Saturday, August 29, 2009

"A Frigidaire Song" by Carly Anne

Carly Anne West wrote "A Frigidaire Song" for the S.F. Writers Conference Anthology that inspired a short story I'm writing for the West Oakland Anthology due October 1st. My story is called "Goldie, the Mirror".

I'm always interested in what motivates people to write what they write. Carly Anne's character writes letters to her Frigidaire, my character talks to a mirror. My character began as a dear friend of ours who passed away a year ago, but the character morphed into his own identity, not just our friend's.

Maybe we writers could compile a book on what inspired us in each of our writings. I'd buy it.

Peter's "Thirty-Five Across"

In the S.F. Writers Conference Anthology I posted about last time, I forgot to mention an outstanding story, "Thirty-Five Across" by Peter Dudley. I'm not biased because he happens to be in the same writing groups that I am. It is my all time favorite short story by him.

I've previously posted about setting, especially with the novel about Locke, California. Peter's setting is not ominous like Locke, but he describes the cafe and the people who come in out of the rain and it puts me right there. I'm doing the cross word puzzle with the narrator and I hear his sighs. I feel the rain. Nice story to read on a hot day like today.

S.F.Writers Conference Anthology

"Building Bridges from Writers to Readers", the 2009 anthology is filled with short stories, essays, and poetry. It's available for purchase from the conference co-founders, Agents Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen.

They invited those of us whose written work was printed in the anthology to their home in San Francisco on a very warm Sunday a couple of weeks ago. We writers were able to sign our work in each others' copies while we enjoyed wine and snacks provided by Elizabeth and Michael.

My entries were "The Bees' Nest", a short story about a mother and daughter and a poem, "Life Preserver in the Jungle" about a couple vacationing in Costa Rica.

The anthology was expertly edited by Vicki Weiland who was supportive, encouraging, and detailed. This edition is outstanding in the quality of the pieces.

The conference is held every year in February, on the weekend closest to Valentines Day. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another word for grin

Margie Lawson, in her on-line writing classes, encourages writers to be creative with body language, especially facial expressions. That's great, but how many new ways can we express grin? Thanks to's Word for the day, here is a new one to add to our list:

Word of the Day for Wednesday, August 26, 2009
rictus \RIK-tuhs\, noun:

1. The gape of the mouth, as of birds.
2. A gaping grin or grimace.

A rictus of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces.
-- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

His belly swelled grotesquely, his hands curled, his cheeks puffed out, his mouth contorted in a rictus of pain and astonishment.
-- Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic

Then, as the sympathy and praise engulfed him, Hector would invariably roll over onto his back, legs in the air, his mouth twisted into an otherworldly rictus.
-- Bruce McCall, "Writers Who Were Really Dogs", New York Times, June 5, 1994.

Has anyone read "Writers Who Were Really Dogs"? Sounds interesting!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time to Blog or to Edit, That is the Question

No new post for over a month. I sigh and search for a creative thought. But I'm not too unhappy about it because I've almost reached the half way mark in final edits for my novel, HADA. That is, if there is such a thing as final edits. Maybe I should say that chapters in the first half of the novel have been critiqued at least two to three times by my great writing group members and I've diligently followed up with the edits to the point that I'm satisfied. Then it's onward to the next chapter.

I've come to the part of the novel that I haven't worked on for a year so I'm actually surprised at what I wrote. It's like reading my own novel. In one chapter I couldn't wait to see what Samuel would say next to convince his mother (Hada) that he was still perfect.

Chris Baty of NaNoWriMo once told me that he likes editing as much as writing the first draft. I do too.