Mystery writer gives talk; authors at winery; Bookmark has signings (Feb. 2013)
Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
www. northfloridawriters. org * Editor: Howard Denson * Feb. 2013
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In This Issue:
NFW to hear mystery writer Feb. 9 at Webb Wesconnett
Meet Berman, Denson, Harris, and Owen Feb. 27 at OP’s Black Horse Winery
Bookmark signings to feature Dorsey, Small, White, Allman, Coben, and Greenlaw
Much Ado About Libraries – Howard Denson
Connie Davies pens novel about the Sunbelt’s original Hollywood
Rodgers to entertain Amelia Islanders with stories and song Saturday, Feb. 16
Stuff from a Writer's Quill Zadie Smith
Need someone to critique a manuscript?
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
The Write Staff
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NFW to hear mystery writer
Feb. 9 at Webb Wesconnett
The North Florida Writers will hear mystery writer Michael Wiley at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Webb Wesconnett Library (corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard, to the east of I-295). The public is welcome to attend.
Wiley is the author of “A Bad Night’s Sleep” (St. Martin’s Press, June 2011), “The Bad Kitty Lounge” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) and the Shamus-nominated, PWA/SMP award-winning “Last Striptease” (St. Martin’s Press 2007). He is writing a fourth novel in the series, which features Chicago Detective Joe Kozmarski. He is also writing a stand- alone mystery set in the wetlands of northern Florida.
He grew up in Chicago and has lived and worked in the neighborhoods and on the streets where he sets his Kozmarski mysteries. He now teaches literature at the University of North Florida. As part of this other life, he has published books on “Romantic Geography” (Macmillan-St. Martin’s Press) and “Romantic Migrations” (Palgrave Macmillan). No one shot at him when he was writing either of them.
For more information about Wiley, go to
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:
Feb.9 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Mar.9 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Apr. 13– 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
May 11– 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett
Meet Berman, Denson,
Harris, and Owen Feb. 20
at OP’s Black Horse Winery
A “Meet the Authors” session will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Black Horse Winery, 420 Kingsley Avenue, a block west of Park Ave. (Hwy. 17) on the south side of the street. Owner and winemaker Kiyoko Fiedler sponsors this and other cultural events featuring local artists and writers. Guests are welcome at the sessions.
The authors in February will be these:
nChris Berman, military historian and author of “The Hive,” “Red Moon,”and “Star Pirates,” has had his latest novel Ace of Aces released through Leo Publishing, LLC. The story behind “Ace of Aces” takes one of the most shameful episodes of the First World War -- France’s use and then betrayal of their African and Asian colonial soldiers, recruited to fight for France -- and turns it into a tale of future conflict, pitting the remainder of the human race against an implacable alien enemy. In World War I, France was close to losing the war by attrition with over one and a half million men killed in battle by 1916. In desperation, France made a promise of full French citizenship to those colonials who would fight. However, at the end of the war, France reneged on their promise, stating that “savages” could never understand what it is to be a citizen of France. In “Ace of Aces,” Berman poses the question: “What if the survival of the human race rested with those considered to be less than human?”
nHoward Denson will speak briefly about his fantasy-novel, “Mowbray and the Sharks,” which offers a tale about ghosts, gangsters, and Nazis. Trying to make sense of his world is Martin Mowbray, who differs from most people because of an experiment that went wrong back in England when he was twelve and left him able to see ghosts. He can’t tell a ghost from someone who’s alive until he realizes that no one else is able to see the entity. He is the valet/foster father of Tommy Watson, whose world revolves around his sweetheart Ellen Davenport. Since Tommy is possibly an heir to a fortune of $137 million, his outlook should be rosy. Unfortunately, a psycho bank-robber in the Midwest named Tommy-Gun Watson resents Watson and his cousin Conrad are receiving so much exploits, while his robberies and killings largely go unnoticed. He heads to New York City to take over the big town, but two mobsters think a contract has been put out on them. They order a notorious hitman from Chicago, Luigi Goldberg O’Brien, to take out Watson. Since a Nazi front wants to get its hands on the $137 million to pay for a campaign of pacifism, they want to neutralize Tommy and his cousin. Does the story drive toward wedding or funeral bells – or both?
nHeman“Doc” Harris is “The Forest People: Sasquash Revenge.” (No further information was available by our deadline.)
nJack Owen has reissued “Palm Beach – An Irreverent Guide” almost three decades after it was penned.
He said, “It is just as corny and ‘ineptly illustrated’ (according to one early newspaper critic) as ever. However, it entertained visitors and residents alike for 10 seasons before the naughtier, ‘Palm Beach Scandals – An Intimate Guide,’bumped it off the shelves.” They are both available in book and e-book forms. Much has changed on Palm Beach a.k.a. “The Island” since 1985, but the sites, stories and legends which give the winter paradise its allure, endure forever.
Clay County Writers is accepting donations for BASCA, Inc., a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Future “Meet the Authors” sessions are scheduled for 2013 on Mar. 27 and April 25, all at Black Horse Winery, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Contact CCW group leader Maureen Jung at to arrange to participate as an author.
Bookmark signings to feature
Dorsey, Small, White,
Allman, Coben, and Greenlaw
Rona Brinlee announces that the Bookmark will feature several booksignings in the upcoming weeks, ranging from Tim Dorsey and Randy Wayne White in fiction to Gary Small (Alzheimer’s) and Linda Greenlaw (coping with an abused child).
Tim Dorsey, "Riptide Ultra-Glide" (William Morrow), Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. Freshly laid-off Wisconsinites Patrick and Barbara McDougall are going to sunny Florida for a modest romantic vacation. But the motel they picked isn't quite a pastel paradise, and they have to be Midwesterners and make the best of a bad situation. Except bad goes to worse, and a string of misfortunes renders them unable to leave the state. Meanwhile, the next Mexican-American War is being fought, this time in Fort Lauderdale, between the Kentucky mafia and the Oxy cartel over control of the lucrative pain clinic market. Latinos are turning up dead, hillbillies are wandering the beach trampling sand castles, and cops continue arresting doctors wriggling out of office windows. But it's never really a party until Serge and Coleman arrive. Cruising down U.S. 1, Captain Florida and his perpetually altered sidekick are on a mission to film the best reality show ever! Back at their motel, the McDougalls are peeking out the curtains. They've become very popular, especially with Serge, who believes he has found the perfect stars for the pilot of his new TV series. Are the McDougalls safer with Serge or should they take their chances on the mean streets? Will Coleman get tired of signing autographs? Can pelicans be used as murder weapons? Is time running out for our heroes? And, finally, the question still on everyone's lips: What's up with Florida?
