·         Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

· * April 2010

·         Editor: Howard Denson

In This Issue:

SF Writer Chris Berman to Speak to NFW on April 10

Book Signing Set for "Bone" Writer

Screenwriting Master Class Slated May 8

Staged Reading Set for Levine-Cole Comedy Screenplay

The Wrong Stuff

Others’ Stuff on Words, Writing, and Writers

Ponte Vedra Writers to Hear Publishing Panelists

Quote from a Writer's Quill – Anne Bernays

Writers Born This Month

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The North Florida Writers will hear science fiction writer Chris Berman at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at the Webb Wesconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard).

Berman has spoken at the University of North Florida, Flagler College, and to the Ancient City Writers in St. Augustine. He has two novels in print with a traditional small press publisher. He often speaks on using facts to create an exciting fictional story. He also gives information about marketing and promotions for writers who are with small press publishers.


New York Times bestselling author Jon Jefferson of the Jefferson Bass writing team will be at the Book Mark in Atlantic Beach at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 8, with his new Body Farm novel, The Bone Thief.

The Bone Thief begins when Dr. Bill Brockton is called in to exhume a body and obtain a sample for a DNA paternity test. When the coffin is opened, Brockton and his colleagues are stunned to see that the corpse has been horribly violated. Brockton soon finds himself drawn into the dangerous enterprise when the FBI recruits him to bring down the postmortem chop shop, using corpses as bait in an undercover sting operation.

Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science and broadcast on National Public Radio. Jefferson is the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm. He is also the author of four other Body Farm novels, Bones of Betrayal, Devil's Bones, Flesh and Bone, Carved in Bone, and two works of nonfiction Beyond the Body Farm and Death's Acre.

For more information, call 904-241-9026 or e-mail<>.


Screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff will teach a master class on Screenwriting Tips for Novelists from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. Alex's debut ghost story, THE HARROWING, was nominated for an Anthony Award and a Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.

Her supernatural thrillers THE PRICE and THE UNSEEN are also now out from St. Martin’s Press, with BOOK OF SHADOWS and a paranormal suspense for Silhouette Nocturne coming in 2010. Alex recently won the International Thriller Writers Thriller Award for Best Short Fiction of the year for her short story, “The Edge of Seventeen”, in THE DARKER MASK.

Novelists from all genres are encouraged to attend and lunch is included. For more information on the workshop, please visit<>.


Cinemania will host a staged reading of Richie Levine’s feature-length comedy screenplay, "A Cult Film," on April 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Five Points Theater. There is no admission charge, and concession services will be available. Attendees should get their popcorn before the reading begins.

"A Cult Film" tells the story of a socially inept FBI agent who goes undercover to investigate a fanatical religious cult that hates the number "4." Levine wrote it in collaboration with Debbie Cole, meeting about once a week over a two-year period.

A staged reading is actors, on stage, unrehearsed, speaking the dialogue of a screenplay, viewed by an audience. Reading will be Aaron Tucker, Rita Maynette, Ralph Cahill, Christianna White, Joesph Wilson, Archie Gogollos, and Travis Sauter.

Afterwards, the audience and actors share their thoughts and feelings about the material presented. CINEMANIA plans to host a monthly staged reading of either a feature length screenplay, or several short film screenplays. This is the second staged reading of the series. The first one can be viewed online at Staged Reading Video<>. Also check out


"Film Noir Femmes Fatales" (Daily Telegraph, March 5):

Virginia Mayo was well know for playing aristocrats and princesses, but when she went bad, she went the whole way. In Raoul Walsh's White Heat she happily lies, cheats, and even shoots mother-in-laws in the back.

W.S. SAYS: Editors often don't proofread photo cutlines as well as they should, hence the error with "well know." In addition, they may be in too much of a hurry to check out troublesome compounds. "Mothers-in-law" is the plural; "mother-in-law's" is the singular possessive; and the plural possessive is "mothers-in-law's." Never try to use the plural possessive or else you'll lose your immortal soul; some editor or a minor league shortstop undoubtedly will try to "correct" it for you.

