Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Wannabe's Journal


May 2013

Happy Springtime in Ohio.  One day its raining, one day is cloudy, one day it is in the 90's and then it is in the 50's and fogy.  And what about all those flowers...they have to be totally confused.  All the more reason to attend a Wannabe's meeting and stimulate the right side of your brain. 

This months meeting of the Wannabe's was held on May 17th and we had one of our largest gatherings, other than the famous Christmas brunch as Mary Lou's.  It mus be that time of year when the snow birds have finished migrating north from their comfortable nests in Florida and points south. 

We were even blessed with two new members this month:

1. Abe B.  had recently attended my Self Publishing class this past spring at the LLI program at UD and was looking for encouragement and help in completing his memoir for family history and photos.  He found that a large number of our group has completed projects which are very simitar to his. 

2.  Bill M is a close friend of Hutch O'C and came to share his stories of his friend Sister Pat.  We have included one of his stories in this months edition of the Journal.  That is one characteristic that stands out in our ever growing group...we love the art of story telling. 

Others in attendance

Don H: is busy finalizing the 2nd anthology.  He is waiting for some final edits to be completed.

Mary Lou: is still working on her children's book. 

Martha: reminded everyone, including the new members that she was the official listener.  We reminded her that her story of the Christmas tree which had been installed  in the hole in the floor and "Her life on one page"  are classics. A good writer is not measured by the number of books that they have created but rather by the impact of each story.  .   

Wanda B:  is still working on her book of poems and watercolor illustrations. We can't wait.

Rosie H: has been busy with planning two classes on Paper Making. More information below

Fay D:  has published her memoir:
an inspirational book "Seasons of Life"

Don P:  Read his story of The Wedding....which is part of his new self published book.  "A Peacock Speaks"  A true classic

Butch O'C: Published another letter to the editor in the DDN of May 19th.

Don Q:  Thanked everyone for their support in electing him to the LLI Board of Governors. 

Other Developments

Dear Don, My name is Bess I... and have been in class with you at UDLLI.  Priscilla gave me your email in hopes that maybe you could post the following:

Poetry Event
          June 8th. Saturday afternoon 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
                       Kettering-Moraine Public Library - 3496 Far Hills Ave.

Bring your own poetry or one you love(poem that is).  We sit in a circle and each reads one poem.  Going around usually three times, each has a chance to read three times.

Thanks so much,    Bess Imber

Rosie H.  Also reminded us that she has a number of events coming up.  Visit her web site for more information.ROSIE
Hi Everyone,
Just a couple of things to announce.  My daughter Monica and I are having an exhibition in June at The Fine Art Center of Town & Country.  Hope you can join us at our opening.  If not, stop by during the month for a visit.  
If you are thinking about taking the Japanese papermaking workshop I still need 6 more people to make it a go.  Let me know if you are considering it before I have to cancel.   A description of the workshop is below.
JAPANESE Papermaking
Saturday June 8
Sunday June 9, 2013
 9-4 PM
Japanese Papermaking
A two day workshop working with Japanese fibers to make illustrious papers.  Rosie studied paper making and visited several of the paper villages in Japan.  She can teach you the fine art of making beautiful paper.

Beautiful stack of Japanese handmade papers
Walnut dyed, surged skirt, vest and belt
Made from Japanese Kozo

Cynthia R. Wants to start a new group which will hold it meeting on Saturday and will focus on the mechanics of Self Publishing. 

Hi Don and Nita and others --
I am starting a self-publishing meetup group, scheduled to meet in the Meeting Room of Dayton Metro Library from 10 am till whenever on Saturday June 15. Here's the link. Please help me publicize.
This is not a place for writers to discuss their writing nor is it a venue for focusing on the marketing of a book. It is a place where people - writers -- can bring the questions they have about the self-publishing process, and where they can get and give support to each other in the scary but fulfilling endeavor of publishing their own work. My plan at this point (which may change) is to meet monthly on the 3rd Saturday - late mornings (because, like me, many writers are not morning people!). Open to everyone, I hope we'll learn from each other and give each other courage, and knowledge about the mechanics of self publishing.
My own focus is Print on Demand (books -- not eBooks at this point) of personal histories. I want to become skilled at using Createspace first, and later possibly other POD types. Interested people may contact me through the Meetup site, where I am listed as the organizer of this group.


