By Linda Donaldson
Spring brings a burst of activities to our varied calendars often overlapping and causing difficult choices. This was the case for many Guild members this month yielding but a half dozen participants on Sunday to join me and Anne at our meeting.
We each introduced ourselves, welcoming two new members, and caught up on what everyone is working on at present. Then we began with the four writing selections that were brought to share.
First was John McCabe’s flash fiction piece From the City meant as an introduction to his short stories all set on the Frankford elevated trains. Even though by definition it is short, his story set the stage well in time and place, introducing two friends who shared train riding adventures as kids and meet later there as adults. Minor changes were given discussion and John went home to add his finishing touches to another fine work.
Melissa Triol brought another chapter from Empire of Dirt that covers Hannah’s premonition at her father’s gravesite that all is not well at the family manor, Hannah’s escape from being run over in the street by a passing motorist, and her sudden reunion with her childhood friend Olivia. A short foreshadowing piece with a lot of action that caused most listeners to want to know more of Hannah’s feelings in the cemetery, and to add some more dialogue at the encounters in the street. We all eagerly await the next installment.
A newcomer to our group, author Pamela Varkony, brought a memoir story The Negligee. A poignant story of three girlfriends and how their lives and that of their spouses entwine. Polished prose and well-crafted timing gave little to critique except requests for more dialogue in a few places. We look forward to Pam bringing many more stories to share.
Finally, another new member to the Guild, Kell Ramos, brought a memoir of his life growing up in the projects in the Bronx. Setting the scene with a heartfelt preface, he began his first chapter about the Dumps, the wild untamed inner city jungle across the street boasting swamps, wild dogs, and lots of rocks for battles. Listeners had lots of praise for his storytelling ability and suggested some things they’d like to know more about. Good comments and Kell promises lots more!
I mentioned calendars earlier, and our June 18th meeting coincides with Father’s Day. We are sorry for that inconvenience, but we’re happy that the PSBI calendar is so full with many events in June. Hope you can come out next month. Be sure to bring 10-15 copies to share, for we do expect a well-attended meeting.