THE  WRITE  STUFF
 
Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
December 2015
 
  In this issue:
 
Stuff (and links) from hither and yon
* No Golden Words or Sacred Cows –  Beth Hill
* An Irishman’s Diary: On Grammar and the Stylebook of Leviticus – Frank McNally
* English is Not Normal –  John McWhorter
* Interview with the Legendary Shannon Ravenel – Lacy Crawford
* World Wide Words – Michael Quinion
 
NFW schedules next quarterly meeting in January
Amelia Island Book Festival slates inaugural charity golf tournament to buy books for Authors in Schools Literacy Program
Letters: Thanks for Newsletter
Christmas gift for Grandma? Try Dorothy Fletcher’s ‘Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces’
Book of Birthdays of Writers and Selected Quotes being Assembled; Should You Be Included?
BookMark Slates Appearances by Chris Bohjalian, Tim Dorsey
Clay Writers to Hear Rick Jones Emphasize ‘Don’t Be Shy, Make A Scene’ Dec. 16
 
FWA news from Vic DiGenti
Online Print and Audio Puts Spotlight on Emily Michael
 
Stuff from a Writer’s Quill — Charles Bukowski
Findings of a Forensic Grammarian – Howard Denson
Writers Born This Month

REGULAR POSTINGS:
Keep up with the NFW on our Facebook page. . .
Useful Links
Need someone to critique a manuscript?
The Write Staff
 

 
NO GOLDEN WORDS OR SACRED COWS
 
Beth Hill, fiction editor for The Editor’s Blog, ruminates on advice given by Dorothy Bryant in the Writer’s Digest’s “Handbook of Novel Writing”: Words aren’t fixed in stone, and most sentences will change before the final draft. http://theeditorsblog.net/2015/11/19/no-golden-words-or-sacred-cows/

 
AN IRISHMAN’S DIARY: ON GRAMMAR AND THE STYLEBOOK OF LEVITICUS
 
Frank McNally provides a look into The Stylebook of Leviticus to lead the unrighteous in grammar onto the paths of soundness. “Use ye not the word 'fulsome' when ye mean 'full', for that is unclean.” Check other admonitions at
http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-on-grammar-and-the-stylebook-of-leviticus-1.2446310

 
ENGLISH IS NOT NORMAL
 
No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language, according to John McWhorter, author of the book “The Language Hoax.”

 
INTERVIEW WITH THE LEGENDARY SHANNON RAVENEL
 
Lacy Crawford interviews the legendary editor Shannon Ravenel, who went from being a decorous daughter of the South to a major editor, especially of fiction.

 
WORLD WIDE WORDS
 
Michael Quinion edits the e-newsletter World Wide Words and (as in the November issue) discusses such matters as various names for snow, the meaning of Chi-ike and Cardiac Celt, Bob’s-a-dying, words added to dictionaries in 2015, and the effect of using “methinks.”

 
NFW SCHEDULES NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING IN JANUARY
 
The Jan. 9 quarterly meeting of the North Florida Writers will feature education writer and novelist Edward Baldwin. The meeting will start at noon and end before Riverside VyStar closes at 3 p.m.

 
Critiques after the speaker
 
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.
 
Parking: VyStar requests that NFW members and guests park on the side of the buildings to leave spaces in front for their regular customers.

 
AMELIA ISLAND BOOK FESTIVAL SLATES INAUGURAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT TO BUY BOOKS FOR AUTHORS IN SCHOOLS LITERACY PROGRAM
 
The Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF) has announced its inaugural “Hit the Pin for Literacy” Charity Golf Tournament supporting the Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The setting is the beautiful, award winning, Golf Club of Amelia Island (the Ritz-Carlton/Summer Beach Course), Friday, Dec. 11.  Check-in starts at 11 a.m. with the Shotgun start, “Scramble” format starting at noon.
 
“There will be loads of fun, food and fabulous prizes, but the joy of knowing you have helped a child in our Nassau County Public Schools own a book presented by its author is the real prize,” says John Carr, AIBF immediate-past president and tournament team leader.
 
Jim Weinsier, author, board director and tournament team member, said, “Participants in the tournament can make a huge difference. This event helps to raise the funds to buy a book for every student in our Nassau County Public School System. Golfers are playing for a good cause, and having a great time in the process.”
 
 Raffaela Marie Fenn, this year’s AIBF Board president said, “For more than a decade our Authors in Schools Literacy Program has been contributing to the educational process. The program is all about the Festival’s goal to promote literacy and life-long learning, as it touches every student throughout the county’s public schools in the process. We have some fabulous children and young adult authors coming to present, entertain, and excite the kids about learning through books on Festival Friday, Feb. 19, at their schools.  Where else can a golfer spend a relaxing day out in the fresh air-in friendly competition, while affording a local student a unique life-long learning experience?”
 