I am extremely sorry that I was unable to publish the Journal prior to this event.  If anyone would like to purchase a copy of Carol's book I am sure she would make arrangements to accommodate your request.  Please send me a email and I will send it to her.

If spring is giving you the itch to garden…
May 22nd’s lunchtime DRC event may be just the ticket!
Carol Siyahi Hicks, a vice president with The Dayton Foundation, a former literary magazine editor and author of the book, Gifts from the Garden, will be our featured guest speaker at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, in the Dayton Racquet Club Library. She will read from and talk about her new book.
Gifts from the Garden has been described as a kind of philosophy of gardening. It is filled with the rich detail that gardens engender and a passion for gardens and nature. Her prose is filled with the music of poetry and personal experience and observations that are honest, uplifting and ultimately provocative. She will make you smile…and cause you to remember your mother’s garden…or a friend’s…or your own. Gifts from the Garden will provide a “walk” through gardens and surrounding fields and the mysteries of nature and life.
So for something a little different during the gardening season, come hear this prize-winning writer and spend your lunch “traveling” through a southwestern Ohio garden and countryside.
Carol will have copies of her book available if you would like one signed by the author for that special gardener or nature lover in your life.
Call the Club at 937.224.4381 for reservations--$15 for this soup and salad lunch and program that runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Readings


 Rosie H loving story about her brother

Heaven’s Whistle
Rosie Huart
There are many sounds that seem to call my name.  Some of them are the ringing of chimes, howling winds, rain on rooftops, water trickling, waves of the ocean, birds chirping, thunder storms and music, but it is the sound of trains that captures my awareness the most.  It is one of the most nostalgic memories I cherish.  Later in my life I would realize why I love trains with such a passion.
I recall when my father returned home for visits from the army.  We went to the train depot in downtown Dayton to pick him up.  Descending the steep stairs to the underground where the tracks were seemed like a daunting task for a young child.  The sound of the train, as it approached the landing where we stood, was louder than life itself.  I had to cover my ears.  Sometimes, I remember placing pennies on the track and seeing the copper round image flatten right before my eyes.  It was like seeing a magic show.
Then there were the trains a few blocks from my favorite aunt Rose’s house.  While she was cooking dinner I would hear the roaring of the train approaching and run to the front porch to watch it speed by.  Sometimes we would be sitting on the front porch in our rocking chairs when, all of a sudden, the train’s shrieking sound was demanding our attention. We would wave at the engineer as the engine pulled its cars, knowing the caboose would soon be near.  The symphony lingered with its melodic notes.  I would wait for another celestial time when I could hear it all over again.
There were times as a child I traveled alone by train to visit my cousins in Grafton, Ohio.  It was one of my favorite places to go in the summer when school was out.  I loved the ride.  One particular day, when I was around 7 or 8 years old, I befriended an old lady seated next to me.  For some reason, I taught her how to say the rosary and gave her mine. She accepted.   She invited me to the dining car for a meal.  I remember being very perplexed at this young age because it was Friday.   In the religion I was baptized one of the church laws was the abstinence of meat on Friday and this particular day just happened to be Friday.  The outcome of my dining experience is unclear, but knowing what a scrupulous child I was, I cannot imagine even smelling meat on Fridays and not feeling guilty.  I realized at a later time I was quite a young evangelist and this was my first attempt to convert a non-Catholic to Catholicism.
While visiting in Grafton I recall the nights lying in bed at my cousin’s house and hearing the distant rumble of trains.  I remember feelings of sadness and being alone and didn’t know why.  Patrick, my brother, age 5, fell down a neighbor’s basement steps where we were playing and fractured his skull.  I don’t remember, but was told that I walked him home.  He was taken to the hospital and died in the early morning hours.  I was only six at the time. A number of years would go by before I made the connections of sadness and trains with Patrick and why they are so meaningful to me.  Today, on a shelf in my living room I have a small picture of my brother seated on a hardwood floor with a little train in front of him.  The picture reminds me of a happy time in my brother’s life.
It was in my adult years that I clearly understood my love for trains.  My most memorable experience was when I lived in a downtown building and the train tracks were outside my window.  The train traveled their tracks day and night.  One particular day while visiting a friend, I met a train engineer who navigated his train right outside my window.  I asked if he could blow the whistle sometime when he passed by.  Sure enough every time he went by he would blow the whistle. There were times I would just run to the window and give a big wave.  Sometimes he would stop and motion for me to come out for a ride.   He would wait until I scurried down two flights of steps and climb the steep hill, but he never seemed to mind.  A big smile was there to greet me.  One time he invited me to get in the seat behind the wheel and navigate the train down the track.  Pulling the cord to make the whistle blow was a once in a lifetime thrill.  But the best part of my connection with the train engineer was calling him by name.  His name was Patrick.
Many years have gone by since my brother’s death.  Hearing the sound of trains is different for me today.  The nostalgic memory uplifts my spirit because I know Patrick is not too far away.  He always seems to get my attention when he whistles.

Don P shared some of his poems:

Concerning “To The Lighthouse”
By Donald Peacock
One day Virginia Woolf was out of her head
She went to the store to buy bread
When she got to the store
She found it was all such a bore
So she wrote “To the lighthouse” instead.
Concerning “A Room of One’s Own”
By Donald Peacock
Virginia Woolf, the great writer
Penned a novel a bit lighter
Than a trip “To the Lighthouse”
In which she assumed a man is a louse
            The fact that beast and best
            Are only one letter apart
            Doesn’t mean it’s a good test
            But could give one a start.
She understands men
As well as they understand women
And there is quite a dearth
Of understanding on this earth
            The fact that beast and least
            Are only one letter apart
Doesn’t mean it’s a good test
            But could give one a start
But before you kill us men dead
Please note she was out of her head.


Fay D read one of her stories as well::

Confession Number One
           The newly-wed bride couldn’t wait until she prepared her first meal for her husband.  She had watched as he did the honors several times.  Now, today she arrived home nearly half an hour before he would be there, so she quickly changed and hurried to the kitchen.   It would be pork chops, she decided, so she set out to get them ready for the oven.  There would be two items she needed to complete the meal, so once the chops were prepared, covered, and placed in the oven beside the wrapped potatoes, she hurriedly left just as her husband drove in the drive.  Pulling the car out onto the street, she waved and called to him that dinner was in the oven and she would be back in a jiffy.  
She was so thankful that the store was not too busy and she quickly picked up the special bread that they both enjoyed, reached into the freezer for the ice cream that would top off  her very first meal and was on her way home.  Surprisingly, she saw her husband standing at the open front door with a look of dismay.  She bounced out of the car and as she approached him he just stood there shaking his head.  “What?”  she quizzed.  “Darling” he said, what happens to plastic when it gets hot?”   “Well, it mel…..”  she began.  “Oh, noooo, she said running to the kitchen. 
There on top of the stove were the “Saran-Wrapped” potatoes he had removed from the oven.  There wouldn’t be time now to bake more so she thought she would just add another vegetable—a can of peas would do nicely.  “I am so sorry, honey, I don’t know what I was thinking.   You just go relax and listen to the news.  I will call you as soon as dinner is ready and again, I am so sorry.”   
Taking the chops from the oven and placing them on a platter, she thought to herself, “I could have sworn I only made four chops, not five. Oh, well, there will be one left for lunch tomorrow.”  She sliced the tomatoes and warmed the peas.   The salad in the refrigerator was ready in minutes and she called to her husband as she lit the candle in the center of the table.  At least he did not have to prepare the meal tonight, she smiled to herself. 

She passed the platter of chops and the other dishes to her husband and sat back waiting for him to compliment her that the meal was wonderful even if there were no potatoes.  The first bite brought a strange look on his face and she questioned his expression.  “What is it, dear, don’t you like them?” she asked as her lower lip began to quiver. “No, no,” he answered.  “It’s okay, honey,  it’s just that they are so dry.  Tell me how you made them.”
“Just like you do.  I’ve watched you many times. But, I had to add water quite often and I don’t remember that you did that.”  Continuing, she said “Well, I salted and peppered them and then rolled them in oatmeal……..” 
“Oatmeal!” he gasped.  “I use cornmeal.” 
Now the tears began.  She had tried so hard to have everything perfect and it turned into  a total disaster.  He tried to console her by scrapping away the oatmeal.  When he did, she saw that there really were only four pork chops; the fifth one was just a big glob of oatmeal. 

