Wednesday, April 18, 2018

APRIL 5, 2018


Bob Philpot, Sharon Buckman, Beverly Stanislawski, Katherine Flotz, Marilyn Kessler, Cynthia Wilson, Caren Von See, Al Koch, Amy Brailey, Amy Clities, Jackie Huppenthal, Ruthann Graczyk, Hardarshan Valia, Ronda Jeremiah-Garcia, Michael Bednarczyk


Tim Philippart


TIM PHILLIPART introduced himself to the members.  He stated that he now lives in Valparaiso and he favors writing poetry above all else, he also writes blogs and has had several  items published.

KATHY FLOTZ brought an article from the Times that told of a poetry pavilion being built in Freedom Park in Lowell in memory of Tom Spencer and his wife.  Tom is a former member of WOH and had founded the Northwest Indiana Poetry Society.


BOB PHILPOT brought a video entitled “Building Great Sentences”, a 24 chapter video, each chapter one half hour long.  Bob thought if the members were interested a chapter might be shown at a future date on the library’s TV.

JACKIE HUPPENTHAL talked about a coffee shop on Jewett St. in Highland that features a “Sip and Slam Open Mike” on April 6th from 7-l0 P.M.  On April 11th they will be featuring the “Children of Steel,” a project being worked on by Dr. Gloria McMillan concerning the steel mills in our area.

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI stated she had taken two Honorable Mentions from a Utah poetry contest for her poem” Mumurations” and three Honorable Mentions from her poem “Poop Scoop.”  She also received 2nd place for “Natures Masterpiece, 3rd place for “Rivers of Life”, and one Honorable Mention for “When We is Just Me,” and three Honorable Mentions for “Love Song,” in an Oklahoma contest.

AMY CLITIES stated she has recently landed a job doing a website entitled “On Stage.”  She believes that the website can be found at On Stage  She is paid by the number of views she receives.


CAREN VON SEE gave an interesting  presentation on “Writers Block,” a problem most writers have.  Caren presented a book to the members entitled, “Zentangle,” a book created by Marie and Rick Roberts.  The book reveals beautiful  images created by drawing structured patterns, a repetitive art that encourages writers to try.  This process will hopefully reduce fear, anxiety, etc. that can cause a feeling of frustration when you experience writer’s block.  Caren had the members try it on blank cards she passed around.


JACKIE HUPPENTHAL introduced her poem, “Hello Hoots,” on a page from the Highlights Magazine, a magazine usually read by 3 to 5 yr. olds and was on page 4.  The cute poem had a side illustration of an owl perched on a tree limb with the closing line, “owl hoots hello to me”.

RONDA JEREMIAH-GARCIA  read a few pages of her suspense mystery novel, Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced.  The novel begins with a 16yr. old sitting alone in a windowless room when he gets a surprise visit from a detective.  The detective begins to accuse him, and his friends, of starting a fire.  Tommy, the 16yr. old, finally begins to give him some of the information he has requested.

AL KOCH read his one and a half page short story entitled, “Quality Moments.”  The “very quality” story related to the reflective thoughts we all encounter at various times and how we should cherish them.  The last line of the story states, “it is a way to be alone without being lonely, a therapeutic process to enjoy, more than once – the times of our life.”

MARILYN KESSLER related her three page true short story entitled, “Lana.”  The story tells of a woman she met while vacationing in the Gulf of Mexico walking alone the beach searching for sand dollars.  Marilyn was very impressed with the woman named Lana because she seemed to be living her dream, when she first came to the Gulf of Mexico with her husband she refused to leave and remained there after her husband went back home.

KATHERINE FLOTZ read her one page story entitled, “So You Wrote a Book!  So You Self Published! Now How to Market It?”  This one-page tells of the possible ways to advertise your book, by word of mouth, by contacting book stores, by making speaking engagements.  Kathy then told the members of the success of her book, having sold 4,000 copies of her Pebble in my Shoe.

HARDARSHAN VALIA read two of his poems.  The first poem, “Baby in a Crib,” was written as an assignment for the Poetry Society of NW Indiana, telling from a little girl’s point of view if the person writing it was a man.  The poem ended with asking daddy to tear down her wall.  The second poem , a rhyming quatrain, also was written for the same assignmen,  but described the challenges that are unique to womanhood.

