Writing News for the Sunshine State
& the Solar System
Editor: Howard Denson
March 2015
To Unsubscribe or Change Your Email Address, hit REPLY and send in your request.
In This Issue:
From the Porch: The Joy of Writing – Dickie Anderson
NFW’s next quarterly meeting will be Apr. 11
Clay Writers offer workshop on how to earn publication March 18
Flagler College to host poet Elaine Bleakney on Mar. 12
Annual Zona Rosa Writers’ Retreat travels to south of France
Edward Baldwin offers free Classroom Drama e-newsletter
Does Shantyboat Writers group still have room in its workshop?
BookMark celebrates Women’s History, hosts creators of Doc Ford and Cotton Malone
Director’s Cut? Who cares? But check out Steve Berry’s Writer's cut audio
FWA news, plus Parker Francis bulletins
Stuff from a Writer’s Quill — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Stuff from hither and yon
The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson
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
I had a chance to share lunch with another writer on Amelia Island. When writers get together, it is always interesting. We have lots in common. Like people who have experienced unique things like riding a camel (I did), going on safari (I did), white water rafting (I did), only those who have actually experienced the same thing can understand. Now writing is much less dangerous than camel riding, going on safari, or white water rafting, but it does offer unique experiences.
Producing a book has many stages. First, of course, is a concept that the writer feels a passion for. Then the writer copes with the word processing and the quintessential editing. Then the writer gets the manuscript to a publisher, and finally the book is born. To actually hold your own book in its final form is an extraordinary and unique experience. Later, maybe even someone buys one!
Carson W. Bryan and I chuckled as we shared some of our experiences as we conceived, wrote and published our books. We found we had lots in common. We both came to Amelia Island around the same time. His passion is golf and mine is tennis.
Bryan is originally from Wheeling, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh. He has a Ph.D. and his background is physics and chemistry and later insurance products. He found he needed more and began to explore his creative side. He has published five books.
Using his love of golf, he created a group of characters who included the protagonist William Divot Mulligan. His first book, “William Divot Mulligan, A Man For All Seniors,” uses characters that any golfer will identify with; they have such nicknames as Slammer, Grumpy, Eagle Eye, Fetch and Steady Eddie. The book is about golf buddies but so much more. The main character, Mulligan, goes from a fairytale life as a celebrity to a nightmare filled with disappointment and disgrace. He disappears at the end of the book leaving questions and an opportunity for a sequel. In addition to the sequel, “The Return, A Man For All Seniors,” Bryan has published “The Observatory” and “Let's Find Out” (collections of short stories). His fourth book, “The One You Feed,” is a mystery involving the CIA, thee FBI, and some secret societies.

 Bryan’s talents include the creation of skits for friends and groups, and he has shared what writing means to him: “Writing fiction gives me an outlet to freely explore the vagaries of our human mind. Through dialog I can assume different personas much like an actor playing a multitude of roles.”
So, writers out there, be encouraged. Bryan followed his dream of publishing a book and went on to publish four more! Carson Bryan's books are available at the Book Loft or  by going to this website:
To receive Dickie Anderson’s weekly column, “From The Porch,” contact her at
Since the North Florida Writers has voted to go to quarterly meetings, the next meeting will be at noon, Saturday, Apr. 11, with the speaker being Carrol Wolverton.
The other meetings for 2015 will be Saturday, July 11, and Saturday, Oct. 10. The speakers will be announced later.
This newsletter will continue to come out on a monthly basis.
A workshop entitled “Tips on how to earn publication”  will be offered from 6:15 to 8 p.m.,  Wednesday, March 18, in the meeting room of the Orange Park Public Library (2054 Plainfield Ave., off Kingsley Avenue, behind Dairy Queen). The speaker will be M.S. Kaye (the pen name for Melissa Kosciuszko), who advises: “Write well, use social media, as well as other free and low-cost tools.”
Ms. Kosciuszko went “zero to 60” in about a year—by staying focused on her writing life, while working full time and actively engaged in life. She practices what she urges other writers to do.
Since 2013 she has written “Fight Princess and Kindling the Past” (Liquid Silver Books); and “Once, Once and Again, Strong as Death, Endless as the Rain” (Jupiter Gardens Press)—with “Awaken from Death” due out soon.
She has won Royal Palm Literary awards and published stories in several literary magazines. An active member of Florida Writers Assn. for several years, Ms. Kosciuszko leads the FWA Clay County Critique group and co-leads the FWA River City Writers group.
