Posts Tagged ‘Booked for Murder’

Tuesdays with Story

Quote of the Week
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest (Carol Hornung)
The second round has been announced and I am delighted to say that Asperger Sunset, along with 999 of its closest peers, made it! The next round is 250 of that 1000, to be announced at the end of March. Wish me luck!

Alumni news . . . (from Jerry Peterson)
Ben LeRoy, our TWS leader for several years back a decade ago, last year sold his publishing company, Tyrus Books, to F+M Media. F+M publishes Writer’s Digest and 34 other magazines, and it owns seven book imprints, eight now with Tyrus.

Ben went with the sale, continuing as publisher for Tyrus. The sale gave Ben access to more capital and marketing muscle than he had as an independent publisher. “It also gives me a regular paycheck and health insurance,” he said. “That’s come to be important to me as I’ve gotten older.”

Home base for Ben and Tyrus continues to be Madison.

Tuesday Night at the Bookstore (from Amber Boudreau)
Eight of us gathered ’round to review pieces for the evening.
Rebecca shared chapter four of her Cheese Logue. Lots of chuckles while she reads aloud. Pat and Millie like the imagery she uses about the moon. Rebecca tells us this is her shortest chapter. Pat had a question about calling the police car a prowler. Everybody liked it, it moved well. (more…)


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Fifth Tuesday Submissions
January 31, 2012

The challenge: Write a short short story, poem, film scene or essay with a two-word title. One of the words must be either heart or hearts . . . Burning Heart, Busted Hearts, Mending Hearts, you get the idea. Hey, Valentine’s Day is coming. No more than 500 words. Winner receives a critique of her/his first 50 pages from Chris DeSmet plus dinner on the town with Chris.

Here is a link to the submissions. https://tuesdayswithstory.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/5th-tuesday-2012.doc

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story

Quote of the Week
“If to love Story is to love excitement, then I ought to be the greatest lover of excitement alive.” — C.S. Lewis, On Stories

Tuesday at the B&N
14 people!

Rebecca shared the chapter “Treasure Hunting” from her Cheese Logue. Pat had a question about commas and quotes. Jerry wonders if the italic section should be set up the same way as the poem at the beginning of the chapter instead of as prose. Lisa and Jen liked the voice of the pirate. John says it’s the first pirate he’s heard of who wanted health insurance. Millie asks if Rebecca ever saw any fifty cent pieces at the cheese shop.

Liam shared chapter six of his novel. Judith liked the professional altercation that occurs. Liam wasn’t sure the student would report a slur so shortly after hearing it, but Millie was glad the student did. Clayton was surprised the principal would discipline a teacher in a student’s presence. Jerry agreed. Pat liked the way Liam slipped in the age of the character (centuries old) but in the next chapter he can’t talk to girls. Pat has to ask if there are really kids who don’t know who famous people in history were. Millie wondered why the girl is a senior at 11 years of age. Pat wondered about that, too. Pat also had a question about voice and pronouns. Amber covets Liam’s giant whiteboard!

Amber shared chapter one of her rewrite, Jerry thought this was much better than the first draft. Millie and Jen wondered if the first part could be in italics, since there was confusion regarding the fact that it was supposed to be a sort of cycle of events. Some mention of Alice in Wonderland. There was mention of a need for a break between the first and second part. (more…)

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March 25, 2011
Writer’s Mail
by Carol Hornung

Quote of the Day
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

Fifth Tuesday . . .
Thirteen stories came in for the writing challenge. Tuesday evening at Booked for Murder, we’ll find out who wins the critique of the first 50 pages of her/his novel. Madison College creative writing instructor John Galligan will provide that.

Also at Fifth Tuesday, John will share his list of “The Dirty Thirty”, thirty things you and I shouldn’t do in our manuscripts.

Have you made your reservation? Email Jerry Peterson, and tell him you’re coming.

