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Touring Workshops : RBW back on the road ... 









RBW 2011 touring programme began on Tuesday at Holmcroft Trinity Day Centre in the capable hands of RBW leader, John Price, and we extend a warm welcome to Jim a new team volunteer.

ASSIGNMENT: lace-curtains/boat race/solstice

This week’s random words: George/Persephone/green/ nettles/frightening/pasteurization/cellar steps/ password/stench/next/Samurai/cinnamon/liberal RBW online bulletin is now published as a page turning e-document & first RBW e-books are uploaded to our main website Bulletins: Where issues 178 & 179 of the bulletin are now up on our website ... BOOKS: ALL RBW books have now been converted to page turning e-books.



Thoughts for the day A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world. Maurice Chevalier A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. Robert Frost A man growing old becomes a child again. Sophocles After thirty, a body has a mind of its own. Bette Midler After you're older, two things are possibly more important than any others: health and money. Helen Gurley Brown Age is a very high price to pay for maturity. Tom Stoppard RBW now have all our e-books and weekly e-bulletins posted up on the US publishing site The publications may also be viewed on our main website BOOKS page. RBW had 212 readers in the first few days of being uploaded.

Observations If trying to spend supermarket customer card points acquired online in a shop be aware it might not be so easy if you are not a regular customer using that card in that store as they might have a 48hours lag in place. There is a way round this if you are prepared to make a fuss but it entails a telephone call and a list of instructions to be followed at the customer service desk. SCAM alert from our local neighbourhood watch team – they have received a report of a resident receiving a phone call from someone with an American type accent advising they had won a substantial amount of money. They were then asked to press 9 but at this stage she hung up. Pressing 9 will connect you to a premium rate phone line. (£85.00 a minute?) Advice from NW is not to follow any instructions from persons unknown. It is seems too good to be true — it usually is!



Words of the week alfresco alfresco (al-FRES-ko) adjective and adverb Outdoors; in the open air. Root Italian alfresco (in the fresh). parity pariety (PAR-i-tee) noun: Equality in amount, status, etc. Root French from Latin paritas, from par (equal). locum locum (LOH-kuhm) noun: A person filling in for another, e.g. doctor/ clergy Root Latin locum tenens (holding the place), from locus (place) + tenere (to hold)

Observations continued ... When political parties have made a right mess of things and are facing a thrashing at the polls their activists tend to jump ship and stand as ―Independents‖ until the storm blows over. It is better to wipe down the washing line before hanging out damp laundry than afterwards. It is better to find your son a sponge to wash his car with than to leave him to his own devices to find an alternative in the airing cupboard. When standing on some scales if one stands on tiptoe placing all the weight towards the front of the scales there can be a difference of about three pounds shown on the dial!!! Result! When trying to put in eye-drops it is easier if lying flat. Not recommended to be attempted in a supermarket.



Research the short story as an art form:

Edna O‘Brien Photo Credit: Houghton Mifflin

In celebration of St Patrick’s Day Faber and Faber website has Edna O’Brien reading an extract from Shovel Kings from her latest collection of short stories entitled Saints and Sinners. Since 1960, author Edna O’Brien has produced twenty works of fiction.

Book Ordering To order : Cheques payable to Rising Brook Writers, please. (Do not send cash through the post.) All are plus £1.20 P&P Order via Rising Brook Writers c/o Rising Brook Library, Merrey Road, Stafford ST17 9LX Back Stock List: Where There’s A Will There’s A Weigh (£5.00) Inside Out (£5.00) Seaside (£6.00) Fare Deal (£5.00)

OPEN DAY APPROACHES DIARY DATE: VENUE BOOKED . . . 4TH JUNE 2011 What’s Drama Day? Drama Day is a unique opportunity for RBW’s budding playwrights to get the creative juices flowing and produce a short play, just fifteen pages of dialogue between two characters. Then you get to see your words come to life in rehearsal with input from two professional actors and an artistic director. The deadline for Drama Day plays is Easter 2011 but to make sure of one of the five slots, let John know of your interest as soon as possible and don’t forget YOUR MEMORIES of Worker’s Playtime are now requested for the next memories book.



