1 Motivation, meditation, and persistence (Write Stuff 1014)
Writing News for the Sunshine State
& the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
October 2014
In This Issue:
NFW to explore helping others on Oct. 11 at VyStar; speaker: Diane Tribble
Clay Writers to learn how to build a writing platform; speaker: Nancy L. Quatrano
Rigney ‘nevah’ gives up as he fights for publication of novel
Other Words conference brings back popular non-fiction workshop
FWA annual conference nears
BookMark gears up for meditation, Southern Rock, visits by Hall, admiral, and editors
Stuff from a Writer’s Quill — Kurt Vonnegut
James Patterson supports independent bookstores
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 explore helping others on Oct. 11
at VyStar; speaker: Diane Tribble
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.
How can writing enable you to help yourself and enable you to motivate others? That subject will be explored at the North Florida Writers’ Oct. 11 meeting when the speaker is J. Diane Tribble, a certified life coach, trainer, motivational speaker, and published writer.
To accommodate the speaker’s Saturday obligations, the NFW will switch the talk with the critiques.
The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon with critiques and put Ms. Tribble on at 1 p.m.
Ms. Tribble is the CEO and founder of At the Table Life Coaching & Motivational Speaking Services LLC. She earned her bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. She is a graduate of Impact Church (Jacksonville) Layman’s Bible School. She earned her professional certification as a Christian Life Coach from New Life Coaching, a non-profit organization located in Chicago.
She says she has a strong desire to see people thrive in their purposes and is committed to the process of assisting her clients to "unveil their full potential" through encouragement, support, partnership, and the application of practical tools. Her public speaking engagements, workshops, panel discussions, and community forums have consistently provided citizens of the community with a wealth of timely topics, as well as image building and self-improvement opportunities. As a certified professional Christian life coach, she has been successful in assisting her clients to embrace change, to set and achieve realistic goals, and to operate in various aspects of life in confidence and assertiveness.
In early 2012, she developed and implemented a Christian Life Coach Certification program. The program has proven to be successful and timely. To date, the program has produced more than 50 certified professional life coaches.
She is the author of the life-changing book, “The Star Inside of You: Motivational Nuggets & Inspirational Stories of Encouragement.”
Active in the community, she is an ambassador for PACE Center for Girls, a high-risk girls’ school, where she teaches a weekly Journaling Life Skills class. She also serves as Volunteer Liaison for Junior Achievement. She is an active member and board member of E3 Business Group. She is a member of Jacksonville’s Impact Church, under the leadership of Bishop George and Pastor April Davis, where she serves in the ministry of helps department. She serves as co-leader of a women’s profession organization, We Are Women in Business. She also facilitates a weekly Life Coaching class at Landmark Middle School. This class is offered through Florida’s Duval County School System’s Community Education Program.
 She resides in Jacksonville, with her husband, Larry, of 32 years.  They are the proud parents of three successful adult children.
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:
Nov. 8 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA
Dec. 13 – noon, Riverside VyStar – Speaker: TBA
Clay Writers to learn how to build a writing platform; speaker: Nancy L. Quatrano
Orange Park Public Library, Meeting Room, 2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Ave. behind the Dairy Queen.
Approach writing as a business, says Nancy L. Quatrano. “Some writers have no idea what they don’t know about the business of writing. If you hope to earn money for your work, this workshop can save you a lot of time and agony.”
Ms. Quatrano, an award-winning author and editor, will talk about “How to Build a Writing Platform.”
The meeting will start at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The speaker will focus on three key points:
1.    Everyone is an expert at something and can share that expertise.
2.    Types of writing even a beginning writer can do to earn cash.
3.    What credits matter most for gaining credibility in the writing marketplace.
With over 20 years as a professional writer, Ms. Quatrano has won recognition for both her fiction and nonfiction writing. She has had over 400 press releases published for her clients and herself. Last year she was named Top Editor on the LinkedIn network. 98% of her clients get into print through traditional, small, and indie publishers.
Named Woman of the Year (2010-2011) by the National Association of Professional Women, Ms. Quatrano belongs to Rotary International, Florida Writers Assn., Sisters in Crime, and the Independent Christian Publishers Association. Find out more at: http://OnTargetWords.com. Note: Ms. Quatrano will bring along copies of two of her books, “Snowbird Christmas, volumes 1 and 2,” at a cost of $15 for the pair. 15% of book sales go toward Friends of the Orange Park Library, to benefit the library.
