An Honest Review is about a writers group somewhere in the Home Counties. I must stress that this is a work of fiction and any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental. Over the next few weeks, I am planning to introduce you to the members of the Didsbrook Writers Group, in the hope that you might grow to love them as much as I do.
Whilst on safari, I lost weight fairly quickly and it wasn't just to do with the heat. After enjoying a sundowner watching impala gambol happily in the bush, we would return to camp to find them on the dinner menu, which was just too hard to swallow. The only time I have ever been offered a gin and tonic for breakfast at 5.00a.m. was on safari and it was the only time I have ever refused one, sensibly realising I was getting enough quinine in my anti-malarial tablets.
It was hot and steamy on the makeshift dance floor as I swilled what I thought was a lot of bitter lemon with a little gin, but the bitter lemon disguised a lethal cocktail of various spirits. With my sound system set to max volume, Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits began to sound hollow and distant as my surroundings blurred and my speech slurred. I managed to make it upstairs to the bathroom where, kneeling in front of the lavatory, I projectile vomited the fermenting brew inside my stomach.
What was going on in my teenage brain is unfathomable to me now. I was driven by the overwhelming desire to be expelled so I could spend more time with my dog and my horse.The only teacher that had any control over me was my English teacher, but only from the day, he asked us to write a poem. I wrote hundreds, then moved on to short stories which he helped me get published and I became more focused and a little less defiant.
By the time I was twelve, I had been at boarding school for a year and had become a bit of a comedienne. I was the classroom joker, not the brightest thing to be, but I was fuelled by an inner rebellion, which I seemed unable to subdue. So, I took my anger out on the system.
How I wish I'd had a chat with my svelte younger self about eating healthily and told them to keep an eye on things. All too soon, your pert breasts and your taut butt take off on their journey south without you realising.
As agonising as critiques can be, they are a vital part of our development as writers. If we don't take feedback on the chin, we will never learn to master the craft.
Hate is so often fueled by religion. How I wish it wasn't so, then maybe I could reassess my belief. I am a pacifist and I believe there is no place on our fragile earth for gratuitous violence, especially the slaughter of innocent people, in the name God. If I pray for anything, I pray for global peace.