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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
September 8, 2016

 

The first word . . .

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.” – Stephen King (1947- ), novelist/short story writer

 

Millie Mader, published author!

Said Millie in a recent note, “Just letting you all know that my novel is now available on Nook and Kindle!!!! Without Pat’s help it could never have been published. I did credit Tuesdays, and I thank all of you for the years of helpful critiques – especially Jerry.”

Here are the links so you can download Millie’s ebook, Baby Blue:

– Kindle . . . Baby Blue on Kindle

– Nook . . . Baby Blue on the Nook

Now do one more thing. Go to Millie’s book pages on Amazon and B&N and post a review of Baby Blue.

 

Who’s up next . . . Continue Reading »

Fifth Tuesday stories
August 30, 2016
Writing challenge: A superhero makes a career change. Do not identify the superhero you select in your story, but do plant enough clues that readers can guess who it is.

Max length: 500 words

Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
August 17, 2016

The first word . . .

“Writing isn’t a hobby. It’s hard work.” – Jessie Burton (1983- ), British novelist

 

Who’s up next . . .

August 23:

August 30: Fifth Tuesday!

September 6: Pat Edwards (???), Randy Slagel (part ???, “Watered-Down Witch”), Amber Boudreau (chapter 7, The Dragoneer), John Schneller (chapter 5, Final Stronghold), Mike Austin (chapter, Before I Leave), and Bob Kralapp (poem, “March Morning at the Library”).

September 13:

September 20:  Millie Mader (poem), Hannah Marshall (poems), Nora O’Reilly (chapter, Bill McCormick’s Bliss), Eva Mays (chapter, Dhuoda), Judith McNeil (???), Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), and Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road).

 

Tuesday eve at the B&N . . .

A dozen first-and-thirders circled up to critique three poems, a short story, and a whole bunch of chapters. Here are the results:

–  Millie Mader (poem, “Ballad of the Tower) . . . My poem seemed quite well received. We had visited The Tower on three separate occasions, and were always fascinated with it and the history it held. An interesting sight was Henry The Eighth’s suits of armor.. His youthful vestment was slim and attractive. The one from his late years was huge!

Hannah Marshall (poems, “Gerontology” and “Thunderstorm”) . . . editor’s note: These two poems were received to high acclaim, and a request voiced to merge the two titles on Hannah’s next submission. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
August 7, 2016

 

Who’s up next . . .

August 9:

August 16: Mike Austin (chapter, Before I Leave), Millie Mader (poem), Hannah Marshall (poems), Nora O’Reilly (chapter, Bill McCormick’s Bliss), Eva Mays (chapter, Dhuoda), Judith McNeil (???), and Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel).

August 23:

August 30: Fifth Tuesday!

September 6: Pat Edwards (???), Randy Slagel (part ???, “Watered-Down Witch”), Amber Boudreau (chapter 5, The Dragoneer), John Schneller (chapter 4, Final Stronghold), Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road), Bob Kralapp (poem, “March Morning at the Library”), and Jerry Peterson (???).

 

Around the circle at B&N Westside . . .

Here are the first-and-third writers who had pieces up for critiques Tuesday evening:

Pat Edwards (poem, “Insomnia”) . . . Over all feedback was positive with most people wondering if the character was really awake or if she was dreaming.  Amber recommended the first line be changed to reflect that wondering.

Amber Boudreau (chapter 4, The Dragoneer) . . . Chapter 4 of the Dragoneer was well received in general. Pat had a problem with the protagonist being fine with collecting rocks for the wyvern, just some comment about this being her new normal would be helpful. She also didn’t like the line about the radio. Eva and others wondered what the officer had to say to Ansel, but the author is not saying. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 22, 2016

 

gauld — Tom Gauld

 

Sizzlin’ Summer Round-up from 1st/3rd

Kashmira Seth submitted the first three chapters of Journey to Swaraj, HF set in 1930, India. These were revised chapters and most people found them moving along well. There was some discussion about a few cultural things and about buffalos! Since Kashmira grew up next to people who kept buffaloes she hopes she was able to answer the questions correctly.

