Because I need to get down to the business of writing very seriously, I chose to sit in Jeff Gerke’s class on Write Your Novel in Thirty Days.
Enter Jeff in a “frock” which was essentially a beige tablecloth bordered in brown with a slit in the middle. He asked who he was impersonating. The first guess was Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More. Since Jeff is into speculative fiction, I knew that couldn’t be right. But I”m not into speculative fiction so I couldn’t begin to guess that it was a Star Wars character.
Bright, witty, and endlessly enthusiastic, Jeff kept us on our toes – assigning small snatches of “homework” that we did in class. He pushed our borders and stretched our possibilities. I learned a bit about how speculative fiction writers think. But my most valuable take away was that you can use the same theme – in different settings – and come away with an entirely different story from the original.
For example, I’m writing a story about a family during the American Revolution. But I could take that very same story, move it to the Viet Nam era, and have a very different story that would tell the same truths about the human condition. He expanded my horizons to infinity. Thank you, Jeff Gerke.
Visited with Jamie West, editor for Pelican Book Group. Turns out she’s the editor for Marion Ueckermann, my friend from South Africa. So we talked about Helsinki Sunrise and Oslo Overatures. And I put a bee in her bonnet about the first novel of Marion’s that I read which predated Helsinki Sunrise. We’ll see if anything comes of that. I can barely wait.
After a quiet supper, I table hopped to my new friend Traci’s table where she introduced me to Sherry. Traci and Sherry had been friends online for sometime, but this was their first face to face meeting. What fun! Our conversation was rather more serious, but I came away with two more people I know a little better and two more names for my prayer list.
The funniest thing was that Traci is in a critique group with Randy Ingermanson. Now I’ve been nagging Randy to get on with the fourth book for in his City of God series. I have loved the three I’ve read: Transgression, Premonition, Retribution. But Retribution leaves you in a Perils of Pauline cliffhanger. I shouted “no fair” when I finished reading it. Have been salivating for the sequel for years. I mean you just can’t leave Ari and Rivka in the wrong century forever.
So looking forward to sitting in Randy’s indie publishing class on Saturday.