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Writer’s Mail 3/22/2010
by Kimberly Simmons

“The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.”  – Ken MacLeod

Last Meeting

Clayton – Kathy sent in a suggestion for the reporter in the story. Jerry wanted the reporter to be real – he’s introduced but then nothing happens. Clayton sees an opportunity and there will be more to come in the re-write. Kane wants to know how essential the relationship is between Miker and his father. Clayton is using it to deepen the emotional connection between the reader and Miker. If it’s there to hook us, then Jerry thinks it should have some pretty deep stuff in it. It shouldn’t be a chore for Miker to write. Miker is just an observer here and Pat thinks Gram might really be the main character of the story. Millie suggests Miker’s e-mail needs more pathos. Kim wanted to know why the boats were so loud if there was a fishing derby going on.

Kim – Pat has a question about the temperature, if people are wearing dusters and shivering in the jungle, are there mountains, what kind of climate is it? Jen was unclear about the mental communication. Kane and Jerry noticed Ryoko character breathed through her nose a lot. Pat thought that might be because of the cat connection. Kim wanted to know if the emotion of her character was coming through. Kane picked up on the grief. Clayton was wondering about the connotations of certain names, for instance, Leviathan and Ramses.  Jerry’s found a place where a thought just kills the action of a scene. Clayton was surprised Ryoko took the human’s word for how another character died.

Amber – Jen wanted some differentiation of Moira’s thoughts. Italics? Jerry wanted to know where the reaction to the big egg was. Also, if she didn’t want the egg shell to break, where does it get packed. Does the bone get crushed or kicked, which one? What kind of headlamp are we talking about? How bright are those things? Clayton remembers those things washing out color. How would that effect what Moira sees?

Jen – Note to all, cell-phones don’t get dialed, the numbers get punched or keyed in. Pat wondered if it was a script because there was a lot of direction and detail reminding us that, per Stephen King, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.” Kane liked that it moved fast and thought it was similar to a screenplay or teleplay. Kane has brought proof from babynamevoyager.com that no one ever names their kid Biff. Bill thinks sentences with forty-four words in them are a little long. The size of the devamper is unclear. Pat thinks the shooting of Biff at the beginning of the story is uncalled for because he isn’t an imminent threat.

Millie – Shel likes to read the pictures that Millie paints, but the idea of shrimp dip and hot cocoa made him ill. Kane found an inconsistency when Erin fell out of the canoe with Zak. Clayton wondered if the water would be that clear and Pat thought it might be colder. Erin needs to shiver some afterwards. Shel thought that scene went too fast. Clayton thought Erin suffered, but we didn’t get to see any of it. Pat likes Millie’s descriptions and thinks she should write more prose poetry. Bill wanted to know how Millie decided pot had a grassy odor. Kane thought some parts were more Millie than Erin. Shel warns us all that Jerry uses a big, dull drill to make people use the active voice. We’ve been warned.

Shel – Millie likes the title, but liked the sardines about as much as Shel liked her shrimp salad and cocoa. Clayton wanted to hear more about the relationship between Shel and the plant. It was a gift from a neighbor of his. He wanted it willed to him, but when the plant didn’t go with his neighbor’s decorating scheme, she called Shel. Pat liked the personification of the Jade plant. Kane thought the message about the temperature dropping was mixed. Jerry wanted to know of the wheel broke or if it slipped. Clayton thought the parenthesis and brackets could go away as the story is from Shel’s point of view.


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