Cutlines in Florida Times-Union on the Riverside Arts Market:

Escape artist Michael Patrick works to get out of his straight jacket and chains as he entertains the crowd.

W.S. SAYS: The cutline writer should have used "straitjacket." The word "strait" refers to something that has been tightened and constrained. We also have "dire straits" (a cliché), "straitened circumstances" (ditto), and the "Straits of Gibraltar."

Careless editing by The Electronic Write Stuff:

This [publishing a book] begs the question. Why does anyone persist in these fool’s errands?

W.S. SAYS (thanks to the keen eye of UNF's Dick Bizot): "I winced at the use of 'begs the question' to mean 'raises [or brings up] the question.' Begging the question is the name for a particular kind of logical fallacy. I recommend the website," Also try<> .

Story in London's Daily Telegraph, "Biblical Plagues Really Happened[,] Say Scientists"

The scientists also claim the arrival of this algae set in motion the events that led to the second, third and forth plagues – frogs, lice and flies.

W.S. SAYS: The brackets signal where a comma is needed for direct address in the headline, but we have a careless spelling in the ordinal number: "fourth," not "forth," which refers to direction.

Story in London's Times, "White Farmers 'being Wiped Out'"

The resurrection of Dubula Ibhunu, defended by senior ANC officials as little more then a sentimental old struggle song, has been greeted with alarm by Tom Stokes, of the opposition Democratic Alliance. He said the ANC’s continued association with the call to kill Boers could not be justified.

W.S. SAYS: So close and so easy to miss in proofing, the first sentence needs "than" instead of "then." A wise proofer will do searches for the troublesome words: "not" and "now," "then" and "than," etc.

10 Books that are as Valuable as Diamonds

What do Action Comics' Superman debut and the Gutenberg Bible have in common? Simply this: They are among the 10 most valuable books in the world. Explore the matter at

Mum, Will You Ever Finish that Novel?

Is growing up as the child of a creative parent a boon or a burden? That's the question asked by Fiona Neill in the Online Times (Jan. 10). Check it out at

English is the 2nd Language in India

According to The Times of India, more Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. What's more, English speakers in India outnumber those in all of western Europe, not counting the United Kingdom. And Indian English-speakers are more than twice the UK's population. For the actual numbers, see

One language expert in India says that Indian English will become the new Standard English in much of the world, surpassing even the current American English standard. Follow his argument at .
Has a Lost Shakespeare Play Been Found?

English literature professor Brean Hammond of the University of Nottingham claims that an 18th century play, called "Double Falsehood," was based on a work by William Shakespeare. It was likely based on a Shakespearean work called "Cardenio," says the article at Discovery News at

And comedian Frank Skinner is betting that the play, which was co-written with John Fletcher, will end up with the good parts credited to the Bard and the flaws to "that idiot Fletcher," according to his column in Times (March 18) at

Why is Women's Fiction so Misery-Filled?
Novelist and Orange Prize judge Jojo Moyes says she "felt like a social worker" while reading a slew of misery-filled novels. She wonders if female writers are derided if they give their fiction a happy ending. For more, go to the Telegraph (March 18) at

Britain's Booker Prize 1970: They Don't Write Them Like That Any More

In the United Kingdom, THE book prize is the Man Booker Prize, but Gill Horny sees a downside to authors' writing with prestigious prizes in mind. He looks back at 1970 and says perhaps the books then were so very strong because there was no Booker Prize. To follow his argument, go to

The Awful Elements of English
As an English teacher in Germany, Locke McKenzie has all sorts of bones to pick with our language. Check out his perspective in The Bygone Bureau: A Journal of Modern Thought at .
New Punctuation Marks for Grammar Nerds

Owen Parsons argues in that we need such new punctuation marks as the double-reverse-sarcastimark, isolation marks, the demicolon, the grammatical obligizer, and more. He forgot to include the facial protrusion mark for things written tongue in cheek. Check it out at

Reading in Black and White

Froma Harrop, a columnist for The Providence Journal, is sort of a culture war correspondent. Most recently she focused on the battle between Amazon.Com's Kindle and Apple's iPad. Which would a traditionalist choose? Find out at


The April meeting of the Ponte Vedra chapter of Florida Writers Assn. will be at the Ponte Vedra Library on Saturday, April 24, and it should be a good one, according to Vic DiGenti, FWA regional director. "We'll have a panel discussion on 'The Many Roads to Getting Published,'" he says.

