By Linda Donaldson
Thirteen was a lucky number this Sunday. It represented the number of members who attended our first meeting of the Pearl S. Buck Writers Guild this 2018 season. Both previous and new members came with work to share.
First was an excerpt from a novel by Joe Vitella. It featured a high-action scene with a man searching for his missing girlfriend as he interrogates her former roommate. We stopped midway through Joe’s long chapter, and many wanted to read on to learn more – the best compliment we can give a writer!
John McCabe brought a new Prologue to his novel, now retitled “The Grey Pennies.” The explanation in the Prologue brought on discussion with all agreeing that this metaphor of the book’s soldiers as “expendable” resonates.
Next, Anne introduced Madeline Marr who is working with our PSB Writing Center Press to publish Madeline’s father’s WWII memoir of his service from 1942-1945. Madeline told the story of her father’s personally typewritten manuscript and her life-long quest to get it published. We read two short chapters and all agreed that his “voice” is humble and compelling.
Meredith Betz revisited her story about a young female violinist named Harriet. At a meeting last Fall, Meredith was asked about Harriet’s personality. It was suggested that, due to her demeanor, Harriet fell somewhere on the autism spectrum. Meredith took that advice and came back with an expanded “back-story” that masterfully introduced those traits.
A new member, Paul Teese, brought a one page piece entitled “Respite.” In five brief paragraphs he succeeded in painting a vivid picture of a leisurely walk through tall grass in a quiet meadow. Each revelation filled in a “portrait” with sights, sounds, smells and touch. We only learned afterwards that it was an exercise in adding sensory elements to a short story. It did just that – beautifully.
Anne shared that our Fall 2017 Literary Journal left over from last Fall’s former deadline, will indeed be posted in the next two weeks. It will be renamed the Spring 2018 issue.
We plan to announce the theme, submission guidelines and deadline date of the next Literary Journal shortly after this Spring issue is posted.
The Writer’s Guild meets in April on Sunday, April 15th at 1PM. Yes, we are meeting earlier this year! Now, we will be wrapping up by 3pm. This should lead to earlier, safer daylight driving in the Spring and Fall months for those who travel from farther away.
If you haven’t registered for this year, please note that we’re having trouble with the psbi.org website. Please contact Cynthia Louden at firstname.lastname@example.org, or bring your check or cash to the next meeting.