Season XV11 – Alphaday 4

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 4, Season XVII. We’re lucky to have a dynamic group of Alphas who’re keen to make the most of the activities we propose, and who contribute a stimulating array of writerly goodies for us all to share. Perhaps we appreciate our Alphaday helpings of writerly topics even more in these days of lockdowns and troubling uncertainties. This is where we can get stuck into positive thinking about our common passion for writing, and it does us a world of good.

I think I can predict an overall response of delight from Alphas as today’s goodies come rattling into your inbox in the course of the day. It’s even better than any writing magazine because it’s our brilliant Alphas who put it together.

Today’s agenda is as follows:

Alphaday 4, Season XVII agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The results of the ‘first page’ challenge from Jackie
  • The collated entries for the Open Page 1st edition, season XVII from Ros
  • The brief for Challenge 3 from Suzanne
  • Alpha Log news from Phil
  • A summing up of the Writers’ Reads discussion from Maria

There’s something there for everyone, I think. I’d even that say that every part of it is for everyone’s enjoyment and benefit.

Alpha news:

I have no particular news to report about Alpha members, and I’ll let Phil deliver news of what you’ve been up to of late in your creative writing efforts. I hope you’re all safe and in good spirits.

General news:

Some will be celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Night on this 5th of November. Perhaps it’s better not to “Remember, remember …” that this is in memory of a radicalised religious fanatic who was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his failed terrorist attempt. Enjoy the roast chestnuts and mulled wine instead.

There’s no denying that we’re in a crisis situation.

Which crisis did you instantly think I was referring to? The truth is that we have quite a number of serious crises that all need to be dealt with. This means we have to prioritise and we may not agree about what’s most urgent.

Which of the following would top your list of priorities?

Save the planet from further destruction?

Save the US and the rest of the world from Trump? (in progress)

Save the UK from a disastrous no-deal Brexit?

Save populations from the deadly Covid-19 virus?

Save people’s livelihoods as the economy grinds to a halt?

Save Christmas so that we can cosy up together with stuffed turkeys and pressies?

Well, there you have it. We do live in troubled times. I’ve mentioned one of my favourite words before: “bathos”. I define it as “from the sublime to the ridiculous”, and I think my list of crises illustrates it to perfection.

We do have another big event coming up to take our thoughts off reality and instead focus on fiction. There’s no guarantee that we’ll be transported into a more rosy world view, but at least it is fiction and the work of a talented creative mind.

The Booker Prize will be awarded to the best novel published in the previous year as judged by the Booker panel. Have you read any of the shortlisted books? Which one do you think will / should win? I haven’t read any of them, but I think it’s an exciting event and I hope to see the award ceremony on TV on the 19th of November. The one that appeals to me from what I’ve read is Diane Cook, ‘The New Wilderness’. We’ll see.


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