7 Bryant Rollins to speak to NFW on July 12 (Write Stuff 0714)





Writing News for the Sunshine State

& the Solar System


Editor: Howard Denson

July 2014

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In This Issue:


NFW to hear Mr. Everything a.k.a. Bryant Rollins on July 12

BookMark puts spotlight on meltdown tale and ‘See’ gull

FWA celebrates July with reports about the craft of writingVic DiGenti

Stuff from a Writer’s Quill — Alain Robbe-Grillet

Stuff from Hither and Yon

The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson

Writers Born This Month

Meetings of NFW and Other Groups

Useful Links

Need someone to critique a manuscript?

The Write Staff


NFW to hear Mr. Everything a.k.a. Bryant Rollins on July 12











The NFW meets at the VyStar Credit Union (760 Riverside Ave., next to the Fuller Warren Bridge and Saturday’s Riverside Arts Market). The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon and end before 3 p.m.


 Parking: VyStar requests that NFW members and guests park on the side of the buildings to leave spaces for their regular customers.


At the July 12 meeting, the North Florida Writers will hear Mr. Everything when it welcomes a journalist, an editor, a poet, a playwright, a writing and diversity consultant, and a novelist…all of which will be embodied in Bryant Rollins.


Rollins is a former editor with The New York Times, and was a reporter and political columnist with The Boston Globe, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He was executive editor with The New York Amsterdam News.


He has more than 30 years experience as a consultant on diversity, management and organizational effectiveness with Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities, Federal, state, and local government and community-based organizations. He is widely published, bringing skills in analytical and narrative writing to his work.


He worked with the Ford Foundation, administering a program for minority journalists at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He began consulting, training and writing on issues of race relations and diversity during the Civil Rights Movement in Boston, New York, and Mississippi. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.


He is the author of the novel, “Danger Song,” co-author of entertainer Cab Calloway’s autobiography, “Minnie the Moocher and Me,” “Within,” a self-published book of poetry, and his most recent novel, “Vera Pilgrim and the Ritual of the Dolphins.”


Abraham Schroeder stated:


The novel tells the rich and complex stories of compelling, relatable characters whose journeys of interpersonal and spiritual growth are woven across the historical stage of the Civil Rights Movement, from the intense battles of the 1960s, through the present day. Rollins reminds us that race relations in America were not magically fixed 50 years ago, and that skin color and culture continue to be powerful, often divisive, forces that we all live with today.


"He writes beautifully about the joy and pain of humanity, skillfully blending metaphor and tradition with hard historical facts that should never be forgotten, exploring mythology and metaphysics while remaining solidly rooted in the very real struggles that all of us face.”


In 1968 he co-scripted RIOT!, which won a OBIE award as the best off-Broadway play of the year.


He is also author of numerous articles on race relations and human differences.


He and Shirley Stetson, his wife and business partner, have worked in domestic and international business environments as consultants for 30 years.


For more information, go to his website at http://bryantrollins.com/Home.html or email him at Bryant@StetsonRollins.net.


Critiques after the speaker


For the critiques, someone other than the author of respective works will read aloud the submissions (up to 20 double-spaced TYPED pages of prose, and reasonable amounts of poetry or lyrics). Authors may not defend their work, but they may attach questions they would like answered (e.g., “Is the scene on the beach convincing?”). Authors should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.



Future meeting dates and locales:


July 12 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: Bryant Rollins

Aug. 9 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA

Sept. 13 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA

Oct. 11 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA

Nov. 8 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA

Dec. 13 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA



BookMark puts spotlight on meltdown tale and ‘See’ gull



For more information, contact Ms. Brinlee at 904-241-9026 or bkmark@bellsouth.net.

Owner Rona Brinlee says The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach) will celebrate July by hosting visits from Chris Bohjalian and Kurtis Loftus.


Chris Bohjalian, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” (Doubleday), Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m.


This is a heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of "Midwives" and "The Sandcastle Girls." Bohjalian's latest is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger.  “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” is a story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe, and has been touted as "one of Chris Bohjalian's finest novels to date--breathtaking, wise, and utterly transporting." 


Kurtis Loftus, “Stephen and the SEE Gull Visit the Beach,” Thursday, July 31, 7 p.m.


