Last day of Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreat. I’m happy I found two Beta readers for Norman in the Painting. Kari Ann Flickinger and Gretchen Nordstrom. Now all I have to do is get the remaining one third of the book written, send it to them, make revisions from what they find is confusing, then send it to Jessica to edit. More revisions after that and then it will be published. I have a sequel in mind.
Tag Archives: Jessica Barksdale
On the patio after the stunning view. I’m thinking of the changes I need to make on one page in my novel before tomorrow morning. It’s the last day of Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreat. Each participant will read a revision of a page that needs clarification. My assignment is where I wrote that Jill’s sister inherited the family home. People wondered why Jill didn’t get half of the inheritance. The real reason is explained several chapters later, but Jessica suggested I at least write how Jill felt about it.
Back to work on it at midnight.
Gary, one of the members in my Dublin writing class also is taking an on-line course with Jessica Barksdale, who was one of my instructors when I started writing years ago. I continue to go on her retreats in summer and she is still an inspiration. Jessica’s assignment that Gary shared with me was to turn off the monitor and type. Gary followed directions and ended up with an eight hundred-word story, endearing main character, a poignant arc, and minimal rewriting needed.
The inner editor doesn’t have a chance to interfere. Gary said he did worry whether he had his fingers on the right keys, but he kept on going. It’s worth the time to do the exercise. What is produced can be a success.
Let me know if you try it.
The next two days will be the third time I’ve attended Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreats. Set among the tress in the East Bay hills, with several cozy places to write in between her lectures and critiques of participants 25 page submissions, it’s my favorite place to join writers.
Jessica Barksdale is the author of twelve traditionally published novels, including the best-selling Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When you Believe. Her next novel How to Bake a Man is forthcoming in the fall from Ghostwoods Books. She has published several eBooks and a women’s studies textbook, Diverse Voices of Women.
Jessica teaches composition, creative writing, mythology, and women’s literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and online novel writing courses for UCLA Extension.
I’ve taken several classes Jessica has taught. On-line writing classes set me forward in my writing career, and her mythology class at DVC was outstanding. The latter reminded me of attending theater plays every day in that semester. Her skill as a presenter/instructor kept every one looking forward to the next class and leaving each one with increased knowledge and joy in time well spent.