Tuesdays With Story
WRITER’S MAIL for September 28, 2012
Good Words from Way Back
“The train ran on and on. It came to the place where the railroad tracks run off into the blue sky. And it ran on chick chick-a-chick chick-a-chick chick-a-chick.
Sometimes the engineer hooted and tooted the whistle. Sometimes the fireman rang the bell. Sometimes the open-and-shut of the steam hog’s nose choked and spit pfisty-pfoost, pfisty-pfoost, pfisty-pfoost. But no matter what happened to the whistle and the bell and the steam hog, the train ran on and on to where the railroad tracks run off into the blue sky. And then it ran on and on more and more.”
–from “How They Broke Away to Go to the Rootabaga Country” in Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg (1922)
September 25 Meeting: Welcome Magical Offspring!
Josh who? Second-and-Fourth’s mystery solved: “My last name is Miller, and my genre is fantasy. I normally tell people about my writing, `If you can imagine C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling having a child together….’” Although fantastic, such an event is not beyond imagining. For the punch line, ask Josh Miller. Welcome Josh!
For the meeting notes below, please thank Katelin Cummins for recording and Pranita Raju for editing.
First up, Rebecca Rettenmund read from Chapter 12 of The Cheese Logue. Jen Wilcher thought it was good and tight, but the word “hey” in the beginning poem wasn’t necessary. Pranita, Katelin, and Josh all agreed that some sentences seemed redundant and could be removed. Josh liked the pacing, but the line about Cheese Days happening on even years was somewhat long. He suggested changes for better rhythm. Pranita thought there was a good mix of exposition and dialogue, but sometimes the transition between the two was jarring. Josh thought the part where they look at the cheese underneath the bread was an example where the exposition was done well. He suggested varying the sentence style more to keep good pacing. Katelin liked the image of the dollar bills on the ceiling and how it introduced Cheese Days, and Pranita enjoyed the conversation between Rebecca and Isaiah.
Second, Pranita Raju read the short story, “Beaches and Bears.” Jen said there were several paragraphs in which the viewpoint changed several times, and suggested making new paragraphs for different viewpoints. There were many nice descriptions, but some of the paragraphs got long. She also cautioned against frequent use of the same word in the same or connecting passages. Jen also wanted more from the mother, who wasn’t mentioned as much as other characters and so was hard to track. Rebecca and Jen felt like the story could be a little kid’s picture book, but words like “tentative” were too adult for a child’s viewpoint. Katelin liked all the detail about the sand on the beach, but felt like the sand wasn’t important to the story overall. The ocean, bear, and sand toys seemed more important. Rebecca suggested that the character Amber could bring sand to Pukka first, to both tie in the sand and foreshadow the ending. Josh liked the line “The sky looked closer,” but thought that sometimes the perspective would slip away from what a child would say. Rebecca was confused about how far away the ocean was from the sand, wondering whether Amber was going to have to run a mile in order to get there. Katelin thought some of the parent’s lines were awkward. She also noted that the story could be slimmed down in general. The group agreed that the story did accomplished getting the reader into the mind of a child.
Who’s Up Next?
October 2: Rebecca Rettenmund (chapter 13, The Cheese Logue), Bob Kralapp (?), Judith McNeil (short story, part 3, “The Man with the Broken Heart”), Lisa McDougal (chapter, Follow the Yellow), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 18-20, Rage). One slot remains open. To join the reading list, contact Jerry.
October 9: Josh Miller (Prologue, A Chronicler’s Tale: Awakening), Karen Zethmayr (short story, “The Oak Arena”), Rebecca Rettenmund (Chapter 13, The Cheese Logue), Carol Hornung (?). To join the reading list, contact Carol Hornung at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 16: Andy Brown (chapter 3, Lo’s Quarter), Amber Boudreau (chapter 11, Noble), Millie Mader (chapter 39, Life on Hold), Pat Edwards (?), Aaron Boehm (film script, part 4, “Stealing from Yourself”), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 21-23, Rage).
To read or reschedule reading:
• First-and-Third Tuesdays, contact Jerry Peterson
• Second-and-Fourth Tuesdays, contact Carol Hornung
Spike’s First Novel: Free for Your Review
TWS member Spike Pedersen’s first novel At First Light is available as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon paperback version is coming out soon. Congratulations Spike!
How to get a free copy of At First Light: First, join Smashwords.com (https://www.smashwords.com/), which is quick, easy, and free.
Then, as Spike advises: “Just search my book (At First Light) and apply the coupon code AN25H when you go to purchase the book. Smashwords sells a version that will work with the different e-readers, and your computer also. You just need to check-mark the tablet (or PC) from a list.”
This editor used the coupon code (AN25H) to purchase and download the PDF version (less than 1.5mb), including the cover, shown below.
Spike’s request: “In exchange for the free copy, I would appreciate a review posted on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/, Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/), Smashwords.com, or Goodreads.com (http://www.goodreads.com/, a book lovers website), or more than just one site!
“The reviews are very important to persons browsing for a book to purchase. Both in terms of the browser putting the book in front of them, and them evaluating the book for purchase. Especially with new authors like us.
“I think you will find some of your thoughts and ideas from your contributions to this book!
Thanks everyone! – Spike
Short Story Writers, This Is for You . . .
