Took first chapter of my novel to Writer’s Club

This was originally posted on my personal blog on November 16, 2016.

Their response: “Wow.”

I was so nervous before I read it, almost wanted to just pretend I hadn’t brought it, hide it away.  As I read, I feared it was boring people, that they didn’t like it.

But then I finished and they said, “Wow.”  As in, a good wow.  As in, impressed.  A few helpful suggestions, but otherwise anxious to find out how the rest of the story is going to go.  It also excited the curiosity of our published author, who recently released a World War II novel.

Yes, this is the massive, complete rewrite of Unwilling Time-Traveler.  The reaction of the Club is encouraging, of course.  This story has filled my head for the past year, and still continuously drives me on.  I have to stop for a bit and read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but the ideas keep spinning in my head.

I have to get back to research to help put the puzzle of the ending together.  I know where I want things to go, but there are some details about the war that I need to get straight first.  It’ll also help me smooth out some difficulties in the midsection of the novel.

Gaining Confidence Through Writer’s Club

This was originally posted on my personal blog on February 11, 2014.

Going to the writers’ club is giving me more confidence in my writing.  I keep getting praise for the little things I bring in.

Tonight I brought in my sci-fi romance, The Last Night, the 1992 revision. People were so concerned about my characters that they threw out ideas for rewrites and expansions, which would allow them to live instead of being executed.  LOL

People were surprised that I wrote it around age 19, and at how much I had written in general by the time I wrote the first draft in 1990 at age 17.  They called me precocious.

I thought this was normal for writers.  In college, I was a writing major, so I knew a lot of people who were at least as good at writing as me, if not better, at my age.  After all, we’d already been through a year’s worth of various writing courses.

Why do I keep writing?  Because I have to.

Why have I written so much all my life, not just in adulthood but since before I could write?  Because I have to.

It’s not so much a choice as a drive, an ever-pressing need.

It’s driving me to keep posting my College Memoirs day after day after day, whether they’re read or not, whether the frequency is too much for my subscribers to keep up with.

I MUST write these stories.  I MUST post these stories.

Then when I’m done, I’ll be free to write the next story.  But until then, my inspiration is dry for anything new, because it’s all caught up in what I’m working on now.

That’s just how my muse works.  It won’t let me rest until the story is done.  Unless it’s boring me; then I stop.

Stepping out of my comfort zone: Writers’ Club

This was originally posted on my personal blog on July 8, 2013.

I have been toying with the idea for years of going to the local writers’ club, but for one reason or another, never got around to it.

But I figured this is a good way to find like-minded local friends and maybe, just maybe, figure out how to make my childhood story-games into children’s books.  (Many members write children’s books.)

I didn’t know what to expect, but it sounded like the creative writing classes I took in college, which I loved: You bring in a piece you want critiqued.

Tonight, I finally worked up the courage and went.  For my shy and introverted self, this was quite a feat, since they were all strangers.  I barely spoke for most of it, just sat back and observed how things go, what the people were like, how they critiqued.  My piece came last; it was The Fire Elemental.

It was scary reading it to them, laying it open to their comments.  But they loved it.  It was deep; made them think about what it meant; one called it “beautiful.”

Readers of my blog would know what it means, but I did not want to reveal every bit of my experience with abuse, in a writers’ group, especially among strangers.  (Sure the blog is open to a world full of strangers, but the world doesn’t know who I am or what I look like or even where I live.)  So I just said it referred to abuse between a husband and wife I knew, and they basically took it from there.

I got the impression that people in the group (older ones, who had experienced abuse of some kind, or seen it) have already seen this happen.  In an odd way, this validated my experience, probably because it showed that it does happen this way, that others have been through the same thing, that I’m not making up some implausible situation.  That it’s actually quite common.

It was very encouraging, especially since I wrote that after probably almost 20 years of not writing poetry at all.  It was a first draft worked on over the course of a day.

I want to keep going with this writing group.  And maybe, after years of not writing fiction or poetry, I can find my muse again.