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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Frost’

Writer’s Mail for December 21, 2013

“Sentences are not different enough to hold the attention unless they are dramatic. No ingenuity of varying structure will do. All that can save them is the speaking tone of voice somehow entangled in the words and fastened to the page for the ear of the imagination.” –Robert Frost

Tuesday Night at Alicia Ashman Branch Library . . .
Tuesday with Story members gathered for the First-and-Third Group meeting Dec. 17. Thanks to Amber Boudreau for reporting most and thanks to Andy Pfeiffer for reporting on Amber’s reading!

Millie Mader presented a rewrite of Chapter 49 of Life on Hold. Andy thought it was a lot tighter, but asked whether the main protagonist isn’t conflicted enough with what is happening in the story. Bob Kralapp wondered why the characters have to go to breakfast. He also asked how Millie pictured the place that the characters visit. Could Millie could have accomplished what she wanted with less, Amber wondered – for example, maybe just coffee instead of breakfast. Jerry Peterson asked what an essential government worker would do that was so important that she wouldn’t be able to get away. Also, instead of asking whether someone is a widower, Mill might have had the character ask about their grandmother.

Amber Boudreau read from Chapters 26 and 27 of Noble. Andy suggested that Aaron take Moira to dinner before Homecoming, or at least that he suggest it. He also suggested to have Ansel show up at the dance and cause Moira to be conflicted about saying yes to Aaron. Ruth Imhoff thought he would be lonely by the punch bowl. The group discussed the football game in conjunction with the dance, which take place on the same night, and whether that was a feasible part of the date. Jerry picked at arrows being “loaded” – they’re not guns. Andy wanted a reminder description of the Aryx because it had been too long since the last encounter. Ruth wanted Moira to see other students in the hallway escaping school – students making out in corners, the ghost librarian, or someone she knows at the dance, like Natalia. Jerry was disappointed in what he thought was the ending. But there are two chapters left, Amber pointed out. “Stay tuned!” (more…)

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Tuesdays With Story Writers Mail, June 16, 2010
by Jen Wilcher

Tuesday Night at the Bookstore

Kim got an agent!

Kim – Pat wondered if the font size shift was intentional. Kim said she using the font to show thoughts fading in and out with distance. Pat K thought she could get rid of it. Clayton suggests that the publisher is going to want to set everything in the same typeface, and not mess around with size. Bill doesn’t think that holds true as long as the font is a fairly simple one. Jerry judges from the length of our conversation, there’s a problem there. A long discussion of magical power follows, is magic inborn, or can one learn magic? Shel wants to know if there’s a difference between humanness and humanity. Cathy had a favorite line! Jerry didn’t believe that Ryoko would turn to jelly when faced with the river because she can fly. Kim explains Ryoko has a phobia of water, but Pat didn’t understand why she would run toward it, if she did.

Jen – Wants to know if the scene where Biff almost attacks Walter is more dramatic. Pat K didn’t read the original, but he didn’t find anything humorous in it. Pat found the whole idea kind of funny, not ha ha ha, but funny weird. Bill got mixed up in the first paragraph between the father and son and who spent seventeen years where. Judith wondered if there was a reason she went into so much detail about what Peter and Walter were wearing, but she liked the flow of it. Greg didn’t find the descriptions earned. Bill thought it worked. Millie wondered about re-writes. Greg thought the story was interesting, humorous even.

Judith – Pat K asked for an explanation of ‘reverse racist.’ Clayton liked the set up, looking forward to more. Pat thought she did well with contentious issues associated with a road trip, regardless of race. Pat K sympathized with Marshall at the beginning and wondered if this was a contemporary story, which it is. Pat had a question about blocking and one character seeing the hat. Kim wanted to know where they were driving to. Clayton wondered if Marshall and Sam were going to end up in the front seat together some time.

Nicole – Kim really liked it, but she was still trying to figure out what it was about. Greg thought that was part of the experience, figuring out what it was about. Millie thought it was a prose poem, not so much a short story. Pat K thought some parts were better than others – parts he really liked and other parts that frustrated him. Kim thought it was okay because it was poetry, but both Pats disagree. Pat wants to know what the title of the poem meant because that was really the only part she says she didn’t get. Clayton was wondering about the ‘you’ and the ‘him’ in the second stanza, but that worked for Pat. Jerry had a question about the italics. Kim got it, but Jerry didn’t. Neither did Pat K. A discussion about sloughed-off blood follows.

Millie – Judith thought she captured the period well. Pat thought the character uses a couple words a good Catholic girl wouldn’t use in the time period. Even if she only thinks it, Jerry found it out of character as well. Nicole thought she comes across almost too sweet. Bill suggests the author think of it in terms of who their readers are. Jerry had a problem with the key – Erin takes the one key off, but Jerry thinks she needs to take the whole set of keys. Some people in the group know a little too much about keying cars, uh-hum. Kim wondered if other people in the restaurant would notice what was going on. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail 3/29/2010
by Kimberly Simmons

“It’s a nervous work. The state that you need to write is the state that others are paying large sums to get rid of.” – Shirley Hazzard

Last Week
Only 4 folks showed up on Tuesday, so we didn’t really have a meeting (though we did talk and have a great time!).

Who’s Up Next…

Carol Hornung (Asperger Sunset – same scene as sent for March 23rd)
Terry Hoffman, new story – same scene as sent for March 23rd
Holly Bonnikson-Jones, Coming Up for Air (if her computer recovers)
Jack Frieburger, Path to Bray’s Head

Anyone else who wants to hop on the schedule is welcome!
(more…)

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Writer’s Mail 3/13/2010
By Kim Simmons

“The trick is leaving out everything but the essential.” – David Mamet

Last Meeting
Eight folks gathered at Barnes & Noble last night, and once Carol stopped grousing about Jodi Picoult publishing a book with a character with Asperger’s before she did (darn it!), we were able to get underway. . .

Jack Frieburger presented a scene from Path to Bray’s Head where Sean helped make the donuts. Carol liked the minimalist conversation describing how the gossip of Sean’s misadventure would spread through the town. Holly wanted more of the five senses – lets smell and taste those donuts. It was a good breather scene between Sean’s inner life, his encounters with Lester, and the rest of the world.

Holly Bonnickson-Jones read a section of Coming Up For Air where Liza washes David’s hair. Lots of sexual tension. To bring out that tension, Annie suggested taking out a lot of Liza’s internal reflections. Let her words and actions speak for her. There was some conflict about the end – if David should just go, or if the details about getting the shoes and jacket were necessary. Jack thought no, newcomer Avery suggested they be left in. And Carol pointed out that poor David never got a rinse, and there were going to be soap bubbles everywhere . . .

Carol Hornung brought in the climactic scene from Asperger Sunset. Still needs to be cut down – take Kevin’s explanations and move to a later scene. Holly felt it was all too neatly wrapped up in a bow. Make sure Russ’ observations fit with his character. And make sure the detective works to calm down and disarm the bad guy, not antagonize him. Plus, more color.

Guest Jim Shaw brought in the introduction to his nonfiction book, In a Tuscan Farmyard. Jack and Dan pointed out that there are an awful lot of “Tuscans” and “Tuscanys.” Carol felt it should be reduced to about two-and-a-half pages. A lot of the additional paragraphs feel like they could start entire chapters and should be saved for later. Focus on the theme of the book – show how the elderly woman symbolizes how things are different in Tuscany. (more…)

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