Jacksonville Beach resident Kurtis Loftus' first book is a tribute to his grandson and the wonderment of discovery.  This book shares the beauty of discovery for the child in everyone.  On each page, Loftus merges pointillism and light watercolor to reveal a "bird's eye view" of the world.  It's in that close-up world where a child's imagination can flourish.  


Mark your calendar for Sept. 25-27 when The BookMark will on the road in St. Augustine for the Florida Heritage Book Festival.  The BookMark is proud to be the Official Bookseller for this Festival.  The Festival includes a Writers' Conference, guest speakers, and a day of authors (on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Flagler College.  This day is free).  Nearly 30 authors, including Mary Kay Andrews, John Dufresne, Lisa Black, and more will be there to discuss their books and answer questions.  For more information, you can visit the Festival's website.


FWA celebrates July with reports about the craft of writing


FWA Regional Director

While you’re thinking about vacation get-aways and planning your July 4th barbeque, take a few moments to read the latest post for NE Florida writers. 


There’s a lot of good news about FWA meetings and upcoming conferences, but here are five things you won’t find in the post: 1) News of more GM recalls. 2) A short list of the accomplishments of the 113th Session of Congress. 3) The truth about Shia LaBeouf’s meltdown. 4) Where LeBron James will play next season. 5) Amazon.com’s secret plan to take over the world.


Instead, the FWA blog contains, are you ready?—the official list of NE Florida FWA meetings, news of other area writers’ meetings, details on the FWA Annual Conference, the FAPA Conference, and registration info on the Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference. And even a Stephen King quote.


So delay no longer. Click on http://fwapontevedra.blogspot.com right away.






from Hither

and Yon

Click on each link

to go directly

to the story.



Top 10 Mistakes New Authors

Make When Contacting Libraries


A librarian friend gave Angela Hoy some inside tips about what NOT to do when contacting libraries to purchase one’s book. Mistake #1 is "They come in, and demand we buy their book." For other errors, go to  http://writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/008585_06042014.html




Rodney Dangerfield don’t get no respect? Try being a sports writer and look for esteem. Bill McMorris notes that fantasy reporters write about the game, not about social issues. http://spectator.org/articles/59217/saving-sportswriting


You Won't Believe

Some of These Old School

Grammar Rules Used to Exist


Actually, the Huffington Post reveals itself as a bit naïve as it cherry-picks several grammar rules (given in “The Art of Good Manners” book from Oxford University back in the 1920s). It first focuses on the “Aspirates” (or words beginning with H’s). After World War II, the posh Oxbridge sound declined in importance, and even the Queen’s Christmas messages demonstrated that she was becoming more egalitarian in word choice. In Shaw’s “Pgymalion” and later “My Fair Lady,” the Cockney girl, Eliza Doolittle, had to get out of her habit of dropping H’s, so ’Iggins (sorry, Higgins) drilled her with ‘In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/12/grammar-rules_n_5484749.html


Top 10 Tips

for Writers


Sherman Alexie has ten tips for writers, beginning with don’t google yourself. (But, if you don’t, how are you going to keep up with others out there with your name who may be passing bad checks or sticking up banks?)  



How the CIA

Stole ‘Dr. Zhivago’


Michael Kimmage reviews “The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book,” in which the authors chronicle how Boris Pasternak came to the attention of Lenin and Stalin (who felt the writer dwelt in the “clouds”). The CIA wanted the novel widely distributed, which was fortunate because Pasternak had written a fine book. In retirement, Nikita Khrushchev said the Soviets made a mistake in trying to ban the book.


One of the Greatest

Storytellers Who Ever Lived


Historian Barry Strauss of Cornell tells why Herodotus is deservedly called “the father of history” (although modern critics sometimes call him “the father of lies”). Strauss says, “Herodotus is a great historian. His work holds up very well when judged by the yardstick of modern scholarship.” http://offtheshelf.com/2014/06/greatest-storytellers-who-ever-lived/


Poll: Should AP change its style

and require the Oxford comma?


Sam Kirkland conducts a poll to determine whether the style of the Associated Press should be changed to adopt the Oxford comma (that’s the comma before the “and” in a series of three or more items). A day or so later, Kirkland reported that 70 percent of the responders approved the use of the Oxford comma.  http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/256562/poll-should-ap-change-its-style-and-require-oxford-commas/.