She has trained in martial arts under the American Taekwondo Association since 1994, and has earned the rank of 4th degree black belt and the title certified instructor. In 2002, she won Ohio’s ATA triple crown, becoming state champion in forms, sparring, and weapons. “I hope to bring some of that kick-butt attitude into my writing, Ms. Kosciuszko says. Find out more at
Elaine Bleakney, a prose poet with two collections under her belt, will speak to the artistic and writing community on Thursday, Mar. 12, at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum of Flagler College in St. Augustine. For the time of her presentation, check the website at
Ms. Bleakney’s two volumes of prose poetry are “For Another Writing Back” (Sidebrow Books, 2014) and “20 Paintings by Laura Owens” (Poor Claudia, 2013).  Her writing has appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Verse Daily, The Volta and others.
She is an editor at large for At Length, a place for long-form writing, and the editor of the tear-apart poetry anthology Poem In Your Pocket (Abrams, 2009).  
In 2013, she was one of fifteen artists selected to take part in the Little Brown Mushroom Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers held at the studio of photographer Alec Soth in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A native of Arizona, she was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She works at Penland School of Crafts. She has taught poetry writing at Flagler and at the University of California, Irvine.
Her website is It also includes links to her poetry, prose, and interviews at  
The Zona Rosa Writers Retreat, scheduled from May 23 to May 30, will once more take place in the lovely city of Aix-en-Provence, the “Paris of the South,” according to retreat leader and founder Rosemary Daniell.
An award-winning author of eight books of poetry and prose, Ms. Daniell is renowned as one of the best writing coaches in the country. To date, over 150 Zona Rosans and counting have become published authors. For more information about Rosemary Daniell and Zona Rosa, write Rosemary at or visit her web site at
Ms. Daniell says Aix-en-Provence was founded by the Romans in 122 BC, although much of its architecture dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, a period of power and prosperity for the city. It is an elegant city of stately plane trees and fountains, music and culture, and a lively student hub. Aix is also a city of leisure, filled with sidewalk cafes, charming restaurants, outdoor markets, and interesting shops, as well as visitors’ favorite English language bookstore and coffee shop, Book in Bar. Participants will be able to walk along the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau and pause for a coffee or a glass of wine and people-watching; explore the Vieille Ville, the Old City, and marvel at the warm colors of the architecture; enjoy the sights and scents of the morning outdoor food market, held every day of the year, she says.
The week consists of five afternoon workshops in special venues, with subjects tailored to participants’ needs; individual sessions for every participant with Ms. Daniell, and private writing time.
Optional excursions to nearby points of interest will be offered to those interested.
The cost, based on the current rates of exchange, is $2065 per person. Included in the cost will be accommodations for the week in a charming small hotel located in a quiet neighborhood, a welcome supper, and a gala farewell dinner, manuscript critique, and private and group sessions with Rosemary. The cost will be adjusted for two sharing a room. Airfare and airport transfers are additional. (Current airport transfers by taxi are 60 Euros one way.)
Payments: A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due upon application. For an application form, contact Suzan at Since space is limited, participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants will fly into and out of Marseille, arriving on Saturday, May 23, and departing on Saturday, May 30. If anyone  needs a travel agent's assistance for air travel, he or she can contact Phyliss Brassey at Explorations Travel in Atlanta (770.432.3247; Travel agencies charge fees for their booking services.
Some participants choose to add additional days to their trip, e.g., to spend a few days in Paris, accessible by rail, or the South of France. Plans for such additions to the trip are the responsibility of the participants or their travel agents.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is strongly advised, and can be purchased from Allianz at or 855.604.4441, or from a travel agent.
For a registration form or further information, contact Suzan at For inquiries about Zona Rosa and the workshops, email Ms. Daniell at
Feedback from others about the experience:
“Rosemary Daniell is one of the great writing teachers I have seen at work in the country” – Pat Conroy
“Rosemary Daniell is enormously gifted . . . She is one of the women by whom our age will be known in times to come.” – Erica Jong
If you are interested in reading and quality education, then you will not want to miss a single issue of the Classroom Drama Newsletter, according to writer-editor Edward M. Baldwin.
Cherished readers get access to exclusive downloads, essays, sneak peeks at short stories and novels yet to be published, and much more. With the first issue, subscribers will get a complete copy of Parent Plots, Teacher Tales & Students stories, the book everyone’s talking about.
Subscribe now by contacting Baldwin at
As the writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River is beginning a new series of classes, writers may wish to see if there are still slots open. The workshops will go from March 4 to April 8, according to freelance writer and editor, Lynn Skapyak Harlin, leader of the workshop.
