At our previous meeting on 1st August, which I missed due to messing around with bees, Debbi, Bev, Adam, David, Paul and new guy Antony had a great discussion and in depth look at pieces of work in progress and gave and received some great advice.
Today (15th) Debbi was otherwise engaged but happily we could still all use her Zoom link (so sorry that Jo Wright had techie problems) to read those edited pieces, and also some new work. There was an in-depth discussion and critique – poems from Chris, Bev, and Sandy, Paul’s manuscript, plus Christian’s excerpt from his latest novel. I then ran a mini-workshop, with the brief to write about a particular member of our family - living or passed, liked or hated who make us happy or exasperate us, or both! Maybe a family member never met for whatever reason, or a fantasy sibling. In lockdown there has been a lot of focus and rethinking on this subject. We wrote for just 15 minutes and everyone (except me!) came up with something. I think we all admired Sandy’s poem about her grandfather, which started on a sweet note and ended bittersweet with Sandy’s knowledge that her grandfather’s smoking habit would eventually kill him. Adam, who is now blind, wrote movingly about his father taking him on walks and talking to him about nature. Adam said it was hard to talk about his dad, who is happily still with us, and the line about words ‘swelling and clogging my mouth’ were poignant indeed. Bev wrote about her never-met great-grandmother Mabel who played piano and toured cinemas and music halls, and who had the best parties in the street. I read an older poem of mine, but vowed to have one by next time about my cross-sibling whose name I may never know.