Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. We meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Nokomis Fire Station. Coming from Sarasota or North, proceed a few blocks south of Albee Road on US 41 (past Matthews-Currie Ford) to Pavonia Road. Turn right (West, toward the bay) at the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are 2 blocks north of Dona Bay. Turn left onto Pavonia Road at the flashing yellow caution light. At the Fire Station, drive to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room at the far end of the complex. We Gather for a meet and greet at 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten-minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 pm

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wednesday 7/17/2013

We kicked off our Wednesday meeting with 18 attendees and 13 readers. With George Mindling on vacation, the role of scribe was handed off to me, Kat Levato. Rod DiGruttolo, our fantastic facilitator, did a great job of keeping us moving and on point. He also laid out a challenge/project for the group. Write out a meaningful dialogue only story of 250 words or more! Folks are welcome to read them as they tackle this challenge.

Kitt Crescendo kicked off the evening with a new poem entitled "Passion's Flame" which spurned on a discussion revolving around love and passion and what inspires her.

Next, Peter Frickel read a chapter called "Big Fish" from his newest work project, a series about his travels of the breadth and width of Africa. In this piece he brought to light the battle between man and nature...more specifically, himself and a very large fish. As always, his words painted images in our minds. He drew us in, causing us to wonder about this battle from the fish's point of view. Was the fish seeking freedom or escape?

Jeff Cochran shared two pieces. The first was based on a writing project to evoke strong emotions called "Special Time". The surprise twist at the end definitely left people spooked and gasping in shock. His second reading was a continuation from his work in progress. The chapter called "Courtship" brought us back in time to when arranged marriages were the norm and young ladies were left to worry about the man their father would choose for them.

Ernie Ovitz continued with another excerpt from his manuscript, Seventh King. His research and flair for description had folks feeling hungry and wishing for a bit of venison and fresh bread!

Robert Taylor came back up from the Punta Gorda writers group and shared with us that his memoir, Hardship Post has been published! Congratulations to him! As he shared with us the first chapter, it was clear why he'd won the 2012 Royal Palm Literary award for unpublished memoir.

Pat Patterson read his epilogue. He's looking for critiques as he feels it's missing a little bit of oomph.

Don Westerfield read his most recent short story entitled "Conversation With Charlie". As is always the case with Don's work, it was heartfelt and had a few folks in the room grabbing for tissues as he shared a conversation between a man at the end of his life, talking to his best friend and his wife, both who have already gone.

Ed Ellis has been working on a non-fiction piece for a workshop entitled "The Seven Principles Of Practice". His piece had comments flowing about his knack for "intelligent" humor and discussing whether he should open with a quote on practice or stick to his own words. He, too, is looking for critique.

JoAnn Phillips shared two pieces. The first was a poem called "Faberge Egg". This poem was a bit of a shift from her normally humorous work as it focused on children and how devastating it is when they're only seen as a "thing" rather than the gifts to the world that they truly are. The next piece was a chapter from her book "Matrix of Life". This portion was mostly regarding her grandfather and how he related to the tragedy of Hiroshima....from the perspective of her 5 year old eyes. It was both painful and moving.

Susan Davis has made her triumphant return from her bike trip from Maine to Nova Scotia! We got to welcome her back and hear a bit about her travel adventure. The piece she shared with us was entitled "So Many Men, So Little Time". Sounds like a racy romance, doesn't it? Not only did she have us feeling muscle aches and pains from the steep hills she biked, she made us feel the rain pelting on her face and her meeting with the owner of a restaurant/hotel and the titillation of the potential love story between their waitress and the owner left untold as they headed back out for the open road.

Asha Anderson shared a booklet she made for the group containing several of her wonderfully descriptive poems. They left the group feeling uplifted and inspired.

Taking us back in time with her, Jenny Oberg shared with us how our senses can draw forth memories. On her way home from the last writers group she smelled the distinct odor of the Brazilian peppertree...and how it led her back to her childhood visits to Florida from Chicago. It definitely had a sweet, nostalgic vibe of youth.

Finishing off the night was Ron Badcock and a piece called "Yankee Station" set in Vietnam. Told as if by autobiography, he shared why volunteering once for a mission is plenty when you're at war.

We wrapped up on time and will reconvene on August 7th! Thanks again to those who participated.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

We kicked off our Wednesday meeting with 17 attendees, 8 of whom were FWA members. After the initial welcoming and introduction of first time guest Jeff Cochran, Rod DiGruttolo read the thank you letter from Mark S. O'Connor, Commissioner of the Nokomis Fire Department for our contribution to their fireman's fund.

With only seven readers, we got to spend more time discussing issues and style before kicking off with Beth Rice, who read more of her developing story, “Paw Prints Are Forever.” Good feedback about incorporating more dialog with the descriptive narrative, Beth's story is developing nicely.

Ernie Ovitz read a short story, “Lost and Found,” which turned out to be the first of two fly fishing oriented pieces. Ernie's reflective piece about self-discovery and manhood was well received. Jenny Oberg read her tender “Beating Heart of a Flower,” and had everyone's attention. Jenny is developing a very nice, unique style. George Collias read a verse from songwriter Don MacLean, then read a series of his ingenious limericks, all based on Florida humor!

Cecile Bell Kennedy read a piece she rewrote just before the meeting called “A Paranoid Mother's Guide to Insanity.” A personal tragedy in a narrative vein, Cecile interjected dialog as an opening and it worked well. Kerri Dieffenwierth followed with a reading from “A River Runs Through It,” by Norman Maclean. Oddly enough, Kerri's preselected reading was a beautifully described piece on fly-fishing.

Joanne Phillips stunned everyone with a poignant, tender story of a young girl's violation told in both first person and third person narrative called “Hardship.” An interesting switch from Joanne's sharp wit and often bawdy humor. Andrew Parker read next from his “Reality Gone Wrong,” with a section called “Homeless Man.” Andrew continues to show his command of manipulating a plot and characters that continues to astound listeners. Andrew will soon publish his material, we'll keep everyone posted.

George Mindling read a piece from his first published newspaper article in the 1999 Waterline called “Bringing Baby Home,” a jaundiced view of a four day boat trip across Florida.

We wrapped up on time and said our goodbyes until the next meeting, July 17th!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Writing Workshop

From Ken Pelham:

I'll be doing a writing workshop on Wednesday, July 24th, at the Mid-County Library in Port Charlotte. I thought you might pass the word along to members of your FWA writers group. It'll be in the evening, but it's not quite clear yet if it'll be at 6:00 or 6:30. The library staff will post it officially this coming week. The presentation is free of charge. It's a thing I put together for my FWA group here in Maitland, and I'd love to open it to others.

The presentation is "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Writing in the Fictional Point of View." As the title implies it's about the basics and the finer points of writing consistently from characters' points of view. Nonfiction writers will find it helpful also, as the "nonfiction novel" is common and popular these days. This is one of the biggest generators of rejection slips and something that new writers need help with.


Ken Pelham

[Note: A little bit about Ken.  His debut thriller, BRIGANDS KEY, was published in hardcover last year. It won first place in the Royal Palm Literary Award in the Unpublished Thriller category in 2009.  His followup, PLACE OF FEAR, won the Royal Palm last year, and he hopes to have that novel out this year.

What's taken Ken years to learn on his own about writing in consistent point-of-view, He wishes he'd learned 20 years ago. He hopes he can pass on a little of what he's picked up to help other writers shorten the process.  Don't miss his presentation!  George]