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The Charlotte Writers Club had a GREAT turnout for the December 20th Meeting!

David Radavich announces February 4th Poetry Workshop.

Jim Horne contest chair announces the winners of the Ruth Moose Flash Fiction Contest.

1st Place: Gary Powell for Low Country Boil.

2nd Place: Gina Malone for Lullaby.

3rd Place: Mary Struble Deery for Edgar and Harley.

Mary Stuble Deery reads from her 3rd place winning entry Edgar and Harley.  The judge had these comments about Mary's story: 'A touching story about aging and loss told through a character who finds a brief glimpse of hope through a connection to his past. A nice sense of longing for youth and love.'

Although Gina Malone was not able to attend, her 2nd place entry received these comments from the judge: 'Strong urgency and tension with a character who’s hiding in a place he isn’t supposed to be. I feel great sympathy toward him even though he’s the one who’s made a mess of things because of his clear regret and longing for what he’s lost.l

Gary Powell reads from his 1st place entry Low Country Boil. The judge had these comments about his entry: 'This story first grabbed me with its wonderfully fresh language and imagery and immediacy but then kept me with its tender sadness, its caring depiction of these two lonely outsiders. Lovely use of extended metaphor, too.'

Our speaker Nora Gaskin talks to us about turning fact into her fiction.  In Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts, there are two murders, one solved and one not. The crimes take place 40 years apart and involve the same families living in the NC town of Piedmont. The second murder reopens old wounds and exposes family secrets. The book is a mystery, a family saga, and a study of what changes and what doesn't over the decades.

Nora reads from her nonfiction book Time of Death.  Her fiction book Unproven was written using facts from Time of Death.

Dec. 24, 1963, 8:45 a.m. Stanley Forte pulled up in front of friend Frank Rinaldi’s house and honked the car horn. Frank came out and got in. “Together again, baby,” Frank said and they set off, driving the twelve miles or so from Chapel Hill to Durham, North Carolina, to go Christmas shopping.

They bought gifts for their wives, toys for Stan’s two sons and Frank bought a teddy bear for the baby his wife, Lucille, was carrying.

When they returned to Frank’s duplex apartment, 105 North Street, Chapel Hill, at about 1:30 p.m., they found that Lucille had been struck on the head, gagged, strangled and suffocated. She and her baby were both dead.

By 6 p.m., Frank was in jail, charged with murder.

Nora wrote Unproven as exploration of the facts, exploration of public reactions and the impact the event had on the community in the 1960's.  She shared with us that she had a personal revelation later about why this book was important to her.  She was in search of a better ending to be able to make peace with the event.

Nora fielded questions and told us she believes three things are the most important when writing fiction:

  1. Point of view is the most important element in fiction.
  2. Structure: It's the responsibility of the author to control what the readers know and when they know it.
  3. Timeline: The timeline of a fictional story must make sense to the story.

Why retell a factual story and turn it into fiction?  She explains you can find the 'sweet spot' between fact and truth.  However, you have to let go of some of the facts in order to bring your fiction story alive.  For example, make up the setting if the real setting becomes problematic.

Tracy Himes, membership chair, shows us the two pictures she's asked members to write captions for during the meeting.

Tracy read our different captions and David Radavich won the $5 gift card for coffee for the best one.

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