Tuesday night … from Holly Bonnicksen-Jones:
Kim Simmons, City of Winter, Chapter 39
Holly suggested that the word “mafia” pulls the reader out of the fantasy world. Need to find a different word. Kimmie asked why James would be using a negative power in the sentence with “emotions sucked out.” Kim explained that James wasn’t in control of his power at that time; he was governed by emotion. Kimmie suggested that if he is going to use an evil power, there should be a moment where he reflects on the fact that he resorted to that kind of power. Holly asked why can James use such power on his friend, but did not use that power on the enemy soldiers under his care. Kim stated that his power has been growing and not completely controlled yet. Someone suggested that the description of the ages and the discovery that Jamie is his son are both big moments and need to be separated so that there is more impact for each. Jack suggested that Kim consider the concept of the healers being co-opted by the military. Jack also suggested that the Chief Healer have more status and how more relationship between him and his art. Use the Hippocratic Oath in some way in the chapter or in the story. The group discussed the concept of 6 sexes in this world for one of the species. Jack suggested that if the concept doesn’t move the plot forward, Kim should take it out. Kim was reluctant to do that so Holly suggested that she weave the concept throughout the story. (more…)

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March 3, 2011
Writer’s Mail
by Cathy Riddle

Quote of the Day. . .
“Expectation is what colons and semicolons are all about; expectation and elastic energy. Like eternal springs, the colon and semicolon propel you forward in a sentence towards more information.”— Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.

About the EITR (the Elephant In the Room) . . .
Writers and storytellers observe and comment on the world around them. That’s our job and calling—to notice the big things and little things. Can’t miss that Madison, the city where our group meets at Barnes & Noble, is in turmoil now over unions, collective bargaining, a budget bill and political power grabs.

Just today in west Madison, at a routine physical appointment at the UW Health, this editor noticed a tiny lapel pin that read “AFSCME,” worn by a pretty young nurse preparing to draw her patient’s blood. A pass-the-time polite conversation ensued:

Patient (seated, holding bare arm out): So you’re in Afs-mee. I see your pin there.

Nurse (whispering): Yeah, we all are here. And my husband belongs to the ess-eee-eye-you. (She swabs the vein site and tightens a rubber band around patient’s upper arm.)

Patient: The S-E-I-U. And that stands for…

Nurse Hold still. (She procures a needle and touches the extended arm): Good veins here. (Furrows her brow.) “SEIU. S. S. The S is…You know, I can’t remember what it means! God, I should know that. (Inserts needle.) Don’t move.

Patient: Is it the society of emergency…? (more…)

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February 25, 2011
Writer’s Mail
by Cathy Riddle

From The Best American Short Stories 2006 series editor Katrina Kenison: “… the best stories I’ve read over the years have seemed to require nearly as much of me, the reader, as of the writer, a kind of passionate engagement that challenges not only my intellect but my humanity. Reading, reading actively, strengthens the soul.”

Fifth Tuesday…
March 29 at Booked for Murder.

Complete your 500-word masterpiece—a distillation of an interview with one of your own characters—and send it to Jerry Peterson. As for the $10 entry fee, send it to Clayton Gill. If your piece really sings, you could win a critique of the first 50 pages of your novel by Madison College creative writing instructor John Galligan, plus dinner with him—an opportunity to learn a lot.

Galligan wrote his first novel, Red Sky, based on his experiences living, working and traveling in Japan. His fourth book in the critically acclaimed fishing mystery series, The Wind Knot, is set to release in March. He has degrees in English literature and environmental studies. On his bio page online he expresses interest in jazz, cooking, gardening and camping.

Does that give you any ideas? Write your piece and send it in soon.

Second-and-Fourth at B&N…
Terry – Chapter 7: The Tome
Anne mentioned that it appeared as if the husband had one too many hands trying to hold his wife back. Holly was mad that he burned the book and wondered if it was really gone? Jack felt that the scene (as was currently written) was not as believable as it could be. Quite a bit of time was spent discussing the phone call and what different characters’ reactions would be if the words and situations were slightly different. Holly brought the discussion to a close by mentioning how much she like how the chapter ended. (more…)

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Writer’s Maily
by Randy Haselow
February 4, 20110