Rigney ‘nevah’ gives up as he fights for publication of novel
To obtain a copy of “Check-Out Time” (Samhain Publishing Trade Paperback; $15), you may order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or ask your bookstore to order ISBN: 978-1-61922-423-0.
                                                 By MARK RIGNEY
A few years ago, I won the Florida First Coast Novel Contest with “In the Wink Of a Stone God’s Eye,” since re-titled “A Most Unruly Gnome.” The manuscript won me an agent, but to this day, it has not found a publisher.
However, I’m of the Winston Churchill school of writing: “Never, never, never, never give up.” Translated, this means that I am now pleased to announce the publication of my first novel (though not my first book), “Check-Out Time” (Oct. 7).
“Check-Out Time” extends the ongoing travails of my two recurrent heroes, Renner & Quist. When I first dreamed up my reluctant, odd-couple pair, one of the many goals I had in mind was to write their stories specifically and consciously as adventures. This was not perhaps the most sensible decision given a literary market polarized between realistic “grown-up” fare and the highly fantastical tomes aimed at teens. Nor did my conception of Renner & Quist allow for them to don armor, wield swords, or inhabit some far-flung or alternate world. No, these two, Reverend Renner being a Unitarian Universalist minister, and Dale Quist, a former P.I. and ex-linebacker, required an everyday setting; to emplace them elsewhere would be to guarantee that any stories woven around them would be untruthful and irrelevant.
The initial results were a trio of short stories followed by two novellas, “The Skates” and “Sleeping Bear,” both available, as is “Check-Out Time,” from Samhain Publishing. Officially, these fall into the “horror” camp, as Samhain only deals with two categories: horror and romance. However, for my own purposes, both as a guiding light while writing and as a more accurate depiction of what lies inside the covers, I prefer the term “contemporary adventure.”
I have come to believe that the same definitions I held about “adventure” when I was very little still hold weight today. Even then, I knew perfectly well that adventure involved heroism: difficult goals tackled against a backdrop of appalling odds, often for a noble or at least a defensible cause. Perhaps most importantly, physical effort is required. Heroes can be quite reserved, veritable couch potatoes; John Lennon and (post-prison) Nelson Mandela spring to mind. But adventure heroes must sally forth. They must shinny up the rope that’s sure to break, fray, or come loose. They must leap from one subway car to another to stop the runaway train, or, barring that, they must outbox the greatest cage wrestler on the planet. While injured. In quicksand.
The prime present-day antecedent is James Bond. 007, world weary but indefatigable, defends those in need with little or no thought for himself, and he does so with a feral physicality that is astonishing (and perhaps even a mite disturbing) to behold.
That Bond does so against a backdrop of peaceful roadways and modern cityscapes is part of what makes him so riveting. He’s an anachronism from the get-go, a holdover of the knights-errant--the knights, that is, that really did swing a sword for a living.
My semi-dynamic duo is a far cry from Bond, especially Reverend Renner, who is petite and mousy and brave only in spurts, but this is by design, a deliberate contrast with his massive, swaggering partner, Dale Quist, who believes (with some justification) that there’s no problem on earth he can’t solve by treating it like an opposing quarterback and the sacking the living daylights out of it.
The key conceit attendant in all the Renner & Quist stories is that both men are sensitized to the supernatural (thus their books’ inclusion in the horror pantheon), and each fresh adventure kicks in as they attempt to extricate friends and associates from their latest spectral briar patch.
In “Check-Out Time,” my Renner & Quist butt heads with the long-demolished Neil House Hotel, a real venue in downtown Columbus, Ohio, which in this story protests its early eighties demise by attempting to reassert itself, fully rebuilt, into the present day. Haunts (former guests) abound, and it will take more than brawn and benedictions to put this particular hotel out of business. As the jacket blurb says, “All things must pass, indeed––but that doesn’t mean they have to go quietly.”
I’ll say this for Renner & Quist. These guys sure are fun to write. I can only hope that my enjoyment is catching, contagious, and that it leaps off the page for readers.
That, of course, is for you to decide.
Other Words conference brings back popular non-fiction workshop
The 10th annual conference of the Other Words Literary Conference announces that Ira Sukrungaruang’s non-fiction workshop is back by popular demand. The conference will be held in St. Augustine at Flagler College.

