Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. We meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Nokomis Fire Station. Coming from Sarasota or North, proceed a few blocks south of Albee Road on US 41 (past Matthews-Currie Ford) to Pavonia Road. Turn right (West, toward the bay) at the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are 2 blocks north of Dona Bay. Turn left onto Pavonia Road at the flashing yellow caution light. At the Fire Station, drive to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room at the far end of the complex. We Gather for a meet and greet at 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten-minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 pm

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free On-Line Writing Class, June 5th, 2012

Join Michael Knost Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 9:00PM EST for a FREE online writing class!
The subject will be Body Language and how it relates to creating believable characters.
Use the following link to log in:
I suggest you log in ten minutes early so you can get signed in with no problems
No software needed. Just a computer, high-speed internet, and a willingness to learn.
The class setting is a video of me live (sorry about that), audio, PowerPoint presentation, and chat function for everyone.
Invite all your friends and let's make it a big party!
I hope to see you there!
Michael Knost

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Our Wednesday meeting, May 16th, was a special night for several reasons. Besides having a “Full-House,” we also listened to a special half-hour program given by the Chief of the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, Frank Palmer. Chief Palmer took center stage after our usual 6:00pm “meet and greet.” That was after our “Firetruck” quiz from Ed Ellis, which was a nice warm-up for Chief Palmer. Chief Palmer's program covered many aspects of community programs that are to be enhanced through a grant that will be written later this year. He asked for writing contributions from the group to help “seed” the project.

Susan Haley sadly announced fellow writer and group member Irv Newman is not recovering well from his recent cardiac event. Irv, author of “Living on House Money,”
( misses the group, and he is in our thoughts and prayers. Appreciation and Friendship Cards should be mailed to:

Irv Newman
8767 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

The meeting kicked off in earnest with Ed Ellis at the helm, minus the cow-bell he used last time. It wasn't needed as everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves with another evening of eclectic writing. Richard Zimmerman of Athens, Georgia, attended as a guest of George Mindling, and we welcomed back writer and editor Patricia LaBarbera. 

Patricia announced she will hold a class on self-editing this coming Saturday, May 19th, at the Selby Library. This free, open to all class will be at 1:30pm in the Conference Room.

Rod DiGruttolo started the evening's readings with a piece written by Malcolm Forbes contributed by Ed Lyman. Rod read the story about the infamous encounter with Mr. & Mrs Leland Stanford and the then president of Harvard that led to the establishment of Stanford University. Always a lesson in humility.

Next, Joanne Phillips continued, albeit not in sequence, with Chapter 17 of her book, “Memoirs of a Sea Hag.” This time evoking visions of lost treasures, well, at least $500 dollars worth, and of an overly amorous Porpoise. Joanne was disappointed she didn't draw serious criticism of her work. The discussion and critique then erupted just to make her happy. Good stuff.

Patricia LaBarbera then read a short story called “Big Mouth” that hooked everybody. Outstanding piece that broke her own rule about using inanimate or non-human subjects. Good writing.

Cecile Bell Kennedy's short story “Are You A Doctor?” about a young boy who has to give himself insulin injections was obviously rooted in personal knowledge and concern. The well written piece using dialog only brought another round of applause.

Don Westerfield read two of his excellent poems. The first, “When You Go” touched everyone who has raised children when those children finally leave home on their own. The great writing just keeps coming! The second poem, My Poem As a Painting” drew great response as well.

Kerri Dieffenwierth read “Ranch Hand” from her upcoming “Homemade Rodeos,” and once again showed her ability to use narrative, dialog, and description to pull the reader into her world. One of the longest sentences ever written, or at least one of the longest I have ever heard, worked like a charm and drew gasps of delight and appreciation. Good writing, Kerri.

Ed Ellis dipped into the past through his “Time capsule” and read two pieces he wrote back in his corporate world days. Ed co-authored an unofficial company newspaper for GE many years ago, and recently received an old copy from a friend. Reading from an old copy of the “Flair Facts,” the prophetic “Department of the National News” and the “Banana Award” for funny happenings showed Ed had the flair and the talent back then.

