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nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Into the Mainstream


Let me be the first to identify myself as Mainstream.
Ugh. What an awful moniker. Oh well, for those of us who fit no where else...
Welcome all you mainstreamers out there.

Let's get some things straight though. Mainstream doesn't mean bland, dull, middle of the road or lacking in passion, imagination or controversy.

I'm mainly a writer of novels. I work at short stories but find them limiting and therefore more often than not, unfinished. I do poetry, memoir and personal essay when the spirit moves me.

I'm a three-time NaNoWriMo veteran. Right now I'm working on my 2004 effort, a novel set in Halifax, written in first person and entitled, "Eh, Lard." My deadline is August 1st of this year when submissions have to be in for a Nova Scotia Writer's Federation contest.

I hope to be joined by lots more mainstreamers soon! Thanks to Sherry for setting this up for us.

~nancy


---
READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
1/12/2005, 11:54 am Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
Lady Julia Profile
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Apprentice

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 47
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Re: Into the Mainstream


quote:

Let's get some things straight though. Mainstream doesn't mean bland, dull, middle of the road or lacking in passion, imagination or controversy.



I totally agree.

Basically, I think, if you don't fall into romance, mystery, horror, sci fi or fantasy, then you are a mainstream writer.

Mainstream stories fall in to all sorts of categories, but are not specific to a genre. They can be chick books, have romance, fall a little on the wayside, be full of suspense or mystery.

Just my opinion anyway.

Cheers,
Julia
1/12/2005, 7:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to Lady Julia   Send PM to Lady Julia
 
nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Re: Into the Mainstream


there's a thread about what "literary fiction" means over in the Main Chat forum. I thought I'd re-post one of my reponses from there, over here so all our mainstreamers can join in...

quote:

To me, it's a bit like the judges who have to rule on what pornography is: "I don't know how to define it but I know it when I see it."

Sherry,I don't have the same idea about it. There are loads of classics that are (to me) certainly literary fiction that are gripping stories about people in real-life situations. Think, ****ens (dense to be sure and possibly dated but cleverly, intricately plotted and full of the most amazing characters). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is another one. Now the question is, were those considered "literary" at the time they were written? My guess is, 'no'. But having read Huckleberry Finn as an adult I can tell you that it is not only highly entertaining, it's deep. It's full of rich themes and layers of meaning and to me, if there's one thing that separates commercial fiction from literary fiction, it's that. The other thing I've heard mentioned as regards to literary fiction is some kind of stylistic quality that sets it apart from other writing. I think of Nabakov's Lolita.

To me, the word "mainstream" sounds much more bland and uninteresting than literary. I think of it as commercial fiction which I also don't like. But while I would like to write literary fiction, I feel that it's a level of writing I can only aspire to and only others would be able to judge whether or not I got to join that club. So it's a problem for idenitfying oneself in a genre that is storytelling about real people in real situations...with a definite plot (though I'd agree that not all literary fiction is plot driven (some Virginia Woolf for example).

If mainstream is the best way to say that, then okay. But it feels very dull to me...in the same way that "literary" seems dull to some others. We need a new name! Let's come up with it gang!
~nancy
Edit: Whoa, the bad word screener took out my reference to Charles ----ens. How weird is that?

Last edited by nuanc, 1/13/2005, 10:50 am



---
READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
1/13/2005, 10:58 am Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Re: Into the Mainstream


If "WE" are so mainstream... how come there are more of us?

 emoticon
    ~nu

---
READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
1/14/2005, 11:58 am Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
wanda7 Profile
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Master Scribe

Registered: 02-2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 312
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Re: Into the Mainstream


I love literary works, just as much as several other genres identified. The rhythm of life as we live it, not gaudied up with fascinating gadgets, is wonderful to read. It's not that I don't enjoy reading mystery or sci/fi, but so often the stories feel contrived to me. That same quality is what draws some of my friends to those genres (I only picked the two I am familiar with).
Wanda

---
Reading: On Equilibrium (John Ralston Saul), Saving Fish From Drowning (Amy Tan)
Writing: Three Bags Full and various short stories
Living life large, loving with compassion
2/6/2005, 5:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to wanda7   Send PM to wanda7
 
nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Hi wanda7,

I couldn't agree more with your comment about the rythym of life. As you may be able to tell.... so far, there are a lot more people chatting in the other genres. This one's been pretty dead in the mainstream water. Of course, I've joined in with them but since I haven't as of yet, written sci fi, fantasy, horror or romance, I can't truly feel like I'm one of them.

So welcome wanda7! it's great to have you here.
Are you working on anything now?
~nanc

---
READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
2/6/2005, 11:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
wanda7 Profile
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Master Scribe

Registered: 02-2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 312
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Am I working on something, yes! Two things, currently, and 1 of them I'm working on in the writing workshop (on this board).
The workshop on is a short story called Robins in Winter (or something like that) because robins flock in the winter and then separate in the summer. The main characters are men who have been to war; it covers 4 generations of a family, and 3 of them go to war: WWII, Vietnam, and Iraq. The family starts in Nova Scotia and ends up in Washington State (it's easier, since I'm somewhat familiar with both these regions).
The other thing, I don't know what to call it, either in terms of its format or its title. The first line is: I killed my mother. I have a couple of pages of it couched in a bar conversation/confession. I'm having a blast with it. It's twisted, in so many ways.
Wanda

---
Reading: On Equilibrium (John Ralston Saul), Saving Fish From Drowning (Amy Tan)
Writing: Three Bags Full and various short stories
Living life large, loving with compassion
2/7/2005, 11:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to wanda7   Send PM to wanda7
 
nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Re: Into the Mainstream


quote:

wanda7 wrote:

Am I working on something, yes! Two things, currently, and 1 of them I'm working on in the writing workshop (on this board).
The workshop on is a short story called Robins in Winter (or something like that) because robins flock in the winter and then separate in the summer. The main characters are men who have been to war; it covers 4 generations of a family, and 3 of them go to war: WWII, Vietnam, and Iraq. The family starts in Nova Scotia and ends up in Washington State (it's easier, since I'm somewhat familiar with both these regions).
The other thing, I don't know what to call it, either in terms of its format or its title. The first line is: I killed my mother. I have a couple of pages of it couched in a bar conversation/confession. I'm having a blast with it. It's twisted, in so many ways.
Wanda




Hi,

I like your picture! But... I don't know how to spell it. Is it inukchuk?

