Welcome to Alphaday 10 of this our 14th season. You’ve been doing your best to prepare our 3-weekly fix of writerly treats that will stimulate our creative juices into flowing freely. By pooling our diverse writings, sharing our critiques and bending our heads in unison over a new task we avoid the stereotyped image of the writer in that lonesome garret. Virtual togetherness, physical or fictional… does it matter if it feels good?
Today’s agenda looks as follows:
- This bulletin from me
- The results of the literary challenge from Sarah
- The collated entries for the novel ending challenge from Chris
- The brief for Challenge 8 from Jackie
All this looks so familiar; you’ve seen it all before. Of course that’s a tongue-in-cheek description of our agenda which is always new, fresh from the oven, and different.
There is no special Alpha news at the moment other than what you may choose to tell us in the Log about things that matter to you.
My former home town of Salisbury, however, is at the centre of a gripping spy thriller which is full of mysterious twists and turns – and of foreboding.
It is of course also a city with one of those splendid Gothic Cathedrals that sprang up like mushrooms from around the 13th century. Their spread throughout Europe (before EU cooperation) always makes me think of the story of the ‘hundredth monkey effect’. Apparently the monkeys on one island started washing their sweet potatoes and once the habit had been accepted by 100 monkeys the skill sprang up in other islands without any communication with the first. That’s how amazing I think it is that these architects and the entire construction know-how became available throughout Europe from the 13th century.
The Cathedral Close is also home to a sculpture by Elizabeth Frink called ‘The Walking Madonna’ – that’s while we’re on the subject of women artists. It is a forceful statement to be seen against a background of madonnas as surrogate mothers by divine appointment, who didn’t have much say in the matter.
That’s enough for my Salisbury tourist guide.