Book signings and Simonizing your prose (WS 0615)
Writing News for the Sunshine State
& the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
June 2015
In This Issue:
NFW's next quarterly meeting will be July 11
BookMark opens June with a two-fer tonight
When you polish your final draft, do you Simonize it or Turtlewax it?
Writers by the Sea to learn all about Book Production 101 font-size: 10pt;"
FWA news
Stuff from a Writer's Quill '
Findings of a Forensic Grammarian \96 Howard Denson
Keep up with the NFW on our Facebook page
Meetings of NFW and Other Groups
Need someone to critique a manuscript?

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?or Did the story get right the various references to voltage and electricity?). As the works are being read, the respective authors should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.
The other quarterly meetings for 2015 will be Saturday, July 11, and Saturday, Oct. 10. Speakers will be announced later.
The NFW meets at the VyStar Credit Union (760 Riverside Ave., next to the Fuller Warren Bridge and Saturday\ Riverside Arts Market).
The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will begin at noon and end before 3 p.m.
Parking: VyStar requests that NFW members and guests park on the side of the buildings to leave spaces for their regular customers.

The BookMark at Neptune Beach will be offering a double-header of authors this evening, with the appearance of bestselling Southern authors Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.
 Mary Kay Andrews, \93Beach Town\94 (St. Martin's Press) & Mary Alice Monroe, \93The Summer's End\94 (Gallery Books), Wednesday, June 3, at 7 p.m.
In Beach Town, Mary Kay Andrews (author of The Fixer Upper and Savannah Blues) introduces us to Greer Hennessy, a struggling movie location scout tasked to find the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie.  She finds it in Florida, but the Mayor of this sleepy coastal town opposes anything that could adversely affect the area... until he is tempted by Greer herself.
With The Summers End, Mary Alice Monroe (author of the Lowcountry Summer trilogy) delivers the third in the series, taking readers back to the charm and sultry beauty of another beach town, Sullivan's Island.  Summer is ending, and it's time to sell the family home. Harper is just feeling confident and is not eager to leave the island, her sisters and beloved grandmother, and the Wounded Warrior who has claimed her heart.
David FitzSimmons, \93Curious Critters: Marine\94 Monday, June 8, at 7 p.m.
Award winning author and photographer David FitzSimmons will be at The BookMark on Monday, June 8, at 7 pm to talk about and sign copies of his new book \93Curious Critters: Marine.\94 Although directed at children, this book will appeal to marine animal enthusiasts of all ages. It features some of North America's most incredible marine animals captured through the award-winning photography of David FitzSimmons.
His photographs depict 20 common and fascinating animals of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. The subjects include a sleek black sea bass, a giant Pacific octopus, an incredible roseate spoonbill, and a one-in-a-million blue lobster, plus many more amazing creatures found along the coasts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Fun and educational narratives accompanying each animal highlight fascinating natural history information, and a visual index, additional curious critter facts, silhouettes showing animal sizes, and a full glossary are also included.
David FitzSimmons is a free-lance photographer and writer as well as a university professor. His photographs have appeared in various magazines, books, and calendars, as well as in exhibits. He is a professor at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. FitzSimmons' wife Olivia (a naturalist) and his two daughters, Sarah and Phoebe, help in his natural history endeavors. In addition to this Marine book, David FitzSimmons is the author/photographer of numerous other books on Curious Critters.
The BookMark is located at 220 First St., Neptune Beach, Florida 32266.
For more information: Contact owner Ms. Rona Brinlee at 904.241.9026 or
The big question before the Clay Writers Association this month will be whether writers should metaphorically use Simonize or Turtlewax when they polish their prose. That problem will be explored at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, when the Clay Writers meet in the Meeting Room of the Orange Park Public Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Ave.  and behind the Dairy Queen).
The evening's discussion leader will be the editor of this newsletter: Howard Denson aka William Howard Denson III.
Before you ask others to read your written work, be sure to fix the flaws in your story/essay/poem/etc.
Your mistakes may seem small to you, but they quickly turn off an editor, agent, or reader. That's why self-editing is essential.
Find out how to assess your own work and learn tools to create more compelling prose, whatever your genre.
If you want your words to come alive and sing, attend our June meeting, where Howard discusses:
\B7         What did you say? What did you mean to say?
\B7         Tips to jazz up your verbs and make your prose sparkle.
\B7         Continuity: What it is and how to catch your slips.
Denson is the author of Mowbray & the Sharks, Mowbray and the Baron (due out in weeks), Shoot-Out with a Wild-Eyed Moderate (a collection of humor, essays, and parodies), Gunfight with a Wild-Eyed Moderate (due out in weeks), A Quandary of Fibbles (an adult fairy tale), Fibble-Fabbles (due out in weeks), and The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian.
