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I noticed last night that the one-year anniversary of my participation in my local writers group is in two weeks. Yay! A whole year of still not submitting anything for publication, but at least people are reading it and critiquing it. :)

Last night at our meeting, we had a rare occurrence: a newbie.

I don't mean he was just new to our group; we get that all the time. I mean that he has never written a word of fiction in his life. Self-admittedly. He's been thinking about it, though. And apparently talking about it at some length, because he said that last night his wife kicked him out of the house and said something like, "Quit talking about writing fiction and go do something about it!" :)

He is a writer, but only of non-fiction articles which he has had published on/in various websites/publications. He's a very nice guy, eager to soak up whatever tips and hints the more experienced group members can give, and with a firm grasp (we presume; we haven't actually seen a sample of his writing, yet) on the mechanics of writing. (It's very painful to critique and be nice when you get someone who doesn't understand subject/verb agreement, pronoun case, the proper use of apostrophes, etc.)

We already have one newbie (she's been with us about a month) who reads at warp 11 and we keep trying to give her tips on how to slow down. "Pretend we're all children," one person said. Well, that worked like a charm: she read at a veritable snail's pace of warp 10.97.

"Pause at each period and take a breath" was the next suggestion. We'll see if that works next week.

She plays WoW and writes stories about the characters in her guild. This is just a tad outside most of our members' realms of experience.

Last night's selection from her was something still firmly fantasy, but non-WoW. She'll need some help on character development and some mechanics, but that's what we're there for. Assuming both of them stick around, it should be interesting to see what they come up with.

We have this eclectic mix of genres. I'm more than a little amused by the fact that everyone unanimously says that I write "weird stuff," but means in a good way. :) (At least, I hope they mean it in a good way.... </paranoid>)

A funny: one of our group who normally writes poems brought something last night that was specifically designed not to be her usual style of poetry. She told us that up front. "It's an experiment," she said. "It's supposed to be kind of a prose poem."

So she read it to us. It was a recipe for lamb curry, but it had tidbits about the spices and observances of various sorts interspersed into the description of the preparation of the dish. It made us all hungry.

And at the end, everyone told her how poetic it was, and that she should turn it into a poem. She portrayed the making of this dish as kind of a spiritual experience, and we pointed out several subtle allusions and double meanings that gave us that impression.

None of which she intended! :)

Turns out, for instance, she had used the word "shriven" thinking it meant something else entirely (I'm guessing English is not her first language (she's Indian)), but we urged her to keep the word in because of the nice tie-in with the spiritual overtones of the rest of the piece. (Looking back on it, I think she might have meant "sheared" or maybe "divested", but we all liked "shriven.")

The look of amusement/bemusement on her face was priceless. She really was trying not to write poetry. And we praised her for her masterful poetry. :)


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Comments

( 4 hisses — Hiss at me! )
etherial
Apr. 22nd, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
re: poetic recipes
I have a friend with a medieval Italian cookbook that is actually written in verse. It's also a good cookbook.
kaasirpent
Apr. 22nd, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Re: re: poetic recipes
We told this woman she needs to write a full cookbook in that style.

That was when she revealed she had copied the actual recipe part from some book of Indian style recipes. She is not a cook. :)
dorsai
Apr. 22nd, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Wait, isn't there a theoretical maximum warp number of 10 or so?
kaasirpent
Apr. 22nd, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
NERD!

And yes. It was a "Mine goes to eleven!" reference. :)
( 4 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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