A Different Sort of Member Monday

Our Member Monday spot usually features an original piece by a Writers Forum member. This week, we highlight a member who could use our help.

A novel from the Aimee Machado Mystery series by WF Program Director Sharon Owen (writing as Sharon St. George) has been nominated for an award. We can help her win that award.

Spine Damage, book four in the series, has been nominated for the 2018 “Reward of Novel Excellence” known as the RONE Award! You can see the nomination at this link: http://indtale.com/2018-rone-awards-week-six

Sharon’s book received a 4.5 star or higher review in InD’tale Magazine. This qualifies it to continue to the reader voting phase of the 2018 RONE Awards.  In this round the readers will be narrowing down the nominees for each genre by choosing the books they love best.

The voting for Sharon’s genre will be May 21st – 27th

Here are the voting instructions from InD’tale Magazine:

It is extremely important that all of Sharon’s readers and fans know about the voting dates!  We would hate to think a superior quality book lost only because people were unaware of the time limit. Also, voters MUST be registered on our website at www.indtale.com in order to vote. Once they register, if they haven’t already, they will be required to click the verification link sent to them via email. If they do not verify their registration with this link, they will be unable to vote. This is very important to help ensure that the voting is fair and maintains the high quality standards required for this top-tier award.

Once the voting is final and the four finalists’ books in Sharon’s genre are announced, those four books will then be read and judged by a group of professionals in the industry to determine the very best mystery novel in the indie and small published world!  The winner will then be announced and awarded the prestigious RONE Award at the formal ceremony, October 6th, 2018 in Burbank, California at the InD’Scribe Conference. http://www.indscribe.com

We at InD’tale Magazine have put in an incredible amount of time and effort to create and present the most credible and prestigious award in the industry today.  Our three-round system of elimination covers every facet – highly rated and reviewed, loved by fans, and critiqued by qualified judges.  No other award system today compares, making the RONE award the very highest of honors bestowed on a novel in the publishing industry.

Don’t forget, the voting window in Sharon’s genre is May 21st – 27th. Email writersforumprogramchair@gmail.com if you have questions.

Good luck, Sharon!

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Member Monday: Jackie Cundiff

This week’s Member Monday is from Jackie Cundiff. Jackie shared this story at last December’s Read Around.

Our next Read Around is coming up in June. We invite everybody to come out and share a five minute reading of their work. We will post more details next month.

Rotisseries: Ferris Wheels for Chickens

I’m not big on doing barbeque or any cooking outdoors. I’ll be frank. I’m not too big on any cooking, but it’s one of life’s fundamental requirements. If necessary I can put on a good meal, maybe even an elegant meal. I raised four kids, and they fondly think of me as a good cook, but then their memory of their childhood differs from mine. Since my discovery of the George Foreman grill, my barbeque has stood unused, unless one of my macho boys shows up and brings meat. Then they cook it, which is almost as good as take out.

Some years ago, when I was still feeding three boys that consumed mountains of food daily, we purchased a new barbeque. It was pretty fancy. It had a bit of chrome, a temperature regulator, and a fancy rotisserie. As I peeked through the owner’s manual, I came across a picture of a beautiful turkey, done to perfection, using the rotisserie. I read through the directions, and as it looked pretty simple I decided that is what we would have for Thanksgiving when turkey is required cuisine.

The recipe called for a bird of twelve pounds or under. That was okay, as I never liked leftovers, and since there were only going to be seven of us, it seemed adequate. However, just to be sure, I purchased a boned twelve-pounder. On Turkey Day I propped the included booklet next to the grill, just in case I needed more directions, fed the turkey roast through the spit, and carefully inserted the prongs. I sure didn’t want it to fall off the spit. I set the temperature to medium, plugged her in, and we were cookin’.

It had clouded up a bit and a few flakes of snow drifted down. I moved a table close to the grill and raised the umbrella. After all, it was November and snow wasn’t unusual, but I didn’t know what a sudden snow flurry would do to our new grill or to our dinner.

I watched the roast rotate for a bit, and I thought it looked a little dry. I could fix that. I went to the kitchen for a cube of butter. I peeled the wrapper back and inch or so and returned to the porch to rub the butter on the bird. When I touched the butter to the outside of the turkey, it was hot-hot-hot. I dropped the butter, and it fell into the burner. It flared up, and the net bag that enclosed the meat caught fire. I grabbed the spit handle and pulled the turkey away from the fire thinking that it would go out. It just flared bigger. I waved it, trying to extinguish the flame, hit the umbrella and had another fire going. I screamed and called for help.

The men in the house were gathered around the TV with some football game or other, and my voice wasn’t heard over the crowd’s fervor. However, my daughter heard. She came running with the fire extinguisher. She sprayed the turkey. She sprayed the barbeque. She sprayed the umbrella. She sprayed the deck. She sprayed the air around us. She sprayed me. We were having a white Thanksgiving.

We weren’t having a turkey dinner, though. The new grill didn’t recover. The umbrella was a goner. Amid the general household hilarity, I headed for the shower. Soap and shampoo helped me recoup. But what about dinner? While I showered, my sons fried up some bacon and boiled some eggs. My daughter sliced some fruit, cooked up some white sauce, and toasted some English muffins. Soon we sat down to the traditional family emergency dinner, the dinner that effortlessly materialized when I stayed too long at the bridge table or was generally delayed getting home: creamed eggs on English muffins, bacon, and sliced fruit. The conversation was mostly about fire control, evacuation routes, and of course, my past faux pas, of which I have had a few.

