WRITERS’ GROUP NEWSLETTER, D. Bradley July, 2017
Misty and damp outside, but inside our Indian Lake Library, a warm and congenial group of writers sit around a table and share a variety of pieces they have written. Every piece read on this day reflects a thoughtful and intuitive reaction to life’s experiences. Our first reader, Jim S., shared the beginnings of a story based in the American Revolutionary period. Somehow, an internal knowledge of this time period emerged in his thoughts and guided the creation of the secretive activities of two gentlemen who meet at a tavern, each with a false identity. The main character holds on tightly to a valise with unknown contents. Suspense builds. Jim has not finished the story and requested ideas as to the contents of the valise and a possible outcome to the predicament his characters have found themselves in.
Debbie has begun a novel based on her father’s experiences in 1948 growing up on Staten Island. The title of her piece is The Manipulator. Her first chapter introduces three young men playing poker and discussing the possibility that one of them, Freddie, may leave Staten Island and the farm for a different future. Apparently Freddie resists this idea. In this first chapter, through conversation between these three fellows, we can already feel the tension that is beginning to build relating to Freddie and his future.
Chris shared her piece, Feeding the Ants. While visiting relatives and needing time to herself as a youngster, Chris discovered an ant colony and became fascinated as she watched them scurrying around. When her cousin discovered her, he automatically decided to stamp on the ants. Then her Uncle Jack appears, a man who has suffered from too many wartime experiences, and yet, a man who reveals his true humanity as he shoos away his son from destroying the ant colony. All of these years later, Chris has honored Uncle Jack and this moment in time, when despite the horrors of war he has suffered himself, she witnessed his inner need to honor the lives of one of the world’s tiniest creatures.
Beth shared a short history of the houses in her neighborhood. The variety of homes and bits of their particular history creates a feeling of comfort living there. Many homes reflect the families who may have built them, or lived in them for many years. There is humor revealed through shared experiences with others who live on the street. But we finally learn about a particular house with its sad history. 37 South Road, the title of this piece, was built in the early 1880’s, initially a school house, eventually attracted drug dealers, experienced several foreclosures, survived long periods of misuse, and even was the subject of a scam investigation. Recently a new family with high hopes of rejuvenating this little home hope to change its history.
Our last piece caused much laughter, much of it coming from the author himself. Bob’s piece, titled, Mike, took us back in time to meet a friend and fellow banker, Mike, who loved to create humor. A mutual friend, Jim came to work one morning, shaking his head in disbelief. Apparently, early that morning a squirrel found its way into Jim and his wife’s bedroom. After a chase and a good hit with a shovel, the squirrel was thrown out the window. Mike, who knew Jim’s wife, called her pretending to be the local police chief. He used his Irish brogue and informed her that a neighbor complained of animal abuse. Although Mike could hold his laughter, all the others gathered around the phone could not, especially when the wife responded with, “But, I – I didn’t do it.” When hearing laughter, she easily identified the culprit.
NEWS: Unfortunately Steve Coffman and Michael Czarnecki will not be offering a Writers’ Workshop in Indian Lake as they have in the past several years. Michael is doing a residency at Huntington Forest from October 10 through the 30th and could be available to get together. He’s also doing a reading and workshop in Newcomb if you care to attend
***Our next meeting will be held on August 9 at 1:30 in the library. Unfortunately Bob and Donna will be unable to attend this meeting. But we are sure there will be a good group with many new and exciting pieces to share.