Friday, May 11, 2012

May Writers' Guild

It was a busy few hours but satisfying. I went to Writers’ Guild last night and was so tired walking in the building. Thought I couldn’t do it, but I was glad I persevered! The meeting was great with lots of good discussions. We even had a visitor.

Once business was tended to, I did a little program with practice writing. I have been pushing free writing or practice writing as Natalie Goldberg calls it this last year. With polished and achieving writers like Veda Body Jones and Larry Wood on hand, this is a bit unnecessary for some. But the teacher in me can’t ignore those beginning writers, those writers with no confidence or ones with no courage to submit. So many meetings during Brag Session (the period where we share our submissions, rejections, acceptances), members are quiet with nothing to add. I am determined make it possible for them to “bring something to the table” so to speak.

All winter we worked on a story starter with a specific market in mind. Everyone was excited and a few submitted what came to be called the “Rachel story”. It would be so nice if one of us were chosen, but the real perk was having people excited and confident enough to say. “I submitted!”

Last night we did two very short writes. I gave them five minutes to describe, remember, or fabricate about MUD. They could give their feelings, write a list of places mud was found, take any turn about mud—just write. It was amazing what five minutes could produce. Some were excited enough to think they had a kernel for writing something larger with the found idea. Larry’s lines looked at Dr. Mudd who gave his name to the saying “His name was Mudd.” David recalled being in second grade and stopping at a construction site on his way home from school after a rain and the muddy trouble he and his shoes were in when he got home.

Then I showed them a picture of two elderly men and a dog. I gave them 15 minutes to write poem, memoir, and fiction, whatever. Again, the wheels turned rapidly and the pens flew. Several ideas were shared and they were all astonishing. One was a hoot. Sheila’s attention was captured by one old gent’s belt and wrote on the lives of men’s belts; she called her piece “The Beltway”. We urged her to save her funny lines and polish them for submitting.

David won the door prize of the evening which was a copy of Stephen King’s book On Writing. A little younger than King,
David lived only a few blocks from King when he lived in his home state of Maine.

Next month we expect to hear Olive Sullivan speak on poetry and poetry markets today. It is good to be among the “write” friends!


Linda O'Connell said...

Your meeting sounds like it was very productive and fun.

Susan said...

Hi Claudia....The Guild meeting sounded great. Oh, I'd love something like that. Guess I didn't even know you are a former teacher (where have I been? Under a mushroom?)

You know what? I'd love copies of Natalie Goldberg's books. She's very inspirational, don't you think?

Claudia, thanks for all your sweet visits and comments to my blog. You are truly one of the FAITHFUL ones who visit and I appreciate you SO MUCH.

Have a wonderful "lilac" day! Susan