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January Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our January meeting, a week late due to the extreme cold last Sunday. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 12:30 to 3 PM at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN.

PRESENT: Sharon, Marlys, Jerry, LuAnne, Deb

TALKING STICK 22: We have sent out the call for submissions for TS22 and we are receiving them, both in the mail and electronically. The deadline is March 1, 2013. Full details and guidelines are found BY CLICKING HERE. We are still working on cover details, judges, grant, etc.

NEXT 20X20: We are considering doing another 20×20 book in 2014. This time we would like to do the writing first and then the art will be created from that. We have a list of writers that we will be contacting later in the year of 2013 to get that started. We will probably wait till after TS22 is mostly completed.

WRITERS’ GAMES: Sharon received from really fun games for Xmas that are especially fun for writers. Haikubes: This is a bunch of cubes like dice with words on each side. You use the words on these cubes to create Haiku poetry, with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. This was really quite challenging. Try it!
Liebrary, The Game Where the First Line Speaks Volumes: This is a game using the first lines of books. One person will read the title and a description of a book. All players must write out what they think the first line of the book could be. Their answers, along with the real answer, are then read to all the players and they each must choose the one they think is the real one. What a great idea! Try it out too.

NANOWRIMO: Deb did her Nanowrimo class in November. She had 7 people, all new to the event. 5 of them completed the 50,000 words required. The writers appreciated Deb’s helpful feedback and what to do if you are stuck and what to do with your manuscript when you are done.

MISCELLANEOUS: Sharon is editing Elisa’s book and enjoying it immensely. Jerry’s book is still going through content editing by Deb. Niomi is working on her memoir and meanwhile nursing her husband back to health after an injury and surgery.

WRITING EVENTS: Marlys and Jerry attended Writers’ Boot Camp with Angela Foster and Candace Simar. This was not for first time writers. Topics included: point of view, tense, great handouts like a character inventory, etc.  They thought it was an excellent class and the time was very well managed.
From that, Jerry read Charlie Baxter’s book The Art of Subtext and he thinks it was life-changing. It is as important what you don’t say as what they do say.  Use senses and smells. Know what your character wants. You don’t always get what you want, but try giving the character all he wants and see what happens. What is the thing that no one knows about your character. Don’t make your characters all bad or all good. Let your characters yearn for something, be vulnerable to the point of destruction. Let them have a passion for things. Other good books include: The Emotion Thesaurus and Your Book Starts Here.
Marlys took a online class on Flash Fiction at the Loft with Rochelle Hurt and really enjoyed it. The class taught about white spaces and hinting at things, good critiques. It also mentioned Hint Fiction, telling a whole story in 25 words.
We mentioned Pam Houston’s books and how much we enjoyed them. Also Louise Erdrich’s books.

GREAT AMERICAN THINK-OFF: New York Mills Regional Cultural Center announces its 21st annual Great American Think-Off.  This years topic: Which  Is more ethical:  sticking to your principles or being willing to compromise?  Details, including due dates (April 1), word count (750), entry fee (none), and prizes ($500 to each of four winners) can be found on the NYMRCC website — kulcher.org.  Go to Arts and Culture on the main menu and select Great American Think-Off.

Good meeting today! We took turns reading things we were working on and gave each other helpful comments. Hope to see you next time! Don’t forget to send in your Talking Stick submissions!

July Writers’ Meeting

Hi Everyone,
Today we had our July meeting. The next meeting will be on Sunday, August 19, 2012, from 12:30 to 3PM at Bella Caffee in Park Rapids MN.

RESENT:
Sharon, Deb, Scott, Jerry, Marlys

TALKING STICK:
We had proof books for TS21. We have a purple cover this year! We like the bluer color better now on the cover. First, we had a purple that was more pink and red than blue. We have a couple more corrections and then we will get the books ordered soon. This book will be done by CreateSpace and Amazon. People will be able later to order the book from Amazon. This should save us some money for the original printing costs and we won’t have to buy as many as we usually do.

JERRY’S EVENT:
Our weekend retreat at Jerry’s was a phenomenal event as usual. This was our third annual event, all taught by Marge Barrett. The food was superb, the scenery breathtaking, the teaching was inspiring. Jerry is looking at dates for next year’s event.

COMING EVENTS:
August 18, Saturday–Hackensack Book & Art Fair. We will be there selling books.
Sept. 15, Saturday–9 to 12 Noon, workshops with Linda Lein, 1 to 5 PM TS21 Book Release Party.
Saturday Oct. 6, Lake Region event. (Scott and his wife will be putting on some sessions involving developing characters using realistic personality disorders.) There will be various other presenters. Always a great event.
November, NANOWRIMO. Deb will be overseeing this event again.

POETRY ON RADIO STATION:
Steve Downing is promoting THE BEAT. ON 91.7 KAXE (89.9/Brainerd) and 90.5 KBXE from 7:30 to 8 AM Monday through Friday. We will be emailing out information on this. THE BEAT will feature a short poem by a Minnesota poet.

25TH TALKING STICK:
In 2016, we will be putting out our 25th Talking Stick. We mentioned that we should do something special this year.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Congrats to Scott. He is looking at working on a Science Fiction anthology as an editor.
Jerry is now on the Board for the New York Mills Cultural Center. They are interested in doing an event with us and/or Blank Canvas. Perhaps it will be some type of reading or contest.

We are encouraging Scott to do a future workshop on his idea of taking your old writings and turning them into new writings. It is fascinating to see how life changes may have altered your ideas and how you can still use some of your old ideas. Recapturing old words and releasing new writing. We hope to see that next year!

We had a great meeting. Several of us read and received comments from the others.
Hope to see you next time!

January Writers’ Meeting

HI Everyone,

Today we held our January Meeting. Our February meeting will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3PM.

PRESENT:

Mike, Sharon, LuAnne

TALKING STICK BOOKS:

We have started to receive submissions for TS21. We have an early deadline of Feb. 20 this year. We will send out reminders.

WRITING EVENTS:

LuAnne watched a Teleconference called How to Bake Your Book.

DONATIONS:

We thank everyone for their donations. It looks like we will still need to get a small grant for this year’s book.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Mike has been having some great success with his writing. He had pieces published recently in three different magazines and is working on a fourth one. Congrats, Mike.

Sharon has finished her third poetry book Unspoken. Copies will be available soon.

Tarah’s big fantasy novel is now finished. It will soon be available.

Hope to see you next time! This January meeting seemed to fall so early–maybe our low attendance today was due to that.

October Writer’s Meeting

Hi Everyone,

Today we held our October 16, 2011, Jackpine Writers’ Bloc meeting. Our next meeting will be on November 20, 2011, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3 PM.

PRESENT:
Jerry, Scott, Niomi, Deb, Bridgette, Sharon.

TALKING STICK BOOKS:
TS20 is done and sales are going well. The book party was a great success. Between book sales and donations, we are in better shape financially and looking forward to the next book. Thanks to all who donated to our group. We deeply appreciate your support. We will still need to work on a grant for additional funds but at least we can now get started!

We are looking ahead to TS21. We are considering a slightly earlier date for the next book. We plan to put the call for submissions on the website in early December instead of late December. Instead of a March 1 deadline we might try for February 20 or even a bit earlier. This should allow us to finish the book a bit earlier and allow us more free time to attend writing events. Scott suggested perhaps Valentine’s Day or President’s Day for the deadline.

We are also considering a two day weekend event next year for the book release party. We might schedule a workshop on one day (taught by one of our celebrity judges) and then have the actual book release party and refreshments on the second day. We also are considering a larger location for next year. We would like to be able to include more booksellers. We may have to start charging a small amount per table for booksellers–especially if we have to go to a larger place where we will have to pay a rental fee.

COMING EVENT:
Nanowrimo is the next event. Deb will again be holding a class. More information will be available very soon. This is the National Novel Writing in a Month that takes place every November. You write a novel in 30 days.

WRITING EVENTS:
Jerry attended both the Lake Region Writers event on October 1 and the Sinclair Lewis event on October 8. Both were excellent events. Jerry brought some helpful handouts and sold a few TS books.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Sharon received an email from the Park Rapids library about some reading events. We will pursue that. Many of us would like more chances to read our work.

After these discussions, we then listened to readings by the writers present. We all enjoy listening and giving back helpful comments. It was one of those meetings where we hated to quit talking and go home. Hope to see you next time!

September Writer’s Meeting

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to all of you who attended the book party and made it a great success. We had around 70 people in attendance.

Before the book party, we had a quick monthly meeting at noon. The next monthly meeting will be on Sunday, October 16, 2011, at Bella Caffe in Park Rapids MN from 12:30 to 3PM.

PRESENT AT MONTHLY MEETING:
Jerry, Scott, Cindy, Tarah, Russ, Scott, David, Niomi, Marion

We reminded everyone of the PRLAAC event coming up next Friday, September 23, 2011. We need to set up at 4PM. Jerry, Marion, LuAnne, and Niomi will attend. They will be next to Blank Canvas.

Also don’t forget about the two poetry events coming up soon. September 27, 2011 from 1 to 2:30 PM at Northwoods Bank Community Room in Park Rapids MN, poetry readings by Marsh Muirhead and John Thornberg. Then on October 4, 2011, same time of day, same location, we have readings by Penny Swan and Laura L Hansen.

Also coming up, October 1, Lake Region Writers in Fergus Falls. Leif Enger will be the speaker. Jerry will attend.

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At 1PM, people started arriving for the book party. We had a tremendous crowd. It is so inspiring to see so many people who enjoy writing and/or listening to writers reading their work. We had some excellent information on grants from Kris Bigalk, our poetry judge. Kris enjoyed judging our top poetry submissions this year and said it was difficult to choose the winner.

We sold many Talking Stick books. We had 8 or 10 writers selling their own books this year. We hope to expand on that next year.

Our group has been in existence since 1993. We hope to be able to continue. We charge no reading fees or membership fees. We have survived quite a few years now mainly with book sales and funds from a benefit golf tournament and some donations. We would like to continue being able to pay prize money but this year, things were very difficult. Probably because of the economy, our benefit golf tournament funds and donations have really decreased. We hate to have to ask for donations from people, but we did hand out a friendraising letter at the book party. We hear all the time how people enjoy the books and the workshops and the parties and we want to be able to continue. People responded very nicely. We will probably also send out the friendraising letter to our email contacts.

Thank you so much to those of you who donated to our group to enable us to keep publishing. Thanks to those of you who bought books. We appreciate all of you so much!

Also, those of you who are published in Talking Stick 20 but were not able to attend the book party—we will be mailing out your free book over the next few weeks. Several of our winners who did not attend will also receive their checks in the mail over the next few weeks.

Thanks again for your support. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones!