Sunday, August 26, 2007


Reminds me of the movie SIDEWAYS...

Muse hunting.
When faced with finding temporary muses one can do worse than the use of a Piquant Pinot.
The writers in classes at Maui are so talented. I met Joe last year and am convinced that in a couple of years we will be seeing his work in bookstores all over.

He has that writerly look don't you think?
In the months with R's we ate oysters.
We ate them in pool halls for lunch, and in the evenings we ate them out back of my rental. We pried open their shells with flathead screwdrivers and dumped them still living in our upturned mouths, and along the way drank inestimable amounts of beer.
We went to Troy State, Jeff and I, which is in the town of Dotham, which is in the great state of Alabama, or more precisely, the great state of South Alabama.
South Alabama -- the peanut capital of the world. Where Miss Peanut reigns. And where --for only a year-- we converged: the oysters from Apalachicola, Jeff from Charleston, and me from a crossroads town in Ohio that no one, not even a Buckeye, will ever have heard of.
I will not give away the story. Suffice it to say it is unexpected and a compelling read.

We are fortunate to be working with Karen Joy Fowler. Our exercise today consisted of producing one or two sentences which describe a character in your project. Not physically. Tell us more than that.
For example:

Although he swore excessively, he said twenty Hail Marys each time he did so.

She was the kind of woman who bought an expensive silk dress, wore it to one event, then returned it and got her money back.

He looked furtive as if he had set off a fire alarm as a prank then blamed it on someone else.

How about you?
Can you think of some examples?


Kimber An said...

There's a 'writerly look?' Oh, dear, I knew I was forgetting something! Cool column, way to go, Joe.

P.S. I never pack my muse. I lock the Old Hag in the closet. Somehow, she always breaks loose and tags along anyway. How does one go about getting a nice, fluffy kitty-cat muse?

The Writers' Group said...

Please tell Joe his excerpt is wholly evocative; flat-head screwdriver is genius. Can't wait to read more.


writtenwyrdd said...

When I went to my first writer's conference last year, we had a ghost come visit. Door and wall knocking that all of us heard.

I liked the bit about the screwdriver as well, but that's because it is realistic. It's the common tool-to-hand for the job. Works on steamers (clams) too.

As for the characterization, those are great examples.

"When she set her face, I always imagined, superiimposed, the rounded rump of a horse. So far I've always felt justified."

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll go.

Forever misstepping, as though the song in her head played a beat behind the other mothers; Emma had fixed her daughter's love limp Bo, with a twist-tie.

Josephine Damian said...

That most mentioned the flat screwdriver is proof that God - or is it the devil? - is in the details.

Here's a character bit from my WIP, A STUDY IN FEAR:

She offers no excuse for what she does except a mother’s instinct to ensure her child’s life. These are the memories that haunt her; these are the experiences that provide insight into a murderer’s psyche.

Demon Hunter said...

Sounds like a great exercise. I'll have to work on it. Thanks for sharing! :*)

ORION said...

kimber an - yup I couldn't sneak GK onto the plane but pinot is a great back up!
W group- I'll let Joe know!
WW- oh a ghostly muse! I like that- I LOVE your sentence ...rump of a horse...that's great!
rebecca- twist tie! another good one!
josephine- yup that devil! You have a good one too.
demon I'm waiting for yours...

liz fenwick said...

Interesting exercise........

Michelle O'Neil said...

She attracted two kinds of people; those who suddenly became vegetarians if she was around, and those who ordered steak just to piss her off.

She was looking for a third category.