RBW Online ISSUE 189
ARE YOU A ‘FRIEND’ OF RBW? THEN PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT DRAMA DAY Bring along another Friend All Over 50s Welcome
Date: 27th MAY 2011
Thoughts of the Week Quotes from Babylon 5 SINCLAIRE: The best way to understand someone is to fight him, make him angry. That's when you see the real person. Everyone lies. The innocent lie because they don't want to be blamed for something they didn't do, and the guilty lie because they don't have any other choice. The last time I gave an interview, they told me to just relax and say what I really felt. Ten minutes after the broadcast I got transferred to an outpost so far off the star maps you couldn't find it with a hunting dog and a Ouija board. You forgot the first rule of the fanatic: when you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy! G‘Kar: I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe … that we have not yet explained everything. Londo: These are my three wives: Pestilence, Famine, and Death. They inspired me! Knowing that they were waiting for me is what keeps me here — 75 light-years away.
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) STILL WATERS out in June will be £5.00 CAN BE ORDERED NOW
MONDAY 27th JUNE usual times Rising Brook Library. (Event pencilled in so far) Issue 189 Page 2
More details shortly. Watch this space for confirmation.
Words of the Week destitution noun The condition of being without the necessary resources for life; extreme poverty. criteria noun The plural form of criterion, formed according to the Ancient Greek -ον (-on) → -α (-a) pluralisation pattern. manifest verb 1. To show plainly; to make to appear distinctly; to display or exhibit. To exhibit the lists or prepared invoices of; to declare at the customhouse. ponderous adj 1. Heavy, massive, weighty. 2. Serious, onerous, oppressive. 3. Clumsy, unwieldy, or slow, especially due to weight. Dull, boring, tedious; long-winded in expression.
LIFE OBSERVATIONS Girls would not wear poured into dresses with full length zips if they could see themselves retreating ... Group decisions can be very difficult Why are birds suicidal ? Why do they dive into windows and cars? Do observations about super injunctions have to be kept private? Driving the country lanes shows what a beautiful county we live in. Still here. The miracle of life continues. Why should the smallest sized shoes be on the topmost shelf? Why are some folks willing to work for free and others willing to let them? “An unposted letter means that I have been to the village shopping and passed the post box going and coming back. Sorry about belated birthday greetings. “
HAVE YOU BOOKED YOUR PLACE?
ArIssue 189 Page 3
RBW Annual General Meeting & Writers’ Lunch Monday 8th August 2011
rival 12.15 for 12.30 AGM —1.00pm lunch. Royal Oak Restaurant, Wolverhampton Road, Stafford
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RBW FORTH OPEN DAY : DRAMA & POETRY 4TH JUNE 2011 GATEHOUSE THEATRE WORKSHOP SCHEDULE 11.00am Opening Drama Workshops Phil Emery 11.30am ... 12.10pm 'Small Blessings' 12.20pm ... 13.00pm 'Lost in Space' 13.00pm ... 14.00pm POETRY SESSION — launch & readings from Still Waters followed by RAFFLE draw 14.00pm 14.40pm 15.40pm 16.30pm
... 14.40pm 'Birds and Bees and Things' ... 15.20pm 'Trust' ... 16.20pm 'Type Casting' ... Presentations — Feedback
All taking part to attend at 10.30am for photos with sponsors ... Set up team 10.00am, please. Don’t forget your packed lunch and sufficient drinks ... Theatre Cafe closes after lunchtime (?) Donated prizes for the RAFFLE would be gratefully appreciated. OPEN DAY IS RBW’ BIGGEST ANNUAL EVENT PLEASE COME ALONG TO SUPPORT THE CHARITY. MANY THANKS.
