Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Wannabe Journal


August 2013

Our last meeting was held on August 16th in the LLI Lounge at UD's River Campus.  Everyone who attended commented on how helpful the meeting format was for them personally. We had a new attendee this month.  She was a student in one of the previous Self-Publishing class that was taught through LLI Program at UD.

Next Meeting
September 13, 2013

Have you ever found that you are about to scream when you were faced with editing your book or manuscript?  Do not feel alone. 
As was pointed out last month, The Wannabe Monthly Meeting is taking on a new format.  We are going to invite outside speakers to come to our month meeting and share their particular expertise on a segment of the writing world.  In the coming months we will have authors, poets, artists and instructors come to our meeting and talk about their views of this ever changing industry.  We may even have some of the meeting held virtually using Skype with experts of a particular genre.
In September our guest speaker is Ms. Kathleen Kargl,   a member of UD’s faculty who teaches Graphic Arts. This Meeting scheduled for September 13th from 9 AM till 11:30AM in the LLI Lounge at UD’s River Campus.   Kathi  provides undergrad education to students who are majoring in graphic arts, including the use of Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.  She has been instrumental in helping fellow Wannabe’s self-publish their manuscripts and stories.  She will provide a discussion on the use of InDesign and Photoshop .

Library for Self Publishers and Novelists who are part of the LLI Program
Julie Mitchell has agreed to our proposal to use some of the book shelves in the LLI Lounge to display the books of the authors that are part of the LLI program.  I personally know that there are at least 10  to 12 people who have self published a book in the last few years.  We are asking that you contribute a signed copy of your novel or book to Denise or Gina at the Office of Special Programs.  Your books will be displayed on one of the shelves in the Lounge.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. 
Taking a cue from last December's meeting at Mary Lou's Condo I had asked those attending to complete either a one page story or poem using the following writing prompt:
It was a fall day and you had gone for a walk on a isolated part of the beach not far from where you were staying for the weekend,  You looked down and found a Rolex watch laying in the sand at the edge of the water.
Write a one page story about what happens next.  You may also compose a short poem about the watch,
By the way the watch is engraved:  "Your Delicious Love Jennifer"
The following stories were read and discussed at our meeting.  We hope you enjoy the creativity of our other artists.

Time after Time

I spied a Rolex Watch-but thought obviously it was a fake
Who would ever leave such a treasure by a private lake?
Upon a closer look I found it was buried in the soft sand
And I picked it up and held it gengerly in my shaking hand.
The inscription read: Your delicious Love Jennifer
Could this very special Jennifer be anywhere near here?
Many of the usual questions started running through my mind
Is this an authentic Rolex Watch that could now be mine?
Wait a minute-consider this watch a lost...very special find.
I must make every effort to locate the owner to be kind,
Where do I begin a very difficult and time consuming quest?
Look carefully at the options to decide which is the very best.
So I will return it to the reception desk at the nearby motel
And hopefully, someone has reported this loss to whom I can tell
Well, the desk clerk had received a call about this lost treasure.
And the Rolex and the woman Jennifer were now grateful forever. 

The next day I received this message from Bob. You might say that this is a great reason for you to attend our meeting each month.

Thanks Don  for a great Wannabee's August 2013 meeting.  I apologize I had to leave for another UDLLI meeting on Current Events (10:00 am--noon at Kroger's  on Stroop).   When I arrived about 10:30 am luckily I immediately found a Handicap Parking Space right in front of the store.  I threw my UDLLI Bag in a shopping cart that was standing-- I thought empty--right in front of my auto. To my complete surprise a woman's large purse was in the grocery cart.  There were 8 Current Events Members at the meeting space in Kroger's lunch room.  I immediately told them of my find and asked for their suggestions.  I had intended to take it immediately to the office when all of  a sudden a phone inside the purse began to ring.  When I opened the purse I retrieved a i-phone.  Since I am not familiar with this type phone I handed it over to a fellow member, Terry Martin.  His first reaction --as he pressed a button was to inform me the need for a Microsoft ID Number.  But, upon further study we located a phone number and immediately dialed it---when a gentleman answered, I simply told him I think I have found your wife's purse.  He immediately exclaimed, "Oh thank God--my wife and I were so worried we have been back here at Kroger's hoping someone had turned it in after they found it in my wife's shopping  cart."  When I informed him we were right there in the Kroger lunch room he was there in less than five (5) minutes.  He informed me I must wait for his wife who was on the way because she would want to kiss me!  Sure enough, this lovely lady rushed up  to me and gave me a big hug.  Then kissed me hard on the cheek--all the time exclaiming, "Oh thank God an honest man had found my purse--I was about to cancel out all my credit cards I had in my purse!"  Later, as I reflected on this human interest story the thought came to my mind, I must pass this story on to Julie Mitchell and UDLLI---why?  Well, because of these two unrelated UDLLI groups meeting a worried young  woman found her lost purse!
Proud to be a UDLLI participant!
                                                                      Face in the Sand
                                                                              Rosie Huart

