Merry Christmas! As a special Christmas treat, we have not one but four members of Elementary Writers to share their 2013 memories with us. Thanks to Harry Gallagher, Jade Lambourne, James Tucker and Kay Wilson for getting involved.
Do you have a favourite memory that’s personal to you from 2013?
Jade: Scuba diving in Fuerteventura.
James: Having coffee and conversation while sat out in a sunny garden with a pretty girl and two cats (most of the conversation was with the girl, in case you’re wondering). OK so the girl in question is more my surrogate sister than a romantic prospect, but it was still very nice.
Kay: Giving my mam my finished book for her 90th birthday (its all about me!)
Harry: Walking with a soaking other half on Tynemouth Longsands in the Summer, after she’d chosen to take a dip fully clothed, laughing my head off and thinking that it really is the small things…
And how about a favourite moment from 2013 generally?
Harry: The final glorious demise of the Tory witch queen.
Jade: Miley Cyrus’ controversial performance at the VMAs.
Kay: Just the whole lovely hot summer.
James: Typing “The End” on a novel draft and going “You know, I’m quite pleased with that.”
Favourite book in 2013?
Harry: ‘We Need to Talk About Alan’, the Alan Partridge mock autobiog. Strange choice I know but beautifully written with superb attention to detail.
Kay: ‘The Enchanted April’ by Elizabeth Von Arnim.
James: Toss up between ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynn Truss and ‘The Hydrogen Sonata’ by Iain M Banks of blessed memory.
Jade: ‘To the Grave’ – Steve Robinson.
Favourite film of 2013?
Jade: ‘Captain Philips’ or ‘Gravity’… no, ‘Gravity’ definitely.
Harry: ‘Skyfall’. Best Bond film for I don’t know how long and the revelation that Judi Dench’s M is actually a mother figure was brilliantly handled.
Kay: ‘Despicable Me 2’.
James: ‘Wreck-it Ralph’. Seems all the best stuff is nominally for children these days…
Favourite song of the year?
Jade: Haim – ‘Don’t Save Me’.
Harry: Sting – ‘The Last Ship’.
James: As often, my fave music is rediscovered from the past: ‘Robbing Charity’ by Curve.
Kay: ‘When I Was Your Man’, Bruno Mars.
Any downsides for you in 2013?
Jade: Turning 22.
Harry: Too many – the continuation of this government, the tabloid press, the continued slide of the general public into mean spirited territory…
James: All the usual ones, there are so many I’ll do an upside instead: actual progress cutting down on smoking and associated badnesses.
Kay: Realising writing was such hard work…
Are you making resolutions for 2014?
Harry: None except Churchill’s favourite – KBO (Keep Buggering On!).
Jade: Nope, just be happy and do things I enjoy a lot more.
James: I have given up resolutions because I break them and they become meaningless. I am taking up hoping instead: to actually start swimming against the tide again.
What are you hoping for from 2014?
Jade: Further my career, find more hobbies I enjoy.
Harry: To still be here at the end of it.
James: To get a tolerable part-time job, to get onto the route to publication, just possibly to find the right girl.
Kay: Not original but effective, health and happiness.
If Santa was to bring you any one thing you wanted on Xmas morning, what would it be?
Jade: A puppy.
Harry: That my shift at Crisis Newcastle is unneeded and there are no homeless people needing food, help and warmth. Seeing as last Christmas Day we had c.300 through the door and taking into account the massive increase in food parcel usage since, it seems highly likely to be the other way round.
Kay: An ability to write great comedy.
James: A Culture drone with a connection back to a benevolent mind. We’d sort out tons of stuff, starting with a variety of diseases and afflictions. More realistically: A letter offering a book deal. No really: A bug-free computer and word processor. Come to think of it, maybe getting published is more likely…
Elementary Writers meet at Di Meo’s Delaval Ices in Whitley Bay every Thursday, 4:30-6:30pm. I also run a Creative Writing session at Quilliam Brothers Teahouse in Newcastle every Monday, 7-9pm. If you’d like to come to either session, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org