THE
WRITE
STUFF
Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
www. northfloridawriters. org * Editor: Howard Denson *Aug 2013
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*

In This Issue:

.

 

Elvisology in the 21st Century – Howard Denson

Local author-scholar snags book deal

Author of “Anna: A Story of Redemption” to speak to NFW Aug. 10 at Webb Wesconnett

BookMark to host Linda Fairstein, Randy Wayne White, Charles Todd, Penguin Random reps, and Tracey Garvis Graves in September

Black Horse Winery to host Kamradt, Gordon, Hayden, and Maxwell for Aug. 13 signings

Berman to explain how to use fact-based history to build a fictional narrative

FWA news about meetings, contests, and workshops

Stuff from a Writer’s Quill Robert Frost

The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson

Stuff from Hither and Yon

Writers Born This Month

NFW suspends dues indefinitely

Meetings of NFW and Other Groups

Useful Links

Need someone to critique a manuscript?

The Write Staff

.



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

 

Elvisology in the 21st Century

--Calling all fans and critics

 

By HOWARD DENSON

.

I have been working on a project for way too many years, as I tried to assemble a paperback collection entitled “Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba.” The project grew out of a contest supposedly run by the International Institution of Elvisology and the Elvisian Era.” The motto was “not a full-fledged bureau, but two drawers of a filing cabinet.”

.

To bring the collection up to date, I still need items that will establish to what extent Elvis’ influence is still to be seen in the 21st Century. These submissions may be poems, short stories, articles, or even pop culture-style papers. When I edited a newsletter called The International Journal of Elvisology and the Elvisian Era, we even had photographs: fans with Elvis, a rocking-horse from Canada carved liked Elvis, etc. Some pieces were from enthusiastic fans; others, from those who, say, disapproved of the drug usage.

.

Samuel Johnson said that only a blockhead writes except for money (in which case I’m the biggest blockhead in the U.S.). Alas, I also can’t pay anyone anything, but I will try to set aside certain days for a Kindle version to be downloaded either for free or for a minimal cost.

.

You will retain your own copyright and property rights, so, if an editor of an anthology spots your creation, he or she can negotiate with you about any payment to include your work in the anthology.

.

The collection is expected to include pieces by Sylvia Corley (Jacksonville), John DeCleux (Winona, Mo.), Annie Sue Gill (Rome, Ga.), Wyveta J. Kirk (Wilmington, Del.), Thelma Mohr Bening (Sarasota), Harriet Young (Ponte Vedra Beach), Lynne Raiser (Atlantic Beach), Marily Dorf (Lincoln, Neb.), Charlotte Mannion (Miami), Patricia Channing (Lincoln, Neb.), Kathryn Beyerle (Jacksonville), Norma Cucci, Susan Minotti Ladue (Jacksonville), Stephen Mackin (San Francisco, Calif.), George W. Jackson (Mineral City, Oh.), T.R. Johnson (Louisville, Ky.), Carol McCall, Jeff Poniewaz (Milwaukee, Wisc.), G. C. Burner (Jacksonville), Grant A. Balfour (Lantana), Linda Faye Pugh (Lutz), Charlotte Morgan (Goshen, Va.), Tammany K. Mixon (Tampa), Clo Amaral (Miami), Ron Coleman (Neptune Beach), George Gilpatrick (Orange Park), Peter Danakas (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), Trudy Ann Plotz (St. Petersburg), Phoebe Newman (Los Alamos, N.M.), Adela Anne Bradlee (Jacksonville), George A. Knox (Riverside, Calif.), Liz Brown (Jacksonville), Robert Borden (Jemez Springs, N.M.), Timothy W. Thornton (Jacksonville), Shawn Harris Chillag (South Charleston, W.V.), Helen E. Dalton (Honolulu, Hawaii), Gypsy Harris (Jacksonville), Wayne H. Estvold (Beaverton, Ore.), Mary Ann Davis (Jacksonville), Gordon Polatnick (Sausalito, California), Pamela Boyette Claxton (Jacksonville), Chris Daly (Seal Beach, Calif.), Sandy Tucker (Stuart), Rikki Clark (Tallahassee), Joel L. Young (Middleburg), Lily Demieville (Wichita, Kan.), Anna Jamrog (Waverly, Neb.), James Richie (Holiday), J. B. Kaiser (Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, Canada), Kenneth D. Pawlak (Solon, Oh.), Robin Sterns, Vicky Welfare (Edmonds, Wash.), B. Powell Clark (Empire, Ala.), Minh Lien Nguyen (Jacksonville).  