 The tournament format is a “Scramble” with lots of interesting twists. There will be a putting contest, gifts, prizes, raffles and much more. Registration includes greens fees, carts, range balls, cart baggie, buffet & awards. Prizes will be awarded to the Top Three Teams. Buy tickets on line or by mail. Registration for a foursome is $500, which buys books for one classroom; an individual player’s cost is $150, which contributes to the purchase of books for ten students.  A portion of the registration fee is tax-deductible.  To learn more about the Golf Tournament, visit http://www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org.
 
Led by Honorary Chairman and NYT and Number One International Bestselling Author, Steve Berry, the 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival promises new venues and formats designed to delight book fans and readers of all ages.

 
LETTERS:  THANKS FOR NEWSLETTER
 
I always look forward to The Write Stuff newsletters. There is some really interesting stuff in the November issue, especially about early translation of the King James Bible. I also am an interpreter/ translator and always tried to read a book in the original source language.  Revelations like this create concern for the “divine inspiration of God believers.”
 
I write a lot in Spanish and English, and translations don’t capture the nuances or other elements of writing such as tone or mood.  The Bible is a conglomerate of Greek, Latin and Aramaic. The words just don’t have the same exact meaning in each language.
 
In any event, I just wanted to complement The Write Stuff again on a fine informative newsletter. There’s always something in there that jumps out at me and grabs me. Pardon the clichés, my favorite way of expressing myself.
 
Chuck Pickard
Jacksonville, Florida

 
CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR GRANDMA? TRY DOROTHY FLETCHER’S ‘HISTORIC JACKSONVILLE THEATRE PALACES’
 
What do you get for Grandma or Aunt Edna for Christmas? You know they are both long-time or native residents of Jacksonville. So. . .
 
A couple of Christmases ago, you gave them Dorothy K. Fletcher’s “Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville” (History Press). Now Grandma and your aunt may appreciate her book
“Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-ins and Movie Houses,” which was released on Dec. 7.
 
Dorothy Fletcher taught English for thirty-five years in the public schools of Jacksonville, Florida, before she retired in 2007. Along with teaching, writing has been her passion in life. Her poetry has appeared in over 80 literary magazines including Kalliope and Key West Review. More than 20 of her articles have appeared in The Florida Times-Union, and she has also had essays and articles published in Coastal Traveling Magazine, Small Press Review, Florida English Journal, Folio Weekly, and Jacksonville Magazine. Several articles by Dorothy can be found in the archives of The Florida Times-Union website http://www.jacksonville.com.
 
In 1984, she published a children’s book entitled “The Week of Dream Horses” (Green Tiger Press). In October of 2002, she published her first novel, a book about a first year teacher’s trials and tribulations teaching in an inner city school based upon her own experiences in the classroom. “The Cruelest Months” seems to have touched a chord with educators, but anyone who cares about kids will enjoy it as well.
 
In June of 2005, Dorothy’s book “Zen Fishing and Other Southern Pleasures” was published by Ocean Publishing. Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, author of “A New Mother’s Prayers” says, “Dorothy Fletcher’s words reflect a gentle world—one of sunrises and summer berries, shade trees and sweet-scented women, good hearts, good faith, and patient affection. Her images, humor, and insights are painted with a warm patina that softens the heart, soothes the soul and summons a smile. Zen Fishing is itself a southern pleasure.”
 
Dorothy also won First Place the 2006 Robert Frost Poetry Contest sponsored by the Heritage House in Key West, Florida, and was invited to speak at the Library of Congress that same year as part of their Poetry at Noon Series.
 
For more information about her, go to http://dorothykfletcher.com/about.php.

 
BOOK OF BIRTHDAYS OF WRITERS AND SELECTED QUOTES BEING ASSEMBLED; SHOULD YOU BE INCLUDED?
 
Long-time readers of The Write Stuff newsletter are familiar with two of our features: “Writers Born This Month” and “Stuff from a Writer’s Quill.”
 
An imp from on high descended and suggested that the two features should be combined (as much as possible) into a directory of birthdays of wordsmiths, plus three or more quotations per day.
 
Already added to the list are some birthdays of the faculty-speakers for the Writers’ Festival, perhaps dating back 20 years. Since that time, cautious Americans have focused on ID theft and may not want exact days, months, and years listed.
 
Writers may want to use “pen-birthdays.” For example, if someone were born on Jan. 1 in 1950, he or she might take his or her father’s day and month (May 17) and the year for one of the siblings (1943).
 
If you are a published writer (traditional, indie, magazine articles, plays, etc.), we need two things from you:
 
n  Your birthday or “pen” birthday.
n  Two original quotes that can be added to our template and/or used in the upcoming directory.
 
