Posts Tagged ‘wordsmith.org’

Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 11, 2015

He said it . . .

“Anyone who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid.” – H.W. Fowler, lexicographer (1858-1933)

Who’s up next . . .

March 17: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Family Secret), Amber Boudreau (???), Bob Kralapp (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 14, Coastie Girl), Millie Mader (chapter 62, Life on Hold), and Judith McNeil (???).

March 24: ???

March 31: Fifth Tuesday . . . meeting at Mystery To Me Bookstore

April 7: Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 15, Coastie Girl), Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Mike Rickey (poems), Cindi Dyke (chapter, North Road), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 14-15, Rooster’s Story).

Fifth Tuesday . . .

Three weeks away, March 31, at Mystery To Me Bookstore. Are you going to be with us?

Here’s the writing challenge: Many writing seminars use lists of prompts to provide ideas for short stories. For this challenge, create your own list of six prompts to read to the assembly. They must be amusing, at least enough to help fight off sleep.

Ruth Imhoff offers an example: How to survive the Zombie Apocalypse! Ruth thought that was funny, but you’ll do better. (more…)


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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
February 20, 2015

He said it . . .
On writing and stories, whether print or television . . . “It’s the words. It’s all about the words.” – Bob Simon, television correspondent (1941-2015)

From Tuesday evening’s gathering of first-and-thirders . . .
Lisa McDougal read from chapter twenty-six of Tebow Family Secret. Alicia Connolly-Lohr thought the waiters would have fancy dress and wondered if one character would stab at another instead of impaling them and nick them so there would be blood, but the cops wouldn’t be called. Kashmira Sheth wanted to know why Lisa needed this scene. Jerry Peterson wondered why they would serve pasties at this particular restaurant, but Lisa let us know they’re supposed to be pastries. Amber Boudreau questioned a few lines of one character’s dialogue. Jerry pointed to a few lines he thought were overwritten, but it might have come from an earlier version.
Amber read some flash fiction. Kashmira suggested shortening the front end and getting into the story faster. Jerry thought the narrator should get nicked and be in a bit more peril before he is saved from his vision.

Alicia read from Chapter 11 of Coastie Girl. Lisa was interested in reading more after reading this chapter. Judith McNeil thought it was realistic. Pat Edwards thought the internal dialogue didn’t match some of the other narration in places and questioned the strength of the language. Jerry had trouble with the crew
“running around.” Kashmira was looking for some more impact on the main character in one scene in particular.

Amit Trivedi read from a revision of Chapter Thirteen. Pat likes it when they make her look things up and enjoyed the descriptions about the hut. Lisa thought the descriptions went a little long in the beginning. Lisa has a question about the next Chapter. It’s unclear who has read it or not, but Kashmira answered the question. Jerry wanted the main character of chapter thirteen to perform a specific action in the work. Pat wondered whether this is adult fiction or young adult. Kashmira suggested it could be new adult. Jerry thought Chapter fourteen really started on the second page. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
February 11, 2015

She said it . . .
“Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” – Colette, author (1873-1954)

Who’s up next . . .
February 17: Lisa McDougal (chapter 26, Tebow Family Secret), Amber Boudreau (flash fiction), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter 12, part 2, novel), Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 11, Coastie Girl), Millie Mader (chapter 60, Life on Hold), and Andy Brown (chapter, The Last Library).

February 24: ???

March 3: Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 12, Coastie Girl),, Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Mike Rickey (poems), Judith McNeil (???), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 9-10, Rooster’s Story).

Fifth Tuesday . . .
It’s only seven weeks away . . . March 31 at Mystery To Me Bookstore. Second-and-fourth group hosts. And this is a potluck event, so plan now for what you want to bring to share. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 26, 2014

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” —Peter Handke

Pat Edwards will be the January newsletter editor

Please send in your writing submissions a as an upload and as an email attachment

Who’s up next . . .
January 6: Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 9, Coastie Girl), Andy Brown (chapter, The Last Library), Pat Edwards (poems), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Bob Kralapp (???), and Jerry Peterson (chapter 5, Rooster’s Story).
January 20: Lisa McDougal (chapter, Tebow Family Secret), Amber Boudreau (???), Mike Rickey (poems), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Alicia Connolly-Lohr (chapter 10, Coastie Girl), Millie Mader (chapter 60, Life on Hold), and Judith McNeil (???).

