Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on Thursday 14 April 2022.

Present: AdelePeterMicheleJenny, JonathanIan (chair).

Apologies: LesleyGillPipKazFiona.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.

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Matters Arising

Ian called for a round of applause for Adele, for giving us a most entertaining topic for the last meeting: a play-reading of her Sex, Lies and Baking Cakes. This was taken up enthusiastically by all present.

A short discussion followed about play readings and drama groups’ role in improving the drafts of plays.

Members’ Readings

Peter read a further instalment of his novel: We gotta get out of this place.
A new character is introduced: Charlie, a young boy living on his father’s farm. We meet him sitting in a tree watching a dogfight during the Battle of Britain, as an air raid strikes nearby Whitby.

Adele — read more of her Covid Diary, commencing at 10 June 2021.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock offers lame excuses for the massive mortality in care homes for which delaying lockdown has been blamed. Should there be compulsory vaccination of care home staff?
The author celebrates her birthday at home thanks to lockdown restrictions. Boris is thinking of standing down as PM soon, and getting back to having fun. Andrew Lloyd-Webber is forced to cancel his production of Cinderella, but stoutly refuses the PM’s offer to include the play in a trial of potential lockdown-easing schemes.
In the ensuing discussion, members firmly encouraged Adele not to edit her account beyond spelling and grammar, to preserve its unique selling point: the authors’ impressions while it all happened.

Jonathan — read an inspirational article How to write a bestselling novel by publisher’s editor Rebecca Lee in The Eye magazine. Some submissions are “unimprovable” in one of two senses. Bad words mar a submission, but you have to write a lot of bad words before you can reliably write good ones. She offers 5 Do’s and 5 Don’t’s. The outstanding first Do: Get It Down On Paper. Until then it cannot be improved.

Michele — read a further instalment of her novel – The Unmentionables. The Boer War is about to begin.
At the Nachmal (community get-together) Eloff proposes to Anna, who accepts.
The siener (seer) has a headache: a prophecy is on the way. He reads out a warning against arrogance from the Book of Proverbs and then himself warns of the cruelty to be expected from the “khakis” (the English soldiers).
Anna asks “Surely we have done the right thing by going to war?”. She wants to fight alongside the men but her father forbids it: those left at home will have great need of her strength and protection.

Jenny — read from her published novel House Under The Stars.
Captain Ged Stone, who went to sea at 8 years of age and so missed out on schooling, seeks advice of a personal nature from Lydia Curzon: how to write a love-letter. He reveals that the intended recipient is Idina, the ship-owner’s daughter. Lydia’s sister Octavia, sent to her room for the sake of privacy, presses her ear to the floorboards and hears everything.

The meeting concluded at 1:05 PM.