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

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Congratulations Peter Frickel

Sarasota Writers Group member Peter Frickel's long awaited books are now available as eBooks on Amazon! “My Frog Sings,” may be found at and “Lotha and the Three Crosses at

A synopsis of each work can be found on each Amazon page, as well as ordering information.
Our Congratulations to Peter!

My Frog Sings: Synopsis

When change comes it brings an end. The past is replaced.
A new beginning rises: for some there is sunshine, for many the shadow of hopelessness, feelings of being unwanted and unloved.

For me only a buried past could open my gate; that is when I started to gather a garden piece by piece. There, I found a world that shared the weight of memories, spoke of a cure for each ill, showed the difference between imagination and reality. My emotions were comforted, my hurts accommodated.

I learned the demands of each season: they gave, they nurtured and taught me a new way. I became a provider, found new horizons, learned to stand alone on the platform of a new begining. Strengthened, I readied my new start–remembered salty tears that dried in the sunshine of time–discovered desires come before dreams and that intuition is the real guide.

Most of all I found I was something of value; that I could love again, deeply. Let me share this with you.

Lotha and the Three Crosses” synopsis

“Do you know that Lotha is one of the most honored of men by God the Father for building the tomb for His son Jesus and given by Joseph of Aramathea.

When Lotha offered to carry Jesus’ cross what did Jesus do for him?
What did he tell Lotha to do? I learnt that answer from monks and priests who live in the mountains of Abyssinia.

You ask, what happened to the three wooden Crosses after the crucifixion.
I know.

Then the great mystery of the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus. What happened to it?It just did not disappear. Do you know how the Romans unknowingly participated? I tell the true story of how today that stone still cures thousands of believers and pilgrims.

Do you know, in Europe wherever the Virgin Mary has appeared, parts of the great stone are buried exactly on the spot of her apparition?
It is because of the presence of that piece of stone believers and pilgrims who visit are cured of their ills and torments.
Many are converted. Many experience miracles.

After centuries there is one place remaining, still undiscovered, where the last of the stone is buried. It is where the Virgin Mary is still to visit. What a wondrous thought.

It’s area is known to me. I plan to to go there soon, in and about the Pyrenees.
Explore in the same manner, walk, walk as I walked the length and breadth of Africa, the Middle East and Europe for two years.
How long? I do not know. Yes, I will write for you and you can read of my great feelings and discoveries and the places I search.

Experience speaks of a lonely journey.”

Friday, June 08, 2012

Barringer Publications accepting manuscripts from members

Jeff Schlesinger, Publisher, Barringer Publications, has announced to the Sarasota Writers Group they are currently accepting manuscripts in all genres,  a very unique opportunity for our authors.  Please contact Jeff at for more details, or please check their website at:

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Our meeting kick-off Wednesday evening was interrupted by an event that drew a round of warm, thunderous, applause: Irv Newman rejoined the group for an extraordinary reunion. Accompanied by his beautiful wife, Beatrice, he was warmly greeted by everyone. Irv received over 100 cards from well wishers, and we again wish him the best.

Irv, who recently turned 90, later had a poignant piece about his brief stay in a hospice read by Jim Kelly. His “Thank You” letter to the staff and the directors was touching, and eye opening at the same time. Hospices should not be prejudged as “Death's Doorway.” We can't wait to read Irv's next effort about standing in front of an open coffin called, “Wait, Wait, I Have A New Idea I Want To Run By You...”

George Mindling brought up the schedule for July, which has our first meeting of the month on the Fourth of July holiday. By unanimous consent, that meeting will be skipped, so, July will have one meeting on the 18th. The calendar can be checked anytime right here on our blog page.

Our next meeting will be a very special meeting on June 20th as we celebrate a very special birthday of one of our most prolific members, Ed Lyman. Ed, who has been published of every single issue of Peppertree Literary Magazine since it first started publishing, will be 100!

Ed Lyman has also been coming to our FWA meetings since we first started getting together at the Gulf Gate Library, more than five years ago. And he always manages to stir up more than a few chuckles with his very original, clever and well-structured stories that always have a "snapper" ending.

Ed is also a generous supporter of his Venice community. He still volunteers at the Venice Hospital where he serves as a wheel chair "pusher" for people leaving the hospital. He also volunteers at a cat rescue and adoption service near Venice. That's where he adopted his beloved cat, Tammy. In addition to his time and effort, Ed has also generously provided funding to purchase a new truck for the local food bank, as well as a new air conditioned van for the feline adoption service.

In tune with his "giving" nature, Ed is also providing the money to buy the snacks and goodies that we'll be enjoying at his non-birthday party on the 20th of this month. It's a "non-birthday" party because Ed did NOT want a party for himself. He was adamant about that. He said, "It's just another birthday. No need to make a fuss over me." What he really wanted to do was give US a party, which is what we'll be doing at the next meeting.

Ed Lyman is our official Writer Emeritus and we hope he'll be around for at LEAST another 100 years! And we hope you all show up on Wednesday, June 20th, to share with Ed your best wishes for his "non-birthday."

