It was a full house (well table) today in our library space between the non-fiction shelves.
We began by discussing a recent competition round-up which Wanda had shared amongst the group. Precia has received an email update from one she recently entered. Wanda, who had submitted work to the same competition had heard nothing. Tears and tantrums were threatened but thankfully the tea trolley averted attention. Unfortunately, there was no milk which almost resulted in the hurling of some mince pies on the cusp of their sell-by date – it would never have happened under Lou McGough’s watch.
Caroline was back amongst us today and shared news of a new project being produced by local writer Mal Dewhirst. The Adventures of Abigail Skyrocket will be performed by theatre company Fired Up who will soon be auditioning. Caroline, was present at a recent open morning and said that anyone wishing to help with writing, marketing etc., should attend the next meeting. The show is being written to coincide with the 130th anniversary of the Assembly Rooms, Tamworth incorporating many of the shows and stars that have performed there.
We were joined once more by English language student, Fayzur with his tutor, Patsy. They were hoping for lively conversation so it was time to move on to the subject of the day, Spotlight.
I read work by our newest recruit, Justin who checks in remotely via Yorkshire. He provided a short poem that dealt with the glare of the spotlight both acceptable and unwanted. Wanda liked the phrasing, particularly the ‘bright insight’ to which we often have no escape. A well-received piece by our cyber member.
Following on from her previous story introduction, Vic continued her account of a young woman trapped in work she despises. Forced to take a job as a pole dancer, our protagonist has become adept at getting through the ordeal, focusing on the music to drown out reality. The spotlight is turned on newest employee, Maria who suffers abuse from a disappointed audience as well as unpleasant boss Barry. Wonderfully descriptive language brings the characters to life, Maria ‘like a fledgeling pushed out of the nest’, was well depicted. Vic’s insight into pole dancing was questioned as the realism of this story had us on the edge of our seat.
Sue brought in a poem that dealt with the nerves faced by a ballerina when forced into the spotlight. When the principal dancer is unable to take part, the ballerina is promoted from signet to swan. Her confidence is shaken with nowhere to hide but once in the spotlight, her soul takes flight. Another expressive account which brought the words to life, the poem was beautifully narrated with a deep understanding of the dancer’s feelings.
Marilia was last under our Spotlight. Another brief poem whose theme included an actress who becomes a Duchess, a Prince now hiding in the snow. I don’t think you’ll need three guesses to determine the subject matter? For a short poem the words spoke volumes, interpretation was ambiguous. Well written and accurately current.
The subject matter of today’s writing aimed a spotlight on some of our member’s hidden talents. Whilst Vic vehemently denies having ever danced around a pole, Sue was in fact a ballerina. Not only that, she has performed in Swan Lake at Birmingham Town Hall as well as many other ballets; no wonder her poem was ‘en pointe’. Wanda revealed her talent as being able to ride a bike without holding the handle bars; images of Wanda pulling a wheelie down the skate park are hard to remove from my head now!
It was Wanda who rounded off our meeting with mention of her latest Dragon book. Showing us the illustration for the forthcoming front cover she explained that she has misgivings about her chosen title, The Dragon’s Nativity. Depicting gravestones engraved with humourous and thought-provoking epitaphs, a mist rises from the ground. Wanda explained how she needs the title to reflect Dragons transition through adolescence. Caroline suggested this is more a ‘Rite of Passage’, Moya thought of it hatching and ‘Awakening’ was put forward. The Pre-pubescent Dragon was rejected, I’ll get me coat… (If I’m not here next week it’s because Wanda is wheelie cross about the photo I’ve shared)