.  

 If you wish your submissions about the 21st Century to be considered for “Alas, Poor Elvis, I Knew Him, Bubba,” then e-mail them to hd3nson@hotmail.com in a retrievable format (Word, RTF, plain text).

.

Local author-scholar

snags book deal

.

Local author and college instructor Michael Ray Fitzgerald has landed a publishing contract with Lanham, Md.-based Scarecrow Press.

.

The book will be a revised version of his doctoral thesis, which Fitzgerald wrote under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Bignell at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England. Bignell is a prominent author-scholar in the U.K.

.

Fitzgerald’s book examines stereotypes of Native Americans on U.S. television, some of which, he asserts, have roots that go as far back as Pocahontas and Daniel Defoe’s Friday (from “The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe”).

.

“I believe mine is the only book that focuses solely on American Indian characters on television,” Fitzgerald says. “Most studies of this nature combine television representations with those of film. This one focuses exclusively on television representations.”

.

Fitzgerald signed the contract while attending a conference in Milwaukee sponsored by the journal Film & History, where he met series editor Cynthia Miller, a professor at Emerson College in Boston. The contract was accepted by Scarecrow’s senior editor Stephen Ryan. So far a title has not been agreed upon.

.

Fitzgerald, a long-time musician on the Jacksonville scene, returned to college in 2000 and earned his Ph.D. in 2012. He is also a freelance journalist who has written for such publications as The Humanist, Free Inquiry, Southern Cultures, and Utne Reader. A collection of his stories written for various publications titled “Mixed Metaphors” is available through Lulu.com. He teaches communication at Jacksonville University and the College of Coastal Georgia.

.

For more information, contact him at 904.388.3224 or email fitzrite@comcast.net. His web site is http://www.michaelrayfitzgerald.com.

.

Author of “Anna: A Story of Redemption”

to speak to NFW Aug. 10 at Webb Wesconnett

.

The North Florida Writers will have hear novelist Melanie Powers Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m. Saturday, at the Webb Wesconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard, to the east of I-295). The public is welcome to attend.

.

Ms. Powers, the author of “Anna: A Story of Redemption,” was born in Chicago but grew up in Memphis. She eventually found herself settling in Jacksonville. As one of six children and the mother of four sons and three daughters, she’s faced many challenges life has brought to her. She says that, with her husband of 38 years by her side, she has faced those challenges with the same strength she writes into her books’ characters. It is this strength and tenacity that equipped her for roles as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Working in the ministry and as a family counselor for more than twenty years, she also found time to fulfill her desire to spend several weeks as a missionary to the Philippines and Ghana. This increased her love for people and gave her a profound respect for other cultures. She has been a guest speaker for women’s events in the U.S. and abroad. She looks forward to realizing her lifelong dream of one day traveling to China.

                                                     .
When asked about her experience writing Anna, she said, “Writing this novel was a true labor of love. It has been a wonderful adventure, filled with many unexpected moments of joy and delight. I feel as if it was a gift from God.”

.

For the critiques, someone other than the author of respective works will read aloud the submissions (up to 10 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:

.

Aug. 10 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett – Speaker: Melanie Powers

Sept. 14 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett – Speaker: Richard Levine

Oct. 12 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett

 

BookMark to host Linda Fairstein,

Randy Wayne White, Charles Todd,

Penguin Random reps, and

Tracey Garvis Graves in September

.

Linda Fairstein, Randy Wayne White, the Charles Todd writing team,  the Penguin Random House reps, and Tracey Garvis Graves will be at The BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach), during September, according to owner Rona Brinlee.

 

New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein will be at The BookMark on Friday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. to talk about and sign copies of her new mystery "Death Angel." Fairstein's 15th novel has everything her fans love and have been waiting for-843 acres of Central Park, one dead body, and a blossoming romance.

