Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Captains Log 30th August 2017



Mon Kapitan Les
Five yesterday – Tracey, Sonia, Judy, Terry and me. Apologies from KT, Julee and Janeen. With long distance Kevin lurking on the email.

Terry’s Voss is doing very well and I hear on the grapevine that Tracey’s Ruby (great to see Tracey pounding the old keyboard again with such vigour) is considering hiring him.

As you can imagine, with three chapters and a poem to critique, the potential for open warfare and bloodshed was huge. 

However, apart from a sprained wrist (from warding off comments), some cuts, bruises and dented ego’s, all went well.

Another great session, with lots of chats and constructive comments, all designed to improve our writing skills.

Next week is Mathew. I have no idea what he has in line for us but I guess it’ll be interesting.

Hope to see you all next week.

Until then, Fred være med dig.


Regards Les

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Captains Log 23rd August 2017


Today was ‘Exercise Day’. On parade we had, Tracey, Sonia, Judy (welcome back), Terry and me. Sadly, KT had hurt her back, Julee had a doctor’s appointment and Janeen was studying for an exam.

We started off with a general chit chat about, of all things, just how useless Qantas Frequent Flyer points are. After we’d had enough of that, we started work.

For this week, I devised an exercise on words to avoid when writing. I gave an example of a piece of writing full of bad words and invited everyone to re-write it and remove the bad words. While not mind boggling it did give us all pause to reflect on the words we use in our stories.

Tracey had given me a topic – A car found thirty years after the crash. We all wrote a short piece, using the first exercise as a guide. As per usual, when we do these impromptu stories, some good results were achieved and more than one of them could be easily turned into a short story.

The exercise can be found on our Writing Exercise page in the next couple of days.

All in all, it was a thought provoking session which, I hope, will improve everyone’s writing.
Hope to see you all next week. Until then, aapako shaanti mile


Regards Les

Just posted:

Writing Exercise Link:   

Members Stories Link:   

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Captains Log 17th August 2017

My Dear Wordies,

As always, a great day yesterday (even though I was outnumbered), with Tracey, Sonia, KT, Janeen and me in attendance. Judy isn’t back yet, Kevin was an apology (although he was with us in spirit and sent in two excellent critiques) and Julee had to look after our migraine afflicted granddaughter. Terry was also an apology as he is suffering, ‘Man Flue’. But he dragged himself out of his sickbed, crawled over to his computer and sent in his critiques this morning. Dedication deserving of much praise. Thanks Terry, much appreciated.

We also had a surprise visit from Caitlin, a past member who had to abandon us to complete her studies. For those who know her, you’ll be interested to know that she has a deal going with Penguin on her Batman/Robin style book.

I was ganged up on almost from the get go and forced to suffer the stings of my critique first. I must confess, even though I was expecting a Battle Royale, it proved to be a skirmish with only a dozen band aids required. Thank you, everyone, your input was, as usual, spot on and you will be pleased to know that I have addressed all the issues you raised.

On the conclusion of my critique, my chapter reared up, pawed the air with its hoofs and with a, ‘Hi Ho Silver Away,’ raced off into the sunset (that was for Tracey).

Next, it was Tracey’s turn. Her chapter proved to be a hit, with everyone overjoyed that she’s stopped mucking around and is back in the saddle again (a motorbike though, not a horse). She did pretty well, with a few good suggestions to push her chapter forward and very little bloodshed.
When her chapter rode off on its bike, Tracey admired the view. It was definitely a whole lot of chapter (for Tracey again).

As Yoda would say, ‘Good chapter that was, Tracey. Herh, herh, herh.’

Next week is EXERCISE WEEK. So be afraid, be very afraid. No critiques, so if you have anything to send me, it will be held over until the following week.

Until then, as Yoda would say’ ‘With you peace be.  Yes, hmmm.’


Regards Les

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Captains Log 3rd August 2017

Captain's Log 3rd August 2017

Crew Assembled for Mathew’s Monthly session:

Tracey, KT, Julee, Janeen, Terry and including our leader, Les. Apologies from Sonia, Judy and Kevin.

Today, we had a general chit chat about the contracts some of us went into at Mathew’s last session. Tracey is firing with both barrels, shooting off her first chapter for some time, ready for critique next week. Yahoo. And I’m on track to complete the first draft of The Covent Garden Nun by December.
We touched on Mathew’s challenge to put some short stories into various competitions. Several members have submitted stories, let’s see what happens there. Good luck everyone.

Mathew pointed out that the Melton Word Fest is running from the 19th to 26th August. Lots to see and do. Keep the evening of Monday the 21st free as Tracey is going to try to book us in for a trivia night at the Caroline Springs Library.

The session finished with a flash fiction task to write something to the theme of: ‘My Happy Piece’ and we had ten minutes to complete. We had mixed results, all of them good. Some of us have our stories published on our Members Stories blog page. Today was an afternoon with lots of fun and good fellowship.

I am attaching my next chapter and we already have Tracey’s offering, so that gives us two to critique for next week.

So, until then - An tsíocháin a bheith in éineacht leat.

Regards Les





Thursday, 27 July 2017

Captains Log 26th July 2017

Crew Assembled for Mathew’s Monthly session: 
Tracey, KT, Julee, Janeen, Terry including our Captain, Les. Apologies from Sonia, Judy and Kevin.

Today, we had a general chit chat about the contracts some of us went into at Mathew’s last session. Tracey is firing with both barrels, shooting off her first chapter for some time, ready for critique next week. Yahoo. And I’m on track to complete the first draft of The Covent Garden Nun by December.
We touched on Mathew’s challenge to put some short stories into various competitions. Several members have submitted stories, let’s see what happens there. Good luck everyone.

