Welcome to my weekly blog comedy series – The Writing Club.
This series follows the emotional highs and lows of a local writing club who meet regularly at Alfie’s Coffee Shop.
A newcomer to the Writing Club seated themselves at the table in Alfie’s Coffee Shop. Their arrival caused all discussion to stop. Everyone turned to look at the newcomer.
‘Ok writers, I would like you to meet Rick, the new addition to our club’ said Matt, turning to face the young man, sat next to him.
‘Thanks for joining us’ Matt said, giving the young man a warm smile. ‘As I said on the phone we are a friendly bunch of writers who like to give each other regular literary support.’
Everyone stared at Rick, who wore a fancy white shirt, a silk cravat and a tweed waistcoat, complete with a large gold pocket watch.
‘Hi all’ said Rick giving the table a wave.
‘I am sure you can all tell that I am mad about Steampunk’ he said, grinning at all the shocked faces around the table. ‘I like to write it and I love the Steampunk look!’
‘Steam what?’ asked Richard, picking up his metal spoon to stir his tea.
‘Steampunk’ clarified Rick. ‘You all must be familiar with the genre’ he said, scanning the table. Everyone nodded as no writer likes to admit they know nothing about a literary genre.
‘Steampunk’ murmured Moira, gazing at Rick’s outfit.
‘You look so cool!’ purred Stacey, with a dreamy expression, making Rick shift awkwardly in his seat.
‘Are you published?’ asked Darcy, leaning forward to stare at Rick. The young man raised his eyebrows at her directness and sat back in his chair.
‘I am self published’ he said, taking out a tablet from his leather bag. ‘Does anyone want to see some of my books?’ he asked looking around.
Rick held up his tablet and scrolled through his books.
‘Wow you have so many books out there!’ exclaimed Tina.
‘Wish I could write all those books?’ said Stacey.
‘Are all those books about steam?’ asked Moira, with a puzzled expression.
‘Ok’ said Matt, pretending not to hear Moira’s question. ‘Shall we do some writing updates?’
‘I have one’ said Tina cheerfully, making all the writers, except Rick, turn their heads towards her.
Hearing Tina sound happy about her writing was not something the Writing Club attendees were used to.
‘Its so nice to see you smiling Tina’ gushed Moira, reaching out to give Tina’s hand a squeeze.
Tina giggled and blushed.
‘I have started writing something different. You will all be glad to know I am in a good place after my failed sequel’ she said, beaming at everyone.
‘Your sequel didn’t work out?’ enquired Rick, leaning into the table, keen to hear more.
‘In my head it worked out Rick’ said Tina. ‘It was the best thing I have ever written. My Amazon sales don’t seem to agree with me!’
‘Oh’ said Rick. ‘Sequels can be hard to write.’
‘Why don’t you read my series?’ gasped Tina, seizing the opportunity for a potential sale and whipping out her phone.
‘Can I come back to you as I have a huge reading list at the moment? I can let you know when I am running low’ asked Rick, giving her a warm smile.
‘It’s no trouble Rick, let me just send you the link’ said Tina tapping away on her phone.
‘Its great to hear you are in a better place Tina!’ exclaimed Matt, trying desperately to distract her.
‘Hang on’ said Tina, still keying in something. ‘Rick it is such a bargain – a juicy thriller series for just £7.98’.
‘I will let you know Tina when I am ready to read it’ mumbled Rick, looking awkward.
Moira, sensing trouble started to clap. ‘Well done Tina for writing something new!’ she gushed, knowing Tina was the sort of person who liked an audience.
Her quick thinking paid off as Tina forgot about sending Rick the link and stood up to perform a celebratory dance.
‘You dodged a literary bullet there mate’ whispered Karl to Rick. The young man looked shocked at Karl’s comment.
‘Were her books that bad?’ he whispered to Karl, who made a face.
Alfie, the Coffee Shop owner appeared to collect the empty coffee cups. Overhearing Rick’s question to Karl, he turned to Rick and nodded.
Rick shook his head in bewilderment.
‘She’s in a better place now’ said Alfie as they all turned to watch the thriller writer do a little jig.