Sister Pat Encounters Conifers in the City

Bill M:  Stories of Sister Pat

My sister, Sister Pat, sent me another email last week. I think she was too embarrassed to tell me this story on the telephone.
Here is the text:
Dear Big Brother Bill:
I feel so foolish.
Last Thursday it was my turn to take some older sisters from our mother house to West L. A. to the movies to see “Lincoln”. There were five this time, so I couldn’t take my old four-seater Escort. I borrowed the Caprice from the college. It will seat six in comfort.
We all belted in and began the trek down Chalon Way, turned on Bundy as usual, then the rest of the way down the hill to Sunset Boulevard. After I turned on Sunset, I glanced up and slightly to my right and was frightened out of my wits! I immediately began swerving left and right trying to avoid the obstacles in the busy boulevard. Breathlessly, I managed to pull over for the policeman who had flashed on his reds behind me and sounded his siren. Thank goodness the Brentwood PD is ever present and so alert!
As the officer approached the car, I immediately rolled down my window and exclaimed: "Officer, I'm so glad you are here. I saw a tree in the road; then I saw another and another. I had to keep swerving to keep from hitting them!"
The officer looked at me sort of funny, then said, "Ma'am, there are no trees on the road; that's your air freshener, hanging from the rearview mirror. Have you been drinking?” Then the whole bit with the driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Bill, I was so embarrassed!
Good thing I don’t have one of those things in my Escort.
p.s. If you ever get one of those cute air fresheners in your car, get a red one, not a green.
Now I think it is truly time for my beloved sister to give up her driving duties, if not her driver’s license, and join the ranks of those who need to be transported. But I can’t imagine her giving up her lovely little apartment in Redondo Beach, much less living in community with her sisters—she much prefers her privacy and freedom—Besides, I can’t imagine anyone else putting up wither precious cats and her propensity for harboring orphan cats until someone  will adopt them.
All that having been said, like the rest of us, in all her charm and generosity, humility and compassion, Pat does have some warts. But like the rest of us, God loves her passionately, and never tires of forgiving her sins, if indeed she has any current ones. I know she goes to confession regularly, but I cannot imagine what she may confess. I have on several occasions offered to give her some of mine to admit to, just so her confessor won’t become bored in the confessional as my confessor seems to get bored listening to the same old stuff about me over and over again. We could get a “twofer” if Pat would take me up on my generous offer to unload some of my stuff on her. God will know the difference, and in a sense the outcome will be the same. We are loved unconditionally and are forgiven.
Be that as it may, it isn’t going to happen that way. So I’ll have to let our warts remain between me and the Lord and Pat and hers remain between her and the Lord. And leave our confessors to deal with the boredom.
As for God, I’ll have to be content with letting God be God and dealing with me as he will. I don’t have the control anyway—never had it in the first place.
God is all good all the time.

                                                            Technical Tip

If you are creating a eBook from a book that you have created using Createspace, understand that using the service that provides the  conversion to Kindle Direct Publishing will create a eBook for the Kindle device only.  However the eBook will not  look the same on a Kindle Fire, IPhone or IPad devices because it will not be formated correctly for those devices.  This is especially true for conversions that contain illustrations or photo's.


Our meeting next month will be held on June 21st.

I will be on vacation so the meeting will be hosted by Mary Lou. 

I would be remiss if I did not take the time to compliment all the members of the Wannabe's who participate in our meeting and newsletter.  Our small group of various artists has grown in numbers over the last few years.  I recently told Julie Mitchell, our sponsor through the LLI program at the University of Dayton that we want to fill the shelves in the LLI Lounge with the fruits of creative writing/self publishing tree that was planted by Nancy Pinard five short years ago.  Nancy's class in creative writing has help new authors publish about 10 new books in the last few years.  It has also led to the formation of two independent businesses who focus on helping authors fulfill their dreams.  Very impressive. 

Have a great week and Happy Memorial Day everyone.  See you next month at our meeting