(0 replies, posted in Book Club)

I have not quite finished reading this title yet, but I am in awe of so many passages that I've read so far, I was moved to start this group in hopes of hearing other opinions and sharing my own. 

Below are some of the passages that I've loved so far:

“Back in Las Vegas I've been able to look at it whenever I wanted - when I was sick or sleepy or sad, early morning and in the middle of the night, autumn, summer changing with weather and sun. it was one thing to see a painting in a museum but to see it in all those lights and moods and seasons was to see it a thousand different ways and to keep it shut in the dark —a thing made of light, that only lived in light — was wrong in more ways than I knew how to explain”

"Still I never felt so sure of the future; and when I reminded myself of the right-ness of my course, as I often had occasion to do, my thoughts went not only to Kitsy but to Mrs. Barbour who’s happiness made me feel reassured and nourished in channels of my heart which had stood scraped dried for years.  Our news had visibly brightened and straightened her; she’d begun stirring about the apartment, she picked up with just the tiniest bit of lipstick and even her most commonplace interactions with me were colored with a steady, stable peaceful light that enlarged the space around us and beamed calmly in to all my darkest corners."

“ Boris was right about his dope, how pure it was – pure white, a normal size bump knocked me cockeyed , so that for an indeterminate Interlude I drifted in and out pleasantly on the verge of death.”

A couple of sentences later....this is the passage....if words could be stunning.....

“... in whatever wink of consciousness that remained to me I felt I understood the secret grandeur of dying, all the knowledge held back from all humankind until the very end: no pain, no fear, magnificent detachment, lying in state upon the death barge and receding into the grand immensities like an emperor, gone, gone, observing all the distant scurryers on shore, freed from all the old human pettiness of love and fear and grief and death.”

What do you think?


(3 replies, posted in Writing Tips & Site Help)

What kind of software do you use for your writing?  I am using something called Scrivener… has anybody heard of it or is anybody using it?

How do you handle version control?

Thanks for your input...


(2 replies, posted in Writing Tips & Site Help)

Hi Dirk - based on the below rule I found in a government style guide - I think informally it would be guard/guards...

"A common noun or adjective forming an essential part of a proper name is capitalized; the common noun used alone as a substitute for the name of a place or thing is not capitalized."

Here is a link to the guide:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-STYLE … 2008-5.pdf

Hope this helps.


Hi Sherry - As I was reading your post I was thinking, "yes, yes, I feel exactly the same way".  Then when I read your reviews are not being reciprocated I thought "oh no please don't let it be me!"  Gosh darn it.  I am one of the ones. No excuses… I meant to, but as you say, we are all focused on writing and sometimes life gets in the way. Thanks for the reminder!  I will be reading your chapters soon.


(26 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

This morning I had the UPS guy, the wheelchair repair guy and the Verizon guy all here at the same time … so my story is not about three donkeys, it's about three asses!  Ha ha just kidding, I'll say anything for a laugh, they were all very nice guys...


(2 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

If it was a dog it woulda bit me!  Thanks Norm!


(2 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Is there an easy way to find reviews that you have written on other people's work?


(23 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

As far as I could tell - all the links in this post take you to the contest entries....this link will take you to the winners:


Congratulations everyone!


(4 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Dear Friends - I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you all for your responses here and your reviews of my story.  I am encouraged by your comments and over the next couple of days I will be working diligently to read each review and apply your suggestions and make corrections and respond to each individually.   Thank you again for your invaluable feedback.

"Half my life is an act of revision"
– John Irving


(4 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Everything I write seems amateurish to me… Does it seem that way to you?  Also, as I write, I keep thinking… who cares?  Do you care about what I write?  Why? Why not?

Please, if you have a chance, review my new short story, Grey Street.

Additionally, my grammar is awful!  You may find one sentence with four or five commas in it!  lol So please in-line me too..

Thanks so much

Mike - thanks so much for your response.  Upon further research of Annie Dillard, I discovered that she won a Pulitzer for her non-fiction book, “Pilgrim at  Tinker Creek”, which I will put on my to-read list.  This essay just resonates with me, so many of her points encourage and inspire me and answer questions that I didn't even know that I had.  For example, as I go about my daily life I'm thinking always about writing my book and then I sit down to write and I can’t believe how hard it is!  I think she addresses that dilemma exactly with this passage:

“Why do you never find anything written about that idiosyncratic thought you advert to, about your fascination with something no one else understands? Because it is up to you. There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. It is hard to explain because you have never read it on any page; there you begin. You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.”

Plus she uses words that I have never heard of and have to look-up (peritoneum) and references authors I’ve never heard of (Eudora Welty) and she includes little known interesting facts like the Michelangelo quote that I otherwise would never have known.  The learning never stops!  I’m still reading it over and over again.

I hope others will read and enjoy this article as much as I did.


scrambled eggs

I never read SciFi.  In fact, the closest thing to SciFi I've ever read was Communion and that scared the bejesus out of me.  LOL.  I really loved this J.  It's far out, but not too far out and a cliff hanger and a love story all at the same time.  I kept thinking, "this should be a movie!"

How come it is not eligible for review points? Doesn't really matter at this point… I thoroughly enjoyed it.


I was poking around The Electric Typewriter (www.tetw.org) today and I discovered a section entitled "15 Great Articles and Essays about Writing - Written by Great Authors."  The above titled article was the first one I read.  I haven't got around to reading another one, because her unique style of writing has kept me reading this one over and over again. I had never heard of Annie Dillard before.  I found this article to be very entertaining and inspiring and thought you might too.  Have you read anything by her?  What do you think of the article?

http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/03/28/s … -drop.html


(14 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Marilyn Johnson wrote:
M. L. Dana wrote:

I feel like I never write anything new because I'm constantly editing what I've already written!  When do you draw the line?

It never ends!  I have file after file of things I've written from long ago.  Every time I open one of those files, I make changes in something.  "What was I thinking when I said that?"  LOL!  I can spend hours editing my own stuff.

thats very validating!  thanks


(14 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

dagnee wrote:

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Ernest Hemingway
dags smile

didnt he also say; "write drunk, edit sober"? lol


(14 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

"I spent all morning taking out a comma and all afternoon putting it back in again."
-Oscar Wilde 

I can really relate to this quote.  I feel like I never write anything new because I'm constantly editing what I've already written!  When do you draw the line?

Whats your favorite quote and why?