Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
June 2016
A good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything.
— Walter Mosley
In this issue:
Stuff (and links) from hither and yon
  • As I Lay Trying: How to read William Faulkner
  • Texas GOP bloviates but doesn’t proofread
  • Pride and Prejudice makes sense in the present. Jane Eyre doesn’t. Two new books show us why.         
  • The Real Housewives of Jane Austen
  • How I mourned my sister through the books she left behind
The next quarterly meeting of the N.F.W. will be Aug. 13 at Avondale Watson Realty
July 15 is deadline to win $10,000 for best poem -- Aerogramme Writers' Studio
Voice, POV, and Defaults on tap for Nocatee writers June 6
BookMark welcomes Anton DiSclafani tonight; White, Woods, Stockton, Wax in future
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
Click on the links below to read each article.
As I Lay Trying:
How to read
William Faulkner
Minnesota Public Radio has a discussion for frustrated individuals on how to read William Faulkner. Christopher Rieger offers several tips. Here are two of them: “Be patient” and “Be willing to re-read.”
Texas GOP bloviates
but doesn’t proofread
Here’s another item from Minnesota, “How the wrong verb meant the Texas GOP called all Texans gay.” The Republicans in the Lone Star state passed a resolution at their convention . . . and apparently no one bothered to proofread it. They wound up saying the opposite of what they wanted to say about homosexuality.
Pride and Prejudice makes sense
in the present. Jane Eyre doesn’t.
Two new books show us why.
Constance Grady notes that “two of this season's new releases are adaptations of these beloved stories: Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, a modernization of Pride and Prejudice, and Lyndsay Faye’s Jane Steele, which reimagines Jane Eyre.”
The Real Housewives
of Jane Austen
Why do reality television’s most popular stars so uncannily resemble the heroines of the 19th-century writer’s work? Sophie Gilbert says, “[Jane Austen’s] female characters are defined by two primary qualities: their privilege and their powerlessness. Her writing focuses almost entirely on women searching for stability and status, deploying the very limited means available to them.”

How I mourned my sister

through then books

she left behind


Novelist Tom Rachman lost his sister to breast cancer and, as she had requested, had the duty of emptying her apartment in downtown Washington, D.C., especially with its extensive collection of books. He says: “If you crave books, covet them, slam them shut in outrage, then they accumulate around you, becoming rows of memories: an edition lent at the start of a passion, never returned at the end; a volume cautioning against peril, or luring you to it; a book whose characters were your allies, even if you rarely frequent them today.” In his sister’s library, he also saw a life well lived.

The next quarterly meeting of North Florida Writers will be Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of the Riverside-Avondale Watson Realty branch (on the corner of Herschel and San Juan).
TO WIN $10,000
Rattle’s 11th annual poetry prize is currently accepting entries. The winner will receive US$10,000 and publication in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will each receive $200 and be in the running for a $2000 Reader’s Choice Award.
The competition is open to writers worldwide and all entries must be previously unpublished. Poems may be any length, any style, or any subject and there is no line limit.
The entry fee is a $20 one-year subscription to Rattle (or a one-year extension for subscribers). In 2015 the prize was won by Tiana Clark for her poem Equilibrium.
Rattle also considers unsolicited submissions year round. Poets at all stages of their careers are invited to submit their work and all poems are considered on their own merit. Contributors in print receive $100 per poem and online contributors receive $50 per poem. All submissions are automatically considered for the annual Neil Postman Award for Metaphor, a $1000 prize judged by the editors.
Entries for Rattle’s 2016 Poetry Prize close on Friday 15 July. For full entry details visit the Rattle website. -- Aerogramme Writers' Studio
The Nocatee Writers of the Florida Writers Assn. will hear about Voice, Point of View, and Narrative Defaults at its meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, June 6.
The speaker will be Howard Denson (yes, this newsletter’s editor). The indie author has eight books to his credit, including mysteries, magical realism novels, and non-fiction collections.
Owner Rona Brinlee says the BookMark will host Anton DiScalafani tonight. Authors visiting in the future will include Karen White, Mark Woods, Jimmy Stockton and Susan Brandenberg, along with Wendy Wax and editors from HarperCollins with book club recommendations.
Anton DiSclafani, “The After Party” (Riverhead Books), Thursday, June 2, 7 p.m.
DiSclafanias second novel, following "The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls" is an intriguing story about the complexities of female friendship and the intricate social hierarchy of Houston's oil elite in the 1950s. In a world focused on glamour and status, Joan Fortier has always been the center of attention, but no one loves her as much as her best friend, Cece. Friends since age five, Joan and Cece share a complicated past.
Karen White, “Flight Patterns” (New American Library), Friday, June 10, 7 p.m.
New York Times bestselling author of “The Sound of Glass” tells the story of a woman coming home to the family she left behind and to the woman she always wanted to be. Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people's pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert on fine china (especially Limoges) requires her to return to the one place she swore she'd never revisit. It's been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida. Nothing much has changed and encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled.
Mark Woods, “Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks” (Thomas Dunne Books) Tuesday, June 14, 7 p.m.
Woods' most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks. As a "mid-life project," Mark decided to spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and daughter. But then his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark's plan for a book about the future of the national parks, grew into something more: Lassoing the Sun is a about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind. Ms. Brinlee says, “We are excited to be part of the launch for this wonderful new book by Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods!”
Jimmy Stockton with Susan Brandenberg, “Stockton Safaris (The Story of James Roosevelt Stockton, Jr.)”, Friday, June 17, 7 p.m.
This is the life story of James Roosevelt Stockton Jr., adventurer, outdoorsman, entrepreneur, developer and Renaissance Man.  Perhaps the best description and tribute to Jimmy's life comes from his wife, Victoria.  "It is obvious to me that Jimmy has the extraordinary gift of seeing individuals and the world with his heart.  He also engages his very healthy imagination without any cynical assumptions.  We have hiked, ridden horseback, sailed, hunted, shot, fished, camped, visited gardens, museums, seen most of America together, had fantastic African safaris, traveled to Europe..."  Now you can enjoy reading about all of these adventures and the man behind them.
Book Club Night with HarperCollins Representative, Monday, June 20, 7 p.m.
The BookMark's HarperCollins representative, Eric, will recommend books for your book club (or that you just want to read).  His years of experience give him extensive and intimate knowledge of some of Harper's best book club selections.  You and invited to join us for refreshments, good conversation, and some prizes.
Wendy Wax, “Sunshine Beach” (Berkley Books/paperback), Thursday, June 30, 
7 p.m.
Wendy Wax has been described as the "beach read queen," and this book proves that's a good title for her.  After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki have banded together to restore a once glamorous beachfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair.  Then they decide to turn the venture into a reality TV show. What could go wrong?  Everything, apparently, from strained romances to unsolved mysteries.  The author draws from her own childhood memories to create these characters and this story.
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 “find” at the website and type in your favorite’s name. Keep scrolling to find writers born in other months.
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).
Writers, poets, and playwrights will find useful tools at
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