By Linda Donaldson
Our next meeting is Sunday, July 16th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in the Cultural Center (the Red Barn building) on the beautiful grounds of Pearl S. Buck’s historic home at 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944. We welcome all writers and would-be writers to join us at this monthly (from March to October) roundtable discussion.
Bring ten or more copies of a 3 or 4 page selection of your work if you wish to share it for comments. Be sure to include your name and email address for additional feedback.
Recap of June Guild Meeting and
Janet Benton Publishes Debut Novel
Our Writers Guild welcomed a newcomer, Cheryl Godschall, who brought a short story to share. The story’s narrator is a once beloved vintage doll who suffers many indignities. The doll is finally is adopted by a loving doll owner and restored. The theme of loss, and childhood memories resonated with listeners. Lots of suggestions of possible backstories came as our group imagined the doll’s ordeals throughout the decades of neglect. We know Cheryl was heartened that members were eager to see where she will take her story next.
John McCabe offered a new version of an early chapter in his book about the 1960s era Army program to expose soldiers to radioactive fallout during bomb test explosions in the desert. His initial scene, of a doctor and a colonel observing the young soldiers that were arriving for the “test,” set the ominous backdrop for the next scene of the protagonist and his pals as they assemble in barracks prior to their fateful assignment. John used dialogue deftly to crystallize the physical danger, political posturing of the military, and the innocence of the soldiers. As always, we await more as this epic work begins to take its final shape.
Meredith Betz brought a reworking of her story about Alfred the photographer of feet and footwear. We learn about his daily quest to identify a particular image he took earlier by locating the owner at a coffee shop. Meanwhile we learn about the buskers, or performers in the subway. These colorful underground denizens people Alfred’s world and add flavor to this humorous story with quite a twist.
Capturing the thrill of “love at first sight,” Bob McCrillis takes his skill with dialogue to a new level with a literal “bumped into” story. After numerous meetings both in class and out at college, a boy finally confronts the girl of his dreams who has been avoiding him and refusing dates. She defends her stance against romance in her life eloquently, and a new heroine is born.
Janet Benton Publishes Novel
Cindy Louden recently received the following note from Janet Benton, former Writing Center instructor and new author of Lilli de Jong:
“I was lucky enough to appear at a writers’ conference there [at PSB Writing Center] a few years ago… In addition to teaching a workshop, I read the opening of my debut novel, which many said they wanted to know about when it was released. So I wanted to let you know, in case your members might be interested, about that novel, out May 16 from Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, called Lilli de Jong.”
A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her. Confiding their story to her diary as it unfolds, Lilli takes readers from an impoverished charity to a wealthy family’s home to the streets of a burgeoning American city. Drawing on rich history, Lilli de Jong is an intimate portrait of loves lost and found and a testament to the work of mothers. “So little is permissible for a woman,” writes Lilli, “yet on her back every human climbs to adulthood.”
Here’s Janet’s website with more information: www.janetbentonauthor.com