Jerry Peterson offers a reminder: “We’re writing stories of the supernatural for our October Fifth Tuesday writing challenge. Here’s the reminder: Prime yourself by first writing a ghost story for the Wisconsin Life Flash Fiction Ghost Story contest… 600 words max and a deadline of October 7.”
Email your story to email@example.com and be sure to include your name, address, and phone number with your submission.
No money if you win, but your story will be recorded by a team of WPR of radio actors and audio engineers, then broadcast. For more information, go to WPR’s Flash Fiction page at http://wilife.tumblr.com/flashfiction.
Fifth Tuesday: Submit Your Shocker Now!
Creak, rattle, moan…. Or, just bump us in the night at Fifth Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 p.m., 702 Emerson Street, Madison. That’s the home of Rebecca Rettenmund’s mother Victoria Horn – thanks again!
Our host is TWS Second-and-Fourth, so please let Carol Hornung know what you plan to bring for the potluck feast. Contact Carol to provide:
• Hot dishes, cold dishes, dessert — all welcome!
• Plastic silverware
• Cold drink cups
• Hot drink cups
• Soft drinks (soda)
Rattling our chains on Fifth Tuesday will be publisher of Tyrus Books and TWS alum Ben LeRoy. He’ll hear us ready our Fifth Tuesday challenge: A story, poem, essay, or short film script of the supernatural, which includes a ghost, a vampire, a werewolf, a witch, or any combination, or some other unreal critter.
Send your treat by October 26 — 250 words max – to Jerry Peterson.
Great Words from the Wordsmith
From Wordsmith Anu Garg: Yoda of the Star Wars universe once advised, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Clearly, by saying “Do,” he was exhorting one to take action. But in English the word “try” is also a verb, an action word. And not to quarrel with the wise Yoda, but sometimes to choose not to do is also a form of action. I here arm you with five verbs and send you on your way to do, to do not, or to try. Go explore faraway galaxies or your corner of the world.
• Crepitate… PRONUNCIATION: (KREP-i-tayt). MEANING: verb intr.: To make a crackling or popping sound. ETYMOLOGY: From Latin crepitare (to crackle), frequentative of crepare (to rattle, crack). Earliest documented use: 1623. USAGE: “John Grisham’s sentences thud and crepitate all over the page, and he has become a literary tycoon.”– Gene Weingarten; The Fiddler in the Subway; Simon & Schuster; 2010.
• Ramify… PRONUNCIATION: (RAM-i-fy). MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To divide into branches. ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ramus (branch). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wrad- (root) which also sprouted words such as root, wort, licorice, radical, radish, rutabaga, eradicate, and deracinate. Earliest documented use: 1425. USAGE: “Andrew offered to read me a handful of passages from the manuscript … which had ramified so uncontrollably that it was turning into several distinct projects.”– Nicolas Rothwell; The Red Highway; Black Inc.; 2009.
• Ameliorate… PRONUNCIATION: (a-MEL-yuh-rayt, uh-MEE-lee-). MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To make or grow better; to improve. ETYMOLOGY: From Latin melior (better). Earliest documented use: 1767. USAGE: “An offhand allusion to luggage problems and the presentation of his `platinum preferred’ credit card had seemed to ameliorate most of the doubts about his desirability as a guest.”– Carole Buck; A Bride for Saint Nick; Silhouette Books; 1996.
• Adhibit… PRONUNCIATION: (ad-HIB-it). MEANING: verb tr.:1. To let in; admit.2. To administer.3. To affix or attach. ETYMOLOGY: From Latin adhibere (to bring to), from ad- (to) + habere (to have, hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghabh- (to give or to receive), which is also the source of give, gift, able, habit, prohibit, due, duty, and habile. Earliest documented use: 1528. USAGE: “Morgiana asked the druggist for more medicine and essences such as are adhibited to the sick when at death’s door.”– Translator: Richard Burton; Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves.
• Decorticate… PRONUNCIATION: (dee-KOR-ti-kayt). MEANING: verb tr.: To remove the outer layer, such as the bark, husk, rind, etc.ETYMOLOGY: From Latin decorticare (to peel), from de- (from) + cortex (bark). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sker- (to cut), which is also the source of skirt, curt, screw, shard, shears, carnage, carnivorous, carnation, sharp, scrape, and excoriate. Earliest documented use: 1611.USAGE: “The idea, the sensation, the moment of intuition are decorticated and communicated with intimacy and lucidity.”– Marguerite Dorian; Demon in Brackets; World Literature Today; Jun 1995.
– Thanks to Jerry Peterson!
Writer’s Mail: Duty Roster
Get wiser wit da woids… edit Writer’s Mail for a month by joining the schedule below.
• October – Carol Hornung,
• November – Elect yourself!
• December – Clayton looking at the Mayan calendar!
• January – Still here? How about editing as your New Year resolution?
Join up with an e-mail to Carol and send her content for the next issue of Writer’s Mail. Thank you!
The Last Word: “Nothing a Pig Loves More…”
“There is nothing a pig loves more than a good bath, with a loofah and plenty of soap flakes…. There is something delightfully lovable about a really clean pig, in clean yellow straw.” –Barbara Woodhouse in Talking to Animals (1954)
Send your Writer’s Mail contributions to Carol. Thank you!