Gary Small, "The Alzheimer's Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life" (Workman), Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. In this updated paperback edition, New York Times bestselling author Gary Small provides an easy-to-follow regimen based on the latest comprehensive research into Alzheimer's disease, and especially the critical connection between lifestyle and susceptibility. Small's prevention program is for anyone with a family history of Alzheimer's and the 80 million baby boomers who worry whenever they forget someone's name. He addresses questions of how to incorporate brain-protecting foods into your diet, how to cross train your brain, and how to reduce stress.
Randy Wayne White, "Night Moves" (Putnam), Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. While trying to solve one of Florida's most profound secrets, Doc Ford is the target of a murder attempt by someone who wants to make it looks like an accident. Or is the target actually Tomlinson? Whatever the answer, the liveaboards and fishing guides at Dinkin's Bay on Sanibel Island are becoming increasingly nervous, after a near-poisoning, a plane crash, and an explosion make it apparent that Ford and Tomlinson are dangerous companions. What their small family of friends don't know is that their secret pasts make it impossible for the two of them to go to the law for help. There is an assassin on the loose, and it is up to them to find the killer, before he or she finishes the job. This is White's twentieth Doc Ford novel.
T. D. Alllman, "Finding Florida: A True History of the Sunshine State" (Atlantic Monthly Press), Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. At once an exuberant media dream and the political pivot of the nation, the state of Florida plays an essential role in 21st century America. Taken in the grips of multiple conquests and then sold as a resort paradise, Florida has emerged as a multicultural mirror of our nation as we know it today. Allman reassembles the extraordinary story of Florida that has suffered distortion throughout decades of rupture and healing. As provocative as it is genuine, this fascinating, comprehensive history of our fourth most populous state takes us from its Eden-like beginnings to the sidewalks of today's South Beach and everything in between. “Finding Florida”has a myth-busting spirit that promotes honesty and gumption rather than the sugarcoating that has left cracks in Florida's, and our nation's history.
Harlan Coben, "Six Years" (Dutton), Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m. New York TImes bestselling mystery author Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide. Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven't come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd's obituary, he can't keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd's wife he's hoping for...but she is not Natalie. Everything Jake thought he knew about his life is turned completely inside out, and no one has seen Natalie in years.
Linda Greenlaw, "Lifesaving Lessons: Notes from an Accidental Mother", (Viking), Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m. America's only female swordfish-boat captain (and "perfect storm" survivor) returns with a straightforward account of the challenges she faced in becoming the legal guardian of a sexually abused teenager and in balancing unexpected motherhood with her reclulsive lifestyle on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. Greenlaw (the bestselling author of “Seaworthy”)and her community were disturbed to learn that a pedophile resided on the island, and that 15-year-old Mariah needed rescuing. Always a happy loner, Greenlaw found herself in a new role as mother. She skillfully draws parallels between life at sea and her new role as a parent.
The Book Mark is located at 220 First St., Neptune Beach, FL 32266. For more information, call 904.241.9026 or send an e-mail to owner Rona Brinlee at
Much Ado
Harry Reagan of the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Libraries recently gave a fine defense of our local system to the College Retirees Assn. It is disturbing when some ill-informed civic or business leader opines that libraries are dinosaurs and that a good portion of the branches ought to be closed.
Critics erroneously claim that everything is electronic now and that the public is hooked to the world wide web. That simply is untrue. For many citizens, they are only able to hook up when they go a local library. When I asked library officials their circulation numbers for the past year, Mr. Richard Mott informed me that the libraries loaned a total of 8,396,991 items in 2012.
That number includes the following:
4,852,395 print books (2,637,106 books for children and teens)
2,480,614 DVDs and VHS videos
350,976 music CDs
357,709 audiobooks on CD
188,693 electronic downloads (books, movies, and music)
In short, our citizens checked out 5.2 million regular books and their audio versions on CDs, and it is encouraging to see that over 54 percent of the books were checked out by young people. We should do more to see that the libraries receive the financial support they deserve. A well-informed citizenry doesn't cost us; it saves us money in the long run. – Howard Denson
Connie Davies pens
novel about the Sunbelt’s
original Hollywood
Before there was a Hollywood for America’s young motion picture industry, actors and directors rode the trains down to Jacksonville, where several studios were established. Instead of being welcomed as a non-polluting industry, some in the power structure threw fits when chaos was seemingly exploding outside churches as the filmmakers shot footage of staged gunfights and the like.
Award-winning writer Connie Davies focuses her historical novel, “Flicks and Tricks” on 1912 when the Times Union declared Jacksonville was the winter capital of the production of silent films. That dismayed the mayor, sheriff, firechief, church leaders, and others wanting peace and quiet.
Davies’ protagonist is Emma, a dresser and seamstress working for Kalamar films. She has her first job, but her life changes one day when an actress didn't show up. Emma subbed for the sultan's bride and was directed to dance. She mesmerized everyone on the set. The producer believed a star was born. His playboy friend vowed to bed her.
Rodgers to entertain Amelia Islanders
with stories and song Saturday, Feb. 16
The Amelia Island Book Festival offers a pre-Festival event by presenting an evening with Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Burns Hall of St. Peters Church, Centre Street. This event is a partnership with long-time Book Festival supporters Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman. Preferred seating and meet the artist may be obtained for a donation of $25, while general seating comes with a donation of $15.
The actual 2013 Amelia Island Book Festival will be Apr. 26-17.
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.
Stuff – Forensic Grammar
Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:
from Hither
and Yon
Click on each link to go directly to the story.

Oscar Wilde

Invades America
Roy Morris Jr. recounts the invasion of America by the great one, Oscar Wilde. The article also includes several examples of the wit and wisdom of the British writer.

Law and Literature

reading list for 2013
Tyler Cowen compiles a list of books (across the curriculum, as they say) that should be tackled during this year, along with a few films worth watching. Tip from Stuffers: If you drive a lot, get audio books of works that you know you should read but haven’t gotten around to.

Has Shakespeare's dark lady

finally been revealed?

Hannah Furness writes that a historian, Aubrey Burl, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, claims to have discovered the identity of Shakespeare's Dark Lady, who inspired some of his most famous sonnets. Burl believes she can be revealed as Aline Florio, the wife of an Italian translator, who "loved for her own gratification," "hurt and harmed poets and earls," and indulged in "temptation and callously self-satisfied betrayal of her husband." But Duncan Salkeld, a reader at the University of Chichester, claims to have identified the Dark Lady as Lucy Morgan, a "fallen woman" also known as "Lucy Negro."
Joe Simpson dumps
'bullying' publisher
over ebook royalties
Alison Flood writes that Joe Simpson, author of a best-selling memoir about his miraculous survival in the Peruvian Andes, “Touching the Void,” has set up his own digital publisher after refusing to accept 25% royalty offer from Random House.

Redacting Racism: Edit of Classic

Children's Book Hexes Publisher
Charly Wilder reports in Der Spiegel that one of Germany's oldest children's book publishers, Thienemann Verlag, is engaging in political (social?) correctness with its new edition of Otfried Preussler's beloved 1957 tale "The Little Witch" ("Die kleine Hexe"). The book “has been amended to remove certain questionable terms, including the word ‘negro.’ The decision has sparked heated discussion over how to handle outdated, controversial language in classic children's books.”
Tackling the faux pas
of the German language
There is a movement in Germany to weed out politically incorrect terms. This article says, “In pubs across Bavaria, people order‘Negroes’ or ‘Russians,’ and receive a wheat beer mixed with cola or lemonade. A traditional restaurant in Kiel is proudly called Zum Mohrenkopf, which translates as The Moor's Head.”
Another German writer, from German and Senegalese parents, tells about the humiliation she felt as a school child when certain terms were used or songs were sung with hurtful language.
A decalogue
for writing well
D.G. Myers, a critic and literary historian has come up with ten commandments for writers, beginning with “Thou shalt have no other goals or purposes before this: to make thyself clear, to thyself perhaps most of all.” For the other admonitions, go to
Hell is my own book tour,
says humor writer-novelist
used to worry that nobody would show up when he appeared for readings and book-signings at book stores. Then he realized it's much, much worse when only four people do.
10 things you need
to succeed as a writer?
Michele Wallerstein, a former literary agent and general guru for screenwriters, has a list of ten qualities that a screenwriter should have. The first one is“ammunition,” which means the writer must have a finished product (many of them, in fact).
On the serial comma:
the pro’s and con’s
Arika Okrent explores “The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars,” including this sentence to argue in favor of adding the comma before the final item in a series: “She took a photograph of her parents, the president, and the vice president.” With the comma, we know that there are four people in the picture.
Stuff from
a Writer's Quill
Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
Zadie Smith

Need someone
to critique
a manuscript?
If you have a finished manuscript that you wished critiqued or proofread, then look for one at
Writers Born
in February
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.)
of NFW and
other Groups
BARD SOCIETY: Every Wednesday: 7 p.m.; Frank Green 250-6045; Email frankgrn@comcast. net
THE CDS PUBLICITY FREE WRITERS CRITIQUE GROUP: Meets twice monthly. The first Tuesday of each month at the Mandarin Library on Kori Road from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and the third Saturday of the month at the Webb-Wesconnett Library at 103rd and Harlow from 2 until 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome. For more information see our website at http://CDSPublicity. comor call 904.343.4188.
CLAY COUNTY WRITERS: Meets on third Wednesday of each month from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Ave., just behind the Dairy Queen.
FIRST COAST CHRISTIAN WRITERS GROUP: Every Thursday, 6:45 Charles Webb-Wesconnett Library at the intersection of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard. Email: Dalyn_2@yahoo. com or Tlsl72@yahoo. com.
FIRST COAST ROMANCE WRITERS: Second Saturday of each month; start time varies based on program; see website Chaffee Road Library; 1425 Chaffee Rd. S., Jacksonville. Info: www. firstcoastromancewriters. com
MANDARIN WRITERS WORKSHOP: Second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30 S. Mandarin Library (corner of San Jose and Orange Picker Rd.). Larry Barnes at wordsandpics@bellsouth. net.
NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS: Second Saturday: 2 various locations (due to flooding at Willowbranch) www.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA CHAPTER OF FLORIDA WRITERS ASSN.: fourth Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library (between Jacksonville and St. Augustine). Vic DiGenti, FWA regional director. For more information, check www. fwapontevedra. blogspot. com or www. windrusher. com.
SHANTY BOAT WRITERS: Runs regular workshop sessions, generally about six weeks long. To check on an upcoming session, contact Lynn Skapyak Harlin at
SISTERS IN CRIME: First Saturday of each month: 10:30 a.m. at Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256; Sherry Czerniejewski, president Email sherrycz@aol. com
THE ATAVIST (original nonfiction storytelling):http://atavist. net/
BOOK COUNTRY (sponsored by Penguin Books): http://www. bookcountry. com/
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: http://www. law. duke. edu/cspd/publicdomainday
CLASSIC BOOKS FOR FREE DOWNLOADS: http://www. planetebook. com/
DAYS OF YORE (writers and artists’struggles to succeed): http://www. thedaysofyore. com/
HOW LANGUAGE WORKS (the cognitive science of linguistics from Indiana University): http://www. indiana. edu/~hlw/
"MURDER YOUR DARLINGS" (Quiller-Couch on Style): http://grammar. about. com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/murderquiller. htm
THE PHRASE FINDER: http://www. phrases. org. uk/
POETRY DAILY: http://poems. com/
PREDITORS & EDITORS (sort of a Consumer’s Report about agents, editors, etc. ): http://pred-ed. com/
QUOTE INVESTIGATOR: http://quoteinvestigator. com/
THE RED ROOM – Where the authors are: http://redroom. com/
SHAKESPEARE SEARCHED: http://shakespeare. yippy. com/
SOME PLACES TO OBTAIN FREE E-BOOKS: http://www. freeliterature. org/index. html
TEN PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WRITING (F.L. Lucas on Style): http://grammar. about. com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/lucastyle10. htm
TODAY IN LITERATURE: http://www. todayinliterature. com/
WRITECORNER PRESS (contests, scholarships, etc.):
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.