Great word . . .
n. A person who owns land that sits over a shale deposit and has become rich by leasing that land to a company that extracts natural gas from the shale.
Increased sales reflect spending by landowners with leasing bonuses — dubbed “shaleionaires” in the report — and out-of-state workers paying hotel and restaurant bills.
—Bob Downing, “Akron area starting to feel economic benefits of Ohio’s Utica drilling, study says,” Akron Beacon Journal, January 10, 2014

Stewart visited a “shaleionaire”, one of the local farmers who’ve hit the shale gas lottery, and then came back here for a primer on power-supply management and energy security.
—Tom Sutcliffe, “TV review: Horizon — Fracking: the New Energy Rush, BBC2,” The
Independent, June 20, 2013
What’s brought about the change is that there’s a new, unconventional process for extracting natural gas from shale, a dense rock formation two miles undergound. And if you’re sitting on top of it, you may become a new American phenomenon: a shaleionaire.
—“Shaleionaires” (video), 60 Minutes, November 14, 2010 (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 16, 2014

“Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!” – William Forrester in the movie Finding Forrester played by actor, Sean Connery

At Barnes & Noble . . .
1st & 3rd Notes 12-16-14
Ten of us gather round the tables at the Alicia-Ashman Library Tuesday night.
Kashmira read from Chapter 11 of her and Amit’s novel. Lisa liked one line in particular about a cat. Pat was a little disappointed there was no conclusion to the character walking in the rain. Lisa missed the satisfaction of the completion of that scene as well. Jerry and Lisa wondered about the motivation behind starting the chapter from a certain character’s POV. Judith asked for some specificity in one scene. Jerry wondered why a certain reveal had to wait till the end of the day and wants the other character to push for more info. Pat liked the letters and the dream sequence.
Lisa reads from Chapter twenty-five of Tebow’s Family Secret. Jerry had a question about the train two characters get on and wants one to suffer. Pat finds the writing is getting so much better, chapter by chapter – all thanks to TWS, we’re sure. Judith had a question about the redness of character’s lipstick and if it’s important. One of the few things Pat is struggling with is if a character cares about prices consciously or unconsciously. Andy had a couple questions about POV and asks for a cliffhanger at the end.
Mike shares a poem with the group. Judith asks how the poem itself relates back to the title of the piece, a mantra about honoring the divine self. Pat thought he had some great lines and only had a question about one line in particular, can’t versus will not. There’s also an overall theme of war and fighting, but no boo-boos. Lisa asks if the blue light means something and Mike explains it’s a pearl and the color of shiva’s skin. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

Writer’s Mail for October 21st, 2014

He said it . . .
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.” – Gore Vidal, author (1925-2012)

Present: Jerry, Kashmira, Amit, Pat, Millie, Andy B, Bob, Judith and returning writer, Mike Rackey.

Amit and Kashmira read from Chapters 7 & 8. Jerry suggested to use the word, “carriage” subsequent to “victoria” which is a carriage. People liked the description of the gatekeeper as having “the coloring of dust”. Pat liked the dialogue between the servants. Andy said POV changes seem to “have a mind of its own”. There was a discussion on scent of humidity. Pat said that humidity holds scent, but does not have scent of its own. Kashmira said that Bombay is an ocean city and particularly in monsoon season holds many smells because of increased humidity.

On the subject of flashbacks, Jerry felt that large blocks of italics are hard on the eyes. He suggested that the flashbacks could be in regular print if labeled for time and place, followed by the flashback. Bob felt that large block of flashbacks tend to stop the action of the story. Pat liked the ending of Chap. 8 with the father dusting picture frames. Bob liked the beginning of Chap 7 with train ride. He wanted more description of feeling of the trip. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Week of April 1, 2014

April editor . . .
Andy Pfeiffer is Writers Mail editor for this month. Got news or got feature stuff or something you’ve found on the net that will help writers? Send it to Andy.

Minutes from Tuesday . . .
Nine of us gather around the table, tolerating Amber showing them pictures of New Zealand before they get started.

Millie Mader shares Chapter Fifty-Two of Life on Hold with the group. Andy wonders how Erin walks right in and gets hired on the spot. Pat assures us there weren’t (and still aren’t) a lot of formalities. Pat thought the chapter moved forward. Jerry wondered what the physical feeling of mellowing out felt like. Andy felt one character would be more insistent. Millie has set us up for her main character to take a car trip rife with sexual harassment. John reminds Mille that she’s the character’s author, not her mother.

Andy Pfeiffer shares a few chapters (13-15) from The Void. Judith questioned one character’s comment on another’s behavior. Amber wanted one character to be speechless. Pat wanted chapter thirteen to cut back on the mentions of beverages and also the word ‘cute.’ Pat has a technical question relating to Chapter Fourteen and doesn’t think what happens there makes sense. Andy B. felt he left the chapters knowing everyone’s motives a little too well.

Amber Boudreau reads the first three chapters of a new novel, Stone. Andy P. wants some kind of introduction to the person telling the story as it’s in the first person. Andy B. thought the narrative was enough to keep him going. John suggests the nurse could give a hint in that instance. Pat suggests cutting the last line of the second chapter. John reminds the group that opening the book with a character in amnesia is a situational cliché.

Bob Kralapp shares Chapter Three of “Hole in the Wall.” Pat liked that the character went and held the gun, but still wants her brother to get rid of it. Judith has a question about a customer. Jerry points out that the character only puts one foot in the tub and not both when she dries her feet off after. Jerry suggests that the gun might be valuable and wonders why a collector wouldn’t want it. Pat notes that Bob has really nice verbs, but Jerry suggests removing some descriptors.