We will play the meeting “by ear” so to speak, with possible readings in the first half of the evening, but the second half will be dedicated to a very special non-birthday wish to Ed. Sandwiches and coffee will be served, and if anyone would like to help with paper plates, napkins, or plastic dinnerware, please contact Russ Heitz at In fact, one reason Irv made a special effort to attend last night's meeting was to be present for the planning of Ed's non-birthday! Spouses and friends are welcome at the special meeting. Thanks to Russ for the marvelous information about Ed.

After more announcements about the upcoming FWA Convention in October, Ed Ellis got the meeting underway with Jim Kelly reading Irv's piece about his stay in the hospice. Irv and Beatrice graciously said goodnight soon after, everyone once again greeting and wishing them well.

We welcomed new-comers Charlotte Humphreys and Roger Sakowski to the meeting, and welcomed back Cathy Marine and Jim Kelly as well. Charlotte started the evening's readings with “Pear Tree and the Vanishing House,” a nostalgic, well written piece that drew warm response from the group. We look forward to more of Charlotte's writing.

Joanne Phillips read a really great poem about Englewood, which garnered her a 2nd place ribbon in the Englewood contest, and followed with the next chapter of her book, “Memoirs of a Sea Hag.” A great discussion about style followed, but everyone agrees: More!

Susan Haley took a few minutes to remind us on this anniversary of D-Day, that we all take far too much for granted in our daily lives. Susan read Bart Stamper's one-line poem that brought a moment of silence to the whole room: “On Memorial Day it's so different when you know their names.. . . Ron Holeman, John Knaus, Cameron McCallister and dozens of others a thought to consider.”

Rod DiGruttolo followed with another of his great reflections of growing up in Sarasota in the 1950's called “Puppy Dog Tales.” Rod graciously thanked Ed Lyman and Peter Frickel for helping him develop the masterfully done series.

Peter Frickel read a chapter from his upcoming 18 part work named “Lilies of the Vlei.” “Umbubulu” was a masterfully told tale of a young man riding through the African night with his father, physician to the king of the Zulus, during dangerous and treacherous times. Again, marvelous stuff.
Rod then read a humorous piece called “Package Pandemonium,” published in 1966. It was written by none other than Ed Lyman's son, Dan. Must run in the family.

After a ten minute break, Ed wished he had his cow-bell back! Everyone rejoined the meeting after chocolates and fortune coolies, and we resumed with Lee Taylor Franke reading a great piece that linked nostalgia with the aging of a town simultaneously with its citizens. Well written and deeply emotional piece.

Jim Kelly read two of his great poems, starting with “Smoke and Ashes,”and “Light.” Two more masterful pieces of poetry that left the group speechless. Absolutely great writing.

Kerri Dieffenwierth read another piece of her upcoming work, “Homemade Rodeos,” again with writing that stands alone called “Run, Run Away.” It wasn't about the horse... More great writing.

Ed Ellis received great critical review after his difficult piece about writing what is possible or plausible. Paradoxical? A great success model for writing.

We wrapped up another great night with Patricia LaBarbera reading her “What We're Looking For,” a wonderful story that, as always, has delightful, unexpected twists. Patricia will keep us posted as to her next seminar on editing and editors, something none of the group should miss.

We turned off the lights and said goodnight. See everyone on the 20th for Ed's birthday.

Special Thanks to Russ Heitz for the information about Ed Lyman.

PS: Kerri just forwarded information about a writing sweepstakes at:


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Johazel Publishing Company will open its first writing contest June 1, 2012.

Chris Coad Taylor, a member of the FWA group in Tampa, has announced the Johazel Publishing Company will open its first writing contest June 1, 2012.

"The contest is open to any author in the country.  We will be selecting several authors for inclusion in the publication of a collection of true stories about ordinary women who have shown courage and strength while dealing with tragedy, loss of loved ones, or just the heavy burdens of everyday life.

The collection reveals the stories of the unsung heroines who walk through life without the acknowledgment they so deserve. The working title of the collections is:

Extraordinary Woman Next Door
 The Extraordinary Woman

 For more information go to, click on the contest tab, and scroll down to the link, Extraordinary Women Next Door, and click.

A window will open up with information on what the contest is about, details of submissions, and an application form. Four (4) pages total.

The three key things to remember for the submissions are:
  1. Entry stories have to be true and about a living woman. 
  2. You must have her permission (signed wavier to publish her story) 
  3. A picture (jpeg of the woman of your story) must be available for publishing. 
I am excited about the publication because my vision is not just to publish a collection of beautiful stories of extraordinary woman, but for the book to be aesthetically beautiful as well. Printed with the stories will be original artwork of flowers sprinkled between the pages. Flowers will represent the emotions and qualities of the women. For example, the Gladiolus represents strength of character and the Jasmine presents grace and elegance.

Extraordinary Woman Next Door will mix the literary and art world in one publication. I hope your members will be as excited about this inspiring project as I am and will submit their writing entry for consideration. If you can announce this contest at your next meeting, newsletters, and later on add a few reminder announcements it will be greatly appreciated.

The contest is open from June 1 through September 30, 2012. Estimated publish date: Spring 2013. Word count maximum: 3500.

Details may be found on my web site:
For questions, entrants should check the website contest pages or use our contest email address"

Chris Coad Taylor