Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The hunt for the real October

Somehow, the month of September was swiped from right under us. I've vowed to keep a close watch on October to insure it won't happen again. That shouldn't be difficult since we have many memorable happenings in October including FWA's 14th Annual Writers Conference, October 15-18, the Florida-Georgia game, and the start of the World Series later in the month. 

On the negative side, the weather gods promise more drought, floods, hurricanes and wildfires in the next thirty days, and there's a chance our government might shut down this month. 

But all is not doom and gloom since October brings us many reasons to celebrate, including National Sausage Pizza Day on October 11, and National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18. I'm definitely marking my calendar for both of those days.

These area writers also have reason to celebrate as they've recently published books:

  • Nancy Quatrano, writing as N. L. Quatrano, has released the first in her Point and Shoot Mystery Series, Murder in Black & White
  • Kathryn J. Bain has published her short suspense story, Small Town Terror, on
  • Judith and Allen White have published a joint memoir, Autumns of Our Joy, A Memoir of Romance, Stem Cells, and Rebirth
  • Raffaela Marie Rizzo has published her first novel, Thank You for the Shoes
  • Mark Johnson has published, Encountering God, a chronicle of his parents courtship letters
  • Joan North has published Fragments of Grace
Congratulations to all of the newly published authors. Keep them coming.

And here's what October offers for NE Florida FWA meetings:
  • River City Writers meets Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the SE Branch Library to hear group leader Gregg Golson discuss "How to Hook Your Readers on the First Page."
  • There will be no meeting of the Ancient City Writers on October 17 since the date is in conflict with the FWA Conference. They'll return on November 21 with novelist and public relations guru Ron Whittington discussing social media.
  • The Clay County Writers assemble on Wednesday, October 21 at 6::15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library. Group leader Maureen Jung has all the latest info.
  • Nassau County's Writers by the Sea returns to the Amelia Island Museum of History in Fernandina Beach for their October 22nd meeting, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Contact Nadine Vaughan for more details.
  • FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
  • Freelance editor and writer Kimberly Smith is the featured speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting on Saturday, October 24, 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library. Kimberly calls her workshop, "Confessions of a Freelance Editor: Lessons I've Learned that Can Save You Time and Money." 
In other news:
  • It's not too late to register for this month's FWA Writer's Conference. You may register for the entire conference, including the Celebrity Workshop with thriller writer John Gilstrap and the RPLA Banquet, or pick and choose your days. Visit this page for all the details.
  • Florida Sisters in Crime meets this Saturday, October 3, at 10:30 a.m. at the SE Branch Library on Deerwood Park Blvd. to hear from DEA members fighting the flow of drugs into this country.
  • UNF's OLLI program (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) continues its series for writers and readers next Monday, October 5 with novelist Laura Lee Smith. Her topic is "Story, Story, Story: How to Create Compelling Narrative Structure." On Monday, October 12, Nancy Quatrano talks next about "Writing Outside the Lines: Genre Short Stories and Collaborative Writing." St. Augustine poet Mary Deno-Yeck is next on Monday, October 19, and her topic is "The Art of Science in Poetry: Biology, Chemistry, Physics." Finally, all three writers, along with Vic DiGenti, who kicked off the series on Monday, will appear together in a panel discussion on October 26. All of the presentations begin at 11:30 a.m. at UNF's University Center. Visit the OLLI website for more information.
  • First Coast Romance Writers welcomes RITA Award-winning romance writer Karen Rose for two workshops on Saturday, October 10, starting at 11:00 a.m. at the West Regional Branch Library on Chaffee Road. Karen will first present, "Sidekickin' It Up," a look at the secondary characters, and then "Creating Chillin' Villains."
  • In partnership with the Fernandina Little Theatre, the Amelia Island Book Festival presents an interactive Murder Mystery Dinner on October 24 at the Golf Club of Amelia Island. Click here for reservations and details.
  • The Ponte Vedra Library's Book Talk Cafe program presents Rosamond Parrish discussing her book, Lincolnville, A Sketchbook Journal of St. Augustine's Historic Neighborhood, on Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Maria Geraci was last week's speaker at the Ponte Vedra Writers meeting talking about "Writing Faster & Writing Better." Her personal goal is to write three to four books a year, but it brought to mind something Raymond Chandler once said, 

"The faster I write, the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them."

And Stephen King seems to agree since one of his 20 rules of writing states "The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season."

Until next time, write fast and enjoy the month of October,

Vic DiGenti
FWA Regional Director for NE Florida