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Tuesdays with Story
October 16, 2013

“Easy reading is damned hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Notes from 10/15/2013
Lisa reads from the rewrite of her Chapter 4. Jerry didn’t get that one character was suffering from depression. Betsy thought the dialogue was very natural. Andy wonders why there is a bar at the library, but turns out it’s not just a library. Betsy questions the use of a certain word. Andy wonders how drunk one character really is. Pat wonders if the chapter might be stronger if she switches out the first two paragraphs. She suggest Lisa gets a real version of Word.

Bob shares Part two of Sunday Night. Judith was disappointed that the story ended. Andy was disappointed in the ending and wanted to know why one character was such a jerk and looking for others to theorize about it in the story. Pat was physically affected by the pathos of the characters. Bob wonders if there’s something missing. Jerry wonders why he chose to end the story with the focus in Chester. Amber reads an element of the supernatural and it reminds Pat of an old episode of The Outer Limits.

Andy shares Chapter four through six of The Void. Millie liked it and wonders about what the government is hiding from everyone. Jerry didn’t think it was a void because there are things there. Judith could see it animated. Pat thought it would be a good graphic novel. Pat also suggests writing down the rules for this universe somewhere. Pat also wants some mention of them wondering how they are going to get back in as they’ve just gotten out and they’re already planning about what they’re going to do when they get back in. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail

September 3rd Meeting for 1st and 3rd Group
Lisa McDougal read from chapter 6 from Tebow Family Secret. Ruth commented that the dialogue was great and that the story flowed. Betsy found Adam’s discussion of the details surrounding his wife’s disappearance intriguing. Jerry commented that the reference that Jessica makes about her New Jersey accent needs to be spelled out so that the reader can “hear” it. He also suggested that the beginning of the chapter could be shortened. Lisa said that she didn’t like the ending of the chapter. Betsy suggested that she cut the last line. The rest of the group made suggestions that Jessica could just shrug, not making any response to Adam’s abrupt order to refrain from bringing up his wife’s disappearance in the future. Judith suggested that Jessica could just change the subject. Amber suggested that she could bring up something that happened earlier in the chapter.

Millie Mader read chapter 46 from Life On Hold . Andy and Lisa both felt that Scot’s last comment saying he wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas, could be more compelling if he gives the reason. Jerry suggested that Scot could say “That is going to be a problem”. There was also a discussion as to whether chemo was given as a shot or a drip at the time. Millie said it would be a drip and that shots of other medication were also administered. Andy mentioned that the conversation at the end between Erin and Dolly should have a smoother transition between discussion on Danny’s overdose and their anticipation about going back to school.

Ruth Imhoff read chapter 4 from Motto of the Hound. Jerry commented that FBI Agent Williams would need to get permission from the local police to do anything on the case. Ruth explained that Agent Williams is the “bad” guy. The group asked Ruth about Blackfan’s strange reaction after the phone conversation with Agent Williams. She explained that Williams uses hypnotic suggestions to influence the behavior of people who may disagree with him. The other question raised by the group was the reason Blackfan was unaware that Simon, who has been his partner of five years, was formerly an FBI agent. Jerry suggested that Blackfan should question Simon more about her that. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays With Story
July 2, 2013

Writer’s quotation . . .
Below is simply a good piece of writing in honor of this week’s 150th Battle of Gettysburg and especially Pickett’s Charge. The Confederate General Pickett led some 12,500 men on an advance over a mile of open ground in the face of cannon fire and small arms at the center of the Union’s forces on Cemetery Ridge, losing nearly half of his force. It was a turning point in the war for the blue. . .
William Faulkner wrote perhaps the most famous account of Pickett’s charge in the American and, especially, the Southern mind in Intruder in the Dust:

“It’s all now you see. Yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world’s roaring rim.”

History buffs: on Wednesday 7/3/13, Breitbart News is broadcasting the reenactment of Gettysburg live online. Pickett’s Charge coverage begins at noon EST.

Tuesday at Barnes & Noble . . .
(Thank you to Andy for the notes)

Amber Boudreau started with chapter 16 of Noble. The cliffhanger was well-received and many people were anxious to find out what would happen next. Pat began to ask questions. Why would people try to kill Moira? Who are they? Why would magic backfire? What is Moira’s goal becoming? Why? Why isn’t Moira asking these questions? Andy wanted to know in what way Moira was incapable of using a sword, since it wasn’t shown, and that Moira only almost died by exhausting herself. There were also many opinions about the sword itself as well as the timeframe in which she used it. Millie was curious about Moira’s grades, which will be clarified next time. Lisa began to feel sorry for Bertram in that he suddenly appeared to be lonely, but still didn’t know if she could be trusted. (more…)

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