Monday, April 22, 2013

The Wannabe Journal
April 2013

The Academic Year at UD is finally getting close to an end.

It is spring I think.  The trees are in bloom and the allergies are making people change their contacts more frequently.  I had the pleasure to attend the Mad Anthony Writers Workshop recently. I was able to attend three presentation by distinguished speakers in the literary world.  I heard presentations by Jane Friedman, Sharon Draper and Sandra Gurvis.  I also had the pleasure to meet new people who are actively pursuing their writing passion.  My visit to this writing event which has been held for 8 years was very beneficial. I even had the opportunity to say hello to our groups inspiration...Nancy Pinard.  My weekend schedule did not allow me to take in her lecture on Sunday entitled "Your manuscript Revised"  I am sure it was well attended. 

What are our members up to: 

Bob O'Connor:  He submitted a homily from a Pastor Kennedy who is also a frequent lecturer for the LLI program.  Here is his story.

I am not without some training from a variety of low-level academic institutions, yet I feel compelled to write about the smartest people in the world.  I am not a scholar or the son of a scholar.  When I say I was born in LA, I mean Louisiana, not the city of angels.  Alas, I am just a country preacher, which means that I live in fear that one day someone will discover that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and yet I still feel compelled to speak.  There is one small caveat: I write the following words because there lives inside of me this underdeveloped sense of the comedic, the court jester, the clown, the stand-up comedian and because theology can be so demanding, I need a break and I go slumming in order to get a bit of relief.  I know that I seem irreverent to some of you, but I am a bit intense.  If you knew that writing something whimsical would keep you out of the psych ward at Miami Valley Hospital, wouldn’t you write whimsy? 
Out here in “Flyover Country,” we are considered naïve and corny.  Is it because we grow most of the nation’s corn?  If a city isn’t in a major-media market, it simply doesn’t exist.  Baseball announcers will say that a player for the Reds is the best “unknown” player in the country.  How is this possible?  Don’t they have the internet in New York?  In the age of instant news, when the “Computer” sees everything and everyone, how can there be unknown?  I suppose that since we don’t live on the coast, we are simply “toast.” 
But this antipathy toward Ohio goes deeper than market share?  I am at a loss to explain how utterly irrelevant our region seems to be except every four years when the presidential election motto becomes, “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.”  Maybe I’ve just transferred by ancient “chip on the shoulder” from the South to the Midwest, my centuries old festering grudge against the rest of the world for considering the South as a bunch of hillbillies, and the problem is not in the national media, but in me.  If that is the case, I apologize for my psychological transference.  Perhaps you know a good therapist from Harvard who could help me get over the angst and accept my humble status in the nation.  I’m working on it.   
Since we make most of the food, and in case New York and Los Angeles hasn’t gotten the news, have most of the water, and basically invented everything that matters in America, and since we are in control of who lives in the White House, you would think that people would pay more attention to us.  But, alas, that is a naïve idea, isn’t it?   
There’s a lot of uncelebrated wisdom, creativity, and ingenuity in our region.  Just because we have good manners, a certain Midwestern reticence, and respect doesn’t mean we are a bunch of nincompoops.  I am aware that the virtues are no longer newsworthy.  After all, the people in the know, the people who poke such fun at us, while transforming the “Seven Cardinal Sins into the Seven Cardinal Virtues of American Excess,” are much more exciting.  
To those who are so smart, so cute, so sarcastic, so ironic, and so self-important, I can only say that we will always be here.  While they keep making the news, we will be providing beefsteaks and beer.   After all, maintaining a sense of coastal self-importance by putting down Middle Earth (The Midwest), requires a tremendous amount of energy.  This, in turn, will require a lot of food and water.    
What happens when the nation becomes entirely dependent on our food and our water?  We will share.  After all, that’s what we have always done.  We are good people.   
Besides, if the water level in the oceans continues to rise, the Midwest might become the East coast, and then who will be the object of derision for the scorners and mockers?  Whatever the future may hold, please enjoy a great steak at The Palm in Washington, D.C., and try to remember that flyover country is not only the feeding house of the nation but also the watering hole.  Have a joyful, wonderful day and may God bless those who know they are better because of where they live. 
Since you are smarter than the rest of the country realizes, I’m sure you knew that my opening rhetorical strategy is called the “Southern con.”  Southerners have pretended incompetence ever since Reconstruction in order to secure sympathy and take advantage of unsuspecting Yankees.  Those of us who speak with a drawl are aware that it is the first indicator of abysmal stupidity.  As one of my fellow Southerners puts it, however, “It is a great advantage for your enemy to assume you are not all that bright.” 
Now, please excuse me.  I am late for a bit of outpatient surgery.  The doctor has to help me get my deeply embedded tongue out of my left cheek.  RWK     
Jude W:   I'm in Rome with my Deep Writing group but will see you next month!  Bring home some good wine from the street fair's.

