I have a book of poetry coming out later this year or early next year. Here’s the cover.
I have a book of poetry coming out later this year or early next year. Here’s the cover.
Ten-Week Course with Rich Marcello
Wednesdays, September 13 – November 15, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 p.m., The Parlor, The First Church, Lancaster
This three-hour, introductory class will be divided into two sections. In the first half, we’ll explore different aspects of the craft of fiction, as detailed below. In the second half, we’ll focus on scenes written by the students and provide positive, constructive feedback on how each author might develop his or her work.
Week One: “The Anatomy of a Scene”
Week Two: “The Fictive Dream”
Week Three: Point of View, Voice, and Time
Week Four: Plot, Tension, and Raising the Stakes
Week Five: Characters
Week Six: The First and Last Chapter
Week Seven: Dialogue versus Narrative Summary
Week Eight: How to Build a World
Week Nine: Common Issues
Week Ten: Putting It All Together
Prerequisites: This class is designed for active, beginning writers who want to hone their craft. Each student must submit a sample of his or her writing, preferably a scene, no more than 10, double-spaced pages by September 1, 2017, and be prepared to write, share work and provide feedback for fellow participants. Ten-week course fee: $150.00. Register at sevenbridge.org or contact us with questions at 7bridgewriterscollaborative@gmailcom. Deadline to register: September 1, 2017.
Rich Marcello Rich Marcello is a poet, songwriter, musician, and writer. He is author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the recently released The Beauty of the Fall, all published by Langdon Street Press. Previously, he enjoyed a career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies. Faulkner Award winner Mark Spencer praised Rich’s latest novel, noting that “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.” Marcello has partnered with the Writers’ Collaborative since 2015.
Grab some tissues for this one. Today I’m reviewing The Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello. Spiritual, inspirational, and modern, I haven’t been so emotionally affected by a book since Flowers for Algernon. In fact, Marcello’s book has affected me more, making me sad and hating certain people but also inspiring me and making me hopeful for the future.
The Beauty of the Fall follows Dan Underlight, an engineer and co-founder of RadioRadio, as he copes with being fired and the lingering guilt and sorrow from the loss of his son. As he comes to grips with losing his job, Dan undergoes multiple life-altering events: he finds new love in poet and advocate for women’s rights Willow, embarks on a pilgrimage to Fortune 500 companies across the U.S., and initiates a startup directed at changing the world, ConversationWorks. Yet every time Dan’s life appears to get better, something goes wrong. Sometimes his troubles stem from forces outside of his control, and other times they result from his own self-destructive behavior. In both cases, the universe seems bent on thwarting Dan’s efforts—or, perhaps, it’s trying to teach him a lesson about life. With the help of friends, colleagues, his therapist Nessa, and the guiding spirit of his dead son, will Dan finally get and keep his life on track? Will he ever discover what it takes to make him feel genuinely happy and fulfilled?
I have to admit, I didn’t expect a lot from this one. Not having an especially wide readership and because it wasn’t particularly gripping from the start. Instead of grabbing hold of and pulling you in, this one takes your hand gently, guiding you into its center, meandering through the tale at a more comfortable, steady pace. However, I was surprised and delighted to come upon what I feel are rare treasures within the concepts of this love story. Ones worthy of more exploration and consideration. Certainly like none other that I have read in others.
Within the first chapter, we meet Sassa and Nick. These two go on to have a rather serious, emotionally deep romantic relationship spanning over the next one year. Revealing some of the innermost depths of their hearts to one another during that time. However, Sassa isn’t sure she is ready, nor certain that she believes in the concept of being tethered to one person for the next 50+ years of ones life. Instead, feeling as though she still has much growth and exploration ahead of her, which she needs to be able to move forward in.
Growth and explorations that may involve certain parallel paths with Nicks, but in other instances which she imagines may require a forking off from one another (if remaining totally true to themselves). So, despite loving him deeply and believing there is something poignant between them, she leaves. But, not before first posing an interesting question. This is where is gets interesting.
