Shawano Area Writers meeting – Nov. 21, 2013

The Shawano Area Writers briefly discussed what to do with a $77,000 endowment when it held its monthly meeting Nov. 21.

Joel Devcich from Thrivent Financial met with the group and is offering to do research on the endowment. He said he planned to also speak to the Shawano Area Community Foundation about helping the group.

Carol Schlehlein dug up minutes from a meeting of the Shawano Area Writers in 2007. She was secretary at the time. Schlehlein also brought in coffee cake for the group to enjoy.

Two guests joined the group last month. Debbie Maier, a recent transplant from Pennsylvania, read a poem called “I Feel Your Spirit.” She noted that she feels a person’s spirit in everything from everything physical and emotional.

Bailey Hanson moved to area year ago. She said she went to college to pursue creative writing and now lives in Shawano. Hanson read a poem “Baptism in the Rain.” In the poem, she compares her life to a book, and said sometimes it reads like a bad one.

Marcie Leitzke suggested having Barb King, a retired schoolteacher, head up the writing contest with input from John Mutter. She suggested that it would be easier than having all of the members give input.

Terry Misfeldt informed the group that the Green Bay Writers is planning to have a book festival on May 3 at the KI Center and is interested in getting the Shawano Area Writers involved. The Green Bay Writers plan to bring in other writers for workshops and is looking at asking retired football player Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers to be the keynote speaker.

Lee Pulaski asked the members to come up with brief essays and short stories to be published in the Christmas issue of The Shawano Leader.

After all the planning and announcements, the writers shared some of their latest efforts.

Leitzke read her Christmas essay for the Senior Living section of the Leader, titled “Hope is Everywhere.” She notes all the hopes in her life, for example, getting winning bingo numbers, and notes you’re always a winner if you have hope.

Pulaski read a piece he wrote on Black Friday and how the big shopping deals are now infringing on Thanksgiving Day itself. He questioned whether any holiday could truly be sacred anymore.

Schlehlein read two poems. One was called “The Soldier” in honor of Veterans Day looking at a World War II soldier who died 60 years ago and questioned who would mourn him in the future. The other poem, “These Heroes” paid tribute to hospital nurses and personnel, and Carol said she wrote it at 2 a.m. while she was at the hospital for a few days.

Irma Timmons-Arndt read a poem about her Welsh Corgi, Bojangles. She wrote about how he leaps for a tennis ball in the way the Packers would envy, but he’s also gentle at times.

Dolores Kaliebe wrote an essay about piano lessons. The essay addressed how she learned to play at 8 or 9, even though she was not that interested.

Lois Smith said her last couple of essays had a sad tone, so she decided to read something more upbeat. She read a pair of short pieces about her weddings to her two husbands.

Terry Misfeldt read part of a booklet he wrote called “Cheese Curds.” It addressed why the Green Bay Packers are referred to as “cheese heads.”

Wendy Goerl read a piece called “The Troubleshooter.” The short story looked at a pair of mechanics trying to repair the automaton known as 097 and then giving it a test run.

The Shawano Area Writers will next meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in the Elsie Engel Reading Room of the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St., Shawano. The group is growing, but new members are always welcome.