As a kid (back in the paleozoic era) I looked forward to the 4th of July as being the landmark holiday of summer vacation. Today, the day holds special meaning because it's my wedding anniversary, but it still makes me nostalgic for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
I know this certifies me as an official member of the Oldtimers Club, so let's move on. Even though the temperatures are inching toward the 100 degree mark, we can still sit in our air conditioned homes and pound away at the keyboard. Let's hope you're making progress on your writing project, whatever it might be. And to help you stay motivated, why not attend one of this month's FWA meetings here in NE Florida?
- The River City Writers meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the SE Regional Branch Library off Gate Parkway. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14. Author and editor Howard Denson will tell us how to polish and simonize our final draft until it shines. For more information, contact group leader Gregg Golson.
- Tim Gilmore returns to the Clay County Writers group meeting on Wednesday, July 15 at the Orange Park Library. Be there at 6:15 p.m to hear Tim present, "Writing as Listening to the Landscape." Tim is a UNF professor and well-known Jacksonville storyteller.
- Writers by the Sea celebrates the summer by moving from the Amelia Island History Museum to the newly renovated Fernandina Beach Library. The meeting is set for Thursday, July 16 with a social gathering at 6:00 p.m. and the program at 6:30. Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis) is the guest speaker that evening, and I'll present "Great Beginnings: That All Important First Page." Find out why your first sentence, first paragraph, first page can make or break your book.
- Moving on to St. Johns County on Saturday, July 18, you can attend the Ancient City Writers chapter meeting, which starts at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Main Library. Author Chris Berman provides insights into "Writing the Action-Adventure Hero." Chris said he will focus on the setting, plot formula, and persona of the action hero.
- The Ponte Vedra Writers meet at the PV Library on Saturday, July 25 at 10:30 a.m. to hear from two authors who happen to be mother and daughter. Leslie Talley is the author of three mysteries, and her daughter, Terri Talley Venters, has penned five novels with two more on the way. Their presentation is titled, "Everything I Know About Writing I Learned from My Mother," and the duo will talk about their writing journeys and provide writing tips they've learned along the way.
- FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meet each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
- Award-winning SF author Sandra MacDonald presents a writing workshop for Florida Sisters in Crime on Saturday, July 11. The meeting starts at 10:15 a.m. at the SE Branch Library.
- The Florida Authors & Publishers Association will hold its annual conference August 7 - 8 at the Hilton Orlando in Lake Buena Vista (the same hotel where the 14th annual FWA Conference will be held in October. Visit the FAPA website for details.
- And while you're at it, go ahead and register for the FWA Conference, October 15 - 18. Last month I inadvertently provided the link to register for the FAPA conference hotel at a $119 nightly rate instead of the FWA Conference. You'll be glad to know the room rate for the FWA Conference is only $99 per night.
- The quarterly meeting of North Florida Writers is Saturday, July 11 at noon in the conference room of Riverside's VyStar Credit Union. The group will hear from Melissa Kosciuszko (aka M.S. Kaye), the author of six books with three different publishers. Melissa is the recipient of three Royal Palm Literary Awards, and is a 4th degree Black Belt and certified Taekwondo instructor. She's also co-leader of the River City Writers.
- FWA is hosting a book signing event limited to only 50 authors. The event will be held on May 1, 2016 in Altamonte Springs. Tables are $100. If you're interested, click here for more details.
And that will do it for the month of July. Check the FWA NE Florida Facebook page to keep current, and stay safe during the upcoming holiday. I'll leave you with an appropriate Mark Twain quote.
"Many public-school children seem to know only two dates: 1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don't know what happened on either occasion."
FWA Regional Director