We kicked off the meeting with thirteen writers attending at 6:30 pm. Rod DiGruttolo again skillfully wielded the gavel and ran another great meeting. We welcomed back Susan Haley, iconic founder and spark-plug for the group. Susan spent the summer with friends and relatives and returned only two days before the meeting. We also welcomed back Robin Wise and Dianne Shedlock, and it was good to see Ben drop in once again. It was another great evening as we heard from Russ Heitz who, working on an idea from Irv Newman, collected thoughts and comments about Ed Lyman to be used in a tribute to Ed that will be distributed at the Christmas meeting.
Our Christmas get-together will be held during the next meeting, Dec 19th. Kerri is bringing the Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and every else is encouraged to bring whatever favorite holiday treats they'd like to share. Everyone is invited, including spouses and guests. Any goodies not consumed, more likely devoured, will be donated to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department. We will present the Fire Department Chief Steve Kona with the holiday donation we all made together, a total of $91.00 dollars.
A discussion about our meeting format will lead us to more presentations and guest speakers in the future. We'll kick off the New Year with a meeting January 2nd that will reduce the time available for reading, but allow for more discussions and presentations. Also decided was a new procedure for critiques. In the future, presentations for critique will be limited to 1500 words, or no more than three pages. All presentations will be printed for handout, double spaced, and will be returned to the presenter, without names, after the material has been critiqued. Discussions may follow the readings, but they will be general and not specific.
Rod solved one problem neatly by having Peter Frickel read first. That way, everyone has to follow Peter! Again, Peter's tales of youth of another time in Africa, He Looked At Me, and “Nell” held everyone's attention. Don Westerfield's The Flirt, caught everyone off guard. Not to be read outside the sanctuary, he asked. Funny stuff, great writing. Robin read “Sparky,” and had everyone convinced it was not a piece of fiction. It was, of course, although we have all had pets that have taken us to the edge. Her husband vehemently denied any part of “Walt's” heart attack. Great to have Robin back.
Ed Ellis continued with his work in progress, tentatively named Asymmetrical Wars. More great adventure writing, the post-nuclear war saga continues. We got to hear Chapter 27 of Joanne Phillips Adventures of a Sea Hag and said farewell to Sid, a character we had come to know quite well. Jim Kelly did it once again with two poems, Changes and Noise, both of which are excellent poems. We can't wait for Jim's next anthology.
Russ Heitz read Waiting, a unique short piece that started lightheartedly and turned introspective in less than one page! Great writing! Dianne Shedlock continued the spell-binding writing with her Flashback, a piece with an unexpected twist about dread and fatalism. Welcome back, Dianne, more writing, please.
We read through break, and finished early. We'll see everyone at the Christmas gathering on the 19th. See you then.