On Sunday, July 25, 2010, the Magic City Writers met and reviewed the beginning of Lindy’s novel, The Night Things.
The meeting was small; just Kathryn, Lindy, and Myself. Nicole was unable to attend, as was our hoped for new member Emily.
Before describing what happened, let’s talk about the food.
Let’s Torture Alex by Mentioning What We Ate
As snacks we served three types of cookies: peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin. In a word, yum.
For dinner Kathryn made a very good Cobb Salad, using the official recipe from the The Hollywood Brown Derby, home of the original Cobb Salad. She even hand made the salad dressing that is supposed to be used on it. It required a bit of tweaking (chicory was impossible to find, and blue cheese was substituted for Roquefort ) but the result was delicious. Great job, Kathryn.
Just for the records, the salad consists of water crest and romaine lettuce, tomato, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, blue cheese, chopped chives, and tuna.
The dressing’s ingredients do not live up to their combined taste, so I shall not bother listing them.
Later we were suppose to have either watermelon or ice cream for desert. I regret to say that we were so sated from dinner we forgot to have desert.
Oh woe is me. Now we shall have to eat these items later in the week.
An Now What We Did
Lindy knew that her submission was a rough, first draft. She asked we only give her general comments. i.e. Focus on structure and plot problems, not so much on details or grammar.
I think my idea of general comments was a lot closer to her concept of line-by-line edits. For that, I apologize to her.
The consensus was that The Night Things contains many strong elements, and that Lindy needs to flesh out or rewrite certain portions. Some parts were quite good, and other parts needed more work.
After reducing Lindy to a shadow of her former self, we did writing exercises based on an idea of Kathryn’s. Her idea was to practice our ability to describe items based only on how they feel.
One at at time, we each put odd shaped objects into a box and closed the lid so the others could not see what it was. We each reach into the box and felt the items, never looking at them. Afterwards we wrote a few sentences describing what we felt.
This was a great idea. It required flexing unusual writing muscles and focusing on subtle details. This was a very useful exercise for me, and I think for the others as well. Another great job, Kathryn.
The Remains of The Day
After dinner, we retired upstairs and watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff on a movie called Jack Frost. This movie hammered and glued a number of Russian folklore stories together into one of the dumbest movies in history. Basically it was a deranged mixture of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty with liberal doses of the Baba Yaga myths. Needless to say, at times we laughed till we cried.
Afterwards I retired to write this post, while the others went their separate ways..
We set the date for the next meeting to be Wednesday August 11 at 6:00 pm. This time, we shall eat dinner first, then rip to shreds my fifth chapter, Through Persuasion and Force,….
I am especially looking forward this, because I just finished a complete (and much needed) rewrite of this chapter. At the moment I am feeling quite proud of myself and need to be taken down a notch. I feel certain the others shall oblige me.
Until my next post, take care and have fun.