Both Sassa and Nick feel and acknowledge a resonating connection between them. A sense of being home with each other. Yet, Sassa is convinced there is more that both of them still need to do first. Some of which would, if truly following their hearts, take them in opposite directions from one another. She believes its important for each to continue venturing forth into self growth and discovery first. That you cannot truly be ready as your best self and partner until you have grown in immense ways. That one should live through a certain amount of varying experiences and explorations before making a commitment of such magnitude.
So, she poses to Nick the following thoughts and ideas: might it be possible for the two of them to venture forth through life, down their own paths of discovery and growth, while remaining in sporadic touch (they agree to talk once a year) and still connected? And even further, can they do this in honesty, openness and bravery with one another? Keeping the possibility in mind of their ending up together romantically if their paths end up converging once again. But also, that if it doesn’t work out in such a way, this is ok too. But to go forth trusting in the universe. To let go, both with the understanding and acknowledgment that a large part of compatibility, a huge part, is timing.
This is a really great application I highly recommend. If you like it, please help spread the word.
Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative. Read more about why calling works.
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.
The Hungry Monster Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Rich Marcello, author of “The Beauty of the Fall”, has invited you to get to know him a little bit better. Find out a bit about him as he answers just a few questions, and make sure to follow him on social media!
Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?
I love the work of Milan Kundera, Don Delillo, Alice Walker, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Adam Haslett, to name a few.
Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?
Dan Underlight, in The Beauty of the Fall, is my favorite because he’s so complex. As a writer, I’m trying to go deeper and deeper into the soul of each of my characters, and so I focus a lot of my effort on their inner lives. In TBOTF, I spent most of my time on Dan. I wrote him over and over until I understood his grief at some deep non-verbal level. That’s when he came into focus.
Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.
When I started writing, it was more difficult for me to write female characters well, especially when the scene was from their POV. But I’ve spent a lot of time working to improve my craft in that area, and now, I’m really proud of the female characters in my novels. I’m particularly fond of Willow in TBOTF and Paige Plant in The Big Wide Calm.
What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?
The most rewarding part of being an author is when a reader writes me or tells me that one of my novels or characters resonated in some way that made a positive difference in her life. My hope is that my novels, in some small way, connect folks more to themselves and the world, and so, when it happens, it truly is rewarding.
What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?
To write your first draft of each scene quickly so you fully capture the intended emotion. After that, edit over and over again until the scene is fully realized. In my fiction class, I like to tell students to rewrite a scene five times before they workshop it. That seems to work pretty well.
Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.
I write seven days a week first thing in the morning for about five hours. I’m a big believer in going from one kind of dream time ( sleeping) to another ( writing fiction). I seem to do my best work this way.
Was being an author something you always wanted to do?
I’ve been writing all of my adult life, but only full-time for the last six years. In college, I had a chance to be mentored by a novelist in residence, but I was broke and needed to make money for a time. So when I graduated, I did. Throughout those years, I kept writing––mostly songs and poetry––but I always knew I would come back to writing novels. Hopefully, I’ll get ten or so of them out into the world before I’m done.
If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I’ll pick two. I’d love to talk with John Lennon about music and the current state of the world, and I’d like to talk with Dalai Lama about love and kindness.
Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?
Read more at this link: https://sandraely770.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/445/
As some of you know, Langdon Street Press just released my new novel, The Beauty of the Fall. One of the subplots in the book is domestic violence. I spent the last year on the board of the Bridges Center for Sexual and Domestic Violence Support, and one of the main characters in the novel, Willow, is professionally based on Dawn Reams who runs the Bridges Center in Nashua, New Hampshire. She helped me a great deal as I was shaping the novel, and in particular, she focused on the DV passages in the book to ensure they were authentic and unflinching. That’s why I am going to give Bridges 25K in profits from the TBOTF and my other two novels, The Big Wide Calm and The Color of Home.
My three novels are about different kinds of love. Romantic. Platonic. Love in an extended community. Because of the topic matter, I believe the books make great stocking stuffers or gifts for your employees and customers. If you would like to help Bridges out this holiday season, please consider buying as many copies of my books as possible. You can purchase them from this link:
If you prefer, you can also buy books from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. Both eBooks and physical copies are available through these stores. Here are those links:
One final thing. If you could forward this note to all of your friends, it would be greatly appreciated. Our fundraising is off to a good start, but we still have work to do. Thank you so much for your consideration.