I feel a chill in the air as my eyes try to focus on what lies at my feet.  I see the reflection of the sun on its round glass surface.  Something tells me to walk on, but I just can’t resist the urge.  Slowly my knees bend and my hands caress the recognized watch.  A shiver goes up and down my spine.  I gaze into its face and all of a sudden, like a whirlwind, I am spinning inside the gold case.  There I am back in time.  The surrounding darkness paralyzes me.  I can’t see, but I feel the water around me as I try to breathe.  All of a sudden a gust of wind begins swirling.  And like a shell shot from a canon I am propelled into a lit sterilized room with doctors, nurses and aids in their scrubs.  They hover over my mother while holding silver objects in their hands.  I know instantly they are trying to save her life.

I wake up breathing heavily and gasp for air.  The afternoon sun is beaming in the skylight above my bed.  As I try to orientate myself, I am blinded by the brightness in the room.  I feel a presence and wait to hear the dreadful words—she’s gone.  But instead I hear myself say, “Where am I?”  Jennifer is standing in the ray of light and says,  “You must have had a bad dream, honey.  Here is your watch.  I found it on the beach close to the water’s edge when I took my walk.”

The Rolex:
A God Wink
By Deacon Bill

My sister, Sister Pat, lives in Redondo Beach, California, only 5 blocks from the Esplande in a really nice section eight apartment complex for seniors. Her daily five mile walk always includes some stroll time on and under the pier, just listening to the ebb and flow of the waves and communing with God.

Last week she told me of a new adventure, in which God was surely involved. As she walked along at water’s edge she saw something shiny which begged her to explore. Pat is a very curious person, don’t you know. Out of the sand she plucked a Rolex watch. On the back of the watch case the words: “Your delicious love Connie” were inscribed. There was a little water under the crown and it had stopped running showing 1:43 on its face.

Now Pat really doesn’t possess much of a sense of the money value of things except those she must purchase for herself. But to her the watch looked expensive. She decided the best course of action for her would be to take it to the Redondo Beach Police Post, a tiny office on the pier ordinarily manned daily from dawn to midnight by one of Redondo’s finest.  On this particular afternoon Officer Timothy Shea was on duty and she caught up with him as he was making his rounds on the pier. “Tim, Tim”, she called. “I found this beneath the pier a few minutes ago. It looks expensive. Is it?”

“Well yes, sister”, replied Tim examining it, “Rolex is among the world’s finest, and this appears to be a very expensive one. Those look like real diamonds around the face.”

“Do you think we could find its rightful owner”, she asked.

“I’ll put it in the drawer under the counter where we sometimes keep lost objects”, said Tim. If anyone asks about it we will try to establish ownership and return it to him or her.” I need to ask you to fill out some simple paperwork in case there may be a reward.”

Now fast forward a couple of weeks. Pat had thought about it no more. When she returned to her apartment from Mass, her answering machine was beeping and the light was flashing. The message was from Officer Gilberto Morales. “Sister Pat, this is Gil of the Redondo P.D. I have the duty this morning on the pier. Can you come down when you hear this message—or call me? My number is 310- 367- 4128. It’s about the Rolex you found.”

After feeding her cats and preparing some fresh fruit for herself, she dialed the number. Four rings and then: “Officer Morales speaking. Please leave a message and your number and I‘ll get back to you before the end of my shift. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 9-1-1.”

Gilberto returned Pat’s call and later that afternoon she and officer Morales arranged to meet in the tiny office on the pier. When she arrived imagine how surprised she was to find not only Gilberto Morales but a young female police officer, in uniform as well! Pat began to wonder whether she was in some sort of trouble—like Grand Theft Rolex. After the proper introductions all around, the young woman whose name was Leah exclaimed, “How happy I am to meet you, Sister Pat. I just had to thank you personally for finding and returning my father’s watch. There is quite a story attached to it. I would like to share it with you—I just have to tell someone!”

“Oh yes, please do”, replied Pat.

