May 21, 2014
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” – Elmore Leonard
Notes from May 20, 2014
Andy B. reads from Chapter Three of Man Before the Fall. Amber read Ophan as Orphan. Andy P. thought it was heavy and he has to be in the mood to read it. Millie liked the poetry. Pat thought it was light reading and enjoyed the humor, but she needed a little explanation as to what is going on in the world he’s created. Amit wonders about the narrator and who the protagonist is. Andy B. wondered if he was name-dropping at the end of the chapter, but Pat says he did not.
Lisa shares a bit from Chapter Sixteen of The Tebow Family Secret. Andy P. says he liked what she did with the chapter, but he had a few small things; White Castle is singular and there are two characters with the same name in one chapter, though spelled differently. Pat thought it was a great chapter, and wonders if one character would talk to herself. Andy P. had a question about dialogue tags in one instance because he lost track of which character was speaking. Jerry thought one scene between two characters was the best written so far, minus the two paragraphs of backstory she can get rid of. Kashmira had a comment about the cliché of the hand caught in the cookie jar.
Judith reads from Chapter Thirteen of My Mother, Savior of Men. Lisa thought we were past the party, and Judith says we are, these scenes come afterwards in the main protagonist’s shop. Pat liked the cool, eccentric, characters. Lisa found it hard to separate the narration from the dialogue now and then. Jerry had a question about the last paragraph and centrifugal force.
Amber reviews the first three chapters of her completed Novel, Noble. Andy P. Points out a Your, You’re confusion on Page 15, but says he was hooked by the second chapter. Amber wanted him hooked by Chapter one. Jerry wants some mention of skipped grades earlier than the second chapter. Andy B. wants the main protagonist to get a crappy locker. Lisa suggests some changes to the first line and a flip of two paragraphs. Jerry was confused on who entering and leaving the library in Chapter three. Kashmira suggests starting in the moment.
Other Odds and Ends
Great word . . .
From Word Spy Paul McFedries:
Meaning: (noun) A military officer who excels at creating PowerPoint presentations.
“Many members of the military should spend much of their time communicating information, but they should use all channels of communication in appropriate ways – and make sure that they are not just PowerPoint Rangers.
– Peter Norvig and Stephen M. Kosslyn, A Tool Only as Good As the User, The New York Times, April 27, 2010
“Petraeus was America’s first great digital general. He was the ultimate PowerPoint Ranger – the nickname given by military officers to colleagues adept at giving dazzling digital presentations overflowing with data, graphics and bullet points.
– William Doyle, Must one lose a job over infidelity?, CNN Wire, November 18, 2012
“PowerPoint has become such an ingrained part of the defense culture that it has seeped into the military lexicon. PowerPoint Ranger is a derogatory term for a desk-bound bureaucrat more adept at making slides than tossing grenades. There is even a ‘PowerPoint Ranger Creed,’ a parody of the Marine Corp’s famous ‘Rifleman’s Creed.’
– Greg Jaffe, Pentagon cracks down on … PowerPoint, ZDNet, April 26, 2000
Here’s the PowerPoint Ranger’s Creed:
This is my PowerPoint. There are many like it but mine is 97. My PowerPoint is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My PowerPoint without me is useless. Without my PowerPoint, I am useless.
I must format my slides true. I must brief them better than the other staff sections who are trying to out brief me.
I must brief the impact on the CINC before he asks me. I will.
My PowerPoint and myself know that what counts in this war is not the information. We know that it is the number of slides, the colors of the highlights, and the format of the bullets that counts.
My PowerPoint is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its fonts, its accessories, its formats, and its colors.
I will keep my PowerPoint slides current and ready to brief. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God I swear this creed. My PowerPoint and myself are defenders of my country. We are the masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career.
So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace (and the next exercise)!
Thanks to Jerry for that information
Amber Boudreau announced that she will be attending the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York this August. Can’t wait to get that review. Good luck, Amber.
Coming Soon. . .
May 27: Rebecca Rettenmund (Lookout, chapter 2), Deb Kellerman (???), Ruth Imhoff (???), Jen Wilcher (???), and Carol Hornung (scene, Ghost of Heffron College).
June 3: Amber Boudreau (chapters, Stone), Millie Mader (chapter 55, Life on Hold), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter 4, novel), Bob Kralapp (short story part 5, “Hole in the Wall”), Andy Pfeiffer (chapters, The Void), and Jerry Peterson (chapters, Rub Out).
June 17: Lisa McDougal (chapters, Tebow Family Secret), Andy Brown (chapters 4, Man Before the Fall), Cindi Dyke (chapters, North Road), Pat Edwards (???), John Schneller (chapter 2, Final Stronghold), and Judith McNeil (chapter 14, My Mother, Savior of Men).
Look who’s editing Writers Mail . . .
This month, it’s Lisa McDougal, and next month it’s Andy Brown. Do email them good things that you’d like them to include in the issues for which they are responsible.