Welcome to my weekly blog comedy series – The Writing Group.
This series follows the emotional highs and lows of a local writing club, who meet regularly at Alfie’s Coffee Shop.
Matt, Writing Club leader, was sat talking to Alfie, as the Writing Group members entered the coffee shop.
‘Tell me honestly, Alfie?”Matt spoke in a low voice. “Do you think we are a bit crazy? I worry about how we come across.”
The coffee shop owner remained silent.
“I know what it must look like but we are just a bunch of passionate writers.” Matt, rubbed his stubble clad chin. “We might be a bit excitable, but we are all harmless.”
Alfie nodded and walked away whistling.
Suzy, the thriller writer, walked up to the table and slumped down into her chair. She had returned to the Writing Club after a month away.
“Welcome back Suzy!” Matt beamed. It was always great to see a member return.
Sadly the newcomer Rick had not returned and had not replied to any of Matt’s emails.
“Yes I’m back.” Suzy’s flat tone and loud exhale prompted all the writers to turn their heads in her direction.
“How is the novel coming along?” Matt watched Suzy place her head in her hands.
“I have been rejected by six agents.” Suzy looked gloomily into her black coffee.
‘I am sorry to hear that’ said Stacey, the apocalyptic horror writer pinning up her long blonde hair. She failed to notice Matt staring longingly at her.
“I have never been rejected by anyone in my life.” Suzy shook her long black hair in dismay. Everyone watched her pretty round face crumple and her bright blue eyes glisten with tears.
“I thought my book was going to be a best seller,” she dabbed at her left eye with a ball of tissues.
‘We have all been there.” Darcy, the Chick Lit writer, gave Suzy’s shoulder a gentle rub.
‘I had vivid dreams about my book winning prizes.” Suzy’s face reddened.
“We’ve all had those dreams.” Darcy cast her a knowing nod.
“Everyone in my family has been telling me for years that I am wordy.” Suzy raised her hands into the air.
“I hate it when family do that,” snapped Darcy. “As soon as a family member labels you wordy that’s it, you are expected to write a best seller.”
“Terrible label.” moaned Moira, the romantic fiction writer, shaking her mass of tight grey curls.
“It’s so cruel how one little word can start a lifetime of literary pressure!” exclaimed Darcy.
“I’ve never been labelled wordy,” murmured Tina, slowly extending her arm towards the plate of cookies.
‘There must have been a mistake. Those agents were not supposed to reject me!” Suzy shook off Darcy’s hand from her arm.
“Rewrite it and send it back out,” advised Matt.
“I don’t think I can, Matt.” said Suzy.
“Speak to me if you need some tips on handling rejection.” Tina caused Karl, the comedy writer, to laugh.
He raised his coffee cup at her. “‘Tina, you’re not the best person to talk about handling rejection.”
Tina glared at him. “I am very good at dealing with rejection Karl.” She pulled across the plate of cookies towards her.
“Hang on, you quit writing after your first and only rejection letter.” Darcy grinned at Tina.
“Yes that’s true.” Tina bite into a chunk out of a large cookie.
“And you took down your blog, author website and all your social media sites the next day.” Karl smirked at Tina.
Everyone stared at Tina.
“And you had a bonfire in your back garden and burnt all your writing folders that evening,” said Darcy.
“Yes, true,” Tina wiped crumbs away from her mouth.
“And you gave your entire bookcase to the charity shop,” added Karl.
Tina nodded. “Yes, but I never let the pain of rejection take over my life.”
A peal of laughter ran out from the table. “You were a nightmare to be around for months and then you dumped your boyfriend because he said the agent might have had a point,” giggled Darcy.
Tina let out a sigh. “As I said Suzy I am very experienced at handling rejection.”
An awkward silence descended upon the Writing Club. Richard edged his chair away from Tina to move closer to Suzy and Matt fidgeted in his seat.
“So what next, Suzy?” asked Darcy.
“I can’t go back to those literary agents,” Suzy shook her head.
Moira smiled. “You just need to get your confidence back.”
“I can’t do it,” Suzy gripped onto the table.
“Why not?” Matt drained his cup.,
Suzy coughed. “I didn’t take rejection very well. She fiddled with the corner of her notebook.
“Did you cry over a bottle wine?” asked Karl.
“Some agents didn’t return my calls,” mumbled Suzy.
Karl’s bushy eyebrows raised sharply. “You rang them?”
“I argued with the ones I got through to,” added Suzy.
“Ok let’s move on.” Matt sensed trouble.
“You will get over it,’ Karl smiled at Suzy, ignoring Matt’s wishes.
“Karl I won’t get over it! No one rejects me!” hissed Suzy, banging her fist down on the table.
Richard let out a gasp and quickly moved his chair back to Tina.
“Suzy, you have just given me a great idea for my next novel!” Stacey started scribbling away at pace.
“What’s the idea?” asked Darcy.
“Crazed writer goes on a murder spree after getting rejected!” announced Stacey cheerfully.
‘I shouldn’t have got in the taxi,” mumbled Suzy, gripping the table and staring into space.
“What taxi?” Karl nudged Stacey.
“I will not be rejected by anyone,” whispered Suzy, causing Richard to let out a loud gasp and Moira to pull a reluctant Karl towards her. “It all happened so fast. I just saw red.”
Suzy rose from her chair. “Think I need to phone the police”.
“Oh my goodness this is great novel fodder! Just look at her!” shrieked Stacey furiously writing on her pad.
Matt cast a worried glance at Alfie who simply shook his head.
There will be more next week from The Writing Group.
photo credit: Upsplash