October 2022

Speaker: Arielle Haughee
Topic: Crisp Up That Prose!
October 15, 2022, 10 a.m. to Noon

In person and Zoom meeting

Arielle HaugheeLocation: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Crisp Up That Prose! – Tight writing is a necessity for attracting agents and editors as well as keeping readers interested. In this workshop, we’ll discuss frequently used fluff words, strategies for cleaning up sentences, and bad habits that can make prose cumbersome. We’ll utilize three strategies–cut, replace, and trim down–to make your writing as efficient as possible. Bring some of your writing that needs revision for a hands-on portion of class. You’ll leave with easy strategies to use in your writing and an editing checklist to help you spot fluff.

Arielle Haughee (Hoy)
is a six-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, and writing coach, and was previously the Executive Vice President and Marketing Chair for the Florida Writers Association. She was honored with the President’s Award from FWA in 2020, and in 2021 Pling’s Party was awarded Children’s Book of the Year. Her press, Orange Blossom Publishing, publishes books about love, humor, and wellness for women and children. She is currently taking submissions for romance, women’s fiction, young adult, and nonfiction of interest to the female audience. More information at orangeblossombooks.com.

*Arielle is presenting via  Zoom; however, like usual, we are meeting in person and on Zoom.

President’s Letter for September 17, 2022

This month’s President’s Letter is a most difficult one to write.  Our beloved web designer, Judy Loose, passed away and we are all deeply grieved.

Judy was capable of gracefully juggling many projects simultaneously; she will be greatly missed.  Be assured that Gulf Coast Writers Association will continue being the leading writing group in Southwest Florida.  We have been blessed with a new member, Dr. Kesha Dreher, who is also an IT expert.  At her first meeting, she quickly agreed to take over the website while vacationing in Maui and is in the process of putting everything together.

 

We ask for your patience and support during this transition.  Our September program will go forward as planned and we expect that our guest speaker, Lucy Tobias, will not disappoint you.

Lucy Tobias will give a PowerPoint presentation of undiscovered Florida (translation — drop dead beautiful photos); she presents ways to combine photos, video, and audio to your stories.  How much of Florida still remains a mystery to some of us?  Lucy will bring magic and excitement to the podium.

One additional benefit you will obtain from this presentation is a short exercise on writing the “hook” — the all-important first sentence of any book!  In journalism, it is called a “grabber.”  This was the most valuable tool I learned as a writer.

Lucy Tobias is an award-winning author and blogger who looks at life and finds humor, beauty, and reasons for hope.

Her book, The Zen of Florida Gardening, won first place in outdoor books in the excellence in crafts awards (2021) for the Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

Tobias’ Wednesday Notes, published in 2022, is her newest book..  A five-star review on Amazon said in part: “A weekly blog that started as a pandemic panacea and became a phenomenon – combination journal, travel log and memoir that looks at the profoundness of everyday life and finds humor, tragedy and reasons for hope. A good read for the jaded of heart who might have forgotten that miracles happen every day.”

Wednesday Notes invites the reader to reflect on the moments of goodness and grace that happen in life. The author’s insights and wonderful sense of humor shine through. Written during the pandemic, there is a tenderness and authenticity that shines through. Lucy Tobias is a faithful, thoughtful, fun-loving friend in the journey of life.”

If you are attending via zoom, please sign up for the program.  Honestly,  we believe you will enjoy the program more if you are physically present.  The opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of other members is extremely uplifting and encouraging during these discouraging times.

Location: Map
Word of Life Church
6111 South Pointe Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Note: Google maps or your GPS may direct you to the back of the building.  The entrance to the parking lot is on South Point Blvd. between Quigley Eye Specialists and Buckets Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Smith, President

New England book festivalBOSTON _ The 2022 New England Book Festival has issued a call for entries for its annual program celebrating the best books of the holiday season.

The New England Book Festival will consider non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, memoir, children’s books, young adult, how-to, cookbooks, science fiction, photography/art, poetry, gay literature, regional literature, spiritual, wild card (anything goes!), business books, unpublished stories and compilations/anthologies. All entries must be in English.

Deadline November 25, 2022

More information

See Lori’s blog.

Imposter in the Woods
by Lori Goshert

The call of a cardinal echoes through the trees. A brown anole skitters up a palm trunk, pausing to listen and bob her head.

With one finger jammed between the pages of my book to mark the place, I crane my neck to peer under the lounge chair, seeking the fat brown ant that disappeared underneath. I examine the back rails to make sure the insect is not making her way toward me, and I shake out my discarded shoes. I regard the jumping spider on the arm of the chair with suspicion—I do not fear spiders, but the unpredictability of jumping insects and arachnids unnerves me. I like knowing where things are and where they are going. Especially if they’re creepy.

I consider myself a lover of nature, even presuming to write about birds and environmental issues. But I keep nature at arm’s length—a long-distance romance.

I devour documentaries of faraway rainforests, reveling in the flight of scarlet and green parrots and the majestic decisiveness of jaguars. I will never visit them, but to ensure their survival, I place my pen, my time, and sometimes my wallet at their service. The oxygen those trees exhale makes my life possible, and their destruction is my own.

The only reason I’d leave the convenience of an urban apartment for a house would be to plant fruit trees and let my lawn burst with food for people and pollinators rather than grass. But I know myself—I would rather suffer jury duty or fold laundry than dig in the dirt, where I’d encounter wriggling earthworms. And the very thought of bugs on my skin makes every hair stand up.

There is much in the city to feed my love of nature: The moss hanging from the southern live oaks. The barred owl behind our building periodically calling “Who cooks for you?” I long to answer him, but he stubbornly refuses to show himself for a real conversation.

The wonders of our national parks call to me, and I long to visit and marvel in the august presence of ancient trees, mirror-still mountain lakes, and multi-pigmented rock formations. But when the sun goes to bed, let me bask in the glory of indoor plumbing, snake- and insect-proof doors and windows, and the promise of morning elixir from the venerable coffeepot. (Though a  voice in the back of my mind scolds me, saying I should know how to “rough it.” For the future, when we’re all living in Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower.)

Am I an imposter, then, when writing about nature issues? I ask myself that each time I lift my pen to extol the delicate beauty of a green heron, the still vigilance of a lizard, or the mossy fairy-tale shape of a live oak. Yet I continue to look for that owl—through my apartment window—and to write about him and his bird friends.