SIW ghost stories use Corydon as setting
Since I have been writing these columns for the Democrat, I have run into all types of aspiring writers. There are those who dream of writing and haven’t taken the plunge. There are those who are hard at it, pumping out their daily allotment of piece work, letter by letter, word by word. But none approach the steadfast and consistent efforts to write in earnest and have fun doing it like the Southern Indiana Writers. (I am apprehensive about the flow of that last sentence. I will no doubt discuss it with this group in the near future.)
Founded almost 17 years ago, three charter members still remain: Jeannine Baumgartle, Marian Allen and Ginny Fleming. Along the way, they have increased membership to 15 and have at least that many reasons for their continued interest in getting their thoughts down on paper. It is fun. It is profitable. It is a beautiful endeavor, and they love it.
We can all thank them for their latest publishing effort which is about to be part of the Bicentennial Birthday Halloween on the Square celebration. For the last year or so, selected members of the group have been working on a collection of ghost stories that use downtown Corydon locations as settings for their haunting tales. These stories are now published in a collection called ‘Ghosts on the Square … and Elsewhere.’
A Ghost Walk on Saturday, Oct. 25, as part of the festivities downtown will begin at the corner of North Capitol Avenue and Beaver Street and hit seven locations on the perimeter of the square. At each stop, you will hear a live reading of an original tale cooked up in the imagination of the SIW. The published book will be for sale at the end of the tour with refreshments and conversation about writing and hauntings.
Those members who have participated in this project are Marian Allen, T. Lee Harris, Bonnie Abraham, Teddi Robinson, Joanna Foreman, Glenda Mills, Ginny Fleming, Joy Kischgessner, Jeannine Baumgartle and Ardis Moonlight.
Their meetings are each Thursday night for two hours with kind and humane critiques of each other’s work. Delicate feelings are respected in these sessions which look at the basics of writing and steer clear of content and style changes. Those are best left alone.
Here is what Joanna Foreman wrote me in an e-mail: ‘Before each meeting, rather than remove our shoes, we strip off our egos, hanging them carefully on pegs outside the door. The ego is given the ‘Stay’ command. The door is then shut and bolted from the inside.’ You can tell that a talented wordsmith wrote that one, can’t you?
Writing is a lone soldier activity. You sit and sort the thoughts that ticker tape across your mind for just the right wordage that will make an idea live for others. Every now and then you succeed and someone tells you that what you wrote struck a chord in their mind also. It might be positive and it might be negative. Reaction is good either way. What if no one was willing to listen?
Ah, but the members of the Southern Indiana Writers group are always there for their struggling members. Commiseration for their frustrations and celebratory meals out at Japanese steak houses when a piece of writing is published are the reward for the incredible longevity of this writing club.
Come down to Halloween on the Square and take the tour. Listen to their creative minds read aloud and enjoy the whole collection in a lovely paperback with cover design by member T. Lee Harris. How about a copy of ‘Ghosts on the Square … and Elsewhere’ as a perfect addition for the time capsule? I’m sure the members of SIW in 2058 will enjoy reading what their writing ancestors were saying about downtown Corydon on its 200th birthday.