Friday, December 31, 2010

A sad tale of those who do, and those who don't.

I belong to a small writers group. There are only fourteen of us who are active although the books list sixty three members and, to date, I'm  one of only two members who has had the good fortune to be published. We are a diversified lot with ages ranging from sixteen up to over eighty and occupations ranging from solicitor to the unemployed. There are three members of the group who raise my sympathies and one who aggravated the hell out of me.

The one who aggravated the hell out of me is, as he tells every one who can't escape his grasp, a journalist. He is also the group's self appointed critic and, unfortunately, also it's chairman, a position he obtained by intimidating every one else. He and I should have an interesting time at the next A.G.M.

The three who raise my sympathies are a mixed lot and include both our youngest and oldest members. The one in the middle is probably the most interesting, and the one most deserving of sympathy, and more importantly, guidance. She is an ex member of the Australian Defence Force and served in Iraq. For a while the journalist plagued her with requests for stories on her military service, to the point where the Lady was about to leave the group. The journalist and I had a little conversation about that in the men's toilet and I walked out. He took some time to recover before he came out.

Like a lot of ex serving members she doesn't want to talk about her military service, she wants to write poetry, and although I'm no expert on that type of writing I quite like some of her work. Her poems tend to be about life, and pain, and fantasy. She writes of Unicorns and stars and darker things in the night. I'd like to help her get a few of her works published as I think they are good enough. Our resident critic  sneers at the lot.  I've given her the phone number of an agent I know who has read a couple of her works but I know she hasn't phoned him yet. She is to lacking in self confidence. I do hope she will keep writing, it's one way to get all the hurt, pain and confusion out.

Our youngest member is only sixteen years of age and desperately wants to write romantic fiction. She's a sweet little girl, polite in a way you don't see much in the young these days, and she spends a lot of time on the Internet. Face book and all those so called social sites. I think she gets a lot of encouragement from her peers but oh dear, if only she could learn to spell and punctuate.

Our oldest member is a delight. She always brings one of her delicious chocolate cakes to our monthly meet. No I didn't threaten to break the journalist's fingers if he touched the plate. That was someone else! Every one calls her Grand ma, and she loves it. She wants to write the history of the local area and she definitely has all the facts. Unfortunately she is that age where she gets a little muddled now and then and describes how  her next door neighbour came home from World War One. That is a bit of a stretch because he is only forty eight.

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