Writers Guild March Recap, New April Date

Even though the Writers Guild met on St. Patrick’s Day this month, there were 14 of us including four new participants. After introductions, which revealed quite a diverse set of writing genres and life experiences, we began sharing excerpts and discussing them.

First Joe Vitella set a scene with two skilled and deadly men in a tense verbal exchange. The undercurrent of pent-up potential violence, as they carefully test each other out, was palpable. Great buildup of suspense. Commenters agreed a little more dialogue might balance the descriptive passages.

The metaphors that David Werrett uses in his story “Prison of Guilt” serve to expressively and visually describe the mental construct of escaping from the shame of childhood trauma. These nightly dream journeys in can be solace for a wounded psyche. David’s use of language was applauded.

Discussion digressed over substitutes for semi-colons. Anne Kaler recommended the two separate sentence technique, or the use of “em” dashes. Linda Donaldson shared the history of the terminology behind small or “en” dashes and wider “em” dashes. The names derive from the width of an “n” or “m” in metal handset type.

Melissa Triol brought a new chapter to her novel that introduced her protagonist Eglantine in her youth, living at home with her father and cross older sister. The quiet dinner with an old soldier friend of her father brings with it revelations about this friend’s complicated life and issues of race, illegitimacy and inheritance.  Anne praised Melissa’s use of symbolism.

A passage using “she” several times referring to two separate women needed some name clarification. This is a common writing problem and Bob McCrillis suggested reading one’s work aloud or using a text to voice program.

A Guild member, Kat Cerruti was accompanied by her daughter Shannon Cerruti, a local high school student.  Shannon brought a poem about a lovely, yet thorny rosebush.  The narrator loves the beauty of the bush which brings great joy in times of sadness, anger or confusion.  The bush tempts her to embrace it and even its sharpness brings comfort.

Jane Bleam, whose memoir excerpts always entertain, brought a story from her childhood school days. Many questioned exactly where she attended school and encouraged Jane to include those facts. Jane’s adventures brought smiles of recognition from some of us contemporaries who fondly remember our own school days.

Finally, Jennifer Klepsch brought an opening chapter that introduces a meeting between her new novel’s two main characters. It was full of choice details but didn’t have that “hook” of drama to get us right into the book. This beginning might just need to be “flashed back” to, giving more urgency to the book’s first chapter.

We explored stories with lots of variety. Our authors have many new ideas to pursue. We missed you!

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Sunday, April 14th. (Note: We are changing the date to avoid Easter Sunday.) The Guild will meet at 1pm in the Red Barn on the grounds of Green Hills Farm, 420 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944.

Remember to bring 15 copies of any excerpt up to 4 pages you’d like to share. Also, add your email address on the copies so members can further share comments via email later.

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Guild Notes, 2019 Class Preview and BookFest

By Linda Donaldson

Cindy Louden opened our August Writers Guild meeting opened with a preview of the 2019 Writing Center’s classes with final dates to be announced.

Linda Wisniewski will offer a Beginner’s Memoir series of classes for six weeks in May and June. She will then offer Advanced Memoir classes monthly from June through October.

Pam Varkony, author, speaker and last year’s recipient of the Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year award, will teach two classes next year: one on essays, op-eds and exposes, and the other on marketing your writing through web and social media. Pam plans to offer each of these two topics at three different times – morning, afternoon and evening – June and July.

Writers Guild meetings will be held next year at 1pm to 3pm on the third Sunday of the month from March through October. Continue reading “Guild Notes, 2019 Class Preview and BookFest”

Writers Guild Meeting Notes

Sunday, July 15 was not just another day.

Once again, the writers of Pearl Buck Writing Center gathered to share, compare and contribute in an exchange of thoughts seldom exhibited in today’s atmospheric angling over petty tiffs.

Aspiring novelists and future masters of the short story seem to magically rise above the tawdry, and so, that Sunday was no exception.

A voice reads. The group listens. Near magic in the air, but also a kind suggestion offered now and then. A visitor would have felt amazed at the exchange of constructive thoughts, never sardonic or dubious comments, were the rule of the day.

The Writers Guild members come as one each month in surroundings of bucolic nature, and perhaps that lends to the success of the session, and  its excitement for intonation, rhyme, the written, yet heard voice, always rising above mere grammar and tired technicality.

We listened as Jane Bleam told of her struggles as a new widow dealing with a rebellious child – balancing hard choices with real love. Suggestions encouraged more dialogue and clarification of the timeline.

The continuing saga of Melissa Triol’s heroine was praised for its pacing and dialogue. Listeners wanted more inclusion of setting in the scene.

On the light side, David Werrett shared a laugh-out-loud recollection of his attempts at flying in his school playground. Commenters wanted to see in print the “sounds” he used to accompany his reading of the adventure.

Jennifer Klepsch brought a chapter that showcased her feisty young heroine Jesse’s experience at an archery range, competing with her more accomplished parents. Several listeners loved Jesse’s self-reliant, yet imaginative personality.

If you are a writer, you missed much. But we missed more. We missed you.

Our next session is August 19th at 1 pm. Try to be there!

June Writers Guild Meeting Summary

By Anne K. Kaler

The June 17th meeting started at 1 pm in the upper area of the red barn. Cindy Louden (chair) and Anne Kaler (instructor) led the meeting where all seven attendees presented their writings which are summarized below.

Notice was given on several new sources for short stories and poems under the BookBaby ads. One of their downloads includes a list from Authors Publish Magazine of 180 journals who accept submissions of poetry and prose. Visit www.authorspublish.com. Continue reading “June Writers Guild Meeting Summary”

August Guild Meeting Update

By Anne K. Kaler

The PSB Writers Guild met on Sunday, August 20, 2017 with nine members present.  The next meeting will be on September 17th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

Cindy Louden opened with a welcome to a prospective member Joe Vitella. Continue reading “August Guild Meeting Update”

Fall 2016 ♦ Volume 1, Number 2

Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal

From Gateways to Graves

Seeing the works of Pearl S. Buck through her use of the strong symbol of gateways, our first issue of the PSB Journal centered on that theme from her best known novel The Good Earth. The theme of the second issue of the PSB Journal grew out of that natural cycle of our human existence on this planet. What starts to live must also come to death and, so, the theme became our writings on the Living Earth and the Dying Earth.

Since the Journal is an outreach to continue the awareness of Pearl S. Buck through her life, her literature, and her legacy, we found especial inspiration in two recent events which confirmed Pearl’s resurgence into the literary limelight after years of neglect. Continue reading “Fall 2016 ♦ Volume 1, Number 2”

September Writers Guild Meeting Recap

We bookworms met early in the parking lot for our tailgate book swap. Many prizes headed home with new readers, but, sadly, quite a few ended up in our trunks.

Good news, though! One carton of books related to writing were rescued – to keep on hand for a lending library at future meetings: writing techniques, grammar tips, phrase finders, root word dictionary, screenplay writing, copyright and libel rules, creating characters, writing for children & teenagers, writing science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Our meeting began with the first of seven excerpts brought for reading and discussion. Continue reading “September Writers Guild Meeting Recap”