RESEARCHING YOUR NOVEL
Don’t Let Them Get You
Writers Forum member Jennifer Levens has written both historical and contemporary novels. At our March 11 meeting, she speaks about research as it applies to historical novels for accuracy, and to contemporary novels for dates and accuracy of methodology. Levens explains how to avoid the problem of readers who write to the author about the slightest inaccuracies in a novel, or even worse, readers who put the book down unfinished and move on to another author. She will explain how to avoid this by using meticulous research to identify reliable primary and secondary sources. Jennifer Levens is a Master of Education who also holds a degree in English Literature. She is an actress, director, musician, writer and teacher who has been writing most of her life, and thinks making people laugh is the highest form of therapy.
The meeting is this Saturday from 10:30am-12:30pm at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Memorial Hall. Doors open at 10:00am so that we can get started promptly at 10:30am. All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA.
See you there!
For years, Writers Forum has relied on our Membership for Multi-media Presentations. From borrowing Shasta College’s Digital Projector (and later their Screen) to other members’ Audio Cables and Mobile HotSpots, we are thankful. But one problem was that Advanced Planning was needed. We could not at the drop of a hat (read that as a presenter canceling) substitute a packaged media program from Writers Digest or other online resources.
Scripps Howard Foundation has awarded the Writers Forum a Volunteer Gift of over a thousand dollars for purchase of equipment that support will enhance Multi-Media presentations.
Retired Scripps Howard Employee and Past Writers Forum President Larry Watters, left, holds check for purchase of Multi-media equipment at General Meeting held February 11, while President Laura Hernadez, right, and Program Chair Sharon Owen, foreground, laugh over the prospect of Owen not “Borrowing” Shasta College’s Projector ever again.
Writers Forum Treasurer Jennifer Levens holds Scripps Howard Foundation check.
How to Catch a Muskrat
By Dale Angel
It was a shameless pond, sending seductive invitations by way of a gentle wind pushing wavelets carrying diamonds across the water. Birds flew in and out of the thick brush along the edge. The far end had ducks…fluffy baby ones.
“Stay away from the water!” was so much noise as our parents screamed the words on their way to the store. “Don’t go near the water!” They were barely out of sight. We were already there.
Something moved across the smooth surface, coming toward us and creating a V in its wake. We didn’t move. It came just within reach.
My brother leaped out with stretched arms to grab it. He finally surfaced. I pushed cattails with my foot. He seized hold and crawled out.
His sopping wet overalls was damaging evidence. We ran back and built a fire in the wood stove and shoved them in the oven.
Meantime, to mitigate my part I decided to peel potatoes for lunch. The family butcher knife in my hands was like using a machete to peel grapes. The potatoes were nubs.
My brother opened the forbidden crackers and wouldn’t give me any. He ate them all.
Dad came in carrying groceries. Smoke filled the air. He grabbed a broom and used the handle to fish out the burning pants.
Dad was stomping out fire as my brother told them I had eaten the crackers and wouldn’t give him any. He was seven going on fourteen. Already a hardened criminal. He invited me to play 52 pick-up. You know…he drops a deck of cards, and I have to pick them up. I hold grudges.
The nubs were boiling over while war was going on over new pants with a waist versus work overall, which my brother hated.
We went back to the fields to pick cotton. My sisters and I practiced harmonizing songs we heard on the radio. Meanwhile, my brother whispered “Let’s tie a rope to a figure four trap to catch that muskrat!”
On February 11, in the month for love and valentines, Writers Forum offers a much-requested poetry event, presented by a duo of eminently qualified Shasta College English instructors.
Photo courtesy CSU Chico
Dr. Sara McCurry has taught in the English Department at Shasta College since 2007. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and a PhD in English from the University of Oregon. She writes poems about the natural world, women’s experiences including motherhood, and teaching. She believes deeply in the message written to all of us on the Missoulian poet Richard Hugo’s gravestone: “Believe you and I sing tiny and wise and could if we had to eat stone and go on.”
Photo courtesy of John Boyden
Scott Yates grew up in Cottonwood, CA, earned an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University, and taught for years in various California community colleges and in Sanaa, Yemen. He now teaches English at Shasta College and lives in Redding with his sublime spouse, four frisky children, and alliteration. In poems about Yemen, family, his bicycle ride to work, and other miscellany, Scott seeks to attend to the sounds of his subjects and explore the mysteries of human experience
This presentation will include a mini poetry workshop. Come prepared to participate in writing exercises if you wish. Writers Forum meetings are held from 10:30am – 12:30pm at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA. Doors open at 10am. Guests are free for the first two meetings.
Please note a meeting room change for February only. Writers Forum will meet in Eaton Hall East at All Saints Episcopal Church.