Linda:  Don,  I have been a "party pooper" recently regarding the writer's group.  When I took on the UDLLI presidency, my "free time" diminished greatly.  I do hope to return when my term ends as President.  Please grant me a "Leave of Absence".

Your request has been granted.  It is called a sabbatical.  

Martha: Don,  I really dislike missing the Wannabe's but I have an event out of town that day.  I still plan to return to the meetings soon.  Thanks for the message.  Martha W.  Our Meeting on the 19th of April included the following updates:

Don P
Shared his books on genealogy and family history that he has created over the last few years.  He recently published a novel of short stories which he is famous for within our group.  The Peacock Speaks is available on Amazon.  He is in the middle of editing another series of short story's for next book.  He is also going to be a guest lecture on self publishing for the LLI class on the same subject. 

Don H.  Introduced the group to a new book entitled:  Wired for Story by Lisa Cron.  Here is a description of her book from Amazon. 
July 10, 2012
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets--and it's a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
     The vast majority of writing advice focuses on "writing well" as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail--they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won't hold anyone's interest.
     Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.

Sounds like something I could use...

Rosie H:  She read a poem/short story that she wrote for a friend.  The title of the story was "Hand-me-downs".  It was a very powerful story that affected us all emotionally and intellectually.  We encouraged her to enter the story in the Dayton Daily News short story competition.  You can tell she is a good poet from her choice of powerful words. 

Rosie H is also  working on a presentation for a proposed UDLLI class on Painting & Poetry, where students will attempt to write poetry which describes an already accomplished painting.
Rosie also mentioned that this Sunday, April 21st will be the last in this season's series of an Evening of Poetic Art at the Fine Art Center at Town & Country Shopping Center. Come between 5-7 PM for another interesting event.

we discussed Wanda B's illustrations and poems for a children's book. She showed us about a dozen excellent illustrations but she only intends to use about 6, with accompanying poetry, perhaps to be self-published using Blurb.

A long discussion ensued about ekphratic efforts, which is essentially the joining of more than one art, where arts are combined to enhance and stimulate new art by virtue of the mixture of the forms. For example, poetry (song lyrics) added to music or vice versa; painting & poetry; film arts & music; story composition (writing) accompanied with music, or any other combination of arts. We talked about which form comes first, but concluded there is no particular order; it is left to the imagination of the artist. It is so interesting when one not only prompts, but augments another artform.
Long live the Muses and their wonderful mother, Mnemosyne!

Don Q:  Talked about the art of self publishing eBooks. 
We are continuing to see more and more authors jumping to self published eBooks.  They are called Hybrid Authors.  The reason is money and royalty's.  There was a recent article in the New York Times in the last week about Agents are now helping authors self publish their clients books and coordinating the services necessary...again money and survival are the motivations.  Interesting business. 

Here is what I recommended to the student who are part of my LLI class on Thursday's

  1. Since Kindle and Nook have 85 % of the market publish through them at a minimum.
  2. But if you wat to be more complete then publish your eBook using Kindle Direct and Smashwords.  That will cover 95% of the distribution.
  3. DRM is not recommended but if you use Kindle you cannot avoid it. 
  4. Watch out for hidden fee’s, such as manuscript changes when you use BookBaby.   
  5. EPUB is the standard for eBooks.
Our Meeting next month is on May 17th.  Again we will meet in the LLI Lounge on the 2nd floor of the River Campus Bldg of UD's new campus on South Patterson.  We hope you can attend.  Have a great week. 

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Wannabe's Journal
March 2013

                                        The Easter Bunny must be a Self Published Author......

What happened to springtime?  I heard it's out of town for the holiday.  We are getting close to the time when all the snowbirds start the pilgrimage North for the blooms of the spring flowers.  Hopefully the snow will melt and we will be able to see them.

Our small group of six writers and artists this month celebrated the birth of a new novel.  About a year ago we were blessed with a new member who heard about the reputation of our illustrious group and came to a meeting at UD's River Campus for one of our monthly Wannabe's meetings.  She describe the contents of a project that she was working on that has now turned into a self-published novel.  This will make six people who have self-published since that spark was lit back in 2008 when the Wannabe's had their first meeting to talk about stories and right brain activities.  Thank you again to our inspiration and literary leader Nancy Pinard.  I am sure that when she taught that Creative Writing Class back then that she had no idea that she would be the one to inspire some many people to create their dreams.

Nancy is one of the featured speakers at this years Mad Anthony's Writers Workshop which will be held Friday-Sunday, April 12 to 14th, 2013 at Miami University's Campus in Hamilton. Visit their website to review the agenda, register and get directions:

Another one of our favorite literary spokespersons that we follow will also be participating in this event. Jane Friedman will participate both Saturday and Sunday.  

Writers News:

Earlier this week there was an article that Kindle would start a program where they would give away the Kindle so that they would be able to market their device to Schools and University's.  Looks like Barnes and Noble beat them to the punch. 

