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.
Schedule and Location
Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. We meet the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Nokomis Fire Station. Coming from Sarasota or North, proceed a few blocks south of Albee Road on US 41 (past Matthews-Currie Ford) to Pavonia Road. Turn right (West, toward the bay) at the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are 2 blocks north of Dona Bay. Turn left onto Pavonia Road at the flashing yellow caution light. At the Fire Station, drive to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room at the far end of the complex. We Gather for a meet and greet at 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten-minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 pm