Fiction Writer in Poet's Clothing
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Liz, I have been meaning to stop by your blog and I see you love to do short stories too. I will read them. I am in my 2nd draft of my new novel, a historical time-slip paranormal love story. Karen 🙂
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Thanks for your interest in my work, Karen! The short story is my natural mode of expression, although I have been branching out lately. I hope you’re enjoying writing the second draft of your new novel. I particularly like doing second drafts because that’s when I get to really shape and mold the raw materials I put down as my first draft.
Liz, I happen to love short stories too, and I have heard that short stories are the most difficult piece of writing a writer can do. I don’t agree…for me they are my natural mode of expression too. Although, I do like writing novels too, and a little poetry, now and then. I also like doing second drafts and I agree with your statement about second drafts completely. I love dressing up the 2nd draft and being creative as I go. Karen 🙂
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Thanks for you comment, Karen. It’s good to find a kindred spirit!
Liz, yes…definitely. Karen 🙂
Liz, I just finished reading The Story of Henry, and I loved it. It is beautifully told. The way you structured the tension was amazing and perfect, until you reach the end. Then, the reader sits silently, taking it all in, finally remembering to breathe with a big intake of breath. The kind of breath that’s more like a gasp. I am still captured by this story; It is so vivid, so real, so moving, but simple in the story line itself, yet so complex. I am going to re-blog this story.
Of note…which I find quite odd, the mention of Bill Demers, since my maiden name is DeMers. Most of the DeMers family came over from France at the same time, more 300 years ago, as a gift from the French King at that time, because they helped avert a worse disaster during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre between the Catholics and the Huguenots (they were Huguenots). They were given a very large area of farm land along the St. Lawrence River, in Quebec, Canada. My grandparents on my father’s side spoke Canadian French and were originally from Quebec, from one of the farms. I just thought you might find this small piece of history interesting.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Karen! This is the second version of it. The first I wrote when I just didn’t have enough life experience to get it right.
In Enosburg Falls, Vermont, where the story takes place, there are several Demers families, whom I assume at some point had emigrated from Quebec, as Enosburg is only ten miles south of the border. The best-known of them is Ralph Demers, who founded The Dairy Center motel and restaurant. Any relation?
Liz, I have no doubt that we would be related in some way. My grandfather Ami DeMers also lived in northern Vermont, grew up in Vermont. and then moved as an adult to Hartford, CT. I will ask my cousin…but anyone who would know, passed away many years ago. I do find anything historical fascinating whether family historical or just history in general.
Thank you, Karen 🙂
Just out of curiosity, I checked the Enosburgh history for any other Demers families and found mention of a Lucien Demers, who once owned the Barber farm on Perley Road: “The Barber farm was purchased by F. N. Perkins who built a large house costing $11,000 around 1890. This was a huge price in those times. Other owners were H.A. Pond, George Jacobs, Joe Messier, John Cassidy, and Lucien Demers who lost the barn by fire and later tore down the house.”
Liz, this is fascinating, and we did have a Lucien and a Lucinda in our family in Canada. My great Aunt Lucinda married well and often went to France with her husband. She brought back an antique wedding gown from the 17 century, on one of her trips, and my grandmother made Christening dresses for my identical twin and me. I now have mine framed. The dress was made from handmade lace and is exquisite. Although, I wish my grandmother had not used this rare wedding dress for other purposes, but perhaps the dress (parts of it) would not have been saved any other way. Thank you so much. I have been considering doing Ancestry.com to find out more, and so, I probably will soon. Karen 🙂
It sounds as though you have a rich family history, with many good stories to discover and share!
Maybe, I did talk to my twin sister (identical twins) and we discussed it and we might look into it. Thank you, for helping me to remember the past. Karen 🙂
Once again, you give me exactly what I need to read. I am not sure why but long ago, I stopped reading short stories. Ironically, my number one favorite of all time is a very short tale. A Modest Proposal by Johnathan Swift. It doesn’t get any better than that. I also enjoyed The Story of an Hour and numerous others so thank you, the time has come to resume reading through some of the gems out there. However, I need to finish at least one of the three I am currently reading… War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and Les Parents Terribles by Jean Cocteau. What a fest!
These days, the short story as an art form doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves. There are short stories that have been life-changing for me: “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner and “Feathers” by Raymond Carver, to name just two. If you’re looking for a story that is just a pure delight, I’d recommend “Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty. If you really want to have a good time with it, read it out loud.
What a feast of reading you have on your plate! (“Fest of reading” works, too.)
I agree, short stories don’ get the respect they deserve. They are harder to write than a novel… precisely because of their brevity. I was lucky enough to go to Ireland and attend weekly workshops on SS writing and I have three which I intend turning into novels because I like my characters and story-lines. Whether I’ll ever get there or not, remains to be seen. I have to finish one first! I’m on the sixth draft of my original novel but I prefer the screenplay version I wrote. However, screenplays are hard to sell, so I am going to try and get a book published instead – once I am happy with the current draft.
I think a really interesting part of the process of writing fiction is seeing what form the story wants to take: from microfiction right up through tome.
Absolutely, Liz, as each form has it’s own ‘rules’. Fascinatingly the story will decide it’s own shape.
Yes, although sometimes the story withholds that information for a while. 😉
Sorry, that was What a feast!
I used to love short stories, Elizabeth but now I am into reading novels though not long ones. I am currently reading Lampedusa’s ‘The Leopard’ for the first time. Like you I taught Latin at senior school for a few years but then it was dropped from the curriculum.
Thanks for your comments, John. Is there any particular reason you shifted from short fiction to novels, or was it a kind of natural evolution? It’s nice to meet another Latin teacher! (Although, I’ll confess that I enjoyed studying it more than teaching it.)
Hey Liz. Missed you.
I’ve been around! Thanks for checking in.
I am Ashok’s friend. I love your blog. I need to have a theme and learn to put my blog into systematized
order. Don’t know how. Am still an amateur.
Hi, Rita. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you like my blog!. It’s evolved to its present form over time with some trial and error. (I first learned WordPress from an instructional designer at my job.) WordPress has some good tutorials you can find with a Google search, so hopefully you’ll find one that will help you get your blog set up the way you want it.
I read every Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels) by age 16 and liked Edna Ferba’s stories too.
My dad read the Sherlock Holmes stories to me when I was in middle school. When I read them myself as an adult, I discovered that he’d censored Holmes’ cocaine habit!
Your stories are a delight.
Thank you, Paul!
It should be us thanking you Liz
Hello, Liz – – I’m Will Patton, I live in Bakersfield Vt. and had a band in the late 70s called the Chet Arthur Five. My friend Harry Goldhagen is doing a piece on Chester A. and wanted to include a section on the band, his research led me here. I’d love to read the piece, is it available on the web? Incidentally I’m still playing music for a living (if you call that a living! rim shot please) and am an inveterate reader so I love your keen eye on the writing process. best, Will
Oh, for heaven’s sake!! Thank you for getting in touch, Will. I’m still shopping the story to literary magazines, no takers yet, also. It’s great that you’re still playing music! Do you have a website or blog I could follow?
Hi Liz, yes, I’m wpatton.com – Where might I find some of your writing? ~best, Will
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