Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Tuesdays with Story
October 19, 2019

The first word . . .

“I was a lot dumber when I was writing the novel. I would come home every day from my office and say, ‘Well, I still really like the story, I just wish it was better written.’ At that point, I didn’t realize I was writing a first draft. And the first draft was the hardest part. From there, it was comparatively easy. It was like I had some Play-Doh to work with and could just keep working with it – doing a million drafts and things changing radically and characters appearing and disappearing and solving mysteries: Why is this thing here? Should I just take that away? And then realizing, no, that is there, in fact, because that is the key to this. I love that sort of detective work.”

― Miranda July (1974-), film director, screenwriter, actress, novelist, short story writer

Tuesday evening at the bookstore . . .

A small group of writers—six in all—huddled around a table on the bargain books floor, where they proceeded to critique the works of their colleagues. Here is some of what was said:

— Jack Freiburger (chapter 62, A Walk upon the Water) . . .

— Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapters 24-25, untitled novel) . . .

— Cindi Dyke (children’s picture book, Kerpout) . . .  This poem is the first in a series of picture books for young children. Jerry wondered why Kerpout has hooves instead of paws,  but he is a mythical woodland creature (Kerpout, not Jerry) and I see him with hooves. Jerry also didn’t think chocolate ice cream for breakfast would make you sick. I’m willing to test that out for accuracy. Kashmira thought a bit of adult vocabulary in a child’s picture book is fine, but it needs to be limited. Several thought the metrical structure needs attention in a couple of stanzas. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays With Story

October 1, 2019

ONLY ONE SUBMISSION WAS RECEIVED FOLLOWING THE MEETING (THANK YOU LARRY)

Larry:

Chapters 27-28, Freedoms Purchase:  Jack noted a few details relative to Lake’s estimation of John Crittenden and Henry Clay; the likelihood of oranges in an Illinois summer in 1850s; and the possibility that the Chicago Options Market would be available to Anders in the newspaper [Answer to Jack: The Chicago Board of Trade was established in 1864 but did not start a formal options market until 1973.]. John noted that things seem pretty sweet for our immigrants in these chapters, not much conflict—which is okay as long as it doesn’t go on too long. I promised that I will add a quart and a half of conflict to Chapter 29. Bob noted that there actually is conflict in these chapters, but it’s domestic conflict between Anders and Maria, not too overt. Thanks to all for their comments and I will soldier on. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Tuesdays with Story
September 20, 2019

The first word . . .

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”

― Anne Lamott (1954- ), novelist, nonfiction writer, writing teacher

Tuesday evening at the bookstore . . .

Eight writers gathered at Barnes and Noble and enjoyed meeting a guest illustrator, introduced by Amit. Jozi Anderson, UW student artist, is seeking commissions from writers for self-published books. She showed samples on her phone of a children’s book cover oil painting and interior illustrations. Members engaged in a lively discussion with her about effective and economical ways to produce art for prospective books. Tracey suggested Jozi place her work on the Behance site at https://www.behance.net/, where artists can display work and authors can find cover designers. If anyone is interested in discussing further projects, Jozi can be contacted at jozimanderson@gmail.com.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays with Story
September 6, 2019

The first word . . .

“Most things I love to do are like writing, in a way. I love to cook, but that’s putting things together to make a new thing. It’s creating. I love to garden, but that’s generative, too. I love to dance, and that’s about finding a rhythm that’s pleasing to you. Maybe everything’s a little like writing.”

― Less Smith (1944- ), novelist and short-story writer

Tuesday evening at the bookstore . . .

Ten writers and one guest, Melissa Zernick, gathered to critique the works of five of their colleagues. Here is some of what was shared:

— Cindi Dyke (back cover blurb, The Mansion Secrets): What started up as a blurb grew into a synopsis which the group critiqued. Tracey felt it needed to be written in a younger voice and that the personality of the main characters needed to be brought out. Several thought an example of the humor needs to be included. Several good thoughts on what should be deleted to create space for the additions. Amber wondered if the secrets inside the mansion walls were literally in the wall. Good points. Thanks everyone (more…)

Read Full Post »

Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
August 9, 2019

The first word . . .

Literary critics have argued over whether Toni Morrison was best described as an African American writer, an African American female writer or simply an American writer—and whether the label mattered at all. Said Morrison, “I can accept the labels because being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from. It doesn’t limit my imagination; it expands it. It’s richer than being a white male writer because I know more and I’ve experienced more.”

We lost a literary giant . . .

Toni Morrison died at the age of 88 on Monday. The Washington Post ran a superb story/obituary about her, the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature, that you should read. Here’s the link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/toni-morrison-nobel-laureate-who-transfigured-american-literature-dies-at-88/2019/08/06/49cd4d46-b84d-11e9-a091-6a96e67d9cce_story.html

Here’s another obituary you should read, that of Morrison contemporary Maya Angelou. Angelou died at age 86 five years ago. The story/obituary also ran in The Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/maya-angelou-writer-and-poet-dies-at-age-86/2014/05/28/2948ef5e-c5da-11df-94e1-c5afa35a9e59_story.html (more…)

Read Full Post »

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 23, 2019

The first word . . .

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits (of a writer) is persistence.”

― Octavia Butler (1947-2006), sci-fi author

At B&N Westside . . .

Cody Benjamin, our writer friend from New Mexico, stopped in to show off his first thriller, Shaitan. It came out in May. He’s now writing his second.

Summer travels knocked our attendance down to six who critiqued the works of five of their colleagues. Here is some of what was said:

Jack Freiburger (chapters 51-52, A Walk upon the Water) . . . not many comments Tuesday night.  Seems the anchor adventure was fine, some concern about the footballs game details, but few comments in general at the meeting.  Have not had time to check postings yet.

Jessica Smith (chapters 1-2, rewrite, Holding the Balance) . . . Overall, there was improvement in the two rewritten chapters. The story is good, but I need to show the reader the action, rather than tell the reader. I need to have the characters think in the first person more and do less explaining of their backgrounds. Other suggestions include: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 9, 2019

The first word . . .

“We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.”
– John Gardner (1933-1982), novelist/essayist/literary critic

They gathered at ye olde bookseller . . .

Ten of our writers clustered around a double table setup at Barnes & Noble Westside, Tuesday evening, critiquing the work of six of their colleagues. Here are some of the comments that were shared:

Mike Austin (short story, “The Cold”) . . .

Amber Boudreau (chapters 8-9, Mavis) . . . Tracey wasn’t sure how old a character was. In her head, she had him much older than she thought he was. That would affect what her character thought of the budding romance between him and the protagonist. Bob appreciated the tension built around the necklace. John thought the ending line was good enough to get people to turn the page and keep reading.

Jack Freiburger (chapters 49-50, A Walk upon the Water) . . . Many more suggestions than usual.  Need to add Dad as the anxious person to stand in for the reader, make clear the Maine calmness in the face of just another sea disaster.  Group liked potted better than baptizing the old lady. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »