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.”
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
Parking: VyStar requests that NFW members and guests park on the
side of the buildings to leave spaces in front for their regular
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
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.
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
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.
GIFT FOR GRANDMA? TRY DOROTHY FLETCHER’S ‘HISTORIC JACKSONVILLE
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.
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
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
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
The final project will be available in paperback on Amazon.com for
$10-15. At times, the e-version may even be free.
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,
The BookMark is located at 220 First St., Neptune Beach, Fla.
For more information: Contact Ms. Brinlee at 904.241.9026 or
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
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.
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
“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
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,
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
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
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
WRONG STUFF – FORENSIC GRAMMAR
Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible
writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:
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
To check out the names of writers who were born this month, go to
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
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
(email@example.com); Frank Green of The Bard Society
(firstname.lastname@example.org); JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood
(email@example.com); Brad Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org);
Joseph Kaval (email@example.com); and Richard Levine
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,