Three out of the top 12 books are self publishing authors.  The new trend is for authors who have in the past used agents and traditional publishing are now going the self-publishing route in order to make more money.  Their group is called  Hybrid Author's. 

The price of ebooks keeps dropping this year.  Average price is about 7.50 per book.  Non fiction is priced a little higher. 

New sites like Zola and Bookish are setting up to sell ebooks exclusively.  They are trying to compete with sites like Goodreads which recommends books to readers based on personal reviews. These are not to be confused with sites which allow you to submit a portion of your manuscript in order to get feedback.  Sites like Anthonomy, The Reading Room and Wattpad provide good feeback to someone needing support, encouragement and some suggestions on how to improve "on a good thing". 

Wannabe news:

Don P:  Busy as always.  Writing a new story which we hope he will share with our group.  Since he published his new collection of short stories last month he has been busy establishing a marketing plan to share his book with the friends and general public.  His book both softcover and Kindle are available on Amazon:

Wanda:  Working on a book of poems.  She received a lot of feedback from us on the butterfly illustration and the poems that she was able to share with the group.

Cindy:  Recommended a new book entitled: The Vatican Diaries by John Thavis.  With the recent selection of a new Pope this is very interesting reading of the goings-on behind the scenes of power and political activities that take place in Rome.  She also recommended: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee.  The romanic novel set in Victorian England of a young girl trying to survive and find true love. 

The biggest news is that Cindy published her novel about the prison fire in Columbus entitled: "Key's to the Cages."  This is a project of many years. It is scheduled to be released around the anniversary of the Ohio State Penitentiary fire on April 20, 1930. She writes under the pen name Mollie C.Cain. 

Cindy also recommended Chronicling America: Historical American Newspapers. Their web site is  I also noticed in an email earlier this week from that they were selling a service for the same collection of newspaper for $ 49 dollars.  So you could save some money by going to the Library of Congress site directly. 

Don Hart:  busy with his new business of editor, publisher and consultant for Four Cats Publishing.  Here is his website:

He has set May as the target date for the publishing of the anthology of stories from many of the Wannabe's members. The title of that book with be
"Anthology of Tragedies and Triumphs"

Faye:  She read a poem that she has recently composed:

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Today I glanced into the mirror
As I passed by on my way to tea.
“Who is that lady there?”, I thought.
I'm not the person I used to be.

The hair upon my head is gray
And, mercy, so little there is to see.
I noticed the light shown through my locks.
I'm not the person I used to be.

It made me pause and study my face
To see if I could recognize me.
I saw deep lines in my forehead...(sigh)
No, I thought, I'm not the person I used to be.

My skin is not as taut as I remembered,
My neck is sagging; it hangs free.
What happened to my rosy cheeks?
Heavens, I'm not the person I used to be.

Instead, I saw as I studied my face,
Lines that have been etched from glee,
Between my eyes are furrows from thought;
So, this is the person I've come to be.

And as I looked into my eyes,
I saw my life's memories of what used to be.
I caught a glimpse of the girl I was
And wondered what next these eyes would see.

Yet, though my face is wrinkled
And there's a pain in my knee,
Though my thoughts sometimes get jumbled,
I know I'm still the person I used to be.

                                          Faye Duncan, 201

Faye is also finalizing plans to self publish a family book entitled:
"Seasons of Life" 

Don Q.  Has been busy with teachingHe is teaching four classes this term at UD, both undergrad and MBA classes in MIS.  Accordingly... he put his unfinished manuscript that he began last fall on the shelf until this summer.  He is keeping a arms length contact with his right brain by also teaching a Self Publishing class in the LLI program this spring.  There are 30 students in that class.  Just proves that there are a lot more people who have a interest in publishing their own novels.  Most are not interested in trying to sell their work to the general public but rather are leaving a legacy for their friends and family.  There is always an audience for your words. No greater joy than getting to see that book come in the mail and opening the  package and seeing your name on the cover. 

Rosie H.  Sent this notice to our readers:

E X P R E S S I O N S  I N  A R T
 Spring Newsletter 2013

 Upcoming Spring Events & Programs
Dear Artists, Patrons and Friends,  

Spring is fast approaching and I'm sure you are all getting ready and anticipating another beautiful time of year.  All the seasons are just so alive with miracles and wonders.  I have to take time to see the beauty that surrounds me.  I love seeing the stark black trees and their spindly branches against the gray skies.  There are so many lines and shapes when you look. They remind me of calligraphy strokes and gestural marks.  Take a peek for yourself.
I have some wonderful events that are coming and would like to share.  Thank you for your support and encouragement in this artistic life I am so privileged to live and love.

An Evening of Poetic Art

The Fine Art Center
of Town & Country

Town & Country Shopping Center
An Evening of Poetic Art
Sunday, March 17
Sunday, April 21
5-7 PM
(Please bring a snack to share).

 If you missed the great article in the Dayton Daily News about our evenings of poetic here:

Our next meeting will be April 19th.  Same place, same time...Everyone with a right brain is invited.