CAREN VON SEE continued with Chapter One from her novel, My Treasure Chest.  In this part of her novel  Sara relates the beginning of her relationship with her soon to be husband, Antonio.  After a quick love affair they were married in a white gazebo beside the Hudson River in New York, ending their perfect wedding with a honeymoon in a coastal cottage in Bar Harbor on Mount Desert  Island.

AMY CLITIES read two pages of her short story, “Buyer Beware: The Case Against Getting That M.F.A.”  In this two pages of great information, Amy tells of all the downfalls against getting an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts.)  Along with all the research she has done on various occupations, such as acting, Amy tells of her own personal history after receiving her own M.F.A., leaving her with a debt of $98,000.

RUTHANN GRACZYK read her two-page short story entitled, “One Night,”  This suspenseful story begins with Ruthann spending an evening by herself at her son’s house.  She is there to feed and take care of his three dogs when someone, or something , makes the dogs begin barking and growling at the front door.  After looking past the curtain and surmising there was no one there, she went back to the TV and soon drifted off to sleep.  This is where the story ends “at this time.”

TIM PHILLIPART read his ten stanza, free verse poem entitled, “Reflection.”  The poem tells of a man looking into a plate glass display window watching a woman who was unaware he was watching her.  He tried to decide whether he should make her aware of his presence but as she abruptly walked away he was left with only “one tear in my eye.” 

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI  read two of her award winning poems.  The first of the two, “Murmurations”, was eight stanza free verse poem telling of the beauty of watching “minions of starlings” as they migrated to warmer climates.  The second poem, “Love Song,” was a blank verse poem telling of answered dreams and a love fulfilled.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted:



Saturday, March 17, 2018

MARCH 15, 2018


Sharon Palmeri, Amy Clites, Katherine Flotz, Caren Von See, Hardershan Valia, Sharon Buckman, Al Koch, Amy Brailey, Bob Philpot


Cynthia Wilson


A vote of approval for the March l, 2018 minutes was first given by KATHERINE FLOTZ and seconded by SHARON BUCKMAN.


CYNTHIA WILSON (our newest guest) stated she is presently writing a novel, based on a true story, entitled Life in a Comatose Day.

SHARON BUCKMAN brought two copies of her newly published book entitled, Beyond the Canopy, a sequel to her first book, Canopy of Leaves.

KATHERINE FLOTZ stated she will be speaking at the Pines Village on April 20th concerning her novel Pebble in my Shoe.


AMY CLITES gave a wonderful presentation concerning the best way to write a screenplay using the “Blake Snyder Beat Sheet.”  She stated that Blake Snyder, author of Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, had written a total of 75 screenplays and was probably the best in his field by using his “Beat Sheet.”  This is a three-act screenplay structure broken into 15 specific beats, with each beat corresponding to specific page numbers.  Amy used photo pages from the “Wizard of Oz” to explain and demonstrate examples of the 15 beats.  She also stated that this format could be used for writing novels as well.  The presentation was followed by various questions from the members.


AMY CLITES read the second part of her screenplay proposal entitled, “Salam, a Dance.”  This part of her very suspenseful story began with a man, woman and child standing motionless in the dark corner of their bedroom as several uniformed men surround the bed they had been sleeping on.  They are discovered when the baby cries.  The story ends with two of the uniformed men surrounding the woman, a gunshot is heard and then a scream.

CAREN VON SEE read four pages of the first chapter of her novel, My Treasure Chest.  The story begins with Sara meeting her soon-to-be husband, as she is waitressing in a family-owned restaurant.  After meeting this nice looking Italian man he asks her to “share some wine” with him after she got off work.  She accepted and the romance began as they went to a bar around the corner and talked until two a.m.

HARDERSHAN VALIA read his beautiful  eight stanza poem entitled, “Ode to Lake Michigan.” The poem tells of Lake Michigan’s beginning and its natural progression and of “nature’s destructive force.”  The poem ends with four lines from the last stanza, “Then the faces of fossil treasures, Dancing under the moonlit sky, Speak to you in wonder of Nature’s rule, The Vulnerability of life.”

AL KOCH brought his two page comical memoir  entitled, “X-rays for Fun and Profit.”  The memoir tells of all the various times that “X-rays” played a part of his life while growing up in Whiting, In.  Beginning with all the Superman, x-ray vision, movies, to the “powers of evil” that were conquered with x-rays and finally ending with how many times he put his feet into the x-ray machines to check for proper fits.

