Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two Days of Library Stuff

Yesterday was my first meeting as a member of the Franklin County Library board of Trustees, and it was fun. Of course, that it was held as part of the annual library picnic at the lovely and picturesque Garst Pond in Boones Mill and the rain stopped just before the picnic didn’t hurt either. I forgot my camera, so you’ll just have to take my word that it was picturesque. The barbeque provided by Marilyn (the Westlake librarian) and her husband was scrumptious, as was all the food.

However, I was issued three books of library policy that I need to familiarize myself with before the September meeting. And we’ll be having a retreat in October. So, this new responsibility will take a bit of time.

Today, The four members of my kid lit crit group met at the Franklin County Library. We critiqued three projects, including mine. Amy H is working on other writing projects, but she gave some good suggestions.

Amy T read the revised first chapter of her historical fiction (middle-grade novel based on the Battle of Brandy Station) that we critiqued last month and now it’s really something! Plus—another reason for our group to celebrate: Amy workshopped her short story, “Wild Magnolias, with us the first time our crit group met. We encouraged her to send it to the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest, and she did. She learned yesterday that it won the contest’s College Division. (Amy T is an adult student at Hollins University.)

Claudia read a couple of her poems, including one about her grandson. We decided that these poems would make great gift books. Now we need to research some publishers.

I asked the group for input regarding agent submissions for my middle-grade paranormal novel, Stuck. I’d already looked up four agents that seem promising, but which one to query first? And when? The others gave me some helpful advice. I also workshopped the last three chapters of Stuck with the group. I’d been rewriting and tweaking these chapters for a while, and I received some wonderful nit-picky suggestions to make my tweaks even better. Now I need to go back over the whole novel (again!) and get it perfect. I want to send out a query by October.

I’m so glad we started this crit group. We’re a good blend, and creative juices flow freely when we’re together.

Tomorrow, I pop into Roanoke for a public radio interview about my recent Bulwer-Lytton win. Even though I’m getting help to be a good writer, I still celebrate my bad writing, too.



Blogger Amy Hanek said...

I was glad to make it this month. Thanks for including me!! I had a great time.

Next month we might escape running a daycare in the room next door.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

YOU have bad writing? NAH!

7:31 PM  

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