During their last meeting, members of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild made plans to host Michael Connick on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Mason County Library’s conference room. A reception will be held in Connick’s honor and the public is invited to attend.
Connick is the author of three Cold War spy novels featuring CIA operative Stephen Connor: “Trapped in a Hall of Mirrors”, “Funhouse Mirrors”, and “Afghan Mirrors.” Although works of fiction, these novels are based on the author’s real-life experiences working with the intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and the technology industry. All historical facts mentioned are true.
In Connick’s most recent novel, action-packed “HPD”, the main character, Officer Ethan Miller, hits the ground running on his first day as rookie cop for Huntington, West Virginia’s Police Department. Ethan learns the first of 13 things that every cop should know: Real Evil Does Exist in the Real World.
Carol Newberry read the first chapter of her version of “Heather’s Story”, the character which was created by the Guild during Sandy Tritt’s recent presentation on characterization.
Members of the Guild shared their lists of “Ten Things I Shall Probably Never Get to Do.” The exercise was meant to list items from the ridiculous to the sublime, like visiting Poughkeepsie, New York or having an Elvis sighting, but most took it more seriously, such as wanting to go zip-lining, visit a foreign country, or learning Hebrew. Everyone agreed that it’s nice to have a Bucket List, even if the chances of crossing all the items off the list might be slim. Having a goal to reach can be a healthy pursuit. Reaching one goal is reason enough to try for another. Perhaps there would be fewer depressed people if they all chose at least one thing to live for.
Guest, Phil Heck, shared a humorous, true life story about his Baltimore cousin, Charles. It seemed that Charles suffered from trespassers during the night who came onto his property and tore up his red clay driveway with their four-wheel-drive trucks. Every morning, he had to smooth the driveway’s surface again. An idea came to Charles to plant posts in the driveway, just low enough not to be seen in the dark, but high enough to catch the steering mechanism of the trespassers’ trucks. Next time they came, the trucks became immobilized and the drivers skedaddled. With tags and registration information left behind, you can be sure the sheriff had no trouble finding the guilty culprits. Problem solved.
Patrecia Gray reviewed a lesson entitled “Cutting the Flab” from Sandy Tritt’s “Writer’s Workbook.” Important to creating a strong work of prose is putting our words on a diet, first of all, and then adding bulk in all the right places. Limit the use of adverbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases, italics, bold type, ellipses, and exclamation points. Try not to use the word “that” whenever possible. For example, “The young student knew that attending school is important.” If eliminating the word “that” still makes sense of the sentence, it is considered “flab.”
The following persons attended the meeting: Patrecia Gray, Carol Newberry, Sue Underwood, Bob Watterson, Joe Ingerick, Kris Moore, April Pyles, and guests Phil and Donna Heck.
The Point Pleasant Writers Guild meets every first and third Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant. All writers are welcome to attend.