7Emily Michael on how her light is spent (Write Stuff 0614)




Writing News for the Sunshine State

& the Solar System


Editor: Howard Denson

June 2014

To Unsubscribe or

Change Your Email Address,

hit REPLY and send in your request.

In This Issue:

Emily Michael to tell NFW how her'light is spent' as a writer

NFW weighs changes in bylaws, fee structure

You get what you pay for'or do you?

BookMark to host Steve Berry Friday, June 6

FWA blog details Entertainment & Arts Collaborative news' Vic DiGenti

Bard Society to meet at Mezze Bar & Grill in San Marco' Frank Green

Stuff from a Writer's Quill' F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

Emily Michael to tell NFW how her'light is spent' as a writer

At the June 14 meeting, the North Florida Writers will hear Emily K. Michael speak about'On the Blink: Considering how my light is spent,' the subject of her website (at http://areyouseeingthis.wordpress.com/).

Ms. Michael describes herself this way:'I am a blind writer, musician, and English instructor, living in Jacksonville, FL. I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, singing, and cooking. When I'm not involved in academic pursuits, I work with blind and visually impaired people and their families, teaching self-advocacy and independent living skills. I advocate with humor and compassion.'

Her poems have been published inWordgathering: An Online Journal of Disability Poetry (http://www.wordgathering.com/issue25/poetry/michael.html) and Artemis Journal. A journal from Johns Hopkins University,Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, published her article,'Surprised by Disability,' in December 2013. Another article was featured in March of this year atMinnesota Public Radio's classical music page,'What is opera like for a listener - and singer - with limited vision?' (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2014/03/05/opera-limited-vision). Ms. Michael's lyric essay "Answering Blindness: A Poet Makes Amends," is appearing in the June issue of Wordgathering, and a forthcoming piece, "Shades of Shame," will be published in the textbook, Barriers and Belonging: Student Experiences of Disability in November 2014.

The meeting will be 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.

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.

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


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

NFW weighs changes in bylaws, fee structure

As the North Florida Writers (NFW) nears its 25th anniversary, it will be evaluating various procedures to see if adjustments need to be made in the second decade of the 21st Century. All areas may be examined, but these will especially be studied:

· Duties of officers and number of officers.

· Any changes from current critique practices (supposed anonymous readings by someone other than the author vs. possible direct reading by an author).

· Amount of dues (keeping the dues at $25 per year, reducing the dues to $12 a year, charging a dollar for each meeting attended).

· Any involvement with contests. When the Florida First Coast Writers' Festival existed, the NFW co-sponsored the novel contest and paid $300 toward the first-place prize.

· And other areas of concern.

The NFW suspended its membership dues nearly two years ago because the treasury had stabilized at a comfortable level, and the NFW did not have any appreciable expenses.

You get what you pay for'or do you?

Any web search will reveal x-amount of editing and critiquing services. They range from services offered by the minimally qualified as a manner of bringing in some extra change to the highly sophisticated services offered by, say, William Morris agency.

One faithful reader sent us a promo blurb from an outfit we will call The Anonymous Critique Service (and, if a real ACS exists, we apologize).

The ACS offers a manuscript reading fee of $179. The service gives a client an overall critique of about a dozen pages and then marks up four or five of the pages to show the level of editing that might be required.

After that, clients choose the levels of editing they want. Basic copyediting will run the clients $.019 per word. Substantive copyediting (which includes coping with serious structural problems, etc.) costs $.025 per word. The premium copyediting runs $.032 a word.

A book-sized manuscript may have various lengths, but a length of 80,000 words is common. Let's go with that length and see what the writer would end up paying, including the initial fee:

Basic, $1,699

Substantive, $2,179

Premium, $2,739

For other critiquers, check out http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm. This newsletter hasn't checked their rates (and we don't receive a referral fee).

BookMark to host Steve Berry Friday, June 6

Owner Rona Brinlee says The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach) will host New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry at 7 p.m. Friday, June 6. Berry will talk about and sign copies of his latest Cotton Malone thriller "The Lincoln Myth."


Ms. Brinlee says the narrative revolves around a flaw in the United States Constitution, and Abraham Lincoln is involved in the mystery surrounding it. September 1861: "All is not as it seems." With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln.


The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon Church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot. All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly ex-agent Cotton Malone is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence.


Berry is also included in a new anthology of thriller writers, "Faceoff," edited by David Baldacci. This book is a clever concept and is sponsored by the International Thriller Writers. Each of the 11 stories pairs well-known series characters created by different authors, sometimes in adversarial but more often in collegial ways. Berry is paired with James Rollins in the story "Devil's Bones" with Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce.


Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of nine Cotton Malone adventures, four stand-alone novels, and four short story originals. He has 17 million books in print, translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. He was awarded the 2013 Writers Award from Poets & Writers Magazine, has twice acted as national spokesman for the American Library Association's Preservation Week, and is a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers and served three years as its co-president.


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

FWA blog details Entertainment & Arts Collaborative news


FWA Regional Director

Looks like June is about to bust out all over. And with it comes the latest NE Florida FWA blog post. You can access it byclicking here, or here'http://fwapontevedra.blogspot.com'ifyou prefer an actual URL.

Among the goodies you'll find is news of a new Entertainment & Arts Collaborative formed by Beaches attorney Carolyn Herman, as well as all the regular meetings and events taking place this month.

Enjoy your June, and keep writing.

Bard Society to meet at Mezze Bar & Grill in San Marco


After more than thirty-five years, the Bard Society has changed our meeting locale to Mezze Bar & Grill located in the center of San Marco (http://mezzejax.com/ ) on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9:30. I hope you can join us, at least from time to time.

I hope also that you will be able to go to the Bookmark (http://www.bookmarkbeach.com/) on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m. when our own Steve Berry (http://steveberry.org/news/) will be appearing at the The Bookmark with his new book, The Lincoln Myth. Here is an interview he did with Lou Dobbs: http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/lou-dobbs-tonight/index..html#/v/3579233545001.

If you need an address to locate the site on MapQuest, here's the information: 2016 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Their phone is 904.683.0693


from Hither

and Yon

Click on each link

to go directly

to the story.


and effing


Junot Diaz views herself as a Caliban as she recalls her experiences in a lily-white academic environment, where People of Color didn't figure in the MFA writers' workshops:'From what I saw the plurality of students and faculty had been educated exclusively in the tradition of writers like William Gaddis, Francine Prose, or Alice Munro'and not at all in the traditions of Toni Morrison, Cherrie Moraga, Maxine Hong-Kingston, Arundhati Roy, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Walker, or Jamaica Kincaid.'


My Love Affair with Charles Dickens

And the Two Greatest Paragraphs

In Literature

A blog entry by Tortmaster ruminates about a comic and then a serious paragraph from the works of Charles Dickens. Both entries are from'The Pickwick Papers.'


You Don't Choose the Idea

...The Idea Chooses You

Dale Short heard various speakers at a conference discussing writing success. A marketer used attendees to stay ahead of the fads. He quotes the late novelist Larry Brown:'I love this thing, even if it does not love me back.'


The Strange, Secret History

of Isaac Newton's Papers

Adam Mann interviews Sarah Day, the author of'The Newton Papers.' How much writing did Sir Isaac Newton leave behind?'There's roughly 10 million words that Newton left. Around half of the writing is religious, and there are about 1 million words on alchemical material, most of which is copies of other people's stuff. There are about 1 million words related to his work as Master of the Mint. And then roughly 3 million related to science and math.'


'Hang in There!'

'Arthur Schopenhauer

Mark O'Connell explores in this piece in Slate the problem of quotation websites and the outsourcing of erudition. If you think that Artie Schopenhauer was a drummer for Fizz Lugwrench, then you may accept the quotation that is thrown at you. On the other hand, if you have actually read Schopenhauer, some quotations attributed to him may ring false.


Words Wrought

By Writers

John Coyne Jr. reviews Paul Dickson's'Authorisms: Words Wrought By Writers.' Says Coyne:'Shakespeare's'written vocabulary consisted of 17,245 words, including hundreds of authorisms.' How many hundreds is a matter of scholarly conjecture, with estimates running from 1,700 to 6,000 new words. Geoffrey Chaucer gave us'bed,''bagpipe' and'Martian,' and according to one scholar, John Milton is England's'greatest neologist,' with coinages like'debauchery,''besottedly,''lovelorn,''pandemonium,''Satanic' and'all hell broke loose.'' http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/6/book-review-chaucer-gave-us-martian/?page=all#pagebreak

How to Structure a Screenplay

' In Defense of'Formula'

Eric Bork says some script analysts argue that'the story'Catalyst' should happen on page 12 of a 110-page screenplay (not page 11, or page 13),' but this idea'rubs some people the wrong way' and might appear to the casual reader to suggest that a screenplay is a mechanical creation where one inserts Tab A into Slot B, and, voila!, a compelling finished product emerges.'


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

Writers aren't people exactly. Or, if they're any good, they're a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.

-- F. Scott Fitzgerald


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 (richiea.levine@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.