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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wednesday May 16th, 2018

I received this email last week. 

Hello,
I have an acquaintance who has a very interesting life story.
He is 105 years old, and in amazingly good health.
This still drives - bright red BMW.
He came to this country as a small boy from Russia.
You may know of him his name is Joe Newman.

I am interested in having "someone" write a biography of his life story.
Perhaps as part of a masters thesis, or whatever.
Someone would need to interview him over some period of time.
Some young person who is interested in political science might be a good fit.

I realize that may not be of interest to you, but if could suggest a resource this would help.

This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for someone. The time spent in interviewing a person with so much life experience promises to be an educational chance few get in a lifetime. Please contact me, Rod DiGruttolo rodshs62@hotmail.com, and I will pass your information along to the writer of the email. I am unaware as to Mr. Newman’s thoughts on this and make no assurances as to his availability.

Our meeting this week was well attended, and we had a great discussion as well as some quality readings. We welcomed three new attendees, all of whom participated in the discussion, but none brought material to read; most don’t at their first meeting. 

Bruce Haedrich, the author of the Dan Marin mystery series, introduced his new book covers. Previously, each of the Dan Marin series books had a cover with the same base design, only the title changed. Feedback from his readers and customers at book signings prompted him to change the format. Now, each book has a similar format but with different colors and illustrations directly related to the content of the story; impressive change.

Peter Frickel, author of My Frog Sings, The River, Lothar and the Three Crosses as well as many others, displayed his cover art as well. The images range from hand-drawn illustrations to magnificent photographs by professional photographers and each relates to the subject matter with unerring significance.

Rod DiGruttolo, author of Snakes, Spiders, and Palmetto Bugs and Need to Know put his covers on display as well. A photo, taken locally, and a stock photo from CreateSpace make up the cover art for his books. The photos relate to the subject matter as well.

After the art show, the discussion returned to the issues encountered by many of us when writing. Problems with getting the message across when our audience is bilingual arose. Dannis, one of our new attendees, wants to write her story in two languages at once. The discussion on how to accomplish this was interesting and many ideas flowed. It’s going to be fun to see how this plays out.

The talk about how to express ideas in a clear and succinct manner dominated nearly a half hour of discussion time. Ideas abound, and each author expressed ways of accomplishing the task. The group agrees, there are many methods available to meet a goal. and we tend to eschew set rules when it comes to expressing ideas.

The discussions are fun, informative, and thought-provoking, join us at a future meeting and see for yourself.

Moving into the readings we had a diverse selection to listen to. Kicking things off, Ernie departed from his work on Emperor Constantine and brought us a story inspired by his life in the Colorado Rockies entitled The Rainbow Trail. With descriptions of clear streams, cool mountain air, and enthusiastic fishermen, you found yourself transported to the edge of a trout stream in western mountains. A nice respite from the humid heat of Gulf Coast Florida.

Peter took us into his book The River. From humble beginnings, born of spring and rain, his story takes us through life as it parallels the movements of a river. Meeting of friends, lovers, death, and new life fill the pages until it concludes at the ocean, or does it? Maybe we are incarnated as the water is taken back into the sky and released over the mountains to experience the journey once again.

Taking a break from the Dan Marin series Bruce is producing a trilogy called The Outlands. He read us a revised chapter from the third book entitled, Crusade. In the vein of Ayn Rand’s work of the past century, he chronicles a future history of city-states living off the hard work of Outlanders, those who live in the undefined boundaries of those densely populated corridors ruled by progressive thinkers with socialist ideals.

 The Manipulator came back from the last meeting with a rewrite inspired by the suggestions offered at her last reading. Debbie did a great job of changing the perception of her character while maintaining her foibles and endearing qualities. 

Short stories are always fun in a group like this and few do them better than Doug. His, Murder by Rejection, once again has Yale Larson solving a murder in the local writer’s scene. Critics, Agents, and Publisher that pan a writer’s work are often met with some disdain, but murder is another thing altogether.

Well, another month is coming to a close. June 6th is our next meeting followed by another on the 20th. We hope you can join us for a meeting soon. It’s not a boring as you may think, we haven’t had fisticuffs, yet, nor do we even have shouting matches, this isn’t Congress. 

We have fun and if you want to find out how writers think and act, you’re welcome to join us any time.

Until then; Keep On Writing
Rod

Monday, May 07, 2018

Wednesday May 2nd, 2018

We had a rousing discussion to start the meeting. I asked, "How do you choose your genre? How do you write, is it from an outline or off the cuff?"

The answers ran the gamut, from I write what I like to read, to I write what I enjoy writing. Nobody said I write what I think will sell. As far as the second question, our nonfiction writers were most likely to write from an outline while our fiction writers surprised themselves on how the story developed. What fun.

Although only nine members were present this week, the snowbirds have flown north and a few regulars are regrouping, we did have six intrepid souls willing to read and listen to suggestions.

When Ed started off with, "Suspended in space is a room, larger than the universe but smaller than a cubby," we knew we were about to hear something to provoke thought, and we were right. When he added residents named Peter Pan, Alice, and Jiminy Cricket, his three friends who shared his thoughts for years from My Place. He listened and was guided to a successful career. 

Don shared a true-life experience in The Game. His pick-up softball team made up of older men, ranging in age from their 30's to early 50's, were given the opportunity to play against the #2 team in the state, its players were predominately in their 20's and in top physical condition. The starting pitcher stymied the older players for several innings with a pitching style which pushed the envelope as to its legality and the youngsters built a multiple run lead. The older guys failed to score and the cocky young pitcher took himself out of the game with a smirk on his face, confident the old guys couldn't come back. Did they have a snowball's chance in Hades? Wait for Don's next collection of poems and stories to read The Game and find out.

The Outlands Trilogy is Bruce's longtime product and he is in the process of finishing the final book in the trilogy. In this chapter, the City-State Armies are forming up to attack the Outland strongholds. Might it be an ill omen when the commander of the City-State's army harbors doubts about the wisdom of this attack?

As Rene read the second chapter of her latest work we found ourselves in the Bahamas. With a working title of Atlantis, an undersea city is certainly expected but, what about intrigue, spies, misinformation? Attend the next few meetings and find out.

With an author being murdered on a Sarasota street in front of a bookstore, Doug details the skills of his favorite detective, Yale Larson. Can Larson solve the crime? The title of this yarn is Parking Garage, it's a short story loaded with suspense from beginning to end. 

Continuing with a new chapter from The Manipulator, Debbie introduces a new character named Doris, a comely young blond, petite, and curvy. The temptress sets her sights on the city boy who has moved onto a local farm a couple of years earlier. She's young but has an idea of how to use her feminine charms to bring him under her spell. Her design is to get out of town and go to the big city; will the lad fulfill her dream?

As always we left the meeting energized and ready to write. I got so involved in my own stuff, I simply didn't get around to doing this blog until tonight. I'm behind in my posting, no excuses, forgive me, please. I'm back now, so; until next time: Keep on Writing!