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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays with Story

July 21, 2017

 

Muggy and Melty Summer Round-up from 1st/3rd

We had a guest from Oregon (the state), Summer Bird.  She is co-chair of a writing group in Willamette, Oregon and enjoyed her time visiting our group. Our guest from Oregon is children’s and short story writer. Summer invited us to read a selection of her stories at www.summerbirdstories.com and let her know our thoughts.

Millie Mader (short story, “The Gold Star and the Silver Star”) I wrote from a long ago memory of what I had been told, and searched high and low for the Post Crescent article. It was all true—but not accurate in a number of ways. Millie’s decided to abandon the piece and get on with her short story, (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 7, 2017

Tuesday evening at B&N

No meeting on the 1st Tuesday – July 4th.  Hope everyone had a safe and sane holiday.

Who’s up next

July 18: Millie Mader (short story, part 2, “Stone Cold Stripper”), Eva Mays (chapter 13, Dhuoda), Amber Boudreau (chapters 27-30, The Dragoneer), Mike Austin (chapters 10-13, Riding with the Reed Gang), John Stephens (chapter 2), and Jerry Peterson (short story, “Aboard a PT”), Pat Edwards (chapter, Hero’s Journey).

Set up a Google Alert to do Research for You

Google alerts will send you new web postings for any pages, sites, new books, scholarly articles, and even ads that include your search terms. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
June 23, 2017

 

Tuesday evening at B&N

An even dozen of TWS writers crowded around the tables to review the work of seven of our colleagues. Here’s some of what they said:

  • Jen Wilcher (chapter 4, part 2, Hogoshiro Chronicles) . . .nothing submitted
  • Rebecca Rettenmund (new chapter 2, Hunting for Dad) . . .nothing submitted
  • Jack Freiburger (short story, part 3, “Jesus Walked inti the IHOP”) . . .nothing submitted
  • Tracey Gemmell (chapters 11-13, Casa Something) . . . I received several nice comments about how much readers were enjoying the story. The humourous parts are going over well. The metaphor of the jet skies bumping awkwardly was appreciated. Mike wasn’t convinced a kinked fuel line would cause the right effect so he has provided a stuck throttle sequence he feels works better. Jerry pointed out that George Hamilton may not go over well in the UK as he’s an unknown there. Rebecca stated I wrote well but she found the Pepto-Bismol chapter boring and she’d like to hear from Lester’s POV. Amber said she had few comments as the chapters felt polished. Many thanks for all your support.
  • John Schneller (chapters 13, Final Stronghold) . . . Final Stronghold chapter thirteen is a bit of a challenge due to all talk and little physical movement. Most were tolerant of this but the natives may be getting restless. Rebecca questioned whether the Emperor was really good, and some were not convinced that a beaver would know the origins of good and evil, but most who have worked their way through the saga stayed with the storyline. Thanks!
  • Amber Boudreau (chapters 24-26, The Dragoneer) . . . Amber submitted three chapters (24-26) this week in an effort to push her rewrite through. (The exciting conclusion can be found in the July 18 folder.) John found one particular moment ‘precious’, which makes Amber worry that it might stand out too much in a bad way. Pat wondered if Moira, being of mixed heritage, would be mindful of getting her hair wet in the shower. She also wanted to know how wide an Aryx is anyway. Kashmira, Tracey, and Pat thought Moira should really have a chance to relax at the dance before things go crazy. Larry disagreed and thought things moved along well. Pat, at least would like some more slow dancing.
  • Jerry Peterson (short story, “With Mac”) . . . Several pointed out that Ruck’s poker hand – aces over eights – is a dead man’s hand. Was that intended to foreshadow what might happen to Ruck later in the story, Larry Sommers asked. “Hadn’t thought about that,” said Jerry. “No, I’ll change Ruck’s hand. He’s not going to die.” John Schneller thought MacArthur’s last line at the end of the story should be cut to make for a better ending.

(more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
February 9, 2017

 

And we have a winner!

Writing contest judge Pat Tomlinson selected Eva Mays’ story, “The Ball at Mawley,” as the best of the best contest stories at Fifth Tuesday, last week. As a result, Eva gets a free critique of the first 50 pages of her novel, the critique provided by Pat. And she also gets the pot of entry fees, currently at $100, which she must spend taking Pat out to dinner at one of our finer restaurants. Over dinner, the two will discuss that critique.

Number two of the best of the best, said Pat, was John Schneller’s story, “The Cold Truth.”

“Writing a compelling story in 500 words is really difficult,” Pat told the group at Fifth Tuesday. “You can take one of two approaches, tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and end where there is a resolution or write a vignette. The two best [Eva’s and John’s stories] are examples of each.”

Pat also is high on humor in stories. “Every story had lines in them that made me laugh,” he said. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
January 18, 2017

 

OOPS ….

Due to road conditions, the 1-17-17 TWS meeting was canceled at 5.30pm. Several members didn’t see the message, which came through on a thread rather than its own email. Apparently, at least four members showed up but didn’t see each other. (Tracey was in the coffee shop section – the tomato-pesto caprese comes highly recommended.) Apologies for the confusion. If there is a need to cancel again, hopefully a designated email will notify everyone.

THANKS …

A big thank you to Jerry and Marge Peterson for hosting the TWS Post-holiday party on January 7th. If you missed it, the decorations were spectacular, the company delightful, the split pea soup delicious, and the various dishes to pass a real treat. Who knew John Schneller was famous for sour cream chocolate cake? Here’s to next year …

REMINDER …

Submissions for the writing contest are due by midnight on January 22nd. Forward entries to Jerry.

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. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 26, 2016

 

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. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 19, 2016

 

It happened Tuesday evening . . .

A dozen TWS writers gathered at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library two weeks ago for cookies and critiques. Here’s who was up:

Pat Edwards (rough draft, chapter, What to Pack for a Hero’s Journey) – Pat submitted a very rough, transcription based chapter for her non-fiction book.  Most of the feedback was that it was too hard to read in the transcription format.  Once the purpose was explained, though, many people had good ideas for the book, including using more “real people” stories, references to myths, and deeper explanation of the monomyth (The Hero’s Journey).

Amber Boudreau (chapter 11, The Dragoneer) – John thought the beginning of the chapter (Chapter 11) needed a better hook. Kashmira thought the start of the second paragraph was a better hook. Cindy too felt the beginning was a bit out of order. John thought some stronger word choices would help one character’s dialogue and would like to see Moira pick up a bit more of her training instead of just be told about it. Tracey liked the humanizing elements used to describe the dragon.

John Schneller (chapter 7, Final Stronghold) – The increased action as compared to previous chapters was appreciated. A request for better descriptions of the dragon, especially the unique characteristics, was requested. Using chapters to separate scene changes instead of asterick denoted scene changes was discussed. My desire was to infer concurrent timelines, but I will consider this. A couple snaffoos were noted. A bear should never roar like a lion, and the colloquialism ‘pan out’ was identified. (more…)

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