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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
September 22, 2017

 

Tuesday evening at B&N

B&N actually had a table for the nine writers who circled up to critique the works of our colleagues. Here are some summary notes of what was said:

  • Larry Sommers (prologue, untitled novel) . . . Jerry felt the initial scene with Maria in the parlor was a bit lifeless and too long, and the real interest did not pick up until the boathouse scene with Maria and Anders started. Pat suggested fewer speech tags; some can be simply eliminated and others replaced with action lines. Jack mentioned excessive length of some sentences and mentioned that he has a closet full of “ands” at home that he has removed from his own writings (I think he meant to imply that I should do the same, maybe replace some with full stops and new Caps.) Mike was not as bothered by the slow start in the parlor as others. He also mentioned a valuable resource book, Wisconsin My Home by Thurine Oleson, which I will surely read and mine for details. Thanks, everyone!
  • Paul Wagner (prologue rewrite, Rise of the Serpent) . . . Immensely helpful. Already putting some changes into my prologue and working into Chap One. Everyone was good and didn’t tell me too much o my face that it stunk(kidding)(mostly) I am about half-way getting thru all my “ands”, though i’m sure i’ll find a new home for them somewhere along the way. Also trying to make things a lil clearer and fix  some other mistakes that I don’t know how happened. All in all I was very happy with how it went
  • Mike Austin (chapters 19-20, Riding With the Reed Gang) I have few comments this time as I was very late submitting. Larry commented favorably on the writing style, comparing it to Patricia Highsmith. Millie was relieved (spoiler alert!) that the girls got away.
  • Jack Freiburger (poems, “Lucifer” and “”) . . .
  • Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapters 5-7 , untitled YA novel) . . . Overall comments were positive. Regarding memory scenes, Pat said that it’s fine to start in the past tense but once someone is on the ‘memory’ it can be in present tense. Larry thought that Kedar’s character as the poet is quite good, especially when Kedar is trying to remember MIr’s couplet. Pat had question regarding time line. Amber suggested putting dates so as to clarify timeline.

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
September 10, 2017

Tuesday evening at B&N

A baker’s dozen crowded into the story circle to critique the works of our colleagues. Here’s some of what was said:

  • Jack Freiburger (short story, part 5, “Jesus Walked into the IHOP”) . . .
  • Tracey Gemmell (chapters 19-21, Casa Something) . . . The new title option of ‘More or Less Annie’ was well received. The group considered the chapters witty and fast paced. Jerry expressed some concern that it took twenty one chapters for Annie to finally break out. However, in the story structure format Tracey is following, the switch from identity to essence typically occurs around this point. Others in the group felt the pacing was appropriate both for Annie’s character and British cultural expectations. Many thanks to all for your comments.
  • Katy Sullivan (fan fiction, part 2, The Night We Met) . . . I read the second part of Birthday Night, and some thought it was a bit slow. Suggestions others had adding dialogue to the flash back, add the mood of the song to the story, and bring in the senses. Bringing the senses will help the reader feel like they are there. From this one mentioned that smell brings back memories and to add memories with that aspect.
  • John Schneller (chapter 15, Final Stronghold) . . .Discussion centered around the length of middle grade novels for unpublished authors (90,000 words is too long). The possibility of splitting the story . . . and the alternate approach of pursuing a graphic novel.
  • Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapters 1-2 , untitled novel) . . .Amit and Kashmira mentioned that they are making their 1947 historical fiction a young adult novel. Pat enjoyed the details that are woven in the story. As a true British, Tracey loved the cricket scene.
  • Jerry Peterson (short story, “A new car for Boone”) . . . Jack Freiburger picked off a half-dozen problems, the largest of which was Boone asking the cop whether he was the kind who, like Norman Rockwell’s cop, hides behind billboards, waiting for speeders. “If the cop hadn’t been in World War II, Boone could really set him off by challenging him because he was,” Jack said. Pat Edwards, John Schneller and others wanted Boone to coin a line for Cronkite, the line “And that’s the way it is,” Cronkite’s signature line that he used to sign off his CBS Evening News broadcasts years later.

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Fifth Tuesday Stories

Fifth Tuesday stories
August 29, 2017
Writing challenge: Write a fishing story.

Max length: 500 words

The tree and He

Amit Trivedi

He poured himself a glass of wine and gazed outside through his window. The pain was still there, and he knew it would get worse. The long shadow of the barren oak tree reminded him of the long, unadorned tresses of a poor bride. What do I remind the tree of? he wondered.

They both had grown together – his father had planted the tree when he was born nearly ninety two years ago. He would not last much longer, but the tree had many years left to suffer!

Memories wrapped themselves in tears. He saw himself climbing the tree, gathering its leaves, tying a hammock and breaking his wrist when the rope had come loose. Instinctively, he touched his wrist and ran his finger over the mark that was still there. And he saw his wife lying in the hammock, reading Omar Khayyam.

There was the Door to which I found no Key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see;
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was – and then no more of Thee and Me.

“Do you remember?” he asked, looking at the framed picture of his wife next to Khayyam’s book. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays with Story

July 21, 2017

 

Muggy and Melty Summer Round-up from 1st/3rd

We had a guest from Oregon (the state), Summer Bird.  She is co-chair of a writing group in Willamette, Oregon and enjoyed her time visiting our group. Our guest from Oregon is children’s and short story writer. Summer invited us to read a selection of her stories at www.summerbirdstories.com and let her know our thoughts.

