Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall into great company at our next Dallas meeting, 11 October 2013

Big Tex welcomes in October at the Texas
State Fair.
Beautifully colored falling leaves and bright pumpkins may be the iconic sign of the year's waning in northern realms, but here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area we know it's October when Big Tex starts waving "howdy" and the aroma of fried-things-on-a-stick starts wafting from the State Fairgrounds.

Whether you call it fall or autumn, October is also that time of year when it seems that we are "falling" precipitously toward the end of the year. So, although it's hard to believe,  it will soon be time for our next "second Friday" meeting, 11 October 2013. We'll be meeting as usual at Half Price books in Dallas from 11:30 to 1-ish -- come early to get a good seat, because we seem to attract more members all the time. Click here for details. Remember, we welcome all Catholic writers in the area, so feel free to join us if you need advice, critiques, encouragement, or moral support. Bring news or writing samples to share, if you have 'em.

Those of you in Tarrant County who find a trek into Dallas a major outing -- come join us, and you'll still have plenty of time to go to the State Fair and wave at Big Tex in the afternoon. In fact, you can pick up the DART train from one of the nearby Red/Orange Line stations (Park Lane and Lovers Lane are nearest) and avoid having to park at Fair Park. If that's not enough to entice you into the heart of Dallas, remember that you can also come to our fourth Tuesday evening meetings at the University of Dallas.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Writing Tips for Non-Fiction Writers

There is a lot of great, free writing advice available on the Internet, but sometimes it may seem that it is all geared toward either fiction writers or copywriters -- what's a non-fiction writer to do?

Actually, once you get past genre-specific tips, these different kinds of writing all depend on the same principles: be clear, concise, and specific. Once you understand that, even non-fiction writers will find that they can glean a lot of good techniques from advice aimed at other kinds of writers.

Helen Aitken makes a similar point in
"Seven Writing Tips From a Nonfiction Author." Here are just a couple of the points she makes:
  1. Writing nonfiction, creative nonfiction and humor require the same qualities as great fiction, it should be well written and flowing in a direction that takes the reader to a logical destination, without them knowing they’ve been highjacked.
  2. Nonfiction doesn’t have to be boring, or in sequential order.  However, it requires a working knowledge of English, few passive verbs, pertinent facts, great quotes, and a lack of clich├ęs, in a concise, coherent writing style, with lots of hot coffee.
Read the whole article on Where Writers Win, a website that is chockful of good advice on writing and book marketing.

P.S. Don't forget that tonight we're meeting at the University of Dallas at 7:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday evening meetings at UD to resume September 24

Welcome to the University of Dallas
Welcoming writers new freshmen
to the University of Dallas
After a summer break, on Tuesday, 24 September, we will resume our evening meetings at the University of Dallas (in Irving), from 7 to 9 p.m.,  Room 241 of Carpenter Hall (at the top of the east stairwell). Park in Lot A in front of Carpenter Hall (building 1 on this campus map).

Remember, if you have work that you would like to share, or would like to get feedback on, remember to bring 10-15 copies with you to the meeting. Also welcome are your progress reports (we want to know what you're working on) and questions (we are all here to help and learn from one another).

To avoid potential confusion, please note the following:
  • Tuesday evening meetings take place at the (Catholic) University of Dallas (UD -- not UTD), near where the Cowboys football stadium used to stand. 1845 East Northgate Drive, Irving, Texas 75062-4736.
Aw, shucks, just look at this map:

Got it? The only CATHOLIC university in the D/FW Metroplex. You can even take DART rail now, because there is a new University of Dallas rail station, on the Orange Line.

  •  Okay, now that we are straight on that, here's another thing: we will continue to have our second-Friday meetings at Half-Price Books in Dallas. Feel free to attend either or both. No extra charge (actually, no charge at all. Ever. Really. Just come). The next Friday meeting takes place this week.
  • To make sure you get meeting notices, you should get on our email list. Just contact us and give us your particulars. Don't worry, we won't spam you.
  • And another thing: If you, or someone you know, would like to participate but cannot attend either of the scheduled meetings, please let us know! We'll do what we can to accommodate those who truly wish to take part. We are currently working on arranging a meeting in the Tarrant County area. If you would be interested, or can suggest a good meeting place, guess what you should do? That's right! Let us know.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Take a writing break and come to our next meeting

I know you've been busy writing all summer -- let those blazing key caps cool off while you attend the next meeting of the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers Group. Our usual monthly meetings at Half Price Books in Dallas will continue on Friday, 13 September 2013 at 11:30 a.m. Click here for particulars on time and place.

Weekday evening meetings at the University of Dallas in Irving will also resume, now that the new academic term has begun. Tentative plans are to meet every other Tuesday evening, beginning on Tuesday, 24 September. We'll post details here as soon as they are available.

We would like to reach out to writers in Tarrant County who may find either Irving or Dallas too far to travel. If you would like to attend a meeting in Tarrant County, please let me know and I'll stop procrastinating and put things in gear to make it so.