For more information, check<> or<>.


It sounds shameful, but on my best days
I write only about three or four hours.

-- Anne Bernays



1--Leonard Bloomfield (1887) and Milan Kundera (1929); 2--Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Émile Zola (1840), and Edward Dorn (1929); 3--George Herbert (1593); John Banim (1798) and John Burroughs (1837); 4--Bettina von Arnim (1785), Henry Bataille (1872), Marguerite Duras (1914), and Maya Angelou (1928);

5--Booker T. Washington (1856) and Arthur Hailey (1920); 7--William Wordsworth (1770) and William Ellery Channing (1780); 8--John Fante (1909) and Barbara Kingsolver (1955); 9--Fisher Ames (1758), Charles Baudelaire (1821), and Paule Marshall (1929);

10--Joseph Pulitzer (1847); 11--Mark Strand (1934); 12--Alan Ayckbourn (1939); 13--Jonathan Carver (1710), Nella Larsen (1891), Samuel Beckett (1906), Eudora Welty (1909), and Seamus Heaney (1939); 14--René Boylesve (René M. A. Tardiveau) (1867), James Branch Cabell (1879), and Bruce Sterling (1954);

15--Henry James (1843), Bliss Carman (1861), Giovanni Amendola (1882), and Jeffrey Archer (1940); 16--Grace Livingston Hill (1865) and Kingsley Amis (1922); 17--Samuel Austin Allibone (1816), David Gravson (Ray Stannard Baker) (1870), Isak Dinesen (1885), and Thornton Wilder (1897); 18--Henry François Becque (1837); 19--Etheridge Knight (1933);

20--Louis Bertrand (1807); 21--John Capgrave (1393), Charlotte Brontë (1816) and Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818); 22--Henry Fielding (1707), Jrrgen Engebretsen Moe (1813), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), and Jan de Hartog (1914); 23--William Shakespeare (1564), Margaret Avison (1918), J. P. Donleavy (1926), Rod McKuen (1933), and Barry Hannah (1942); 24--Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825), Marcus Clarke (1846), and Robert Penn Warren (1905);

25--Giuseppe Marc' Antonio Baretti (1719), Clarín (Leopoldo Alas) (1852), Walter De La Mare (1873), Ngaio Marsh (1895), and Darcey Steinke (1962); 26--Robert Herrick, U.S. (1868), Alice Cary (1820), Bernard Malamud (1914); 27--Ulysses S. Grant (1822), C. Day Lewis (1904), and Gilbert Sorrentino (1929); 28--Charles Cotton (1630);

30--John Crowe Ransom (1888) and Annie Dillard (1945)



BARD SOCIETY: Every Wednesday: 7 p.m.; Frank Green 234-8383; Email<>

FIRST COAST CHRISTIAN WRITERS GROUP: Every Thursday, 6:45 p.m. at Christ's Church, 6045 Greenland Rd., Room 204, near I-95 & 9A; Email:<>

FIRST COAST ROMANCE WRITERS: Second Saturday of each month; start time varies based on program; see website Chaffee Road Library; 1425 Chaffee Road South, Jacksonville. Info:<><>

MANDARIN WRITERS WORKSHOP: Second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at S. Mandarin Library (corner of San Jose and Orange Picker Rd.). Larry Barnes at<>.

NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS: Second Saturday: 2 p.m. at Webb Wesconnett Library;<>

SISTERS IN CRIME: First Saturday of each month: 10:30 a.m. at Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256; Sherry Czerniejewski, president Email<>


President: Margie Sauls (<>)

Vice President: Richard Levine (<>)

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (<>)

Treasurer: Howard Denson (<>)



Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.) Mail your check to WRITERS, c/o Howard Denson, 1511 Pershing Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32205.

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