Posts Tagged ‘Poets & Writers Magazine’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
November 26, 2015


Who’s up next . . .

December 1: Lisa McDougal (chapter 44-45, Tebow Family Secret), Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Judith McNeil (???), Millie Mader (poem), and Bob Kralapp (short story, part 3, “Letters”).
* First-and-third meets at Alicia Ashman Branch Library.

December 8:
* Second-and-fourth meets at The Chocolaterian Cafe.

December 15: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Family Secret), Pat Edwards (???), Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Bob Kralapp (???), and Jerry Peterson (short story, “The Three Kings of Kansas”).
* First-and-third meets at Alicia Ashman Branch Library.


Christmas gifts for writers . . .

This from Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz.com:

With Black Friday in the U.S. almost here, it’s time to think about creating your own gift wish list for this holiday season. (more…)


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Tuesdays with Story
Writer’s Mail
October 7, 2015

“The writer has to be responsible to signs and dreams. If you don’t do anything with it, you lose it.” – Joy Williams, from 2014, The Paris Review

Notes from 1st and 3rd
Kashmira submitted some poems from Turban Boy. Jerry and Lisa thought they will make a good edition to my other poems. Bob liked one part about friends being tangled up in your life. Cindi wanted to see all the poems.

Jerry (short story, “Floater”) – “Is that the end?” Bob Kralapp asked of the end of the story. “Yes,” said Jerry, “you know what’s going to happen after the brothers confess to the murder.” To keep “Floater” a short story, he said he had to make decisions on what to leave out. Jerry agreed that opens the possibility that “Floater” could be rewritten and expanded into a longer story or even a novella.

Lisa – Millie wondered why did Izzy need to go to the hospital. Kashmira liked the ending, found it intriguing. Thinks there needs to be more inner thoughts from Adam about how he’s feeling about Jessica and Izzy. Also, there should be more sexual tension between Adam and Izzy. Cindi, thought chapter flowed well. Some parts in phrasing could be changed. Jerry thinks Adam and Izzy are together because they had sex and that Adam’s going to have a big problem (later) getting rid of Jessica. Johnnie Walker too strong for two people to get have sex afterwards and should be changed to a bottle of wine from Aldi’s. Make Izzy a bit more hungover. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail March 27, 2014
Tuesday with Chaos March 25, 2014

Roxanne Aehl read her first chapter of her Heart with Blinder novel. The heroine with Alzheimer’s is introduced, a bit confused in the grocery store with enough coffee in the cart for a year or two. Discussion of the need to set the scene, don’t make a chapter into a set of lists of what happened, but show it, need for an over view to set the lady in time and place and set up a sympathetic attachment.

Karen Zethmayr tested another set of pages from Where’s Bear’s Stuff on the crew. This is her cut, fold, color and make your own book project that she has been designing, just slightly less complicated than building a super computer from its parts. Only Ruth showed the dexterity appropriate to complete the project and will be rewarded with a one way ticket to Sri Lanka where she has a job waiting in a lingerie factory for her nibble fingers. The rest of us fused and floundered about and blamed (not unreasonably) the directions, the scissors and the quality of the glue.

Jack Frieburger brought in the first chapter of long done Bray Head to see if anyone would continue to read after the first two pages. Andy found a tense problem and others saw a few pronouns that needed to be nouns. Jack asked if they’d continue reading and all said they would. He then pressed his luck by asking “would you purchase it? That was not a good idea, but Jenn kindly noted there is always a market for free books. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
For 09-24-13

Tuesday night at the bookstore…
We got right to work with Holly Bonnicksen-Jones and Chapter 1 of Coming Up For Air. Carol enjoyed the metaphors in the piece, but said to be wary of the many “I”s in first person narration. Kristin wanted to get to the why of the crying sooner. Thought the scene could be condensed a bit. Jen found some repeated words a little too close together, like “chin” twice in a paragraph. Thought a stronger word than “hurt” could be used to describe the sensation of pounding her hands against the steering wheel. Terry said that since it is raining, the police officer would probably react more to his environment, from wearing a slicker to being more anxious about getting answers from her so he could move along. We did like the start of the chapter and want to know what’s coming next!