So do you live in NS now? Or Washington?
 
Your story sounds very intriguing. I love the idea of the three generations of war affecting a family. Wow. What about the fourth generation? WWI? It could be so powerful and I'm sure it's a strong thread in many families and probably one that isn't often told. Great idea!

It sounds more like a novel than a short story though! So glad to hear that you're having fun with it. That's the secret to finishing, right?

I'm working on my third novel (although I can't really count the second one since it never was finished). It's set in Halifax and is about a 30something fellow who's in trouble because his new wife died of cancer suddenly and left him with a business to run. He is grief-stricken and doesn't have much of a life other than this flower shop that he doesn't know how to manage. The story is about his recovery from this major blow. He starts wrestling with God - whom he's never before believed in - over what's happened to him. Begins going to church to look for answers. He finds more questions than answers as well as a series of women who are interested in him. It's also about his sister and cousin who start up a lesbian relationship that he has trouble accepting and a hated ex-wife who pops back into his life with a big, life-changing surprise.

It's supposed to be light and humourous even though the MC is in dire straits a lot of the time. I wrote it in November and am doing a first revision with a personal deadline of March 31. I'm only on Ch. 3 so... we'll see.

The workshop is the Scriptorium one?
Let me know how it's going!
~nancy

---
READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
2/8/2005, 11:02 am Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
wanda7 Profile
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Master Scribe

Registered: 02-2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 312
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Re: Into the Mainstream


quote:

nuanc wrote:

Hi,

I like your picture! But... I don't know how to spell it. Is it inukchuk?

So do you live in NS now? Or Washington?
 
Your story sounds very intriguing. I love the idea of the three generations of war affecting a family. Wow. What about the fourth generation? WWI? It could be so powerful and I'm sure it's a strong thread in many families and probably one that isn't often told. Great idea!

It sounds more like a novel than a short story though! So glad to hear that you're having fun with it. That's the secret to finishing, right?

I'm working on my third novel (although I can't really count the second one since it never was finished). It's set in Halifax and is about a 30something fellow who's in trouble because his new wife died of cancer suddenly and left him with a business to run. He is grief-stricken and doesn't have much of a life other than this flower shop that he doesn't know how to manage. The story is about his recovery from this major blow. He starts wrestling with God - whom he's never before believed in - over what's happened to him. Begins going to church to look for answers. He finds more questions than answers as well as a series of women who are interested in him. It's also about his sister and cousin who start up a lesbian relationship that he has trouble accepting and a hated ex-wife who pops back into his life with a big, life-changing surprise.

It's supposed to be light and humourous even though the MC is in dire straits a lot of the time. I wrote it in November and am doing a first revision with a personal deadline of March 31. I'm only on Ch. 3 so... we'll see.

The workshop is the Scriptorium one?
Let me know how it's going!
~nancy



Hi Nancy!
It is an inukshuk (or at least that's how I've always spelt it). I use it because they created an award with it as the symbol and named the award after my father. It's an award for excellence (well, in facilities management anyways).
Revisions are my personal nightmare. I don't seem to be able to make small changes to my personal writing. Currently, I'm working away from the keyboard for writing, I find it makes both the first draft and revision process much easier. I tend to get sloppy and distracted by how easy it is to change things with a word processor.
The story probably is at least a novella, not a short story, but I'm aiming for a short story (at least at first). I don't want to scare myself with the thought of a large work-in-progress. I get that enough at work!
The missing generation is between Vietnam and Iraq. The eldest is a Canadian, in Sidney (but from a smaller town near Stellarton). One of his sons takes off to the US and joins the army to fight in Vietnam. He moves his family to the US, and his grandson is heading off to Iraq.
It started out as a project for me to explore our relationship to war.
I'm currently in Washington State, hoping to move to BC later this year, and visit Halifax for the 60th Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever specialty (with Gromit).
Now, back to work... emoticon

---
Reading: On Equilibrium (John Ralston Saul), Saving Fish From Drowning (Amy Tan)
Writing: Three Bags Full and various short stories
Living life large, loving with compassion
2/8/2005, 12:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to wanda7   Send PM to wanda7
 
AlesiaJo Profile
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Apprentice

Registered: 01-2005
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 75
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Okay. I've been waiting to even add to this thread, because I'm not even sure if my writing would be mainstream or not. But now I think it is, and I'm jumping in.

I'm working on a novel that is both mystery and kinda romance. I think lots of emotion. I named it "I Must Be Dreaming". So now tell me, how do you talk to anyone about what your book is about, without them looking at you like you're crazy?

I can talk to my husband. He's been there since the beginning. We talk about the characters like they are real to us. (Probably one of the reasons the kids aren't sure who are our real friends and who aren't.) But if you try to explain when people ask what it's about, I can't quite explain it right.

Anyways, just a question. I'm sorry I left you hanging alone out here for so long.

AlesiaJo


---
Reading: On Writing (again)
Rewriting: Dream Journal
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