They say London's a city where everybody comes from somewhere else. Not so surprising then, that the Writers Café I attended on Monday had international flavour.
As regular readers of this blog will know - those kind enough to heed my reminders - for some time I've been trying to write fiction. I've been on courses, read books and joined a couple of local group for feedback and advice. I've written quite a few stories, the first draft of one novel and an outline for another.
It made a change to attend a group where I didn't know anybody, and the pub had a calm atmosphere, in contrast to The Counting House on Cornhill. The Shooting Star is a fairly modest Fuller's pub off Bishopsgate, in the quaintly named Catherine Wheel Alley.
I met a friendly Russian woman ordering a drink at the bar. The upstairs room was a bit forbidding at first, with its long boardroom-style table, but the dozen or so writers, mainly in their twenties and thirties seemed comfortable and supportive to the people who'd requested twenty-minute reading slots.
It's a great treat to be read to, recalling childhood pleasure. There was a variety of themes and styles: a low-key tale of a man whose son and family move abroad was followed by one about a young woman's fantasies in her overheated apartment;next an engaging portrait of a boy doing his homework while his parents wrangle in the next room; finally two poems: one enigmatic about a seashell and hidden passion, one welcoming a friend's newborn daughter. Readers were English, American and Australian.
I didn't linger for drinks afterwards, but the Russian lady gave me a story about an elderly exile who reminisces about her childhood while walking a troublesome dog. It was excellent entertainment for the journey home.
I think I should follow Fagin's advice: 'Make them your models, my dear!'
The Shooting Star: http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/pubsandbars/the-shooting-star-info-13392.html