The group generally liked Judith McNeils’s “The Lettuce Bug and Me”, a short children’s book.  Suggestions to change the title and to work out a better rhyme on page 3 where it got “bumpy” and out of sync.  Kashmira offered to give Judith a couple of references to publishers who specialize in children’s books, when she’s ready.

Nora O’Reilly – The group reviewed the second chapter of Bill McCormick’s Bliss. They suggested that in the scene when Bill flashes back to biking down Charter Street and viewing the destruction following the Sterling Hall bombing that I make several changes. The use of the word ‘rubble’ might be inappropriate. Also honing in on a specific personal item that charred but intact may focus the reader’s lens on the sadness of the event. I also need to be careful with flashbacks, making sure there is a logical, if small, cue to trigger the character’s memory. Also the knees, not thighs, of the sixty-year old monk would ‘beg for reprieve.’ And lastly, I must be parsimonious with my use of both adjectives and adverbs except in dialogue.
I love all the honest feedback, I have a long way to go, but I’m enjoying the ride!

Hannah Marshall’s poems “Boys” and “Unexpected” were both well received by the group. The majority of the discussion revolved around the last couple of stanzas in “Boys.” Nora questioned if “the knight” might be better as “a knight,” Pat asked for more concrete examples, and the word choice “persistent” was questioned. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 8, 2016

 

“Right you lot, five minutes to get those pies out or it’s the workhouse for the lot of you.”Mel Giedroyc, The Great British Baking Show

 

1st/3rd continues to be THE place to be on Tuesday nights, with a large group gathered around the tables in the back to discuss writing.

Pat’s two poems were, overall, received well, although many thought “Duke” was a pet.  Some questions about the use of “tar baby” being a racial term were raised.  But that’s poetry, folks!

Amber’s Chapter 3 of The Dragoneer was received well. Hannah really enjoyed it, but found the protagonist to be more guarded than she would have liked, but perhaps that’s just the character and she will change as the story continues. Kashmira and Pat like the subtle introduction of sexual tension to the work between the main character and a set of twin brothers. Shel had an issue with the hammer Moira carried hitting her on the thigh and how she carried it. John had a question about the dragon biting Moira and when it happened relative to the beginning of the story, essentially spoiling it for everyone🙂

Shel’s “random thought” brought up a lot of good discussion about how the book could be organized (or not), the voice should be changed (or not), and whether explanation should be given for each pearl.

Kashmira’s novel end moved everyone.  Many commented on the single person perspective of the salt march to be very effective.

John’s chapter from Broken did confuse a few people with the horse names and some people gave suggestions for solving the problem.  A couple wanted more description of Leviathan.  All agree the ship section was well done.

Randy’s chapter wasn’t read by all, but there was a lively discussion about the “woman’s point-of-view” for a character. We talked about books to help with fundamentals like Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

 

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
June 28, 2016

 

Critiques from June 21st

Hannah Marshall

Repeating the Folly: Lots of great feedback on this poem; thanks everyone! Jerry noted that the word “stack” implied more cards than would fit inside a book, and Pat questioned some weaker word choices, including the verb “shattered” and the phrase “vinegar taste.” There were some great ideas for other words to use here; in my revisions, I now have “gall.” Spring without Flowers: We discussed some pronoun/antecedent agreement in the first stanza, and Pat asked me to show more in the line about the toddler going swimming.

Millie Mader

Regarding my poem, it was quite well received. A couple suggested that the last sentence could be dropped. It was one of the few I’ve written that doesn’t rhyme.

Judith McNeil

Comments on “Just Visiting” go as follows: Jerry wanted consideration given to having thoughts of the main characters be formal when they are in the non-physical and casual with contractions, etc., when in the physical. Use of the word “corporal” or “corpus” or “corporeal” when referring to characters being “in body” or “out of body”. John suggested removing first sentence of story. Continue Reading »