.

After discovering the body of a naked girl near the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Assistant DA Alexandra "Coop" Cooper and Detective Mike Chapman are pulled into the long forgotten past and darkest recesses of the Park to find the killer. Their investigation leads from the caves and hidden danger spots of Central Park to the attics of the iconic Dakota apartment building. All the while, Coop's previous casework threatens to resurface with a vengeance when she learns of a man with an ominous tattoo reading "KILL COOP" who has been harassing women in the Park. No stone goes unturned as Coop and Chapman uncover the storied history of the Park in search of the killer.

 

Lee Child calls Fairstein "the queen of intelligent suspense."

 

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

.

Randy Wayne White, author of “Deceived” (Putnam), will be talking and signing books at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6  In this second Hannah Smith novel, a twenty-year-old unsolved murder gets Hannah's attention, but so does a more immediate problem.  A private museum has announced plans to open, but it seems that the whole thing is a scam, and Hannah's friends get caught up in what turns out to be not about the area's history but about a real estate power play.  Smith's town could be wiped out if she doesn't stop this fraud.  White is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty Doc Ford novels (the latest is “Night Moves”), plus several non-fiction books.

.

Charles Todd’s bestseller “A Question of Honor” (William Morrow) will be discussed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. Todd is the pseudonym of a mother-and-son writing team that again demonstrates their talent at depicting the horrors of war in this fifth mystery featuring English nurse Bess Crawford.  As the carnage of the Great War finally nears its end, Bess finds herself investigating murders committed a decade earlier on two different continents.  In 1908, while Bess and her family were living in India, a member of her father's regiment came under suspicion for killing his parents.  Now ten years later, Bess is confronted by the possibility that this same person may be involved in other murders as well. 

.

Since two major publishers--Random House and Penguin Group USA--have merged to become "Penguin Random House," two sales representatives from the new company will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. They will be at the BookMark to recommend good books for book clubs.  There will be prizes and some light refreshments. 

.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, the BookMark will host Tracey Garvis Graves, author of “Covet” (Dutton).

Graves is the New York TImes bestselling author of “On the Island,” her first book which has already been acquired by MGM for a movie.  In “Covet,” she introduces Chris and Claire, a couple whose marriage is on the brink of fracturing when Chris takes on a taxing new job and Claire meets a handsome police officer with a mysterious past. This mesmerizing novel asks the provocative question--what if the life you wanted, and the person you loved belonged to someone else?

.

For more information, call Ms. Brinlee or staff at 904.241.9026, or e-mail any questions to bkmark@bellsouth.net. Website: http://www.bookmarkbeach.com.

 

Black Horse Winery to host

Kamradt, Gordon, Hayden,

and Maxwell for Aug. 13 signings

 

The Aug. 13 session of “Meet the Authors” will be in Orange Park from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Horse Winery, 420 Kingsley Ave., a block west of Park Ave. (Hwy. 17).

 

Authors include the following:

 

Russ Kamradt, “Treasures of a Servant “

Sandi Gordon, “The Journal”

Sonserra V. Hayden, “Reflections of Sonserra”

Tracy Maxwell, “Torchlight for Change: My Story and Advice to At-Risk Youth”

 

Event is sponsored by FWA Clay County Writers and Kiyoko Fiedler, owner/winemaker at Black Horse Winery. Each month FWA Clay County Writers and owner/winemaker Kiyoko Fiedler hosts “Meet the Authors” at Black Horse Winery: a place for writers, readers, and friends to gather.

 

Berman to explain how to use

fact-based history

to build a fictional narrative

 

Novelist Chris Berman will speak to the FWA Clay County Writers on Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Orange Park Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Ave., just behind the Dairy Queen).

Berman’s topic will be "Believable Fiction Using Fact based History to Build Your Story." In effect, he says the writer will learn to raise the dead. Well-researched historical figures breathe life into fiction writing and offer tips about how to convert historical facts into believable fiction, where fact and fiction collide.

 .