Ira Sukrungruang will host a Non-Fiction Workshop Saturday, Nov. 8. He is the author of the memoir “Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy” and the poetry collection “In Thailand It Is Night.” Ira’s work has appeared in many literary journals such as Post Road, The Sun and is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection.

To learn more about Sukrungruang and his work, visit his
Other Words also reports that the Gloria Sirens line-up has changed. Suzannah Gilman will join the Gloria Sirens for the Thursday night reading. Gilman has appeared in such publications as The Florida Review, The Rollins Book of Verse 1885-2010, Pearl, Calyx Journal, Slow Trains, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Family Matters: Poems of our Families, Levure Litteraire, Cafe Review, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.   An attorney by trade, her poetry chapbook “I Will Meet You at the River” was published in 2013.

You can read her work on the Gloria Sirens’ website by clicking
here. Gilman is replacing Julia Connolly.
The Other Words conference is sponsored by the Florida Literary Arts Coalition. To register for the conference or to seek additional information, click on http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e91kz9t7c4e3686b&llr=x9idrcqab.
FWA annual conference nears
It’s that time again when thoughts turn to upcoming holidays, rooting for our favorite football teams, and, of course, the FWA Annual Conference. With news about the conference and the October meetings here in NE Florida, please read the latest FWA blog post by clicking here. You’ll be glad you did. – Vic DiGenti
BookMark gears up for meditation,
Southern Rock,
visits by Hall, admiral, and editors
For more information, contact Ms. Brinlee at 904.241.9026 or bkmark@bellsouth.net
Owner Rona Brinlee of The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach) says certified teachers and coaches Dennis and Kathy Lang and Heather Alice Shea will appear at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, to introduce their new CD "Crystal Bowl Guided Meditations."
Ms. Brinlee says this is a new kind of event for The BookMark and one that should be fun and appealing. Dennis and Kathy Lang are Atlantic Beach residents and certified teachers of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. They have partnered with Heather Alice Shea, a transformational life coach and energy therapist, to produce this CD. It blends the melodic harmonies of crystal bowls, gong, and guitar, and is a great tool for seasoned meditators as well as those thinking about starting.
Scott B. Bomar,  “Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock” (Backbeat Books), Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
Many of the architects of rock and roll in the 1950s, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard, were Southerners who were rooted in the distinctive regional traditions of country, blues, and R&B.  Focusing primarily on the music's golden age of the 1970s, Southbound profiles the musicians, producers, record labels, and movers and shakers who defined Southern rock, including the Allmans, Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, the Charlie Daniels Band, Elvin Bishop, the Outlaws, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, .38 Special, ZZ Top, and many others. 
Book Club Night with Random House, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m.
Ms. Brinlee says that two of our Random House representatives will recommend books for your book clubs. They will also give you some insight into what's coming up.  We'll start the evening by chatting with one another before we settle into our book talk.  
Adm. James Stavridis, USN (RET), “The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO” (Naval Institute Press), Friday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
After his selection as NATO's sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander, the New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a "Renaissance admiral."  In this book, Stavridis offers an intimate look at the challenges of directing NATO operations in Afghanistan and military intervention in Libya, preparing for possible war in Syria, countering cyberthreats, and confronting pirates, all while cutting NATO's operational staff by a third due to budget reductions.  In addition to providing this history, Stavridis shares his insights into the personalities of such key figures as President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and several Secretaries of Defense, among others.
James W. Hall, “The Big Finish” (Minotaur), Monday Dec. 8, 7 p.m.
In last year's “Going Dark,” series hero Thorn's son Flynn disappeared into a radical eco-movement group.  Now, rushing to find him after a call for help via postcard, Thorn is told that Flynn had been acting as an informant for the FBI and was executed when his undercover activities were discovered.  But the truth may prove to be pretty thorny.  This is Shamus and Edgar Award-winning author Hall's 11th Thorn book.
Stuff from a writer’s quill
Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?
-- Kurt Vonnegut
James Patterson supports independent bookstores
Best selling author James Patterson is awarding grants to select independent bookstores across the nation, according to columnist Dickie Anderson. 
She says, “Amelia Island has a chance to vote to help our wonderful independent bookstore on Centre Street, The Book Loft, needs your vote. Your support will make a difference.”
For more information, contact The Book Loft (214 Centre St., Amelia Island, FL  32034) or call 904.261.8991. 

