Shawano Area Writers meeting – Aug. 15, 2013

The Shawano Area Writers held the regular monthly meeting on Aug. 15 at the Shawano City-County Library, with a variety of writing shared.

Writers president Wendy Goerl reported that she took the 45th anniversary anthology to Christensen Publishing. She said the anthology originally was supposed to be available for the group to see for the meeting, but the printing has not yet been completed.

Marcie Leitzke took a break from the usual essays she reads and recited a poem entitled “Holy Hell.” She noted that she has sent off three poems to contests, even though the latest poem was the first she had written in a couple of years.

Todd read from a community college poetry anthology, “Willow Review,” where he had two poems published. He read “A Party Hat at New Year’s” and “Poem Against the Phoenix.”

Lee Pulaski read an excerpt from the mystery novel he is working on. In the excerpt, his protagonist is trying to determine who the killer is while watching people outside escape a sudden rain storm.

Carol Schlehlein read an essay from a project she is putting together called “The Tablecloth: A Gathering of Legends,” which chronicle’s a tablecloth a friend had taken around in the 1980s and had signed by presidents, first ladies, country music stars and other famous figures. She read her friend’s interview with former First Lady Betty Ford.

Barb King read part of the fourth chapter of his book, “Tug Lake Tales,” about another of the students in the one-room schoolhouse named “Ned.” He was described as a thin, lanky boy going into the seventh grade with red hair and a Southern drawl. He was also described as someone the girls at the school fawned over.

Dolores Kaliebe did an essay about sewing for fun. She recounted how she used to sew dresses and other outfits for the dolls. She also passed around photos of some of the sewing she did.

Lois Smith said her kids have been encouraging her to write a book about her life, and she has written a little bit every day. She read a piece from the beginning about being born in 1933 in Gillett and some of the early years of her life.

Wendy read a revised version of her story, “Bag Lady’s Beauty.” The story addresses the narrator’s encounter with a bag lady who was dumpster diving for picture frames and recounted the haggling for a painting.

The next meeting is planned for 10 a.m. on Sept. 19, the third Thursday of the month, in the Elsie Engel Reading Room at the Shawano City-County Library. All writers are invited to attend and are strongly encouraged to bring something to read in front of the group.

Shawano Area Writers meeting – July 18, 2013

The Shawano Area Writers met on June 18 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room at the Shawano City-County Library. Despite the warm conditions in the library, there was a full house with several long-absent members attending.

Writers President Wendy Goerl reported the total in the treasury was $396.68, not including dues from last month and this month.

Marcie Leitzke presented the 2014 Wisconsin Poets Association calendar, which featured one of her haiku poems on page 134.

Some members reported their activity in selling and marketing books. Wendy set up a booth to sell her books and paintings at Jumpin’ June Jamboree on June 15, did not sell any books but did sell one of her paintings. Lee Pulaski had a booth at the NEW Pride Festival in Green Bay on July 13, and he reported low sales but a high number of contacts.

Kicking off the readings, Barb King read the third chapter from her book “Tug Lake Tales,” based loosely on a one-room schoolhouse from the 1950s. The chapter focused on Cora, starting with Cora coming to school with red spots. She was described as the most pig-headed girl, but the best friend of the narrator, and never taking blame for things she’s done. Cora was also a good jacks player with “pianist hands” although she never played the piano in her life.

Marcie read her latest essay, which she noted was hot off the press, titled “Nothing stays the same.” Marcie wrote about how she made a journey to Door County recently for the cherries and the antiques, She said she was appalled at the superhighways being put up that changed how you get to a location, and later on she addressed how restaurants are changing their names, the Internet is replacing the traditional mail, and blackboards are going away in schools in favor of individual laptop computers.

Lee read a post from his blog about the wildfire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters. Entitled “Fire’s swift fury changes life as we know it,” Lee told about a friend of his from high school, a member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished in the blaze, and how it impacted him.

Todd Shewchuk read a few pages from the start of his book, “A Family Divided.” It focuses on a man named TJ who leaves his hometown in Illinois, along with a dear love, to pursue a theater career in New York and the year that he returns home from his adventure in New York. The excerpt he read was when TJ learned he was being asked to audition for Danny Zukko in “Grease.”

John Mutter read a short story, “The Last Pitch.” which has been selected to go in an anthology being published through the Wisconsin Writers Association. It was about a local baseball tournament, with the team names changed.

Dolores Kaliebe read an essay on vacations. She wrote about one vacation years ago where she traveled to St. Ste. Marie in Michigan en route to Canada for a camping trip. She also recalled a lot of mini-vacations going to La Crosse and other places, as well as a cruise along the Delta Queen.

Lois Smith had written a year earlier about her husband when he was in the nursing home. This time, she wrote about her husband in Heaven, who had passed from an aneurysm, and how his final days were haunted by great loneliness even though he had a number of friends and loved ones who visited.

Wendy read a piece she was writing called “Dare to Go Plein Air” about sketching in public and participate in the plein air art style. She talked about how difficult it is for dedicated artists to be taken out of the zone by admirers who have questions or comments. The article also dispensed advice on supplies to have handy in case you’re inspired on the go; she noted her plein air kit fits in a purse with her umbrella and SLR camera.

The next Writers meeting will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room at the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St., Shawano. The meetings usually take place on the third Thursday of each month.