“Well let me begin by telling you that Connie is my mother. Daddy was Horace Conratty, the attorney most everybody knows around Redondo and Manhattan Beach. My mother gave this watch to Daddy on their 25th wedding anniversary.  Daddy wore it every day for the next 20 years. The inscription was a private little thing between them. Hardly a day ever went by that Daddy didn’t tell Mother that her kisses were sweeter than sugar and the most delicious ever. On Saturday about a month ago, they were sailing just off the Palos Verdes Peninsula and simply anchored their little sail boat to watch the sunset. As daddy was pulling up the anchor evidently his watch band caught on the rope and inadvertently unhooked the clasp. Before he knew it the watch slipped off past his hand and into the water where the depth is about fifty feet.

“Needless to say, both Mother and Daddy were heartbroken but held no hope for ever being able to retrieve the anniversary watch. ‘I’ll get you a gold one for our 50th’, she promised as she tried to console him.

About a week later Daddy had a massive heart attack. They took him to Little Company of Mary in Torrance, but he died in the E.R. Pat, the time of his death was recorded as 1:43 A.M. according to the records. Look again at the time the watch stopped! Too strange!”

Leah continued: “We buried Daddy just last Wednesday. But that is not the end of my story. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. We thought nothing of it at the time but there was a lone seagull seemingly just circling the gravesite, although it is not common for seagulls to come that far inland unless there is a big storm brewing offshore and even then, they would fly in flocks. The day of Daddy’s burial it was sunny and nearly cloudless.

I learned about daddy’s silver Rolex which you so miraculously found and turned in to Tim Shea a couple of weeks ago, sort of by overhearing a conversation at roll call just yesterday. Tim and Gil, here, were talking about the watch in the drawer at this office, wondering why no one has never come to ask whether a valuable watch had been found anywhere nearby. Someone had asked about a Seiko, a gold one, but no nibbles. I asked whether the watch in the drawer had any inscription. Well, now you know the rest. And here we are.”

Tears began to form at the corners of Leah’s bright and shiny green eyes and the tip of her nose began to turn pink. She gathered herself then continued after a few moments’ pause.

“What’s all this got to do with anything?” she asked, more rhetorically than inquisitively. “How did that watch get from 50 feet of water off the Palos Verdes Peninsula to under the Redondo pier some 10 miles away? Did a big fish swallow it and just happen to spit it up right there? Like Jonah? Was the lone seagull over Daddy’s gravesite some sort of a messenger? Daddy died at 1:43, the same time when the watch stopped ticking. It had to have run from sunset until the next morning, in 50 feet of salt water! Pat, why were you, an honest person, a religious person, the one to find it? Why not a surfer dude, or a wino, or…?”

“Pat, I am so grateful, to you, to God” A few tears were flowing now. Pat’s eyes began to glisten as well. Gil remained stoic, with just a hint of satisfaction on his face. He remained silent.

Pat thought for a moment, then answered honestly: “Leah, I really don’t know of the answers to any of your questions.

But I’ll hazard a guess.

God winked.”

My Love, Jennifer
Donald Peacock

     It was a bright, sunny day and the sand was nicely warm, but that was not the reason I was walking slowly along the beach.
This area is where my fiancé, Jennifer, was run down and killed by two teenagers racing their cars on the beach.
I don't know exactly what happened, but I assume they didn't see her in time and, being on sand, could not stop readily.
Actually they ran two people down and killed them. The second person was a close friend of Jennifer's.
The two of them thoroughly enjoyed walking on the beach. They had done it many times and never before had any kind of problem.
     Walking the beach now left me with a feeling of closeness to Jennifer. I wasn't prepared to give up the feeling. As I walked, I gave a lot of thought
to her and to all of the things she usually did. She was very personable and friendly, she was on the Board of Deacons at church and was talking about
joining the Trustees Board. She was very religious but also loved to tell jokes. Plays on words and puns were her favorites.
She always became the center of attention at parties by telling one-liners or short jokes. She had a great sense of humor.
Some of her best that I will never forget were:
     1. Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand?
     2. Why is bra singular and panties plural?
     3. Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
     4. A dog gave birth to puppies near a road and was cited for littering.
     5. A hole has been found in the nudist colony's wall. The police are looking into it.
Just remembering these makes me miss Jennifer so much. I will miss her forever.
     I continued on down the beach and as I approach the area where she was actually hit and killed the tears started to flow gently.
Then I looked down and saw something partially buried in the sand. I bent over to check it out, finally picking it up. It was a Rolex watch, a very expensive looking Rolex.
 As I examined the watch closer, I saw words engraved on the back of it. These words said, “Your Delicious Love, Jennifer.”
     At that point I realized that Jennifer had bought this watch as a gift to me. I was totally overcome. I could only sit down on the sand and
really start to cry. It took fifteen minutes for me to pull myself together and be able to stand up.
     As I started walking I remembered some of the blonde jokes Jennifer loved to tell even though she was herself was a beautiful,
highly intelligent, blonde. Some of these jokes that come to mind are:
      1. Why are brunette’s jokes so short? That way a blonde can understand them.
      2. What are the worst three years of a blonde’s life? Third grade.
      3. There was a blonde who had two horses and couldn’t tell them apart. She decided to cut part of one’s tail off, but it grew back.
She then shaved part of the horse’s ear, but it grew back. She gave up and just decided to keep the white one in one barn and the black one in another.
     The thing Jennifer really enjoyed doing was reading bloopers at the Church Board meetings.
These bloopers actually appeared in church bulletins. She had a large collection of them and they always got the Board laughing uproariously.
Some I remember are:
      1. The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals
      2. Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
      3. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening. Music will follow.
      4. The ladies of the church have cast-off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
      5. At the evening services tonight the sermon topic will be ‘What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir.
     At this point I was laughing harder than I was crying so I decided to take my gift watch home and continue to reminiscence
about Jennifer and what a wonderful woman she had been.
I will love her forever and I will never forget her.

