Monday, October 18, 2010

Wannabe's Journal for October 2010

We had our monthly meeting on Friday October 15th at Panera Bread Co's location on Brown Street. We had a very good meeting with some new members attending for the first time. Thanks to all for sharing some of your current writings. As always...our meeting are an inspiration to continue to pursue our dreams. Hopefully our meeting notes will allow you to pursue your right brain dreams with passion and determination.

Don Q: Awaiting the arrival of the illustrations so that I can complete my "Santa's Magic" book. Many thanks to all those who have helped with reading and editing my manuscript. Don is also working on a family cookbook and has taken inspiration from Bob MacK to create a book of photos and text that chronicle my three years where he and his bride traveled through various countries in Africa and Europe. Besides what else can you do with those 7,000 digital photo's he has collected.

Don also has been reading a great deal in recent months: primarily the trilogy of novel by Stieg Larsson. He has read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire. He just ordered the last novel in the series called The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Excellent author with a great style. Good case study in the techniques of writing a fictional novel with many characters in various scenes of northern Europe.

Dan V Talked about his recent class that he has been enrolled in at the University of Dayton. The LLI sponsored class is taught by Martha Moody. Ms. Moody has published a popular memoir entitled: "Best Friends". Dan discussed the various techniques that Ms. Moody discussed in teaching her class on writing short stories. One of the interesting exercises that Dan participated in during his class was writing a letter to someone that includes emotion of some type: Sadness, loneliness, or happiness. By the happiness is the most difficult to effectively transfer to the reader through the medium of a letter.

Dan also recommended "Courage to Write" by Ralph Keyes. Dan also heard Brady Allen who recently spoke at a seminar sponsored through the Dayton Public Library.

Bob MacK; is currently helping his Mother-in-law write her memoir. Talk about scoring big brownie points with his bride. Seriously... what a great exercise that would be.
Bob also discussed the use of Blurb software tool to create books of any variety. It is a great alternative to other on line tools such as createspace and Lulu. Bob is also working on a new short story entitled: "The Bus Ride". We were fortunate to hear the first couple of pages. Can't wait to hear more.

Tricia: provided three excellent references for those interested in writing memoirs.

"Heaven Awaits the Bride" by Anna Roundtree
"Writing the Memoirs" by Judith Barrington
"Tweak" Nic Sheff

She is in the final stages of submitting her manuscript "Drive to Huber" for editing and publishing. She read a couple of pages from her manuscript to the group and received feedback that she appreciated.

Rosie: After attending her first meeting two months ago and reading her poem to the group entitled: "Brandon" she has experienced a couple of "Wow!!!" moments. For those who missed the poem the first time here is another posting of the piece:


Rosie H

I paid you homage today. I went to the garden and found you in the diamond dew on the wispy fern. There—you glistened in the sunlight. I caught you dancing with butterflies and doing somersaults in the air. Throughout the yard I saw you shimmer. Even my hand had your sparkle on it. I smelled you in the fragrance surrounding me. I invited you into the silence. I heard you call my name in the murmur of the crickets and birds. I think—you.

Therefore, you are.

The Wow moments happened Rosie was asked to participate in a story telling session. It was special when one of Brandon's parents were part of the audience. She also taken the poem and made it part of a collage that she exhibited at a recent art gallery.

She is working on a book of Watercolor painting.

Like many of the Wannabe participants who were inspired by Nancy P and keep journals, Rosie has now started the practice of keeping a journal with just inspirational, personal sayings that she derives strength from. Vade Mecum is her personal reference journal "to go with me" and uses "words, give and blessings" as key words.

Martha: Currently reading a book entitled: "Abandon" by Blake Crouch. The story is about an entire town which disappeared without a trace in 1893. One hundred and thirteen years later two guides are hired to investigate what happened. Martha also recommends reading a book by Jodi Ricoult entitled " Handle with Care" which shot to the top of the Best Sellers list at its introduction.

Don P: Has completed entering all 241 letters from his father and is in the processing that story for his family memoir.

After reading the final edited version of Frederika to the group Don feels enough encouragement to submit the short story for possible publication. He is now writing new stories about Debbie called Deborah 3 and 4. Here is a little of Deborah 4:

Deborah 4

At last she got to go into town on her own and do some shopping. She had a long list of items including clothes, shoes, and a number of other assorted items to look for. Her name was Deborah McStine and she had grown up on a farm outside of Dallas, Texas. Just far enough outside of town to make it difficult to get into town easily on her own, but now she was eighteen years old and could make the trip by bus on her own. She also had her first credit card even though it was actually a debit card with a limit of $2,000. She was all grown up now and was going to show it. Her Dad dropped her off at the local bus stop and she was on her way.

Upon arrival in Dallas she stepped off the bus at the downtown station and turned to look for a taxi. As she stepped away from the bus a bicycle rider came rolling along the walkway between the busses. He hit her with the handlebar and knocked her to the ground. As the bicyclist hurried on his way, the bus driver came quickly down the steps of the bus.

"My gosh, girl, didn't you see him coming? You could get seriously hurt doing these things. Are you hurt?" he asked as he reached down to help her up.

"I don't think so. Maybe just some bruises. I'll be all right in a minute or two."

She picked up her purse, checked it, and headed to the taxi stand. As she approached the single taxi waiting there an elderly couple rushed in front of her and jumped into it. She almost fell off the curb, stepped back and yelled a dirty word as the taxi pulled away. She, then, had to wait twenty minutes for another taxi to arrive.

Once downtown Deborah could really start on her spending spree. In the biggest Department store in the Dallas Mall it only took her twenty minutes to spend six hundred dollars. As she walked to the shoe store, toting three shopping bags full of stuff, she checked to make sure her thirty dollars bus money was safely tucked into the secret pocket in her jacket along with the money for the taxi ride back to the bus station.

