Tuesdays with Story
January 5, 2017
CARRIED OVER FROM DECEMBER’S NEWSLETTER:
The big contest . . .
Here’s everything you need to know to win a critique of 50 pages of the book you’re writing, the critique to be provided by a published author . . . TWS alumnus and sci-fi writer Pat Tomlinson. Pat has three novels out and a fourth under contract.
Your assignment, write the very best short story, essay or poem you can with this as your prompt: The clock struck 11:59 p.m. on December 31st. So-and-so turned, tipped his or her glass to you (or to a fictional character) and said thoughtfully, “You know, I’ve been meaning to tell you this all year . . .”
Maximum length for your mini-masterpiece is 500 words. Go over and your piece will not be read.
Deadline for getting your entry to Jerry Peterson is midnight, January 22. He will forward all the entries to Pat who will select the best of the best.
There is an entry fee . . . $10. The winner gets all the money in the pot with which she/he is to take Pat to dinner at one of our finer restaurants in the Madison area.
The winner will be announced at our January Fifth Tuesday . . . January 31 at Panera’s on University Avenue.
TWS post-holiday party – January 7 (Saturday) . . . 2 p.m. . . . Jerry and Marge Peterson’s home. Jerry’s Address: 920 Glen Street, Janesville. It’s potluck, so bring some great food to share . . . but not soup. That will be provided. Also, bring a game you’d like to challenge your colleagues to play. TWS alum Clayton Gill will be with us.
Old dogs, new tricks: When you post, go to the Yahoo group’s 2017 file. There, click on the appropriate date meeting file. Next click on Works and upload your chapter, short story, poems or essay there. NOTE: Most recent dates are at the bottom, so scroll down to find January dates.
Tuesday, January 3rd meetin
Nine members huddled around a four-seater table at Barnes and Noble. Outlines of the discussions follow:
Pat Edwards: Pat’s chapter “where are you on the journey” for her non-fiction book about going on a Hero’s Journey on purpose was well-received. Jack identified a paragraph that just didn’t belong in the chapter as well as giving the correct nomenclature for land oil pumps (nodding jack pumps). Pat was able to clarify the theme of the book and its genre.
Nora O’Reilly: For the first half of Ch. 6 of Bill McCormick’s Bliss:
Bill should play it a bit cooler. . .stone face it a bit and loosen up his dialogue. He sounds a bit stodgy and petulant at the moment. Neither are characteristics that I hope Bill exudes. He knows Father Frank is a jerk and is trying to give him the smallest amount of satisfaction possible. In this exchange, Frank can up his game and come on stronger in his attempts to provoke Bill. Bill, as any hero would, will take the high road.
Another brilliant idea is to have Bill pray (at least briefly) or call on saints for a bit of grace in trying moments. It would hammer in the monk theme and I would think add some comedic relief.
Lastly, I may have inadvertently repeated myself when I discuss Bill micromanaging the bakery prior to his departure to Madison.
Eva Mays: (chapter 8, Dhuoda) The votes seemed to be against Anglicizing Dhuoda’s name to Doda, and for a tentative title of “The Starling and the Empress”. Chapter 8 itself was pretty well received. Jack wondered about the size of the thermae I mentioned. If it was smaller, the appropriate term would be baleneum. I re-checked my research and the one at the palace measured 50 acres and could accommodate 100 swimmers at a time, so I’ll be sticking with “thermae”. Pat and John offered two different views of my mention of Dhuoda’s bodily curves – Pat was unsure as to why I referred to them at all and thought I might need to expand on it, but John thought it was a good use of subtlety.
Amber Boudreau: (chapter 12, The Dragoneer) Amber read from the first half of Chapter 12 of her YA novel, The Dragoneer. Tracey was looking for some more reaction from the main protagonist with the realization that she has to keep such a big secret to herself. Pat did not like the fact that one character’s eyes went completely black. Jack suggested having fun with it and adding a joke. John suggested cutting a line, which is awesome. More awesome when you realize you didn’t need that line anyway.
John Schneller: Feedback not received by deadline (sorry, John L )
Mike Austin was not present, so has been rolled over to January 17th.
The next time we meet . . .
Combining information from the last newsletter and Pat’s email, dated 1/3/17, there are nine authors scheduled for January 17th. We’ll have to talk fast …
January 17 at Barnes and Noble: Millie Mader (???), Jen Wilcher (chapter 3, Hogoshiro Chronicles), Nora O’Reilly (chapter 7, Bill McCormick’s Bliss), Judith McNeil (???), Kashmira Sheth (???), Tracey Gemmell (chapters 10-11, Losing It), and Jerry Peterson (short story, part 2, “The Mayor & The Guv”), Mike Austin (chapter, Before I Leave).
January 31: Fifth Tuesday, Panera’s on University Avenue
February 7: Pat Edwards (chapter), Amber Boudreau (chapter 13, The Dragoneer), Hannah Marshall (poems), Eva Mays (chapter 9, Dhuoda), Tracey Gemmell (chapter, Losing It), and Jack Freiburger (???).
We talked a bit about adding humor to some of our characters. So, for those of us trying to be funny, and for those of us trying to be serious, here’s a helpful article from the Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/7-reasons-writers-serious-novels-use-humor-fiction
Editors for the New Year:
Tracey Gemmell takes the January shift and Eva Mays takes on February. Send them your good stuff.