“Your Delicious Love, Jennifer”

Written by Ann Harting

It was a dismal Fall day. I was spending the weekend in a rustic
cabin near the beach. The cabin sat well back in a copse of
scrubby trees that looked forlorn what with the cool weather and
early season changes. Not a flower, or even a bit of green was

It was nearing the end of the day and on such a dreary looking
day darkness was fast approaching. I just needed to get away by
myself ... I needed to think .... so I walked to the beach, then
stepped out of my sandals and walked along carrying them with
me along the shore line. I walked lightly over the remnants of a
sand castle left by an earlier beach goer, stopped and picked up a
discarded paper cup and several sea shells. It was then that my
eyes came to rest on a shiny object sticking out of the sand near
the edge of the water. I toed it loose with my barefoot and
stooped to pick it up. It was a Rolex. I turned the watch over in
my hand not believing what I held. The back was engraved with
“Your Delicious Love, Jennifer”.

My heart pounded in my chest, I broke into a cold sweat , tears
welled up in my eyes, and I nearly doubled over with an
overwhelming sense of loss, loneliness and emptiness. It was
three months ago, but it might as well have been yesterday. ....
a romantic weekend get-a-way. Just the two of us. The watch
was a gift to him. He called me his “Delicious Love”. Then he
was gone ... pulled under the waves rescuing the toddler who had
wandered too far out. Both lost in the waves...

Recent Articles:
1. Suw Charman-Anderson, Contributor to Forbes Magazine
I’m a geek & author covering self-publishing & crowdfunding
Published a article entitled: The Future of Self Publishing  at
2. And the 2nd Article that I found interesting:  How to make money on EBooks by Joe Konrath
This article was a Blog Post at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing on July 8th of this year.
Here is the link to this article:

Make sure you read through the comments section of this article.

Member Updates:  These are some of the recent comings and goings of the Wannabes.

Mary Lou:  Attended a Yoga and Writing in Glen Cove, New York recently.  The event was very motivational and included a session with some New York publishers,

Rosie:  Attended a "Intermaterial Colligraphy class in Colorado Springs recently that explored the techniques of gestural writing.  Her instructor was calligrapher/letterform artist Yves Leterme.  She will be using some of the techniques in her upcoming LLI class on "Painting Poetry" where you create gestural writing incorporated in images.

Bill's 2nd life when he isn't writing storyies about his favorite friend is spent composing gospel reflections for his church each week.

Ann Harting is a retired editor who wants to write fiction which is based upon personal life experiences.  Sounds like a memoir to me.

Don P. Discovered while sorting through the belongings from his mothers home that his 8th grade teacher foresaw his great writing potentil when she wrote a small note on his report card: "Needs help with writing....." Since those early days he has gone on be a gifted writing that began in the late 1960's with technical writing at WPAB and a series of books and articles which he has self published recently in the last few years.  Not bad for someone who needs help.

Fay is considering writing a book about cooking experiences that have gone bad.  I am sure there will be a number of humorous stories in that collection.

Bob "Hutch" O'Connor continues to write letters to the article.  One of his most recently published article in the DDN in mid July centered on the George Zimmerman trial.

Linda Marshall:  Just got home today from Omega Institute where I attended a memoir lab with Marge Piercy & Ira Wood and a Relax and Write workshop with Maia Danzinger.  It was a fantastic experience.

Hope you enjoyed the stories and we look forward to seeing you at a meeting in the near future