Katelin Cummins read from Chapter 1 of Battle of Sista, her NaNoWriMo Boot Camp project. Carol liked the characters of the three girls, found it easy to tell them apart, but was a little confused by the world they were living in. What exactly is the underwater city? How does all that work? Terry thought the description of the statue could be used to give Cassie some inspiration/strength. And it seemed odd that teens would be running off to fly kites. That seems to be a younger child’s pursuit. Ruth liked the statue and felt it provided the distinction between the “normal” world and the fantasy setting the story is placed in. Kristin was worried about Cassie – felt like the other girls might actually be planning to harm her!

Carol Hornung read a scene from the Ghost of Heffron College. Katelin wanted to see much more internal conflict with Kyle in dealing with the concept of a relationship with Autumn. Holly felt Kyle’s dialog was a bit too feminine, and Kristin pointed out that the dialog is a mixture of formal and contractions. With young characters like this, keep the language as informal as possible, except when needed to make a point. Jen pointed out some passive language in the scene that needs to be cleaned up. Also, with only two people in the room, most of the speech tags can be taken out. And folks thought the steamy subject matter was well written.

Ruth Imhoff continued with a chapter from Motto of the Hound. Jerry felt that Tasmo would not be tapping the ceiling with the broomstick handle, especially after grabbing it so aggressively. Kristin suggested taking out the “almosts” – go ahead, let it happen! Katelin liked the concealment spell, but also launched a fairly in-depth discussion of how the spell is conjured and just exactly what kind of damage it has the potential to do as it is cast and after it has stood for a while. It’s something you do not want to walk into. Karen thought the handling of the soiled tissues needed to be done a lot more delicately. Lots of good tension in the scene, though. Clearly the characters are stressed. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
May 11, 2011
by Pat Edwards

“Recently I had an interesting conversation with a professional screenwriting coach. She told me that you can tell if students are developing a truly authentic voice by investigating how they develop the central character of their story.

Apparently, one of the most common problems of novice screenwriters is that they write heroes by default, characters whose names are on almost every page but who are actually only leads because of their frequency of appearance. They’re presented as victims of circumstances or malice; they are “done to” or react to the actions of others. But they aren’t driving the story through their choces. They only react. Often writers don’t realize it, but they’re scared to let their “heroes” make mistakes, so they create a straw figure for a hero and focus all their creative energies on the bad guys and continuing escalation of crises.”– Sara Ban Breathnach, “Peace and Plenty”

Writing Contest Entrant Advice
Watch Stephanie G’Schwind, Camille Rankine, Michael Collier, and Beth Harrison offer their advice for poets and writers interested in submitting their work to writing contests. (Note, the advice is a little bit into the video, after the listing of Literary journals and prizes.) http://www.pw.org/content/writing_contest_advice

Notes from 2nd Tuesday of May
Kim Simmons, Chapter 14 Whiteout
Leah asked if Kim could break up the term “short sword” and sometimes call it a sword. Kim said she could. Leah also felt that when Kim was talking about “his wind” it sounded like a fart. Kime suggested using the word “breeze” instead.
Andrea suggested that Wolfe not have his tail wagging during the romantic scene. It seems too humorous for a romantic scene. She also wondered how did Ryoko lose track of so many days. She’s too smart for that. Kim said that it was winter. Andrea pressed that there would still be some sun and some way for the people there to know what day it was.
Randy noted that Ryoko has a child she’s responsible for and wondered how could she abandon the child to go off on a sexual encounter for a few days. Holly added that Kim needs to show that Ryoko has some maternal instinct. (more…)

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February 9, 2011
Writer’s Mail
by Cathy Riddle

Quote of the Day…
From The Weather in Berlin by Ward Just: “Much later, Harry told his son to listen carefully always to the stories that people told. Listen to the words and the music, too, the cadence. That was the way you came to know people, by the stories they told and the manner of their telling. When you listened hard enough, the stories became yours. A story belonged to whoever could tell it best.”

Jazz up your profile photo…
Tired of using a standard mug shot for your profile picture on Facebook or your webpage? Go to http://funny.pho.to/ where you will find several hundred photo effects to make your mug shots special. Best thing, it’s free.

Fifth Tuesday…
March 29 at Booked for Murder.

The writing challenge: interview one of your characters—major or minor, you pick—and distill that interview down to a dynamite piece of no more than 500 words.

The writer of the best wins a critique of the first 50 pages of her or his novel by Madison College creative writing instructor John Galligan. And dinner with John at one of our finest restaurants, too. (more…)

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