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, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I know I'm a bit behind on the blogs, but I will be catching up this week.

Please remember that our Christmas meeting is on December 18th. Please feel free to bring your families and some munchies. Any final donations for the use of the room can also be given to George to give to the firehouse.

Rod DiGruttolo and George Mindling shared facilitator duties for our last meeting in November.

Our first reader was Susan Davis. She's in the process of creating a workbook. She shared with us her prologue which dealt with Innovation & Collaboration and Beliefs v. Limits. This will be a Self Help workbook that combines goal attainment with philosophy. She needed some fresh eyes and insights into her work-in-progress and the gang was ready with some great ideas.

JoAnne Phillips, author of Adventures Of A Sea Hag, shared the next portion of her current project, Matrix of Life. This chapter, Jack, was about Legion the dog's competition...a hare named...(you guessed it)...Jack. He gave a new name to "mating like rabbits" and he was indiscriminate about his choices of partners. He'd had affairs with anything that moved, leaving young JoAnne to wonder if the eggs the hens laid would be bunny-free. Grandpa made excuses for the lothario, stating, "That's his job, and he loves his work." Unfortunately, Jack made the mistake of trying to plant his seeds in their goat, Billy...who kicked Jack into the afterlife. JoAnne also shared with us a poem called "Out There" that left us to think.... We are not alone.

Don Westerfield followed with a story written about the first Monoplane and how a man named Lou came to build it. It was an interesting tale of how the building of this particular plane was inspired to be built and that it was only due to the fact that he was the lightest of the group that Lou's friend, Bill, found himself in the cockpit.

Next, Ed Ellis shared a short story he'd created called "A Glowing Green Thumb." This particular story was set in the year 2035 where everyone lived in pods and all communication came through something called "The Pep." The communiques were called PIPs and utilized both shorthand and a limit of 140 characters per message. Think Twitter. The end game to this particular tale? They were invaded by dandelions.
Author of Sandspurs: Limericks By a Native Floridian and Myahmuh: A Novel of Miami, Florida, George Collias, shared Chapter 5 from the latter book with us. In this portion we got to watch the other kids from the perspective of their friend killed in a hit & run accident. Basically, this chapter walks us through a morning with Ray as he gets up to start his morning paper route with his dog, Mo, in tow. George also treated us to one of his little shorts...memories of joining the Marines and Boot Camp. There he learned new insults and how to do push ups with an 80 lb pack on his back.

Kerri Dieffenwierth returned to us to share a moving piece she wrote called "Flesh Undone." Thei piece was so powerful, it brought tears to many eyes that night. In this story she drew us in with the eyes of a young mother, terrified and angry as her child was born both ill and too early. She shared with us the fear and rage and the sense that the world is spinning out of control as she waited by her son's side in a Neonatal ICU, willing fight and life into the son she wasn't sure would make it. Against all odds, he survived. Now he has the ability to infuriate and frustrate just as any child can.

Bart Stamper also came back and shared a piece called "Insertion." In this particular story he was assigned to a special killer team mission to find POWs. There was a thick fog over the mountains as they flew. Although the fog hid them from sight, it also hid the mountains from them, making the flight to the drop zone almost as dangerous as the mission. I strongly recommend you click the link on Bart's name to visit his blog and his incredible stories of his time in Vietnam. Also on his site is a Memorial. If you visit there, you'll be introduced to those who didn't make it.

Andrew Parker shared Chapter 4 from his newest work, "Playing Chess at 91." In this particular chapter we learn that the protagonist is not a fan of the physical therapist assigned to work with him. Unfortunately he's injured and has no choice but to accept her care. Unfortunately she falls asleep on him naked, and no one will take him seriously when he asks to be rescued from beneath her prone form. They keep insisting that she knows what he's doing. Of course, what else can one expect in a boardinghouse run by pharmacists drugging the food. Did I mention the pharmacy plans on bringing more monkeys? Andrew always leaves us guessing...even as we're laughing.

Gene Brown got the courage to stand up and read a Prelude to his current project, a historical piece surrounding the Incans and how they made their gold and silver disappear before the "bearded warriors on horses" could come in with their greed and steal it. The protagonist in this story is a young warrior who is to be entrusted to hide the precious metals from the greedy folks who are willing to hold hostages and kill to get their hands on wealth. It's a good start and a very interesting concept. We're looking forward to seeing the direction he takes with his story.

Ernie Ovitz took the feedback we'd given him and re-read the chapter he'd done on the chase with Red Beard and the Romans when they kidnapped the ambassador's wife. The storyline ran much more smoothly as he adjusted some of his description and the way he laid out the dialogue. Well done!

Jung Sok Yo asked Kerri to read the next portion of his manuscript. The scene was well written as a party at the Waldorf-Astoria to honor Sam, one of New York's elite. Unfortunately, the three women in his life are all there and appear to be drawing invisible lines in the sand for a big, non-verbal cat fight. The female claws and the nuances that happen among jealous women was definitely caught in this scene.

Robbin Thorpe was our final reader of the evening with a piece entitiled "Retired." In this story are bickering spouses on a trip in colder weather who can't seem to agree on much of anything....and with whom technology is beginning to pass by. My favorite line was "The computer is in the clouds." It was clear that the protagonist had no understanding of cloud technology. Definitely a playful way to end the night.

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