Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Summary of Oct. 26, 2019 Meeting

Big changes ahead!

Jim Hitt

JoLynne Buehring

At this meeting, we elected a new President and Treasurer, Jim Hitt and JoLynne Buehring respectively. Both are seasoned professionals with great personalities and a highly-developed service ethic. We welcome them and and thank them for stepping forward to help keep the Guild on track.

As your outgoing President, this meeting was bittersweet. After serving two terms (four years), it’s an accomplishment of which I am proud. A dozen members of the Hitt critique group started the Guild at the end of 2015. Our first meeting was January, 2016. Since then we’ve offered 40 meetings, nearly that many speakers, and loads of socializing, support, and inspiration. With Jim at the helm and JoLynne managing our financial interests, I know we’ll thrive in 2020 and beyond. I have volunteered to stay on the Board as an advisor, with the title of Webmaster. In that capacity, I’ll continue doing this blog post summary of our monthly meetings and managing the Facebook Page.

Writers’ Corner

Jim talked about the value of short stories as an art form writers may choose in addition to or as an alternate to longer forms. I was thrilled when he suggested The Art of the Short Story, edited by Gioia and Gwynn, as a guide, because in addition to serving up short stories, each chapter includes a note from the author about how to write them.

I bought the book because I’m always thinking about writing short stories, but there’s a certain structure to them I find elusive. Some say they’re structured just like a novel, only shorter, and thus every sentence, every word, must be chosen with extreme care and craftsmanship. Yet many of the shorts I’ve read seem more impressionistic, and in fact, certain teachers have told me emotion and description in a short story can stand in for structure, if done right.

What is “right”? Could anything be more daunting?

So the idea that these authors offer “their insights on writing” presents the possibility they’ll clarify some of this vagueness, and after reading it, we’ll be better equipped to write, and enjoy writing, our own.

I’ll report back.

October Speakers Wes Rand and Barry Solloway

Barry Solloway

Scott Johnson (writing as Wes Rand)

Many thanks to Wes Rand (Scott Johnson) and Barry Solloway who joined together at our last meeting of the year to speak about the art and business of writing. The audience had many questions about work habits, outlining, pantsing/plotting, cover design, and marketing. 

Scott suggested finding a quiet spot to write, get the story down, read it out loud for the sound of the words, get the book edited by a pro, and don’t write unless you enjoy it! He shared stories of inspiring people who did not, at first, look like a success.

Barry spoke of his experience in Northern California and his interest in the drama of the American political scene. He’s written two books on that topic, one of which has been considered for a movie.

Turnout was very good and we appreciated the warmth and support of both authors, who traveled from the Las Vegas area to speak with us.




This blog post was prepared by Lynne Spreen, past President of the DVWG. Lynne writes women’s fiction with romantic themes. You may access her website here and her books here.

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