Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System

www. northfloridawriters. org * Editor: Howard Denson * Nov.  2012


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hit REPLY and send in your request.


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In This Issue:


NFW to meet Nov. 10 at Webb Wesconnett

Other Words Conference Offers Panel Preview for Nov. 8-10

Kamiar Publishes 'World Class 2013'

New Feature: Free listing for those who Assist in editing, critiquing, Manuscript layout, etc.

New York Times Best-selling Author Leads Workshop Nov. 10 for First Coast Romance Writers
FWA’s November to feature readin’, ritin’, and gnawin’

The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson

Stuff from Hither and Yon

Stuff from a Writer's Quill — Richard Wiseman

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 meet Nov. 10

at Webb Wesconnett


The North Florida Writers will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Webb Wesconnett Library. The public is welcome to attend.


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.


Webb Wesconnett is at the corner of 103rd Street and Harlow Boulevard (to the east of I-295). Other meeting site locations: Tom & Betty’s is in Roosevelt Square on US 17 (near the KFC and Starbucks). Tropical Storm Beryl flooded the basement of the Willowbranch library, so meetings won’t be held there for several months.


Future meeting dates and locales:


Nov. 10 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett

Dec. 8 – 2 p.m., Webb Wesconnett


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Other Words Conference

Offers Panel Preview

for Nov. 8-10

Other Words Conference 2012 offers a preview of the workshops as an appetizer before the main dish is served Nov. 8-10. The conference itself will start with a Thursday night reading by Florida Book Award winners and finish with its first-ever Advanced Breakthrough Workshops in poetry and fiction on Sunday. The appetizers:

BREAK INTO A WRITING CAREER WITHOUT AN MFA: For those interested in starting a writing career, be sure to check out "Alternatives to the MFA." Panelists Sohrab Homi Fracis, Stephen Kampa, Liz Robbins, and Laura Lee Smith will discuss their different paths and ways to gain education and experience outside the workshop setting.

EXPLORE THE LATITUDES OF INSPIRATION: Join Jan Beatty, Celeste Gainey, and Aaron Smith in the panel "Lust and Wander" as they explore how the crossroads of desire and geography find their way to the page.

CREATING WORLDS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION: Panelists Brogan Sullivan, Alan Shaw, and Riley Passmore present "Dark Journeys: Mapmaking and Mythmaking in Speculative Fiction." The panel promises to investigate how speculative fiction encourages readers to open pathways to worlds that demand to be continually constructed, deconstructed, and rearticulated.

WRITING BEYOND THE FAMILIAR: The panel "Culture Shock: The Writer Abroad" will be led by Christine M. Lasek, Katherine Riegel, Jenni Nance, and Gloria Muñoz. The panelists will discuss their experiences traveling abroad and how those experiences have seeped into their writings.

WRITING RETREATS: Led by panelists Carol Frost, Richard Frost, and Susan Lilley, the panel "Retreat But Not Surrender: Getting Away to Write" will consider the enduring challenge of finding times and places for doing the work of writing.

The conference will be held again at Flagler College in St. Augustine and will include panels, readings, workshops, and an independent literary book fair.

Gold Medal Florida Book Award winner for poetry Stephen Kampa will lead the opening celebration reading Thursday evening. He will be followed by Enid Shomer, author of the new novel, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, and past Florida Book Award Gold Medalist for fiction. 

Concluding the conference are the new Advanced Breakthrough Workshops in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. The four-hour sessions offer writers in-depth work with Other Words core faculty members Terry Witek, Mark Powell, and Ira Sukrungruang.

Conference registration fees remain the same as last year. The new Advanced Breakthrough Workshops being offered for the first time can be taken without full conference registration. Those rates are: Sunday Advanced Breakthrough Workshops Only: $100 for members, $125 nonmembers; Member Students, $55 Sunday only; Nonmember Students $70 Sunday only. Click here for the registration details.


Top of Form

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Kamiar Publishes

'World Class 2013'


Mo Kamiar, a retired geography professor from Florida State College at Jacksonville's South Campus, has published a book, World Class 2013, with An e-book is available, and a hard-copy will cost only $9.99. Go to also lists other books or monographs by Kamiar: “Brilliant Biruni: A Life Story of Abu Rayhan Mohammad Ibn Ahmad,” “A Bio-Bibliography For Biruni: Abu Raihan Mohammad Ibn Ahmad”; “Timeline of Important Events in Iran, 8,000 BCE to the Present”: an article from Focus on Geography; and “Probabilistic Methods for Identification of Significant Accident Sequences in Loop-Type LMFBRs.”


