Spending an evening surrounded by zombie dinosaurs was the First and Third group of Tuesdays with Story. All regulars for once.
To open the evening, Pat read Lisa’s published poem, marking 11 years since her father Greg had passed (6/19/02). This was received as very powerful, rendering many people speechless.
Millie Mader read from Chapter 45 of Life on Hold. Pat mentioned that Brad’s pun about blowjobs would warrant a gasp before a laugh. Jerry asked how drunk Danny was given the way he was described. Alicia wanted more dialogue in that scene to trick the modern reader, and Andy thought it happened too fast. Alicia and Pat both wanted more Erin in the scene with Danny, as she is the protagonist. Jerry expected Danny to fling the cake at Shireen or Brad, only for Erin to take the hit, and thought that would be a good way to factor her in. Pat also wanted Millie to remove trite clichés from early in this chapter.
Aaron Boehm read from the opening scenes of “Mesozoic Mall,” a short film screenplay. Millie liked it better than Whole Again. Pat praised the quick character development, and was intrigued to know what would be different from other films later on. Andy liked it, but said that the names “James” and “Jamie” were too similar and could confuse viewers. Amber said that some pieces of dialogue seemed too precocious for twelve-year-olds. She also wondered how the T-Rex had an eye, and Aaron said that it was a ghost inhabiting the skeleton and that he would need to clarify that. Amber and Alicia both questioned why a $6 million, museum-quality exhibit would be in a mall with such minimal security. After comments from Ruth, Amber suggested a zombie dinosaur that looked normal in the dark. Alicia complimented the character of Kim as well.
Alicia Connolly-Lohr presented the first chapter of a new young adult novel Coastie Girl. The story was well-liked overall. Pat praised the imagery, but wondered about Kate being precocious given how eloquent she was for a 13-year-old. She also wished that unnecessary details, like descriptions of Chicago, were more condensed and less distracting. Andy mentioned that the timeline was confusing, and that it seemed like too many events were being clumped together and that young adult readers would be lost. Amber said that the military funeral really resonated with her. Jen mentioned confusion between “Dad” and “my dad” and wondered when they should be capitalized. Jerry mentioned that “Coastie” versus “Coasty” needed to be more consistent.
Amber Boudreau read from the fifteenth chapter of Noble. Everyone enjoyed it. Having not read the early chapters, Andy was confused about who Ms. Haven was compared to the “personified” librarian spirit guy. Jerry was confused as to why the librarian unbuttoned and buttoned his jacket when talking to Moira. Pat asked why Kyna touched Charlie after she felt repulsed by him, because it didn’t seem to fit with her character. Jen suggested that she push him away; everyone else said either that or not touch him at all. The latter was agreed to be better.
Ruth Imhoff read from chapter 3 of Motto of the Hound. Pat wondered about procedures for detectives and the use of last names versus Daniel’s first name. Andy wondered why Daniel went back to sleep so fast after sleeping for three hours; Alicia found it unusual for someone to sleep so long in an uncomfortable position. Jerry questioned about the purpose of the chapter, and Ruth said his depression symptoms. Judith wanted to know about these symptoms and the state of Daniel’s marriage. Jerry also did not like how the cliffhanger in chapter 2 did not relate to chapter 3 in any capacity, and that they should go to the Ram and have the flashback there. Pat wanted the plot to be furthered, and for the plot to reveal the details of Daniel’s personal life, such as by having a woman dump her boyfriend at the restaurant. Alicia and Andy also wanted the waitress’s part in the investigation to be fleshed out, which could tell more about Daniel. Andy said there was too much info-dump and that the good parts were too summarized. Pat also wondered about the house being haunted (by a faye), since the steaming coffee was not an obvious clue. Various flashbacks, as opposed to just one, could reveal multiple details about this.
Closing the show was Jerry Peterson with three behemoth chapters of The Last Good Man. He read, charismatic as always, from Chapter 16. Pat loved it and was eager for more. Pat also mentioned “You Are My Destiny” being sung by Paul Anka, not Johnny Ray. The cliffhanger also seemed a bit abrupt to her, but otherwise she had no remarks. Alicia enjoyed it, and Judith complimented the visuals. Overall, great work, Jerry – can’t wait to buy it!
Who’s up next . . .
June 25: Ruth Imhoff (chapter 4, Motto of the Hound), Carol Hornung (The Ghost of Heffron College, Scene 6, part 2), Erin Syth (short story), Jen Wilcher and Rebecca Rettenmund (report from Writers Institute).
July 2: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Secret Family), Michelle Nightoak (chapter, memoir), Bob Kralapp (Part 2, “What Is Missing”), Amber Boudreau (chapter 16, Noble), Alicia Connolly Lohr (novella, chapters 9-10, Lincoln’s Other War), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 20-24, The Last Good Man).
July 16: Ruth Imhoff (chapter 5, Motto of the Hound), Judith McNeil (chapter 2, My Mother, Savior of Men), Betsy Draine (chapter 1, Alice’s Book), Millie Mader (chapter 46, Life on Hold), Aaron Boehm (film script/part2, “Mesozoic Mall”), Jerry Peterson (chapters 25-28, The Last Good Man)
July Fifth Tuesday . . .
A new bit of information for you, the place. We have reserved the community room at the Panera on University Avenue for the July 30 gathering of our two groups. Put us on your calendar for 7 PM. It will be order off the menu, not potluck.
Great word . . .
Courtesy of Wordsmith Anu Garg:
1. Of or pertaining to hyperbole.
2. Of or pertaining to hyperbola.
From Greek hyperbole (excess), from hyperballein (to exceed), from hyper- + ballein (to throw). Earliest documented use: 1646, 1676.
NOTES:When you employ hyperbole in your discourse, you are doing what a devil does (to throw), etymologically speaking. The word devil ultimately comes from Greek diaballein (to throw across, slander). Some other words that share the same root are ballistic, emblem, embolism, metabolism, parable, problem, parabola, and symbol.
“ ‘My objective is to build something sustainable that lasts 100 years,’ says Mr Kotak, who is upbeat without being hyperbolic.”
Kotak Moment; The Economist (London, UK); May 26, 2012.
“She’s made a skirt to wear to conferences
with a crocheted hyperbolic hem.
Each of its ruffles ruffles.”
Susan Blackwell Ramsey; A Mind Like This; University of Nebraska Press; 2012.
Working for balance . . .
YA author and blogger Nathan Bransford has gotten caught in the same trap you and I have . . . of writing, writing, writing, to get the next short story, filmscript, poem, or book project out:
I very rarely go to bed feeling like I’ve done enough in a day. I feel guilty after a weekend where I didn’t get enough done. It frustrates me how long it takes to write a novel. (Or, ahem, a guide to writing a novel. Almost done, swear!).
It never feels like there are enough hours in the day, or days in the weeks, or weeks in the months, or months in the year. Time slips away, and with it a chance to accomplish something or edge closer to your dream.
Social media only adds to the pressure. People are completing novels and making New York Times bestseller lists and curing cancer while juggling on a unicycle and it all looks so effortless and who needs sleep anyway??
Read the entire post at http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2013/06/when-it-feels-like-youre-never-doing.html