Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
STUFF FROM A WRITER’S QUILL
Writing is like praying, because you stop all other activities, descend into silence, and listen patiently to the depths of your soul, waiting for true words to come. When they do, you thank God because you know the words are a gift, and you write them down as honestly and cleanly as you can.
—Helen Prejean C.S.J.
Stuff (and links) from hither and yonEssential reading: nine experts on the books that inspired them
Mar. 11 speaker for NFW will be Anne Payne, freestyle book organizer
Letters – Frank Green and Joyce Davidson
Bookmark Welcomes Lisa Gardner, Tim Dorsey, K.J. Howe, Trudy Nan Boyce, and Will Schwalbe
Amelia Writers to Hear Vic Digenti Speak about “The Writer’s Journey” on Feb. 16
FWA blog for Northeast Florida
Clay Writers to Get Tips on Travel Writing from Kathleen Walls
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
STUFF FROM HITHER AND YON
From film to philosophy, from music to history and economics, masters of their crafts pick the five books they could not live without. These experts include Alain de Botton, Helena Kennedy, Mark Kermode, Paul Morley, Steven Pinker, Olivia Laing, Noreena Hertz, David Olusoga, and Richard Mabey. The books may focus on myth, the sayings of Seneca, and filmmaking. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/08/essential-reading-experts-inspiration-film-law-philosophy-economics-history-psychology-music-nature
A conversation with naval fiction writer David Poyer, author of Onslaught
It is not surprising that CIMSEC wanted to interview naval fiction writer David Poyer. The publication is put out by the Center for International Maritime Security. Poyer’s latest, ONSLAUGHT, is based on a war between the U.S. and China. Poyer explains that his books can’t be snatched from current headlines since it takes about two years for a book to go from writing to publication. http://cimsec.org/conversation-naval-fiction-writer-david-poyer-author-onslaught/30364
Baboons make vowel sounds similar to humans revealing the evolution of language, study finds
Chomsky, Wolfe and me
The long, steady decline of literary reading
A report from the National Endowment in the Arts compares reading trends from 1982 to 2015. The rate when the studies began was 56.9 percent, but the 2015 results showed that 43.1 percent of adults read at least one work of literature in the previous year. That's the lowest percentage in any year since NEA surveys began tracking reading and arts participation. (The studies exclude required readings for students.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/07/the-long-steady-decline-of-literary-reading/?utm_term=.b9b27c389365
Cash for words: a brief history of writing for money
What was the source of Krazy Kat’s comic genius?
Glen David Gold’s article in The Washington Post contains links to others’ books on George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat.” His jumping-off point is Michael Tisserand’s new biography “Krazy,” which examines Herriman’s subversive humor. Books will tell how T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, and others admired Herriman, and then they will note the influence on his artwork by the Armory Show, the Surrealists, etc. An interesting problem in his life is that Herriman, a Creole (like Jelly Roll Morton), was “passing” as white (with the cooperation of his newspaper colleagues who would call him “the Greek”). https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/what-was-the-source-of-krazy-kats-comic-genius/2016/12/06/561381e8-bb1f-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html?utm_term=.811ebf97a527
Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books
In an interview a week before leaving office, President Obama talks with Michiko Kakutani about the roles of books in his life and in office, too. Obama, of course, is not the only reader to be president. The Library of Congress owes a great debt to books from Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln liked to read and was an excellent stylist. U. S. Grant still ranks as the best autobiographer of various presidents, and he was a voracious reader of novels during his time at West Point. Theodore Roosevelt was a prolific writer. Herbert Hoover wasn’t as busy as TR, but turned out much work. Harry Truman didn’t go to college, but read every book in his hometown library. John Kennedy won a Pulitzer for PROFILES IN COURAGE. Richard Nixon wrote extensively and used his writing to redeem himself with the public. Jimmy Carter is the only president who published a novel (a creditable one, too). It was unfairly said of Eisenhower that “If Zane Grey didn’t write it, Ike didn’t know it.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html?smid=fb-share
For a comprehensive list of Obama’s unofficial book club, go to http://time.com/4638127/barack-obama-book-list/.
Pronoun sets new self-publishing author royalty rate
Calvin Reid notes in Publisher’s Weekly that Macmillan’s self-publishing subsidiary, Pronoun, has established some new author royalty rates for ebooks sold in Canada and the U.S. Reid reports: “Beginning on January 17, authors publishing books via Pronoun can earn 70% of the list price as a royalty on books sold in the U.S. and Canada, priced at $9.99 or less, and can earn 65% of the list price for a book priced above $9.99. Previously, Pronoun authors selling books for less than $2.99 received a 35% royalty, similar to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program.” http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/72519-pronoun-sets-new-self-publishing-author-royalty-rate.html
And how are we tonight, President Trump?
The image of a writer
Randall Fuller, a professor at the University of Tulsa, uses as a springboard Michael Kearns’s WRITING FOR THE STREET, WRITING IN THE GARRET: MELVILLE, DICKINSON, AND PRIVATE PUBLICATION. He describes the book as a meditation on the way both authors imagined themselves as authors. https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/novemberdecember/feature/the-image-writer
The evolution of Batgirl over the past 50 years
Yes, your mama threw out your treasures, all of the D.C. (and Marvel) comics taking up space in the basement, but you will be able to reminisce the evolution of Batwoman and Batgirl over the past 60 or so years. http://designyoutrust.com/2017/01/the-evolution-of-batgirl-over-the-past-50-years/
The strange history of compulsive book buying
Lorraine Berry admits that she lives amid books and more books, especially those in the TBR stack (to be read). She describes the impact of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, an English cleric and bibliographer, who wrote Bibliomania, or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance, “a gentle satire of those he saw as afflicted with this ‘neurosis.’”
MAR. 11 SPEAKER FOR N.F.W.WILL BE
ANNE PAYNE, FREESTYLE BOOK ORGANIZER
The North Florida Writers will not meet during February, but the Mar.11 meeting will feature Anne Payne, a writer and reviewer for The Florida Times-Union. The talk will be in the meeting room of the Riverside-Avondale Watson Realty branch (on the corner of Herschel and San Juan). The meeting will start at 1 p.m.
The URL for her book group is http://www.meetup.com/jax-freestyle-book-club-for-real-readers/
First, they reinstated dues, but at a reduced rate of $20 a year (for all previous categories). The dues will begin with the 2017 calendar year.
Second, the NFW decided to go from quarterly meetings to six meetings a year beginning in 2017: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
Value of short story form
The January newsletter’s quote made a valuable point when George R.R. Martin said, "I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”
As I emphasize to aspiring writers at the meetings of The Bard Society, the short story is the supreme art form with strict demands on tightness of the words with no word being able to be other than what and where it is. Writing a great short story is nearly impossible. Most readers don't know how or even like to read short stories. An apprentice or journeyman writer can write a hundred short stories and learn only a small amount about the craft and vision of Story. On the other hand, writing even that first bad novel will force the writer to learn (read "teach oneself") close to ninety percent of what is needed to write good fiction. The main reason for this is that in learning a craft the first thing that must be done is to get the mistakes out of the way, and the novel offers a lot more space to do so.
On de Vere and Shakespeare
The January newsletter’s Hither and Yon section had a link to a story about the identity of the author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare.
I traveled to Stratford years ago, and I
questioned the authorship then from what I heard and saw. I
was thrilled to learn so many authors have pursued this.
Almost any book about de Vere gives compelling evidence,
especially Mark Anderson's thoughtful study. I should hope the
sleuth has more evidence than a family crest because de Vere's
family crest was much older and had spears on it--Shakspear. I
am convinced, and many notable authors over the years are sure
that Will Shakespeare, the actor, had no qualifications to
write the sonnets or the plays.
Joyce Davidson, Green Cove Springs, Florida
BOOKMARK WELCOMES LISA GARDNER, TIM DORSEY, K.J. HOWE, TRUDY NAN BOYCE, AND WILL SCHWALBE
Lisa Gardner, RIGHT BEHIND YOU (Dutton Books), Thursday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
Bestseller Lisa Gardner's edge-of-your-seat
thriller brings back law-enforcement couple last seen in SAY
GOODBYE. Quincy, a retired FBI agent, and Conner, an
investigative consultant for the Bakersville County sheriff's
department, have been fostering 13-year-old Sharlah for three
years and want to adopt her. When Sharlah's brother is caught
on a security camera shooting a clerk and a customer to death
in a gas station, Quincy and Conner work on protecting Sharlah
and locating her brother. Devilishly clever twists propel
Gardner's tale of family bonds fractured, mended, and
K. J. Howe, THE FREEDOM BROKER (Quercus Books), Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. (with bestselling author Steve Berry)
Kidnap and rescue expert Thea Paris has suffered from survivor's guilt ever since her brother, Nikos, was kidnapped 20 years earlier at age 12, despite his safe return. In the present day, the stakes get personal again when Thea's wealthy father, Christos, is kidnapped on his 60th birthday from his yacht. A powerful oil baron about to make the deal of a lifetime, Christos has certainly made his share of enemies. Thea expects a ransom demand, but instead a series of foreboding messages in Latin come to her father's phone. With no way to know whether her father is still alive, or who's behind the kidnapping, Thea must fight the clock, her own secrets, and those of her closest family members in order to find the truth. Lee Child calls Howe's debut "razor sharp and full of you-are-there authenticity—a superb thriller."
Trudy Nan Boyce, OLD BONES (G. P. Putnam's Sons), Wednesday, March 1, 7 p.m.
Will Schwalbe, BOOKS FOR THE LIVING (Knopf), Friday, March 3, 7 p.m.
Story Time with Miss Pat, Saturday March 11, 9 a.m.
AMELIA WRITERS TO HEAR VIC DIGENTI SPEAK ABOUT “THE WRITER’S JOURNEY” ON FEB. 16
“The Writer’s Journey” will be discussed by novelist Vic DiGenti at the Writers by the Sea meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Amelia Island Museum of History (233 S. 3rd Street, Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL).
FWA BLOG FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA
CLAY WRITERS TO GET TIPS ON TRAVEL WRITING FROM KATHLEEN WALLS
The Clay County Writers will hear Kathleen Walls, journalist, travel writer, and publisher, speak on “Travel Writing” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the meeting room of the Orange Park Public Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., Orange Park, behind the Dairy Queen on Kingsley Ave.).
Ms. Walls says, “Travel writing is not all glamor and glitz. It’s hard work, but so rewarding.” A travel writer since 1992, Woodall’s Southern RV published her first article on RVing at River Junction. She will discuss:
Clay County Writers is sponsored by Florida Writers Association. Get the details at https://floridawriters.net/. Monthly meetings focus on the art, craft, and business of writing. Some meetings offer presentations by author-speakers. Others introduce practical exercises to help writers sharpen their skills, give and receive feedback, and leave with concrete ideas 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:
.The list 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).
SOME USEFUL LINKS
KEEP UP WITH THE NFW ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
To begin, click on: https://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2FNorthFloridaWriters%2F&aref=94825392&medium=email&mid=af910daG3be2bd82G5a6ebb0G90G8294&bcode=1.1418662828.AbkY6Ei5o1kSfX4_&n_m=hd3nson%40hotmail.com
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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 (http://hiddenowl.com/Contact%20form.html).
.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