THESE ARE YOUR PAGES Assignment AB ‗Margarine! I never eat margarine. Did you know some margarine has almost the same chemical formula as the tub it comes in?‘ smiled Margie making herself at home and wrapping union flag painted nails round a pint mug of black tea. ‗Organic, low fat butter, English. Got to watch the food miles, haven‘t we?‘ ‗Right, I‘ll see if I‘ve got any butter,‘ said Alan, his heart sinking. There hadn‘t been any butter in the fridge since his mother‘s last visit at Christmas, had there? ‗Peanut butter?‘ he asked, hopefully waving an almost empty tub. His guest nodded. Phew ... one hurdle negotiated. He rubbed the stubble on his jaw. Brown gloop was being spread thickly over a couple of slices of singed toast by the leggy blonde he had woken up next to, while all the time he was trying desperately to remember her name. Any minute this could be very awkward. ‗Aren‘t you having any?‘ asked his new-found friend. She was somebody‘s sister from the golf-club of that he was sure, but whose? ‗Tooth‘s playing blue murder. I‘ll have to get it looked at.‘ ‗How long have you been saying that for, dad?‘ asked sleepy voice as Sadie slumped into the kitchen and made a bee-line for the fridge. Grasping a yogurt to her bosom she greeted the slapper draped over the breakfast bar with a raised eyebrow. Before she could ask for an introduction, a tousle-haired boy appeared in the doorway. ‗Since last Thursday,‘ interrupted James scratching an armpit through his pys and yawning. ‗Last Thursday,‘ said the woman finishing the last of the peanut butter from the jar with a spoon and vainly tugging at the hem of her dress. Strapless diamante never a good look for 8.00am. ‗St Patrick‘s Day,‘ explained Sadie, as if to say the name of the saint was explanation enough. ‗He was so drunk he fell over in the toilet,‘ grinned James, aware something was different about this early morning visitor, although he wasn‘t sure what it was. ‗Chipped his plate,‘ added Sadie stifling a grin. There, let her know dad‘s teeth weren‘t all his own. Alan coloured, ‗Sadie! Show some respect.‘ Margie stared out of the window at the patio, so this was the baggage. Alan hadn‘t mentioned two kids last night, had he? Nice house, nice car. But two kids... Sadie raised an eyebrow, drew up her entire fourteen years of experience and said: ‗Respect? What, for Miss 1980? I don‘t think so.‘ ‗She‘s eaten all the peanut butter,‘ added James keeping a tight grip on teddy.




Work by EH Spring Salute The hedgerows and woodlands are waking to the warmth of April weather. Overnight there is this glorious display of flowers fragile, welcoming calling us to look. With a brash and constant buzzing the bees arrive they must visit every flower, go in and out, in and out filling the yellow pollen sacks astride their furry backs. We must cherish this unending activity cheer them for their diligence and thank them, for they bring life on their tiny wings.

Bee Pictures Clive Massey


Work by SMS New Essington Colliery 1833 Scarce two bob a day for a bloke, hundred weight o’ nut cobbles ‘n slack. It weren’t much ‘n that’s no joke for weary bent double, breaking y’r back. Stinking hot pit, w’air too dry. Thick o’ the dust ‘n black as pitch, blind ponies stumbled, ‘n youngsters cry out, to sweat run men wi’out a stitch. Cracking th’ coal face ‘n shoring prop, snap tins ‘n stale water, Davy lamps shone on mere lads weighted ‘til they’d drop God’s eternal damnation – New Essington.

Photo copyright is unknown but image is 1800s




Assignment SMS ‗Amazing,‘ said Robert with no hint of sarcasm. ‗I expected a long drawn-out discussion over dinner.‘ ‗And, instead we get to watch the sunset bathed in peace and harmony,‘ smiled Fran still smouldering with annoyance. ‗You are sure? No last minute sulks? No hibernating with a headache for the rest of my life?‘ ‗Don‘t be ridiculous, of course you can go to Wembley. Why ever not? You can afford to go.‘ The stone-etched smiled deepened at the edges. Let him go, it was what she wanted, wasn‘t it? Their home had become a transit camp since the boys left for uni anyway. The brass-balled cheek of his assumption that ‗the little wife‘ would still be here to wait on him hand and foot when he returned from yet another week-end away with the lads was another thing entirely. Exercise JB

