After our usual social time and the lovely repast provided by the Runway Café, our lame duck president, Howard Lewis, called our meeting to order with his final, “How we doin’?” FYI, Howard, you are anything but lame!
We got down to immediate busines, and before any of us could think fast enough to change our minds, the entire slate of officers for the coming year was submitted, approved, and voted on, with 100% “Yays” and zero % “Nays.”
Therefore, your officers for the year 2017 are:
- Sally Handley—President
- Howard Lewis—Vice President
- Helen Turnage—Treasurer
- Cindy Blackburn—Secretary
- Ellis Vidler—Community Liason
- Linda Lovely—Membership Chair
After the election, Howard also mentioned another piece of business, the upcoming workshop in June featuring Marcia Talley. Topics and details have yet to be ironed out, or even put on the ironing board. But we’ll keep ya’ posted. Ideas, suggestions, and volunteers to help organize and plan would be greatly appreciated. Hint, hint.
Then we got the program underway—a guided discussion/informational session amongst ourselves, discussing a variety of topics that we had proposed at the holiday party, and then Howard took votes via e-mail, and we discussed in order of preference. Howard gave us his swan song performance as our president by emceeing this discussion with his usual flair and humor.
1. Building relationships and readerships. How we find books to read, and how we find readers to read our own books.
Some possibilities mentioned were bookclubs, Book Reporter (Our new treasurer Helen mentioned this interesting thing I’d never heard of), FaceBook (FaceBookGroups and FaceBook Author Pages), e-mail lists and newletters, Amazon Singles, and getting a piece of our writing such as short stories into boxed sets and anthologies.
2. Good Reads-the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No consensus here. Either you love Good Reads, or you hate it. But Sally, our illustrious new president, loves it and gave us tips on how to use Good Reads to keep a record of what you want to read, and what you have already read. Here we also discussed book reviews, and the ins and outs and costs of getting reviews on Net Gallery and Kirkus.
3. What readers love.
Variety, imagination, humor, surprise endings, happy or at least satisfying endings (Some of us even re-write endings to books we think end on too unhappy a note!), complicated characters who are not “too stupid to live,” life-affirming stories, stories that teach us something.
4. What readers hate.
Boring stories, unnecessary violence or torture, boring characters, when animals get killed.
5. Finding critique groups.
Okay, so I’m new at this secretary thing, and missed the answers on this one. But I did catch that the SinC website has a place to find a critique group. We also discussed the difference between critique partners, groups, and beta readers. I think everyone agreed that getting feedback, however you go about it, is a valuable tool for writers.
6. Rough draft rules.
Some tricks people in the group use are leaving a scene half-done so you know where to pick up the next day, setting or not setting goals, (You may want to be sitting down before reading Howard’s suggestion-twice!-that we write 10,000 words per day. No, that isn’t a typo). Linda is a “binge” writer—all at once, and some of us write every day for at least a few minutes. Sally, our president-elect, has made a solemn vow to do so in 2017!
That’s it folks!
Cindy Blackburn, Secretary