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These Are Your Pages Work by SMS Random words: Character/ the hill/ revolver/ concurrent/ apple pie/ vestibule/ space/ ticket/prophesy/ Mrs Wragg. Mrs Wragg didn’t like the look of the scruffy character shuffling towards her down the hill. She held on tight to her pocket revolver and wondered why her stars hadn’t warned her of this violation of her personal space. Running concurrent with this feeling of disquiet was annoyance that the prophesy of Gypsy Rose in the Daily Planet was usually correct and yet no mention of this fellow munching what looked like an apple pie. Fortunately for the vagabond, Mrs Wragg was at that moment distracted by the Reverend Jones waving to her from the vestibule of St Patricks. Mrs Wragg relaxed her trigger finger, but she’d know that fellow should their paths ever cross again.
Work by CMH ‘Well, that’s a pretty kettle of kippers,’ Pipe remarked. ‘You mean like the Morris dancers,’ Shandy remarked, ‘Mind you, they only comes out during the summer but that Maypole’s never been the same since them Northumberland clog dancers was round here last year. Never seen a dance done so slowly.’ ‘What is?’ G&T, putting down three bowls of the “Club Soupe de Joure”, supposedly Oxtail, but you could never really tell, wanted to know. ‘It’s that detective. The one on the telly. Been and bought the old squire’s house,’ Pipe replied. ‘Going to turn it into a hotel called Chez Maurice. Dunno why ‘coz she’s a Mrs Mitchell.’ ‘How do you know all that?’ asked G&T. ‘In the paper init,’ Shandy replied. ‘I thought that them telly people tried to keep what they was doin’ secret but there it is, in the paper.’ ‘Hummph,’ humphed Pipe, ‘I thought that they spent all their free time on the beach. Plotting revenge on all those who had turned them down earlier. Well, that’s what the wife’s sister says anyway.’ ‘No!’ G&T replied. They might have an attitude and try to keep their identity hidden a bit but it’s bound to come out.’ ‘A bit like that Roman fellow I suppose,’ Shandy remarked. ‘Roman fellow? What Roman fellow?’ G&T asked. ‘The one on the telly of course.’ Shandy replied. ‘The one with his nose roman all over the place. Nice soup today! What is it?’
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To see the regulars of Clive’s village pub come to life off the page join RBW for Drama Day 4th June at the Gatehouse.
These Are Your Pages Assignment SMS Good on you Richard Walker, you're a braver man than I. Freedom fighter of the Sunday Herald, long may your presses fly. Pray keep you safe in Glasgow enjoying Scottish liberty You, without a 'blind-spot' for natural justice or Scots' morality, fancy, joining forces with US Twitter to set free the British Press. I wonder, will blind Lady Justice atop the Bailey watch down from on high in that folded dress? Will that be-sworded Lady shake her skirts free of injunctions, both super and ordinaire, to pour shame on married philanderers, not on those who seek to clear the air?
Random Words AB Old Ted Jones grimaced as trainee Jemima Drake sniffed in an annoyingly sanctimonious fashion. She was filling up again. She hadn’t got the back bone for teaching. Staring out of the staff room window of the estate’s secondary modern across a windswept Blackpool skyline towards the phallic towers of the Pleasure Beach, she was reminded of images in a painting of contraceptives she’d seen at the Tate Modern. Pity four of the girls in year nine hadn’t been so well informed, she thought and sniffed again.
