SAW Successes Take A Bow – 24th March 2021

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Weren’t we, those who Zoomed, the lucky ones on Wednesday night? Being read were successes from the previous weekend’s Scottish Association of Writers competitions and didn’t we do well!

We listened to quality writing and experienced a spectrum of emotion!

 

Young Adult Novel

Kirsty Hammond

Shoot for the Moon is set on the moon Onallon where lying is considered the worst crime possible. In this first chapter, this futuristic world is well crafted and, as the characters are established the reader is drawn in through believable dialogue. This is a tense scene as main character, Leenah, and her boyfriend, Kav, are watching the trial of friend, Julia. Problems, relationships and rules are
introduced and I felt as if I was there, in the middle of the action.

A great story, I can’t wait to read more of this.

 

Drama

Helena Sheridan – Snippet of Pomes

In this scene read, gullible Brenda and husband, Ray, are being shown their accommodation in wild Australia as they search for a mine believed to belong to their family. Kev, is the ‘jack-the-lad’ who is showing them prefab accommodation for their ‘sleep-out’. The place is impractical and totally
unsuitable for the couple from civilised Glasgow. With references to the ‘dunny’ and ‘thunderbox’ Kev digresses from the situation to his own misfortunes. He suggests that a chair, which has just collapsed, would be fine with a couple of nails. One problem then follows another in this humorous play. Hopefully we’ll see the whole play acted out in the future.

 

Under 7s

Greta Yorke – Ten Little Hedgehogs

I wrote this story as a teaching aid to introduce the facts for 10 through the process of hibernation thus addressing number and Science. It deals with the different minibeasts eaten by hedgehogs as they prepare to hibernate for winter.

Members were asked to become my pupils as I read the story and they joined in where appropriate. Good fun.

 

Flash Fiction

Fiona McFadzean – History Lesson

A picture prompt led Fiona into this beautifully crafted flash fiction. At first, I thought the scene was the narrator’s childhood location. The reader is drawn into what seems a mother and son on a trip down memory lane, full of nostalgia for her parent’s sweet shop and home above. But this is not the case and the twist at the end, who saw that coming?

 

3-5 Minute Sketch

Carolyn O’Hara

Inspired by her daughter’s experiences of on-line dating, this sketch is a compilation of a few dates and was ‘blind cast’ with Carolyn and husband, Ken, as actors. Experienced actors here!

Lauren waits in a café for Jacob to arrive, it’s their first date. She is served coffee by Alex, an attentive server who knows Lauren quite well. She’s in a humorous phone conversation when Jacob comes swaggering in with a chocolate orange for her. Although complimentary at first, it soon becomes clear that Jacob’s presumptions and, in fact, whole demeanour are never going to win
Lauren over. He leaves and Alex wins the day with a date proposal. Very well acted, as one would expect!

 

Non-Fiction Novel

Linda Brown

What a fascinating story this is! Linda’s book, with the working title, Family History Mystery, is based on an interesting story from the 1880s about an ancestor of hers who disappears in the USA. The extract shared was about the
autopsy of an unidentified female murder victim and the beginnings of the local police to try to identify her. A lady has turned up giving positive information and suggesting that the dead woman could be her missing sister from Scotland.

Fascinating and intriguing, this is another story I can’t wait to read when its finished!

 

Woman’s Short Story

Jeanette Driver – Semi-skimmed

Jeanette first had this story in her head when she was 20 but she never put pen to paper!

This is mostly a monologue of main character Sally’s thoughts and from them it appears that she is a very lonely person who keeps an eye on her neighbours.

Sally keeps getting letters, telling her how much he likes her, from her milkman every Friday. He never speaks to her, just collects his money. Strange! When she gets the note saying ‘I want you to know that I really like you’ Sally decides she just has to say something. She gets all dressed up for the Friday money collection but, when the milkman arrives and Sally goes to the door, he hands her a letter and tells her to stop leaving letters for him, he’s a married man!

Undeterred Sally takes the letter and decides to leave it on top of her electricity meter as the meter reading is due to be taken soon by a very nice man.

 

Woman’s Short Story

Nigel Ward – Inklings- A Naked Truth

The scene is set in The Crags Nursing Home. Vera Knox is a formidable, long-standing resident who is 91 and dresses in brightly coloured clothes. Her favourite vantage point is her corner sear in the bay window. She seems disinterested in a new arrival, Enid Sergeant, who is seated in the opposite
corner of the bay window. Vera refuses to speak to her, the woman in the drab and dowdy clothing.

Vera’s interest is aroused by the male visitor who visits Enid regularly.

One day whilst being showered by a young carer Vera’s bright red, blue and yellow tattoo is revealed and she tells the girl of her rebellious youth. The tattoo, apparently, is unique and was done for her first and only love, a man who was lost on D Day. It’s revealed some days later, when the same carer
is showering Enid, that she, too, has the very same tattoo. Enid confides in the carer, telling her the very same story of the tattoo.

Enid knows about Vera but will Vera ever find out Enid’s secret?

 

Poetry

Damaris West – Secrets

‘Secrets’ was inspired by the Cornish coast. With wonderful imagery, this poem is beautifully crafted. The sea is described in anatomical and biological terms, ‘its green the green of hayfields’, ‘waves like thorns’, ‘forming veins flash through’, ‘throat-like freckles. The poem is truly captivating and I hope
Damaris will perhaps share it with the Google group.

 

Self-published Book

Greta Yorke and Maggie Bolton – Tartan Witch and the Highland Escapade.

This is another picture book told in Scots and English which will be a super resource for teachers. The process of publishing was explained. I give my text, along with precise illustration requests, to Maggie who is most experienced in this process. Maggie explained how she makes rough sketches at
first then she makes a little mock-up booklet putting text on the illustrations. Maggie then paints the 24 story pages, inside covers and front and back covers. Phew!

I then take these to our designer who scans the pages and inserts the text. He then sends the scans to the printer who prints the books. Then the hard work really begins… finding outlets!

 

Book Review

Yvonne Jack – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is a multi-million, bestseller coming-of-age story set in a fishing community in Carolina with backgrounds of rising tensions and racism. It is a multi-layered murder mystery. The central character is Kaya and her life is hard with racial tensions.

Yvonne says she found it difficult to choose quotes from the book for her review, there were so many rich ones from which to select. Yvonne gives a wonderful insight into this story, so much so that I’ve just bought it! ‘Crawdads’ are crayfish.

 

General Article

Catherine Lang – Living Without

In this article, Catherine describes the feelings she experienced after the death of her dear husband, Ronald. She tells of the enormity of widowhood, from being one half of a couple to being alone. She refers to life in ‘an alien landscape.’

The bureaucracy which had to be attended to focused her mind, for the time necessary; but then, there was the longing for the ‘shelter of before.’

The piece is beautifully descriptive. In it, Catherine bares her soul with intimate reflections. It is a touching contemplation of loss finishing in hopefulness. Catherine is to be admired for the stoic way in which she read her piece.

 

General Short Story

Jennifer West – A Trusted Employee

‘I know what you’ve been doing!’ This is the start of Jennifer’s tale of an unscrupulous hotel manager with lots of angles and opportunities. He is about to abscond with his rich pickings but alas, the security guard is on to him. It transpires that the manager has ‘set up’ the receptionist, with whom
he’s been having a fling, as the ‘fall guy’ should anything go wrong in his final move. There’s a clever twist, though, and the manager does get his comeuppance.

 

This fine piece rounded off a most varied and enjoyable evening. Well done Ayr Writers’ Club!

Greta Yorke

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