Millie Mader (short story, “The Gold Star and the Silver Star”) I wrote from a long ago memory of what I had been told, and searched high and low for the Post Crescent article. It was all true—but not accurate in a number of ways. Millie’s decided to abandon the piece and get on with her short story, Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 7, 2017

Tuesday evening at B&N

No meeting on the 1st Tuesday – July 4th.  Hope everyone had a safe and sane holiday.

Who’s up next

July 18: Millie Mader (short story, part 2, “Stone Cold Stripper”), Eva Mays (chapter 13, Dhuoda), Amber Boudreau (chapters 27-30, The Dragoneer), Mike Austin (chapters 10-13, Riding with the Reed Gang), John Stephens (chapter 2), and Jerry Peterson (short story, “Aboard a PT”), Pat Edwards (chapter, Hero’s Journey).

Set up a Google Alert to do Research for You

Google alerts will send you new web postings for any pages, sites, new books, scholarly articles, and even ads that include your search terms. Continue Reading »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
June 23, 2017

 

Tuesday evening at B&N

An even dozen of TWS writers crowded around the tables to review the work of seven of our colleagues. Here’s some of what they said:

  • Jen Wilcher (chapter 4, part 2, Hogoshiro Chronicles) . . .nothing submitted
  • Rebecca Rettenmund (new chapter 2, Hunting for Dad) . . .nothing submitted
  • Jack Freiburger (short story, part 3, “Jesus Walked inti the IHOP”) . . .nothing submitted
  • Tracey Gemmell (chapters 11-13, Casa Something) . . . I received several nice comments about how much readers were enjoying the story. The humourous parts are going over well. The metaphor of the jet skies bumping awkwardly was appreciated. Mike wasn’t convinced a kinked fuel line would cause the right effect so he has provided a stuck throttle sequence he feels works better. Jerry pointed out that George Hamilton may not go over well in the UK as he’s an unknown there. Rebecca stated I wrote well but she found the Pepto-Bismol chapter boring and she’d like to hear from Lester’s POV. Amber said she had few comments as the chapters felt polished. Many thanks for all your support.
  • John Schneller (chapters 13, Final Stronghold) . . . Final Stronghold chapter thirteen is a bit of a challenge due to all talk and little physical movement. Most were tolerant of this but the natives may be getting restless. Rebecca questioned whether the Emperor was really good, and some were not convinced that a beaver would know the origins of good and evil, but most who have worked their way through the saga stayed with the storyline. Thanks!
  • Amber Boudreau (chapters 24-26, The Dragoneer) . . . Amber submitted three chapters (24-26) this week in an effort to push her rewrite through. (The exciting conclusion can be found in the July 18 folder.) John found one particular moment ‘precious’, which makes Amber worry that it might stand out too much in a bad way. Pat wondered if Moira, being of mixed heritage, would be mindful of getting her hair wet in the shower. She also wanted to know how wide an Aryx is anyway. Kashmira, Tracey, and Pat thought Moira should really have a chance to relax at the dance before things go crazy. Larry disagreed and thought things moved along well. Pat, at least would like some more slow dancing.
  • Jerry Peterson (short story, “With Mac”) . . . Several pointed out that Ruck’s poker hand – aces over eights – is a dead man’s hand. Was that intended to foreshadow what might happen to Ruck later in the story, Larry Sommers asked. “Hadn’t thought about that,” said Jerry. “No, I’ll change Ruck’s hand. He’s not going to die.” John Schneller thought MacArthur’s last line at the end of the story should be cut to make for a better ending.

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
June 9, 2017

 

Tuesday evening at B&N

A baker’s dozen gathered around one teeny, tiny table to critique the work of seven of our colleagues. Here are the summaries:

  • Amber Boudreau (chapters 21-23, The Dragoneer) . . .
  • Millie Mader (short story, part 1, “Stone Cold Stripper”) . . .I received quite a lot of critiques on my opening chapter. Mostly to rearrange some of the paragraphs and to make it all more clear. I will start working on it this weekend. Thanks for taking on this job.  Millie
  • Eva Mays (chapter 12, Dhuoda) . . .The intrigue of the story starts to build up in Chapter 12. There were some character inconsistencies that need to be fixed. Kashmira pointed out that Dhuoda probably wouldn’t reveal what Gerberga told her with no provocation, and Mike thought she should be better at hiding her emotions at this point. Jerry mentioned that there wasn’t precicely “nothing” under the dead woman’s sleeve, and also that shears can’t actually clatter from someone’s hand. Thanks for the notes, everyone!
  • Mike Austin (chapters 10-13, Riding with the Reed Gang) . . .I received a lot of good input for my chapters of “Reed Gang.” There was some discussion of how disturbing Smitty is and whether that scene could be toned down a little or stay gritty. I also need to choose better and more varied names. There was much fun poked at the similarities, even making it sound like a Dr. Suess story. Thanks everyone for mocking me! But seriously, yes, I do need to work at that. The thing that was mentioned that I was seeing as the biggest problem was the length of time focused solely on Nick, and then suddenly bringing Ida back into the picture. I’m not sure just yet how I can remedy that, if it will be with some editing or with new chapters being written. Thank you all for reading and commenting. 

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