Monday, March 28, 2011

The Wannabe's Journal
March 2011

Since I have started teaching my class for the LLI at the University of Dayton I have discovered a new self actualization exercise by a large number of people who have reach maturity. You will notice that I did not refer to the group as senior citizens. That would be an injustice to all those who are young of heart and those who haven't even reached the ripe age of 50 yet. Most people in my new class have discovered that they have a hidden talent that has been awaken by taking other classes, adjusting to the new life of retirement, renewing an old passion or just looking for a new hobby. They all have something in common: they have discovered their right brain is alive and well.

Technology is also helping in that provides the tools so that the average person can now produce an attractive book for friends, family and the mass market without breaking the bank. This form of publishing also provides the avoidance of rejection emails and letters from agents and publishers. One person in the industry that I highly respect for her perspective in Jane Friedman, former editor of Writers Digest and currently on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati. In her most recent Blog entry:

The Future of Self-Publishing Services

Jane Friedman on Mar 25 2011 |

The Blog site is called Writers Unboxed:

Last Friday, March 25th marked the meeting date of the Wannabe's group. The group welcomed a number of new members who listened, read and shared their stories and background with the rest of the members. As usual, we had a number of members who provided a reading which the participant generously agreed to share with all of us. \

Notes from the members:

Maurice B. Background in the banking industry. Shared with us a short story that he recently wrote entitled: "Memory of the Muskingum River". The story of two young boys paddling their way down the famous river in southeastern Ohio.

Jack S. Has many stories, many of which have been written. His book about the Constitution Convention of 1787 was published in 108 installments in the Dayton Daily News in the 1980's. The author assumes the role of a reporter who attends the convention on a daily basis and provides the reader a summary of the events that transpired during this important historical event. Similar to a Tweet. Net and to the point.
Jack also read a story to our group about a boy, who convinced his parents to allow him to serve in the National Park Service as a fire tower lookout out west when he was 16. Life was rugged especially when it came time to bring supplies to his new home, a fire tower on stilts high above the alpine forest. His trusted friend that long summer turned out to be a four legged creature named Harry. Harry was a pack mule who had an independent personality but by the end of the summer Harry and Jack would have a respected friendship.

Rosie H. talked about her new book entitled: "The Essence of Greece". The book of poems which is meant to be used for meditation. The scenes were taken from the pictures which were part of a cruise where the author conducted an seminar which was conducted on literary art and its interpretation.

Speaking of Seminars: I wrote in the last week's issue of Wannabe's Journal about the gathering of Poets at the Town and Country Arts Center. The "12 by 12" event which is being held on April 3rd from 5 to 7 PM has attracted many artist and poets from the Dayton area. After reviewing the many entries for this planned event, the staff has selected 12 poems that local artists will use to create a new work of art to celebrate the poem.

Trish brought us up to date with her memoir which has to be finalized by June of this year. Yours truly has the privilege of having a copy of the draft manuscript. I cannot wait to begin reading some of the chapters. If size of the printed out manuscript is any indication of the quality of the story and enjoyment then it should be a blockbuster.

Don P. Provide the best line of the day when he introduced himself to the group by stating: "I once wrote material for the federal I am use to fantasy". As usual Don has been busy since our meeting in December. He recently submitted a number of short stories to a number of writing competitions. He also found a new source of information about our industry called The Writers Magazine:

I will take this opportunity to point out that Writers Digest has a competition for authors who are self published. There are a number of categories that you can submit your poem, novel or short story for consideration. The deadline is April 15th or this year. Any work self published between 2006 and 2011 can be submitted. The entry fee is 100 dollars for the first entry and 75 dollars for additional submissions. Here is some additional information:

The group also talked about Flash Fiction. The definition of this new form of writing a short story is contained in this definition: Flash Fiction: a complete story in one thousand or fewer words. With the advent of instant messaging and Twitter, writing a short stories has now taken on a new dimension. Some might refer to this style of writing as a form of "stream of consciousness writing". For all those fans who follow the Tweets of "shitmydadsays on Twitter will recognize what I am talking about. For those who don't, you will just have to Google that expression to see the power that can be had with 140 characters or less. Five years ago no one knew Justin. Now he sold the rights to his twitter posts to a producer and TV.

Here is a web sites for Flash Fiction:

Don provided me with a copy of a short story that could be considered in this category:

The Wedding

"Mind if I ask you something" John said. "Do you mind if I don't go to the wedding with you."

"But you're the groom. You have to be there. What are you thinking?"

"Well I told you I would rather elope than go through all of this. I still think it’s foolish to spend all of that money when we could use it for other things. We could just slip across the Nevada state line, go to Vegas, and have a nice wedding there."

"But all of the invitations have been sent out. What do we do about those? It would make us look ridiculous."

“Maybe, maybe not. Think what we could do with all of that money. I can think of a hundred things. I was talking to Mary, your maid of honor, about it yesterday. She had all kinds of things to suggest. She’s a very smart girl. She is also very pretty. I found her very interesting to talk to.”

“What are you talking about. You just met here three days ago.”

“I know, but we talked like we had known each other for years. She is very easy to talk to. Why don’t we call this whole thing off and make other plans.”

“When you say ‘Call the whole thing off’ what exactly do you mean?”

“I don’t know. I think I need to talk to Mary about it.”

Martha W. is always able to provide a great recommendation on new books to read. She especially likes to read authors whose POV has a unique style. This month she recommended a new author by the name of Ms Kaye Gibbons. Her novel detailing the hardships and heartbreaks of a tough, witty, and resolute 11-year-old girl from North Carolina found its way into the hearts of readers all over the country. Ellen Foster was the story of its namesake, who had suffered years of tough luck and cruelty until finding her way into the home of a kind foster mother. That was in 1987. Her other book entitled The Virtuous Woman won her the honor of being selected as Oprah's Book Club winner in 1997.

