May Writers’ Group Meeting

To the left of the shop front was notice to let a retail space with basement which might entail the end of the WG there.

John and Jacqui came in and we’d plenty time to discuss publishers, primarily Quentin and Chomu since John and I both have an interest in promoting his books, my short story being in Dadaoism, but Jacyntha and her shopfront display in Glasgow got a mention since it looks like CORRESPONDENCE is back on course and I’ve also translated poems to be published in a magazine probably called Leaves of Art. Jacqui’s book is at the typesetting stage.

I read out a passage on punishment, the topic, from ‘the book’ which caused them confusion. John thinks any mention of ‘man’ means Johnny’s man, his spirit, and Jacqui had difficulty understanding how the two telepathic interlocuters had got where apparently they were. These aren’t stupid people but sren’t graspiing it’s all by Johnny’s imagination, from imagining a man behind a tree to imagining he’s been abused and succeeded his abuser as societally appointed abusing man and to have been put in prison. He also shifts the background to suit so has shifted his imagining of where he is from Avenue to green without any intervening crossing of the burn and walk there though he thinks he’s forgotten how he got from one place to another. That there’s a gap is therefore covered in the text.

I understood why they have so much difficulty after I heard them talk about the way they write. Basically the difference is I write from the inside out, they, as is usual, from the outside in, where they are the outside. I’m realising what unconsciously I remembered of the content when time stopped. They are making their writing consciously up and can have no concept of anything other than the temporal. John has the additional obstacle of his disbelief in any unconscious, thus having to understand only on terms of his own way of writing. So far as I’m concerned mine isn’t fiction; theirs is. For example John might in writing change a name of a character. All he has to do for consistency is find the name he used and change it to the new name by means of his computer. What struck me was the superficiality of the characterisation, dependent on such conventional labelling, whereas Johnny is so grounded in his own real character, conveyed by every authentic word, as is his mum, that he can change personae fluidly. John and Jacqui’s characters can’t. Jacqui described getting so carried away in creating dialogue she couldn’t be bothered placing it. She then has to place it to heighten its effect, in a car rather than a room say. John finds he’s put a scene leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in September, rather than when it has to be, in November. It’s almost all applique writing like Mozart’s imposition of form, instead of organic, form emanating from content, style and content as one.

While I scrubbed out a red stain, Jacqui read out the end of John’s Fake Book and then from her own new writing, developing a character from the to be published book. She’s yet to find a way to fit this together with the piece she read out last time. It’s a jigsaw method.

John emailed:
Langtons is closing. I popped in today and got the news. You had noticed Lease sign and spilling red wine was an omen we didn’t recognise at the time. I’m told Mary will email in due course. All things end, of course, but this is a bit de trop. I presume you’ll let the gang know when dates are confirmed. Last night may well be our finale there.

More later when everyone decides what to do


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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