Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

We add yet another member of our Sarasota Writers Group to our list of award-winning poets. Congratulations to Kerri Dieffenwierth who won third place for "Angels in My Swamp," her entry in the inaugural Big Cypress National Preserve poetry contest. Kerri's poem may be found on:
Congratulations Kerri! The contest is run by the National Park Service and will be an annual event.

We welcomed new Florida Writers Association member Ann Lieberman and guests Beth Rice and Ernie and Linda Ovitz, to our first meeting in May. We also welcomed Anita Westerfield, Don's wife, for her first visit to our meeting. She said she is not a writer but a great listener! Every writer needs a great listener!  We had twenty attendees, four of whom are FWA members.

It was a soggy night, but everyone's spirits were in high-gear none-the-less. We started as usual with our meet-and-greet at 6:00pm, and kicked off the regular meeting at 6:30pm with crowd control specialist Rod DiGruttolo graciously handling the duties as chief cat-herder. George Mindling, FWA Sarasota Writers Group leader opened with comments about FWA benefits for editing services, general meeting comments, and then did an hour presentation on self-publishing and Print on Demand. The entire presentation text may be found on our critique page at: A question and answer session followed.  The .doc file used to make the PDF file for the book is available for download from George, only for members of the writers group. 

 [Members: Please contact George for the file which you may alter and rename for your use as a template for any 6x9 book.  The contents of the file, as is, are copy-written.]

We then had a special treat, something new for our group; an audio book presentation! Peter Frickel's great “Road” was presented using a MAC and Bose speakers, highlighting what a great job can be done with audio books! Peter's professional quality recording highlighted the already great material and we want more. He teased the early audience with a recording from Ernest Hemingway which we have asked him to repeat in a future meeting.

That took us to our 8:00pm break, and after ten minutes or so, we resumed with Don Westerfield reading, and showing photos as well, of his piece named “The Witch Doctor.” It's amazing what can be done with a little salt and coconut oil. Don's story telling had everyone wondering what was going to happen with the butcher knife. No, it was just an indicator, not an operating tool! Great writing and fun to listen to.

We continued with further adventures of Gracie, the dwarf kangaroo from the 36th universe who missed her landing spot of St. Petersburg, Russia, and ended up with us in Sarasota as we listened to Linda Schell present the next portion of her young adult/fantasy adventure. It was well received as Linda kept the reading teasingly short and drew really nice reviews. Ben Daughtrey rejoined the group with his revised Chapter 26 of his science fiction epic, no longer named “Newearth.” It will be re-named shortly. The version for critique can be found on our critique page at Please remember all entries on the critique page are the property of the respective submitter and may not be used without permission.

Kerri Dieffenwierth read what may well be the introduction to her work “Home Made Rodeos” named “Brownies,” another great transition piece from one of our regular members. “Less dysfunctional now that we're faded,” as a description of old photos had everyone nodding in agreement. More great writing from Kerri who will be forced to read her award winning poem at the next meeting or we won't let her back in.

George Collias followed with a chapter from his published work, “Myahmuh,” a murder mystery set in old Miami, as seen through the eyes of a fourteen year old. George then turned the meeting upside down with a limerick from another great published work, “Sandspurs,” this one about skunk-apes or other strange Florida creatures, maybe even a Chupacabra:
A Floridian with a lupine-like scowl,
Was hairy and smelled very foul.
He wasn't a werewolf,
Not even a near-wolf,
But at full moons had a strong urge to howl.

(Used with permission)

The meeting continued with a somber, reflective poem by Ed Ellis, dedicated to a dear friend lost to cancer. The poem, “Wild Honey,” is printed in its entirety at the end of this posting. Thank you Ed, great writing.

Kitt Crescendo, aka, Kat Levato, showed her newly approved cover for her upcoming erotic novel “Three For All,” and drew critical, in-depth review of the art work. It passed unanimously. Her book will be split into two novels at the request of her editor, more info when we get it. Great writing, no comments on the comments!

We wrapped up the evening with the final chapter of “Adventures of a Sea Hag,” Joanne Phillip's cathartic tale of sailing and eternal love found therein. Joanne's book is in its second printing. I'm sure she'll have new material in time for our next meeting!

We wrapped up a little after 9:00pm, and thanks to the volunteers from the Nokomis Fire Department who graciously and unselfishly extricated one of our member's car from a newly discovered, deep hole in our parking lot, we said goodbye until May 15th. We will have a regular meeting as no speakers are scheduled.


Wild Honey
by Ed Ellis
Dedicated to my friend, of many decades, Mr. Craig Chidester

When significance arrives
At our doorstep
Love is expressed
By all to all

Every comrade whom we know
Takes a piece
Leaves a mark
The sweetness of memories

The body alters and fails
Memories do not
A hole is opened
To space and time

Death, the dark shadow
Hangs on a hook
Over the left shoulder
Of everyone, all the time

Feelings are mixed
The reality is present
When we are born
We are destined to die

So what happens
In the gap of time?
Decades come, decades go
The world continues spinning

Life is as sweet
As, wild honey
But not as sweet
As lasting friendship

(Printed with Permission)

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