AMY BRAILEY continued with one of her story prompts (meant for her students to finish.)  The title of this story, “Disappearances,” begins with Roxanne slipping quietly out of her house to go exploring into the forest, despite all the resent disappearances.  She accidently meets up with her friend Mason who tries to get her to return to her grandparents’ house.  When she refuses they travel deeper into the woods and Mason confesses he saw their friend, Leliana, being captured.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 P.M.

Respectfully submitted:


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March 1, 2018



Sharon Palmeri, Michael Bednarczyk, Amy Clites, Al Koch, Bob Philpot, Katherine Flotz, Rebecca Juergens, Amy Brailey, Ruthann Craczyk, Caren Von See, Hayley Hardin, Hardarshan Valia 

"Online Editing Tools"

REBECCA  JUERGENS  opened the program by passing out a few pages about Online Editing Tools (tips and trick for editing programs) available via Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and AutoCrit. Rebecca also shared a few of the pages offered via Grammarly: 1. Online Profile, and 2. Weekly Email Reports. She provided the list of the five step process for setting one’s writing parameters in MS Word and recommended the following books:  The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White; The Chicago Manual of Style—The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers; and Stephen King on Writing, which Rebecca highly  recommended.
A brief discussion followed with members expressing opinions on their preferred program.


AMY CLITES read two pages of her powerful screen play “Salan A Dance, written in Tetra Lela.” None of the characters said a single word, but their movement, and attention on the bed, which was the focal point of the stage, represented safety and a refuge. The description of the scene built in intensity with every written word. The pictures and emotions were incredibly strong.

MICHAEL BEDNARCZYK read the lines from his children’s book, which he has temporarily named, "The Rainbow Painter." Colors were vividly relayed through the travels of Painter Porcupine the animal characters in his story. Once all his colors were collected and stored in jars, he was finally able to paint his rainbow.

AL KOCH’S shared his article called, “Thoughts.” Al pondered why it is that people do not understand how thoughts are formed through the electro-chemical reaction within the brain. What we do know; however, is that thoughts come through the arrangement of ideas, which result in the process called thinking. The input for this process is driven by our senses: sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. Via this process, we pass along knowledge learned through experiences. Al recommended that we talk, listen, and should be good to one another by celebrating, appreciating and sharing the personal thoughtful gifts each of us has within our heart and mind.

KATHERINE FLOTZ With US immigration's laws being reconsidered these days, Katherine shared memories about her grandmother’s visit to America. She came to the State in 1958 after the birth of her grandson, Peter. Katherine told of the struggles they went through, which ultimately made them seek the help of a Senator in North Dakota. The Senator introduced a bill, which was ultimately signed into law when Dwight D. Eisenhower sighed the bill. Their grandmother was able to live in the US for fifteen years and taught her grandchildren German as their first language.

CAREN VON SEE used the following W.O.H. group page prompt for this story:“You’ve been able to read minds since you turned seven. Mostly you watch people’s thoughts passively and undetected, but one day someone talks back.”
This short story is titled, "One Day Someone Talked Back.” The story, which follows, is a conversation between two individuals. One who is clairaudient and the other, who is clairsentient. Neither of which is agreeable to being in the other’s head.

AMY BRAILEY read two short stories, “Mind Games”, and “The Chase.” Both stories will eventually become part of her book of prompts to help instructors teach children how to write in school.
Mind Games – (also based on the same W.O.H  group page prompt that Caren Von See used. See above.)  This is a story about lessons a young man learned in lifeThe first lesson starts with the young man celebrating his seventh birthday when d he learns that his family is moving. The second lesson comes when he learns about the cruelty of how his “so-called” friends perceive him. When a new student joins their class, opinions are instantly formed and they read each other’s minds.
The Chase– is a tale of revenge, Kara, and Oliver who are trying to escape the wrath of Charles Bagheera. Oliver, when he sees, Bagheera’s taillights, thinks and suggests that they are out of danger. Kara disagrees. As it turns out, Oliver’s father not only double crossed Bagheera, but was also involved in a betrayal and the murder of a girl whom Bagheera cared about.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted: