“A Couthie Wee Night” – Feedback Evening – 16 March 2022

There were six hardy souls attending for the Feedback Evening. Slaving out on this quiet, dry moonlit evening, how brave we were.

After a lengthy discussion about how we should arrange the chairs, a circle of good intent was established.

Fiona (McF) kicked off with a breakdown of her intended presentation to the Dragon’s Pen at the forthcoming SAW Conference. The aim, apparently, is to convince the Dragons that you are the most appropriate person to produce the book which you are pitching to them. Rather than attempt to describe the full contents of the intended piece, the focus is on the aspiring writer convincing the Dragons of their worth in pursuing the venture.

Fiona gave us a very full breakdown of what she would have at her disposal in order to write the book. Her topic focused on a prisoner of war centre in Derbyshire during the Second World War. Fiona had a number of excellent sources to draw on including people who had first-hand contact with the prisoners and the establishment at the time. We helped Fiona target the main features of her abilities to write the book, with the only caveat, that of reigning in Fiona to a 3-minute presentation for the Dragons!

Carey gave us a vivid presentation of an intended show for primary school children which she is devising. The story of the show, although only in sketch format just now, was exciting, quirky and would clearly draw in the attention of the full range of primary age children with only slight adaptation for the very youngest. The story centred on a couple of desperate aliens who need help to save their planet and transport down to the primary school, seeking ideas from the children as to how they can achieve this. The interactive nature of the drama would be an excellent draw for the children.

Alan presented a rather bizarre ‘story’ which was intended to be educational in purpose. The main character – Zero –  tries to convince primary school children of its importance in working with numbers, showing what effect it can have on them. The response started with ‘Nippy Heids’ for the group, trying to work out what it was all about. After a bit of very helpful discussion, it was agreed that the story may have merit if broken down into sections with an excellent suggestion of renaming the main character as “ Zero the Hero.”

Damaris treated us to a very moving poem about the loss of her husband, Clive, four years ago titled – “I Miss”. Although clearly outlining the grief and loss of a close partner for so many years, the intimacy and humour in their relationship shone through. The group were all moved and there were many smiles and laughs related to the anecdotes referenced in the poem. A rare gift. Thank you. Damaris wanted to highlight  a couple of Clive’s books which demonstrate his gift of humour. They can be accessed on Amazon:

Hobson’s choice and A snake in the grass. They are both on Amazon, both e-books, and Hobson’s choice is also a paperback.

The Amazon links are –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007KLPLUQ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1 (Hobson’s Choice)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snake-Grass-twist-tail-stories-ebook/dp/B08BZSGT2V/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3QEMAUVHRCV41&keywords=a+snake+in+the+grass+clive+west&qid=1647512325&s=digital-text&sprefix=a+snake+in+the+grass+clive+west%2Cdigital-text%2C133&sr=1-1 (A Snake In the Grass)

Although muted, there is no intention to set up a breakaway couthie group within AWC!

Alan Haughey

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