The obvious solution

Robert watched the sunset through the window of the Wembley train. The snow made everything appear pristine, but it was cold enough to freeze the brass balls of a monkey. Given the choice, he would be hibernating, snuggled up under his duvet. He thought back to his discussion earlier that day with his mentor. Everything was finally in place. The last pieces were in transit from the laboratory in the Welsh hills. Once the virus was released, cattle would die, removing their contribution to global warming. He remembered how amazing the plan had seemed to him when the Head of the Climate Change Authority had approached him for help. The train sped through the alabaster countryside, cows watched as he flashed by, oblivious to their fate. A sadness gripped him, after all, it's not their fault. As usual, man's greed had signed the death warrant on yet another of nature‘s creatures. Exercise AB ‗Persephone, a monkey at 8 to 1,‘ said honest Joe Green the bookie‘s runner. ‗It‘s got no chance,‘ chuckled Albert, who was in a frightening position, balancing precariously on a ladder over the cellar steps wielding a paintbrush. ‗Too heavy ... look who‘s on board that idiot George Nettles.‘ On tea-boy duty, ‗Lucky strip though,‘ argued Joe, sniffing the milk bottle and wondering if this pasteurisation lark was all it was cracked up to be. ‗Cinnamon and white it says here.‘ He stabbed the form guide with his lucky Samurai warrior engraved fountain pen, the one he always used to pick his bets. ‗Colours aren‘t the way to pick horses, lad,‘ said Albert, ‗look, here‘s a couple of good uns ... Liberal Lass and Password Danger, mark my words next big race they‘ll be in the frame.‘ ‗They‘d better be, or there‘ll be a stench round here worse than this milk,‘ replied Albert passing over a wad of folding.


Touring Workshop Programme 2011 23 senior citizens and Carers enjoying an afternoon stroll down memory lane with Rising Brook Writers oral history recording team Tuesday 22nd March 2011 at Trinity Day Centre, Holmcroft


Trinity Day Centre is a group which has not worked with RBW in previous years. However, on this afternoon there were several contributors attending who had worked on our Seaside Memories project in 2010 from Rising Brook and Eccleshall groups. All present received a free copy of the Seaside Memories Book and CD set to take home. They were entertained with stories and readings and comic verse and encouraged to share their own memories of yesteryear — several were chosen for future recordings.



Websites/Competitions Booker Prize Foundation to honour lifework of author Beryl Bainbridge Booker Prize Foundation: Hilary Mantel and Gerard Woodward selected for major Short Story Prize shortlist Sydney to host The Man Booker Prize International Prize 2011

BrightonCOW Update: We have two competitions open at the moment. One is free to enter and has three £10 prizes as well as publication on our site. You need to write a non-fiction piece on the subject of your own choosing. Word limit is 500. Deadline is 30th April 2011. We have a fiction competition too. The deadline is 31st May 2011. It costs £4 to enter and the word limit is 3000. There are three cash prizes of £100, £50 and £25. All shortlisted stories have the option of publication on our site as well as being broadcast, where appropriate, on the local hospital radio network. Full details are on our site



Silver Surfers’ Day (16-20 May 2011) 8 weeks to go, 8 reasons to get involved Just eight weeks to go until Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Day, the national campaign that aims to get older people using computers and the internet at thousands of events across the UK. Since the campaign’s inception in 2002 over 100,000 older people have been engaged with computers through activities such as Wii parties, Hawaiian days and Skype sessions. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The aim is to encourage people and organisations to open their doors and run digital awareness sessions to help older people get online. Here are some very good reasons why. Visit to register your event. 1. Events can transform lives 1 in 5 people aged 55-64 have never used the internet, and this rises to 3 in 5 of those aged 65+*. Often, the main barriers for older people are lack of confidence and understanding. All they need is someone to get them started, show them the basic steps, encourage them and make it fun! Holding a Spring Online taster session can really help. 2. It’s easy to do Events can be held anywhere from sitting rooms to boardrooms, school halls to communal lounges, libraries to UK online centres. The main purpose of each session is to involve computers, the internet and older people in some way but each organiser has the freedom to decide how. 3. Best event award - £1,000 up for grabs To celebrate all those who are championing better digital awareness by holding a Spring Online event, a cash prize of £1,000 is available to help with developing computer learning in their area or centre. All those who register an event will be eligible to enter and the winner will be judged on creativity, overall enthusiasm and the stories of how people are affected. 4. Marketing support for every event A marketing toolkit is now available for every registered event holder to help them promote their event. The kit includes posters, leaflets, appointment cards and signs. 5. Online learning resources Online learning resources will also be made available via throughout the week to help make every event a success. This includes an extensive range of learning guides and an innovative e-card activity that everyone can do and use as a keepsake of their achievements on the day.


