Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
February 19, 2016


The first word . . .

Nonfiction author Matt Ziselman: “I did what many writers do at one time or another: I stopped writing. But, perhaps even worse than not writing was that I stopped believing that I could write.”


Middle School Novelists

Richard Hamel is a Madison School teacher who sponsors a writing program for middle school students. Students across the district are writing novels through the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) website (They wrote drafts last November, then revised through subsequent months). They will have a culminating workshop at the public library downtown in April to celebrate their accomplishment and to connect them to local writers. They are looking for writing volunteers for the workshop.

Are you interested?  Contact me to get Richard’s contact info.


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Tuesdays With Story
November 5,2015

Nov. 2nd Meeting

Lisa- The Tebow Family Secret, Chap42, A Trusted Friend  Alicia thought the plot moved well.  Pat suggested that the reason for Sadie’s presence in this chapter be explained.  Rest of the group thought it moved well.

Millie– Poem, “Using The Pen To Heal”, Lisa thought there were two voices in each stanza, in the alternating stanzas.  Pat liked the line “Life will turn new pages.”  Bob suggested writing from last stanza back.  Cindi felt like it was a poem in which narrator is counseling others.  Alicia suggested adding in some personal anecdotes in between.

Bob– “Letters”, Part 2.  Alicia liked anecdotes about the war.  Group suggested that Bob put more steaminess into the letters so as we know why they’re to be kept from the kids.  Cindi asked about the main character.  Bob said the main character is the husband and that his reactions to the letters give ideas of how he was as a young man.

Amit and Kashmira- 1st and 2nd chapters—Lisa felt Kedar seemed more interested in keeping friends than getting back to Uma, his fiance.  Everyone liked the chapters.  Amit said that beginning with Uma’s preparation for wedding started story off on softer foot, than beginning with Kedar in middle of the crisis and chaos of the division of the country.  Alicia suggested they put in a short prologue to explain the historical conflict, and to add in a map of the region, as well. (more…)

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Tuesdays with Story
Writer’s Mail
October 26, 2015

“The basic elements of language are physical: the noise words make, the sounds and silences that make the rhythms marking their relationships. Both the meaning and the beauty of writing depend on these sounds and rhythms.” – Ursala K. Le Guin (1929), fantasy and sci-fi author

Judith McNeil Smashwords Author!
Check out Judith’s new book on Smashwords. Note that you may have to open the Adult filter to see the book (a few curse words!).

My Mother Savior of Men by Judith G. McNeil
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 33,300. Language: American English. Published: September 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The relationship between Charles and his mother becomes eroded when he decides to sabotage her decision to publish her poetry in a book that includes artistic nude pictures of her. He doesn’t realize that this is a proxy attack on her seeming inability to maintain a long term relationship. (more…)

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Writers Mail
November 4, 2014

Andy Pfeiffer read from his NaNoWriMo novel, A Song of Destiny. Judith mentioned that the age or school status should be revealed earlier in the chapter. Pat pointed out the Andy has a distinctive voice and that he should give it free rein in wackiness. Pat asked about Carter’s remarking on race of a couple of Wal Mart employees. Andy said the he has a mild case of Asperger’s Syndrome and is extremely detailed oriented. Pat suggested that Carter should either be totally focused on the person, remarking on the color of their clothes, etc., or more focused on distances, etc. Judith asked about Destiny’s knowledge of cutting lens. Others suggested that she not be allowed to cut the lens, which would provide additional conflict in the runaway venture.

Judith McNeil read from My Mother, Savior of Men, Chapters 22,23, 24. Jerry felt that Charlie’s dad had smoothed the way for his chair to be accepted at the museum. The group liked the chapter on the trip to Ecuador. Millie liked the development of the father son relationship on the trip. Jerry pointed out the need to insert how “tea” got into hotel room in that scene and to action of Charlie picking up phone in one of last scenes.

Mike Rickey read his poem Grandfather’s Barns. Everyone loved the descriptions of the barns holding the energy of various aspects of the farm. Pat loved the phrase “knowers of grit”. She suggested that he show effects of weather and the elements on the barns. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
October 28th, 2014

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”
― Carl Sagan

This last Tuesday –

New member Becky!

Rebecca read from Lookout. Jack asked what the weird button referred to. Several word changes are suggested. Karen noted some places words seemed to be missing or a tense change was needed. Kaitlin talked about pillbugs and how they are not insects. Ruth thinks the POV changes at one point. Alicia felt disappointed in the beginning because Ang runs from the other cat instead of confronting him. A discussion occurs as to whether the main character is being lost in the anecdotes. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail for October 14th, 2014

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

Notes from the night itself…
Katelin read from a revised chapter 1 of The Battle of Sista.
The group agreed that capitalizing the alien races would make it more clear. Wording like “drinking in the stillness” and overuse of the words “create” and “creation” made things confusing. Jack pointed out some continuity errors like “popped slowly.” Alicia thought that since there is so much to introduce, it could be good to tell more clearly what these new things are. What is the central conflict? Possibly bring that closer to the beginning while setting the scene more clearly.

Alicia read from chapter 1 of Coastie Girl.
Consider using “irreverent” instead of “sacrilegious.” Liam thought that the father would not stay in uniform after he was home and would not be washing dishes in his uniform. Katelin liked the voice of the narrator. Rebecca suggested demonstrating the girl’s talent to help people and her motivation for acting. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail for October 7th, 2014

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
― William Faulkner

Who’s up next . . .
October 14: Jack Freiburger (poem), Katelin Cummins (new chapter 1, Battle of Sista), and Alicia Connolly Lohr (Coastie Girl, chapter 1).

October 21: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Family Secret), Andy Brown (chapter, Man Before the Fall), Bob Kralapp (???), Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), and Judith McNeil (???).

November 4: Judith McNeil (???), Andy Pfeiffer (chapters, The Void), Millie Mader (chapter 59, Life on Hold), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Bob Kralapp (???), and Jerry Peterson (short story).

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