A military historian by training, Berman taught writing at the University of North Florida and has a broad background in spaceflight and astronomy. He grew up reading science fiction. In 2007, he began writing and received his first book contract in 2008. His novels, “The Hive” (2009), “Red Moon” (2010), and “Star Pirates” (2011), and “Ace of Aces” (2012) combine hard-science fiction, techno-thrills, and alternate history.

“Ace of Aces” takes place on Earth, 2287, where after thousands of years of bloodshed, peace finally reigns. Genetics has banished war and tempered the need for violence, but not the human desire to explore other suns. When an alien foe threatens earth’s annihilation, five fighter aces must reach into the past to save the future. Five World War II pilots and sworn enemies stand as the last line of defense between Earth and annihilation. Fact meets fiction in a story that weaves the lives of five WW II pilots: Douglas Bader (Great Britain), Gregory Boyington (U.S.), Adolf Galland (Germany), D, Lydia Litvyak (USSR), and Saburo Sakai (Japan) into a fast-paced tale of adventure.

.

FWA news about meetings,

contests, and workshops

.

Victor DiGenti, the regional director of the Florida Writers Assn., gives readers the FWA Blog post about meetings, contests and workshops for NE Florida writers. Click here to access the blog.

.

The

Wrong

Stuff – Forensic Grammar

 

By HOWARD DENSON

 

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 Hither

and Yon

.

Click on each link to go directly to the story.

.

Paul Mathis's new letter:

The the or not the the,

that is the question

 

Christopher Howse notes that Paul Mathis, the owner of the Soul Mama restaurant in Melbourne, has invented a shorter way of writing “the.” He wonders if this is like a better kind of mousetrap. Howse explores one element that could be a thorn pricking Paul Mathis’s project.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10171615/Paul-Mathiss-new-letter-The-the-or-not-the-the-that-is-the-question.html

.

J.K. Rowling's 'secret' novel conceals

clues to its author's true identity

.

Okay, so J.K. Rowling was devious in the way she put out a novel under a penname. Despite the secrecy, the clues to the real author of “The Cuckoo's Calling” were there. Not least its terribly clunky sentences, says Sameer Rahim. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10178581/JK-Rowlings-secret-novel-conceals-clues-to-its-authors-true-identity.html

.

Writing for Hire Is Not

Spiritual Debasement

 

Noah Berlatsky writes in Splice Today that writing is just a job for a freelancer. He is suspicious of those who maintain that they toil at high art when they are banging away at the keyboard.

http://www.splicetoday.com/writing/writing-for-hire-is-not-spiritual-debasement

.

Erotic Lit Your

Grandmother Will Like

 

A Republican running for state senate in Colorado is under fire for her steamy romance writing, but she’s part of a growing trend of erotic fiction for and about the gray-haired set, according to Rachel Kramer Bussel’s report on the latest in erotica.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/09/erotic-lit-your-grandmother-will-like.html

.

“To Kill a Mockingbird”:

a book that still raises

questions about 'good' justice

.

According to Sam Jordison, Harper Lee's novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” must not be dismissed as a children's book. The story is trickier than it seems. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/18/mockingbird-questions-good-justice

.

The murky world

of literary libel

 

John Preston investigates lawsuits, pulped books, and family rifts and notes that, when novelists base their characters on real people, trouble tends to follow. The U.K. has tougher libel laws than we do in the U.S., but writers on both sides of the pond still get soaked.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10172292/The-murky-world-of-literary-libel.html

 

 

 

Stuff from

a Writer's Quill

 

The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken an immortal wound—that he will never get over it.

 

– Robert Frost

 

 

 

.

Writers Born

in August

.

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).

.

NFW suspends

dues indefinitely

.

The North Florida Writers has suspended its membership dues for an indefinite period. The treasury has stabilized at a comfortable level, and the NFW does not have any appreciable expenses. Members suspected we could go without dues for a couple of years and perhaps more. During this period, anyone may attend and participate in the monthly meetings. (Even with dues, writers were free to attend a few meetings to see if the NFW would suit their needs.)

.

Meetings

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

.

Some

Useful

Links

.

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 wished critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at http://howarddenson.webs.com/potentialcritiquers.htm.

.

The

Write

Staff

.

President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)

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

Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)

Treasurer: Richard Levine (RichieL@clearwire. net); 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.