April Writers Guild Meeting Recap

By Linda Donaldson

Many attendees came to share work at the April meeting of the Writers Guild. We got started right away with Melissa Triol’s short story about a widow confronting the man who possesses her dead first husband’s watch. The woman’s slow, understated unraveling of the terrible facts of this man’s betrayal make for an armchair gripping read.

Melissa’s story will be a perfect fit for what we are calling our upcoming Spring 2018 issue of the Literary Journal, the theme of which is Justice and Mercy. We expect to post this issue in the next few weeks, and to announce the theme of the Fall 2018 issue of the Literary Journal. Thanks for your patience!

Next, Julie Tomlinson showed the astonishing result of years of research into her family’s history. (As the spouse of an avid Ancestry.com expert, I can truly appreciate the thousands of hours of work, travel and study that went into her comprehensive book of more than 300 pages.) Most of our discussion centered on how to arrange the information so that it doesn’t overwhelm the reader. Many gripping historic events, battles, and travels can be dramatically told using her historic prints, maps and some quotes from firsthand accounts. We’re all eager to see how Julie takes the advice and shapes her story.

We were honored to meet Tony Luna and his son Luke whose story of the life and death of Luke’s baby brother Sean several years ago was written by his father from Luke’s point of view. The Luna’s poignant story explains step by step the joy of the announcement, the happy anticipation, the sadness at discovering Sean’s prenatal illness, and the family’s coming together to both greet and say goodbye to their son and brother on the day of his birth.

We felt the viewpoint of Luke’s experience as a seven-year-old and that of his two younger sisters was just right for readers from 5-9 years old. Next Tony plans to find an illustrator to bring this story to print. Families everywhere that struggle with such decisions will now see how prayerfully and inclusively two parents and their three small children handled their journey.

Bob McCrillis didn’t bring an excerpt, but rather told us about two helpful resources. Anne Kaler suggested Bob write up his impressions with a link to the resources, so he has done just that. We hope you follow this blog so you get notices of all posts, but in case you missed them, Bob’s helpful blog posts can be found immediately below this post, as well as under the Resources link at the upper right. He promises more contributions.

When Joe Vitella’s chapter unfolds, you feel like you’re really pinned down in a gunfight in a park at night. Great dialogue. One savvy veteran, three gun-toting, but inexperienced gang members and an unseen group of rival gang members closing in. Minutes before shots ring out, the three cocky guys are ignoring the warning their older friend gives them. Now they’re listening to him as he shoots, explains his strategy and choreographs a way out. Can’t wait to see what happens next…

We read more of the exchanges between the music teacher and his gifted female violin student in Meredith Betz’s story about their seesaw relationship. It describes the genesis of their cryptic messages and demonstrates how vividly the teacher obsesses over the student, while her autistic temperament causes her to often repeat short phrases from his comments back to him. Once this backstory segment is included, we can’t wait to read the completed story.

I have made a list of a number of writing related titles of books that I personally plan to donate or discard. I’ll be bringing the books to our next Guild Meeting. Please email me if you’re interested in any on a first-come, first-served basis at psbwriting@verizon.net.

Click here to see the list.

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