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

Sunday, August 05, 2018

AUGUST 1st, 2018

Our first meeting in August was on the 1st, a great way to start the month.

Two new attendees were at the meeting, Ann and Jeffery. Both are writers and have extensive work completed, or at least in draft form. It’s great to have them here and hope they enjoyed the group.

For the first part of the meeting, a discussion among the attendees covered numerous subjects. Chief among those was, what writing tools are used by our authors and, what techniques for getting the work or paper (electronic or manual methods). 

Even though our group this week numbered only about a dozen, we pretty much covered the most popular writing techniques. All use electronic equipment to finalize their work while more than a third of the writers use a pen or pencil and paper to work with the drafts.

The use of electronic programs also varied. Many use the Microsoft Office Word while some use Scrivner and still others use; Final Draft, Storyist, iA Writer, Celtx or even Evernote. There are a lot of tools out there for a writer to use. Explore a little and choose the one that works the best for you.

We moved from the discussion into the reading portion of the meeting and heard some results of these techniques and methods.

Peter Frickel was first on the list this evening. As usual, he was delightful in his comments. He brought a group of short works, simple ideas that give us an insight into his thinking. Again, as is the case most evenings when Peter speaks, it was a definitive lesson in how to take the basic happenings around us and put them on paper in a manner which draws in the reader and makes them want to read more. Each of his examples left me wanting to hear more of the story. Entitled, I Saw Her, was about child-rearing, an act that birds may do better than humans. Another offering explored the antics and habits of wild creatures in Africa, Baboons showed us a pack of raucous creature faced with a perceived threat. A dying man in an African city was the Victim. When he finished up with a short story, The Veldt and the Hunter, we hung on each word as a dangerous confrontation evolved into a revelation which could surely have a dire conclusion.

Moving from the Veldt of the African plains to the Spanish colonies of the Roman Empire, Ernie Ovitz took us inside the camp of Constantine and the court of his brother-in-law as they vie for control of the empire. Intrigue, military might, and cunning are well crafted in this novel. Look for Ernie’s trilogy in the future.

As Don Westerfield began to read the third installment of Emma, we wondered what was going to happen? In this segment, it’s twenty years later and our young Lieutenant is now an Admiral dispatched to the small country of Monte Rosa whose Queen is his old lover, Emma. The Vice President gives the Admiral some advice, it resonates as to twenty years prior; “Keep in your pants!” The Admiral is married to the Navy while the Queen is married and has a son, a son who is now almost twenty years old and the Queen insists on the Admiral meeting the boy.

In Doug Sahlin’s, Lost and Found, a man searches for his half-brother and the search leads him to Sarasota. He meets a homeless couple who know his brother and tell him what he needs to know.

Flash fiction is unique in its structure and few do it better than 
Bruce Haedrich. In Chance, Victoria Blake Dietrich traces her family tree and finds an astonishing number of places where chance intervened to bring her existence to being. Ever wonder, Why am I here?

Alligator Creek, by Leah Sherzer takes us for a walk along the meandering stream with a little dog for company. After spotting a golden fish seemingly in a life and death struggle, she realizes, upon closer inspection, the fish is in the jaws of an otter swimming upstream, taking the fish home to feed its family. Her curiosity has led her to the edge of the stream where she’s often seen large alligators. She retreats to safer footing but doesn’t regret her lapse of caution as it was a rewarding stroll.

Rewrites are part of writing, after an extensive critique at our last meeting, Peter McNally returned with his work, Rewired. A second critique and more suggestions followed his reading to which Peter responded with gratitude and enthusiasm. This looks to be a great beginning and is going to be a fascinating read.

Well, it was an interesting evening and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. So, until next time:
Keep on Writing!

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