· Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

· * July 2009

· Editor: Howard Denson


and use the terms in the subject line.

In This Issue:

NFW to Hear Lynn Thompson’s Insights on Writing

New Age Astrology for Wordsmiths Rides Again – Howard Denson

Quote from a Writer's Quill -- Joyce Davidson

Writers Born This Month – Papa, James Cain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ann Landers and Abigail van Buren, Pablo Neruda, and others


The July 11 meeting of the North Florida Writers will feature a talk by Lynn Thompson, followed by critiques of submissions for the month. The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Webb Wesconnett Branch Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard).

Before founding her own writing and editing business, Ms. Thompson worked for a major directory publishing company for 23 years, gaining experience in writing such material as newsletters, articles, presentations, sales visuals, ad copy, press releases, promotional pieces, video voice-overs, training material, and website content.

Writing for her company and many community service and industry organizations, she has tackled writing projects targeting both diverse and specific audiences with varied interests. Ms. Thompson regularly writes articles for magazines and marketing material for businesses, and has ghostwritten two nonfiction books. Several pieces of her writing have won awards. She has also edited books for other writers, including genres as diverse as children's literature, religious texts, reference books, and horror. Some of these books have won awards.

Ms. Thompson's current projects include writing the A Professional Writer's Ladder to Success series of e-books, and editing several manuscripts for other authors.

Ms. Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida, with a major in Marketing. Through the years, she has volunteered and served on boards of directors for organizations supporting the arts, education, commerce and the environment. She continues to serve as chair of the Education/Communications committee of the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Commission and is a past chair of the Membership Task Force for the Beaches Division of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, as well as volunteering with the Jax Beaches Gators®<> and serving on the advisory board for the Beaches Women's Partnership. Ms. Thompson is an active volunteer with the Chamber, appearing and speaking at ribbon cuttings and grand openings throughout the city. As a member of Promoting Outstanding Writers<>, she works to promote literacy in her local community and to assist other writers in promoting their work. She also sings in the Chancel Choir at Riverside Presbyterian Church<>.

After any business, the group will have a “critiques only” session. The critique process has people other than the author of respective works read aloud the submissions (up to 10 double-spaced pages of prose, and reasonable amounts of poetry or lyrics). Authors may not defend their work, but they should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.
CANCER (June 22 – July 23): Max of this sign has asked, “WHAT is GOING ON in my WRITING????!!!!” (And so on in a similar vein.) Max, you are not a typographer so knock it off. If you can’t, take a walk around Friendship Park.

LEO (July 24 – Aug. 23): Purchase several containers of epoxy. Stroll around Friendship Park and the Riverwalk as you listen to your favorite book. If you see an anxious Cancer making exclamation points in a notebook, apply the epoxy to his fingers.

VIRGO (Aug. 24 – Sept. 23): Quit imitating Faulkner. You’re irritating your writing group and scaring the seagulls at Friendship Park.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23): On the other hand, minimalism isn’t always ideal. Considering your poem, “Redneck and RC Cola”:

Hick UP
Isn’t that more decoration than art?

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22): Let’s see: Your protagonist looks like a teenager who only takes night classes, but he’s a really sweet vampire who’s in love with Britney, whose mother manages a blood bank. He quits his job sucking groceries at the Piggly Wiggly to become a clerk at the blood bank. Wow, totally original.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21): What’s this with arrows? You write scripts about Green Arrow (who’s owned by DC). You do novels about Robin Hood. Your characters wear Arrow shirts and drive Pierce Arrows. Try using .45-calibre automatics and see where that takes you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20): Your poems about camels don’t seem to go anywhere. Since you are born under the sign of the goat, you should try sonnets to goats. Try a villanelle on the theme of “Do not go ba-a-a-a into that good pasture.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 – Feb. 19): There’s a difference between informal and formal writing. The latter does not mean you wear a top hat, tux, and cane.

PISCES (Feb. 20 – March 20): You haven’t had a single piece of writing accepted by editors during the past year. It probably would help if you sent out something for them to consider.

ARIES (March 21 – April 20): You’ve been misplacing your keys, iDevices, and socks, but you shouldn’t misplace your modifiers in your writing. “Having frozen in the refrigerator, my father took out some cubes”—who froze in the fridge?

TAURUS (April 12 – May 21): Don’t be bullheaded about holding onto your favorite lines past their times of usefulness.

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21): In this modern complex world we live in today, we need to scratch out words that aren’t necessary.

SPECIAL TO GEORGINA: If you are tattooing “carpe diem” on your face, why not use 12- to 14-point type instead of 72 point?


"If you ask for my advice about writing, I'd say, 'Don't write,' and if you do it anyway, you're a writer."

-- Joyce Davidson



1--George Sand (1804), James M. Cain (1892), Jean Stafford (1915); 2--Hermann Hesse (1877); 3--Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860), Franz Kafka (1883), M.F.K. Fisher (1908), and Tom Stoppard (1937); 4--Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Ann Landers (1918), and Abigail Van Buren (1918);

6--Karl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam (1859); 7--Robert Heinlein (1907); 9--Joseph Cowen (1831), Barbara Cartland (1901) and Oliver Sachs (1933);

10--Robert Chambers (1802), Marcel Proust (1871), and Alice Munro (1931); 11--Thomas Bowdler (1754), E. B. White (1899), and Harold Bloom (1930); 12--Edward Benlowes (1602), Henry David Thoreau (1817), and Pablo Neruda (1904); 13--Wole Soyinka (1934); 14--Irving Stone (1903), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904), Woody Guthrie (1912), and Natalie Ginzburg (1916);

15--Robert Conquest (1917) and Iris Murdoch (1919); 16--Anita Brookner (1928); 17--Richard Carew (1555), William John Courthope (1842), Jakob Christoph Heer (1859), Samuel Joseph Agnon (1888), Erle Stanley Gardner (1889) and James Purdy (1923); 18--William Makepeace Thackeray (1811), S. I. Hayakawa (1906), and Margaret Laurence (1926); 19--Heinrich Christian Boie (1744), Herman Bahr (1863), E. P. Snow (1905), Joseph Hansen (1923), Dom Moraess (1938), and Jayne Anne Phillips (1952);

20--Connie McCarthy (1933); 21--Al-Bukhari (810), Frances Parkinson Keyes (1885), Hart Crane (1899), Ernest Hemingway (1899), A. D. Hope (1907), John Gardner (1933), Tess Gallagher (1943), and Buchi Emescheta (1944); 22--Stephen Vincent Benét (1898) and Tom Robbins (1936); 23--Raymond Chandler (1888); 24--John D. MacDonald (1916);

25--David Belasco (1853); 26--George Bernard Shaw (1856), Carl Jung (1875), Aldous Huxley (1894), and Robert Graves (1895); 27--Thomas Campbell (1777), Giosue Carducci (1835), Hilaire Belloc (1870), Joseph Mitchell (1908) and Bharati Mukherjee (1940); 28--Beatrix Potter (1866), Malcolm Lowry (1909), John Ashbery (1927), and William T. Vollmann (1959); 29--Booth Tarkington (1869), Don Marquis (1878), and Stanley Kunitz (1905);

30--Emily Brontë (1818), Oliver Optic (William Taylor Adam) (1822), Gaston Calmette (1858), Jean Jacques Bernard (1888), William Gass (1924), and Alexander Trocchi (1925); 31--Elizabeth Wurtzel (1967).



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

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

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

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


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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