Writing Clubs

Hello everyone!

Well, I was so busy with my new position for the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club, I forgot to blog last week. I’m membership chair for the branch and it is renewal time. Busy!

Last Post Cliches:
Time Flies – time moves swiftly onward. Numerous ancients in roman times said tempus fugit (time flies) Check out Chaucer, The Clerk’s Tale. Term amplified by Ken Hoshino’s translation of Kaibaka Ekken’s Ten Kun (1710). Today-time flies when you’re having fun.

Every Little Bit Helps – any tiny contribution to a ause, collection or undertaking can be useful. According to Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, this expression began in 1590. Another version in O’Keefee’s play, Wild Oats in 1791. The “bit” was added in America early 20th Cent. A.W. Upfield used it in The Man of Two Tribes (1956).

Well, I’m slow but sure working on my new position. We have over 170 members in our Redwood Writers Branch and we need to get them renewed by June 30–that is if they want to win a prize for early renewal. Luckily we have a Renewal button on our website: www.redwoodwriters.org.

I can’t say I’ve learned the hard way for taking on this position, because I’m enjoying it. Getting to meet new people and help members is rewarding for me. I’m able to do this job in the creature comforts of my own home. No, I don’t get paid, but the writing clubs’ motto is “writers helping writers” and that’s what I’m doing.

As soon as I learn the position and feel comfortable, it will be okay. Right now it’s busy with renewals and getting a few new members signed up, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Next week I’ll try and post on Friday as usual.
Until then, join a writing club — learn from and enjoy the company of other writers.

Keep Writing,


Pitches ….

Hi everyone! Can’t believe a week has passed already. Time flies when you’re having fun!

First things First–last week’s Cliches:
There You Go – has multiple meanings: you’re right, you’ve done well, asked for, answer, etc. Dates from first half of 1800s. A different meaning when Ronald Reagan said, “There you go again” in a debate with Jimmy Carter during 1980 campaign and meant: “You’re wrong again.” This usage meaning, repeatedly says something wrong or misleading, remains current.

Get a Handle on it – Succeed in dealing with a difficult problem. From mid-20th century, this slangy Americanism -coping with a cumbersome object by attaching a handle to it. “Handle” used both figuratively and literally in several ways for many years.

Back to the Drawing Board – or back to square one — start again from the beginning, because failed or reached a dead end. Term probably came from a game i.e. snakes and ladders or hopscotch. Adopted in 1930s by British sportscasters when printed radio programs would include a numbered grid of a soccer field to help listeners follow the game broadcasts.

Well, did you work on queries last week?
I signed up for an agents day in June through my Redwood Writer’s where we’ll meet different agents and be able to pitch our story to them. So, I took a look at my old queries and tried writing a few pitches. Every little bit helps I suppose in working toward the end result.

So what are pitches? Two to three sentences that grab the agents interest and want him/her to read your book. I’m going to a “pitch session” on Sunday, so next week I’ll tell you more about them.

After looking at my queries, I think they work, but will put them on-line for my critique group to read and see what they think.

Keep Writing until next time,


More about Queries..

Hi everyone! Hope you’re writing, writing and writing some more!

Last Cliches:
Like it was going out of style — describing something being done with extreme urgency, last chance to do it. Date from about 1970.

Do Tell — Is that really so? Expresses disbelief or sarcasm, around since early 19th century. John Neal used it in The Down-Easters (1833).

The Fact of the Matter — Truth. Empty phrase newer than as a matter of fact = in truth. Both cliches since 19th century. But matter-of-fact, an adjective has quite different meaning and a matter of fact without as means something of an actually factual nature and used in 16th century.

There you go with the cliche meanings and hope you’re enjoying them.

Well, last time I talked about querying. How many have you tried to write your query? I’m still trying and finding it quite daunting.
Now that you’ve written your query, do you have your critiquers review it? Have you gone to query shark? Checked on-line for how to write one or read books on how to?
We sure post our stories for people to critique. But do we post our queries and or synopses? That’s the first thing we should do. Get someone else’s opinion on our query.
I haven’t posted mine yet–I keep procrastinating as I can’t get a handle on it to satisfy me.
Why do we find it so hard to sell our stories? Not for money, but to show what they are about.
I took classes for query writing, and then listened to agents at a conference. Everything I learned in my class is what they said they don’t like! So now what do I do?
Back to the drawing board, reading what agents/publishers want in a query and trying to come up with a good sales pitch.
A one paragraph blurb about my book that hooks you into wanting to read more.
Sounds easy–Me, I’d rather write a novel!
I’m going to work on my queries this week and submit them to my critique group. See what they have to say.
Join me in doing that.
Keep Writing and Enjoy!