Doorway Writing group March 2017
A good session – as ever!
• We talked about rabbits and fish – well, why ever not?
• T and I had an interesting conversation about writers’ block and also about writing letters – probably, we concluded, something we should all do more of.
• Following on from our discussion last time about reading long novels, K had risen to the challenge and finished reading Dombey and Son (Dickens); he’d even written a summary of the plot – see below.
• K and N completed this month’s crossword and a number of guests contributed answers to some of the clues.
• Q and J had a fascinating talk about life events and how these can make for effective stories. Watch this space.
• J contributed yet another wonderful poem – see below.
Advice from a guest (anon)
Take the good moments
When it gets tough.
Shattered Accommodation (a Poem by J)
Carrying bags across the tracks
To the place amongst wild garlic and ivy,
Looking at the stars at night
Where has the wind blown my tarpaulin this time.
Cursing and fumbling in the dark
Gathering a bundle of sodden bedding
Down the road to the dusty old warehouse
With the broken windows
Asbestos and obsolete machinery
Scurryings amongst the rubbish
And the partitions.
This is the history of shattered accommodation
Blasted by gales
Where everything fails
But pitch, pine and nails.
Dombey and Son in Miniature (plot summary by K)
Dombey, Paul, had been the son but now no father. Had a daughter, had a wife, had no son. Then he had a son, but lost his wife in process. Miss Tox a friend of Mr Dombey’s sister sent her neighbour, Polly Toodle to be a wet nurse called Mrs Richards. Mrs Richards and Susan Nipper took both kids to Polly Toodle’s house one day then lost the daughter. She was re-united by Walter who worked for Dombey and Son as well as being the nephew of a nautical instrument maker. Mrs Richards (aka Polly Toodle) was given her notice and marching orders.
Son, Paul didn’t flourish, sent to Brighton for the air to Mrs Pipchin’s then to school at the Flimber’s, also in Brighton. The instrument maker fell on hard times and Walter went to Brighton and requested a loan from Dombey and Son his employer. Dombey the father asked Dombey the Son and Dombey the son agreed the loan and gave Walter a note to hand to Mr Carker (James) to authorise the payment.
Shortly after, Walter was sent to the West lndies by Dombey and Son but the ship was wrecked en voyage. Walter escaped but on a vessel bound for China so nobody knew where he was. The daughter Florence was heartbroken.
Major Bagstock, a neighbour of Miss Tox, took Dombey to Leamington where they met Mrs Grainger and her aunt. Dombey was engaged to marry the niece before they left Leamington. The marriage wasn’t a success and Carker (James) attempted to elope with Mrs Dombey number two. They ran to Dijon but Dombey found out and travelled to France and Carker James was then no more, he didn’t find Mrs Dombey number two though.
Dombey and Son was declared bankrupt, Walter came back then so did his uncle who had gone to the West lndies looking for him. Florence married Walter, Mr Toots married Susan Nipper the maid, the teacher married Dr Flimber’s daughter and was given the school. Mr Dombey was humbled, Mrs Dombey number two met Florence but didn’t meet Mr Dombey again.
And then they all lived happily ever after 878 pages.