Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

“You must go to the next Readaround; it’s sure to inspire you to get back to your writing.”
And so, one sunny August evening, more than a dozen of us took up Nigel’s Readaround invitation, some to read, some just to listen and one to be jolted into action.
James’s delightful, clever poems for his grandson and soon-to-be-born grandchild seemed to please everyone, with suggestions for them to become picture books for a wider audience to enjoy.
Janice as ever, setting a good work ethic, explained her progress with research into her book on the history of dairy farming. And then we heard Linda’s evocative, deeply personal piece, originally intended for the Scottish Book Trust Journeys theme. Linda’s story of the sideboard, ‘wi’ the draw-doon bit’ had us by turns smiling and sighing in sympathy.
Chris’s writing took us on rather a worrying journey, down to the river on a dodgy fishing trip with the belligerent Joe and Tam-of-the-shiny-things. Their relationship was looking decidedly iffy at the point when Chris finished reading.
Our river journeys had only just begun. Next to read was Tim, with a superb collection of anecdotes from his riverboat trip exploring South America. Tim’s mesmerizing narrative vividly recreated for us the coffee aromas, the steamy jungle and the mysteries and dangers of the Amazon. I could imagine this piece as a Book at Bedtime on Radio 4.
Nigel poured teas and coffees as we tucked in to delicious home baking and Chris’s chocolate cake. Generous hospitality indeed.
Martin read another chapter of his crime novel, but that was not for those of a sensitive nature, so I can tell you at this point that Nigel’s garden was looking very colourful and tidy. Advice on the benefits of implying violence in writing sometimes, rather than giving graphic descriptions was offered.
Gail engaged everyone’s interest with her drama dilemma as she develops her Ghost Gang story. How to handle the subjects of death and dying in a children’s drama generated much discussion.
Yvonne shared her most recent story, intended for the women’s short story market. A father’s guilt-tinged grief is explored in this tale which leaves readers with hope for some healing.
This Readaround finished with an excerpt from Karen’s Miller Court stories which engrossed listeners. A cast of tough London characters live out their secrets and lies while Jack the Ripper stalks their streets.
With such an array of writing styles, topics and themes from other club members, surely there is something to spur on this dilatory writer?

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