El Presidente Grahame is still feeling a little poorly as indeed is the indomitable Edith so our thoughts go out to them for a speedy recovery. While our president of Vice (Ian) deputised, Isobel took control of proceedings beginning with a quick writing exercise on ‘Traffic’ to get us warmed up. It certainly got me chasing a few cars. Arruff! Anyway there then followed a brief discussion on ‘The Physical Barriers to Writing’ (pretty much everything) and ‘The Mental barriers to Writing’ (ditto). Fortunately the group did come up with some solutions which Isobel has duly dispatched (via the interweb) to one an all. So no more excuses for not writing! Arruff!

There then followed a Pick-pocket List. Not as you might suppose an invitation to petty larceny but rather another writing exercise in disguise. Having misdirected us with chocolate treats for possessing the most items on the list, the Artful Dodger (Isobel) then encouraged us to create a character based on three items on the list and then write a story. The usual melee of results ensued from Paul’s improvisation over lost grocery lists to John’s criminal pyromaniac and David’s Polo mint splitter (other mints are available).

After tea, or it may have been before? Isobel introduced us all to the delights of Jan Carson’s postcard stories. A Belfast based writer worth checking out. We read out a couple of these flash fiction pieces concerning happy furniture and unhappy beverages, to help galvanise our creative mettle. For even more inspiration Isobel read out Brian Bilston’s ‘Job Interview with a Cat’. Not surprisingly we were entertained by equine, canine and porcine (I had to look that one up) interviews. We also had some nice little stories on deafening library silences, generations of carpet treaders, bathtub ghosts and a rather proficient dog-pound pooch (my favourite). Arruff!

Ho Hum, onwards and upwards.