Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin People & Ideas’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
October 21, 2016

Who’s up next . . .

November 1: Pat Edwards (???), Hannah Marshall (poems, Earthy Things” and “Foster Child”), Kashmira Sheth (???), John Schneller (chapter 6, Final Stronghold), Eva Mays (chapter 6, Dhuoda), Bob Kralapp (???), and Amber Boudreau (chapter 9, The Dragoneer).

November 15:   Millie Mader (poem), Jen Wilcher (chapter, fictional autobiography), Nora O’Reilly (chapter, Bill McCormick’s Bliss), Judith McNeil (???), Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road), and Meg Goss (chapter, novel).

Tuesday eve at the B&N . . .

New member Meg Goss joined the circle of first-and-thirders as did Jen Wilcher, formerly of our sister group. Here’s some of what was shared during the critique session:

Millie Mader (poem, “Loss of Innocense”) . . . Generally, I think my poem was pretty well received. A few word changes were suggested.

Nora O’Reilly (chapter 5, Bill McCormick’s Bliss) . . . Jerry corrected me: the commander in chief  is the abbot, where his prior would be chief of staff. I can easily cut down on my use of ‘really’ or ‘very.’ Most importantly I need to find a more compelling reason as to why Joel is returning to Madison. Perhaps trying to let Bill and Evelyn reunite so she can tell him about their son is enough. I do need to consider Bill’s reaction to the impending danger of Joel returning to the city of his crime. I have to investigate the statute of limitations on murder and what consequences Joel would face if he were caught in the present times. A few wording changes were also suggested.

Tracey Gemmell (chapter 1-2, novel) . . . Group felt it was generally well written and humorous. Jerry noted some hyphenation issues and suggested some segmentation of longer paragraphs into short, punchy ones to add emphasis.Group pointed out that some British terms may require further explanation for an American audience, and that Taylor’s age required clarification, as they initially thought she was younger than she was. Pat noted she didn’t feel chapter two was as believable as chapter one, and she requested more explanation as to whether Taylor had quit her job or was fired. (more…)


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Tuesdays with Story
Writer’s Mail
October 16, 2015

“Every time I hear writers talk about ‘the muse,’ I want to bitch-slap them. It’s a job. Do your job.” – Nora Roberts

Wisconsin People & Ideas regularly publishes some of the best fiction and poetry from around the state, and now it’s your chance to make your mark on Wisconsin’s literary scene. Click on the appropriate category to enter your short stories and poems in our 2016 contests, which are currently accepting submissions via USPS and online from September 1 to December 1, 2015, and are open to all Wisconsin residents and students age 18 and older. Send in your best works of poetry and fiction to win up to $500 and other prizes along with publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, a slot at the 2016 contest reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, even a one-week residency at the lovely Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts in Mineral Point.

Visit our Fiction Contest Page and Poetry Contest Page for prize details and complete contest rules and submission guidelines before you send in your works via USPS or through our online submission page. These contests are brought to you by the Wisconsin Academy with support from our contest sponsors below. We thank them for their support!
http://www.wisconsinacademy.org/content/writing-contests (more…)

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Tuesdays with Story
WRITER’S MAIL for September 23, 2011

Writer’s Quote
“The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master- something that at time strangely wills and works for itself.” – Charlotte Bronte

Tuesday Night at BN
Aaron Boehm, on “Hell Cage pt11”:
Several people liked the vision of Hell created here. Script did a good job of really painting that scene there. People suggested that there be more action to break up a lot of the dialogue, as it gets to be a bit of a monologue. There was some discussion as to what drug would be best for him killing himself to get to Hell. Some suggested heroin, and Jen suggested DMT. Greg wanted a little bit more about the “rules” of the demons mind erasing powers, or an explanation of why he just doesn’t erase himself from everyone’s mind.”