‘So come on Tina tell us all about this new story’ asked Moira, urging Tina to sit down and at the same time nudging Richard to stop stirring.
‘I have started writing a Chick Lit novel’ Tina announced flopping back down in her seat and avoiding eye contact with Darcy.
‘You are doing what?’ demanded Darcy, folding her arms.
‘I know you think you are the Writing Club’s only Chick Lit writer Darcy, but I think this could be an easy genre for me’ said Tina, fanning herself with a menu, as the dancing had given her a flushed face.
‘Its not an easy literary genre’ snapped Darcy.
‘It’s just about dating, shoes and handbags isn’t it?’ asked Karl, the comedy writer, looking around for other writers to back him up. It was clear he was on his own on this one.
‘No!’ snapped Darcy, shaking her head at him. ‘It’s about women’s relationships with…’
‘Men shoes and handbags’ interrupted Karl, ducking his head as Darcy threw her pack of tissues at him.
‘Wow you lot are quite feisty!’ exclaimed Rick, causing Darcy to glare at him.
Matt gave Rick a weary look.
Moira leant over to Rick. ‘We can be a little territorial over our genres. I am sure you’ll be fine with…your stream….’ she whispered, hesitating at the name of Rick’s genre.
‘Steampunk’ continued Rick.
‘Oh yes that’s the one’ smiled Moira.
Alfie appeared with new drinks for the table.
‘I have an update’ said Richard, the military fiction writer, raising his hand. ‘I have a new main character called Jimmy and he’s very different to Grimes’.
‘He’s not a World War Two fighter pilot then?’ asked Karl, before sipping his coffee.
‘Yes Jimmy is a World War Two fighter pilot’ clarified Richard, starting to stir his tea again. ‘But he is very different!’
‘How different?’ queried Tina, before biting into a cookie.
Richard shifted awkwardly on his seat. ‘Whereas Grimes was a gentleman with the ladies, Jimmy is a bit of a cad’
‘Oh Richard what fun!’ squealed Moira, putting her hands together.
‘Its not been much fun writing him so far’ said Richard, slumping in his chair with a deflated look.
‘What’s happened?’ asked Rick. ‘Are you having trouble bringing him to life?’
‘Mission Control doesn’t like me writing about a cad’ Richard grumbled. ‘I think Jimmy is a great character but Mission Control isn’t happy’.
Rick looked puzzled. ‘Mission Control did you say?’ he queried.
‘His wife’ whispered Karl.
‘Ok lets move on’ said Matt, trying to keep the club focused on writing.
‘She thinks Jimmy is having a bad influence on me’ sighed Richard staring down at his swirling tea.
‘Right then, Darcy do you want to give a writing update?’ asked Matt, staring at Darcy, trying desperately to save the session.
‘Apparently I was a bit of a scoundrel at our local pub’s quiz night’ announced Richard, scratching his grey beard.
Moira covered her mouth with her hands and gasped.
‘I spent too much time talking to Mission Control’s arch rival quiz team – The Lollipop Ladies’ sighed Richard.
‘The Lollipop Ladies sound like fun’ said Karl, grinning at Richard.
‘Darcy?’ said Matt, noticing that Rick was checking his pocket watch.
‘I won’t lie those retired Lollipop Ladies know how to have a good time at a quiz night’ chuckled Richard, picking up his spoon and giving his tea a vigorous stir.
‘Careful Richard!’ joked Karl.
‘When I get to quiz night and see those Lollipop Ladies, it’s like Jimmy has taken my place’ said Richard, shaking his head.
Rick stood up, checking his pocket watch. ‘Sorry folks I have to go, just remembered I have another pressing social engagement tonight’
‘Don’t go’ said Matt looking sad, as Rick left the table and walked quickly out of the Coffee Shop.
‘Let him go Matt’ whispered Moira. ‘I could tell he was very different to us!’
Matt groaned and looked across at Alfie who was shaking his head.
There will be more from the Writing Club next week.
For more Writing Club tales please click here.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31334148@N07/8200494565″>1112: krepesz cappuccino via photopin (license)