THIS WEEK ’ S ASSIGNMENT :
Flower Show or Recipes ( 400 words )
EXERCISE WORDS : produce150 word scene including these random words: Issue 189 Page 7
Jemima, sanctimonious, modern, window, western, painting, Blackpool, images, contraceptive
These Are Your Pages The Village Show As you all know, it will soon be the SHOW, And this is our last formal meeting, The marquee’s erected, the judges selected, And straw bales are here for the seating. The scout-master’s said he has boys who are ready To guide all the cars to the field, The local free paper has promised a write up, I’ve polished the cups and the shield. Are the entry forms all in now Mrs Kelly And each one put in its right section? Remember last year, what a mix-up there were, This year our aim is perfection. At 10.30 sharp, the judging will start, I’ve no need to tell you what that means, Security tight, no intruder in sight, They’re measuring the carrots and French beans. The gates will be open at half past one, When Lady Anne hopes to be here, We will be in our places, with bright smiling faces, The children can give her a cheer. Is your grandchild au fait, about the bouquet Mrs Purvis? Please say she’s willing, Last year I remember she fell over her feet, And had to be bribed with a shilling! What’s that you say Freddie? A phone call for me, If it’s urgent I’ll I go to the den, WHAT!! Lady Anne’s had a fall, can’t be here after all? WE’LL BE ASKING THE VICAR AGAIN . . . . . Sept 2007
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EDITH HOLLAND STAFFORDSHIRE INTROSPECTIVE
Picture: Faith Hickey
These Are Your Pages The fall of the Templars: part 2; the trials Peter Shilston
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The mass arrest of the Templars on October 12th 1307 was brilliantly planned and executed. Everything had been meticulously set up in advance: sealed orders had been sent out to royal officials in mid-September, and letters written to the Pope and the other kings of Europe, giving king Philip’s reasons and suggesting they should follow suit - though in fact few took such serious action, at least not initially. Preaching friars, who traditionally hated the Templars, were despatched to explain to the people what had happened, together with the crucial announcement that all debts owing to the Order were cancelled forthwith. Not surprisingly in the light of this, there were no popular protests. Not the least detail of these preparations had leaked out, and the victims suspected nothing. Then in the one night, about 15,000 men were seized all across France: knights, sergeants, foot soldiers, chaplains and labourers. All went quietly; there was no resistance. Philip’s leading minister, William de Nogaret, personally arrested the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. Special courts were set up to examine the Templars, run by the Friars, their enemies, but with royal officials present. The proceedings were by inquisitorial methods, such as had been used in the previous century against the Albigensian heretics: the accused were not told the precise nature of the charges, or who had informed on them, but were invited to confess and to denounce others. Those who refused to co-operate were subjected to savage torture. In Paris alone, 36 Templars died under interrogation, and others were so weakened they needed to be carried to make their public confessions - and it must be remembered that many of these victims were tough warriors! The charges against the Order, which were immediately given maximum publicity throughout France, were an odd sort of rag-bag. The Templars, it was said, betrayed the Holy Land to the Saracens; they held their own heretical religious services, they were actively homosexual, their initiation rituals included such blasphemies as spitting on a crucifix and denying Christ, they practised black magic, and worshipped the devil. (Norman Cohn, in his very interesting book, “Europe’s Inner Demons”, points out how similar some of these charges were to those made half a century earlier against the Albigensians, and indeed against those made against Christians under the Roman Empire, and those which were to be made later in the great persecutions of the witches. He suggests that certain practices, such as devil-worship, cannibalism, infanticide, magic and sexual deviance, are objects of profound horror to the European psyche; and also, by the time of the arrest of the Templars, and later of the witches, the interrogators knew in advance what offences to look for) Not surprisingly, many confessions were soon forthcoming, though these included a high degree of prevarication. Jacques de Molay, for instance, admitted that the initiation ceremony involved spitting on the cross, but said that in his case he had deliberately missed! Other knight said they knew such rituals happened, but denied personally taking part, and others said that they had presumed that some of the more disgusting practises were merely intended as tests of their absolute obedience; comparable to God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Jacques de Molay confused the picture by writing an open letter to all Templars, urging them to make full confessions. The question of the actual guilt of the Templars remains a mystery. The easiest explanation is that they only confessed under torture, or threat of torture; or that they were promised immunity in return for co-operation and then double-crossed. There is, of course, the possibility that at least some of the accusations were true. (Once again, the parallel with Stalin’s purge trials is obvious) But no hard evidence was ever produced. In the case, for instance, of devil-worship, the image adored was variously said to be a cat, a human skull, a carved head, or an object named Baphomet (clearly a corruption of Mohammed); an no image of any kind was found. The most obvious motive for king Philip’s actions would be that he was perennially short of money. He had previously taken action against the Jews of France, and he now proceeded to seize all Templar property. It is also likely that, as a moderniser and centraliser, he was jealous