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Writers, what books

should Santa bring?

Since December is right around the corner, The Write Stuff would like to run a story about books that would make ideal gifts. We would like the recommendation of two books from the published writers on our subscription list. One book should be his or her own book, while the other should be another’s book that the writer has enjoyed.

Send the recommendations to this editor at


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Free listing for those who

Assist in editing, critiquing,

Manuscript layout, etc.


“The Write Stuff” has become listing the names, contact information, and services offered by those who critique manuscripts, edit, lay out manuscripts, and possibly ghost-write. Interested persons should contact the writing profession about his or her fees, procedures for relaying manuscripts (mail or e-mail), and the like.


Frank Green of The Bard Society (Jacksonville) has been helping each other increase their understanding of the craft of fiction weekly for 35 years. There is no fee for attending but contributions according to ability to do so comfortably are welcome. More than forty novels have been published by legitimate publishers. Steve Berry, David Poyer, and Lenore Hart are the most prolific and well known writers from the group. Founded and led by Frank Green, The Bard Society limits itself to fiction, but Frank has offered editing and proofreading services of all types since 1979. For more information about the workshop or services Frank offers, e-mail him at


Brad Hall of Jacksonville offers editing and proofreading services. He's excellent with editing books in digital formats such as those used by the Kindle and Nook and helping authors to put them on sale on their respective online shops. He can also prepare books for print-on-demand sellers such as Createspace. Contact him at .


Robert Blade Writing & Editing puts an experienced professional at your service. Blade, the author of "Tupelo Man," published by the University Press of Mississippi, is a former Times-Union columnist and teacher who knows all sides of the writing, editing, and publishing process. For a free consultation, write to him at


Richard Levine of Jacksonville is an award-winning writer who provides services for those who want to self-publish, including editing, ghost writing, layout, cover design, web sites and of course, publishing. He also produces videos, and can make book trailers, and can assist with script development. References available. Visit or email


And Your Name?


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New York Times Best-selling Author

Leads Workshop Nov. 10 for
First Coast Romance Writers

Haywood  Smith, the best-selling New York Times author, will conduct a one-day workshop Saturday, Nov. 1, for the First Coast Romance Writers at the Jacksonville West Regional Library (1425 Chaffee Road). The group will meet at 10:15 a.m. in a conference room adjacent to the library’s entryway. Visitors are welcome.

"People learn better when they're entertained, so I like to keep my lectures lively," Ms. Smith said.

Her topics for Saturday’s workshop are Breathing Life into Your Characters, Creating Memorable Scenes, and How to Plot a Novel that Sells.

Smith has spoken and lectured about fiction-writing techniques all over America and Canada. She is also the author of six critically acclaimed, award-winning historical romances set in Europe, about strong women, real men, timeless women's issues, and accurate history.

After a difficult divorce, Smith started writing humorous contemporary Southern fiction about women who help each other through their various crises.

Smith’s newest novel, “Out of Warranty” (available for advance order before its Jan. 22 debut) is a social satire hat sends up the medical profession, the health insurance industry, and the dilemma of someone who falls apart ten years before Medicare. Widowed Cassie Jones shares Smith’s rare genetic form of arthritis, but her health insurance refuses to pay for most of her expensive treatment. Facing eventual destitution, Cassie decides she has to remarry for better health insurance. After a series of hilariously ill-fated dates, she ends up marrying a
one-legged curmudgeon with the same condition and living happily in separate bedrooms.

Reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist praise “Out of Warranty” as "A winner" and a "gentle surprise."

For more information, please contact Nancy Bethea via telephone at 904.403.4360 or visit the First Coast Romance Writers web site at

Library information can be obtained by calling the Jacksonville West Regional Library at 904.693.1448 or by visiting

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FWA’s November

to feature readin’,

ritin’, and gnawin’

Turkey Day's right around the corner, and this month's blog post for the Florida Writers Assn. has a definite holiday feel to it starting with an important cooking tip, says Vic DiGenti.  Curious? Then visit the blog post here and read all about the latest happenings in the world of writing in our corner of the world. Enjoy the post and your holiday, he says.

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Follow the link below to find where often sane and sensible writers (and editors) have stumbled in their writing:

http://howarddenson. webs. com/theforensicgrammarian. htm


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Click on each link to go directly to the story.


The Write Life:

Raves for latest

From David Poyer


In Happier than this Day and Time (Northampton House; Kindle edition $3.99), David Poyer introduces eight individuals rooted in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The oral history takes the reader to another time, another place, where real life voices are revisited. Conversations stem from interviews conducted in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with residents who look back on their isolation in the Outer Banks.


