Title: The Meadowdale Community Project
Author: Matt Shea
Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
Genre: Fiction/Family Life
Demolition crews continue to raze abandoned and condemned structures in the sleepy town of Meadowdale – a city hit hard by the sluggish economy. A once-cherished building is now the dilapidated Meadowdale Community Center (MCC), where the handicapped and mentally-challenged sort recyclable materials and create artwork from refuse that catches their eye. This prompts many to consider the MCC a burial ground for lost causes. But a mysterious stranger in a wheelchair arrives and befriends an intellectually-challenged teen, Chase Mansfield. When the Community Center is condemned and Chase realizes the squirrel he feeds is about to become homeless, he comes up with an ingenious idea that changes his future – and the future of the community. Chase and his invention soon unite the entire city, breaking down barriers related to wealth, politics, age, mobility and intellect. In an age of fiction based on witchcraft, libido, and immorality, The Meadowdale Community Project is a family-friendly story for all ages, tastes and background.
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Finding The Guts To Write
By Matt Shea
Writing is a very personal way of extending oneself. It goes beyond the unique style that makes up our character. It also unveils our values based on what story line we create- and how we present it.
This is where the butterflies in my stomach come alive.
Q) How often have we listened to a loved-one’s critique by hearing these immortal words?
“This sounds like you.”
A) I believe every time.
Often, I’ve been somewhat chastised for how I went about presenting a story with,“This sounds like you,” being the first salvo.
Trust me; I’m the furthest thing from being perfect. For that very reason; I already have my personal struggles in life while trying to survive and make a difference. On occasion, the ‘peanut gallery’ will catch me on something legitimate like the correct spelling for the wrong word- or that misspelled one that should have be caught early.
We’re all human…
When presenting a manuscript that consists of thousands of words- and a subject matter that you-yourself selected; it’s a given to find at least a few kinks somewhere. Blemishes that range from gray areas- to outcries for not being politically correct await.
Our writing style is much like our fingerprints: it’s all one-of-a-kind and varies from person to person. It is tailor-made with our distinct methods of conveying a story that we feel must be told. Our way of drawing attention to a special cause or injustice.
Writing creates a different kind of double-edged sword that the author now faces. One that works both ways against him(her). Let me explain:
Each and every one of us lives in a world where we are condemned to be ‘imperfect’. Hence; we are all different. Strike one.
To compound things even further; we have an unlimited amount of tools at our fingertips. Words, verb tenses, sentence structures, phrases and a galaxy of other literary assets that are just waiting to be pieced together. An assembly that’s guaranteed to be different than the selection others would have used. Strike two.
A writer must convey their story within a guide line where others can easily understand. This is where it gets tricky. On one hand; we need to be correct with our writing skills. On the other; we must ‘think outside of the box’. It’s crucial to finesse this effort in such a way where it becomes different than the other stuff out there. After going through the mill a few times; one questions if it’s even possible to write a story that will never have any backlash…
A famous editor named, Don Carter once explained to me that an author’s work can be edited over and over again by the experts. Since that’s the case; he stressed that a writer should simply take a deep breath and write how they truly feel.
At one of my writing groups we had the honor of having Jim Fisher join us. Jim is a seasoned editor who now teaches at a local community college. In class he addressed this issue by breaking it down with his genius. After the group went back and forth about ‘proper writing’ he had something to say:
“Ninety percent of acceptable writing is simply having a good story line.”
I was relieved to hear that because when I first broke into writing I felt like the game Pong. It was a frustrating ‘one ore in the water’ affair that resembled Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First. It seemed whenever I followed the advice of one editor; it came under attack by another.
Things began to get better. It was pointed out to me that famous writers also receive their well-publicized criticism. Successful writers who have the following of millions.
My goal as a writer isn’t to become rich and famous. It’s to simply improve while I try my best to inspire others. Writing is my passion.
As a developing author it was a relief to find that I was best off just being, ‘Matt’. This discovery allowed me to go forth and get my stories out there. It then put me into a league where I may not bat a thousand; but did find those who appreciated what I had to say; and how I said it. More important; there were those who met me half-way and gave their constructive criticism and encouragement.
It’s nerve-wracking to present your writings to the whole world. Such presentations are a way for an author to say, “Regardless of my imperfections; here is what I have to say and please love me for it.”
In closing, I am grateful to have taken the path I took to get published. My focus is to profile the unsung hero in society who catches the ball when needed. On a more personal note; my accomplishments and shortcomings never once had anyone question where my heart is. For that reason; I’ll continue to write win or lose.
Matt Shea writes stories that are designed for both young and old. He profiles the average person in society that’s a little different or misunderstood. Matt also writes about the plight of those who are mentally disabled and senior citizens. He exposes their personal battles in life; with values being challenged- but never compromised.
When it’s all said and done such individuals are recognized for being a contribution to society. They also achieve their just reward: appreciation followed by acceptance.
His characters are nothing more than average people that represent all walks of life. People like you and me. Matt loves feedback from those that take the time to read his stories. He offers his email address and promises to do his very best to answer all who write him.
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