Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
STUFF FROM A
It’s possible, in a poem or short story, to
write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace
but precise language, and to endow those things – a chair, a
window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring – with
immense, even startling power.
– Raymond Carver
Stuff (and links) from hither and yon
‘lost’ books you should read now
Margaret Kay, 98; mother whose
writing bloomed in golden years
fiction good for you? How researchers are trying to find
this; why euphemisms change so often
Man Who Invented Fiction review – what we owe to Cervantes
· Once all
but left for dead, is cursive handwriting making a comeback?
Mencken in the middle: whatever side of the aisle
you’re on, H. L. Mencken is as relevant as ever
Technology changes how authors write, but the
big impact isn’t on their style
The next quarterly meeting of the N.F.W. will be
Aug. 13 at Avondale Watson Realty
celebrates 26th birthday;
lists visiting authors
FWA blog for
Writers switch site temporarily to accommodate voting; will
discuss positive feedback for works in progress at Penney
REGULAR POSTINGS: Writers Born This Month .
. . Keep up with the NFW on our Facebook page . . . Meetings
of NFW and Other Groups . . . Useful Links . . . Need
someone to critique a manuscript? . . . The Write Staff
Click on the
links below to read each article.
Ten ‘lost’ books
As the revival of lost
works takes the publishing world by storm, Lucy Scholes delves
into the archive to uncover the best hidden literary gems. These
range from “Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea” (1928-1930)
by Teffi to “All the Devils Are Here” by David Seabrook (2002).
Margaret Kay, 98;
mother whose writing
bloomed in golden years
Bryan Marquard looks
at the life of a late bloomer as a writer. Margaret Kay had
three marriages, three children, and focused on serious writing
when she was closing in on 70.
Is fiction good for you?
are trying to find out
that reading fiction is good for your mental health, but
evidence linking Jane Eyre or Anna Karenina to a broadened
mind has been mostly anecdotal. A psychologist-novelist delves
into that issue, arguing that reading or watching narratives
may encourage empathy. By exploring the inner lives of
characters on the page, readers can form ideas about others’
emotions, motives, and ideas, off the page. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160719131334.htm
Change so much
McWhorter of Columbia University notes that people change
their euphemisms not quite as much as they change their
underwear . . . but often enough. “Crippled” forked
lightning, so “handicapped” replaced it, which, in turn, was
replaced by “disabled” or “differently abled.” He also
traces the evolution of names for public restrooms.https://aeon.co/essays/euphemisms-are-like-underwear-best-changed-frequently
The Man Who Invented Fiction
--what we owe to Cervantes
reviews William Egginton’s “The Man Who Invented Fiction,”
which is about Miguel Cervantes and his novel “Don Quixote,”
the first modern novel. The book broke all the rules and
ushered in a literary form full of subjectivity and
Once all but left for dead,
is cursive handwriting
making a comeback?
Mencken in the middle:
whatever side of the aisle you’re on,
H. L. Mencken is as relevant as ever.
Alas, it’s too
bad that we don’t have H. L. Mencken around in 2016 as the
Democrats and Republicans square off in conventions and
debates online and eventually on TV. With some public critics,
you find they waffle so much that they become soft walls off
which balls do not bounce. Not so with Mencken. He provided a
hard wall of definite perspective and opinions about
excellence in humans, logic (if any) in religion, and quality
of literature and the arts.
Technology changes how
but the big impact isn’t on
professor of English from the University of Maryland wrote a
book about the history of word processing. As he worked on
his manuscripts and interviewed writers, he was often asked
about the effect of w.p. on style. He points out that
Friedrich “Nietzsche wrote, or more
[a particular] sentence on a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, a
wondrous strange contraption that looks a little like a
koosh ball cast in brass and studded with typewriter keys.
Depressing a key plunged a lever with the typeface downward
onto the paper clutched in the underbelly.”
THE NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING OF THE N.F.W.
WILL BE AUG. 13 AT AVONDALE WATSON REALTY
quarterly meeting of North Florida Writers will be Saturday,
Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of the
Riverside-Avondale Watson Realty branch (on the corner of
Herschel and San Juan).
The meeting will
be devoted to critiquing and perhaps a general discussion of
LISTS VISITING AUTHORS
Brinlee says The
BookMark (220 1st St., Neptune Beach 32266) will be blowing
out 26 candles on its birthday anniversary. It will also host
Lou Aguilar, Craig Pittman, Jennifer Fosberry, and Randy Wayne
White in upcoming weeks.
Celebration, Saturday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Brinlee says, “We think every birthday is an occasion for
celebration. We hope you’ll join us for some coffee,
bubbly, and cake, plus a chance to win some prizes”
She says, “We have
scheduled our monthly Story Time to kick off the day. Miss
Pat will read to children ages 3 - 8 starting at 9 a.m.
Lou Aguilar, Jake
for Mayor (Penmore Press) Tuesday Aug.30, 7 p.m.
Ken Miller is having a
bad run of luck. After torpedoing his career as a campaign
manager, he drives through tiny Erie, Colorado, when a homeless
beagle named Jake causes a series of mishaps that lands him in
jail. Stuck in Erie as it prepares for a mayoral election and
unable to resist political adventure, Ken gets a brainstorm. If
he can exploit the dog’s popularity among the townspeople and
get them to elect Jake as a protest candidate, the publicity
will put him back on top.
