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The Scribe November 2016






Copyright November 2016 St. Louis Writers Guild – All rights reserved



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“Brett Hull Statue outside Scottrade Center”

Photo and cover design by Brad R. Cook


Editorial Staff

Lauren Miller

Managing Editor


T. W. Fendley

Associate Editor


Brad R. Cook

Cover Designer


Jennifer Stolzer

Staff Writer


Melanie Koleini

Staff Writer


Steven Langhorst




The Scribe is published monthly digitally by the Saint Louis Writers Guild with an annual print issue. The editorial staff invites Guild members to submit original submissions of poetry, short stories, or articles about writing (4,000 words or less) for publication in this magazine. The Scribe is promoted to more than 1,000 people on our mailing list. Submissions should be sent by the first of each month to [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Also, if you are interested in joining the editorial staff as a writer, please contact [email protected] -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.


Our website is at http://www.stlwritersguild.org/.





[In this issue
**]November 2016


Without Reservations by Wanda Lovan



[+ Workshops for Writers -- “Pictures, Speaking: Photographs as Story Prompts” with Angela Mitchell +] by Lauren Miller



Poetry Calendar

A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events


Without Reservations

By Wanda Lovan


Wish I had known before I stayed there,

Twenty-fifth anniversary at B&B owned by Maggie Adair

Locals called her Crazy Maggie

Over there in Carter County

The bed was terribly saggy

Olfactory glands detected moldy

Breakfast served up by the painter Johnny

Featuring potatoes pared and sliced three days previously

So that Maggie could go away.


Wish I had known before I stayed there

Comfort Inn in Savannah, bathroom fan gave me a scare

Sounded like it would fly into the air

Electricity was a terrible mess

Impossible to sleep with light on, I must confess

Television remote control

Made it impossible to scroll

Forty- dollar discount was given to make me whole.


Wish I had known before I stayed there

In Jasper, no hotel rooms to spare

Instead of weekend consisting of a pair

Canada celebrates holiday to make it three

Found a room reserved for coach drivers, unassigned

Had to go outside to change my mind.


Wish I had known before I stayed there

Cooperstown filled with the baseball affair

Oneonta motel dark and grungy

Carpet to the feet felt spongy

Corners of room musty

Ended up in Afton and got all dusty

Due to drag strip filled with cars driven by guys named Rusty.


Wish I had known before I stayed there

Crater Lake and not much food to prepare

Frequent storms with lightning in the air

Made the room as dark as a lion’s lair.

Outside we sat with wine

And it all turned out fine.


Wish I had known before I stayed there

Charleston, West Virginia at the Smiley

Swimming pool turned greasy

Bed felt like a sack of potatoes, lumpy

Mattress, in the middle, appeared saggy

Fellow lodgers seemed a bit unsavory

Ladies of the evening arrived happy

Request for ice bucket made a great family memory.


Wish I had known before I stayed there,

But then I would not have these memories to share!




Wanda is a Non-Profit Finance Manager currently working at Missouri Botanical Garden managing the finances for Botanical Society of America. She lives in Webster Groves with her husband Larry and his cat named Ziggy. Her hobbies include gardening and writing some poetry while sitting upon her front porch.


Workshops for Writers – “Pictures, Speaking: Photographs as Story Prompts” with Angela Mitchell

By Lauren Miller


Angela Mitchell, the Director of the St. Louis Writers Workshop, came to speak for our November 5th workshop at the Kirkwood Community Center. Mitchell, who is a short story writer, has found that stories can come from absolutely anywhere, even from photographs you have lying around the house, or photos from an old issue of National Geographic.

Mitchell has been saving photos over the years that inspire her stories. Colorful examples of photos from Mitchell’s collection included elephants on roller skates; a man holding a giant stalk of rhubarb; iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement; examples of fading cultures and different time periods; and one that inspired her current work – a man diving in the river bed for mollusks, using a homemade scuba-diving equipment (a gas tank).

The discussion of photography was an introduction to utilizing the five senses in fiction. Mitchell suggests, “Talk about all [of] the sensory details that make [your story] rich, authentic and interesting.” Mitchell recommended that you begin by writing as much of what you know about your story as you can, whether it’s that fantastic idea for an opener you have, that ending that no one will see coming, or that one scene that you know falls somewhere in the middle and just has to be in your book. From there, branch out and think about your character.

“What really makes a great story come alive […] there has to be conflict,” Mitchell said. “Conflict is what provides that friction, that heat. Conflict provides friction, creates added interest, and heightens [and] deepens character.” Demonstrating how conflict can make or break a story, Mitchell shared a series of photos with two versions based on each photograph, a “nice” version and a “not so nice” version.

For one example, a photo of several women dressed in white posing for a photo, and one woman, Lucy (Mitchell’s ancestor) dressed in black. In the “nice” version, the sisters are anxious over the photo and everything is fine and the story is over. In the “not so nice” version, Lucy refuses to wear white to conform because she has a baby due in six months, she’s concerned how they’re going to be able to feed another mouth, and her sisters don’t yet know that it’s the reason behind Lucy’s rushed wedding. As you might surmise from this one example, the stories that fell into the “not so nice” category all incorporated conflict which not only told us more about the characters and how they related to each other, but included story threads that could be interwoven into a larger plot.

Conflict makes a story interesting. When working on your story, think about two or three things that could cause problems for your character. How will they cause problems further down the road? One of the exercises offered at the workshop included jotting down scenarios and story ideas based on the photos Mitchell brought. Alternatively, she encouraged writers to consider using their own photo albums to explore story.

In another exercise, Mitchell demonstrated how another of the five senses, smell, could evoke memory. Attendees shared unlabeled containers of scents and were instructed to react to each smell, and consider the following questions:

p<>{color:#000;}. Where do your thoughts go when you smell each smell?

p<>{color:#000;}. Is anything peculiar or strange?

p<>{color:#000;}. How could you incorporate scent into your story?


Perhaps the scent of a household cleaner may invoke memories of your mother, or liquid smoke, of a campfire on a family outing. For Mitchell, the scent of almond extract always reminds her of Christmas. Think about those everyday scents and how they can add layers to your story. Sensory details are the texture you add to a story to make it richer and encourage the reader to dive in.

For more on the St. Louis Writers Workshop, or the workshops they offer, visit their website at http://stlouiswritersworkshop.com/ , where members of the St. Louis Writers Guild get a 10% off discount off of classes.


Poetry Calendar

For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the St. Louis Poetry Center.



Second Friday Notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141


RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.


POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at http://zestyguitar.com/stlpoetry/poetry-at-the-point/


Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.

Tuesdays at 4 p.m.


CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.


EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.


GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.


R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.


ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.


ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)


A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events

It’s as easy as





Workshops for Writers

First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)

10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center


Station Open Mic

Second Tuesday of every month

7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station


SLWG Authors Series

Third Thursday of every month


Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, www.stlwritersguild.org.




Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr. BradRCook.com




T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens, a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. twfendley.com 







Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.



David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.


Lauren Miller is the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and she reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review. She has a fifteen-year background in library science and has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print. Lauren likes to spend her free time discovering new reads, games, period films, and be surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at MidwestMaven.com


Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters. In addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at www.jenniferstolzer.com, as well as Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.


The Scribe November 2016

For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The November 2016 edition features a poem by Wanda Lovan, and the November workshop with Angela Mitchell, covered by Lauren Miller.

  • Author: St. Louis Writers Guild
  • Published: 2016-11-28 01:05:10
  • Words: 2160
The Scribe November 2016 The Scribe November 2016