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Full House at Pat’s Pad – 30 May 2018

Q: How many writers does it take to fill Pat’s living room?
A: A whopping sixteen – including our generous host herself.

Actually, we were extremely fortunate the first AWC summer Readaround of 2018 didn’t take place on Pat’s sun-drenched driveway, thanks to a delayed French flight. But our intrepid host made it to her ain pairty by the skin of her teeth, tanking home from the airport to find eager Readarounders already chappin at her front door. Not to be deterred by her last minute arrival, Pat popped open the champers (for the non-drivers) and the bubbly flowed all night – literally. All over the carpet, when I managed to kick the bottle (* red face* sorry, once again, Pat.)

And so to the business of the evening. We had fourteen readers (Chris G and Jo, having nothing to share, came along to relax, enjoy and give helpful feedback.)

First we heard a great piece of nostalgic life writing from Marion which we all agreed would’ve been shoo-in for the late lamented Scottish Memories mag.
Carolyn entertained us with an amusing monologue on her perils and pitfalls during hot, sunny weather.
Susan D shared her thoughts and impressions – jotted in her notebook during a recent writing retreat- of her beautiful surroundings and her ability to appreciate and enjoy them. We felt she had a poem bursting to be written in amongst her notes.
Speaking of poems, Greta read her evocative nature inspired poem and Yolanda stood up and rehearsed, word perfect, a witty poem she’d written for an upcoming, special celebration. It’ll go down a treat, Yolanda!
Peter gave us “The Chase” – filling us in on the popular TV quiz show with some anecdotes on winners and losers.
We enjoyed extracts from three children’s/ young adult novels. Susan McV gripped us with the prologue from a futuristic, dystopian YA work in progress. Encouraged by her AWC children’s novel win, Maggie has continued to write outside her usual “age group” and shared an interesting chapter from her YA fantasy novel with the underlying themes of youngsters coping with upheaval and serious illness. Carrie treated us to a chapter from her fantasy novel aimed at younger readers, featuring a girl seeking adventure.
We had two extracts from crime novels – Martin’s marvellous murder in Mauchline and my own (will-I-ever-finish-it) Victorian “Wean on the Train”.
Sparing our blushes, Gill chose a non-raunchy extract from her intriguing contemporary novel dealing with adult relationships, until a Freudian coc ….slip up caused much hilarity.
Now to our two published crime writers. We heard it first! Michael hooked us with the excellent opening chapter of his new novel, due to be published later this year, After He Died. And lastly, our host, Pat read the beginning of her next, as yet untitled, book leaving us with a tantalising cliffhanger – great stuff!

As usual, our first Readaround was a wonderful and very sociable evening. Gales of laughter, tons of advice and suggestions and bags of encouragement interspersed the readings. We also drew breath and enjoyed a generous tea and coffee break somewhere in the middle of it all. Thanks to Grant (Pat’s husband) for taking orders and rustling up the hot drinks. Thanks too, to Chris G, who provided his legendry chocolate cake….yum yum!

So fourteen readers on a humid summer evening with champagne, coffee and chocolate cake…did we finish at 9.30 pm? Did we heck! It was nearly legs eleven before Pat’s Full House emptied.

Thanks Pat for your hospitality and thank you to everyone who participated – it was fantastic fun!

Linda Brown

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