Susan Haley coaxed Rod DiGruttolo into reading his piece “Snakes, Spiders and Snails,” about Florida's denizens, all real but seen differently through the eyes of youth. A young boy capturing a snake with his bare hands had everyone's attention.

Peter Frickel read a piece that enthralled everyone, but didn't disclose the author until he finished reading. The great piece from “Log from the Sea of Cortez,” by John Steinbeck about the “virtue” of giving and the responsibilities of receiving caught everyone off guard.

Ed closed the meeting with the announcement the next meeting will be in three weeks. The after-meeting session was as much fun as the before-meeting session, but we eventually said goodnight, turned out the lights and went home.

See everyone June 6th.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tales2Inspire Winners

From Lois Stern, Director, Tales2Inspire (
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I am so proud to announce that both Cecile Bell and Rod DiGruttolo are now the proud recipients of WINNER awards in the TALES2INSPIRE "Authors Helping Authors" project/contest.  Although I was rooting for them both, I did not enter into the judging process.  Each 'tale' was judged and scored by three other writer entrants and their scores were amongst the highest. I am thrilled for them both. See what talent you have in your little group!

Tales2Inspire will reopen later in Sept. and I hope more of you will enter then.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We welcomed Peter and Barbara Frickel back after an extended absence, and we also welcomed guest George Worl to our first meeting in May. After the usual pre-meeting “catch-up” session, we began with Rod DiGruttolo once again holding the proverbial gavel.

Rod took a collection we donate semi-annually to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department as a thank you for the use of their facilities for our meeting room. We ask everyone who would like to contribute to donate $5.00, and this evening we collected $65 as several members were more than generous with their donations. The Fire Chief will address the group at our next meeting, May 16th, and we will present him with the donation at that time.

Rod discussed getting published, from short stories and articles to novels, great information for everyone! Again, editing came up as the primary requirement for publication. The dangers of self-editing were discussed as well.

Susan Haley was honored for winning The “Fox and Quill” poetry award. Susan's poems are at: Congratulations, Susan, really beautiful poems.

Speaking of Poetry, Linda Neckel White was selected to read “Fidelis,” by Adelaide Anne Proctor, May 11th at the Florida Studio Theater. Congratulations, Linda! Linda started the evening by reading “Oh, the Irony!” then read “Fidelis,” just for us.

We also welcomed back Kerri Dieffenwierth who read another piece of her work, “Homemade Rodeos,” with writing that stands alone called “Dearly Beloved.” Great work, social commentary intertwined with reflections of an old, past Florida. (I have in my notes: “discussion – champagne.” Means great discussion and review.)

We welcomed Peter back who did not fail us. He announced his work, “My Frog Sings,” will be available on Amazon soon, and then treated us to a piece of his 18 part upcoming work named “Lilies of the Vlei.” This is Peter's third work, and again, we can't wait for more.

For the first time since I've been a member of the group, someone actually asked to read following Peter. Ed Ellis soon showed why by reading his science fiction piece set in 1933 called “Flight to Reality.” The piece was written specifically for, and dedicated to, Peter. Another great piece of writing. Or, was that an illusion of a good story? How long to the stroke of midnight?

After our 8:00pm break, Joanne Phillips regaled us with another chapter of her book, “Memoirs of a Sea Hag.” Once again we sailed away, but this time with a different destination. Ice is nice... The discussions following Joanne's readings are always unique and entertaining.

Don Westerfield again showed his flair with “Bryant Park, from his “dark” file of work. Don is always entertaining, and never fails to add the unexpected to his works.

George read “Places, Everyone!” by Cynthia Mallick from The Florida Writer, the FWA magazine, and we closed the meeting with another nice reading by Peter.

Peter read “Nelly,” proving that friendship is a precious thing to have, even if one of the friends is a dog. Welcome back, Peter.

We wrapped up another great evening, said goodnight and turned out the lights. See everyone Wednesday, May 16th.