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WRITER’S MAIL 9/12/2010
by Kimberly Simmons

“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

Last Time…
Notes for 9/7/10
A couple newbies, Alex and Justin.
Greg shared the forth part of his short story, Goodbye Mars. Millie says she read it on her computer and guessed the end if the story. Pat T. thought he remembered the virus being much faster-acting at the beginning of the story than is shown in the last section. Cathy finds the main characters clumsiness endearing. Pat T. suggests women don’t shoot themselves to take their lives, statistically speaking. Clayton wonders if there’s a different way for someone to take their life in the future. Amber had a question about Martian years related to earth years. Pat thought getting hit with a gun would hurt more, but the writing doesn’t reflect that. She also liked the plane.

Cathy shares a couple chapters of her novel Beer Crimes. Pat T. doesn’t think too much time should pass before something else happens with the body. Clayton suggests that once we get into the rhythm of one character’s thinking, then the narrative could be backed off a bit. Also, there are a few shifts in POV. Pat E. thought the sexy cops were important. Greg wondered how the romance related to the rest of the story. Amber asked about the relationship between two characters, and Cathy says it’s about friendships. Judith asks about the age difference between characters.

Jen shares the beginning of her yet-to-be-named novel/short story. Millie wanted to know some words were Japanese. Jen tells us some are real and some are made up. Clayton asks for a little bit of background on the kitsune. Pat T. helps explain, saying they’re kind of like were-foxes in reverse. Pat E. likes the voice of the piece, but she wonders if she could start the story later and pepper the rest in later. Cathy thought the conflict with her mother was very clear.

Amber’s chapter. Pat T. liked the line about the vacuum. Pat E. had to read the excerpt a couple times. Pat T. wonders if dragoneers are squires. Cathy suggests joking about with the magic comment.
Millie shares a chapter form Life On Hold. Judith notes that Millie really upped the ante with the end of this chapter. Pat T. suggests Millie go through and remove some voice tags because she doesn’t really need them. Also, he didn’t think one character would punch another after psyching himself up, if it were to come from anger. Amber wondered where Erin’s parents went. Aaron got the sense that a couple characters weren’t serious about each other, just from reading this chapter. Pat E. is wondering why Erin is so depressed at the beginning of each chapter.

Who’s Up Next
September 14: Dan Hamre (short story/last 5 pages, “Tractor Jockey”), Annie Potter (a memoir), Kim Simmons (chapter, The City of Winter), Holly Bonniksen-Jones (chapter. Coming Up For Air), Carol Hornung (section, Sapphire Lodge), and Andrea Kirchman (?). Carol notes, “We have a bit of a backlog on September 14th, so some folks (Jack Freiburger and Elijah Meeker) will be on stand-by. If you are scheduled but cannot get your piece to the group on time — or don’t want to read on the 14th — then let me know so I can shuffle things around! If you wish to read on September 28th or October 12th, send me a note, too.” (more…)


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