from Hither
and Yon
Click on each link
to go directly
to the story.
Booker Prize authors
give tips for writers
Eleanor Catton, the Man Booker prize winner in 2013 for “The Luminaries,” gives this tip to writers: “Read everything. You can learn from everything that has a narrative—books, of course, but also films, TV shows, computer games, advertisements, conversations, speeches, articles, the news.” A second writer says there are no tips for aspiring writers because all writers are on their own. A third argues that the point of writing is to irritate someone. For specifics and more advice, go to http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2014/09/03/writing-tips-from-booker-prize-winning-authors/ .
Should computers
grade student essays?
Diane Ravitch says, “…all tests will be delivered online and graded by computers. This is supposed to be faster and cheaper than paying teachers or even low-skill hourly workers or read student essays.” She points various deficiencies and gives a thumbs down to computers replacing teachers as graders.
What can (or should)
an editor do?
What? You are afraid that the editor will ruin your poem, article, or story? This column admits that it is possible for an editor to ruin copy, but more often they improve it. The writer’s best bet is to trust the editor but verify by checking the proof copy. http://howarddenson.webs.com/apps/blog/show/42643688-what-can-or-should-an-editor-do-
How Stephen King
Teaches Writing
Stephen King looks back on his days in front of a high school classroom to share his views on grammar and explain why discovering great literature is like losing one's virginity. He tells interviewer Jessica Lahey: “Good teachers can be trained, if they really want to learn (some are pretty lazy). Great teachers, like Socrates, are born.”
Should Hebrew Be Israel’s
Official Language?
Has It Ever Been?
According to Liel Leibovitz, a new piece of legislation in the Knesset seeks to upset the status quo involving Hebrew, Arabic, and English over which language the Jewish state deems official. The legislation is deeply misguided, the article argues.  http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/184281/hebrew-official-language?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=367027ee58-Friday_September_12_20149_12_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-367027ee58-207183885
Recent books that some
groups wanted to ban
What ten books (or series) have been on the hit list of some disgruntled citizens? Right, J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series made the list. If you can’t think of the other nine, then click here http://mentalfloss.com/article/59059/10-twenty-first-century-bestsellers-people-tried-ban-and-why .
Authors who hated
adaptations of their works
Novelist Richard Price was asked about writers’ control over their works when they are sold to Hollywood. He said writers don’t have any control. When asked if a writer should try to write the script himself, he said, “Take the money and let others do it. Why would you want to rape yourself?” A blogger has tracked down the opinions of P.L. Travers, Anthony Burgess, and Stephen King about what film studios did to their works.
Author’s book adopted in libraries worldwide
Michael Ray FitzGerald’s book “Native Americans on Network TV: Stereotypes, Myths, and the ‘Good Indian,’” published by Rowman & Littlefield, has been adopted by 96 libraries worldwide.
Thanks to a “recommended” review in Choice, a magazine aimed at librarians, FitzGerald’s book has been adopted by libraries from coast to coast in the U.S., including many important university libraries, along with libraries in Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, and New Zealand.
FitzGerald’s book is an extensive study of American Indian characters on U.S. television, from The Lone Ranger to Longmire.
“After analyzing 237 American Indian characters, I discovered a consistent pattern in which Indians who became enforcers of Euro-American norms were celebrated. Tonto, Brave Eagle, Pahoo, Cochise, Sam Buckhart, Mingo, John Hawk, Nakia Parker, Cordell Walker and many more—these were the characters who lasted the longest or became the most notable,” FitzGerald explains. “They are literary descendants of Robinson Crusoe’s Friday.”
The book took five years to research and write. He began the study while in the master’s program at University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communication and wrote most of it while a PhD student in the Department of Film, Theatre, and Television at University of Reading in England. Related articles have appeared in several peer-reviewed journals, including UCLA’s American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Journal of American Culture and Howard Journal of Communication.
Jonathan Bignell, a renowned expert on film and television and head of the Department of Film, Theatre, and television at University of Reading, says, “FitzGerald is a leading expert in the study of American Indian characters on US television. His study deftly links analytical detail and historical overview, addressing TV programs, their institutional and political backgrounds, and key theoretical discourses on television and race.”
Fitzgerald teaches communication at Flagler College in St. Augustine.
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); 5527 Edenfield Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32277
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.