Mathew pointed out that the Melton Word Fest is running from the 19th to 26th August. Lots to see and do. Keep the evening of Monday the 21st free as Tracey is going to try to book us in for a trivia night at the Caroline Springs Library.

The session finished with a flash fiction task to write something to the theme of: ‘My Happy Piece’ and we had ten minutes to complete. We had mixed results, all of them good. Some of us have our stories published on our Members Stories blog page. Today was an afternoon with lots of fun and good fellowship.

I am attaching my next chapter and we already have Tracey’s offering, so that gives us two to critique for next week.

So, until then - An tsíocháin a bheith in éineacht leat.

Regards Les









Captain's Log 26th July 2017


G’day Everyone,

It was a small group today, with Julee, Janeen, Terry and me attending.

Sonia, Judy, Tracey and KT were apologies and Kevin was missing in action. Lena will be off the books until October as she has managed to secure a part time job for the next three months.

First up, we had a chat about Janeen’s story. It appears to be coming along nicely and she has some interesting new layout developments, which I think will add an exciting twist to her story.

Then we worked through the three critiques, one each from Julee, Terry and me.
Each chapter was discussed and critiques given. There were many good suggestions given and small errors highlighted, all designed to help the writer improve their story.

Mathew's week next week, so no critiques.'

Hope to see you all there.


Until then, amar amgalan ta nartai khamt baikh.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Judy Rigby does us proud

Wordsmiths of Melton love nothing more than sharing in the glory of one of our member's successes and today we are pleased to share Judy Rigby's latest triumph.

Judy left, has followed her City of Melton Short Story Competition glory with her short story, Overboard accepted in the latest edition of literary journal, Backstory.

To read Overboard, click on the link below:


To find more articles and stories, go to Judy's website via the following link.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Captains Log 20th July 2017

My Dear Fellow Writers,

An interesting day yesterday. Apologies from Sonia, Kevin, Lena and KT.
Tracey, Julee, Judy, Janeen, Terry and I discussed our three critiques:

Julee’s Chapter thirty-four, Janeen’s Chapter One, and my Chapter seven.

As always, lively comments and much good advice was passed on to the writers to use or disregard as they see fit.
I would like to thank everyone for the effort put into each critique, not an easy task as we all know.
On a personal note, I’d like to give an extra big ‘Thank You,’ for the good advice and kind words I was given about Lennie’s demise. His funeral is… Well, perhaps we won’t dwell on that.

We went a little overtime and were forcibly evicted by a group of ladies storming the room with cutlass and boarding pikes (well they knocked politely and were very nice. But doesn’t it sound better the other way?).

I’ve e-mailed my latest offering for your dissection. So, sharpen ya swords, load and cock ya muskets and prepare for battle. ‘Har, har, Me Hearties. We’ll pluck a crow.’


Regards Les




G’day Wordies,

Almost a full house today, with Tracey, Sonia, Julee, Janeen, Lena, Terry and me in attendance. Apologies from JT, Judy and Kevin.
We had three critiques today:
Sonia’s long-awaited critique of her Haiku piece went down well, with Tracey standing on the table and demanding, in fluent Japanese, that we include Haiku in a fun day. You little pocket rocket Tracey.

This proved a big hit
Was enjoyed by all today
Much more is required

Arigatō, Sonia. Well done.

Next was Julee’s chapter 33.
This splendid chapter caused much debate, with Robin being told to ‘Get your act together, or get out of the book.’ And Julee saying, ‘No. I need him. He’ll do better next chapter. I promise.’ I think her fingers were crossed behind her back, but I’m not sure.
Great chapter Julee, keep them rolling in.

Last in line was Lena’s Prologue.
A worthy piece of writing, dragged from another dimension to titillate our senses. This also caused much debate with sensible advice freely given from everyone.
Wow Lena, you certainly have everyone’s attention. Let’s see some more soon.

As to next week:

Julee’s next chapter is attached. Hot off the press.
Janeen will be submitting her revamped first chapter. I’ll send it on as soon as it hits my inbox.
And, once I get a few minutes, I’ll submit my next chapter.
That will give us three, which should keep us all busy.

As you all know, several of us went into contact mode with Mathew last week.
I would like to report that Tracey is up and running again, so we should be seeing some chapters rolling in there, ‘Yay, Tracey’.
And I am well on my way to completing my deadline of the first of December.

Look forward to seeing (nearly) everyone next Wednesday.

Regards Les








Almost a full house yesterday, with only Julee absent from place of parade.

We had one critique on the table. Danny’s first effort. A 5,000-word crime/comedy short story.
He received a lot of help and support and I do believe it was also a good exercise in critiquing for everyone. Well done Danny, we all look forward to seeing the rewrite in due course. I’d like to thank the Wordsmiths for once again, taking time out to read, critique and help to improve someone’s work.

After the critique, we did a fifteen-minute writing exercise, which, as per usual, produced some very interesting stories. In fact, I think that several of them could be expanded into competition pieces.

In the general discussion that followed, Sonia mentioned that she would like to do some more exercises, as well as fun days. I won’t try to hide the fact that I disagreed. I feel we are getting away from our core principal of critiquing. However, as I was the only dissenter, that is what we will do. I’ll work a new calendar out in the next day or so and email it out. Then Judy said we should do poetry. I shuddered, pouted and cried, but she was most insistent. So, be it on your own head (drum roll), I’m going to throw in a poetry exercise.

Next week (22nd) is a fun week, with both Tracey and Janeen bringing in an interesting exercise each for us.

See you all (except the ones I won’t) next week.

So, until then, Pax tibi Wordsmiths

Les