He was a long-time board member of the now defunct Florida First Coast Writers' Festival. He is a charter member and a former president of North Florida Writers, and he edits the group's newsletter, "The Write Stuff." He also serves as a board member of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, "Theatre that Inspires." Find out more at: and
FWA 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. In hands-on sessions, writers sharpen their skills, give and receive feedback, and leave with practical suggestions to improve their work.
To learn more, visit and join us on Facebook at \93Clay County Writers.\94
Looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting!
If you want to know more about what goes into books' publication process, then Writers by the Sea will present Cheyenne Knopf 'book maker extraordinaire 'as she describes what happens with the pages you have crafted together, before your book is released to the world. Her talk will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at the Amelia Island History Museum (233 S. Third St., Fernandina Beach). Ms. Knopf will fill in the details usually kept under wraps by publication people. Topics include paper choices for cover and page; stages of printing; typeset; and multiple binding options; publication decisions usually made for you behind closed doors.
However, in this era of hands-on publication, writers should be part of the conversation. Book Production 101, as Cheyenne Knopf calls it, will walk participants through differences in offset versus digital printing, popular paper options, and binding types. Ms. Knopf's other specialties include \93What book related expenses can I write off on my taxes? Sales and Income Taxes. What is a resell tax certificate? and How do I keep up with all this tax information?\94  All local writers are invited to attend, free of charge.
For more information, contact Nadine Vaughan.Williams at or call 904.225.8199.
Victor DiGenti, FWA Regional Director, says you may find out what's on tap this month at your NE Florida FWA group meetings by ' here.  Despite the growing heat, we have a full slate of meetings planned, plus there's news of contests and conventions.
Read all about it here.
DiGenti himself is busy as himself writing the Windrusher series or using his penname Parker Francis to tell stories about Quint Mitchell's mysteries, so check that out at .
All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.
-- Samuel Beckett
Click on each link to go directly to the story.
How the Greeks invented courtroom drama
Harry Mount says courtroom dramas are a staple of cinema, TV and stage. But the courtroom drama would not exist without a Greek tragic cycle written 2,500 years ago. In Aeschylus' \93Oresteia,\94 Orestes learns that his mother has slain King Agamemnon (for valid cause). He has a son's duty to slay the killer of his king and father, so he kills Mum and her lover\85only to have the Furies punish him for violating the admonition about not killing a parent. Athena intercedes eventually and goes all Jack McCoy on the parties involved.
Daughter of a lord? Partying at Buckingham Palace?
That's not privilege, says Dame Antonia Fraser
Historian Dame Antonia Fraser tells Anita Singh that the greatest privilege in life is having parents who love their children and each other. Wealth and privilege mean nothing if you grow up in an unhappy home.  
How Ty Cobb was framed as a racist
Woe to the celebrity who gets a hack as a biographer. Edgar Allan Poe unfortunately selected Rev. Griswold as his literary executor, and the man who hated Poe wrote a biography so scathing that it took a century for the real Poe to emerge. In his new biography, \93Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty\94 (Simon & Schuster), Charles Leerhsen fact-checked Al Stump's biography and found that it sensationalized and fictionalized much material. (The film \93Cobb,\94 therefore, reflects Stump's misrepresentation.)
Follow the link below to find where even sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:
A paperback collection, \93The Wrong Stuff: Findings of a Forensic Grammarian,\94 is available online at and Barnes & Nobel's website. Go to
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.
Looking for your favorite writer? Hit \93find\94 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 \93born this day\94 list. Recommendation: Writers may wish to create a \93pen birthday\94; 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).
For a listing of meetings of the NFW and other groups in Northeast Florida, click here
Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at
You may join us at any time on Facebook. Webmeister Richard Levine has changed the privacy setting of the NFW from Closed to Public. That way, you can check out our group at your leisure.

To begin, click on:

Later on, if you are in the process of simplifying your e-life and want to leave us, you may do so at any time by clickingthe 'Leave Group' or 'Unfollow Group' option at the top of the page.
If you have a finished manuscript that you want critiqued or proofread, then look for someone at Check out their entries on the website to see if they suit your needs. They include the following: Robert Blade Writing & Editing (; Frank Green of The Bard Society (; JJ Grindstaff-Swathwood (; Brad Hall (; Joseph Kaval (; and Richard Levine (
President: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail. com)
Vice President: Joyce Davidson (davent2010@comcast. net)
Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth. net)
Treasurer: Richard Levine (
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.