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of the Order’s independent power within his kingdom. Then again, he may genuinely have believed in at least some of the charges, and thought they ought to be investigated. But who except the Pope was entitled to judge the Templars? Pope Clement made a feeble protest against French actions, but when Philip’s propagandists responded with violent personal attacks, he duly surrendered and published a Bull ordering all the kings of Europe to act against the Templars. There were arrests throughout Europe, but only in France was such extreme brutality used to get confessions. When Edward II of England (who was king Philip’s son-in-law, it may be remembered) wrote to say that he could find little substantial evidence, he was informed that he was not employing sufficient torture! Since English law did not previously use torture to extract evidence, special skilled torturers had to be imported from France to carry out the work! The University of Paris ruled that, in emergencies, the king was justified in arresting heretics without prior authorisation from the church (the catch, of course, being, who decides what constitutes an emergency?) Pope Clement ordered a special commission to meet to consider the case, but, in the interim, ruled that Templars could be tried by local bishops - who, of course, had always hated them. The Archbishop of Narbonne set up a court, and invited all Templars who wished to defend their Order to appear before him. This was actually a very serious matter: heretics who confessed their errors might be imprisoned or suffer other punishment, but were not executed. However, any who repudiated their confessions were deemed “lapsed heretics”; the Church would wash its hands of them and hand them over to the royal government (the “secular arm”) to be burnt at the stake. Therefore many Templars were cautious about accepting the offer, and Jacques de Molay caused yet more confusion by first reiterating his confession, then rejecting all charges, and finally producing a watered-down version of the confession! Nevertheless, in 1310 no less than 546 Templars came forward to denounce their confessions as merely the result of torture. One knight is said to have brought along a bag containing bones from his own feet! A priest, Peter of Boulogne, was brave enough to come forward and speak in their defence. King Philip sensed, to his alarm, that public opinion was beginning to swing back towards his victims. In 1311 the Archbishopric of Sens, which had authority over Paris, fell vacant. King Philip nominated for the position a young man, aged just 22 and with a somewhat dubious reputation, but who had a supremely important qualification, in that he was the younger brother of Enguerrand de Marigny, the king’s Superintendent of Finance. Pope Clement made another feeble and ineffective protest. The new archbishop at once proceeded to try those Templars under his jurisdiction. 54 Templars who had rashly repudiated their confessions were condemned to death as relapsed heretics and burnt at the stake the same day. All proclaimed their innocence even amidst the flames. Public opinion became increasingly uneasy. Altogether around 120 Templars were burnt, and, not surprisingly, many others reaffirmed their guilt in order to save their lives. Peter of Boulogne, who had acted as their defence spokesman, was imprisoned but escaped. In March 1312, under more pressure from king Philip, Pope Clement issued an edict abolishing the Order, and the remaining Templars were dealt with by local ecclesiastical courts. Following established practice, those who publicly confessed their guilt were not executed, but condemned to imprisonment or lesser punishments. The grand finale took place in Paris in March 1314, in a public display which was to be king Philip’s triumph. The last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, and three other senior Templars were paraded outside Notre Dame cathedral to make a full confession to all the charges against the Order before being sent to life imprisonment. But instead of following the script, Jacques de Molay made a ringing defence of his order, proclaimed its innocence of all charges, and said that all confessions were merely the result of torture. The Preceptor of Normandy, Geoffrey de Charnay, supported him. King Philip’s intended triumph had become a propaganda disaster. Only one thing could now be done. The very next day, the bonfires were set up on the Island of the Jews in the Seine, and the last Grand Master and the Preceptor were burnt at the stake before an amazed crowd of spectators, some of whom sneaked back during the night to gather up the remains as holy relics. It was the end of the Knights Templar, but not necessarily the end of the story; for it is said that even as the flames engulfed him, Jacques de Molay cursed king Philip and all his line, prophesying that Philip, his chief minister William de Nogaret and Pope Clement would all meet him before God’s judgement-seat within the year. Did the curse take effect? See next time for what followed!