Jerry Peterson on chapters 15 and 16 of his mystery, Thou Shalt Not Murder:
Loved the trial, but too much airplane stuff in the other parts of the chapters. But even the trial had its problems, Barb Sorensen said. “The note in which Mrs. McCoskey said her husband had beaten her has to be treated as hearsay and not admissible.” Millie Mader said the sentence of three years community service Mrs. McCoskey got was too light for the crime. “In the Texas crime on which your crime and trial are based, the woman got a really severe sentence,” she said.

Greg Spry on chapter 11 of Beyond Cloud Nine:
The piece was written with good voice and language. The group felt the early talk about Saturn was a data dump that could be worked in better by having Brooke explain all about it to a new recruit. The newbie could be afraid to walk on the viewports on the floor of the ship, and Brooke could say, “Yeah, they used to scare me, too.” Strike “auto-“ from “auto-detonated.” Instead of having Brooke float up from her seat, just make her lighter since it’s low, not zero, gravity on the spacecraft carrier. It works better that way if she’s standing at attention. But if she’s still going to float, perhaps she could anchor her feet down below somewhere? Make sure to have Brooke experience some pain while getting uses to zero-g again. Finally, remove “as he” from the second sentence of the piece, which was a typo that confused some people.

Who’s Up Next? (more…)

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WRITER’S MAIL 9/12/2010
by Kimberly Simmons

“We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.” -John Gardner

Last Time…
Notes for 9/7/10
A couple newbies, Alex and Justin.
Greg shared the forth part of his short story, Goodbye Mars. Millie says she read it on her computer and guessed the end if the story. Pat T. thought he remembered the virus being much faster-acting at the beginning of the story than is shown in the last section. Cathy finds the main characters clumsiness endearing. Pat T. suggests women don’t shoot themselves to take their lives, statistically speaking. Clayton wonders if there’s a different way for someone to take their life in the future. Amber had a question about Martian years related to earth years. Pat thought getting hit with a gun would hurt more, but the writing doesn’t reflect that. She also liked the plane.

Cathy shares a couple chapters of her novel Beer Crimes. Pat T. doesn’t think too much time should pass before something else happens with the body. Clayton suggests that once we get into the rhythm of one character’s thinking, then the narrative could be backed off a bit. Also, there are a few shifts in POV. Pat E. thought the sexy cops were important. Greg wondered how the romance related to the rest of the story. Amber asked about the relationship between two characters, and Cathy says it’s about friendships. Judith asks about the age difference between characters.

Jen shares the beginning of her yet-to-be-named novel/short story. Millie wanted to know some words were Japanese. Jen tells us some are real and some are made up. Clayton asks for a little bit of background on the kitsune. Pat T. helps explain, saying they’re kind of like were-foxes in reverse. Pat E. likes the voice of the piece, but she wonders if she could start the story later and pepper the rest in later. Cathy thought the conflict with her mother was very clear.

Amber’s chapter. Pat T. liked the line about the vacuum. Pat E. had to read the excerpt a couple times. Pat T. wonders if dragoneers are squires. Cathy suggests joking about with the magic comment.
Millie shares a chapter form Life On Hold. Judith notes that Millie really upped the ante with the end of this chapter. Pat T. suggests Millie go through and remove some voice tags because she doesn’t really need them. Also, he didn’t think one character would punch another after psyching himself up, if it were to come from anger. Amber wondered where Erin’s parents went. Aaron got the sense that a couple characters weren’t serious about each other, just from reading this chapter. Pat E. is wondering why Erin is so depressed at the beginning of each chapter.

Who’s Up Next
September 14: Dan Hamre (short story/last 5 pages, “Tractor Jockey”), Annie Potter (a memoir), Kim Simmons (chapter, The City of Winter), Holly Bonniksen-Jones (chapter. Coming Up For Air), Carol Hornung (section, Sapphire Lodge), and Andrea Kirchman (?). Carol notes, “We have a bit of a backlog on September 14th, so some folks (Jack Freiburger and Elijah Meeker) will be on stand-by. If you are scheduled but cannot get your piece to the group on time — or don’t want to read on the 14th — then let me know so I can shuffle things around! If you wish to read on September 28th or October 12th, send me a note, too.” (more…)

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