Western civilization faces end;

the sun is likely to wink out


Not content with stirring up controversies regarding style changes, the Associated Press has openly invited the forces of evil to overwhelm our cosmic Asgard by drastically altering its baseball coverage. A game report will drop from 600 words to 300, and the stories will have five bullet points instead of actual paragraphs. http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/256590/ap-cuts-baseball-stories-in-half/

A lesson for marketers: Press releases

are meant to be used, rewritten


If a company or agency sends out a press release, it’s usually delighted when newspapers or magazines print a version of the story. Perhaps they cut it in half, but the company still gets publicity. One person in public relations, possibly with a marketing background, felt it was plagiarism for a publication to use the news release and not give a byline. (The publication did attribute the content to a news release.)  


Why Are All the

Cartoon Mothers Dead?


Sarah Boxer notes that the dead-mother plot is a classic of children’s fiction, but animated movies have supplied a new twist: the fun father has taken her place. She wonders if it’s possible (well, likely) that an animated film will feature a mother at the beginning and throughout the tale to the final credits. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/07/why-are-all-the-cartoon-mothers-dead/372270/

Need Somewhere Quiet to Write?

What about a Gaol Cell?


If having a distraction-free place to write has been that one thing stopping you from completing your manuscript, then this unique writers' residency program might just be the answer. Since May 2012 Writers Victoria, in partnership with the National Trust of Australia, has offered writers the opportunity to work in the historic Old Melbourne Gaol.





The Wrong Stuff: This Month’s

Findings of a




Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:


http://howarddenson. webs. com/theforensicgrammarian. htm


A paperback collection, “The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian,” is available online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel’s website. Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3PF180.



Stuff from

a Writer's Quill

The true writer has nothing to say.


What counts is the way he says it.


-- Alain Robbe-Grillet





Born This




To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:

 http://howarddenson. webs. com/birthdaysofwriters. htm


The list includes novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction authors, writers for the small and silver screen, and others.


Looking for your favorite writer? Hit “find” at the website and type in your favorite’s name. Keep scrolling to find writers born in other months.


With misgivings, the list generally omits lyricists (to avoid the plethora of garage-band guitarists who knock out a lyric in two minutes to go with a tune). Often lyricists are accomplished in other writing areas and may cause their inclusion (e.g., Bob Dylan, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter).


Unfortunately, some writers fret about identity theft and will only say they were born in 1972 or whenever. Typically that means they don’t get included on a “born this day” list. Recommendation: Writers may wish to create a “pen birthday”; that way, their names stay on the public’s radar.


If you see that we have omitted a writer, give us his or her name (and preferably a way to verify the belly-button day).




Want to read an ebook

but don’t have

a Kindle or Nook ereader?


For those who prefer electronic books, but don't have a stand-alone e-reader, you can turn your PC, Mac, tablet, phone, whatever, into an e-reader by downloading an app. The Kindle app from Amazon is available by clicking the following link:


For the Barnes & Noble Nook, this link should do the trick:



Other e-readers (like Sony) will have instructions on their websites on how to get the app onto your preferred machine.



of NFW and

other groups

For a listing of meetings of the NFW and other groups in Northeast Florida, click here http://howarddenson.webs.com/meetingsofunfothers.htm






Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at http://howarddenson.webs.com/usefullinksforwriters.htm.



Need someone

to critique

a manuscript?


If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm. Check out their entries on the website to see if they suit your needs. They include the following: Robert Blade Writing & Editing (rmblade@aol.com); Frank Green of The Bard Society (frankgrn@comcast.net); JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood (jgswathwood@gmail.com); Brad Hall (variablerush@gmail.com); Joseph Kaval (joseph.kaval@gmail.com); and Richard Levine (Richie.ALevine@gmail.com).






President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)

Vice President: Joyce Davidson (davent2010@comcast. net)

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)

Treasurer: Richard Levine (richie.alevine@gmail.com);


Presidents Emeritus: Frank Green, Dan Murphy, Howard Denson, Nate Tolar, Joyce Davidson, Margaret Gloag, Richard Levine, Bob Alexander, JoAnn Harter Murray, Carrol Wolverton, Margie Sauls, Stewart Neal.