Wednesday, February 01, 2012

At Last

With a tip of the hat to the late, great Etta James, I say "At Last" the corrosive political ads have stopped, at least until the general election. I also say at last we can concentrate on our writing and make February the most productive month possible. Get a good jump on reaching your goals by attending one or more of these FWA meetings.

  • River City Writers meet on the second Tuesday of the month, February 14 at 7PM at the SE Branch Library. Contact Gregg Golson for details.
  • Noted editor and writing instructor Lynn Skapyak Harlin talks about how to edit your own work more effectively in her presentation to the Clay County Writers, Wednesday, February 15 at 6:15PM at the Fleming Island Library. In her talk, "Catharsis to Crystallization: Editing Your Writing Toward the Final Draft," Lynn will show you why 90% of manuscripts are rejected on the basis of the first page. Bring your first page to receive feedback. Contact Maureen Jung for meeting info.
  • Amelia Island Writers meet on the third Tuesday of the month at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach. This month's meeting is set for Tuesday, February 14 at 6:15PM. Group leader and store proprietor Maggie deVries can answer your questions.
  • There is no meeting of the Ancient City Writers this month.
  • Freelance photo-journalist Susan D. Brandenburg has many interests but after she traced her own family history, she realized she had a gift for writing what she calls "legacy books." She's turned that interest into a thriving business as a professional biographer. Susan talks about "Writing Biographies for Fun & Profit" at the February 25 meeting of the Ponte Vedra Writers, 10:30 AM at the Ponte Vedra Library. She'll talk about both the creative side of how to work with the subject of the biography, as well as the business end of it. 
  • First Coast Christian Writers, an affiliate of FWA, meets each Thursday evening at 6:45PM at the West Regional Library on South Chaffee Road. Tracy Redman has more information. 

Other happenings for writers of NE Florida:

  • The 2012 RPLA Competition is underway as of February 15th, 2012 and ends on June 15th, 2012. Remember that entry fees are always lowest at the start.  Visit the RPLA page on the FWA website to download the packages for fiction and non-fiction, and best of luck.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime, Saturday, February 4 at 10:30AM at the SE Regional Library. Guest speaker is Leighton Gage, author of the Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigations, which are set in Brazil. FSiC also has a book club which meets the second Friday each month at 2PM at Panera's on Southside Blvd. in Arlington. Contact President Pam Wells for details.
  • Noted South Florida author John Dufresne makes two appearances on the First Coast. On Saturday, February 11, John presents "Write Your Novel in Six Months," a workshop at Flagler College from 9:30AM to 12:30PM. Registration and info here. And Monday, February 13 at 6:30PM, Dufresne is the featured author at the PV Library's Book Talk Cafe. He's the author of Requiem, Mass, Love Warps the Mind a Little, and Louisiana Power and Light, among other notable novels and short story collections.
  • If writing your novel in six months is too great a task, then sign up for Vic DiGenti's Novel in a Day workshop. It's scheduled for Saturday, February 11, from 9AM to 5PM, at UNF's Learning Center, and covers all the essential elements of writing a novel, from plot and structure, to character development and dialogue. Contact Valerie Murphy to register or check out the website.
  • Lynn Harlin launches her next Shanty Boat Workshop on Saturday, February 22 with a new series of writing classes. 
  • The Ancient City Romance Writers welcome Kelly L. Stone to its Saturday, February 25 meeting to tell you how to "Empower Your Muse." The meeting kicks off at 12:30PM at the SE Regional Library and guests are welcome.
  • The Amelia Island Book Festival has a great line-up of authors and writers' workshop scheduled for its 11th annual Festival. Check out all the details here.
  • Children's Book Writers  meet Thursday, February 9 at 6:30PM at the SE Regional Library. Guest speaker is Rik Feeney.
And finally, we all know that writers are curious by nature, and if you're like me, you've often wondered which literary works inspired the most ink — as in tatoos. Well, Publishers Weekly has the answer in this article listing the top 5 books which have inspired the most tatoos. Unscientific as the ranking may be, you'll have to admit it provides a piercing look at the subject.
    FWA members in action: Current FWA members should send me announcements of new books, awards, signings, etc. for inclusion in this blog.
    • FWA member Gary Zeiger has published Stingray: You Can't Hide Forever, a science-fiction adventure. It's available in print and ebook formats. Preview it on his website.

    Until next time, keep writing and I'll see you at the library.

    Victor DiGenti
    FWA Regional Director