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

Monday, September 02, 2013

Wednesday August 21, 2013 Meeting

Our meeting started at approximately 6:30 with 20 attendees and 12 readers. Rod DiGruttolo moderated the meeting and kicked things off.

First announcement is that Peter Frickel will be teaching a course in sentence, paragraph and page construction at our next meeting on September 4th.

Kitt Crescendo had recently returned from the convention Authors After Dark. She brought back some swag to give to the group and shared her thoughts on the event. She found the event to be very interesting and the authors in the various forums she attended to be personable, open and willing to talk about anything. As time allows, she'll be adding more about the authors and events to her blog.

Jack Wetherson kicked off our readings with a football story based inside a correctional facility he humorously referred to as "a gated facility". Although there was initially some confusion as to whether the game was being played by inmates a la The Longest Yard, we found this not to be the case. In the end, this was a tongue in cheek story about bad calls and "paying your dues".

Barbara Frickel, usually leaving the reading to Peter, surprised the group by stepping front and center. She'd taken Rod up on his dialogue challenge several weeks ago and wrote a piece about a lost wallet. Her dialogue was as sweet as she was, showing that people still do the right thing. The finder contacted the owner of the wallet and returned it.

Ed Ellis also took on the dialogue challenge. It was a married couple on a trip to the driver's cousin's house. As almost always with Ed's work, there was a this case, it was all about "back seat driving". He also shared a piece he'd written called "Honeymoon Surprise" that dealt with "mixed matches". You know, big guy, tiny girl. The punch line this time left everyone laughing as the question of "who wears the pants" was answered definitively.

Jeff Cochran read another excerpt from his time travel manuscript. This chapter was titled "On The Road In Pennsylvania". In this portion the protagonist has been having a recurrent nightmare about being chased. He misses his life and the future he left behind. As he reflects on the might have beens, however, he realizes that if he hadn't gone back into the past, he might not have his love, Rebecca. Yes, the ladies in the group sighed over the romantic notion, especially from the male perspective.

Don Westerfield, never one to leave us bored, decided to change things up on us. It had been a while since he's shared poetry, so he went back to it, sharing two poems, "Spinster Mary" about a lady, a World War II bride to be that never was and "The Egotistical Poet". With his permission, here's one of his poems:
Spinster Mary
There; down a crooked road,
across a bridge; her house.
Brick, mortar and hopes
built upon un-kept promises.
Within dwelt great beauty;
not of youth, but of years.
It radiated outward; encompassing
all who entered without pity.
She moved kindly about;
sadness hidden only from a few.
Abiding alone in remembrance of
a shadow love; now gone.
In vain she waited for happiness
to unlock the portals of her desire;
leaving only kisses of memory
to treasure until end of days.
With comforting faith did she linger,
until her Sun had set. There, down
a crooked road, across a bridge;
her house, unlit and forgotten.
Asha Anderson, another of our lovely poet wordsmiths shared several poems that left everyone impressed with not only her reading style, but content. With her permission, I'll share one of her readings called "Los Viajeros". This is a poem she wrote to aid her as she was learning the Spanish language.
Los Viajeros
La ruta es larga.
El dia es corto.
La noche es
ruidosa y calor.
Estoy afuera
con la luna.
La ruta es angosta.
El cielo es ancho.
The Travelers
The road is long.
The day is short.
The night is
noisy and hot.
I am outside
with the moon.
The road is narrow.
The sky is wide.
(Guatemala, 2007)
Jenny Oberg decided to take on Rod's narration challenge. In this, two people are discussing imagination and the mind being free. The conversation starter asks the question "If you could go anywhere, where would you go?" She's speaking of fantasy but unfortunately the other party is not such a daydreamer and is tied to the "here and now", which drives the conversation into an entertaining is often the case for those of us who are dreamers when we encounter the practical people. Every person in the room was nodding as writers tend to live in that "other" world.
Kitt Crescendo also decided to go with Rod's challenge. Her dialogue was between a female employee at a cell phone store and a customer with a water damaged phone. With little bits of innuendo flying when the phone wouldn't stop vibrating and the smart alleck back and forth between the two characters, the group was entertained. She also shared her poem called "Mystique". When she was finished reading, the ladies in the room had two words for her. "Thank You." She has it on her blog if you click her name, but decided to share it here, as well.
“The Weaker Sex”
is what we’re called.
of velvet encased
iron core,
who have held
and nurtured
in body and heart-
Sons who become
daughters to
We’ve stood firm,
guardians of the castle
charged with
sacred duty
to mold, guide and nurture,
teach and love.
Dry tears,
kiss away wounds
spiritual and physical.
Healing powers-
steeped in
forgiveness and patience.
We hold on if we can,
let go when we must.
kindness, empathy
and knowledge.
Strength is required
to be
“The softer side.”
Susan Davis read an excerpt from a compilation book of women's writings written by Lucy Jane Bledsoe called "Two In The Wild". It encapsulated a woman's escape by bicycle across the Mohave desert when a mother and daughter headed out on a trip of their own encountered her. They discovered that the woman was, in fact, escaping an abusive situation...yet the protagonist to the story spoke of envy because this woman had the guts to get on her bike and blindly change her circumstances. She was ill prepared for the trip, but she had determination and a sense of purpose.
Peter Frickel, author of My Frog Sings and Lotha and the Three Crosses along with his blog "iThink" shared an article clipping from the Sarasota Herald Tribune called "Advice For A Writer In Sarasota". Besides discussing the importance of predators v. editors, it touted the importance of researching writers groups before joining and touted the importance of a facilitator with "credentials who is knowledgeable and supportive". Rod was very tongue in cheek when he "apologized". Everyone else laughed. He then read a portion of a Hemmingway book with a quote about writing and encouraged us to join him in his journey to improved writing next week.
Beth Rice, author of I'm Adopted, I'm Special and The Animal Tales blog continued reading from her manuscript called "Pawprints Are Forever" with a chapter called "Oh, Beans!" In this story, at the end of the day, a customer brings his dog, Beans in for laxatives claiming that he suffers from constipation. The owner is insistent that all Beans needs are laxatives and requires no tests as they would be costly and he's sure of the diagnosis. The protagonist approaches the doctor who is not thrilled to have this last minute walk-in. As he's ranting, he uses the term "for shits and grins" a phrase the protagonist had never heard before. As she's sidetracked with her internal dialogue surrounding the phrase, she misses the vet's order. Not only is Beth's reading coming along, but her knack for humor and the absurd are shining through.
Last, but certainly not least, was author JoAnne Phillips, author of Adventures of a Sea Hag. Continuing from her current manuscript, "Matrix Of Life", she read a chapter called "Getting Even". In this portion, the 5 year old protagonist has developed a fondness for the bats that would soar out of the loft in the evening. Determined to catch one, she asks her grandfather for advice....which included a hat and bacon. After several days of not catching the bats she discovers, thanks to an exasperated Grams that Gramps has been having fun at her expense. Determined to get even she waits till they're at a store and claims he's a stranger...which nearly causes him to be arrested for kidnapping. As fun and witty as JoAnne's excerpt was, everyone felt the need to tell her how much she's improved in her writing which made her day.
Our next meeting will be held on September 4th and begins promptly at 6:30.


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