It was a small, intimate meeting today, as the unseasonable weather kept many of our regular writers at home today. Luckily there was no storm damage to either Mattie Furphy or Tom Collins Houses, though the surrounding grounds were somewhat muddy.
We began our group discussion by reflecting on what we had learned at the September meeting, when Blogger Extraordinaire, Amanda Kendle, came in to talk to us about creating our author platforms. A few members had been inspired to begin using a blog, or Twitter, and others had decided that while they saw the reasoning behind it, the world of social media was not right for them. As Lyn so beautifully put it, there was a feeling of being like one of the “natives of Borneo”, standing back and watching, rather than letting Social Media outlets gobble up all her ideas and substance. Some of our members wanted to know how hashtags work, and I would encourage people who want to practice using these to put #BLPG at the end of their tweets about their book length projects (or Facebook posts) if they want to see this in action, and keep in touch with other members of the group.
Pat joined us for the first time in a few months (welcome back, Pat!) and read us a thoroughly enthralling segment of her novel, “Tamsin and the Devil”, co-authored with Lisa Litjens. We were all mightily impressed, and a discussion of form led to an impromptu, and enlightening, discussion about short forms of fiction. Shorter fictions, such as short stories or novellas, do not always have to follow a linear progression, and as Elizabeth rightly brought up, they do not always require a logical conclusion. Shorter fictions also require a very tight control of language.
EXERCISE: Anyone who is interested might like to use their Twitter account to post VERY short fictions (140 characters or less) and use the hashtag #BLPG to share them with us.
After the break, Matt read us the ending scenes from his novel “The Spy”, a historical fiction starring little known explorer and polyglot Pero da Covilho. This action adventure story is the second in a four part series, and shows off the adage ‘always leave them wanting more’ with its beautifully timed endpoint.
Matt also read us the opening page from his non fiction book in progress, “The Bloody Stairway to Paradise.”
Ros then showed us all her beautiful picture book, just recently published through Book Baby, “Awesome Aunt Dolly in Action”. This heartwarming, rhyming book about a rather buxom aunty had us all gushing over its beautiful production and I think a few members will be looking to purchase this for loved ones for Christmas. You can do that here….
Iris read us the opening scenes from her work in progress, a quiet but wry and insightful story about a woman named Evie. She had us spellbound and ready for more. It was lovely to see Iris again; for those who don’t know, the entire BLPG was Iris’s brainchild and we are incredibly grateful for her continuing support.
Finally, I read a few scenes from a story in Island Issue 136 that had taken my breath away, but I realised it was longer than I remembered and left off after two segments, encouraging all there to read the end. Here’s the rest of the story for those who are interested.
Thanks to those who attended today. The next meeting will take place on the 16th of November at 10am and will possibly be our last meeting for 2014. All welcome, participation will cost you a mere $5 donation for the Fellowship.
A reminder also that the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA is having their busy bee at Tom Collins/ Mattie Furphy Houses and grounds next Sunday the 26th of October from 9am and volunteers are appreciated. See http://www.fawwa.org for more details.