Skates on Says Jenny

What this means is we agreed a task and, unless you noted it, you have around 24 hours to sort it out. There are no consequences for being unprepared!

Rebirth, or what

Well, did you ever seriously doubt it? Of course, you didn’t. Sooner rather than later – I think we were ready. The question is, “Are you?” Ready or not …

Picking up where we left off.

A warm welcome back – how fantastic to see everyone, after nearly a year and a half of Covid restrictions. This time we are Zooming in from far and wide, quite literally. As you would expect, we started by having a good old catchup; the good, the bad and the oh, so nearly.

Mac

Mac completed the first draft of his new novel and sent it off to his editor. As is her way, she was ruthless but that’s what editors are for; it’s their job. He has also been busy in his role as Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland. Wow, that sounds interesting.

Andy

In the words of Bonnie Tyler, Andy has been “Lost in France”. Being a productive sort of guy, he has broadcast a weekly podcast on his beloved agriculture, in addition to a brand-new brood of lambs. Bravely, he gave NaNoWriMo a try. Rather him than me.

Joy

Joy has continued writing and amongst other things has finished the novel she started prior to lockdown. We look forward to a sneak preview. She has also continued with her Glasgow writing group, online.

Paul

Paul has continued writing academic papers and producing his blog on social policy.

Catherine

Catherine has turned to reading and particularly recommends “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, an American author and speaker who teaches all things writing, with a leaning towards Zen.

Jenny

Jenny has enjoyed returning to classics like Jane Eyre, favourites like Joanne Harris and Elizabeth Sprout, as well as new reads like Where the Crawdads Sing and The Midnight Library.

Humble Reward

What was truly humbling and rewarding, was that the craic was as if we had never been away. We literally did pick up where we left off.

Where next?

Looking towards the future, it was generally agreed that we should explore new ways of communicating and developing ideas through different kinds of online media. As you can see, the website https://writersneuk.com/ is up and running. Our Zoom meeting is working well. After a discussion about the merits of different social media, it was suggested that we start a Facebook site, which is perhaps more user friendly. Paul uses Twitter for information gathering and the monthly Byline Times. Andy was off his mark and set the Writers’ Neuk Facebook private group up straight away. Mac will investigate if there are any alternative forums, that might be suitable for all.

Moving forward


Looking at the format of our meetings, we discussed optimum numbers for Zoom and a possible upper limit to numbers on the private FB group. We agreed that whilst it could be beneficial to grow, we should take care to protect the existing dynamics of the group.

Previously, at meetings, we set a limit on writing of 200-300 words. Paul pointed out that this can be restrictive, so we considered ways of presenting and critiquing longer pieces. Joy suggested that we could email a copy of our writing, to all members in advance, thus allowing people to read them at their leisure and give more time for feedback during meetings. We also discussed the possibility of screen sharing, of which Andy showed an example and the use of Audacity for audio recording and editing.

Our writing

Our suggested theme was “Reflections” The exciting thing is that you can also share these, by visiting our newly created FB site, Writers’ Neuk.
Andy shared his poem, “Reflections”. It has the honour of being the first piece on the FB site, both audio and visual.
Joy read and then later went on to record her piece, “The Politics of a Pandemic”
Catherine related her poem “Reflections” which took us back to a time of innocence, when everything seemed possible.
Mac will get sorted soon.

For next time

How do you show anger in your writing? For our next meeting, prepare a piece showing just that. Any scenario you choose. We can then discuss how this has been achieved and what makes approaches effective.

Jenny