7 Great Americans

On Writing


You may wish to make a quick visit to this website for insights from Hemingway, Steinbeck, Morrison, Leonard, Fitzgerald, King, and Miller.






Hmm, the headline overdoes it a wee bit, but at least memoirist Stephen Akey isn’t grumbling that the schools are wasting their time teaching that hoity-toity stuff or that “liberries” ought to be closed because everyone has iThings now. In the great plays, he finds a communion worthy of a cathedral.



Cornerstone of


The publisher of a small-town newspaper notes, “The U.S. Postal Service recently entered into a special-rate agreement with one company–Valassis Direct Mail–that would give Valassis postage discounts of 20 percent to 36 percent.” The action will permit the private company to deliver the advertising inserts that have filled up our regular newspapers. Jack McNeely says the move will devastate the small papers throughout the U.S.


Gott in Himmel!

Two German ministers

may have plagiarized


Teachers warn their students to do their own work and to give credit to others when they are quoting some source. Accusations of plagiarism, however, may be about to take down a second German minister, plus cost the minister a doctorate.


WIPO Fails

at Copyright Basics


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has refused to permit the Pirate Party’s international association – PPI – to join as an observer member. Pirate Party leaders think some part of the reason might be because the pirates are quite observant and might point out problems with WIPO publications and claims, as the article proceeded to do.


11 Creative Breakthroughs

People Had in Their Sleep


It’s not just such writers as Mary Shelley, Stephen King, and Robert Louis Stevenson who have been handed key images or scenes in dreams, but dreams have also given us the periodic table, the sewing machine needle, and the melody for one of the Beatles’ most famous songs.  


Chinese Novelist

Mo Yan Wins

Nobel Prize for Lit


C. Max Magee explains that “Mo Yan” is a penname which means “Don’t speak.” The real name of the first Chinese laureate in literature is Guan Moye. The novelist has a history of getting in trouble with the authorities since he satirizes events of the past 50 years in China.


Nearly every year, major figures object to awarding the prize to whoever wins the Nobel. Ellie Robins, an editor at Melville House, says the most ungracious response came from Philip Roth’s biographer Blake Bailey (“Mo Yan my ass. #Rothscrewedagain”).


Writing With

Miles Davis


Aaron Gilbreath, an essayist from Portland, Ore., guests in the “Draft” feature of The New York Times by discussing how Miles Davis’ techniques can help the writer. Says he: “Where David Foster Wallace showed writers like me the possibilities of labyrinthine stories and digressions, Davis showed me how to be affecting without being opaque, lyrical without being verbose.”


A Short History

of Literary Excess


Also in the “Draft” feature is Ben Masters’ observation that he likes works that have a little extra in the way of description. Critics prefer works that are tightly written, but he says, “Yet so many of the most esteemed writers – the ones we return to again and again – are of the baroque school.”


Good novels teach us

how to be human beings

The Man Booker Prize reminds us that fiction fosters an understanding of ourselves, according to Graeme Archer (a professional statistician, who won the Orwell Prize for Political Blogging in 2011), who adds “…it’s not the novels where one sees oneself in a character that matter: it’s the ones where you learn to see, properly, from the perspective of another.” The Man Booker Prize is awarded annual for original literary fiction by a writer from the U.K., Ireland, the Commonwealth, or Zimbabwe. It focuses more on literary merits than does, say, the Pulitzer or the Nobel prize.


In everything we say,

there is an echo of 1066

On Oct. 14, Alan Massie notes that day was the 946th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, when Harold (the last Saxon king) was killed by the soldiers of William the Conqueror. He says it is well-nigh impossible to imagine how different British history would have been if Harold had defeated William at Senlac Hill.




Jim Arndorfer writes about some sneaky moves in the Fifties and Sixties when the Democratic insiders were trying to get someone to write a hard-hitting novel, revealing all the warts and flaws of Richard Milhous Nixon. John Steinbeck, their first choice, turned down the project and thought it wouldn’t work anyway. Others considered included John Hersey (“Hiroshima”), Henry Morton Robinson (“The Cardinal”), and Edwin O’Connor (“The Last Hurrah”).  



Weasel words that politicians

use to obscure terrible truths


Patrick Cockburn writes in the U.K.’s Independent on a subject dear to the heart of George Orwell: dishonest language. He says readers should beware when they come across such words as “robust,” “remnants,” and “anecdotal.” Perhaps the words shouldn’t be eliminated, he reasons, because “[t]heir persistent use by public figures and opinion-formers sends up useful smoke signals about where [metaphorical] dead bodies are buried.”


