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Oct 1 14

That’s a Winner

by Tom Klein

PostCard WinnerWell, I must have put a few words together that somebody liked, because I won second place a writing competition. The President of Saturday Writer’s spent some time in Hawaii and while there picked up an interesting postcard. She brought it back and asked members to submit a short story (2014 words or less). These were given to her anonymously here is the result. This will be published in our groups anthology later this year.

I’d like to thank my daughter, Emily, for correcting my English, especially the punctuation and all the folks in my “reader group” for putting up with a few versions until I found the find set of words to submit.

For any of you that enjoy reading, get a word processor and start writing. Writing is one step higher than reading and when you submit a work and win a prize or an honorable mention, it’s like icing on the cake.

For my family, you can see the postcard and my name “in lights” at our list of contest winners.

 

May 1 14

Research

by Tom Klein

It is easier today than ever to do research with Al Gore’s invention, the Internet. I was writing a story placed at the U.S. Embasy in Rome and with Google I could see how many feet of grass to cross to reach the fence. Fiction sprinkled with a little truth makes it that much more believable and why invent the details when you can see them. YResearches, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

But I don’t recommend becoming a Google researcher all of the time. I wrote a story about an ex-Army Sergeant and had a friend of mine, an ex-Army Captain give it a proof read. He liked it except I used a Sergeant rank reserved for the Marines instead of the Army. Oops. He then went on to tell me that there are no ex-Marines (unless court-martialed out), some point of pride. Its a point of pride brought on by more pushups and grunting. He also said “His having crooked teeth is damn accurate.  I never saw so many screwed up grills as when I was in the service.  Good lord, some of those dudes must chew sideways.” Yes, that’s filed away for some future story. You better believe it!

There was another story written about an ambulance ride and I talked to a couple of St. Charles Paramedics. I know them because I’m on the board at SCCAD but they are good people and would be glad to listen and lend a hand to anyone telling a story about EMS (as long as their not busy saving a life at the time.)

I have a friend who writes romance novels placed in the wild west. How you could ever write that stuff 30 years ago is beyond me. How you write a romance novel period is beyond me but that’s not the point. Google has brought a million bits of information (yes, I said ‘bits’) to our finger tips but picking up the phone, writing an email or taking drive over to see someone who knows, really knows the subject can give you that extra gloss that makes your next story shine. Once you get someone talking on a subject, you may get more than you asked for and those gems, whether you use them today or in a future piece, will make the time and effort all worth while.

There is nothing like research, finding the truth, good solid truth to wrap your fiction around. It makes it believable, enjoyable and successful.

 

 

 

Apr 29 14

Making the Big Time

by Tom Klein

I can’t speak for all writers but my guess is that most of us want to be read, published and rich. Secretly or openly, we’d all like tSaturday Writers 1st Placeo be a combination Stephen King, James Patterson and Tom Clancy, along with a sum of all their wealth. Okay, part of their wealth? (A large part.)

On Saturday I found out that I will join the big three and millions of others, as a published author. No, I won’t get the millions, but like chipping a ball onto the green and watching it trickle into the hole, knowing on that one shot, even Tiger Woods couldn’t have done it better, I feel like I finally put together a stream of words which someone I’ve never met finally read and enjoyed. Unlike the golf shot there is still room for improvement (like the rest of my golf game.)

I owe a great big thanks to the Saturday Writers. We hold a monthly contest that allows young writers (in writer years if not calendar years) submit their short stories in a double blind contest and compete for publishing slots in our Cuivre River Anthology.

As exciting as winning is, it just makes me want to work harder, write more and try new things. For a day I sat back and glowed but I’m back at the keyboard and you should be too. There are a million contests with a zillion winners. You could be a winner too. A published author, with credits.

All you have to do is write.