Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 16 May 2019.

Present: Jonathan, Adele, PipIan (chair), Jenny (Burns).

Apologies:  Graham, Louise, Jenny, Mike.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


Members’ Readings

Jenny (Burns)House Under The Stars. A new book in an existing series.
It is 1808. A whaler docks at Whitby after a successful voyage. On board, long-lost brother Hugo has been discovered by Jed, who invites him home to meet the family he never knew. Hugo is dismayed at the poverty of the household, with its history of oppression and casual violence, and feels gratitude for his relatively sheltered upbringing in the home of his natural father.
The author had drafted the passage in both the first-person, from Hugo’s perspective, and from the pov of an omniscient narrator, and sought the group’s advice on which they preferred. A lively discussion ensued, opinions being sharply divided.

Adele — read another story in her growing collection of reminiscences of life as an estate agent: Do you know why it isn’t selling? The house she has to sell belongs to her old English teacher. While she was aware he was somewhat quaint, she was totally unprepared for its bizarre decor. The owner together with his wife, who must have been as quaint as he was, decided that since they were the beating heart of a living household, they needed to decorate the rooms in an anatomical style, festooned with veins and entrails. Having moved abroad, they have allowed the daughter to reside there until the house is sold. Viewers, with their families and children, were thus additionally confronted with the debris of a liberated young adult: unmade bed, scattered garments and used condoms.

Ian [Anitra’s Petition] — Anitra has arrived on Mars. Her two groubian minders, Dolpou and Nanoud, decide that the danger from Anitra’s ill-wishers is so great that she must be taken without delay to Fort Rainbow, headquarters of the Groubian Echelon in Nix City, where she can be guarded 25/7. On the way, Anitra questions Nanoud on the nature of the medical police – the Vratch – and precisely what she has to fear from it.

Jonathan — read a poem: Job’s Curse, in which the poet berates every last thing that has cooperated in bringing about his blighted existence.

With a little time to spare, Jonathan reminded Ian that in a previous meeting he had mentioned Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard neuroanatomist who was struck down by a massive stroke which threatened to reduce her to a vegetative state. But with enormous pluck and determination, plus assistance from her stalwart mother, a psychologist, Dr Taylor made a recovery to the point where she was able to resume work at her profession. She has since written a book: My Stroke of Insight, about her experience and the unique insights it has conferred on her, both in medical matters and in lifestyle, presenting a detailed programme for  achieving her key recommendation: Your mind is a garden: cultivate it!
Ian has a copy of the book: indeed he used to buy copies to give to people whom he thought would appreciate it. He undertook to blog a review of the book for members’ benefit before the next meeting. A lively discussion ensued on the topic of brain trauma.

The meeting closed at 12:45 PM.