Craig Pittman, “Oh,
Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of
the Country” (St. Martin’s Press) Saturday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m.
Every place has its
idiosyncrasies, but journalist Pittman (The Scent of Scandal)
makes a strong case for Florida being the strangest state in the
nation. He relates bizarre events with assorted characters from
Florida’s current culture and modern history. Covering diverse
topics such as politics, plastic surgery, civil rights,
Scientology, sinkholes, and NASCAR, the author shares news
reports and scandals representing the oddity that is Florida.
(This book is also featured in the BookMark newsletter as
Laura’s staff pick for this month.)
“Isabella: Girl in Charge” (Sourcebooks), Saturday, Oct. 15,
A big event has
Isabella ready to leave home at the crack of dawn. But that’s a
motion her parents are not likely to pass. If
her house is going to work like a democracy, Isabella knows what
she has to do; call an assembly and campaign her way out the
door! Inspired by women who trail-blazed their way onto the
political map of America, Isabella celebrates the women who were
first to hold their offices.
Randy Wayne White,
“Seduced” (A Hannah Smith novel) (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) Sunday,
Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Five hundred years
ago, Spanish conquistadors planted the first orange seeds in
Florida, but now the whole industry is in trouble. The only
solution might be somehow, somewhere, to find samples of the
original root stock. No one is better equipped to traverse the
swamps and murky back country of Florida than Hannah Smith, a
tall, strong Florida woman whose family roots go back
generations. Once word leaks out of her quest, trouble begins.
There are people who will kill to find a direct descendant of
those first seeds.
Oh, of course,
you are bound to ask which writers or poets were born on Aug.
27. Simple, they include Johann Georg Hamann (1730), Herman
Muntinghe (1752), Anne-Francois Mellinet (1768), Georg
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770), Edward Beecher (1803),
Hermann Kipper (1826), Albijn van de Abeele (1835), Manuel
Acuna (1849), Iwan Franko (1865), Emmuska Orczy (1865),
James Henry Breasted (1865), Amado Nervo (Juan C. Ruiz de
Nervo) (1870), Theodore Dreiser (1871), Lloyd C(assel)
Douglas (1877), Ad van Emmenes (1897), Cecil Scott “C. S.”
Forester (1899), Xavier Villaurrutia (1903), Norah Lofts
(1904), Donald McKenzie MacKinnon (1913), Catherine
Marshall (1914), Walter W. Heller (1915), David Rowbotham
(1924), Ira Levin (1929), Antonia Fraser (1932), Frank
Yablans (1935), Michael Holroyd (1935), Desmond O’Grady
(1935), Lary Crews (1946), Paul Reubens (1952), Tom Lanoye
(1958), Jeanette Winterson (1959).
that it’s too darned hot to be outside, so it’s time to
retreat full time to the air-conditioned comfort of your
keyboard. If you want to confer inside with fellow writers,
then go to the FWA blog and check out meetings of the River
City Writers, the Clay County Writers, Writers by the Sea, the
Ancient City Writers, and the Ponte Vedra Writers.
CLAY WRITERS SWITCH SITE
TO ACCOMMODATE VOTING;
WILL DISCUSS POSITIVE
FOR WORKS IN PROGRESS AT
seasons, the meeting rooms of public libraries are already
booked for ballot training and early voting, so the Clay County
Writers will have to leave the Clay County Library on Wednesday,
Aug. 17. The group will meet instead at Penney Farms Community
Commons Room. The meeting will start at 6 and last till 8 p.m.
The group will focus
on “To Give and to Receive: How to Read & React to Writing
Group leader Maureen
Jung asks, “Ever wish you had constructive feedback on your
writing? Using a checklist to assess each piece, we’ll review
the process, then put it to work.” Note: this is not a literary
critique group. Criticizing written work is easy. Finding
authentic strengths languishing in a rough draft presents a
bigger challenge. Find out how to:
Read and respond to writing with
positive, practical comments and suggestions.
Hear, weigh, and
act on feedback from others about your writing.
own writing more effectively, before you send it for outside
review or editing.
For feedback on your
writing, bring along 3 copies of your piece, up to 4 pages
(about 1,000 words), double-spaced, 12-point text. (No reading
from laptops or notebooks.) Ms. Jung facilitates this session. A
writer, editor, and workshop leader for 30+ years, she has
trained thousands of adults to write with greater skill,
confidence, and power.
Clay County Writers is
sponsored by Florida Writers Association. Get the details on
this statewide group: https://floridawriters.net/.
Monthly meetings focus on the art, craft, and business of
writing. Some meetings offer presentations by author-speakers.
Other meetings introduce practical exercises to help writers
sharpen their skills, give and receive feedback, and leave with
practical suggestions to improve their work.
For more information,
contact Ms. Jung or go to the Facebook page at
To check out the
names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:
includes novelists, poets, playwrights, nonfiction authors,
writers for the small and silver screen, and others.
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).
KEEP UP WITH
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include the following (remove spaces from address):
THE WRITE STAFF
Emeriti: 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.