Last Monday at Skelmersdale Writers Group Gary Skyner, (top left in the picture) Liverpool comedy actor came to speak. I’d been expecting someone who would enlighten me as to the world of comedy writing, something I’ve only occasionally dabbled in and find difficult. But things don’t always turn out to be what you expect. Gary was the second UK baby to be born in the sixties with terrible deformities due to the drug thalidomide. Both his arms lack elbows and he has one short arm and the other is even shorter, with deformities to his fingers also. Despite this he has had numerous jobs and careers, has fought and helped win compensation for thalidomide victims from the drug company who marketed the drug and continues to campaign. He holds a pilot’s licence and is a well known stand up comedian in Liverpool and has appeared many times on national television in both his acting capacity and as a campaigner. Gary’s talk to us, in detailing his own life, focused on doing the best you can and making the effort to achieve and never give up. He didn’t try to teach us how to write but how to approach our work with determination and positive thinking. I came home thinking how the other week I was inspired by meeting Maggie Gee and now my motivation gets another boost from this unexpected quarter. I have been writing well all week as a result so I think it goes to show the value of networking and getting out among other people, not necessarily just writers and it also made me give some thought to encouraging other writers when I am out and about on my travels.