THE ELECTRONIC WRITE STUFF

· Writing News for the Sunshine State & the Solar System


Editor: Howard Denson * September 2011

Conference, Critiques, and Smashwords (Write Stuff 0911)

In This Issue:

 

NFW to Hear Victor DiGenti at Sept. 10 Meeting at Willowbranch
Riverside Arts Market Hosts Book Day on Sept. 17
Prize-Winning Workshop to Start New Series of Classes
The Wrong Stuff – Howard Denson
Barbarians past the Gates – H.L. Mencken
Stuff from Hither and Yon
Stuff from a Writer's Quill – Thomas Mann
Meetings of NFW and Other Groups
Useful Links
The Write Staff
Membership Form
Writers Born This Month

 

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NFW TO HEAR VICTOR DiGENTI
AT SEPT. 10 MEETING
AT WILLOWBRANCH
 
The North Florida Writers meeting will feature novelist and writing guru Victor DiGenti at the Willowbranch library on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
 
DiGenti, a “cat person,” is author of the Windrusher series, and, under the penname Parker Francis, he has begun a detective series with “Matanzas Bay.” For more information about the author, go to www.windrusher.com.
 
The NFW will also critique manuscripts at the meeting. The critique process has people other than the author of respective works read aloud the submissions (up to 10 double-spaced pages of prose, and reasonable amounts of poetry or lyrics). Authors may not defend their work, but they should listen to the words and rhythms of their creations.
 
Willowbranch is located in Riverside at 2875 Park St., Jax 32205, but, if you are unfamiliar with area, go to http://jpl.coj.net/lib/branches/wbb.html and use MapQuest to find the easiest route there. The WB phone is 904.381.8490.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
RIVERSIDE ARTS MARKET
HOSTS BOOK DAY
ON SEPT. 17
 
Riverside Arts Market is hosting a Literary Day on Saturday, Sept. 17, according to director Teri Coutu. RAM is inviting area authors to be vendors to sell their books and to participate in readings and workshops if they wish.
 
Each Saturday from April to December, about 5,000 people stroll through the area under the Fuller Warren bridge to check out the entertainment, crafts vendors, and farmers’ market. The RAM website is http://www.riversideartsmarket.com.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
PRIZE-WINNING
WORKSHOP TO START
NEW SERIES OF CLASSES
 
A writing workshop on a shanty boat docked on the Trout River is beginning a new series of classes from Sept. 21 to Oct. 26, according to freelance writer and editor of Closet Books, 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 Creating Believable Characters, Tips for Improving Dialogue, Elements of Plot, How 'Show rather than Tell' Works toward Clarity in All Forms of Writing, and many other craft techniques and submission tips.
 
Members of recent classes have won awards in the contests of the Florida First Coast Writers' Festival and other national awards.
 
The evening session meets every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., and the cost of the workshop (limited to 10 students) is $125 for six weeks.
 
Before attending a workshop, all new workshop writers must write and submit an introductory essay according to workshop guidelines.
 
For more information on all sessions forming or to reserve a space, call
Lynn Skapyak Harlin at 904.778.8000 or e-mail her at lyharlin@aol.com.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 
THE
WRONG
STUFF – FORENSIC GRAMMAR
 
By HOWARD DENSON
 
AOL travel staff, “RyanAir Gives Cardiac Arrest Passenger Sandwich, Charges Him For It” (AOL Travel):  
Appleton slapped Jonsson on the chest to get him to breath again.
 
W.S. SAYS: “Breath” is okay as a noun, but you must add an “e” to make it into a verb.
 
**
 
Alexander Wilson story on alleged Marilyn Monroe porn film (Associated Press):
 
Barsa offers a 1996 letter from Alan Brown of the nonprofit American Film Insitute that he say confirms the woman is Monroe.
 
W.S. SAYS: The writer no doubt knows better, but simply neglected to add an “s” to “say” to make the verb agree with its subject.
 
**
  Todd Prater, “Man Connected To Copper Thefts because Girlfriend Did Not Delete Text Messages” (Mega949.com):
 
A witness’s tip lead the police to Pierce and his girlfriend, who never deleted any of the messages.
 
W.S. SAYS: You can use “lead” to make a sinker for fishing, but it’s “led” when you are seeking the past tense of “lead.”
 