Amis and Larkin:

Hate in a cold climate

Kingsley Amis’s novel “Lucky Jim” has its origins in his intense and competitive friendship with Philip Larkin, according to Keith Gessen, founding editor of n+1. He says, “Lucky Jim is a lucky book, snatched improbably from time, the product of a collaboration, both editorial and spiritual, that neither writer, once firmly established, could afford to attempt again.”


Calling time

on reckless editors


As it waits to hear Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations, the press in the U.K. is still drinking in the last-chance saloon, according to Brian Cathcart, author of the e-book, Everybody’s Hacked Off: Why We Don’t Have the Press We Deserve and What to Do About It” (Penguin). The Brits don’t have the restrictions of a First Amendment to keep them from regulating tabloid-like behavior of their newspaper and magazine editors.


Did the Gestapo

murder superspy

Glenn Miller?


World War II provides writers with a cornucopia of material, including the mystery of how Glenn Miller disappeared or died on Dec. 15, 1944. In the fog, did his plane fly into a hillside? Was it shot down by friendly fire? Did an Allied plane empty excess bombs on his small craft? In “The Glenn Miller Conspiracy,” Hunton Downs, a former colonel in the U.S. Army and a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, argues that Miller (who spoke some German) was sent on a special mission to extract as many of the German scientists as possible to prevent the Third Reich from building an A-bomb. Unfortunately, he was intercepted by the Gestapo and tortured to death, Downs says. WS editor’s view: If they make a movie of it, Ben Affleck should play Miller.


You don't own your Kindle books,

Amazon reminds reader-customer


Joel Johnson explores the case of a Norwegian reader of e-books who suddenly couldn’t access the 43 books she had bought. He says, “A man named Michael Murphy with Amazon UK's ‘Executive Customer Relations’ told [the customer]  her account had been determined to be ‘directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies.’ Which policies? He wouldn't say. What other account? Murphy wouldn't share that, either.” Negative publicity made the U.K. company back off somewhat.


The Past Is Never Dead:

A Faulkner Quote in 'Midnight

in Paris' Results in a Lawsuit


Dave Itzkoff writes about the trigger-happy estate of William Faulkner, which sued Woody Allen for using a 10-word quote. Allen even had a character give credit to Faulkner. The quotation wasn’t even particularly original.



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In short, when it comes to an instant fix for everyday happiness, certain types of writing have a surprisingly quick and large impact. Expressing gratitude, thinking about a perfect future, and affectionate writing have been scientifically proven to work—and all they require is a pen, a piece of paper, and a few moments of your time."

— Richard Wiseman


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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 only say they were born in, say, 1972. 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).

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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.)


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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. com or call 904.343.4188.


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.




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


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THE ATAVIST (original nonfiction storytelling):  http://atavist. net/

BEST LITERARY CRITICISM WEBLOGS: http://www. mastersdegree. net/blog/2011/25-best-literary-criticism-blogs/

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/

DAILY WRITING TIPS: http://www. dailywritingtips. com/

DAYS OF YORE (writers and artists’ struggles to succeed): http://www. thedaysofyore. com/

EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: http://www. eyewitnesstohistory. com/mefrm. htm

FLORIDA BOOK NEWS: http://www. floridabooknews. com/

40 FASCINATING LECTURES FOR LINGUISTICS GEEKS: http://www. onlineuniversities. com/blog/2011/05/40-fascinating-lectures-for-linguistics-geeks/

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/

PITCHERS & POETS: http://pitchersandpoets. com/

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/

REPRESENTATIVE POETRY ONLINE: http://rpo. library. utoronto. ca/display/menupoet. cfm

SHAKESPEARE SEARCHED: http://shakespeare. yippy. com/

SOME PLACES TO OBTAIN FREE E-BOOKS: http://www. freeliterature. org/index. html

STUFF JOURNALISTS LIKE: http://www. stuffjournalistslike. com/

TEN PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WRITING (F.L. Lucas on Style): http://grammar. about. com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/lucastyle10. htm

THROW GRAMMAR FROM THE TRAIN: http://throwgrammarfromthetrain. blogspot. com/

TODAY IN LITERATURE: http://www. todayinliterature. com/

UNUSUAL WORDS: http://users. tinyonline. co. uk/gswithenbank/unuwords. htm

WORDNIK: http://www. wordnik. com

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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


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