The Crash

By Bob McCrillis

Over the holiday week, the Goddess of Rhamnous, Nemesis, schooled me on my dangerous tendency to hubris.

As you know, I’ve set myself the project of writing a short story every week for a year – as recommended by Ray Bradbury. Quite proud of myself after the first four weeks, I added a page for the resulting stories to my website.

“I’m accepting the Ray Bradbury Challenge,” I crowed. “Just watch how great this will be. My stories will be good and can only get better – and I’ll have fifty-two publishable stories,” said I.

Should have known better. Continue reading “The Crash”

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Hope for the Disorganized

By Bob McCrillis

As you may have gathered from some of my earlier posts, I am organization-impaired. I’m sure that must be a recognized affliction since there appear to be so many sufferers in the world.

Symptoms include spending an hour searching for the yellow piece of paper with the title and premise for the story about the Grizzly bear who learned sign language, or the certainty that you’ve already re-written the scene you’re working on, and drawing a complete blank when you try to remember the clever password you came up with for Writers’ Market.

I’m convinced that, somewhere in the compost heap of information on my desk, there’s a best seller. All I have to do is dig it out, then try to read my handwriting. Continue reading “Hope for the Disorganized”

Finding a Character

By Bob McCrillis

With all kinds of worksheets and techniques to flesh out your characters, I thought you’d be interested in mine.

Here’s the situation: Someone had to help my readers understand the progress of the police search for my protagonist. If I had been writing in the third person, it would have been easy – the omniscient narrator could just tell the readers what was going on. Or I could head jump among the characters to keep the reader up to date on the closing loop of the police.  Since I was writing strictly from my protagonist’s point of view, someone has to tell him how close the cops are. Continue reading “Finding a Character”

Summer 2018 ♦ Volume 3, Number 1

Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal

There are 12 contributions to this Summer 2018 Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal. The theme of this issue is Justice and Mercy. Submissions include essays, memoirs, poems, short stories, and an excerpt from a novel.

Our thanks to authors Dr. Anne K. Kaler, Rev. Edgar P. Roosa, Bob McCrillis, Susan Wagner, Harry J. Houldin, Jane Bleam, Sandra Carey Cody, and Paul Teese.

Anne K. Kaler, PhD
Professor of English Emerita
Gwynedd Mercy University

 

(Click title to read selection. Author’s biography at end of contribution)

Justice and Mercy

ESSAY BY ANNE K. KALER, PSBVA

Social Justice Themes in the Life and Writings of Pearl S. Buck

ESSAY BY REV. EDGAR P. ROOSA

The Thief of Time

POEM BY ANNE K. KALER, PSBVA

Mrs. Hastings

SHORT STORY BY BOB McCRILLIS

Everest

POEM BY SUSAN WAGNER

To the Bulge

EXCERPT FROM A NOVEL BY PFC HARRY J. HOULDIN

Lydwyna the Spinster and the Pearl Embroidery

EXCERPT FROM A NOVEL BY ANNE K. KALER, PSBVA

Sans Poetic Punctuation

POEM BY JOHN McCABE

The Goose Family

MEMOIR BY JANE BLEAM

The Cherry Trees

ESSAY BY SANDRA CAREY CODY

Respite

ESSAY BY PAUL TEESE

Extinguished Camp Fires Burn

SHORT STORY BY JOHN McCABE

How Much Research?

By Bob McCrillis

In a talk she gave, Anna Quindlen claimed that she only does as much research as is convenient. That’s quite a statement.

My first thought was, “Sure, if you’re already a best-selling author.” A reader told her that getting from Miami to Tampa in three hours by car was impossible, she replied, “Not in my Florida.”

Yay! I don’t have to bother with inconsistencies and impossibilities. Well, maybe not so fast. I remember a person complaining that the book he was reading wasn’t accurate. It seems that he was familiar with Paris, where the story took place, and the places and street names were all wrong. “It ruined the whole book for me,” he grumbled. Continue reading “How Much Research?”

Personhood Added Life to My Stories

By Bob McCrillis

This is boring! Who in the heck told you that you could write? This isn’t writing, it’s just typing!

My internal editor pointed out the many deficiencies of my first twenty-five pages. He delights in bashing my fragile ego, doesn’t ever take a vacation or get laryngitis.

I had labored mightily and created a corpse.

My sentences were flat and lifeless. Paddy shook off his guilt over Phou.ng’s death and took point position, leading the rest of the squad into the bush. Oh, yeah? Guess it didn’t bother him too much, then, did it? Okay, it isn’t bad but it isn’t alive. Telling a story is not stringing together a series of events. I needed to get my reader involved but how? Continue reading “Personhood Added Life to My Stories”

Writers Guild Updates

By Linda Donaldson

A reminder – our June meeting on the 17th falls on Father’s Day. We start at 1 pm and meet till 3 pm. Please bring 10 copies of any work you’d like to share up to 3 pages long, and remember to put your name and email on your work for further feedback.

Anne Kaler began our May Writers Guild meeting by announcing our Literary Journal plans for this year. The former Fall 2017 issue, with the theme of “Justice and Mercy,” will be posted mid-June as the Summer 2018 issue. The Editors have chosen the theme “Transformation“ for the Winter 2018 issue with the deadline of October 31, 2018. Submission guidelines will be posted soon on the blog. Continue reading “Writers Guild Updates”