We had our seventy-second Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting on Saturday, September 8, which if you are doing the math makes sixth full year of monthly meetings! Thanks to Brian, Sean, Salvador, Marianne, Steve, and Gary P for joining me for a fun afternoon of conversation and critique. Thanks, too, to Matt H and Cary for mailing in comments, and to Jaime for his unwavering support.
We had a few agenda items this month:
– Just a quick reminder that International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming up on 9/19/2018. Annoy yer landlubber friends an’ family (an’ maybe yer scallywag boss) wit’ salty banter!
– I saw the following notice on the http://soontobefamous.info/ site – “Watch for more information on the new STBF Manuscript Contest coming this Fall. This new contest will be judged by library professionals. The winner to be announced during Spring 2019 will receive a professional edit and cover art and will be entered into Round two of the 2019 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project.”
– A quick TV recommendation: Stephie and I have been enjoying on NetFlix a Scottish sitcom from the early aughts called *Still Game*. We have to watch it with subtitles on, and even then, we don’t always know what they’re talking about. The guys once called another character a “jammy old boot.” What does that even mean? We don’t know, but we laughed.
– Sean says that he’s working on his first play. He’s been transcribing the journals he’s mentioned in past months, and he thinks this would be a good way to tie some of the stories together in a coherent way. He says he’s a few scenes in, and he’s pleased with the results.
– Molly was unable to attend, but sent in the following news: “I have a flash-fiction piece coming out in Newfound in October. I’ll send a link when I get one.” I think she might mean https://newfound.org/, but I’ll forward the link when she sends it.
– We’ve talked about Goodreads in the past, and I’m still not sure the best way to utilize the site as a writer. I’ve been invited to join a Chicago Authors group there, so maybe that’s what I needed to increase my engagement on the site. I’ll let you know.
– The First Folio Theater, which is located in the Mayslake Estate in Oak Brook, is again presenting the play ‘*The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe*’ this coming October. Kathy and I had both seen it in past years and highly recommend it. The promotional material says that they won’t be mounting the production again for another five years. Marianne said that she checked the web site and some of the showings are already sold out, so if
you want to see it, now’s the time. http://firstfolio.org/?production=the-madness-of-edgar-allan-poe-a-love-story
– There’s still time to sign up for the Writers Marketplace at the 2018 Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books at the University of Waukesha. The date is Nov 3, and I think I’m going to go – http://www.sewibookfest.com/
– Still no sign of the Public Library Association (PLA) National Writing Contest submissions portal but several articles mention that the submissions period begins be Sept. 25. My announcement for our next meeting should be going out on Sept. 30, so I hope to be able to include details in that e-mail.
– And just a reminder, October’s THC Reading Series, we’ll present Autumn/October/Halloween stories that somehow incorporate a sense of smell. Someone suggested “Smell-O-Vision” as the title, but that’s not really accurate, since the “vision” is in your imagination. How about “Smell-O-Rama”?
We then went around the table to get everyone’s current reading list:
– Brian says he has multiple books that he’s in the middle of reading, but one that stands out is Burmese Days by George Orwell
– Sean has been on a Carl Hiaasen binge lately. Having recently finished Lucky You, he’s starting on Bad Monkey
– Salvador is really enjoying House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
– Gary is loving Burmah Road by Donovan Webster, both for the story and for the details that he’s been able to use as inspiration for his story
– Marianne is working her way through an annotated collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories, as well as an annotated Dracula.
– Steve is reading The Shadow of Blooming Grove by Francis Russell
– Matt B enjoyed Zodiac Cracked by Marianne Koefer, actually completed Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (which he considers to be a person accomplishment) and is now reading The Incal by Jodorosky and Moebius, and Ki-Gor and the Beast Gods of Atlantis, which is sort of a second-tier Tarzan from the golden age of the pulps.
Internet Notes –
– I was pointed to this interesting blog entry about engaging with potential customers at book fairs:
The rest of the meeting was taken up with the usual smattering of discussions about general writing topics. It was a fun meeting as always, and was punctuated with some visual aids. Gary passed around his copy of Burmah Road, showing some of the pictures that inspired characters in his story. Brian brought in two photos his father took, which were part of the cache that was central to the chapter he submitted this month. I brought in my copy of Batman #151, the issue mentioned in my piece. It even has the “old paper” smell that featured in the story, and I found it funny to watch everyone look at the cover, then take a whiff to get the same experience as the characters in my story. Inspiration can be found in so many different places.
Thanks again to everyone for joining me this month. Here’s the schedule for the next month or so:
– The next Tamale Hut Café Reading Series event will be Saturday, September 22 at 7PM, with featured reader Chris Krazmus. Please check the blog ( http://thcreadingseries.wordpress.com/) for more information.
– around September 30, I’ll send a reminder to you to submit a piece for critique during our next meeting.
Thanks for your interest in the THC Writers Group. I hope to see you at the next Reading Series event or at the next Writers Group meeting.