We are in the back of the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, actually the far west side of the building. The Sarasota Writers Group graciously uses the academic training room of the fire department on the side of the building farthest away from U.S. 41. We have our own parking area right by the door, but please don't block the fire doors or the road into the area. While it is a Florida Writers Association meeting, it is an open meeting, welcoming non-members as well. The only requirement for attendance is a desire to write.
We had another great turn out as the fall season begins, with the return of Bill Elam, Peter and Barbara Frickel, and Kerri Dieffenwierth. We welcomed Christine Burton to her first meeting and Rod's lovely wife, Betsy, as well. After the usual meet and greet, a basic semblance of order fell into place and we began our second meeting of October in earnest.
Rod opened the meeting with comments from Jim Kelly. Jim recently spoke with long time member Irv Newman who sends his warm regards to the group. Irv has been active with the hospice, and the nurses, and is keeping up with his writing.
Kerri mentioned she will be attending the upcoming Sanibel Island Writers Conference, November 8 through the 11th. The only details we have at the moment is on the Sanibel Island Writers Conference Facebook page.
George passed out flyers for the upcoming Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, to be held this January 19-27, 2013, and reminded everyone the 11th annual Florida Writers Association Conference is to be held in Orlando this next weekend.
Rod began the readings with a humorous piece that has been selected for posting on the Swiss Army Knife web site, On The Cutting Edge: The Bloody History of the Swiss Army Knife, by our centenarian Ed Lyman. (www.victorinox.com/stories). Ed, incidentally, has been published in every issue of the quarterly literary magazine, the Pepper Tree. His wit and humor always draws great responses after the readings which are handled masterfully by Rod.
Joanne Phillips read her next installment of Memoirs of a Sea Hag titled, Bite Me! Only Joanne could tell the story of being bitten, I'm not saying where, by her own dentures. Joanne says it was in the Bahamas...
Kitt Crescendo read from her untitled work in progress, tentatively known as Four One Night Only, and will have every scrambling to look up the ingredients of the drink, Alien Secretion. Again, Kitt shows her skill in capturing her readers (listeners) with her writing. Glad to have Kitt in the group.
George Collias had everyone's rapt attention with his fascinating Sliver of a Memory, a personal memoir of Hemingway in Key West when George was a child living in Miami, and again later in Ketcham, Idaho, where Hemingway spent his last years. Some great intertwining of professional development and coincidental meetings. A really unique seed here, we hope George develops it further.
Kerri read her latest work Swamp Angels, from her great expanding anthology on growing up in untamed Florida. The saga of the “Owls” continues, and again, Kerri snags the listener as efficiently and firmly as her personal stories touch everyone. Great discussion followed the reading, including her use of changing POV, point of view, from 1st person to 3rd person effectively in the piece. Great writing from Kerri, as usual.
As always, our poet extraordinaire, Jim Kelly again stopped the show with two, marvelous short poems. First, Picket Fence, and then the timeless, remarkable Hero. Amazingly, they were written earlier in the day. Really great poetry, we are waiting for the next compilation of Jim's works. He may not have started it yet, but we are waiting none the less.
Susan Davis caught Rod off guard as he wanted to hear more about her recent travels, but instead she read one of her marvelous, untitled poems, also written shortly before the meeting. These people must really work well under pressure! She then read a poignant piece about death and acceptance, again, great writing.
Ed Ellis was up next with his applause generating Heavy Fog of Fish. He took us all to Catalina Island as if we were there, leaving us wondering how he did that. We're still wondering about being bologna and cheese, or cheese and bologna. Or spark plugs. You had to be there. It was worth the wait.
We then took a ten minute breather, then jumped back into the wonderful pool of writers who grace our meetings with Peter Frickel, who read his poem Crocodile Baking in the Sun, and then read a passage from Langston Hughes' Raisin in the Sun. Peter never fails to enthrall our group of enthusiasts.
We then were treated to the return of Bill Elam, who introduced us to the quasi-legal term of, if I copied it correctly, of equine-anal, or something pretty close to that. Lawyer talk. Bill then read again in the vein of old men reflecting on their lives, and the painting that miraculously took the colors of a pile of rust and iron oxide brilliantly and inexplicably. It was well received in discussion by the group.
Rod closed out the meeting reading a chapter in his Little Skeeter story, Soap Box Racer, growing up in Sarasota in far less complicated times. The tight, well written piece had the drama of a NASCAR race even though we knew they were soap box derby cars coasting down a hill. Again, well received and appreciated. It's good to hear Rod get to read his own writing.
Our group of writers is an eclectic, diverse talented group of people and I look forward to every meeting. Drop in and take a listen if you get the chance. See you next time November 7th!