After an extended hiatus, we seem to be back in business, and I’m hoping the time has given everyone the opportunity to cool off a bit. The last meeting of the writer’s group ended in a bit of a huff, with Humphrey presenting his collection of short stories that he swore were not political, but ended up being all about how Australia and New Zealand need to join as a single nation, exclude Tasmania, and become a part of the British neo-empire.

As if the politics weren’t bad enough, Kaylee made the mistake of saying that naming the main character Humphrey was a blatant author-insert, Humphrey became incensed, he insulted Kaylee and her stories set in kitchens where the restaurant quality ovens and stoves were described in painstaking detail that went on for many pages (it’s true…Kaylee loves her restaurant, a little too much, and it comes out in her writing), and then it was just a mess of everyone picking someone to defend and attack. Then Sheila took the opportunity to finish off the entire bowl of tiramisu, by herself…somehow.

I hope Humphrey and Kaylee have sorted themselves out in the meantime. I like descriptions of how a commercial wok burner lightly glistens in the heat of the kitchen while its flickering flame gently illuminates the slow, steady silent commercial grill as much as the next person, but if Kaylee wants to come to a critique group, she needs to learn that her work is going to be critiqued.

Humphrey needs to learn that Kaylee loves her commercial kitchen equipment so much that it’s going to come out in her writing at various points, and that he’s really no different because he can’t seem to write anything with inserting his neo-anarchist views. So, less of the imperialism from Humphrey, and cut down on the description of sweating over restaurant deep fryers for Kaylee. Just a little bit; not all at once.

And Sheila? Sheila needs to have her shoes nailed to the floor as soon as she walks in, so that she can’t help herself to the entire snack table.