Minutes of the meeting at La Rosa Hotel on the above date.

Present: Adele, Barbara, Gill, Jenny, John, KazIan (chair).

Apologies: Harry, Karen, Lesley, Michele, Pip, Jonathan.

Topic: Members’ work-in-progress.


Matters Arising

Adele ran through events at the looming Fish & Ships Festival, and appealed for storytellers at the Library at 5 PM on Friday 19 May.

Kaz distributed flyers for forthcoming events at Whitby Spa, and announced a gig involving her band at Robin Hood’s Bay, also on Friday 19 May.

Members’ Readings

Jenny — reads more of her novel about Mary Eleanor Bowes, the heiress of a vast fortune from the Durham coalfields. Mary has met Lord Strathmore, who is actively seeking her company at society events in 18-cent Newcastle. They discover a mutual interest in the supernatural, and Lord S regales her with horror stories about his Scottish country seat, Glamis Castle. He manages in a roundabout way to propose marriage to Mary, who happily accepts. The only snag he anticipates is whether Mrs Bowes will approve the match, something about which he is fairly confident. How wrong he will prove to be!

John — read the next instalment of his novel: Painted Jack. It is Hallowe’en and Jack is on the waterfront, nursing a bottle of whisky. A brown-coated stranger approaches and tries to engage him in conversation, but to what end is unclear. After a feeble attempt at a violent rebuff, Jack reluctantly complies. But while the stranger is talking, Jack becomes aware of his insubstantiality, which is confirmed when a seagull flies straight through the man.

Adele — read a further instalment from her Covid Diary. It is the weekend of Christmas 2021, and social distancing is corroding the peace of the family. They normally gather at the author’s house, but this year have made what strikes her and her husband as lame excuses, in view of their carelessness in the matter of attending public events. On the Monday after Boxing Day, flight cancellations are spoiling the holiday for thousands. China is suffering a resurgence of covid cases, which the authorities respond to with draconian lockdown measures.

Kaz — read two scenes from her stage play: Homeless. Angie is giving birth in her squat to a stillborn baby into a bucket. Her partner Guy picks that moment to walk out on her. In a new scene, Silky, sitting on a park bench, is delivering an inebriated soliloquy on her life. She is berated by Daisy, sitting on the other half of the bench, who walks off. Two men, looking for drunk and incapable people to harvest for organ parts, carry off Silky’s inert body.

Gill — read a synopsis of her Young Adult novel about an “ordinary boy”, Tommy Bradley, caught up in a witchy conspiracy. He has been recruited as an apprentice tailor, but one with a special mission: to stitch up the fabric of the Earth itself, ravaged as it is by the minions of the evil Origon.

Barbara — John and Maud arrive late at a garden party. The local brewer of herbal beverages and reputed witch is tipsy from her own potions and needs to be escorted home. John has his competence called in question over the recent crime-wave by the local politician, who maintains she is simply communicating the views of the constituency she hopes to represent.

Ian — read a poem: Memories, about how we can’t have nice things anymore.

The meeting closed at 12:55 PM.