**
 
“--30--“ (www.albionmonitor.com/0902a/default.html):
 
R.I.P. Albion Monitor, born August 19, 1995 and passed away at May 5, 2009, at the age of slightly over 5,000 days, having published 13,000 articles, giver take.
 
W.S. SAYS: “Give or take.” Enunciate, you lads and lassies.
 
**
 
Text on portrait of Dr. Pozzi at home (John Singer Sargent website) (and at Star Oil Painting Studio website):
 
As in "Rebel Without A Cause" (a perhaps ludicrous juxtaposition here) the colour red stood as a warning when James Dean dawns the red jacket, trouble is brewing; or is it a passionate happenstance?
 
W.S. SAYS: But James Dean dons the red jacket in the flick.
 
**
 
“Israeli Nuclear Missile Boats Off Iranian Coast” (Strategy Page):
 
The two new Dolphins cost about $650 million each, with Germany picking up a third of the coast, as part of their reparations for World War II atrocities against Jews.
 
W.S. SAYS: Hmm, how did “coast” creep in there instead of “cost” a second time? Maybe it was the mention of dolphins; they swim along the coast – perhaps.
 
**
 
Famous Last Words: Writers' Words Before They Died (HuffPost.com website):
 
Moments after Chekhov told his wife that he was about to die, he picked up a glass of champagne and said, "It's a long time since I drank champagne." After finishing the glass, he laid down on his bed and died.
 
W.S. SAYS: The sentence could have referred to “he laid down the empty glass” (redundant since we assume he did something with the empty glass) and “then lay down on his bed and died.”
 
**
  Steven Kotler, “Losing the Language of Happiness” (Psychology Today.com blogs):
 
Once these folks are gone, we don’t just lose a group that makes the world more culturally distinct, we lose a way of being in the world. We lose a slice of reality. And, in turn, we also loose a way of interpreting the world that might just be critical to our survival.
 
W.S. SAYS: Give Steven some credit for getting “lose” correct three times in one sentence before stumbling over it in the second one.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
BARBARIANS
PAST
THE GATES
 
H.L. Mencken on style, writing, and logic:
 
To sum up, style cannot go beyond the ideas which lie at the heart of it. If they are clear, it too will be clear. If they are held passionately, it will be eloquent. Trying to teach it to persons who cannot think, especially when the business is attempted by persons who also cannot think, is a great waste of time, and an immoral imposition upon the taxpayers of the nation.
 
It would be far more logical to devote all the energy to teaching, not writing, but logic--and probably just as useless. For I doubt that the art of thinking can be taught at all--at any rate, by school-teachers.
 
It is not acquired, but congenital. Some persons are born with it. Their ideas flow in straight channels; they are capable of lucid reasoning; when they say anything, it is instantly understandable; when they write anything, it is clear and persuasive. They constitute, I should say, about one-eighth of one per cent, of the human race.
 
The rest of God’s children are just as incapable of logical thought as they are incapable of jumping over the moon. Trying to teach them to think is as vain an enterprise as trying to teach streptococcus the principles of Americanism. The only thing to do with them is to make Ph.D.’s of them, and set them to writing handbooks on style.
 
 
HAVE SOMETHING BARBARIC? This section calls attention to a word or words that are used by people who don’t understand that better usage is out there.  (You may call yourself something like “Publius,” “Claudius,” or “Auspicious.”)
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
STUFF FROM HITHER AND YON
 
Jacksonville author, civil rights activist Stetson Kennedy dead at 95   When a bad back kept Stetson Kennedy from serving in the military during World War II, he turned his attention to fighting for social justice. He wrote "The Klan Unmasked” and earned the hatred of the Ku Klux Klan and other racists, according to Charlie Patton in The Florida Times-Union.
http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2011-08-25/story/jacksonville-author-civil-rights-activist-stetson-kennedy-dead-95
 
Soviet KGB
may have killed
Albert Camus
 
Joseph Fitsanakis writes in Intelligence News that Albert Camus, one of France’s most revered intellectuals, who died in a mysterious accident in 1960, may have been killed by Soviet intelligence, according to an article in one of Italy’s most reputable newspapers.
https://intelligencenews.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/01-783/#more-7019  
 
Colloquialisms
from the
16th Century
 
Mountain Eagle columnist Ruth Baker explores the origins of several sayings from the 16th Century. Some of these are popular myths (e.g., origin of “golf”), so check them out by and by.
http://www.mountaineagle.com/view/full_story/14975309/article-Colloquialisms-from-the-16th-Century?instance=most_recommended
 
