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Writer’s Mail – August 7th, 2012

Tuesday the 7th at Barnes and Noble

Bob joins the group for the evening.
Lisa shares a part of Chapter Four of Follow the Yellow. She explains to the group that the section she reads is an add-on. Rebecca thought it could be tighter. Millie didn’t think it was too long. Pam found the section a little forced and a bit confusing. Bob had a comment about the discussion of political-correctness – he thought it deepened the connection between the characters in a good way. Jerry thought the characters would address the situation of the seizure instead of having a conversation. Andy suggested one character might show a bit more apprehension. Jen wondered what his physical reaction would be. Aaron had a problem with how two characters talk over another. Bottom line, the character has to react to what’s going on.
Pam shares part four of her screenplay Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt. Lisa reminds Pam she forgot her exterior when she went to the hallway. Jerry got why she threw the pill out but wondered why she had to bother to throw it away in the first place. Rebecca thought it would be harder to get the job the character falls into. Jerry thinks the character should be subject to some kind of background check. He also didn’t think they would have this kind of intimate conversation in a public restroom. Rebecca and Lisa really liked the montage. Jerry wanted to see the growth of the main character at work. Rebecca imagined a swinging door would be hazardous in a senior center.
Rebecca shares Chapter Ten of The Cheese Logue. Millie really liked it. Lisa thought she should chuck the last line. Pam loved Rebecca’s comparison of another character to a cheese curd. Jerry pointed out that the last line was past tense. Lisa thought the chatter in the cheese shop could be tightened up. Pam suggested changing the formula for each chapter to avoid redundancy.
Aaron shares part three of his screenplay Stealing From Yourself. Lisa liked it. Pam thought the customer could have been a little more annoying, which would give more emphasis to the character quitting. Jerry points out that Aaron has a favorite verb; grab. Pam suggests double-checking names and places, since, given the nature of the story, they’re so similar. Andy wanted to know how the characters got such an important piece of information and comes up with a line Aaron totally intends to steal and use. Millie felt the reluctance of one character.
Jerry shares Chapter Seven and Eight of Thou Shalt Not Murder. Lisa and Pam think the Marvin Gaye song mentioned goes by another title. Lisa found two names that might actually remind readers of other people in real life. She was also a little disappointed that they weren’t dealing with the trial in these two chapters, but Jerry tells us that’s why it’s a crime novel and not a courtroom thriller. Millie liked the language and writing style. Bob thought the language supports the small time quality of life, depicted in the story very well.

Who’s Up for Next Time?
August 14: Rebecca Rettenmund (outline for The Cheese Logue), Terry Hoffman (chapter, The Great Tome), Kat Wagner (chapter, Revolution), and Jen Wilcher (chapter, The Hogoshiro Chronicles).

August 21: Elisha McCabe (draft, Recycle), Andy Brown (chapter 2, Lo’s Quarter), Millie Mader (chapter 37, Life on Hold), Rebecca Rettenmund (chapter 11, The Cheese Logue), Aaron Boehm (film script, part 4, “Stealing from Yourself”), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 9-11, Rage).

September 4: LIAM WILBUR (???), ELISHA MCCABE (???), JUDITH MCNEIL (SHORT STORY PART 3, “THE MAN WITH THE BROKEN HEART”), LISA MCDOUGAL (CHAPTER 4, FOLLOW THE YELLOW/BEN AND KRISTA), PAM GABRIEL (FILM SCRIPT, PART 5, “BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT”), AND JERRY PETERSON (CHAPTER 12-14, RAGE).

TWS ALUM COMING BACK . . .
TWS alum Teresa Hayden, now living in Seattle, will be back in Madison in October, to visit friends and us. She will stop in on second-and-fourth group on October 9, even sending a piece ahead of time for critiquing that evening.

WRITERS MAIL EDITORS . . .
Andy Brown, is our editor this month. In September, it’s Clayton Gill.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? . . .
Says on of the friends of Booked for Murder, quite a lot. He provided this example which Sara Barnes ran in her store’s newsletter . . . Elizabeth: Elisa, Eliza, Lillibet (God Save The Queen), Lisa, Liz, Liza, Lizzie, Bess, Bessie, Beth, Betsy, Bette, Betty, and Bitsy.

