Beth complained that when she goes clothes shopping, the only ones that fit her are usually on the mannequin; the rest are too large.
Alas, that's me too. Nothing
Lynn crabbed about a short story submission she had just sent off. Lynn Obermoeller is one of the best I've seen when it comes to voice. Her characters come through loud and clear. We all shivered after reading her piece; it included a character teasing another character with big-as-Texas ticks--ticks he had collected in a jar to get another character antsy. Yikes.
And of course Linda whined about her mailbox. Apparently she is getting so many acceptance letters, Bill has had to install an industrial-sized mail box. (Can you hear the tiny violin I'm playing for you, Linda?)
Finally, Tammy chimed in. She had been working through the exercises in the book The Artist's Way, and said, "Can you guys help me make this into a story? It's just a stream-of-consciousness string of memories right now."
Lynn and I looked at each other, with eyebrows raised and mouths smirking. Tammy has done this for the last three or four meetings--she claims it's still rough, it's not any good (and she honestly thinks it) and we weren't falling for it. Beth and Linda are too gullible, but Lynn and I pounced right away.
Tammy was able to capture the shimmery waves of summer, the childhood fantasies that filled the endless months of June, July and August, the peace she found as she made clover necklaces and listened to the cicadas. And she succeeded into transforming prose into pure poetry.
As I read her piece, the first paragraph that blew me away made me scrawl in the margin, "I hate you." Then, another spot was so rich with imagery made me note, "I really hate you, Tammy." Next to the third jaw-dropping spot, I simply wrote one of my favorite phrases: " ---- ---, Tammy." And then I stopped writing comments like that, because the whole piece was beyond phenomenal.
Her images, her word choices were reminiscent of Cynthia Rylant and Jane Yolen and Patricia Palacco--three writers of children's books who are known for their rich writing.
Here are a couple of snippets of Cynthia Rylant's writing:
"In July, the Thunder Moon trembles, shudders, and disappears in a thick, black sky.
It listens to the clouds beat their drums." --- long night moon
(In the book Scarecrow, describing the positives of being a scarecrow:)
"He has been with the owls in evening and the rabbits at dawn. He has watched a spider
work for hours making a web like lace, He has seen the sun tremble and the moon
The scarecrow doesn't care what he is made of or how long he might last, for he has
been a witness to life. The earth has rained and snowed and blossomed and wilted and
yellowed and greened and vined itself all around him."
Just like the Dixie Chicks' Earl had to die, and just like Uma Thurman worked so hard to make sure Bill was killed, Tammy must die, too...Or, at the very least, her whining needs to stop--'cause Lynn and I are sick of it.