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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
July 22, 2016

 

gauld — Tom Gauld

 

Sizzlin’ Summer Round-up from 1st/3rd

Kashmira Seth submitted the first three chapters of Journey to Swaraj, HF set in 1930, India. These were revised chapters and most people found them moving along well. There was some discussion about a few cultural things and about buffalos! Since Kashmira grew up next to people who kept buffaloes she hopes she was able to answer the questions correctly.

The group generally liked Judith McNeils’s “The Lettuce Bug and Me”, a short children’s book.  Suggestions to change the title and to work out a better rhyme on page 3 where it got “bumpy” and out of sync.  Kashmira offered to give Judith a couple of references to publishers who specialize in children’s books, when she’s ready.

Nora O’Reilly – The group reviewed the second chapter of Bill McCormick’s Bliss. They suggested that in the scene when Bill flashes back to biking down Charter Street and viewing the destruction following the Sterling Hall bombing that I make several changes. The use of the word ‘rubble’ might be inappropriate. Also honing in on a specific personal item that charred but intact may focus the reader’s lens on the sadness of the event. I also need to be careful with flashbacks, making sure there is a logical, if small, cue to trigger the character’s memory. Also the knees, not thighs, of the sixty-year old monk would ‘beg for reprieve.’ And lastly, I must be parsimonious with my use of both adjectives and adverbs except in dialogue.
I love all the honest feedback, I have a long way to go, but I’m enjoying the ride!

Hannah Marshall’s poems “Boys” and “Unexpected” were both well received by the group. The majority of the discussion revolved around the last couple of stanzas in “Boys.” Nora questioned if “the knight” might be better as “a knight,” Pat asked for more concrete examples, and the word choice “persistent” was questioned. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
August 6, 2013

“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

Tuesday at Barnes & Noble…thanks Amber
Carol from 2nd and 4th visits with the group and shares her experience self-publishing her novel Asperger Sunset; overall, positive. Jerry and Amber bought their copies right then and there. Lisa has purchased it on Kindle (no signed copy for her.)

Lisa shares a chapter from Tebow Family Secret. Jerry wonders about there being wine in the library after Adam gives his speech. Alicia liked it and found one of the character in particular bold. Pat thought that three minutes of applause after the speech was too much and suggested that Lisa should go home and try clapping for three minutes because that’s a long time. She was disappointed when one of the characters offered another an internship after being so adamant about not starting a relationship with the person he is offering the job to. Judith got that the character was fighting his feelings, but Lisa thought she could beef that part up. Pat wondered if she could replace a reference to a real celebrity with the words, ‘movie star.’

Then Lisa shares her poem, Choir Practice at the Pool Hall with the group. Pat gives a shout out to Gwendolyn Brooks. (more…)

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Tuesdays with Story
WRITER’S MAIL for August 26, 2010
by Clayton Gill

Good Words from Way Back
“A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.” – Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) in The Hand of Ethelberta (1876), found in The Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

No More Excuses: Submit Yours Today
If you haven’t written your Fifth Tuesday mini-masterpiece, do it today! Here’s the set-up: You oversleep. You get to work late, and the boss is in your face about it. You’ve got to say something to get yourself out of trouble. Send your magnificent lie – confined to 400 words or less – to Jerry Peterson today, or at the latest, tomorrow (Friday, August 27).

If you haven’t made your reservation for Fifth Tuesday (7:00 p.m., August 31), do that today, too. E-mail either Jerry or Shel Ellestad and let one of them know you’re coming. Guests are always welcome, but let Jerry or Shel know they’re coming too.

Cathy Riddle is hosting Fifth Tuesday at her home. Jerry has e-mailed us driving directions via Yahoo! Groups. If you have not already volunteered to bring a specific item, then bring something tasty to share at our potluck.

Report from the Field: Gen Con Indy 2010
Gen Con Indy 2010 – “the original, longest running, best attended, gaming convention in the world” — took place August 5-8 in Indianapolis. Patrick Tomlinson participated. He reports that, besides all sorts of gaming, Gen Con has an extensive selection of seminars, readings, critique sessions, and the like for writers.

“The organizers,” Patrick says, “bring in many writers, editors, and publishers to give talks on how to write, the business of writing, and the changing publishing industry. The conference was immeasurably helpful to me. Not only did I get to meet over a half-dozen professional writers and editors, but I learned a huge amount about the craft in a very short time. I made valuable connections in the industry, and I’ve even gotten a position as a slush editor for Apex Magazine.

“I think I’ve probably cut a year or more off of my development as a professional writer by going to this convention. While it certainly focuses on the sci-fi and fantasy genres, the advice given is applicable to all of us. It didn’t come cheap — between the drive, room costs, tickets, food, and so forth — but in the end I think it was the best money I’ve spent all year.” (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

February 25, 2010 by Pat E.

“Writing a book is like one night of glorious sex and having it published is like giving birth to sextuplets.” – Cathy Crimmins

Writing Friends…

Deborah Blum

Check out the cover of Isthmus last week for an article about professor and author, Deborah Blum, http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/article.php?article=28242

UW journalism prof Deborah Blum will talk about and sign her book, The Poisoner’s Handbook at B&N on Thursday (February 25), 7 p.m.,  Blum won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her science reporting the Sacramento Bee. In The Poisoner’s Handbook, she follows New York City’s first forensic scientists “to discover a fascinating Jazz Age story of chemistry and detection, poison and murder.”

Blum has been on UW/Madison’s staff since 1997. This is her fifth book.

 At Ye Olde Barnes & Noble – 2nd and 4th

Seven folks gathered Tuesday night at Barnes & Noble for readings and critiques.

Jack Freiburger read from Path to Bray’s Head.  How does Lester’s speech move the story forward? Carol Hornung noted that the poem is about Lester, his connection to Ireland, his identity, and Sean needs to find his own identity. Holly Bonnickson-Jones said to watch out for the overuse of “overwrought” and “spouting.”

Annie Potter’s Ginger was both lovely and heartbreaking, according to Anne Allen, who also felt the ending was a little abrupt. Clarify to the reader that the dog had been sold, even if the narrator doesn’t realize it. Also be careful of repeating words – sleep, daydreaming, and the name Lee were all used 3 times in quick succession.

The Journal is Terry Hoffman’s new novel, which Annie Potter declared, “like silk.” An excellent introduction to the story, though there’s difficulty in pinpointing the age of various characters. Simply dropping in some time references “over twenty years ago,” “less than three months ago,” would help establish the age of the various characters. Terrific details, like the strands of hair caught on the glasses.

Anne Allen brought in An American High School in Paris. Jack said there was too much about the school, not enough emotion or descriptions of the other students. Was kind of flat. Needs to lead the reader forward a bit more – like when the narrator is looking at the kids, wondering who will become her friend – show us who that girl is, lead us on a bit. Did like the origin of the family name.

Holly Bonnickson-Jones continued with Coming Up for Air, which is definitely getting into cougar territory. Jack felt that Liza taking a post-modern lit class would see her favorite author, Jane Austen, in a different light. We also wanted some description of David – what did he look like, how did he read the Byron poem? Also, when a pronoun and the name of the person is used in a paragraph, use the name first. (more…)

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