Notes from the July, 2016 Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting

We had our forty-sixth Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting on Saturday, July 9.  Thanks to Cary, Christian, Beth, Kathy, Sean, Salvador, Matt H, and new member David for joining me to talk writing and stories.  And as always, thanks to Jaime for allowing us the space to congregate on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

We started with a few quick agenda items:
– Marianne sent a status update to the group that she’s had a few complications after her recent knee replacement but that she’s on the mend and looks forward to getting back to the group
– Still no serial story to send out, I’m afraid.  Steve says he’s working on his chapter (insert eye roll here) so the participants get it when I get it.
– A reminder that the 2016 THC Short Story Contest deadline is July 22.  The link, in case you need it, is and again I stressed that the Writers Group doesn’t have anything to do with the contest, other than promoting it.
– We then went around the table to find out what each of us was currently reading:
— David said he was reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.  When asked how he decided to read that, he said he felt like he wanted to read some Joyce, but got bogged down in Ulysses and heard that A Portrait… is a better book to start with.
— Sean said he’s been too busy to read anything
— Kathy is reading Salt by Mark Kurlansky
— Beth is reading The Dressmaker’s War by Mary Chamberlain
— Christian isn’t reading anything currently, but he recently read Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes and recommended it highly.
— Salvador is reading Impact by Douglas Preston
— Cary is still working on The Vacationers by Emma Straub
— I’ve been too busy with writing projects, but I recently finished The Shadow: Year One from Dynamite Comics, and have been listening to two podcasts: Serial Season 1 and Alice Isn’t Dead, which is from the Welcome to NightVale people
–  We also discussed the current group project that we launched last month, which was to write short stories to the theme of “the news and its impact.”  We had said that we would dedicate the August meeting to discussing the stories we’d written, but two of the pieces for this month were already on that theme.  From what we saw so far, I expect some interesting things.  I also briefly mentioned that I thought we might use our featured reader spot at the October THC Presents event to present some of these stories.  More on that next month.

Internet Notes –
– Coincidentally after our discussion of stock photos for publications, had an article about a site that they called a “Treasure trove of royalty-free stock photo websites
– I also listened to a Creative Penn podcast about using pictures when writing:  The Visual Writer: Using Images To Bring Your Writing Alive With Nancy Hendrickson

The rest of the meeting was taken up with the usual conversation and critiques of the submitted pieces.  It was fortunate that we didn’t have many agenda items because we had some significant pieces to discuss.  Two were excerpts from larger works and were rather long, and the length of the conversations reflected that.  But we still made time to fully discuss each of the other pieces which were sent in.  One submission was a series of character sketches, and that prompted an interesting discussion about how a writer can use the detail gathered on such forms.  Several people at the table said that they had never used such a device, but might be open to using one for future projects, just to see how if might improve a writer’s understanding of a character’s actions and motivations.

Thanks again to everyone for joining me this month.  Here’s the schedule for the next month or so:
– the Tamale Hut Café Reading Series is on its summer break, so there’s no event this month.  There is, however, an art opening this coming Saturday, July 16, starting at 7PM, with the art of three artists sharing the walls of the THC.  There’s not a lot of crossover at these evening events between the reading/writing people and the art people, which is a shame because we are all creatives so we should be supporting each other.  Details can be found on the THC Facebook page.
– around July 31, I will send a reminder to you to submit a piece for critique during our next meeting.
– as I get pieces, I will send them out as quickly as I can
– our next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, Aug 13 at 2PM at the Tamale Hut Café, and we hope to discuss a number of “news” stories.
– the next Tamale Hut Café Reading Series event will be Saturday, August 27 at 7PM.  The featured reader will be ME! The Reading Series blog or the THC Facebook page will have more information as it becomes available.

Thanks for your interest in the THC Writers Group.  I hope to see you at the next Reading Series event or next Writers Group meeting.

Matt B


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s