Shanty boat Writers Workshop is designed for beginning writers who would like to learn new techniques, or seasoned writers who would like to refresh these skills to improve their writing. Fiction and nonfiction writers are welcome. Topics include Tips for Improving Dialogue, Creating believable characters,  Elements of Plot, How 'Show rather than Tell' works toward clarity in all forms of writing and many other writing and submission tips.
The evening session meets every Wednesday from 6 to 9, and the cost of the workshop (limited to 8 students, only 5 seats left) will be $150 for six weeks.
Before attending a workshop, all new workshop writers must write and submit an introductory essay.
For more information on all sessions forming or to reserve a space, call Ms. Skapyak Harlin at 904.778.8000 or e-mail her at
A fuel oil salesman sees cold weather and smiles at the sales the firm will be making. What does a book store owner think of? Well, Rona Brinlee of The BookMark says, “As we go through what we in Florida call ‘winter.’ it's hard not to think that this is a great day to curl up with a good book.”  Of course, book lovers think of that every day.  And we have been reading some good books and love sharing some of our favorites, she says. 
“Rona Recommends,” Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. (in partnership with Jacksonville NOW)
Each year, The BookMark partners with NOW to celebrate Women's History Month. “Rona Recommends” is a chance for Rona to talk about books by and/or about women that are worthy of note.  These books are in all fields for all tastes.  This is a wonderful opportunity to find out what the Jacksonville chapter of NOW is doing and to discuss good books.
Randy Wayne White, Cuba Straits (Putnam), Monday, March 30, 8 p.m.
Doc Ford's old friend, General Juan Garcia, has gone into the lucrative business of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. He is also feasting on profits made by buying historical treasures for pennies on the dollar. When he manages to obtain a collection of letters written by Fidel Castro between 1960-62 to a secret girlfriend, it's not a matter of money anymore.  First Garcia disappears, and then the man to whom he sold the letters disappears as well. When Doc Ford begins to investigate, he soon becomes convinced that those letters contain a secret that someone, or some powerful agency, cannot allow to be made public. This is White's 22nd Doc Ford mystery.
Cheryl and Griffith Day, Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love (Artisan), Wednesday, April 1, 7 p.m.
Publisher Marketing: Cheryl and Griffith Day, authors of the New York Times bestselling “Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook,” are back with more recipes to make with love. Who needs store-bought when baking things at home is so gratifying? In this follow-up to their smash-hit.
Cheryl and Griffith Day, authors of the New York Times bestselling Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, are back are back with more recipes to make with love. Who needs store-bought when baking things at home is so gratifying? In this follow-up to their smash-hit first book, the Days share ways to lovingly craft not only desserts, but also breakfast pastries, breads, pizza, and condiments. The book features more than 100 new recipes, including some of the bakery's most requested treats, such as Star Brownies and the Cakette Party Cake, as well as savories like Chive Parmigiano-Reggiano Popovers and Rosemary Focaccia. Cheryl and Griff share their baking techniques and also show readers how to put together whimsical decorations, like a marshmallow chandelier and a best-in-show banner.
Steve Berry, The Patriot Threat (Minotaur Books) Thursday, April 30, 7 p.m.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.  When Cotton Malone's former boss asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files--the kind that could bring the United States to its knees--Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia. This is Berry's 10th Cotton Malone thriller.
Jan-Philipp Sendker, Whispering Shadows (Atria), Saturday, May 9, 7 p.m.
The first in a suspenseful new trilogy by the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this gripping story follows a retired expat journalist in contemporary China who tries to crack a murder case as he battles his own personal demons.  American expat Paul Leibovitz was once an ambitious adviser, dedicated father, and loving husband. But after living for nearly thirty years in Hong Kong, personal tragedy strikes and Paul's marriage unravels in the fallout. Now Paul is living as a recluse on an outlying island of Hong Kong. When he makes a fleeting connection with Elizabeth, a distressed American woman on the verge of collapse, his life is thrown into turmoil. 
Karen White, The Sound of Glass (New American Library), Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.
The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family's buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret. It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward's husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news--Cal's family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal's reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt. Charting the course of an uncertain life--and feeling guilt from her husband's tragic death, Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal's unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt's, will change and define her as she navigates her new life.  
The BookMark is located at 220 First St., Neptune Beach, Florida 32266.
