Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Official Minutes of "The Mad Ones"

Statement of Purpose:

The Nature of this group is similar to that of the Inklings. We share our writing with each other as well as excerpts that can be literary criticisms or examples of how not to write. This is to promote our understanding of literature, be it good or crappy literature.



Jonathan Vowell

Evan Johnson

Shelby Johnson

Katie Johnson

Aubrey Swanson


Date: February 28, 2009

Location: The Johnson Abode

Climate: Cold and gray and demanding of jeans and hoodies as a uniform



11:02 Miss Shelby Johnson moved that “The Mad Ones” be opened with prayer. The Mad Ones alternate prayer responsibilities. Prayers can either be a written prayer by the Mad One or by an official Mad One or an improvisational prayer.

11:05 Miss Katie Johnson offers to be the Mad One’s secretary, as she is the fastest typist and has the best sense of humor as regarding the conflicts between chaos and genius. Besides, it would make for lovely blog fodder.

11:06 Mr. Johnson moved that the Mad Ones have an open door policy as regarding new members. Mr. Vowell, however, moved that any members that do not have the appropriate regard for the improvement of their writing be asked to leave.

11:08 Miss Shelby Johnson requested that the Mad Ones have eight members only. She also said that with peer reviews, the Mad Ones be compassionate but honest.

11:09 Mr. Johnson moved that a Mad One can speak only when they are holding the magic golf ball. Miss Katie Johnson found this quite humorous and withheld sarcastic comment. Miss Shelby Johnson then went into a long winded speech which Katie missed the point of and then Shelby got embarrassed and stopped talking so Katie guesses it doesn’t matter anyway.

11:17 Mr. Johnson read a prayer by Thomas Merton

11:18 Mr. Vowell read a devotion by Samuel Daniel. This was done with great dramatic emphasis.

11:20 Mr. Johnson and Mr. Vowell proceed to have a tug of war over Mr. Vowell’s subway sandwich.  

11:21 Miss Shelby Johnson announced to her astonished siblings that she is in the process of writing a novel. Said novel is exploring the problems of a boy growing up in modern society filled with secularism and other shallow “isms” while watching his older sister self-destruct because she is encountered human problems about death and love and does not know how to deal with it because of the problems of modern society and the modern church. (Mr. Johnson reminded Miss Johnson of her need for the mystical golf ball. Miss Katie Johnson once again withheld comment.)

11:23 Miss Aubrey Swanson arrives late. She reads the minutes and finds that it is difficult to laugh over Miss Katie Johnson’s minutes without disturbing Miss Shelby Johnson’s novelistic soliloquy.

11:29 Mr. Johnson starts speaking foreign languages. Miss Shelby Johnson reminds the room that she has the mystical golf ball. She is backed up by Mr. Vowell and the meeting continues.

11:31 Sans golf ball, Miss Shelby Johnson begins to read an excerpt from her novel.

11:36 Miss Shelby Johnson blushes over curses in her novel. Mr. Vowell takes possession of the mystical golf ball in order to reassure this supposed breach of morality. Mr. Johnson makes some crack which wasn’t good enough for Miss Katie Johnson to record. Miss Shelby Johnson continues.

11:40 The Mad Ones stands in abject awe of Miss Shelby Johnson’s novel. They discuss the idea of descriptions. Mr. Vowell plays with the golf ball, which Miss Shelby Johnson takes away from him.

11:42 The golf all is passed off to Mr. Johnson because he greatly desires to see his basketball game. He then reads his poem entitled, “The Night Light.”

11:47 The golf ball is passed from place to place as the Mad Ones name their favorite lines of Mr. Johnson’s work.

11:48 Mr. Johnson’s dog howls at the Johnson grandmother. Mr. Johnson bids said hound to be quiet in the most genteel of terms. *cough*

11:49 The Mad Ones delicately critique Mr. Johnson’s word use. He accepts the criticism graciously—good for him. Mr. Vowell states that he likes the mystical golf ball. This is slightly disturbing for all involved, but the members of the Mad Ones ignore this. After all, genius can be slightly disturbing.

11:51 Both Misses Johnson shoot daggers with their eyes over their shared desire for the mystical golf ball, that they might speak. They are growled at by a jealous Mr. Vowell, who apparently desperately needs a girlfriend.

11:53 Mr. Vowell golf ball jumps Miss Katie Johnson’s turn. She is tempted to bite him, but restrains herself because she is not venomous, so therefore a bite wouldn’t be productive in any sense of the word.

12:10 Miss Katie Johnson shares an excerpt of C.S. Lewis’ writings. This spawns a whole conversation of imagery, fantasy and vampirism. Tangents, much?

12:18 Miss Swanson reads an excerpt of her novel. This is discussed heavily and Miss Shelby Johnson mentions several Gothic novels that Miss Swanson should read.

12:26 The Mad Ones exhort one another to write without trying to couch a sermon within a story. If we’re Christians and we also write, then Christ will be within our writing.

12:27 Miss Shelby Johnson reads a passage from “All the King’s Men.”

12:28 Miss Katie Johnson read an excerpt from her Fanfiction that was pertinent.

12:38 The Mad Ones approve of the chapter and discuss the various ways in which a point can be made in a story—through imagery, dialogue and character development.

12:39 Mr. Vowell gained the golf ball in order to read his own works. (Miss Shelby Johnson moved that readings work in opposite directions for meetings; whoever ended one meeting would begin the next meeting in order to ensure that all Mad Ones be given plenty of time to have the floor.)

12:46 Miss Shelby Johnson demands (“practically standing on a chair and screaming,” inputs Miss Swanson, who is the minute’s biggest fan) that Mr. Vowell finish his short story on the fundamentalist pity-or-hate character Harry Folkman, causing Mr. Vowell to blush and promise to try.

12:50 Miss Shelby Johnson moves that Mr. Vowell read one more of his shorter passages so that the meeting can be concluded in a timely manner, allowing the members to enjoy well-earned bowls of chili and a basketball game. She offers Mr. Vowell the consolation of opening the next meeting. Mr. Vowell agrees and so does as he is told.

12:56 Miss Katie Johnson, while greatly moved by Mr. Vowell’s story, moves that the meeting be concluded because of the rumblies in her tumbly. The meeting was pronounced a great success and another meeting scheduled to occur on the next Saturday hence.