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RBW Online ISSUE 196




Date: 15th July 2011

ments 

Fiction Project




Your Pages



RBW AGM & Writers’ Lunch 8th August 2011 HAVE YOU BOOKED YOUR MEAL WITH LIZ YET?

Thoughts of the Week: Famous Last Words 

 Oh, you young people act like old men. You have no fun. Who: Josephine Baker Note: The famed starlet was reportedly attempting to seduce a man several decades younger than she was. She died of a stroke later that night.

 I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty. Who: Alben W. Barkley, former Vice President of the United States, who suffered a fatal heart attack.

 How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden? Who: P. T. Barnum, circus entrepreneur

 Die, I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him. Who: John Barrymore

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 Now I can cross the Shifting Sands. Who: L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz Note: Baum was referring to the Shifting Sands, the impassable desert surrounding the Land of Oz.

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Are you guys ready? Let's roll. Who: Todd Beamer, passenger on United Flight 93, September 11, 2001. Note: These are his last recorded words, coming at the end of a cell phone call before Beamer and others attempted to storm the airliner's cockpit to retake it from hijackers who were part of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Rain had always been a harbinger of tragedy for me. Who: George Beard Note: His death occurred during a rainstorm.


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 Available: FARE DEAL (£5.00)

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Not a route to fame and fortune! Results of last week’s e-chapbook publishing experiment — 10 readers in first 24 hours. Then no more. If you still want to have a go at this, please talk to Steph.

Words of the Week sinecure n A position that requires no work but still gives an ample payment; a cushy job. interpose v 1. To insert something (or oneself) between other things. To interrupt a conversation by introducing a different subject or making a comment. apothecary n A person who makes and provides/sells drugs and/or medicines. biotic adj Of, pertaining to, or produced by life or living organisms. approbative adj 1. Expressing approval. Sanctioning officially, giving authorization or approval to something.

Wikipedia image: apothecary 15th century

isometric adj 1. Of, or exhibiting equality in dimensions. 2. Of, or being a geometric system of three equal axes lying at right angles to each other. 3. (physiology) Of or involving muscular contraction against resistance in which the length of the muscle remains the same. (physics, of a thermodynamic process) Taking place at constant

LIFE OBSERVATIONS It is a lot easier sitting down on a damp grassy bank than it is getting up again. So after 168 years the old campaigner has folded its right-wings. Will any phoenix ever be as vociferous one wonders. The world has turned. Squirrels stealing eggs from a blackbird ’ s nest. Norwich Cathedral — sunlight through stained glass windows changing the faces and outlines of the crowds of visitors from ghostly images to brilliant shades of greens and reds and then another step and back to the reality of plain white light: the illusion caused by the varied illumination vanishes.


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RBW Annual General Meeting & Writers’ Lunch Monday 8th August 2011

Arrival 12.15 for 12.30 AGM —1.00pm lunch. Royal Oak Restaurant, Wolverhampton Road, Stafford Issue 196 Page 4

Facebook linked images: Stokemuseums

OPPORTUNITY: CONTRIBUTIONS to this bulletin are needed every week. This is a free of charge resource open to writers registered with RBW Online. Most writers do not have access to such a regular publishing outlet with as large a readership: make sure your work doesn’t miss out.

These Are Your Pages (Treasured assignment as of in, they should be) SMS Invisible Invisible: hair, turned glossy black to cotton-wool white. When did this happen, was it all in one night? Invisible: sagging assets all heading due south. Is that a moustache on the edge of that mouth? Invisible and voiceless, waiting forever to be served. Too well padded, too well over curved? Invisible talents being all superseded Forgotten the times when they were so needed. Forgotten the discos, and the playschool sports. Forgotten the committees and PTA and the scouts. Forgotten the listening shoulder during teenage tears. Forgotten the provider who toiled through the years. Invisible now, forgotten, washed up and done. A pale shadow. A reminder: that’s what we’ve become. But, somewhere down deep there still lies that one little voice that once again cries out for attention, and won’t be unheard: the way you treat old folks is totally absurd. Very interesting and enjoyable article about an author and a book shop. THIS WEEK ’ S ASSIGNMENT :

Physical enhancement

EXERCISE WORDS : produce150 word scene including these random words: Random Words: year/shoes/spirits/delicious/payment/fixing/Mrs Rudge/ Dad/trust/chocolate/quixotic/unsaturated/Christmas/Hilary Issue 196 Page 5

