Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I think I spend too much time being haunted by conversations, mainly my responses.  What I should have said, what I meant.  Like anyone ever has a do-over.  It’s a useless occupation, the situation arose and it went the way it went.  The question was asked and answered.  The opportunity was bungled or handled.  My words were said.  The mistakes were made, the impressions were formed.  It is time to move on. 

However, these hauntings contain potential for story plots.  Or insanity if I continue to overthink the incident!  I’m going to choose story plot.  Here are some steps that have worked for me in the past to move from disturbed to inspired. 

First I will make brief notes, with dates and names of what happened.  These truths are then filed.  I have found that because I have recorded the facts of the matter, I can then move away from further mental review.  It (the disturbance) is ‘put away.’ 

Sometime later, I will be ready to create fiction around the situation.  I will give my feelings to another, or I will create another who thinks and reacts very different than I do and let the incident or something similar happen to them.  I will stretch and exaggerate, I will think of dire results or causes.  I will let the seed from my own world grow in a world of its own.  But unlike the gardener, the seed is not predictable.  The end story may bear little resemblance to the inciting incident. 

It is true, at least sometimes, that the writer writes towards what he knows.  A story can be part of that search.  “To really perform, you have to give yourself over to the fact that you don’t know what you’re creating until you’re done.”


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Workshop Turnaround

One of the members of our writer’s group is also among the organizers of a local art festival.  She has been a key supporter of the art of the word aka the literary component of the festival.  Many times there has been a known author brought in to present a writer’s workshop and to participate in the literary evening’s ‘open mic’ event.  There are a core group of people that will sign up, faithful workshop attendees, faithful participants that will read their work to the audience be it few or many.  This has been the formula for many years now.  But it isn’t easy.  The authors have to be sought out and booked.  The financial aspects have to be arranged.  The bushes have to be beat so that other people in the community other than our writer’s group will attend.  It’s hard work and it’s harder work to keep it fresh. 

Enter the workshop turn around.  The bushes will be left alone.  The budget will be easy, it will cost nothing.  The attendees will be the faithful ones.  The workshop will be taught by the attendees.  Simply put, the faithful participants of the art festival literary component will set aside the afternoon to do something other than meet as they do for writer’s group where the agenda is to read their current projects and offer suggestions.  We will each be given the chance to present a mini-workshop.  It might be big, it might be small.  It might be original or it might be something off the Web.  No matter, it’s turn-around time.  We can learn from one another and we know stuff that we can share.  I love it.  And if anyone misses the format from other years, where they had the opportunity to attend a workshop, perhaps they will be motivated to get involved in a different way.  Or they can join our group! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Story at Necessary Fiction

Here's a little story that is my latest online publication.  The good folks at Necessary Fiction gave me a marvelous opportunity to submit a rewrite on this story.  Their editor gifted me with his assessment of the original including where the story strayed from the narrative voice and became didactic.  It was a free writing lesson and apparently this student understood what was meant.  FYI, I had to go to the dictionary to understand didactic.  Yes, I go there often.  Point taken.  Enjoy the story. Thank you Necessary Fiction.  Here's On Behalf of Women.