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, October 20, 2018

October 17th, 2018

October 17th Meeting of the Sarasota Writers Group

We had a great turnout for our second meeting in October. Fifteen writers signed in. We welcomed new member Irene Poletti, guest of Jeffery Kutcher. Irene just moved to Sarasota from California. There were many early settlers of California and Nevada in her family, going back to the gold-rush days, and she plans on writing their stories.

No sooner than we had begun the meeting when Susan Haley and Russ Heitz surprised everyone by joining us. We are grateful to Susan and Russ as they are responsible for  founding our group. It was a great pleasure for all of our newer writers to meet them.

We resumed by catching up with Kerri Diffenworth and Jim Kelly, two of our long-time members whom we’d not seen in a while. Kerri shared her excitement about a new project, a historical work on the life of a Seminole woman. She relayed her experience attending a workshop on the West Coast. She continues to teach and keep a busy schedule.

Our first reader was Ernie, who read a revised first chapter for the second book in his historical series on the life of the Roman emperor, Constantine. The story begins with fear and hunger in Rome, Constantine’s young spy has learned that there may be trouble. He found more than he bargained for and winds up between an angry mob and the soldiers of the Urban Cohorts. At the last moment, a hand on his shoulder pulls him off the street.

Jeffery Kutcher read from his biographical work on the life of his friend, Amaury Torres. In his chapter, Jeffrey portrays the grim life in Amaury’s native Cuba. Five-year-old Amaury and his mother, Rosa, are accosted by a mugger. After a terrible fright, a friend intervenes, just in time.

Peter Frickel tells the story of his walk across Africa as a young man. His journey of 10,000 miles begins by crossing the desert. There he shares the road with a fellow traveler. In Peter’s wonderful way with words, he observes life and the measure of life’s road given and taken as the travelers part, each going their separate way.

Barbara Frickel shared childhood memories with a fond remembrance of Eddie, her family’s gardener, and her dear friend as she grew up. We learned that Eddie was a devout man filled with stories and song. Barbara’s heart-warming tribute was enjoyed by all.

Debbie MacAvoy read from her work, The Manipulator, the story of a city boy, Teddy, and his involuntary life on a farm. In her chapter, Teddy is given a tour of the dairy farm and the work that lay before him. Wiseacre Teddy’s bad attitude is on full
display. Debbie’s detailed descriptions of farm life led the group to ask, and she admitted to having grown up on a farm.

Jim Kelly shared from his new book, Another Look, a poem of the same name. The cover photo of his book features his three grandchildren looking through a fence. It’s a perfect photo to accompany his words. We were treated to several more poems from Jim’s file. Jim don’t be a stranger for so long, come back again soon.

Bruce Haedrich brought a classic, Erich Maria Remarque’s, All Quiet on the Western Front. He read the last chapter. Bruce often writes in the first person, and Remarque’s book is also written that way. The interesting twist is that in All Quiet on the Western Front, in the last chapter, the narrator dies. Bruce read the piece to illustrate how the author handled the character’s death. He also shared that as a Vietnam War veteran; he found his read of the book compelling. He found the experiences and outlook on life that he shared with the author remarkably similar despite the differences in time and nature of the battles fought.

Leah Sherzer used her reading time to ask the group for our thoughts on how to prioritize her writing projects. She has three subject areas that she has material on and wants to develop: the impact of the red tide on the manatee and other sea life, a personal story, and stories from her professional life in education. We hope that the thoughts and suggestions we shared were helpful.

Throughout the meeting, we enjoyed many helpful comments, critiques, and discussions. The conversations continued after the meeting was over, as we put the training room back in order, so as to not leave a mess for our friends at the Nokomis FD.


Hope to see you next time, Wednesday, November 7th, same time, same place. Until then keep on writing.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Special Post October 12, 2018

We received this email and wish to pass it along to our readers and writers.

Hi there,

I'm Weldon Ryckman, from Thin Air Magazine, and our crew would love to see what y’all are working on! Would you mind forwarding this call for submissions to your group members or email list? 

Thin Air, Northern Arizona University’s graduate student-run literary magazine is seeking submissions for their Spring 2019 print issue! Thin Air is an annually printed literary journal. 
We are currently seeking work in the following categories: poetry, visual arts, creative nonfiction, fiction, and hybrid works! 