What should the quote be about? Generally on some aspect of the writing process, creativity, or attitudes toward life. Avoid any quotes about, say, the cute ferocity of Fluffy, your pet. When will the directory be available? Probably early in 2016. The project needs 1,098 quotes to have at least three quotes for each day.
 
The final project will be available in paperback on Amazon.com for $10-15. At times, the e-version may even be free.

 
BOOKMARK SLATES APPEARANCES BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN, TIM DORSEY  
 
The BookMark at Neptune Beach has already scheduled writers to appear in 2016, according to owner Rona Brinlee.
 
Chris Bohjalian, author of “The Guest Room,” will appear at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, while
Tim Dorsey will sign copies of “Coconut Cowboy” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.  
 
The BookMark is located at 220 First St., Neptune Beach, Fla. 32266.
 
For more information: Contact Ms. Brinlee at 904.241.9026 or bkmark@ bellsouth.net

 
CLAY WRITERS TO HEAR RICK JONES EMPHASIZE ‘DON’T BE SHY, MAKE A SCENE’ DEC. 16
 
Aspiring and established writers should fight their natural shyness and learn how to “make a scene,” according to writer Rick Jones, who will speak to the Clay County Writers from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Orange Park Library (2054 Plainfield Avenue, off Kingsley Ave., behind the Dairy Queen).
 
Maureen Jung, the group leader, says meetings are free and open to all.
 
She says attendees should prepare to hold on to their hats at our next meeting—a rollicking, comfort-zone-testing hour of interactive learning guaranteed to permanently burn the elements of a scene deep into the brains of beginning and advanced writers.
 
Find out:
1.   The goal of a scene and the importance of a hook in fishing and in writing.
2.   How to build on conflict until the scene explodes in your reader’s face.
3.   Don’t stop now. How to write buttons and cliffhangers that’ll make ‘em beg for more, more, more.
 
A former Copywriter/Account Executive for William Cook Advertising, Rick focused on WINN-DIXIE, then a $70-million account, writing 20 TV spots and 40 radio spots a week. He was Group Creative Director for St. John & Partners and spent 15+ years as President/COO/Creative Director for Scott-McRae Advertising. He earned a BA (Psychology, Florida State) and an MBA (UNF).
 
“I got into the ad business because I was a writing machine. Just feed me the pages, and I’d fill ‘em up,” Rick says. He currently has several ad clients and devotes the rest of his time to “real writing,” working on short stories and a novel. See the November issue of Jacksonville Magazine for Rick’s article and a full-page ad. He’s won many local and national ad awards and, in 2015, an Honorable Mention for “God Ain’t Here No More,” in the Writer’s Digest Annual Competition
 
Clay County Writers is sponsored by the Florida Writers Assn. Monthly meetings (the third Wednesday) focus on the art, craft, and business of writing.
 
Some meetings offer presentations by author-speakers. We also hold hands-on sessions, where writers sharpen their skills, give and receive feedback, and leave with practical suggestions to improve their work.
 
To learn more, check out the group on Facebook at “Clay County Writers” or visit: https://floridawriters.net/.  
 
 
FWA NEWS FROM VIC DIGENTI
 
December marks the beginning of the end of another year. It’s also the last month in 2015 to attend one of the area FWA meetings. Most of the details can be found in this month’s FWA NE Florida Blog post freshly published monthly.
 
Read it before heading out to do more shopping or partying, and writing, of course. Click here to visit the post.
 
Happy holidays to all, and best of luck in the New Year,
 
-- Vic DiGenti, FWA Regional Director. Websites: www.fwapontevedra.blogspot.com   www.parkerfrancis.com

 
ONLINE PRINT AND AUDIO PUTS FOCUS ON EMILY MICHAEL
 
The December issue of Wordgathering is out, and it contains two poems by Emily K. Michael: "Wordbomb" and "Old Music." This is the 36th issue of Wordgathering, rounding off its eighth year as an online publication.
 
Just above the text of each poem, there is a link to the audio version, which the poet recorded. This journal offers poetry in audio and visual formats. Poetry isn't confined to one kind of perception; each sense shades a poem differently.
Read the poems here.
 

STUFF FROM A WRITER’S QUILL
 
He asked, “What makes a man a writer?”
 
“Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”
 
--  Charles Bukowski
  
 
THE WRONG STUFF – FORENSIC GRAMMAR
.
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
 
The second edition of a paperback collection, “The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian,” is available online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel’s website.
 

WRITERS BORN THIS MONTH
.
To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to this website:
 http://howarddenson.webs.com/decwritersbirthdays.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, and 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).
 

SOME USEFUL LINKS
 
Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at http://howarddenson.webs.com/usefullinksforwriters.htm

 
KEEP UP WITH THE NFW ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NorthFloridaWriters/

 
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).

 
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 (richiea.levine@gmail. com);
.
Presidents 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.
 
 
 
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