The Art of Revision Class

Wandering in the Words Press will be teaching a revision workshop through The Porch Writers' Collective. See course description below:

  • Instructor: Jennifer Chesak
  • Length of workshop: 6 weeks
  • Dates: Thursdays, October 27 - December 8 (no class on November 24)
  • Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $217.50 non-members$195.75 members
  • Location: The Skillery in Germantown

So you wrote something…now what? Time for draft two, and three, and four… Revising and polishing your work takes determination. If you’ve got the grit to mine through a piece scene by scene, sentence by sentence, and even word by word, you’ll be happier with your story or manuscript—and so will the submissions editor or agent who receives it.

The art of revision goes beyond looking for typos and grammar fixes; revision involves unearthing plot lines, weeding out wordy sentence structure, and pruning up wayward prose. In this six-week workshop, you will learn how to tackle your own writing with fresh eyes and how to recognize your style tics.

Each attendee will have the opportunity to provide up to a 3,000-word writing sample (part of which will be given a full line edit, all of which will be critiqued developmentally). This sample will not be shared with the rest of the class; however, participants may wish to read from their samples as part of the discussions. You do not have to have a completed manuscript or piece to benefit from this course.

Need more info? Email me with questions: jenchesak@me.com.

Metaphysical Fantasy Explores Dreamworld

Wandering in the Words Press is pleased to announce the release of Exits and Entrances, by Abe Drayton.

Abe takes readers on an unexpected journey that will have them questioning reality and their very existence. His masterful descriptions of alternate worlds both frighten and entertain the senses.

About the book:
When Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage …” nobody took it literally.

Anthony Ballrain knows that as well as anybody, but when his walk home from work takes him past a door he’s been dreaming about, he feels like it’s his cue to exit. Stepping through, he finds himself in a seemingly uninhabited world that has only a casual relationship with reality. When he finally finds other people, they’ve already met him, and what’s more, they despise him.

In a world where the impossible happens on a regular basis, Anthony is forced to confront a darker side of himself. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder for him to figure out just which side that is.

Excerpt:
The night sky held magic for Anthony for years before all this insanity began, and for him it held a promise of heaven. With all of his mother’s attempts to make him religious, the one thing that had really given him pause—the one thing that made him think that there might really be a heaven and a hell—was the night sky and the joy he saw there.

Now he looked up and felt that maybe, just maybe, he had found that same joy that made the stars dance. Where once he had been awed by twinkling, flickering stars, he now had whole constellations that not only flickered and twinkled in place, but soared across the sky like coordinated meteors, or swooped down to pass around him in a blaze of light. 

 About the Author:
Abe Drayton was born in Massachusetts, and spent a majority of his childhood wandering around the forests of New England. In college, he studied biology, which led him to a semester in Tanzania, and a week-long trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro, where he wrote the short story that grew into Exits and Entrances

Now, in addition to writing fiction, Abe works in climate science education, which informed the content of his first published short story, Sun, Moon, and Stars. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Tegan, a dog, a cat, and a neglected philodendron. 

 

 

Three Dystopian Stories From North Carolina State University Grad

Wandering in the Words Press is pleased to announce the release of The Toll Road, a collection of short stories by Kristina Turnage. The Toll Road is available for purchase on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

With vivid imagination, Turnage explores three “What if” dystopian scenarios that give us chills. Through the eyes of young characters, we learn what life is like after the unthinkable has happened.

About the book:
What will you do when the world as we know it tumbles into chaos? The Toll Road is a collection of three short stories. Each tale delves into a terrifying dystopian scenario:

First, “The Toll Road” opens with an attack on Jake Sheffield, a man journeying cross country to be with his sister after a solar flare has caused destruction and hysteria.

Next, in “Revolution,” Laura Haywood tries to fly under the radar in a world where Big Brother is always watching and ready to eliminate anyone who dissents.

And finally, in “Bishop Farm,” young Molly and family take refuge in the mountains of West Virginia after an economic disaster leads to wide-scale rioting.

Excerpt:
“I have a family in that town, Jake. My wife, my daughter, they live in that town. We all have a family there,” he said, pointing to the other men. They were all listening to him, waiting along with me to find out what my fate would be. “I am not going to let harm come to that town. It’s why we watch the road. Now I am going to ask you a very important question, Jake, and your answer had better sound like the truth to me.”