I don’t do Thanksgiving from scratch anymore. I try to hint that someone else do it. One year I even faked a broken oven. Raley’s does a good turkey dinner if the hint doesn’t take, and you can keep it a couple of days before reheating and serving. The things we learn when we get old.

On Your Mark…!

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, kicks off tomorrow.

The official NaNoWriMo website lists 36 participants from the Redding area. Are you one of them? Check in with us here! We would love to cheer you on!

20171030_120233I have my notebooks ready. My pens are fresh. I’m ready to go.

The process is really pretty simple for getting involved. Technically, you just need to write, but it can add a motivating factor to actually sign up at the NaNoWriMo website and interact with other writers attempting the same goal. It’s free.

You don’t even have to be working on a novel. The event was originally organized for novel writing, but other categories have been included in the project. I am officially a Rebel, because I will be working on something other than a novel. I will be adding to my memoir, with which I have been stalled at 30,000 words for far too long.

It’s not too late to start on your 50,000 word commitment for November! Come and join us! Share your NaNoWriMo stories and thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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Geo.

Our Pilgrimage of Poetry

About forty Writers Forum members and guests attended last Saturday’s meeting, a presentation by poet Anna Elkins of her workshop, ‘The Pilgrimage of Poetry’.

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Anna opened her presentation to likening poetry’s search for the right words and images to a pilgrimage. Participants were then given an assignment: Go outside and find something that interests you. Then capture the sensory images…from all five senses…you can of that thing.

By the end of the program, participants had crafted those images into poetry.

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Several participants shared those poems with the group.

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Here is the poem by WF Secretary Vickie Linnet:

 

The Little Library

You are another world, hiding in plain view from the rest of the world.

You are the chatter coming from the pages of the books.

You are the flowers and trees that surround your stand.

You are the raindrops that trickle down the shingles of your roof.

You are intriguing, luring us to enter and wander through the pages of the books.

Bring me the stories that tempt me to lose myself in.

I give you credence and appreciation for these books.

Vickie Linnet

If you were at last Saturday’s meeting and would like to share your piece from the workshop, send them to writersforumeditor@gmail.com .

 

Member Monday: Salable skills, by Dale Angel

Salable Skills

I was wading in a river of economic crisis, the kind that visits periodically in the form of a deluge. I was drowning when I received a phone call that I qualified for a government program that teaches you how to acquire salable skills to compete in the marketplace.

I met many…interesting…seasoned women there. Our bifocals, plastic teeth, and puffy ankles and conversation on World War Two and our intimate knowledge of the names of classic cars may have given us a competitive edge, but we all agreed, it was the inability to afford breast implants that put us at our most…disadvantage.

My first day in class, they asked us to write a resume citing our accomplishments and degrees. I wrote in mine that I had graduated from the dish pan to the bed pan, and my most recent job had been terminated by death. His.

They sent me to update my computer skills. I walked in to find the class in progress. I had to interrupt to ask how to turn it on.

They were so inspiring. I was told we had earning and leadership skills. I couldn’t think of any I might own. They insisted we couldn’t have lived this long without learning something. They asked us to name one. I raised my hand and said “Survival?”

I offered my experience of marching a small army through rain, sleet, and tantrums in house wars and mutiny among my recruits…with no fatalities. I thought I had leadership and was in command until I realized I was in charge of rations, latrine duty, and transportation. These are not salable skills.

I was placed in a job under the supervision of a hardened retailer. As I worked, I hummed along with The Beatles. She arched and flared and hissed “Never would those degenerates be found in my house.”

I quit humming.

 

Dale Angel

Member Monday: Carolyn Faubel

The Bowl

©2017 Carolyn Faubel

After the wedding

They brought her the bowl.

Arms wrapped around its sleek heaviness,

They delivered it to her house,

Laid down a tea towel and

Rested it upon that, with

Tenderness.

 

She stroked the glassy, curved interior,

Marveling at its weight,

Capacity, and

Beauty.

They left the heirloom

While she dreamed of

Sourdough, tamales,

Matzo balls,

And magnificent sponge cakes.

 

And when they asked,

(Because of course, they always ask)

How is the bowl?

It’s

Broken.

The shattered shards of her words cut deep.

 

But, I LIVED, she whispered, remembering

Her children’s hands patting the masa and

Laughing.

I LIVED, she said, thinking about

Mixing meatloaf millions of times, saving money for

A tropical aquarium full of beautiful fish.

I LIVED! she thundered, knowing

The dull, scratched

Bowl was more beautiful than it had ever been

When it held offerings of pine cones and pyracantha

In the middle of the Thanksgiving table.

 

They crept back to their shuttered homes;

Dusty candles with cold white wicks,

Unopened decorative tea canisters, and

Sealed commemorative brandy bottles

Decorating their safe lives.

Member Monday: Marie A. Warner, The Game

The Game

I came upon a truth today

It was quiet at first

But then it ran in to me straight away

 

It had been buried under layers

Of color coordinated clothing, healthy weight,

Frosted hair and a countenance that I could situate

 

It showed up in a game that we all could play

One that would push the truth up in such a way

That I could see, hear and feel

And value what it would reveal

 

It was different for me, or maybe it was the same

It gave me a mirror

And as I said it I could hear

The meaning that directed me for so many years

 

I was eager to share it with others

For I knew as I said it

It would pull out the weed

The one that had poisoned my heart from its true need

 

The need to be connected

To others in heart

To let down my guard

So I could be a part

 

A part of this world that we all do share

The one that has become somewhat dark in despair

It helped me decide to turn on my light

To share it with others, to make it more bright

 

To help build the message

It is not too late

I can join in and appreciate

 

Written in Redding, CA 9/16

Copyright ©2016 Marie A. Warner All Rights Reserved