Since 1995, we have published and continue to publish unique, creative, and diverse works. In the past, issues have included written works and interviews with writers such as Pam Houston, Angela Carter Brown, Brian Evenson, Savannah Slone, Michael Martone, and many other amazing writers.  We publish and circulate our journal annually. Alongside our print journal, we also offer the opportunity for publication through our online Web Features with no submission fee at all. Our latest issue featured work by Bellingham Review's Mike Oliphant, excerpted on our site. 

Submissions are now open, we hope to see your work!

Sincerely,

Weldon

Thursday, October 04, 2018

October 3rd, 2018

October 3, 2018

We welcomed Peter and Barbara Frickel upon their return from France. They had a great time visiting family there. Peter said he had time for introspection and made many notes to be used in his writing projects. We began the meeting with Peter sharing thoughts on characterization and male and female motivation; he continued, reading several poems: Truth, My Heart, Travels, Dr. Visit, The Beach, I, Birth, and The Clock. Peter left the group deep in thought. We all agreed that it is through introspection the writer draws from his or her own experience in our quest to characterize life.

The group welcomed new member Dennis Cathcart who shared two pieces he had published in his business’s newsletters over the years. He is a Florida native, and he and his wife Linda built an exotic plant business. Exotic is the key word as he traveled all over the world in building his business searching remote regions for specimens. Dennis read “Writer’s Block,” in which he confessed to his newsletter readers that after the many articles he had written, he was stumped for a subject to write about. He then proceeded to relay a compilation of half-told tails as he consulted with his travel companion Chester as they remembered various adventures that in the end they decided he better not tell, great fun. It was a well-done piece told in the authentic voice of a man who had been there, seen it all, and done it all. He punctuated that though by reading a piece he called an amusing story about his encounter with a tarantula spider on a midnight visit to the loo. We were not so sure he was amused at the time, but we will leave it at that. Welcome to the group Dennis, we look for to hearing more of your stories.

Jeffery Kutzher read the first chapter in his biographical piece about a friend, Amuary. His friend grew up in Castro’s Cuba, became a special forces soldier, ultimately escaped, and survived a superhuman trial at sea to reach the U.S. Jeffery began his chapter one by describing his friend’s childhood in communist Cuba. The group agreed that Jeffery has a compelling story to tell. We encouraged him to convert much of his descriptive background narrative into storytelling scenes, showing vs. telling, as we like to say. We will be eager to hear where Jeffery takes us. It sounds like his friend Amuary has had quite an amazing life.

Rene Fletcher read from her sci-fi work in progress, the story of her character, scientist and diver, Eva’s visit to the Devil’s Triangle, and discovery of a lost underwater city. In an otherworldly experience, Eva encounters an Atlantian and learns that the lost city is real. Will the message from Atlantis help Eva save the earth
from dreadful new technology? The group offers some suggestions, and we look forward to hearing more as Rene’s story unfolds.

Doug Salin then read from “Over Exposed,” a story featuring his Sarasota private detective Yale Larson. A murder on Bird Key has Yale on the case of the victim, of a wealthy real estate developer’s daughter. She’s been estranged from her father and worked as an exotic dancer. Doug has us hooked, and we will be looking to hear more.

Bruce Haedrich lightened the mood with a fanciful poem from his Hadley, Pennsylvania story collection: Mary, a magic friend. Well done, Bruce. You gave us a chuckle and brought a smile to our faces. His poem was enjoyed by all.

Don Westerfield continued the poetic theme, reading from his published work, The Closet Poet, “We but Strangers Are.” He continued with another of his favorites, “Ever Young.” Then he read from his work in progress drawer, he called them verses looking for a poem. Don’s sage poetry was enjoyed by all.

Jim Kelly concluded the evening by reading from the second chapter of his historical novel on the life of Civil War general, Winfield Scott Hancock. Jim’s passion for his subject was evident. His chapter was quite lengthy, and the group encouraged Jim to break it up into several more focused chapters to enhance the storytelling and give his readers shorter easier to read passages. Jim confessed that having listened to comments from the group throughout the evening he had already drawn that conclusion.

With that, the meeting ended, and everyone pitched in to put the Nokomis Fire Department training room back in order. Our next meeting will be in two weeks, on October 17th. Hope to see you then.

Thanks, 
Ernie