WE’RE MOVING FROM A WORLD OF GATEKEEPERS TO A WORLD OF INFLUENCERS . . .
Nathan Bransford is one of our more thoughtful bloggers in the world of books and publishing. He was a literary agents. Now he writes books for young adults. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
Here’s one of his recent posts.

THE BARBARIANS HAVE ALREADY DEMOLISHED THE GATES.
ANYONE WHO WANTS TO MAKE A MOVIE CAN UPLOAD IT TO YOUTUBE. YOU DON’T NEED A MOVIE STUDIO.
ANYONE WHO WANTS TO RECORD AN ALBUM CAN GET IT IN ITUNES. YOU DON’T NEED A RECORD LABEL.
ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE A JOURNALIST CAN START A BLOG. YOU DON’T NEED A NEWSPAPER.
AND, OF COURSE, ANYONE WHO WANTS TO WRITE A BOOK CAN SELF-PUBLISH IT. YOU DON’T NEED A PUBLISHER.
WE USED TO LIVE IN A WORLD OF FUNNELS THAT WERE DRIVEN BY PHYSICAL CONSTRAINTS. THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY BOOKS THAT CAN PHYSICALLY FIT IN A BOOKSTORE, THEREFORE IT ONLY MADE ECONOMIC SENSE FOR A CERTAIN NUMBER OF BOOKS TO BE PUBLISHED A YEAR, THEREFORE THERE WAS A WINNOWING PROCESS THAT INVOLVED A HUGE AMOUNT OF HOOP-JUMPING AND ELIMINATION.
THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF BOOKS THAT CAN BE FOR SALE ONLINE. NOW THE ONLY WINNOWING PROCESS HAPPENS WHEN READERS THEMSELVES DECIDE WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO READ FROM ALMOST INFINITE CHOICE.
THERE ARE FEW GATES LEFT ANYMORE, BUT THERE ARE STILL INFLUENCERS, PEOPLE WHO CAN PERSUADE OTHERS TO BUY A BOOK OR CONSUME A MOVIE OR LISTEN TO MUSIC.
Read the entire post at http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/08/were-moving-from-world-of-gatekeepers.html

Great words . . .
From Word Spy Paul McFedries:
Skype sleep
verb . To create a Skype connection with a faraway partner and then fall asleep together.
– Skype sleeping pp.

Example Citations:
Kaj Hasselriis brings us the sweet story of a couple who “Skype Sleep”, that is keeping their laptops on all night and falling asleep together on Skype. – Nora Young, “Spark 161”, CBC Radio, November 6, 2011
Another tip for Skype-sleeping would to leave a night light or a bedside lamp on so you don’t appear as a black block on the screen.
– “Looking at You Looking at Me,” Glimmerbomb, February 28, 2012

EARLIEST CITATION:
SKYPE SLEEP
GOING TO SLEEP WITH YOUR LAPTOP OPEN NEXT TO YOUR PILLOW AND RUNNING SKYPE AND WATCHING YOUR GIRLFRIEND OR BOYFRIEND, WHO IS DOING THE SAME.
– “SKYPE SLEEP,” URBAN DICTIONARY, OCTOBER 8, 2010

NOTES: MANY THANKS TO THE FABULOUS KAREN H. FOR SPYING THIS TERM.
THE MORE GENERAL PRACTICE OF LEAVING A SKYPE CONNECTION OPEN IS KNOWN AS AMBIENT SKYPE:
For the first time in my life I used a Skype video call with my wife today as an ambient backdrop to life, rather than just as tool for having a conversation. I’d always wanted to try it, ever since hearing my friend and colleague Dave Newbold mention, in a presentation he was giving a couple of years ago about the near future for technology and social interaction, something he’d heard described as ‘ambient Skype’, whereby people leave a voice client running in the background while they are away from home as a way of being almost-there.
– Roo Reynolds, “Ambient Skype,” Roo Reynolds – What’s Next?, March 12, 2008

That’s about all for the week, folks.
For anyone looking to pursue writing outside of their own personal projects, I thought I’d mention that this past week I stumbled upon a freelance writing index online for opportunities to write at www.freelancewritinggigs.com. I’m sure a number of Tuesdays have already encountered the site, but for those who haven’t, it’s well worth checking out.

Additionally, for anyone interested in some less traditional and mainstream writing mediums, my dad’s published a free roleplaying game rule system. It’s interesting to see where the creativity and effort of writing can be directed when combined with rules and systems like this one. Check it out if you’re interested! www.D6Pool.com

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