These Are Your Pages Random Words: [135 words] CMH Gladys was cogitating behind the lawnmower as it proceeded at good clip into the excuse for a flowerbed. Should she change her name or her job? Being a spy with a name like Eva, or Fingers MacZeel, appealed to her but maybe she could just change the spelling to Gwallddys or something exotic like that. Of course having a name like Gwallddys would mean she would have to have a new hair-do or something. There would need to be some comfort in the life-style. However, she could have magenta fingernails. That, she thought, would be nice. Probably. Then the terror of being magnanimous to all those other spies hit her! No! She thought - maybe next year. I’ve got to practice first … I’ll start in the queue at the post office when I draw my pension. Treasure ‘What,’ said Fred, mainly to himself, although a few words did escape, ‘is treasure, exactly? I mean everybody knows about the gold and silver and stuff in the museums. Stuff you couldn’t use anyway, even if you did get your hands on it’. ‘Well, ’cording to the books it’s stuff from other times,’ said Two Over to the Left, One Over had gone to the toilet and left a conversational gap. ‘You know! Gold and Silver and stuff what was buried in the ground and been dug up again. Have to be dug up or woun’t be treasure, would it?’ ‘That’s right,’ said Fred, who couldn’t really stand Two Over to the Left but didn’t want to be thought standoffish, ‘but what is it? What good is it?’ ‘Well, you could always sell it. If you’ve got any that is. I suppose. ‘Course then you’d be liable to tax I suppose. Can’t see the gov’ment lettin’ anybody get away with it, can you?’ Fred was thinking about it when the tea came round, he had his usual four sugars and three choccy biccies to take the taste away. ‘Can’t see that they would,’ he agreed. ‘how do they do it, do you think?’ ‘They got special people,’ replied Two Over to the Left. ‘Bound to have. Takes special trainin’ I should think.’ Bound to,’ Fred agreed, daring another mouthful of tea. ‘Not that they aren’t nice people of course but they must have a gift to be able to do it.’ Two Over to the Left had a sip of tea before replying. ‘Would need to be a real treasure I suspect. Mind you I don’t think the wages would be up to much.’

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RBW does not endorse this or any other competition.

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:

More 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

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) an 18th-century English poet, best remembered for acerbic wit, satirical verse and a translation of Homer. It is claimed Pope is the most frequently quoted poet in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson. Pope is famous for use of the heroic couplet. He had many powerful enemies at court and was often bullied, even in print, because of physical deformities related to childhood tuberculosis which stunted his growth and left him hunchbacked. Being born into a Catholic family meant many restrictions upon his education. Many of his lines have passed into common usage. ‘To damn with faint praise’ for example. Wikipedia image Wikipedia image: Pope

Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady

Favourite quote: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

What beck'ning ghost, along the moon-light shade Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade? 'Tis she!—but why that bleeding bosom gor'd, Why dimly gleams the visionary sword? Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell, Is it, in heav'n, a crime to love too well? To bear too tender, or too firm a heart, To act a lover's or a Roman's part? Is there no bright reversion in the sky, For those who greatly think, or bravely die?

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Why bade ye else, ye pow'rs! her soul aspire Above the vulgar flight of low desire? Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes; The glorious fault of angels and of gods; Thence to their images on earth it flows, And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows. Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age, Dull sullen pris'ners in the body's cage: Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres; Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep, And close confin'd to their own palace, sleep. From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die) Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky. As into air the purer spirits flow, And sep'rate from their kindred dregs below; So flew the soul to its congenial place, Nor left one virtue to redeem her race. But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood! See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks now fading at the blast of death: Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall; On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates. There passengers shall stand, and pointing say, (While the long fun'rals blacken all the way) "Lo these were they, whose souls the furies steel'd, And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.

Thus unlamented pass the proud away, The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day! So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow For others' good, or melt at others' woe." What can atone (oh ever-injur'd shade!) Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid? No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier. By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd! What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year, And bear about the mockery of woe To midnight dances, and the public show? What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace, Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face? What though no sacred earth allow thee room, Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb? Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be drest, And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast: There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow, There the first roses of the year shall blow; While angels with their silver wings o'ershade The ground, now sacred by thy reliques made. So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not, To whom related, or by whom begot; A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be! Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart, Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!

THE POETRY SLOT AD LIB Opportunity For RBW Registered Onliners AD LIB will be the title of the 2012 collection. Submissions are now being accepted. 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. Many thanks.

Wikipedia image

Centenary: July 2011 ... 100 years since birth of Mervyn Peake Gormenghast ... Trilogy reissued in hard back with previously unpublished illustrations (75% are new illustrations) Mervyn Laurence Peake (9 July 1911 – 17 November 1968) was an English writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for the Gormenghast trilogy. (Three works which were the opening of what Peake, had he lived, conceived as being a lengthy saga. A ‘must-have-read’ classic series of the 20th century.)

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Book One Titus Groan : Birth into the world of Gormenghast. A Gothic crumbling castle to which the 77th Earl, Titus Groan, is heir to rule. All is not well and treachery abounds. Book Two Gormenghast : Growing and learning. The conniving Steerpike dogs his every turn. Book Three Titus Alone : Torn between duties of lineage and desire to escape from Gormenghast — flees to a freedom of sorts

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PATRON Ian McMillan Memberships and funders.

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Issue 196

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Issue 196 RBW Online  

Issue 196 RBW Online

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