Rise of E-books Will Benefit One Group: Readers
 
Rather than the first steps of a funeral cortege, the death of Borders is really just the first little dip on a wildly careening roller-coaster ride for the people who write, publish, buy and sell books, according to Glenn Garvin of McClatchy Newspapers. It's going to shake us up, down and sideways, industry figures say, and some people may get thrown from their cars. But one group is sure to be happy at the end: readers.
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/146079-rise-of-e-books-will-benefit-one-group-readers/
 
‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the riddle of the invisible author, review   Michael Deacon reviews the latest installment of BBC One’s genealogical series “Who Do You Think You Are?” from which we learn a lot about J.K. Rowling's family but less about the reserved author.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8707037/Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are-JK-Rowling-Harry-Potter-and-the-riddle-of-the-invisible-author-review.html
 
Romance Novels, Filled With Passionate Love and Torrid Sex, Mislead Women
 
Bonnie Rochman summarizes an article by a prominent “Agony Aunt” in the U.K. In America, we would call her a “Dear Abby.” Susan Quilliam in “The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care” finds fault with several narrative devices in romance novels (such as the heroine’s rape by a dark-haired man on horseback. http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/02/passionate-sex-torrid-romance/?iid=WBeditorspicks
 
James Patterson is world's highest paid author  
James Patterson, dubbed a “terrible writer” by Stephen King, earns £51 million in one year. Martin Chilton says, “The 64-year-old topped a Forbes magazine list of the world's highest paid authors, earning . . . more than twice that of second-placed Danielle Steel.”  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/8710989/James-Patterson-is-worlds-highest-paid-author.html
 
The
Shakespeared
Brain
 
Philip Davis pleasures his brain with shifting Shakespearean syntax. Then he measures the results on an electroencephalogram and finds evidence that powerful writing can literally change the ways in which we think.
http://moreintelligentlife.com/node/298
 
What Do the Experts
Have to Say about
Languages, Sonnets,
F-Words, and More?
 
Online Universities has assembled talks on a variety of topics, ranging from the origin of language itself to the use of subtitles in films.
http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2011/05/40-fascinating-lectures-for-linguistics-geeks/
 
Babel’s
Children
 
David Gil of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Biology Languages may be more different from each other than is currently supposed. That may affect the way people think, says an article in The Economist.
http://www-psych.stanford.edu/~lera/press/economist/
 
OMG, the charabanc has been plutoed  
Dictionaries don't always get it right when deciding which new words to take up, and which old ones to drop, according to Henry Hitchings, the author of “The Language Wars” and “The Secret Life of Words” (John Murray).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8726462/OMG-the-charabanc-has-been-plutoed.html
 
P.G. Wodehouse: filthy traitor or frightful ass?   The publication of secret MI5* documents has rekindled the decades-long debate over the author’s broadcasts from Nazi Germany.  William Langley describes how the youngster grew up in a make-believe world. (*The U.K.’s CIA.) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/8727277/P-G-Wodehouse-filthy-traitor-or-frightful-ass.html
 
Doctor Who: they're making it up as they go along  
Neil McCormick says he enjoys “Dr. Who,” but executive producer Steven Moffat’s “approach to story-telling is akin to that of the young children who are a key component of his audience. Like a five-year-old Homer, the young storyteller boldly advances into an impossible corner and then extricates themselves by some previously unsuspected Deus ex Machina, their storytelling methodology being ‘and then … and then … and then …’”  http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/neilmccormick/100055733/doctor-who-theyre-making-it-up-as-they-go-along/

 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
 
STUFF FROM
A WRITER'S QUILL
 
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
 
-- Thomas Mann
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
MEETINGS OF NFW AND
OTHER GROUPS
 
BARD SOCIETY: Every Wednesday: 7 p.m.; Frank Green 410.5775; 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 p.m. at 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
 
NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS: Second Saturday: 2 p.m. at Willowbranch Library; 2875 Park Street 32205; www.northfloridawriters.org
 
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
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
SOME USEFUL LINKS
 
100 EXTENSIVE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD THAT ANYONE CAN ACCESS: https://maryandmacdesign.wordpress.com/
 
  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/  
      DAYS OF YORE (writers and artists’ struggles to succeed): http://www.thedaysofyore.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/
 
QUOTE INVESTIGATOR: http://quoteinvestigator.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
 
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
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
THE
WRITE
STAFF
 
President: Stewart Neal (stewartneal@usa.net)
 
Vice President: Richard Levine (RichieL@clearwire.net)
 
Secretary: Kathy Marsh (kathygmarsh@bellsouth.net)
 
Treasurer: Howard Denson (hd3nson@hotmail.com)
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
MEMBERSHIP
APPLICATION
FOR NORTH FLORIDA WRITERS
 
Membership is $15 for students, $25 for individuals, and $40 for a family. (Make out checks to WRITERS.) Mail your check to WRITERS, c/o Howard Denson, 1511 Pershing Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32205.
 
