Wow! What happened to Spring? It should have been a comfortably mild Wednesday night, however, we had the air conditioner going full blast as Florida was having a record breaking heat wave. We had a hot time in the meeting as well with another full house of eighteen attendees and another great evening of readings.
Rod DiGruttolo once again did the honors of Master of Ceremonies as we kicked off at 6:30pm. We welcomed back Nancy O'Grady, Linda Schill, and long time member Bart Stamper. Bart spends most of his time in the Orlando area, so we are really pleased when he gets a chance to join us. We also welcomed first time guest Jung Sok Yo, a movie editor, poet, and producer. (http://thedragonpotter.com/)
George Mindling opened the meeting with a brief description of the hows and whys of collecting Florida Sales Tax for retailers and book sellers. A complete tutorial can be found on-line at: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/training/nbo/ George kicked off the reading portion of the meeting as well with poet Shel Silverstein's 1974 humor classic “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout.” Rod then introduced new guest Sok Yo Jung, who read dialog from his “Wind of Desire.” Great, succinct, direct dialog to introduce his style of writing. We look forward to more writing from Yo.
Jim Kelly read three letters from our inimitable Irv Newman, written to members of his high school class of years ago, and of their 73rd high school reunion attended by “transportable survivors.” Jim then treated us with two of his poems, “Options” and “Escape.” Options is presented at the end of this posting for all to enjoy.
Bart Stamper read “Premonition,” another chapter from his upcoming book about the life and trials of an Army Ranger in Vietnam. Engrossing, well written and brutally honest, Bart's stories capture the horror and inescapable fear of combat and death in a far away, foreign war. Great writing and great story telling, this is going to be a great book. There is no way to listen to Bart's writing without getting emotionally involved.
Nancy O'Grady then read two of her short works, “Thoughts from Roman Amaral Lane,” and “To My Parents and Granddad,” both touching and sensitive, well received by the group. Patricia La Barbera then read several humorous horror selections from Big Pulp, including one about stereotyping zombies. Great stuff. Another genre. Joanne Phillips read her last chapter of her Adventures of a Sea Hag, and took us to our 8:00pm break-time.
After a short break, we resumed with the further adventures of brain surgeon Blake Brimstone by Andrew Parker, and once again, he had everyone completely engrossed. Andrew's writing is fresh, unique, and definitely a favorite of the group. He even teased the group to see if anyone could pick out the one allusion to “Went with the Wind,” a satire by Carol Burnett.
New comer Linda Schill read another chapter from her "Come Along With Me" about a time-traveling kangaroo named Gracie written for 8 to 12 year olds. Some discussion followed about the level of vocabulary used and over all suitability for that age group. General consensus was that the 8 to 12 year old age group will do just fine with the story.
Rod then allowed George a second spot to read “1964,” the setup for a techno-thriller in progress about an American airman stationed in Germany and his involvement with the Baader-Meinhof Red Army Faction as they plot to hi-jack a nuclear warhead. Discussion followed again about vocabulary and technical terms.
Rod wrapped up the evenings readings with another of his Skeets and Jimmy stories, this on called the “Great Mouse Escapade.” Great writing, and everyone loved the twist ending. We need more Skeets and Jimmy, great dialog and visualization is automatic. Mouse boy is one of us.
We had a great meeting, but once again, I want to remind readers to please try to keep readings to under 5 minutes. Three pages or 1500 words is perfect, and allows us to give everyone a chance to read.
Our next meeting will be May 1st. George Mindling will do a presentation on self-publishing.
See you then.
The meter accepts his fare-
exact change only.
He sits next to a window,
peers out through his own reflection...
like he did yesterday and the day before.
On the corner, street signs hint
Elm, where shade gives way to rotting stumps.
Pristine, where clutter dances with each passing car.
drift across the pavement
practicing aborted takeoffs,
avoiding strangers' feet.
The bus lurches forward-
his options dangling on a cord
strung above the windows.
Reprinted with permission