By Ye Olde Editor,
A sunny day at Green Hills Farm greeted the dozen members of our prolific Writers Guild, who brought eight stories to share! We even received an emailed story from a member who couldn’t attend, but wanted our feedback.
Cindy Louden and I greeted the group and told them that Anne was under the weather, and she would not attend. We reminded everyone to follow our blog, and use the link to submission guidelines for the Fall Issue of the Literary Journal.
Happily for the author, Paul Sullivan is busy promoting his book, The Irishman’s Song. Paul will appear on the radio broadcast of WBCB 1490AM on Saturday, June 25th at noon, during Bristol’s Celtic Days celebration. Tune in to enjoy!
Starting off the shared excerpts was Melissa Triol, who brought chapter three of the book she’s writing, based on her original screenplay. She had added a flashback episode to expand on relationships of some characters portrayed in a scene from their childhood. Good reactions included a call for more chapters from Melissa!
Next, Ralph Rhodes brought another chapter of his historical biography. After last month’s discussion of cadence in prose, we were all struck by the improvement in that aspect especially, and on the thought-provoking history and scene setting details that Ralph included.
Jennifer Klepsch entertained us with a bright, spunky protagonist in her children’s story. Jesse embarks on a quest with her flashlight in the dark reaches of her basement and attic on a stormy day with her feline companion. Discussion ensued on the punctuation and/or italicization of Jesse’s inner thoughts vs. outer dialogue. Jennifer supplied us with eight more pages so we could read more.
Reflective and with universal appeal were the adjectives applied to Lois Hazel’s story. She used a metaphor of cleaning out crevices in woodwork with a cotton swab to discuss ridding oneself of unwanted character traits. Comments noted that the metaphor was deftly handled and continued throughout the piece.
Another memoir piece from Meredith Betz described the painful rite of passage involving junior high dance classes – events filled with etiquette, feelings of duty, and adolescent angst. When the story veered to a discussion of the Beatles, it was pointed out a transition was needed, and Meredith said she had taken out a portion to shorten the story. We encouraged her to put that back.
Arresting and full of tension, Carol Kretovich’s story of her sudden loss of vision, eye surgeries, and ongoing battle with eyesight diminished was stark and moving. Everyone asked questions, offered medical specialist advice and reached out to comfort and support Carol. Her story was well-paced and, with the exception of needing a few clarifications based on the timing of events, seemed finely written.
Jane Bleam brought us another story from her childhood, told with humor and love about swallowing a thumbtack as a toddler on her mother’s birthday, and the effect that had on her parents’ plans. John McCabe told Jane this was her best story yet, and all agreed. Jane brought another story from her nursing days, and that copy was distributed for all to review at home.
The meeting wrapped up with handout of a story from Susan Hellings who could not attend, but wanted feedback.
Remember, our next meeting is July 17th. If you want to share, please make 15 copies of your excerpt, and be sure to include your email address to it so readers can respond to you directly.
As Anne would say, Keep Writing!