Fifth Tuesday’s writing challenge . . .
Have you been sitting out the writing challenge? Just haven’t been able to get turned on to writing a short piece for Fifth Tuesday?
You need an incentive? Maybe a reward? How about an opportunity to have the first 50 pages of the novel you’re writing critiqued by John Galligan, published author and creative writing instructor at Madison College?
John will do that for you, but first you have to interview your character and distill that interview down to a dynamite piece of no more than 500 words. That’s the writing challenge for our next Fifth Tuesday, March 29.
Go ahead. Select one of your fictional characters – major or minor – and take her or him on an adventure, and the two of you talk. The best piece wins John’s critique.
This time there is an entry fee . . . $10. We’ll use all those $10 bills that come in to buy an outstanding dinner at a superb restaurant for you – if you are the winner – your spouse or friend, and John and his guest where you all will eat like royalty and discuss your writing.
Here’s the deadline. Email your mini-masterpiece to Jerry Peterson, no later than Sunday, March 20. On Monday, March 21, a reader, not a member of our group, will read the submissions . . . no names will be attached . . . and select the three best. The next day, on Tuesday, March 22, John will read the top three . . . again, no names attached . . . and select the very best of the best. And we’ll tell you who the writer of that piece is on March 29.
So you’re curious about that week gap between John’s judging and the announcement. During that week’s time, he’s going to be out of town. No doubt fishing. He does that a lot. Research for his novels.
All right, start writing, and next week, we’ll tell you who’s handling the money.
By the way, the first submission is in.
(thank you, Jerry)

Who’s up next . . .
February 8: Randy Haselow (chapter, Hona and the Dragon), Jack Freiburger (chapter, Path to Bray’s Head), Holly Bonnicksen-Jones (chapter, Coming Up for Air), Ann Potter (memoir), Kim Simmons (chapters, City of Winter), and Jen Wilcher (???).
February 15: Linda Meyer (chapter, Everything’s Going South), Jen Wilcher (chapter, The Hogoshiro Chronicles), Leah Wilbur (???), Clayton Gill (chapter 16, Fishing Derby), Greg Spry (chapter 4, Beyond Cloud Nine), and Aaron Boehm (screenplay/part 6, Hell Cage).
February 22: Terry Hoffman (chapter, The Tome), Carol Hornung (scene, Sapphire Lodge), Kim Simmons (chapters, City of Winter), and Anne Allen (chapter, A Fatal Homecoming). (more…)

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Writer’s Mail for October 7, 2010
by Pat Edwards

“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.” William Faulkner (via Michael A. Simpson)

Reading Recap: October 5 at the B&N
Ten First-and-Third members met at Barnes & Nobel West at 7:00 p.m. to hear six colleagues reading their recent work.

Jen Wilcher read the introduction to Chapter 1 called “Hibiki’s Point of View” from her as-yet unnamed novel. Jen’s story takes place in a fictional hogoshiro or “protection castle” of feudal Japan. Characters include the protagonist, the girl Hibiki, and Rin, a mythical, fox-like kitsune who is 299 years old. Pat Edwards praised Jen’s depth of characterization established so quickly in this opening chapter. Pat said the story was very interesting and she wanted to read more. So, she recommended that Jen “write on” rather than re-write again. In regard to Hibiki’s emotions, Elijah Meeker suggested Jen could employ the “anime effect,” such that Hibiki’s actions would more directly relate to her speech in dialogue. This effect would demonstrate specific emotions in the dialogue, rather than in narration. Pat praised Jen’s depth of characterization. Clayton Gill suggested that Jen maintain consistency in her use verb tenses. He thought it was important for two reasons: For the reader to know whether the story was a “real-time” description (present tense) or a recollection (past tense), and for Jen during the writing because the tense – present or past – also could influence her vision and imagination in telling the story.

Greg Spry brought us the prologue of his science fiction novel Beyond Cloud Nine. Jerry Peterson warned that many readers – himself included – probably would skip the prologue. Jerry recommended making the prologue the first chapter. Also, in one instance of the main character’s thought shown in italics, Jerry pointed out that any such thought question would not need the attribution “she wondered” which would be redundant. Clayton noted that the prologue or opening chapter used third-person narration, whereas the next chapter would be narration from the main character’s point of view. Would subsequent chapters use first-person narration? Greg replied no, that the whole novel would use third person narration, which Jerry agreed should not be a problem for the reader. Elijah commented on the challenge of “language in transit,” especially when the novel tries to forecast English in the 24th Century. Greg could identify his colloquialisms of the present day – especially in dialogue — and invent some new ones for his novel’s future time. Along these lines, Pat liked Greg’s very human characters but suggested that he make their forms of address more futuristic or related to careers of the future (e.g., “Space Commander Davis” for “Ms. Davis”).

