Unofficial Ekphrasis Report, 01.06.2014 – A Very Small Meeting

post by Andrew Stirling MacDonald

The original plan was to skip our monthly Ekphrasis meeting, since our usual time fell only one week after our [extremely successful] Holiday Party.  However, some of the more social event-craving members (mainly myself and Marian B.) decided that we wanted to go ahead and have a meeting anyway.  The space was already reserved, and we wanted to meet, even if it was a smaller group than usual.  I served as “substitute official tyrant” in Sørina’s absence.

In attendance were myself, Marian B., Nick M., Betsy G. and Curt D.  Since it was such a small group, we were considerably more relaxed in pacing our presentations.  Before any real work was done, lively discussions about biker events and Quentin Tarantino filled our first hour of interaction.  Nick M. has a background in journalism, but hasn’t written anything presentable for several years.  He said that he hoped participating in this group would inspire him to begin writing again, since he needs “to be poked a bunch” before beginning to think creatively again.
“I will poke you.  Many times,” was my reply.
exile
We had a brief discussion about Exile, a web series that I produce.  Although I haven’t formally presented any of it to the group, both Betsy and Marian had seen parts of it.
Marian B. started us off officially for the night, finishing the chapter she’d begun at the holiday party.  The chapter brought back a particularly angry and bloodthirsty character.  Curt D. expressed some concern for the responsibilities of an author.  Being an anti-war activist, he recommended that Marian employ her power to end the bloodshed and war in her novel as soon as possible.  Marian’s response?
“I am pro-war.”
We took a short break for tea, and an argument about the virtues (or lack thereof) of Jane Austen’s body of work sprang up.  I gave my opinion about Pride & Prejudice (against) and Emma (she’s basically Bella Swan but, if possible, more boring).  Betsy and Marian heartily disagreed with my assessments.  Nick M. reminded us all of the wise words of Mark Twain:
Curt D. was the next to perform a piano piece for us; he played his own arrangement of “Travelling Blues.”  His arranged an intro to the song based off of the Moonlight Sonata, but dropped an 8th note from every measure.  The arrangement also worked “We Three Kings” into it, keeping with the travelling motif.
I followed Curt, singing Tom Waits’ “A Flower’s Grave” and accompanying myself on piano.  Sadly, I grossly misjudged the acoustics in the room, and was told that my voice could barely be heard.  We will have to hook up a microphone next time.
Betsy G. presented our final work for the night, the sixth chapter in her re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast.”  Her “beast” character began to show his first tiny hints of reform in this chapter, and another character Betsy has been working to make more mischievous really began to show her new personality.
Finally, I brought in a drawing-in-progress that my brother David was in the process of finishing.  We gave him several notes on the work.
The group was much smaller than usual, but no less vivacious, and having a smaller group did offer some opportunities to spend more time delving into the various works presented.  Thanks for reading, and see you in a month!
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About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a writer, English teacher, and Inklings scholar. Sørina serves as Chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Signum University and teaches English at King's College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. She has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" and "Caduceus."

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