Best Lit Club Ever

Love my lit club!

Lit Club

Only a few of The Usual Suspects.

Mom and I belong to the Woman’s Literary Club of Corydon. It was established in 1878 (NO, I am not one of the founding members — ha, ha, ain’t you funny). Our flower is the violet and our colors are purple and white. We’ve changed our meeting place and our meeting day, but it’s still once a month and it’s still from 2:15 to 4:15. That time was chosen by the original membership because it gave them time to clean up from the midday meal and get home in time to make the evening meal.

When I was recruited into the club, membership was down to (if I remember correctly) five members. The then-president, who became my first and best Corydon friend, the late and lamented Mildred Kepner O’Bannon, put a sign-up sheet in the library, but insisted on an interview before inviting those signing up to actually visit the club.

Mildred — No, I’ll talk about Mildred another day; there’s too much to tell. :)

The club originally was like other clubs: everybody read the same book and then discussed it. We’ve since changed that. We pick a theme at the beginning of the year, and individuals volunteer to give the program or provide the refreshments month-by-month. This year, I’m doing the program in October and the refreshments in June of 2014 (our year begins in July). Our theme this year is Children’s Books. Freddy the Pig, anyone? :D

We’re ladies of various ages, marital statuses, and interests, but we all get along; we all like each other; we disagree on this or that, but we laugh and care and share. Joining “ladies’ club” was one of the best choices I ever made.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Would you rather be in a group where everyone discusses the same book, or where you can read what you want within a theme but then give a program about it?



Beating Writers’ Block #amwriting

Beating Writers’ Block

writers' block1. Drop back and punt. Re-read the last page you wrote, or the last chapter, or as much as you have to, to get back the feel of the writing. Some writers recommend re-typing a few pages to prime the pump.

2. Do something else for a while. Read, or process pickles, or take a walk. Work on an alternate project. Do a crossword puzzle.

Marshall J. Cook suggests these “ice-breakers”:

3. Have a chat with your characters. He suggests getting writing materials or a blank computer screen and calling up each character and letting each one talk about what’s on his or her mind. He says he sometimes found out things about them he hadn’t known before. If this happens to you, please don’t forget that these surprises are still under your control and, if one of your characters reveals that he is a transvestite lounge-singer, you have the power to say, “No, you’re not.”

4. Start someplace else. Try writing a scene from a different point of view; maybe you’ve chosen the wrong viewpoint character. Choose a different place to start, or a different type of opening.

5. Writer’s block is your friend. I said once in here that I never have writer’s block. I have been known to get stuck, though. When I feel myself heading into a strong resistance, I stop dead the water; I’ve learned that, when my subconscious resists writing, I’m doing something wrong. I stop and take a look at what I’m doing: Am I letting a character dictate to me? Am I bulling along with my outline, when I’ve stumbled on a better alternative? Am I forgetting to answer an important question? Am I making a character do or say something he or she wouldn’t do or say, just to get through a scene, or in order to put in a line of dialogue I like? When I’ve identified and corrected the problem, my block is gone.

Maybe your block will be your instincts trying to tell you something.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Have a chat with one of your characters.


Craw for #SampleSunday

I’m posting a whole story today because it’s very, very short. The story, I mean, not the day.

This is a story I wrote for a challenge, which I’ll give at the end.


by Marian Allen

Craw stomped along the station’s corridor, unaware of his fellow colonists making way for him. He didn’t hear them chuckle when he had passed, telling each other, “Craw’s in one of his moods again.”

He had done whatever he had to, to wangle a place in the ship, to fly to the stars, to live in flight in artificial gravity not-quite-Earth-normal. He had watched, studied, sold his soul for a chance to learn more, learn enough to be a medic.

It had been worth it. More than worth it.

Still, sometimes the safety suits made his shoulderblades itch. Sometimes the collar, with its emergency automatic atmosheild generator felt like he had a piece of plastic trash around his neck, strangling him.

Doc Aimanov always knew when Craw had had enough, and ordered him to take some time to recuperate.

“You’re no good to the patients when you’re like this. Go get it out of your system.”

Craw reached his destination: the conservatory. The biosphere, the garden–whatever. It was the place the plants grew, that was all he cared about. A huge bubble of self-healing bio-fiber, it was a plant ecosystem all its own. He drew the warm, moist air into his lungs as if he hadn’t been breathing before he entered the room.

He pulled off his gloves and clawed the rest of the suit off. It was a joke in the station: Ravi Crawford running naked through the jungle, though no one had ever seen a glimpse of his bare skin.

Three steps and he was hidden by the growth. Three more heartbeats and he was free, returned to his true form.

This was more like it! This was just what he needed! A couple of hours of this and he’d be ready to take on human shape again and mingle with the people, clever and unsuspected.

Meanwhile, he spread his raven’s wings and flew.

~ * ~

This story appears in my collection TURTLE FEATHERS.

crawPrice $0.99

The dog Joseph’s stepmother gave him leads him away from his intended route. Disobedience puts a young mermaid’s life into the relentless claws of a crab. A penguin thinks his fortune is made when he discovers a cache of Scotch. More off-beat animal stories from the author of LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL.

All stories previously published, as noted..

Read about it and sample it.
Buy it for the Kindle at Amazon.
Buy it for the Nook.
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Buy from Smashwords in all electronic formats.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: hospital, another time, paranormal


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