Wednesday, February 20th, another evening in our little corner of paradise spent with friends who love to write. With twenty-two in attendance, our “meet and greet” at 6:00 pm was a chance to catch up on all the social issues before we kicked off the regular meeting at 6:30pm. We welcomed new guest Rachel Fritsch, and again welcomed Pat Patterson who makes the drive all the way up from Punta Gorda, and Christine Burton, who drives down from Bradenton! We also welcomed back one of the original members of our group, Bart Stamper, who later read a sensitive, engrossing story that is worthy of its own posting. It is posted at http://fwasarasota.blogspot.com/2013/02/wednesday-6-20-2013-part-1.html.
The meeting started with thanks to AJ and Joanne Robinson of the Florida Writers Association who spoke at the last meeting. As I will try to have at least one meeting a month with special presentations, I am pleased to announce Julie Ann Howell, publisher and founder of Peppertree Press and the The Pepper Tree Magazine, will be our presenter at the March 6th meeting. It will be a special event for those who contributed to the Remembrance of Ed Lyman. Plan to be here.
The results of the recent Englewood Dearborn Street Book Festival were announced and writers from our group won several awards! Congratulations to Don Westerfield for winning First Place with his Short Story, and to Ann Favreau who won Second Prize in the same category. Not content with winning Third place in the Poetry entry, Christine Burton also took First Place in Poetry. Congratulations to all the writers who won awards, and to all those who submitted writings to be considered.
Speaking of Literary Awards, the Royal Palm Literary submissions of the Florida Writers Association are open. For entry information, click on:
http://floridawriters.net/RPLA.html and for a blog about the RPLA themselves, check
Rod DiGruttolo once again handled the “gavel” and the meeting opened with Susan Davis reading the opening segment of her epic trip from Key West to Punta Gorda by bicycle. Most people have trouble driving across the Everglades on Tamiami Trail in a car, much less by bike! Susan gave new definition to a “bug with her printer,” so she read from a hand-written pad jotted down quickly one morning. More jotting, Susan, we want to hear more!
Kerri Dieffenwierth's great “Bear Bear” began with a “No Gators” warning and showed Kerri's ability to show, not tell, about the truths in life. The spiral notebooks bound for the trash pile caught everyone's ear.
Bart Stamper was welcomed back with his “Point Blank,” given its own special space on the blog. He said he was “Rusty, and so is this writing.” No, it's not, and neither is Bart. Welcome back. Great writing.
Joanne Phillips read next, but not from her book, Adventures of a Sea Hag, because it was recently published! Congratulations, Joanne. Instead, she read Don Westerfield's I'll Remember You. A Marine's wife will always be number two, but not in Don's writing. A really nicely done short story.
After a short break, we returned with a few announcements and Barbara Frickel read a short excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Great Writers, just to keep our egos in check. Chris Burton's razor-sharp “Poem to That One” showed why she took 1st and 3rd at the Dearborn Street festival. She followed her own poem by reading Kat Levato's timely “He Bled for You” which left several in tears, both because of Kat's great writing and Chris's powerful reading.
Andrew Parker continued his engaging and engrossing tales of “Blake Brimstone,” Brain Surgeon because Blake doesn't like the name Neurosurgeon. No descriptions I could write could accurately capture Andrew's writing, you have to hear it for yourself. Suffice to say if it were a screenplay, Johnny Depp would play Blake Brimstone. “A bunch of birds. Man, that was a lot of birds.”
Bill Elam continued with his old man in the autumn of his years anthology, when a man takes control of his life. “Her dance card was for him...”
Pat Patterson, with his unmistakable Mississippi drawl, caught everyone off guard with his reading of his first-novel-in progress titled “The Takers,” set in the year 1003 in Scandinavia. The discussion that followed his reading was intent and engrossing. His epic Viking tale has everyone's interest and curiosity, this is going to be a great story.
Ed Ellis followed with his marvelous Valentine poems for his grandchildren, then started on a piece written while drinking “sweet tea.” Ed never fails to capture the listeners, even evoking one comment, “What was in the tea?”
Lois Stern read an entry from her Tales2Inspire contest that stumped both her and the other judges. An engaging, well written story that simply did not “Inspire” the reader, and therefore did not satisfy the rules of the contest. Still, it was a lesson for all about why we write.
Cecile Bell quickly read her humorous piece about Humpty Dumpty as we once again ran over time a little, and our apologies to Laura Heath who will be at the top of the list for the next reading.
Remember, Julie Ann Howell, publisher and founder of Peppertree Press and the The Pepper Tree Magazine, will be our presenter at the March 6th meeting. Don't miss it.