The writing’s on the wall

aquillLast Monday was the last session of the writers’ group before the summer break. Jeannette (she of big bums in sonnets fame) wrote a post about it. With her permission, she guest-blogs below. The original can be read here.

“Yesterday evening marked our last writer’s workshop for the season. After the meeting one member made the toast: “To a good year.” I had to think for a moment. Has it been a good year?

On the whole, I have to say Yes. We started this September without one of our founding and most prolific members, who left Brussels to go back to the UK. We had one brand-new member and you never know how it’s going to go no matter how well they present. Happily, ten months later, it is like this person has been with us for ages. The group has re-knit itself, once again.

And what have we accomplished? Well, one of our members put on the play that we’d workshopped from start to finish. Another organized/facilitated two very successful music-&-literature salons, apart from making significant headway into a long work of fiction. Yet another is in the final stages of setting up his own publishing company, a project that’s been in the works for quite some time. Another had her second and third books published.

Oh, and we got to meet and read poems with Jackie Kay.

And while all of us have made strides into our work, in our various ways, it was fitting that we ended the season by reading the beginning of one member’s completed first draft. For the past several years this member — I’ll call him J — has been quietly submitting chapter after chapter of his memoir. Since he doesn’t submit in chronological order, I didn’t notice until he mentioned it that he’d finished the first draft. To have stuck with this project through to completion is (how I am learning this!) a real achievement.

Two somber notes. Leila will be leaving us for the green and pleasant land. She will be missed! And Lucy continues to fight cancer. Lucy, if you’re reading this, know that we’re thinking of you.”

1 Comment

  1. miss stevie wishart

    re: Europa the opera: music, word, image
    Dear Martin,
    Your talk for the Oxford Society (of which I am a committee member) was riveting and very thought provoking, especially in regard to challenging your audience to consider means of communicating an informed knowledge of the EU. Thank you.
    As a composer living in Brussels, the art of communication and its meaningful content, in this case through words and music, is the challenge. And all too often new classical music is rather inaccessible to its audience (or lack of it), and there lies the rub.

    We are gathering momentum to create an opera, following on from a commission in Harnecourt’s Graz Festival in 2007 where our given theme was the myth of Europa. In Brussels this theme has been evolving taking the Greek as a starting point and fast forwarding today in the search for a contemporary and relevant operatic treatment of Europa today.

    I see that your writers circle has just closed for the summer, but am wondering if it would be possible to attend one of your meetings in the future, as the idea is to attempt to engage lively thinkers and writers and commentators working in the European institutions to input into the content of the piece. Europa the opera: music, word, image.

    There is a short mp3 extract of a music sample,

    Looking forward to your comments if and when you have a moment.

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