Friday, August 12, 2011
End of August's First Week
The first week in August has ended and the air has cooled. Energy returned somewhat. Then that jury summons for the months September and October came and set me back on my heels! What? After a long winter, almost nonexistent spring, a killer tornado season, recording-breaking heat strong enough to feel like cannibals had us in a stew pot over an open fire, and now someone is dampening my autumn! I picked myself up off the floor and began to get organized.
I was already slowly returning to writing, but now I have hit the rewrites this week like Aesop’s ants working around a grasshopper. A chat with an editor gave me new energy and focus plus the jury summons threatened my days enough that I have been getting up at 5:30 am to start work. I have bugged my sister-in-law for proof reading; I took pages to the Writers’ Guild for advice. Finally this morning I sent off my second (did you hear that, second!) western story to contest. Now I must return to rewriting a story the editor asked for rewrites on, and I am half way home with that.
Last night’s Guild meeting had a low attendance, but we seemed to get more done than usual. I found the conversation invigorating, but then I had pages on the table so the talk was more personal. Often some of our members talk too much on off topic subjects. How do you handle that in your writing groups? Last night, I took a timer for our Brag Session section of the meeting! I gave each member two minutes to tell what they had submitted and what had been accepted. At first the members snickered because most there weren’t offenders.
They were good sports about the timer and no one needed the full two minutes.
A writing group is a double edged sword. If you aren’t careful, you spend too much time talking about writing or sponsoring writing programs that you aren’t producing writing. I had planned last night to do some Free Writing, but our critiques were too long. I moved Free Writing to next month’s agenda, hoping to help spur the more non-productive member into action. Do your writing groups use Free Writing programs? What program have you had impressed you as most beneficial? Any ideas for me?
Also how do you draw in new and exciting members? Our guild has dwindled some, and I would like to pump new blood into this group. Any ideas on how to draw a writer to the group who is experienced enough to be an asset to others but still needing support himself from others?
At noon we picked up our friends for lunch to thank them for help when the tree fell on our deck a couple of weeks ago. They chose a new place to us, The Red Barn and Hen House Bakery. It was packed with eaters, a sure sign of good food. The menu was full of wonderful old things like chicken fried steak and homemade potato chips…and pies, pies, pies! Ate too much!
Then we drove around in the little town where we were and checked out a flea market, found some garage sales, and a junk store. We came home with a $3 apron, a $4 wooden chair, and two Stone Hill wine glasses for $1. It was a bargain day.
Just as we got home, thunder rumbled in and soon a light rain fell. Just right for a snooze. It has been a long day but such a good one. Does writing to start the day make everything go better?
I have had literary fiction in Rosebud and can say it is a nice publication. Below is a writing op for scifi writers.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Prize For Imaginative Fiction -- original works of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, or horror; 4000 words or less. Awards: Grand prize: $1,000, 4 runners-up receive $100. All winning pieces published in Rosebud. Entry fee: $10. Rosebud acquires first rights for the five winning entries.
Deadline: September 1, 2011. Info: Acquisitions: J. Roderick Clark, editor, Jrodclark@rsbd.net. Guidelines on website at