6. The perfect follow on from myfriends online week This week (21-28 March) sees myfriends online week, Age UK’s digital inclusion campaign which focuses on the social side of using the internet. The campaign is aimed at helping to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life, by supporting older people to make new friends and stay connected to old friends and family through the internet. For those who want to further build on its success in their venue, getting involved with Spring Online is the perfect answer. 7. Volunteers There are plenty of people out there who would love to help out at an event. Event holders should simply highlight the relevant ‘volunteers required’ field when registering their event at and Digital Unite, the campaign organisers, will help you publicise this. 8. Supported and promoted by a whole host of organisations Spring Online is delivered by Digital Unite in partnership with UK online centres and Race Online 2012 and supported by a whole host of organisations and Government departments, making this year’s event bigger and better than ever before. Emma Solomon, Managing Director of Digital Unite says: ‚Holding a Spring Online event can be as big or as small as an organiser wishes to make it. It’s not the size of the event that matters but simply that as many people as possible all over the UK who are not online are being introduced to the benefits and opportunities that the internet can bring.‛ For more information about Spring Online and to register an event visit Alternatively call 0800 822 3951 or email Sources: OFCOM/Office of National Statistics Tel: Freephone 0800 822 3951 Web: Head Office: Digital Unite, Unit 2B Poles Copse, Poles Lane, Otterbourne, Winchester SO21 2DZ

COMMENT: RBW supports silver surfers — RBW online contributors range from early 50s to early 90s. The charity uses PCs for all aspects of publishing and recording, video, graphics, MP3s, communication etc. There were no computers in classrooms when we went to school!!

RBW recording team report that 19 tracks from FARE DEAL are now up on the main website. 19 tracks make up about a quarter of the manuscript so there is still a lot more mayhem to record. The hardest part is keeping any chuckles out of the recording.




2011 Fiction Project: ARE WE THERE YET? Editor’s notes. A message from the manuscript editor: HOUSE STYLE Indenting: Except for the FIRST line of a chapter or after a line break all other first lines including speech should be indented. Speech marks: A SINGLE inverted comma (‘) around dialogue Notice 14pt Notice no line between paragraphs Indent speech by five spaces DO NOT indent first line Notice how speech is punctuated and NEVER put speech into italics Times New Roman font NEVER use fancy formatting NEVER use text boxes NEVER underline NEVER centre headings DO NOT capitalize ordinary nouns Notice the action takes place over a few minutes between characters all in the same place and that the story progresses. PLEASE Send pieces in embedded in emails not as attachments. Many Thanks Character list: Charlie Witters and his brother, Brendan They own the coach company Angelo Driver FC Tours Coach No: 666 – Anglo-Italian – diamond smuggler Samantha Goodright Courier FC Tours – niece of the Witter brothers Ted Fetler Relief driver FC Tours Vera Pensioner - bladder weakness (Coldwynd Sands and Fare Deal) Gloria Pensioner - tubby companion to Vera Dan Forthright Inept, pompous PI – former rank DCI (Coldwynd Sands and WTAWTAW) Pete Ferret Sidekick to Forthright PI Tudor and Dewi Davies – Welsh sheep farmers won a ticket in a raffle Cyril & Muriel Pinkney Pompous Headmaster and long-suffering wife Henri, Comte de Monte Donne - French aristo (?) Henri’s unnamed brother – a black sheep



Mrs Richardson (Fare Deal) still carrying Dickie’s mortal remains in a carrier bag Bobby Owen (Fare Deal) accompanying Mrs Richardson Jason Ratisson (JR) and Jacqueline Gardien (Jacqui). Lovers having a preliminary honeymoon. Martin Man of Mystery Mrs Grace Ferret Pete’s wife and partner in the PI business. Doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Mavis. Mrs Mavis Forthright Dan’s wife and partner in the PI business. Doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Grace. Lady Antonia Garibaldi Italian grand dame – diamond smuggler Miss Wainright Mousy companion to Lady Garibaldi Barry and Beryl Smith Pools Winners. Parents to Harry and Cilla Sandy Rathe, and his friend, Julian, Grapes of Rathe Guesthouse Sister Margarette and Sister Bernadette – the fake nuns

And the story continues ‗He‘s up to something, I tell you,‘ grumbled Gloria. ‗I never liked him, anyway.‘ ‗What a fib!‘ grinned Vera sucking the last pear drop. ‗You proper fancied him, you did! I can tell. It‘s all those Latin good looks and all that ...‘ ‗Never you mind who I do, or don‘t, fancy. I tell you he‘s up to something and it‘s with them two.‘ Gloria‘s concrete set perm nodded vigorously towards the group standing near to the coach‘s open luggage compartment. They were deep in discussion. ‗It‘s her with the smell under her nose and that funny little mouse she‘s got tagging along bag carrying.‘ ‗What would they want with the driver? He‘s a bit rough round the edges for Lady Muck, isn‘t he?‘ ‗Oh very nice, a bit rough for her ladyship, but too good for me, is it?‘ glared Gloria crossing her arms under an ample balcony and wriggling her shoulders so that a seismic event was threatened in her corsetry. ‗Give over,‘ grinned her cousin. ‗Look, he‘s giving her something.‘ With a hard-nosed grimace of annoyance Gloria glanced across towards the trio. She was in time to see something shiny being deposited into the recesses of a cavernous handbag, which the Italian grand dame immediate passed to her companion to carry. With the briefest of nods the group broke away. Only Angelo remained, wiping his hands on a rag and looking furtive. As he mounted the steps into the driver‘s seat he could not have seen that over behind the garbage bins a pair of binoculars had also been watching the exchange. But, Vera noticed the second pairs of eyes, it was difficult not to when the two watching men fell over each other in their hurry to scurry away. Difficult to keep a low profile when a kitchen boy‘s appeared with a bucket of slops.