About the author:

Kristina Turnage discovered her love of stories at a young age, reading every book she could get her hands on until she realized that she could write her own. She completed her BA in English, concentrating in Creative Writing, at North Carolina State University in 2013. She now lives with her husband and their dog in Raleigh.

Historical Novel Tackles PTSD post WWII in Rural Minnesota

Wandering in the Words Press is thrilled to announce the release of Poppa’s War, author Alberta Tolbert’s debut novel. This wonderful piece of historical fiction, available on Amazon in paperback and ebook forms, takes readers to rural Minnesota at the end of WWII when soldiers were returning home.

Tolbert is a talented author who nails her characters. She can get into the head of a veteran with PTSD  just as well as she can the head of a young girl. Tolbert uses the violent weather and abrupt seasonal shifts Minnesota is known for as a backdrop to a storyline that is at times both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Tolbert, a born-and-raised Minnesotan, now lives in Tennessee.

The story:

Alicia Drake’s poppa returns from WWII a man different from the one she remembers. His moods are as unpredictable as Minnesota weather. With a pregnant momma and little sister to protect, she must choose between fight or flight.

Alicia finds solace in the kindness of the small-town community, the natural world surrounding her, and a stray dog—Shadow. Yet nothing can penetrate the isolation her poppa’s fury creates.

Finally, the birth of her baby brother brings a shred of hope that life will return to its pre-war normalcy. Poppa says so. But even the strongest men have a breaking point, and life seems to be driving Alicia’s poppa toward his.

RETIRED LAWYER AND JUDGE PENS NOVEL ABOUT WOMEN DURING CIVIL WAR

Wandering in the Words Press announces the release of Painted Trillium — A novel of the Civil War by Robert Brandt. Brandt, now retired after a storied career as a lawyer and judge, researched scholarly works and journal entries and consulted historians to craft his fictional debut.

Painted Trillium is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.

 The novel is set in 1863 during the Union Army of the Cumberland’s stay at Murfreesboro, Tennessee—one of the longest an entire Federal army remained in one place in the South. Brandt explores the relationship between the occupiers and the occupied and the impact the situation had on women who witnessed the unspeakable horror of a major battle and who suffered through unimaginable deprivation.

Brandt, who has also written books and articles on Tennessee travel and the outdoors, juxtaposes the state’s natural beauty with the ugliness of war in Painted Trillium. Impeccably researched, Brandt’s first novel is a compelling story of divided loyalties, survival, and rebirth during and after the most disruptive period in the history of our nation.

Summary:
The Civil War snuffs out life as Carrie Blaylock knows it, taking her father, her brother, and the man she planned to marry. The war also pulls back the curtain of convention, exposing Carrie’s deepest desire: to make her own way in life beyond the confines of domesticity. She vows to never be dependent on any man.

Excerpt:
Her only certainty in the second year of the war was uncertainty, the taunting uneasiness that comes from never knowing what to expect from one minute to the next. The markers that guided her life had gone missing; the features of the landscape that shaped her identity had mostly vanished. Her expectations for life slowly disappeared over the war-torn horizon, and as they did, a radical self-image incubated in her mind. But it was a hazy image, and the vagueness of it only heightened her apprehension.

Summary:
The Civil War snuffs out life as Carrie Blaylock knows it, taking her father, her brother, and the man she planned to marry. The war also pulls back the curtain of convention, exposing Carrie’s deepest desire: to make her own way in life beyond the confines of domesticity. She vows to never be dependent on any man.

Excerpt:
Her only certainty in the second year of the war was uncertainty, the taunting uneasiness that comes from never knowing what to expect from one minute to the next. The markers that guided her life had gone missing; the features of the landscape that shaped her identity had mostly vanished. Her expectations for life slowly disappeared over the war-torn horizon, and as they did, a radical self-image incubated in her mind. But it was a hazy image, and the vagueness of it only heightened her apprehension.

About the author:
Robert Brandt is the author of books and articles about Tennessee history, travel, and outdoors. Among his books are Touring the Middle Tennessee Backroads, Fodor’s Compass American Guide – Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee on Foot. His contributions to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Cultures include entries about the period covered in Painted Trillium. His articles have appeared in the Sierra, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, and The Tennessee Conservationist. A native of Norris, Tennessee, he received a BA in history from Centre College and a JD from Vanderbilt University where he served as an adjunct faculty member. He is a retired judge and lawyer living in Nashville with his wife, Anne. Painted Trillium is his first work of fiction.

 

To interview the author or to request a review copy, please email Jennifer Chesak, jenchesak@me.com.