A glorious day on Cape Cod made more glorious with the company of my book club gang. Going strong for twenty years, I was thrilled with the turn-out of nine ladies who made the trek down to the Cape. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown meant salmon to celebrate the Pacific Northwest setting was a menu must along with other yummy goodies, including “nine men in a boat” celery sticks, raisins and peanut butter.*
The weather cooperated for an outside luncheon as we gathered around my picnic table with a lively discussion around teamwork, perseverance, the build up of Nazi Germany and its propaganda machine, and the Great Depression. Most of us had parents who lived through the Depression. A different generation, a different way of life. Our own kids will never appreciate the first hand re-telling from their grandparents what those years were like no matter where you lived in the states, from MA to OK to WA.
It was a great read and I was pleased everyone enjoyed it as much as I did despite the length and the tedium of some of the descriptions. Highly recommend for anyone interested in learning about a sport that today is overshadowed by the broadcast coverage of football bowl games ad nauseam and March Madness. A sport where teamwork soars to a whole different level of meaning and importance. Where there is no one star, just perfection in unity.
#amreading #bookreview #BookClub #historicalfiction
Just like the nine boys in the boat pulling together toward a singular goal, I had my preview readers in my boat pulling together this past week to help me identify my five-page excerpt for my retreat. I am so fortunate to have these readers, family, long-time friends and new Facebook friends, devote their time and attention to this assignment. Thank you, thank you to my crew of nine: Mariellen, Barb B #1, Barb B #2, Susan, Bonnie, Geli, Sheila, John and my coxswain, my brother Mark, who guided me toward my final selection.
It was a tough choice, but I’m confident these pages are the best representation of my work-in-progress to present several characters, the setting, some of the conflicts and the themes I want to continue throughout the story. My initial selection, however, was about eight pages. Enter the next phase of writing. Editing. In one afternoon over a #WeWriMo weekend with my Facebook group, I cut over 500 words instead of writing 500. And guess what? My professors were right. I didn’t need those words. See ya later filler and fluff! I’m still a bit over 5 pages so still a bit more work to be done for the first rounds of edits with many more to come as I pull toward my final goal.
*I’ve always enjoyed trying to match my menu to the book when I have hosted for my book club, inspired in part by my former Needham Children’s Museum committee member Judy Gelman and her book, The Book Club Cookbook. Great idea Judy!