Name___________________________________________ ___________________________
Street or P.O address_________________________________ Apt. No. ___________
City ______________________________State _____ Zip ________________________
E-mail address: __________________________________ _____________ ____________
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
WRITERS
BORN
IN SEPTEMBER
 

1 -- Wilhelmus Kist (1758), Emanuel Schikaneder (Johann Schickeneder) (1751), Lydia Sigourney (1791), Jacobus J. Cremer (1827), Innokenty Annensky (1855), Ismar Elbogen (1874), Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875), Blaise Cendrars (Frederic Sauser-Hall) (1887), Otto Eissfeldt (1887), Walter Reuther (1907), Hubert Lampo (1920), Willem Frederik Hermans (1921), Theo H. Joekes (1923), C(arolyn) J(anice) Cherry (1942), Mustafa Balel (1945), Timothy Zahn (1951), Kenny Mayne (1959);

 

2 -- William Somervile (1675), Johann F. von Cronegk (1731), Caroline von Schelling (Michaelis) (1763), Esteban Echeverría (1805), William Seymour Tyler (1810), Ernst Curtius (1814), Eugene Field (1850), Paul Bourget (1852), Hans Jæger (1854), Frank Laubach (1884), Joseph Roth (1894), Andreas Embirikos (1901), Johan Daisne (Herman Thiery) (1912), Cleveland Amory (1917), Allen Drury (1918), Peter Mansfield (1928), John S. Hall (1960), Chris Kuzneski (1969);

 

3 -- Karl von Bonstetten (1745), John Humphrey Noyes (1811), Sarah Orne Jewett (1849), Wilhelm Bousset (1865), Bessie Annie Elizabeth Delany (1891), Sally Benson (1897), Willem Kooiman (1903), Loren Eiseley (1907), Edwin Honig (1919), Marguerite Higgins (1921), Mort Walker (1923), Alison Lurie (1926), John R(obert) Jones (1926), Cherry Barbara Grimm (Lockett) (1930), Caryl Churchill (1930), Sergei Dovlatov (1941), Mick Farren (1943), Peter Morris (1946), Adam Brooks (1956), Spike Feresten (1964);

 

4 -- Constantine Huygens (1596), Bernardus Bosch (1746), Francois René de Chateaubriand (1768), Friedrich August von Alberti (1795), Phoebe Cary (1824), Geert A. D. Wumkes (1869), Antonin Artaud (1896), Paul Osborn (1901), Mary Renault (Eileen Mary Challans)(1905), Hendrikus G. "Han" Hoekstra (1906), Maurice Ashley (1907), Richard Wright (1908), Alexander Liberman (1912), Robert (Augustine) W(ard) Lowndes (1916), Paul Harvey (1918), Craig Claiborne (1929), Per Olof Sundman (1922), Forrest Carter (1925), Clive (William John) Granger (1934), Damon Wayans (1960);

 

5 -- Tommaso Campanella (1568), Gottfried Arnold (1666), Lukas Fencer (1688), Robert Fergusson (1750), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767), Richard Chenevix Trench (1807), Aleksei K. Tolstoi (Kozjma Prutkov) (1817), Goffredo Mameli (1827), Otto E. Deutsch (1883), H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886), Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888), Arthur Koestler (1905), Semjon I. Kirsanov (1906), Nicanor Parra (1914), Frank Yerby (1916), Frank Shuster (1916), Luis Alcoriza (1918), Margaretha D. Ferguson-Wigerink (1920), Jos Vandeloo (1925), Justin Kaplan (1925), Paul Volcker (1927), Jonathan Kozol (1936), Dario Bellezza (1944), Cathy Guisewite (1950), Paul William Roberts (1950), Frederick Kempe (1954), Christopher Nolan (1965);