As she entered the shoe store, prepared to do some more serious buying, she set her shopping bags down beside one of the chairs and started through the display racks. Fifteen minutes later she carried five boxes of shoes back to her selected chair, sat down, opened the first box just as a salesman walked up to assist her. She reached down to pull out a new dress she had just bought in order to match color and noticed that there were only two shopping bags instead of three.

"What happened?," she asked. "Where is my other shopping bag? Did you see anybody take it?"

"No, not for sure. I saw a young couple leave about ten minutes ago carrying something. I really didn't notice what it was for sure."

Deborah hopped up, looked out the door and saw no one. "They're gone. With my new clothes. This can't be happening." Uncertain as to what to do, she went back to her seat and asked the salesman what to do. He told her that the only thing she could do was to report it to Mall Security, but finding the right person carrying a shopping bag in a Mall was nearly impossible.

Resigned to her loss, she started trying on shoes with the help of the salesman. Eventually she picked out three pairs, paid for them, and left the store, now carrying three shopping bags. She headed over to another clothing store to see what they had. As she started looking through the racks of clothes she made sure to keep one eye on her shopping bags. She paid for the items she had picked out which brought the amount left on her credit card to four hundred dollars. She then decided to look around a bit more just for fun. The problem was she neglected to keep an eye on other things. As she walked back to where her stuff was she started to feel faint. He purse was gone.

She searched all around the chair, and all around the area, finding nothing. Tears welled up in her eyes as she asked the sales clerk what she could do. All he could do was to console her and advise her to tell Mall Security. At that point she knew her purse was gone, never to be seen again. Her consolation was that her taxi money to get back to the bus station, the bus money home, plus her credit card were in her jacket so she could still get home, and the purse had very little of value left in it.

At that point she decided to go ahead and finish her shopping. She eventually filled another shopping bag, giving her four to carry. She picked them all up and headed towards the taxi stand which was four blocks away. As she walked along the third block struggling with all of her shopping bags a young woman, reading something as she walked, bumped into Deborah causing one bag to drop to the sidewalk. Deborah bent over, still struggling, got it picked up, and then continued on her way to the taxi stand. At the taxi stand she hopped into the first taxi in line, putting her shopping bags on the seat beside her. She told the driver to take her to the bus station and settled back into her seat, then reached into her pocket to get the credit card and to put it in the secret jacket pocket.

She felt in the right hand pocket where she had put it, and then in the left hand pocket, starting to get a little frantic. The card was not there. What had happened to it she wondered. Finally, she realized two things. The first was that the young lady who had bumped into her had picked her pocket, and the second was that the card was a debit card and only had $2.00 left on it. She quickly checked the inside pocket of her jacket and felt the money that would pay for her taxi and the bus home. At that point she sat back and enjoyed her ride.

As the taxi pulled into the station Deborah saw her bus waiting. She quickly paid the driver, got all of her bags collected again, and moved as quickly as she could over to the bus. As she stopped to let another bus drive through it splashed muddy water onto her dress soaking her from the waist down. As she approached her bus that driver hopped out with a towel, apologized for the other driver, and cleaned her up as best as he could. She then boarded her bus prepared to sit back and try to enjoy her ride home, knowing that her father would be waiting to pick her up.

She planned to write this trip up in her daily journal and she had the perfect title:

Dallas Does Debbie.

Don also brought up a new service that is available through Barnes and Noble called Pubit. If you want to submit a book to them that can be published in ebook format available on the Nook, their version of Kindle. You have the freedom to set the price and they charge a percentage of the selling price.

Here is a link to their web page to get started.

Kate B: A new member to our group this month. Kate has taken a number of writing classes at Sinclair. Her most recent endeavors have center in the genre of poetry. She turned everyone on to the National Poetry Foundation which is located in Chicago. You can get onto their mailing list and get poems selected by Ted Kooser, former poet laureate as well as their table of contents for their newsletter. To get more you have to subscribe but there is a lot you can learn from the free stuff. Garrison Keillor reads poems from the foundation every day on the Writer's Almanac on NPR.

Their site is simply

Also, she is reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a French book translated into Eng. It has been on bestseller lists and won awards. It is about an elderly concierge in an upscale apartment house and a young girl who is contemplating suicide. Lots of philosophy and social commentary.

Kate's poem:


Young, not sure, asked how
For a child, one way to know the sea
Just listen to this shell--the waves
A rhythm that will not break
A rhyme to take away your trouble
And test it at a later time

I asked, what is this pirate time?
How many lives would rust in waves?
How many spirits crush in break?
And though my lungs would fill with trouble
In growing up saw oceans, seven
Still counting on the soil and sea

A book unwritten, cast at sea
Turned pages--five, six, seven
And memories, they come in waves
But pure voice will always break
Coughing and spitting away that time
No chance to write and too much trouble

Tugging away my labored trouble
That thing that steals away my time
A magic sound the number seven
Its power hits me hard at sea
But shore is best from which to view waves
In tides they come, and go, and break

Like rapid eye movement, surf rolls sans break
And sleep, it too will wash my time
Serve me a spoonful of trouble
A choking salt straight from the sea
One two three, why not six? but seven
It's never fair game and always odd waves

Infinitely different, very rare waves
The moving image we cannot break
The skipping, skipping stone of trouble
Needs straight river, not a tossed 'round sea
I muse above, see the sisters, seven
Yet no advice from starlight this time

So it is seven, a child counts time
Ignoring trouble, constant like waves
A break, not one, just shell and the sea.


Our next meeting will be on November 19th. We hope to see you then. Have a great week and thanks for your continued appreciation for our information.