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Tuesdays with Story
January 10, 2020

The first word . . .

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
― Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), novelist, journalist, short story writer

 

Tuesday evening at Barnes & Noble . . .

Eight good souls gathered around the table at B&N Westside Tuesday evening to critique the works of six of their colleagues. Here is some of what was said:

 

— Kashmira Sheth and Amit Trivedi (chapters 31-32, untitled novel) . . . (1) Add ‘listing’ more times in the first paragraph of chapter 32.  (2) Have Kedar go inside the church and contrast the noise with the silence in the church. (3) Tie in the water of the Kund with the holy water of the Church. (4) “All this cloth…” It is not clear who says it. Also move the line closer to the description of the cloth market. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

TWS News:

The first word . . .

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

― Louis L’Amour (1908-1988), novelist and short story writer

Tuesday evening at Alicia Ashman . . .

Amber Boudreau returned to the group, and she brought brownies to power the group while they critiqued the works of six of their colleagues. Here is some of what was said:

 

— Larry Sommers (chapters 33-35, Freedom’s Purchase) . . .  Several people commented on the apparent infrequency of letters home from Anders once he was in the Army. Huckle asked what was the point of the section in which Maria watches the mustering-in ceremony from the bleachers. Jack opined that it shows Maria has accepted Anders’ decision to enlist. There were concerns over Crawley¹s confrontation with Anders was he consistent in the way he communicated his threat, and would Anders been surprised by his presence after a month of basic training drills? The focus on baby John Oliver’s nursing drew attention from Huckle and Amber, because (1) Maria may not have wanted to wean him early due to economics, and (2) even though he was cutting teeth, the nursing process would not be “traumatic” to Maria as described. All in all, several important points to ponder. Thanks, all. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Tuesdays with Story
November 25, 2019

The first word . . .

“The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.”

― Robert Cormier (1925-2000), author of YA novels

Tuesday evening at B&N Westside . . .

Hey, we had a long table to gather around for our last meeting of the year at B&N Westside. Five of our colleagues shared their works. Here is some of what was said:

— Huckleberry Rahr (synopsis and chapters 1-2, YA novel) . . . (more…)

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Tuesdays with Story
November 14, 2019

The first word . . .

“If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially on some piece of writing or paperwork, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work, the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle under the desk lamp. The light from a lamp gives the cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impeded your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough.”

― Muriel Spark (1918-2006), Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist

Tuesday evening at B&N Westside . . .

A small group gathered, six of our regular writers plus a guest, Huckleberry Rahr, a math prof at UW/Whitewater and write of YA novels looking for help in getting published. She joined the group and is on the schedule for November 19 (more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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