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.