Pat Edwards read three poems, the first of which – “The Last Time I Hit a Person” – generated much comment among Tuesdays members. The poem opens with the question “Would you believe…?” and closes with a question “Do you believe…?” In between the questions, there is the action of the poet (presumably a woman) in bed who strikes a man who strikes back and knocks her off the bed. Elijah suggested that the poem’s early tone is too light for the subject of domestic violence, noting the short, catchy line length. Clayton suggested that the short line length succeeded in producing “freeze-frame shots” of the action, while the longer lines show thought and analysis of the action. Judith McNeil appreciated the poet’s literal questions about perception, story telling, and memory. Commenting on the second poem – “Too Much Gravity” – Elijah admired the concept that we all inherit adaptations to gravity. But he worried that the narrator’s presence in the central stanzas “gets in the way of the poem.” Clayton asked the group, “Is there any a single word that is a synonym of ‘gravity’?” No one came up with a one-word synonym, which is one thing that adds to the beauty of this poem. Several members commented on exquisite images, such as “DNA trickles down” and “the marionette gene.” Pat’s third poem – “Window Cube” – also garnered praise from the group. Elijah noted that the poem works very well, despite the “lists of things,” which other poets have not used so effectively. Members noted the powerful contrast of the poet’s prosaic work cubicle and her recollection of other peoples’ office space burned out and exposed to the elements and the view of strangers.

Clayton Gill read from Chapter 14 of his juvenile adventure novel Fishing Derby, focusing on a passage at the beginning of the chapter which describes the attack of frankenfish protestors on the Zooper Aqua pontoon boat. The young protagonist Miker, the boat’s pilot, freezes in fright during the attack as he remembers an incident from his past. Then a command from another character – “Mind the boat, Miker” — calls the boy back to the present. Clayton asked the group, “Does this passage work?” There was general agreement that the flashback and “call back” succeeded. However, Greg wondered whether an attack with paintballs, bottle rockets, and cherry bombs could be sufficiently threatening or dangerous to warrant life-or-death, action-thriller narrative. Also, he recommended that the reader be reminded every now then about the purpose of the current adventure and the role or personalities of the other characters. Jerry and Pat noted that it should not be necessary to remind readers of solid details from the previous chapter (e.g., the “bass boat” as a small, high-powered, two-place boat). (more…)

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by Greg Spry

Next Fifth Tuesday: August 31st, 2010
It’s only 5 weeks away, August 31. Make your reservations now. Send either Shel Ellestad, or Jerry Peterson, a note telling them you are coming and who you’re bringing as guests. Yes, guests – friends, spouses, children – are always welcome.

It’s also time to write your Fifth Tuesday mini-masterpiece. The first two are already in.

Anne Allen wrote an article for Nebraska History and won Best Article of The Year. It even involved a cash prize! Anne Beiser Allen’s article, “A Scandal in Niobrara: The Controversial Career of the Rev. Samuel D. Hinman,” has been selected by the Nebraska State Historical Society to receive the 2010 James L. Sellers Memorial Award for the best article to appear in Nebraska History during 2009.

Andrea Kirchman’s short fiction piece, “Don’t Listen to the Sirens” just got published on the Six Sentences blog. Check it out! http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/2010/07/dont-listen-to-sirens.html

Meeting Recap: Tuesday, July 27th – 2nd & 4th
Eleven folks gathered at BN for critiquing Tuesday night.

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January 21, 2010 by Cathy R.

“The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated. When you say something directly, it is simply not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for themselves.” – Stanley Kubrick

Writing friends…

This group has been around for quite awhile—nearly a decade now. One former member and group leader, Ben LeRoy, founder of Bleak House Books and now Tyrus Books in Madison, says he was asked to take over leadership of an ongoing group of aspiring writers “sometime around 2002 or 2003” by Sherry Klinker, then the publicity manager at Barnes & Noble. Shortly afterward, the growing group split into the two sections we now have today. Ben recently offered to do a question-and-answer session with TWS members to share what he knows about books and publishing. Maybe in spring?

This week, news from another early member who continues to write and publish, Kashmira Sheth: I want to tell you my new book BOYS WITHOUT NAMES just came out yesterday. If anyone is interested I have posted pre-pub reviews on my website: http://kashmirashet h.typepad. com/

– Kashmira

Writing challenge set . . .

To your keyboards! First-and-thirders, our hosts for Fifth Tuesday – March 30 at Booked for Murder – have set the writing challenge: “A Night at the Bookstore.” (more…)

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