Tuesdays with Story
December 17, 2015
The first word . . .
“As long as people desire to have their curiosity satisfied, their questions about life and existence explained and answered, their issues of human needs validated, there will be a desire for stories.” – Bill Johnson, author and teacher (website: http://www.storyispromise.com/)
It happened Tuesday evening . . .
Twelve second-and-fourthers crowded into the small conference room at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library for peanut butter brownies, fudge, and critiquing. Here are the summaries:
– Kashmira Sheth (chapters 5-7, Nina Soni) . . . The comments were generally positive about the humor and the voice. There was duplicate chapter numbering that Jerry and Pat pointed out.
– Pat Edwards (3 poems) . . . Most attending enjoyed the three poems. Another Year — some noted the rhythm was off and questioned “Radio Marketing”, what it meant and why it was capitalized. The Music Collection reminded the older members of music they recognized. A lot liked the Doppler comparison and the sound images. A Walk in the Woods was the favorite, citing accessible language, Thoreau references, and lovely images.
– Cindi Dyke (chapter 24, North Road) . . . Several thought the backstory was good, but lengthy. Lisa and Alicia suggested breaking it up by inserting more business by Kath and Jimmy. Pat wondered if hearing that CC’s mothered died from breast cancer would change Kath’s decision to refuse treatment.
– Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter 1 rewrite, novel) . . . Kashmira and Amit submitted a new first chapter for their novel. Everyone agreed that it was a better start because it introduced both the characters at the same time. Also, it foreshadowed coming events of India’s partition as well as certain other events.
– Alicia Connolly-Lohr (short story part 2, “Ricin Unleashed”) . . . Plotting is good. Logistics problem with main character borrowing a phone from apartment neighbors. Should be more build up of the flirtation between Taggert and Anda. Most thought the story should not end where it did, that it could be a longer short story or novella.
– Jerry Peterson (short story, “Three Kings of Kansas”) . . . There was agreement that when everything breaks loose at the Nativity pageant in the park – when the livestock run off – that the audience has to react . . . fear, panic, running to get out of the way . . . as James Early, John Silver Fox, and Judge Crooke take out after the fleeing sheep and cattle. “They are there,” Pat said. “We hear them say oooo when they see the star brighten.”
Who’s up next . . .
* Second-and-fourth meets at The Chocolaterian Cafe.
January 5: Lisa McDougal (chapter 46, Tebow Family Secret), Randy Slagel (short story, part 1, “Watered-Down Witch”), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Judith McNeil (???), Millie Mader (???), and Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni).
* First-and-third returns to Barnes & Noble Westside.
January 12: Carol Hornung (???).
* Second-and-fourth also returns to Barnes & Noble Westside.
January 19: Alicia Connolly-Lohr (???), Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni), Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Randy Slagel (short story, part 2, “Watered-Down Witch”), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 25-28, Killing Ham).
Editors we’ve got . . .
Jerry Peterson occupies the Writers Mail editor’s chair for the remainder of this month. If you’ve got good stuff for our newsletter, please send it to Jerry .
Amit Trivedi moves into the chair in January.
Bloggers you may want to follow . . .
Bryan Hutchinson, who writes the blog Positive Writer, has listed the top 50 blog posts on writing that he’s read in the past year. Here’s the link: http://positivewriter.com/best-writing-blogs/
Check it out. You may find posts here that have just the help you’ve been looking for.
Great word . . .
From Word Spy Paul McFedreis:
Meaning: (past participle) Reducing the size of a company’s workforce to such an extent that the company becomes unprofitable or inefficient.
Other forms: dumbsize (verb), dumbsizer (noun)
Etymology: cf. downsizing
“Granted, companies became lean and nimble, but excessive chopping in many cases led to the corporate equivalent of anorexia. In peak periods, companies have been forced to out-source work, often, ironically, for a premium to their own laid-off employees – you know, the ones with the training and expertise to do the job. Downsizing, meet “dumbsizing.”
– Martha Groves, Downsizing Wave Has Reached a Point of Diminishing Returns, The Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1996
“Gerald Celente, head of the Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y., says major firms have gone beyond downsizing to “dumbsizing” – and are ‘seriously cutting into their muscle.’”– Bill Hendrick, Your career is in your hands, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, February 7, 1993
“We thought you’d want to know that for 1993 Indians are in and cowboys are out; blame is in and responsibility out, and dumbsizing is in and downsizing out. Or, so it says in something called ‘The Trends Journal: The Authority on Trend Management.’”
– James A. Finefrock, Trends in Trends, San Francisco Examiner, December 23, 1992
The last word . . .