For more information: Contact Ms. Brinlee at 904.241.9026 or
We are used to having commentaries on DVDs of movies, and now the background information is being adapted for audio books. Steve Berry, now a resident of St. Augustine, was making a trip with friends, who chose to listen to one of his books in the car. At the end of each scene, he would fill them in on how he wrote that section. The Writer’s Cut Audio has been applied to Berry’s The Patriot Threat. The author will provide behind-the-scenes commentary that enlivens key scenes in the novel with insights into his research, his writing process, and Cotton Malone’s backstory.
“It’s like having the writer along with you as you enjoy the story. It’s a first, an experiment, and we hope you like it,” Berry says. To read more about it, click here. To listen to an excerpt from Steve's recording, click here. To listen to Scott Brick reading the Prologue (24.2 minutes), click here.
Victor DiGenti, FWA Regional Director, says check out news about writers at
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 .
Persons born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Click on each link to go directly to the story.
The Scandal of ‘Ulysses’
No, this article in the New York Review of Books is not about the infamous sex scenes in James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” plus the court battles over keeping the book out of the U.S. Instead, the piece is about an academic scandal, as John Kidd, the founding director of the Joyce Center at Boston University, finds many flaws in “Ulysses: The Corrected Text” (1986), the “only form of the novel being printed in the world today.” He recommends that a serious Joyce scholar should stick with the Modern Library edition (no longer in print, but readily available as used books).
Raymond Chandler’s True Grit
Carl M. Cannon’s column for Real Clear Politics pays homage to Philip Marlowe’s creator, Raymond Chandler. Actually, it mainly is a collection of Cannon’s favorite lines from Chandler. Luckily, that alone makes for some pleasant reading. An example from “The Big Sleep”: “Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.”
Absolute English: Science once communicated in a polyglot of tongues,
but now English rules alone. How did this happen – and at what cost?
Michael D. Gordin of Princeton has written a book entitled “Scientific Babel.” Before the sack of Rome, he notes that scientific writing was mainly done in Hellenistic Greek or Arabic, but sometimes Latin. The latter dominated much scientific writing for ages. The Great War resulted in some retaliation against German, and Russian didn’t seem to catch on. Quick story: English is the general language of science today.
Foucault That Noise: The Terror
of Highbrow Mispronunciation
Megan Garber emulates Professor Henry Higgins as she provides a brief list of “shibboleth names,” ranging from Anaïs to Zizek. How you pronounce many words signals to the upper echelon that you may, or may not, be “one of us.”
 You'll Never Write About Me Again:
The Journalist + Philip Roth
Mega-stars of entertainment may turn into divas when the media bombards them for interview requests, and, yes, even some writers fall into that category. Livia Manera Sambuy writes about a tale of two writers: Philip Roth from years ago, fighting off in-person requests, and the more recent and philosophical Philip Roth.
Hoorah for Sir Tom Stoppard
and dumbing up!
Allison Pearson writes, “Sir Tom Stoppard’s lament that he had to dumb down – my words – his new play, The Hard Problem, because the audience couldn’t get some of his references and allusions is not solely the fault of theatregoers, nor confined to the theatre.” She blames the U.K. educational system for not educating but for teaching to the test so that students emerge basically uneducated from their rigorous regime of tests, tests, tests. She notes, “Tom Stoppard, who is to words what Fred Astaire was to feet, is right to be sorry that audiences can no longer get what they once would have known. So let’s be grateful for one drama that doesn’t stoop to conquer. Hooray for Wolf Hall and dumbing up!”
Autopsy of a Fraud: Update
on Deborah Solomon's
Disastrous Norman Rockwell Bio
Abigail Rockwell, the granddaughter of Norman Rockwell, has been on a tirade against Deborah Solomon’s biography of the great Saturday Evening Post illustrator. She is also angry with The New York Times Review of Books and the Rockwell Museum for refusing to react to her complaints about the historical accuracy of the book. In this piece, she discovers that Solomon has been quoting from a friend’s journal from 1934, when the friend did not have a journal during that and other years.
Did Amazon Sink
the Queen of
Online Erotica?
Phoebe Reilly explores the alleged chicanery by Amazon and Kindle for damaging the business of Tina Engler, who writes erotica under the penname Jaid Black a/k/a “the queen of steam.” Using Amazon and Kindle first back in 2000, she began receiving $500K-600K per month. Her income dropped when Amazon and Kindle realized they could market other erotica books. Hmm, too bad Ovid, Boccaccio, and John Cleland (“Fanny Hill” author) are around to join the lawsuit.
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.
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).
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 clicking on
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 (; 5527 Edenfield Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32277
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.