Among my Christmas gifts were two anthologies,IRIDESCENT BLUE from Horowhenua Writers' Group, and QUILL by Wairarapa Writers. In spite of the jibes made by people who cannot be bothered thinking I found both books enjoyable reading, the sort one can keep by the bed and dip into, anjoying small sips of literary delight.To quote Alexander Jeune in Iridescent Blue, 'sipping Earl Grey from a cracked cup'.
Both anthologies have work by well known and published writers, like Shirley Corlett who writes prize-winning novels for young adults. Her spoof about Cinderella's encounter with her fairy godmother would not shame Terry Pratchett. Her poetry is well crafted with an ascerbic aftertaste. But there are delights by lesser known writers too, like Lola Ogg's Parliamentary Lettuce, full of subtle puns. In Iridescent Blue Sue Parker's story about a pair of 'Poms' in Crete is funny, brilliantly crafted.
So why not join a writers' group in 2010? There is absolutely nothing short of chilbirth to lift the spirits with the joy of creation. English writer Dave Swann tutors a writing group in Nottingham Goal. He talks of the unbeliving delight he sees when someone who has been illiterate sees his own work in print.
I tutor groups of old people who are writing the stories of their lives. They might never be published, although Radio New Zealand has an interesting slot called 'As I remember' but once they are written down the stories of what it was like to live in our times are there for people in the future to discover. One of the ladies living in a rest home in Massachussetts remarked to me, 'When an old persoon dies it's as though a full library has burned down.' Think abot that.