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
More Coming Shortly
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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 Sister Ignatius and Sister Teresa the real nuns
CALLING ALL RBW Registered ONLINERS ... When did you last send in a piece of work for the bulletin? This is a free web resource many writers would give their eye teeth for. This is an opportunity to be web published and have your work read by — so far — over a thousand readers. This bulletin needs more active participation by RBW onliners This bulletin needs YOU to take part and to send in your items regularly ...
National Crime Writing Week http://www.nationalcrimewritingweek.co.uk/ will take place from 13 – 19 June. On the front page of the CWA website, there is an inter-active map showing where events are taking place including talks, workshops, literary lunches and meet-the -author sessions.
is the theme for NATIONAL POETRY DAY First Thursday in October 2011 RBW will be celebrating with a poetry session Can all RBW onliners be thinking about contributing a
GAMES. Mind games — playground games — board games — Skipping games — sporting games— team games ... poem on the theme of
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CRIME WRITERS‘ ASSOCIATION NEWS : Debut Dagger 2011 Competition: www.thecwa.co.uk Short-listed entries for 2011 Debut Dagger competition are: A Burial Place for Strangers — Sharon Hunt (Canada); A Quiet Night at Entebbe — Peter Wynn Norris (UK); A Vicious Indulgence — Annie Hauxwell (Australia); Biographies of a Victim — Gunnar Lange-Nielsen (Norway); Hide and Seek — Sarah Darby (UK); Men of the Rose — Jessica Ramage (UK); The Boy Who Loved Penguins — S W C Webb (UK); The Greengrocers and Fruiterers‘ Convention — Martin Ungless (UK); The Outrageous Behaviour of Left-handed Dwarves — Graham Brack (UK); The Temp — Luke Melia (UK); Unveiled Threats — Stephanie Light (UK); What Hidden Lies — Michele Rowe (South Africa) Entries were increased 25% above last year‘s submissions. The winner will be announced at the CWA Daggers‘ Reception, Friday, 22 July 2011 at the Theakston‘s Old Peculiar Crime Festival.
Mel Booker STILL WATERS COLLECTION
Expectations, hopes and fears Invested in the little dears From birth to toddler School to teens A battle of wills To communicate our means. The law it says parents know best! They look at us... ―you joke, you jest!‖ Perhaps they are right? But are we wrong? There are no words Without a song. Pledge we do, to do it right Not to follow our parents flight. We all know better We have the right way, This is my rule. You‘ll do it my way! But joking aside There comes a time When a parent has to look And accept a compromise. We might know the rules of abc And we know they suit you and me But do they fit the world of today For how do we know it is the right way? So I give you my best which today is enough, But by tomorrow you‗ll have added more stuff! So evolve I will and follow your lead And do what I can to respond to your needs You make the mistakes, hurt as it may And you‘ll live and learn and experience will pay. Parenting‘s a journey of two halves It‘s clear. This road leads there and this road leads here! Today I might be right but tomorrow I‘ll be wrong. So regardless of the outcome, Is it ok if I just tag along? Love Mum X
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THE POETRY SLOT STILL WATERS POETRY COLLECTION 2011 STILL WATERS is RBW fourth poetry collection. 19 RBW contributors submitted material The collection was funded by RBW and Stafford District Arts Council STILL WATERS will be launched on 4th June 2011 at the Gatehouse Theatre with a live poetry session.
AD LIB Opportunity For RBW Registered Onliners
Cover picture: Faith Hickey
AD LIB will be the title of the 2012 collection.
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Submissions are needed NOW Up to three poems for consideration. The aim is for each writer to have up to three pages of space allocated. Please send in by email SEND NO ATTACHMENTS Embed (write or paste) the poems into the body of the email. SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE JUNE 30th Many thanks.
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