A big announcement highlighted the monthly meeting of the Shawano Area Writers, held Oct. 17 at the Shawano City-County Library.
Greenwood Law Firm sent the group’s president, Wendy Goerl, a check for $77,090.32 from George Putz’s estate. The money was designated for the Shawano Area Writers to revive the annual writers contest. Details are expected to be worked out in the next few months as to the size and scope of the contest.
Barb King suggested looking at having some well-known published authors come to the high schools and middle schools to help spark students’ interest in writing. It was suggested by other members to utilize interest from the Putz check to go toward bringing in authors, as it was unclear whether the estate would allow the original money to go toward anything besides the contest itself.
Terry Misfeldt, who also belongs to the Green Bay Writers Guild, announced that the group is planning a writers’ conference next April and has expressed interest in involving the Shawano Area Writers with planning and development.
For a treat, Lee Pulaski prepared two large casserole dishes with baked macaroni and cheese. He used colby jack cheese and tried out some applewood smoked bacon from Nueske’s for the first time. The dish got positive reviews from the writers.
Dolores Kaliebe shared a letter she wrote to the Madison historical society about genealogy. She hoped to find out information about her father’s family and went through the archives to find out details, with the discovery of one name leading to questions about two more. She noted that she “squealed with delight” when she found some books on the Randall family.
Lois Smith read a letter she wrote to Patty, her daughter who passed away from meningitis. She explained she had to feed her infant daughter in between meal rushes at the restaurant, and that when she had to take Patty to the hospital, the staff assumed she was at fault for her daughter’s condition.
King read part of the sixth chapter for Tug Lake Tales. In it, the teacher, Mrs. Woods announced it was going to be her last week at the school because she was with child. It also introduced the new teacher, Mrs. Craig, who was described as the complete opposite of Mrs. Woods.
Irma Timmons-Arndt read a poem about ascending a hill and observing military officers paying their last respects to one of their fallen.
Goerl read a poem called “Mr. Lucifer Goes to Washington,” which she noted seemed appropriate given the current political climate. The poem was part of her published book “Fantasms of Freedom.”
Marcie Leitzke read her latest column for the Senior Living section of The Shawano Leader “Ghosts of the Past.” She wrote about moving from a two-bedroom apartment across the hall to a one-bedroom and how looking at some of the pictures she has collected reminded her of past memories of her life.
Misfeldt writing a young adult book about cowboys. He read the fourth chapter, which addressed his protagonist, Thomas, who met up with a Spanish rider named Pablo during the Civil War and decided to travel together for a time.
Misfeldt also read his poem, “A Herd of Birds,” which had been in demand from the Shawano Area Writers. He said the poem came in a dream where he asked the visiting birds where they had been.
Pulaski read his latest blog post, titled “More money for education is a good thing.” The piece addresses a proposed bond election in his hometown of Chino Valley, Ariz., and why it would be a good thing for the community members to vote in favor.
Todd Shewchuk read the end of his second chapter for his work in progress. It showed the farewell between T.J. and the man he loved, Jesse, as he goes to pursue a theater career in New York City.
Carol Schlehlein wrote an essay called “A Very Special Book.” She wrote about a gift she received—an autograph book where the paste for the decals had long disintegrated and the pages had yellowed. In the essay, she expressed dismay about there being fewer thank you notes and gifts of appreciation like the book.
The Shawano Area Writers will hold the next meeting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room of the Shawano City-County Library. New members are always welcome.