Turn out was fair for our first November meeting. A few are still among the missing, Irv and Cecile had prior commitments, and some a bit under the weather, but I was happy to see two faces new to me. I'd like to personally welcome Phillip Waquespacic, who read a really neat Cajun poem for us, and Kathleen Russell who shared her adventure with TV Me. A great treat for everyone was the return of Sharon Baker after a several month absense. Sharon shared that she will be marrying her high school sweetheart on November 26th! Her new husband to be, Dick Lyon, has a home in Pennsacola and Sharon, here, so they'll be flitting back and forth. She promised to come to the meeting every chance she gets. Oh, the excitement was crackling in the air!
Kris Palmer returned to the group along with me. We were both gone the same amount of time and I was tickled to see her. She filled us in on her wonderful news discovered in Missouri. She IS a perfect candidate for the new implant for those suffering with Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease, met a 'hero' named Charlie who has already received the implant and assured her that his own is was a complete success. He's been able to cut his meds in half and is back out traveling with his wife in their RV. This, after having to give up traveling due to his tremors and anxiety attacks. Kris is thrilled and read a poem she'd written about her new 'hero', Charlie. Kris is the first one to say she has been blessed with many 'heroes' since her dance with the elephant began. The one thing we did forget to do was show the beautiful cover designed by our own Linda White for Kris's book, "Dancing With An Elephant". Linda was also present last night after a busy summer!
Kris will return to Missouri in February for the three-phase surgery and will have to leave her writing family for 6-8 months. But she will be with her own loving family. This was the ONLY downside, but well worth the detour. And, more good news! When Kris returned home from the meeting last night, she was greeted with the icing on the cake. After reporting to the group that she was still knocking on the third gatekeeper's gate, Michael J. Fox's personal editor had called and requested that Kris send her documents and book excerpts and she would deliver them to Mr. Fox's personal manager! Bingo! One more gate and Kris will be in the hands of Michael J. Fox, a fellow Young-Onset Parkinson's victim. She called me this morning and answered my curiosity as to the strange shouts of joy I swear I heard all the way in Nokomis! YOU GO, KRIS! No one deserves it more!
After all this excitement, I reiterated the 'retirement' of Russ Heitz as of January 2011 and my plea for others to step up and help fill his and one of my shoes. We have all put too much into this group not to ensure it continues on course. I'm grateful to announce that Ed Ellis, after presenting his writing model workshop, volunteered to be the 'contact person' to field the Group mail for me. Thank you, ED! I will be taking care of having your name and email added to FWA's main website: http://www.floridawriters.net/ as a contact person for the Sarasota Chapter of FWA. This is in addition to his taking over for Ann Favreau as director of the Suncoast Writers Guild in Englewood. Ed's enthusiasm for the writers is in full bloom! Perhaps, now, we can borrow Ann more! Ann, too, is a member of FWA as well as a world traveler who has just returned from Italy! Welcome home, Ann!
Secondly, I'd like to announce that Linda Malloy talked to me on break and has volunteered to be our treasurer to handle and keep records of our Fire Department donations. Russ will turn over all his paperwork and we will give this year's collection to the Firemen at Christmastime. This is a one-time per year donation of $5.00 from attendees specifically for the use of the Fire Department training facility for our meetings. It has nothing to do with your FWA Membership fee which is paid to the Board of Directors of the FWA. Linda is an accountant by profession so I'm sure our funds will be good hands! She may even find us a good investment! Or is that animal extinct? I kid. Thank you, Linda. Your willingness to stand up and help the group is appreciated. I'm still in need of someone to attempt filling Russ's shoes and suggested the possibility of an events coordinator.
Speaking of events! Does everyone have their calendar circled for our second November meeting? That's on the 17th! That is the evening our west coast connection will 'appear' from California to meet our Group! Jack Wolf has provided so many of us with a stage upon which to share our wares for national publication. I'm expecting a good turn out as I know you are all eager to meet Jack. I wish Bart Stamper could be here to meet him. Bart has been featured in the Fox and Quill more than once. Some of the poets who've not yet met Dahris Clair, founder and editor of The Infinite Writer where our poets grab the stage in the Poet's Nook section, will also be able to meet her, as Dahris is coming down from New Port Richey to meet her California counterpart. We will have refreshments for this 'party'. I'll be reminding you again as the days go by!
That's a wrap, folks. (Who did I steal that from?) Be watching the blog for further event notices in a couple of days. One, I do have now is the appearance Saturday of Melanie Bowles at Borders at Bee Ridge and US41. Melanie and her husband, Jim, both former Sarasota County firefighters, are the founders of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary now located in Mena, Arkansas. Mel will be signing her new book, "The Dogs of Proud Spirit". Mel was a guest speaker at our group in the fall of 2008. Her stories about Proud Spirit are compelling. What many don't know is that they also rescue dogs! This book is the dog's turn! They will tell their stories. I hope to see some of you there. It's Saturday, the 6th, from 1-4. Let's support a 'home town' writer. Melanie is also the person who first introduced me to the FWA five years ago and I'm fortunate enough to be able to call her 'family'. She is my cousin and her mom and my dad were extremely close siblings. Little bit of history there.
Rainbows are on the horizon!!
Susan - And, I've probably forgotten something! Forgive me, that's why I need HELP! :)
Schedule and Location
Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm