THURSDAY THIRTEEN--Members of the Organization

I'm so used to having people do my Thursday Post for me. My author bugged out, the swine. I'll just have to beg her harder next time. But all is not lost for the lazy Kate. I loved the comments people made on my last post, so I'll just pick them up and maybe add more.

Why bother repeating what's already been said, you ask. Because I love them so much even if they naturally do not reflect my local reality. .

And consider it a writing exercise.
How about you compose a murder mystery and kill someone in this bunch off and decide which of the survivors is the killer. Devoti's entry doesn't count for this exercise.. it's too easy.

Lynn Viehl
1. The Perfectionist: has written exactly three chapters of her first novel which she has presented to her crit group, rewritten, queried and pitched at cons ten thousand, four hundred and eight-seven times. Believes she is the next Danielle Steele. Will never write anything else but those three chapters.

2. The Church Lady: writes the occasional devotional for her long-suffering minister, who secretly prays she will go over to the Baptists across town, but is really there at the meetings to be the group's moral compass. Which always points to Heaven for herself and Hell for everyone else. Cannot write romance because she's still a virgin. Mostly sits and mutters "Sluts of Satan" under her breath as she glares at the young romantica writers.

3. The Elderly RT Reviewer: comes to the meeting to exchange mostly imagined dirt on the most famous members of the chapter, to complain about Lady Barrow's latest scheme to turn RT into a psychic fair, and the outrageous cost of going to National, which she would cut off a limb rather than miss, and to mourn the fact that LaVyrle (sp?), Iris or Janet are no longer writing romance. Only produces fiction when her lips move.

Sam Winston
4. The 'Precocious Child Writer', who won a writing prize in third grade and considers her/himself the next F. Scott Fitzgerald of American literature. He/she has five manuscripts in a drawer somewhere gathering dust and dreams - and they'll never see the light of day because he/she was raised by the

5. 'Precocious Child Writer's Mother', (who I met at a booksigning one day,) and instead of buying my book, held said child firmly by the arm and quizzed me on writing techniques and how her 'talented baby' could get published.

Selah March
6. Perpetual President
: Is re-elected every year as chapter Pres. because nobody else wants the job. Has Robert's Rules of Order memorized, and has been known to scold grown women for daring to speak out of turn, thereby reducing said grown women to passing notes during the meetings. Also has requirements for PAN and Pro memorized, and can recite them at the drop of a hat...and frequently does. Is obsessed with RWA charms that can be earned for various milestones -- finishing a manuscript, submitting to an agent, submitting to a publisher, getting an agent, signing a contract, etc. Keeps these charms in a pouch in her bottomless purse and gives them out like a nun handing out St. Christopher medals to good little children. The ONE year she's defeated in the chapter Pres. election, she spends that year sitting at the back at every meeting and criticizing the new Pres. for being unable to keep order and letting people DRINK COFFEE DURING THE MONTHLY PRESENTATION. ("Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria.")

Lori Devoti
7. What about ugly bitter writer?
7a. Or writer who wants to shut up but can't seem to control herself? [how the hell did you know about me, Lori D.? We've never been in the same writing group. I've actually had to go apologize to people after meetings. . . oh, hell.]..

8. Perky-I-can-do-it-writer, all-I-have-to-do-is-write-a-good-book? She brings out the best in ugly bitter writer.

ugh ... I do have to write some after all?

9. The Expert. Doesn't really have a clue but weighs in on every subject and has enough information to sound like she's in the know. Often get it almost right, but does things like mix up publishing houses. "Oh, they're closing that line" she says with enough conviction that all newbies thank her. They scribble notes every time she opens her mouth.

10. About to Have A Heart Attack. Is aware that many in the group are full of shit but instead of confronting anyone, squirms and turns red whenever someone like The Expert opens her mouth.. ATHAHA frequently turns and whispers furiously to member number 11, causing everything in the group to stop and watch until she's done.

11. ATHAHA's Best Friend. Doesn't say anything, ever, at any meeting. Apparently only there to give ATHAHA someone to snark at. She might be dragged along to provide ATHAHA a ride, or maybe five dollars for a bagel when the group goes out to lunch. Chances are she and ATHAHA are crit partners or co-writers.

12. The Contest Hussy. Is still convinced that contests are the best way to get a writing contract. Pushes the local chapter to run a contest as a fund raiser but only if she can enter it at a reduced rate and she gets to contact all of the final editor judges personally. Volunteers to be a judge but always gives 3s on a 1-5 scale because if you give 2 or below, you have to explain your reasons. Is potentially also Lynn's #1. She finals in lots of contests but never gets that request for a full.

13. The Joiner and Quitter. (also known as failed president) She's just quit the other chapter that meets about fifty miles away. She joins this group because she loves the idea of being president of something and going on those exclusive Chapter President retreats. She's not into the actual writing or publishing. Not as good at rules as Selah's perpetual president. More power-hungry than rule- and group-oriented, she uses her energy trying to usurp the current leadership before she even knows chapter members' names. Naturally when she's called out, she quits in a teary huff. Within a few months, she's driving hundreds of miles to go to a new chapter. She is always initially popular at her new chapters because she knows all the dirt on all the surrounding chapters' boards and their failures.

kate's note: I didn't draw these directly from specific people. (well, okay, one I did. Heh. ) I write fiction.


  1. Got some chuckles from these.

  2. Way to make me rethink that check to RWA, Kate. :o)

  3. I'm just jealous. My local writing group were all over 80 and talked about the war and westerns.

  4. Wow, you've got me so intrigued, I'm almost thinking of joining RWA and going to local chapter meetings just to meet all these swell people!

    Almost. But I'm too cheap to pay the entry fee, so add me to your list as the:
    14. One time attender - goes to the two or three meetings allowed before dues are required. Joins enthusiastically in all discussions, but never comes back when it's time to put money where her mouth is.

  5. Selah quotes one of my fave lines of all time: "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria." Excellent. Why don't I own Ghostbusters?

    because if you give 2 or below, you have to explain your reasons. Shit. I've done that. But... but... I had good cause!

  6. Anonymous4:23 PM

    You forgot stalwart PRO gal who attends faithfully, has a number of completed manuscripts, and has never pubbed. She's the one most likely to quote all the "rules" of writing, as if knowing the rules means she's not at fault for remaining unpubbed. Her smile is most brittle when newbie girl shows up with her first sale...

  7. All right, we've assembled the Usual Suspects.

    For the victim, I vote the newbie who snags a top agent and 3-book deal her first time at bat. She gets it in the kitchen with a big-ass bottle of Zinfandel to the back of the head and is found bleeding out all over the Ritz-and-lowfat-cheddar platter.

    Miss Kate? We need an opening scene, and it's your blog. I yield the floor.

  8. Anonymous5:20 AM

    Oh yes Kate - opening scene please - I'm seconding the murder victim! LOL


  9. yeah, but see they don't let me have access to pencils or other sharp objects in this prison cell. And I've already pleaded guilty to the murder so there's no chance I'll be getting out unless I get a jury of rioters.

    I vote that someone with a creative bone in her body write it. Just now I'm boneless, gormless and whiny


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