National Poetry Day 6th October 2011 The theme this year is GAMES ... Playground games and skipping chants are still evolving, here is a favourite of ours which was popular over 50 years ago. The Ally-Ally-Oh sometimes the Illy-Ally-O, or even Alle-Alle-O, is believed to be a 18th/19th century sailors‘ term for the Atlantic Ocean – in particular the Spanish Main, or area around the Caribbean Sea. If the song relates to a sea battle is unknown. Some areas say ‗first‘ day, not ‗last‘ day.

The big ship sails The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh, Oh, the big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, on the last day of September. The captain said it will never, never do, never, never do, never, never do, The captain said it will never, never do, on the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, on the last day of September. We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, on the last day of September.

Some areas have a third verse about a battle being fought at sea. Do you know it? Can you recall a favourite skipping rhyme, or playground game, from your childhood?

BLOG SPOT: Message from Peter ... Hi All ... My blog this month includes a piece putting voting reform in historical context, some travel items, and an illustrated piece on art history! Comment ... Many thanks to Peter (this blog is always well worth a visit)... Please, can everyone remember to keep updating us on your own blogs. Ta!





Poetry Slot I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd A host of dancing Daffodils; Along the Lake, beneath the trees, Ten thousand dancing in the breeze. The waves beside them danced, but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: -A poet could not but be gay In such a laughing company: I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude, And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the Daffodils. William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a member of the English Romantic School of poetry. His early life was spent in the fells around the Lake District roaming the moors. Dorothy Wordsworth, his sister was a constant companion. In December 1799 William and Dorothy moved into Dove Cottage, in Grasmere (now a museum). Dorothy acted as her brother's scribe: he dictated poetry to her. In 1802 Wordsworth married childhood friend Mary Hutchinson: they had five children. In 1850 Wordsworth caught a chill while walking: he died on 23rd April. He was 80 years old. His headstone in the churchyard at Grasmere has become a literary shrine. It is believed Wordsworth composed 70,000 lines of poetry.

If you are a subscribing email recipient to leave RBW Online is easy just email and say ‘unsubscribe’ and you will be immediately removed from the list. If you have any suggestions for improvement to this service please let us know. You don't have to take an active part to receive this workshop bulletin you can just sit back and enjoy the ride, but if you could send back KUDOS feedback it is greatly appreciated. RBW Privacy Promise: A few simple contact details are all that are required and they will only be used for this bulletin service. RBW promise to:  Only send you details via the newsletter.  To never pass on your details to anyone else.  To always allow recipients to opt-out and unsubscribe at any time. To contact RBW please use the website contact box. PATRON Ian McMillan

A few RBW memberships and some funders and past and present.

Rising Brook Writers strives to be compliant with the requirements of the Data Protection Act. RBW strives for accuracy and fairness, however, can take no responsibility for any error, misinterpretation or inaccuracy in any message sent by this mode of publishing. The opinions expressed are not necessarily in accordance with the policy of the charity. E-mails and attachments sent out by RBW are believed to be free from viruses which might affect computer systems into which they are received or opened but it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they are virus free. Rising Brook Writers accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage arising in any way from their receipt, opening or use. Environment/ Recycling: Views and opinions expressed in contributions are not necessarily those of the charity. Please consider carefully if you need to print out any or all of this message. To the best of our knowledge and belief all the material included in this publication is in the public domain or has been reproduced with permission and/or source acknowledgement. RBW have researched rights where possible. RBW is a community organisation, whose aims are purely educational, and is entirely non-profit making. If using material from this collection for educational purposes please be so kind as to acknowledge RBW as the source. Contributors retain the copyright to their own work. Names, characters, places and incidents are imaginary or are used in a fictitious way. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Issue 180 weekly e-bulletin  

Writers weekly magazine written by writers for writers

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