Penny Bloomberg

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Late starting on this writing gig but enjoying my new parallel universe. Who knew it was out there? I thought I preferred to paint but now I am not so sure.  

Penny Bloomberg Discussions
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Hello, A few months ago I fearfully posted a short story to this forum for feedback. I was hugely th…
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  •  · Libby,I got your staggering reference :). Me too. I try to separate reading from writing, because I …
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Hello from New Zealand,It's taken me a week to get brave enough to post my short story. I am a first…
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  •  · Hi Libby, thanks for all your feedback. It was hugely helpful. It's been interesting how sending the…

Reidr, congratulations on a massive achievement!  

I hope you are making a sustained charge on the scotch. A prolonged celebration is in order. 

Wonderful! Good luck with your bid for a mentorship. This will be such an exciting time for you. 


I got your staggering reference :). Me too. 

I try to separate reading from writing, because I find characters from other books can invade mine. And sometimes other writers find a home in my head and push out my own voice.  Do you find that you start to unconsciously emulate personalities when you identify with characters in books? 

Hi Glyn,

 a coupla days of feverish rewriting, refocussing the story on Jimmy. 

If you are still interested in marking up the doc, I would appreciate your thoughts.




Hi Glyn,

Ah ha - your suggestions are exactly the approach I ended up taking. I fiddled with both first person and close-in third, finally settling on the latter. 

I like your comment about it being more than a vignette. I am reworking it so that Jimmy stands on the precipice of manhood, of rebelling against his father. If I post the rewrite I would be very, very appreciative of a marked up doc.

Thanks again for your thoughts




those are kind words - thankyou. In the last month I had been in the doldrums with my writing. I have shared Top Shelf with friends and while they were all positive, I felt it had weaknesses I couldn't put my finger on it. Yesterday's feedback was great and I've been up since 5am. I am excited again and it feels great.   

Hey LIbby, it's lovely to hear from you. 

I've spent a day in rewrite mode and many of the changes now seem so obvious (there will be heaps more to find and construct). I'm so glad I put the story up. It was a kill your darlings thing too, as I was so invested in the different characters I couldn't let go of them to focus on Jimmy.  

I have been reading short stories - the Canadian's Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood for example. We have a writer here, Owen Marshall, who is from my home town and even taught at my secondary school. Unfortunately not when I was there!  He has quite a rap as a short story writer. See if you can get your hands on his harrowing "Coming home in the dark"  It blows me away that he wrote something like that and taught at an all-girls school. 

My lesson today is to read to learn, rather than read to be entertained. 

 Still so green ....

Have a lovely weekend



Thanks L

that list is great, I hadn't heard of some of those online magazines, so will follow up. 

Your advice on letting the reader dive in is helpful, particulalry in light of focussing on the protagonist. I'm looking forward to revising the story. 


complete with Ross's markup. 

I purchased his novels after that seminar. He is a terrific writer, and I highly recommend.

Thanks Georgina,

yep, I am still struggling to come to grips with short vs long format and how much of an escalation is required. I enjoyed Jacob Ross's seminar and one of his short stories was a Raymond Carver piece "Escalation" that told the story of two people fighting over a child. The fight got physical and the child was probably/likely terribly hurt. The story endng very abruptly, but when I read back over it you can see how tight it is. I snipped the piece for your enjoyment .... .


Hi Stephanie,

thanks for your comments, I'm not precious about my writing  I'm too green to be! So your thoughts were only useful not hurtful.   The idea of focussing more on Jimmy is spot on ... I had wondered about that, you know when you get an inkling that it might be a problem, but that instinct is just  dull background noise.


Thanks Janet,

no, not disappointed but keen to understand. I had taken the story as far as I could. That's the joy of this forum, I already have new ideas after being stalled. 

Thanks and happy writing. 


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