BEVERLY — Grazina Smith of Beverly spends her day working for a lawyer in the Loop. But when she's not managing the law office, she pens fictional stories oozing with vivid detail, twisting plots and a quiet wit.
Smith will read one of her short stories titled "Counterfeit Face" at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Chicago Public Library's Beverly branch. Admission to the short fiction and poetry reading at 1962 W. 95th St. is free.
Smith's story is about a woman who goes on vacation with "a tremendous black eye." She then allows everyone to assume her husband is to blame, though the real story is far more sinister.
"It's a very passive aggressive thing to do. He doesn't even realize that is what she is doing," Smith said of the complicated couple.
Howard Ludwig says the writers take their work seriously, and it shows:
Her story along with several others will be featured as part of the collaborative event between the Beverly-based Longwood Writers Guild and the TallGrass Writers Guild. The Dyer, Ind.-based TallGrass group coordinates open mic events throughout Chicago and publishes an annual “Black-and-White” anthology.
Several members of the Longwood Writers Guild, including Smith and Bill Grady, have stories within the current anthology.
Grady, also from Beverly, works as a business analyst for a large bank. He's been bringing his short stories to the Longwood group for nearly four years, soaking in the group's feedback as well as its support.
He plans to read his contribution to the TallGrass anthology, which focuses on an unlikely pair of plane crash survivors who share their personal stories while walking across the desert to get help.
"I was going to write about a mountain, but I started in the desert," Grady said.
Lydia Barnes of Beverly will read the second chapter of her mystery novel titled, "The 107th Street Murder" at the library. Her locally set crime story borrows heavily from her own experience as the wife of a Chicago Police officer.
Barnes is a tax preparer by day. But the chapter she intends to read on Oct. 4 travels down a far darker road, beginning with a dead body falling out of a garbage truck.
"I'm looking to get the book published," Barnes said.
The Longwood Writers Guild is open to adult writers. Authors are invited to work from prompts or bring in writing they are working on to read aloud for feedback.
The group meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month September through May and the second Monday of the month June through August in the Beverly Area Planning Association's Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago. For information call Grace Kuikman at 773-213-7531 or email email@example.com.
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