Chapter Eleven and National Book Award and Pella’s oldest organization.

No, I’m not talking bankruptcy. I’m referring to Natural Attraction. Last summer I had the delight of taking two summer courses at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. My teachers were Amber Dermont and T. Geronimo Johnson (a descendent of the famous Geronimo). Now I see that Nemo as we called him, is up for a National Book Award. He worked with me quite a bit on the first half of Natural Attraction, giving particular attention to the villainous Madame Blu as well as the early sex scenes. He put an emphasis on slowing down some scenes I’d rushed over and to appropriate chapter endings. Cliff hanger chapter endings are popular now and I’m older and had things to learn.  His hand can be seen most prominently in Chapter Eleven of the novel. I love to read pages  145-150 at signings and events. It allows me to discuss a part of the book where a workshop had critical impact.

Speaking of, tomorrow I visit Pella’s Ladies Social and Literary Society. It was founded in 1876 when Pella was 26 years old. Its goals are “To pursue a systematic course of reading. To discuss domestic and foreign subjects. To promote sociability and friendship.” Their topic this year is Pella Women Authors.  There are so many Pella Women Authors that this program will cover two years. There’s something about Iowa that stimulates a writer’s mind.

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