Ginger read from two pieces that she has been working on lately. a book of small prayer and a new book of poems.

Musings about WRITERS

William Shakespeare was a fast writer. He penned poetry and plays.

Louisa May Alcott locked herself in her room and wrote to support her family.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s wife was his reader and nurse. He died in Samoa.

Stephen King has a tool box he uses to write description, narrative, and dialogue.

Poe was a disciplined writer who had great sorrow at the death of his mother.

Mark Twain was a humorist who toured the country in his white suit.

Charles Dickens also toured and talked but in his red velvet waist coat.

Emily Dickinson wrote from the soul and liked poetry and flowers.

Walt Whitman worked on poems and Leaves of Grass.

Mary Pat Kelly, a writer on our high school newspaper, recently published her latest novel , GALWAY BAY.

And my favorite and less famous poet and writer is me!

She also recommended a book that a former classmate of hers from NYC has recently wrote: GALWAY BAY by Mary Pat Kelly which is her latest book. It is about the struggle in Ireland during the famine of the early 1800's and then finally when the family moves to Chicago. For any of us that have a little Irish blood or wish they did, it is a great read!

"Laughter and tears and pure magic." Frank McCourt

"Combines two Irish gifts- the gift of hypnotic storytelling and the gift of the rich poetic language..enables us to see the Irish and Irish-American experience in a way we would never have imagined." Mary Gordon

This sounds like a perfect book for me to choose as a followup to An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor.

Don H. Had previously published a story entitled: "How to command "F" Troop". After his career in the military he spent his second career in real estate from which he recently retired to pursue his secret passion: Writing Non-Fiction. Currently reading Mark Twain's short stories to see what he missed in high school. He talked about Ron Carlson who spoke last year at the Sinclair Writer Conference about how to "write in the dark"

Don Q: has been busy. Teaching this spring at the University School of Business as well as a class in Self Publishing for the Osher Institute(LLI). I recently published a book entitled "Travels with Patti". The book details my summers in Europe and our country's southwest from 2005 through 2008 through pictures and text. Thanks to fellow Wannabe writer Bob MacC who introduced me to the power of Blurb.

I am currently putting the finishing touches on "Santa's Magic" which will be self-published this fall.


I had promised to provide the following information:

Web site for securing a ISBN code from Bowkers:

Web Address for the Wannabe's Blog Site:

Please visit our site and post your email address so that you will be notified when a posting is made.


This is a repeat of a previous posting. Remember that Joyce Dyer, noted author and professor from Hiriam College in northeast Ohio is just one of the headline authors and respected lecturers that will be returning to Antioch this summer. Here is the rest of the schedule:

Welcome Mad Anthony Writers!

When: April 8-9, 2011

Where: Historic Hamilton, Ohio

“The City of Sculpture”,
10 minutes west of OH I-75 on SR 129 between Cincinnati and Dayton

Featuring: Editors, Publishers, & Agents

Keynote Speaker: Hallie Ephron

Enroll at:

Antioch Writers Workshop:

Dear writers,

The recent pleasant weather here in Yellow Springs, Ohio gives us hope that the long winter is finally over. It also serves as a reminder that summer is almost here, which means it's time to sign up for the AWW Full Week Workshop (July 9-15), one of the great "A La Carte" options for that week, and/or for our July 9 Saturday Seminar. And while April showers bring May flowers, AWW scholarships could bring tuition assistance for selected applicants who get their entries in by the deadline, April 15. In this issue, you can read more about the scholarships and other exciting AWW news:

  • Tips on Writing from AWW 2011 faculty
  • The Focus on Form Afternoon Session
  • Alumni and Faculty News

Open spots at the AWW Full Week and A La Carte workshops are filling up, so please remember to complete your registrations soon! As you know, our website is loaded with information about Antioch Writers' Workshop and all of the ways to attend. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

Sharon Short, Director
Antioch Writers' Workshop
Email: info@
Web: www.
Blog: www. antiochwritersworkshop.

26 years of Writing Craft and Professional Connections

Save the date: July 9 thru 15th. Enroll for the entire week or choose an A La Carte Classes approach.

Great list of speakers, guest agents, Editors and faculty this year.

Enroll early:

Sinclair Writers Workshop

Sinclair Community College’s 37th Annual

Writers’ Workshop

April 9, 2011

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sinclair's Main Campus, downtown Dayton, Building 12

Click Here to register online.

Featuring Walter Bennett, Jr.

Writer, Screenwriter, and Producer

Sinclair Community College’s English Department and Theatre Department are proud to welcome Walter Allen Bennett, Jr. as the keynote speaker at the 2011 Writers’ Workshop. Bennett has written or produced more than 200 episodes of television, including The Cosby Show. He was a finalist in the Sundance Writers Workshop, as well as a semi-finalist in the Chesterfield Screenwriting Competition. Bennett holds an MFA in playwriting from Yale University’s School of Drama and an MFA in Acting from UCLA.

Workshop Sessions

Story Building – Rebecca Morean
Unlocking Your Poetry – Mary Jo White
Screenwriting – Stephen Skiles
Editing and Publishing – Jason Sizemore
Writting Marathon - Furaha Henry-Jones

Workshop Director – Kristina Onder

Well I think I have exhaused my keyboard skills today. Have a good week and keep writing it is good for the soul.

The next meeting of the Wannabe's will be May 20th at Panera on Brown Street.

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