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August 22, 2016


Judy Penz Sheluk

Thanks for inviting me on the Femmes, Donna and gang. I'm happy to answer any questions or comments.

Storyteller Mary

My own poetry and prose have mostly served as self-expression, including "The NCLB Murder" which helped prevent homicidal urges (offers to help hide the body), possibly saving lives.
My language arts students' reactions varied. One student, an injured dancer, brightened my day when she said, "You've shown me I can express myself in writing the way I do in dance."
A sophomore male, resistant to putting his soul on paper, because even a neutral topic required a leap of faith out of one's comfort zone, became increasingly angry. I feared one day he'd explode and get himself in real trouble. Then his fourth-grade teacher called and asked me to tell him she loved him, which I did, privately, and his hostility melted away. For the rest of the semester he was pure sweetness and cooperation (and passed so he wouldn't have to be tortured by that writing class again).


Oh my goodness! I've never been part of a writing group, so I don't have a story like that to share, but thanks for my morning laugh.

Elaine Viets

Welcome, Judy, and congratulations on your new book.
I spoke to a writing group where a woman said, "I've a novel using Miss Marple as a character."
"I don't think you can do that."
"But Agatha Christie is dead."
"She is, but the Christie estate still has the rights. Couldn't you have a smart, witty British spinster and give her another name?"
She wasn't happy with that suggestion.

Kelly Saderholm

A local writing group I was in wanted to bring in a guest speaker to talk about writing- which is great. I suggested David J Bell, who is not only the head of the MFA creative writing program at Western KY U. but is also a fine mystery writer with several excellent books out-his current one is Since She Went Away. (And the fact that he did an awesome interview with Neil Gaimon had absolutely nothing to do with this. not at all. Not a bit) AND he's local- he was more than happy to come speak to our group for gas money and snacks- which is pretty much the limits of our budget. But no. apparently he wasn't "name" enough for our group- they wanted (and I wish I was kidding) Karen Robards. Who is also a fine writer, BUT as I pointed out, I was pretty sure she would want a little more than gas money and snacks. Then one of the members said, "Well, surely she would come do it free for the publicity. There were eight members of this writers group.

Judy Penz Sheluk

So sorry to have missed this comments earlier.
Mary: it's fascinating to see the different personalities in a class, isn't it? Thankfully I've never run into an angry person before, but I did take a class once where one of the students just kept writing the same thing over and over!
Mark: Glad that I made you laugh!
Elaine: That's funny...but you wonder how there can be so many versions of Sherlock Holmes. I suppose the copyright must have expired on Arthur Conan Doyle's work?
Kelly: What can I say? You gave me my morning laugh!

Jayne Barnard

Gilda sounds so familiar, Judy! If I didn't know we are separated by 3 provinces I'd wonder...

Long ago I took a 5-day novel-writing course. The personalities of the other participants gradually revealed themselves over the week, like butterflies unfurling from their cocoons (or, in one case, a snake shedding its skin)

So glad the launch of 'Skeletons in the Attic' is going well.

Judy Penz Sheluk

Hi Jayne, I think there is a Gilda in every workshop! Thanks for your good wishes.

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