members she didn’t know.

Mike — continued reading his satirical tale about a provincial pantomime: “Aladdin”. It is the night of the First Performance. Abanaazer (played by a TV celebrity signed-up to attract an audience) forgets his lines and freezes onstage.

Jonathan — read the first few pages of what he hadn’t yet decided would be a short story or the start of a novel (the meeting emphatically agreed: the latter). Eddie, an opera goer and shopping addict on a never-ending quest for fine clothes, has a girlfriend, Helen, plus a female acquaintance, Val, a robust character. But Helen is shy and retiring, and it is her agonised introspections that rule the narrative. Helen begins to find Eddie’s dominating behaviour irksome, and at the same time starts to develop feelings for Val, without knowing how to reveal it to her.

Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — The action moves to Jordvik, the Moon’s second city, and to two young visitors from Mars, keen to sample the attractions of the famous Gaiascope. Viktor, complains to his companion Hermes how uncivilised Selene is when compared to their home planet. But first Hermes has something to show Viktor concerning his college dissertation about groubians on the Moon. It is the statue of a very special victim of the decades-old Gaiascope Atrocity: a groubian called Vermat Avrora. Who just so happens to be Anitra’s grandmother.

Pip [Caicos Moon] — It is still her first week on South Caicos, and our young heroine is getting out to meet the US Coastguards: young American GIs manning the island’s LORAN station. The boys have managed to allay her parents’ fears about letting her mix with them, and she is learning a whole new language: how to “shoot the breeze” and “take a rain-check”. She meets Tom, who has been detailed to get her home safely, for which he makes sure of his goodnight kiss.

Adele — had two contributions to make:

  • A haunting poem: Last Stop, inspired by Edward Hopper’s lonely figure in a railway carriage. (Poem of the Week)
  • Notes from visiting speakers at her creative writing course: a literary agent, a self-publisher and an “indie” (=independent) publisher. This account was of so much interest that the meeting overran by 15 minutes.