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Posts Tagged ‘Paddy Murphy’s’

At Writer’s Guild tonight we talked about the authors and people who had inspired us and our early days as writers. As we sat outside at Paddy Murphy’s it was interesting to hear the diverse reasonings behind our stories and our intentions for our futures. Our pasts are vastly different.  Some of us were inspired by distinct events or authors; others simply fell into writing. As for our futures, most of us don’t anticipate solely being authors. We figure we will keep writing, but it may not be our main job. Whether this is because we understand the financial difficulties of budding authors or because we long to do more than just write novels is indistinguishable.

After guild and a rather lengthy and comprehensive conversation with my mother, I played guitar for a while until well after my wrist grew tired of hitting the ‘F’ chord. Then I read chapters 20 and 21 of Revelations. My Bible has been around since I was very young. It is interesting to see what I underlined then compared to what I would underline now.

In the past I had underlined Revelation 22:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This is a truly exciting verse, but I had not marked the more important and more exciting verse before it: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Wow. God will be with us!

As a kid in pain I get why verse four excited me. As a young adult verse four still excites me. But how could I miss that God would be with us? How could that seem not important enough to underline? Isn’t that day when God dwells with us what I’m pressing on towards? So I underlined verse three tonight and I am so excited for that day!

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Tonight’s visit to Paddy Murphy’s was nothing like last night’s…

My brother-in-law, Seth, and I have been friends for a long time so he comes to Bangor occasionally and hangs with me and our nephews. Yesterday was one of those days. When it came time for dinner, we went to Paddy Murphy’s in Downtown Bangor, where my writers’ guild met tonight. As Seth and I sat at the table waiting for our food, a guy came over. He would have sat down if my purse was not in the way. He looked straight at me, completely ignoring Seth, and started telling me how he appreciated how put together I was and thanked me for my nice makeup (which I wasn’t even wearing). I glanced at Seth with a ‘can you believe he’s doing this in front of you?’ look and he made the slightest movement. It was only then that the guy noticed Seth and began to thank him repeatedly for how lucky he was to have a girl like me. I saw the thought flash across Seth’s eyes to tell him he was my brother. I’m not sure whether it was my pleading eyes or the man’s one bloodshot eye pointed down and the other bloodshot eye pointed up, but Seth remained (thankfully) silent and the man went on his way. When we got back to my house, I called my parents into the living room and made sure they knew how lucky a man Seth was. It filled us all with laughter.

Tonight’s trip to Paddy Murphy’s was more sedate. The writers’ guild met again, with our seemingly core three of Seth, Katie and myself. It is still good to discuss our writing, our past, our futures, our ideas, our beliefs and on. It grows more interesting as we begin to learn more and more about each other. Since we skipped dinner tonight (and I skipped breakfast) I must go grab something to quench my hungry stomach, than finish packing for my trip tomorrow to VA. Goodbye Maine for a week!

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Work ran late last night, so despite a mad dash home and through the shower I figured I was going to be late for Writers’ Guild. I passed up the opportunity for my mom’s specialty chicken, waiting in the frying pan for me, and hurried to Paddy Murphy’s. I was the first one there.

The night was beautiful, so I stood outside, slowing my mind to a steady hum… I had hoped to finish my edit of Xsardis yesterday, but sudden bursts of customers made finding my rhythm difficult. At guild, my brain seemed to be processing everything super slowly. It worked out well. One of our members who missed the initial two meetings (so he missed the ‘talk about your current writing project’ night) got to share with us about his story. It was very interesting, a very nice blend of a variety of genres. I can’t wait to read it someday!

One of our members is going back to college on Wednesday. Last night took on more of an air of a goodbye party than an official meeting. I think that is good. Flowing in and out of our topics makes the guild feel less like a weekly requirement and more like a desired opportunity.

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Last night was the Young Christian Writers’ Guild’s second night at Paddy Murphy’s. The first time we had been seated upstairs and even when I was walking downstairs it was too crowded to really notice the feel of the place–which is awesome by the way. Beautiful wood; old church pews for booths; good music… It really does feel like how I envision an Irish Pub.

We had a great time, talking in a more low-key tone as we grow used to each other, dipping in and out of writing and always coming back to it, as we do to our faith. It was really exciting when I heard one of the group (Seth) start using terms from one of the most defining books of my life: Do Hard Things. Most people can’t comprehend why I was so energized by it. Seth seemed just as inspired.

When Seth brought up that he wanted to write the perfect novel, we  joked that he should write a book titled The Perfect Novel. But really, we all have huge literary and life goals. My doctor yesterday morning was harassing me for burning the candle on both ends. I told her there was too much to do in one lifetime. She told me that I was nineteen and implied that I had already accomplished a lot. Yes, she is right. But no, I don’t think there will ever be enough time. Not that I don’t stop to smell the roses, as my wonderful doctor mentioned (I love how she cares for all of me and not just my spine). Writers’ Guild is one. That photo shoot is another. Today I am driving to my mentor’s house–that will be a third.

Although Paddy Murphy’s was much less crowded last night, we happened to sit between the window and a table of a rather loud group of ladies. So, despite the rain, we finally allowed them to drown us out and went for a walk. It was really nice to just see parts of downtown and share memories and hopes and things we were inspired to write about in the architecture and people of the place. Sadly, we lose one of our members next week to college, but we will still have four consistent attendees and we are hoping to pick up a few more. The group is challenging me as an author, a reader and, most importantly, a Christian. That means it is doing its job.

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“Every story choice you make arises out of who you are, at the deepest level of your soul… (It) reveals more about you, in fact, than you know about yourself… The moment you use a technique that doesn’t belong in your story, solely for the sake of appealing to some imagined reader… your story dies a little…” from Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card.

With the Borders in my hometown closing I set out to use the sales to enhance my library of books in my field. I picked up Characters and Viewpoint not just because of the tone that was easy to follow or because the content was relevant, but also because Card recognizes early on that the book is not a formula for a cake or a checklist for perfection, but construction tools to dig out of the author the important traits. Too often, works on literature try to coddle the author with familiar do’s and don’t’s. This doesn’t work for creative authors!

When I teach in the classroom, I do NOT give students a lecture on how to follow in my footsteps or write the perfect novel. Instead, I teach them how to put emotion into their stories, how to turn a boring article into something they care about, and the like. This is a much more effective manner in the long run. Basics are for English class, not for the professional writer.

I am two chapters into Card’s book and I have already found it extremely helpful. I took the above quote to Writers’ Guild’s third meeting tonight to get their take on it. Unanimously and fervently they agreed that writing does come from your soul and you cannot cater to readers until you love the project yourself.

Writers’ Guild was held tonight at Paddy Murphy’s in downtown Bangor. We arrived at 6 and did not leave until the place closed at 9:30. Our largest group yet attended: 5 people. We talked for a long time about literature and passed around stories. Then we fell naturally into talking politics, movies, theology, life, college, family, memories… Our guild has a unique texture, one changing as the members grow. I look forward to seeing where it goes!

And for my avid fans: check out the new www.issym.com where you can now ‘like’ Issym and comment at the ‘about the books’ page!

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