Allison's Book Bag

Current Write #5: February Writing Group Meeting

Posted on: February 29, 2016

MyMuseMondayMy Muse Monday is a fun meme where writers can meet other like-minded writers and share what they’ve been working on and how the week has gone for them. I’ve decided to post a monthly summary of my local writing group’s meetings.

Ah, the excitement of a new place! In February, our writing group met at the house of the member with the most children. Her husband was out of town and she had been unable to get a babysitter. Not to worry! We all headed her way. As for her children, they seemed content with snacks, books, shows, and pets.

Ah, the glory of friends! When I arrived, I had one thing on my mind: job stress. Three of us work at the same school and so we soon were swapping stories. Sometimes there’s nothing like bad news to build a camaraderie. For the first thirty minutes, we all told our tales of horror from jobs that we’re only too glad to have over.

Ah, the fun of writing! For this meeting, we all had something to share. One hostess had written a story about winter solstice. The rest of us were in awe of her, because she had only taken a month to write a publishable piece. That said, her story did prompt us to talk about the purpose of conflict in a story. How dramatic does it need to be? Can a simple conflict work? We also talked about style. Her story has a lyrical quality and reminded us of fairy tales of old. We’re all envious of her talent.

Another lady had written a rhyming story about her pets. She’s an example of how writers should stick to what they know and love. When I first met her, the idea of rhyming stories made me hesitate. There are so many bad ones. And perhaps for that reason, publishers don’t seem to be crying for them. However, while my friend has yet to get published, all of the ladies in our group agreed that she’s mastered the craft, and should see her work in print. It’s been exciting for me to see her pursue a love and mature in it.

A third lady had stayed true to her vow. In our January meeting, she promised to at least brainstorm ideas to write about. And she did! She pulled out old writings and picked one story to revise.

Finally, there’s me. I just had one submission: another Cat Trio and Solo Dog story. Each episode I write seems to only get better and everyone in my group thinks I should try turning them into picture books. The one I submitted this time was about our dog. One lady suggested retelling it from his view.

To wrap up the evening, we talked about queries and pitches. Two ladies have abundant experience and samples; the other two of us have none. I fall into the latter camp and have to admit the whole process scares me. If you’re at that stage, here are a few sites you might check out:

 

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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee

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