January 16th 2005

We had a great meeting to day. Present were: Russ, Jerry, Niomi, Sharon and Tarah. We did not have a December meeting so it was especially great to see everyone again.

This year, we have decided to make some slight changes in the way we do our meetings. We will have separate business meetings so we can spend more time at these monthly Sunday meetings just discussing writing, critiquing each other’s writing, and doing writing exercises. We also want to share our successes and let each other know when we find good places to submit our work.

We will have separate business meetings to discuss the progress on TS14, writing workshops in progress, and the annual writers’ celebration. We also need to schedule a board meeting.

Dust and Fire, an anthology of writings by women, produced by BSU, has accepted one of Sharon’s poems, and we believe they have also accepted on of Rosa’s. Sharon also has a small piece about Spring that will be in a future copy of Lake Country Journal. Niomi recently had a story accepted by Among Women, a Minnesota magazine. Jerry is going back to the Loft for a 12 week writing class, Creative Writing, at the Loft. Sharon suggested The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron, an excellent book and work book where you do lots of journaling.

Jerry told us that BSU also has an anthology by male writers called Fire Ring of Voices. They will announce winners in February.

There is to be a reading of the Great River Writers across from Bookin’ It in Little Falls on January 21.

We had a visitor today, Deanna. She asked us for ideas to assist her in producing a book about a friend of hers with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She needs an author and an editor and ideas for approaching her friend’s story. We will send out e-mails to all our contacts to see if anyone would be interested in working on this project.

Jerry had been to a class by Allison McGee. She wrote Shadow Baby from the perspective of a 12 year old girl. Here is the three part exercise.

I. Take a child, (preferably a character in a story of yours) or pick someone you know (under 12.) Write down a description of the child using nothing physical, no emotions, or personality. Say things that he or she likes, such as: sleeping late, home cooking, movies, chocolate chip cookies, video games, Xmas, dogs, etc.

II. Take an adolescent, (preferably a character in a story of yours) or pick someone you know. Add an object to the story with this person. (pocket knife, notebook, telephone, or torn dollar bill, etc.) For example, the adolescent sitting whittling with his pocket knife, explaining that it was given to him by his Dad, who he misses very much.

III. Write a paragraph, witnessing the vulnerability of an adult. For example, a challenged adult says that he misses his Dad too, etc.

Russ will have more writing exercises for us in the future. Sharon also has some we can try that came from a book called Writing Together, a book about writing groups.

The annual Writers’ Conference in Bemidji is scheduled for June 19-24 at Bemidi State University. Deadline for applications is May 1, 2005. For more information, go to www.bemidjistate.edu/writersconference.

Sharon has received so many letters and e-mails about TS13. People are so pleased with the book and so happy to have been included in it. The cover turned out really beautiful and received many compliments.

Sunday February 20, 2005 at Beagle Books in Park Rapids from 1:30 to 4PM.