On February 6th we had our first ever song writing workshop led by Hastings Writing Group member Anna Page. As a very talented and experienced singer, song writer and music teacher, Anna delivered a superb programme to help members to explore their ideas, write lyrics and develop melodies. There were several very enjoyable exercises and Anna successfully encouraged those who needed a little coaxing to come out of their comfort zones. Members explored their individual ‘loves’ and ‘hates’ to find a subject they were passionate about and learnt industry tricks to help come up with song titles. The workshop was perfectly pitched (no pun intended) at supporting those who intend to enter next month’s original song writing competition.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
On 23rd January we held our annual general meeting. Feedback from the treasurer confirmed that the group’s accounts are healthy. The chairperson reflected on the successes of 2016 and outlined an exciting programme for 2017, including events to mark the group’s 70th anniversary. The committee members were all re-elected unopposed. With all matters dealt with swiftly and efficiently, there was time for members to take part in a shared story writing exercise. Each member wrote for a sentence or two before passing their paper to the person on their left, who added a contribution before passing it on again. The stories, around 20 in total, were all wonderful and most were weird. The reading of the stories was completely hilarious and included a great deal of dark humour. It was reassuring to consider that there are few situations that can’t be resolved with a bit of creative thinking. For example, the threat of a meteor hurtling towards earth was fairly easily averted by simply allowing Bruce Willis to run around Dungeness Power Station in a grubby vest.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Fifteen members braved wind and rain to attend the meeting on 9 January. Nine of these read out their proposed entries for Strandline 11 – the Group’s two-yearly anthology of original work. Remarkably, this year the Group celebrates its 70th birthday. Accordingly, many of the pieces featured the year 1947, either in autographical accounts or as the setting for works of fiction. We heard of life as a nineteen-year-old in the RAF and of a childhood poor in material possessions but rich in the warmth of a close family. We also heard of goings on among ex-members of the SS, the actions of a jealous child and of a sinister orphanage. Non-1947 related pieces included poems and tales as disparate as that of an alligator in the bath, the travails of DIY enthusiast and the unhappiness of an army wife.