Sunday, January 12, 2020

January 3, 2020


Sharon Palmeri, Sharon Buckman, Katherine Flotz, Beverly Stanislawski, Al Koch, Mike Ripley, Bob Philpot, Dennis Mclean, Amy Brailey, Pam Maud, Diane Stratton, Ruthann Graczek, Hardarshan Valia, Marlene Starcevich, Gail Galvan


Philip Wielgus 

A vote of approval for the November 21, 2019 meeting was first given by Al Koch and seconded by Ruthann Graczek


Katherine Flotz reminded members about the membership dues for the year 2020


Beverly Stanislawski mentioned that her poem “Just the Sound of it” received Second Place Honorary Mention in the Florida State Poetry Contest. Her two other poems, entitled “Something Blue” and “Beach Buddies” received Third Place Honorary Mention in the Florida State Poetry Contest.  Dennis McClean has sent his manuscript to The Flying Turtle Publishers.  Hardarshan Valia mentioned about his trip to India where he was emptying his long-departed father’s trunk filled with books and to his surprise he found Hoosier Horizon Children’s Magazine circa 1998-1999 Volume 5 that contained his son’s poem.  Sharon Palmeri then explained the background about the W.O.H. Hoosier Horizon Children’s contest that published winning poems by elementary school students in participating schools of Lake, Porter, LaPorte counties in Indiana and Lake County in Illinois.  She also mentioned that there had been an average of 47 elementary schools who participated yearly from 1993 till year 2000 when W.OH. ceased the publication.


AL KOCH read his essay entitled “2020” that narrated passing of the year 2000 with an amusing look about dire predictions with Y2K ending after 20 years with nothing but a change about date on the calendar about a number 20. He elaborated how the number 20 historically equals a ‘score’ whereas the new year 2020 now can be called “double score.” On a personal level of his, he tied it to good eye vision of 20/20 and how it created hardships during his childhood and the ways he conquered it

MIKE RIPLEY read the opening chapter of “Lake Stories Part 2.” With the first edition of Lake Stories complete, the lake is again the star in the second book in the trilogy.  The familiar narrator opens the winter skating season with a mishap at an ice-fishing hole left to trip up an un-suspecting skater gliding across the ice. He is that skater. The hole traps his leg in the freezing water and has another surprise in store when something underneath the ice grabs his foot and tries to pull him through the narrow hole.

DIANE STRATTON reminded about real meaning of Christmas through her story entitled “Grace Goes Round and Around.” The narration begins with the Faith Formation Director at a church who is busy organizing the collection of gifts for needy. Problems arise when two more people want to donate but there are no more recipients available and also when a gift is provided that can’t be matched to a recipient. Unexpected turns provide solutions to all the problems and grace surrounds them all. 

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI brought her three beautiful poems that received honorable mention place in Florida Poetry Contest.  The first poem was a free verse entitled “Something Blue” that described how a bride prepared herself using some of her grandmother’s gifts that she herself had used on her own marriage. Getting support from old, something borrowed, how she is preparing to step into the new world filled with love. The second poem was a highly imaginative rhyming poem entitled “Just the Sound of It” that describes various sounds originating in the universe and what role they play while a poet is writing a poem, beautifully summarized in one line “Ears hear what eyes have seen.” The third poem was a free verse entitled “Beach Buddies” that took us through the memory lanes of fun-filled days of childhood spent on a beach. 

DENNIS MCLEAN read “Flatboat” telling of the boat journey along Sugar coast of Louisiana on the Mississippi river that Abe Lincoln took with Allen Gentry in the month of May in 1828. The story shows how Abe and Allen thwarted pirate attempt during the river journey but also describes Abe’s inner feelings and dismay about slavery.

HARDARSHAN VALIA read his free verse poem entitled “Wolves at the Chattisgarh Express” published in The Sikh Review, December 2019. It describes about how a Shakespearean phrase from Hamlet “And to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” was incorporated into his poem.  

BOB PHILPOT continued with Chapter 5 of his novel Strange Friends, Chapter 5 – Double Ranch.” Cob and Zeb on their patrol through the Arizona desert reach a homestead ranch called Hutchison where sheriff’s men were stationed. They were greeted with most of the deputies but with some sarcasm. One even made a crude joke for which both tangled in friendly manner. As the unspoken command held them back, Zeb and Cobb took Sheriff into the next room away from other deputies where each tried to weigh each other’s gestures.

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

Respectfully submitted by:

Hardarshan Valia, Jan. 8, 2020

Sunday, December 15, 2019

NOVEMBER 21, 2019

Sharon Palmeri, Beverly Stanislawski, Katherine Flotz, Sharon Buckman, Bob Philpot, Amy Brailey,  Ruthann Graczek, Dennis McLean, John Hunt, Gail Galvan, Pam Maud, Mike Ripley, Diane Stratton

Savannah Allen, Zoe Staples, Alexandrya Cox, Thomas Pagan, Olivia Carroll, Alisha Roberts, Shirley Hinman

A vote of approval for the November 7, 2019 minutes was given by RUTHANN GRACZEK and DENNIS MCLEAN

KATHERINE FLOTZ reminded the members that our Christmas Party this year would be at Pappas Island in Crown Point on December 12, 2019.  Members would pay for their own meals and bring a book for the book exchange if they wanted to be in it.

JOHN HUNT read the beginning of his short story, “Eventide,” a tale of a married couple on the cusp of senior adulthood.  As the introduction reveals, the wife, Phyllis, appears disproportionately concerned with the appearance of their home.  Walt, her husband, meanwhile, has become withdrawn and preoccupied with his iPad as well as a project in the garage, the content of which has yet to be revealed.

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI read her eight-stanza poem entitled, “The Real Thanksgiving Feast.”  The poem tells the real story of how the original Thanksgiving meal should have been told by the colonists who lived by the sea.  Since their provisions were sparse, there was no pumpkin pie and since there were no turkeys by the sea, they ate fish.

MIKE RIPLEY read the start of the feature story of his book, Dreamrail; Connected Short Stories.  The story is also called “Dreamrail” and features the narrator starting his own story, which later will lead to the collection of five writers, each telling their own tales.  In this first story, Samuel tells of his heroic part in the lives of families who were taken from their homes and held until he saved them.  He also put in a shameless plug for the book, which is available at for just 99 cents (E-Book version.)

BOB PHILPOT continued with his book, Strange Friends.  This part of the book, (Chapter 4), begins with Cob’s horse getting spooked by a rattlesnake and starts to buck.  Complicating matters, a helicopter begins to circle overhead drowning out the rattle of the snake, which would have given Cob advanced notice.

DENNIS MC LEAN read four pages of his book, The Eye of the Gift Horse.  This part of the story begins with Morris and his gang intending on avenging Pete, who has been punished for his role in introducing an illicit picture to the classroom.  Their target is Bob Johnson, the boy who turned the picture in to the teacher.  They persuade Sidney to lure Johnson to a vacant wooded lot where they will be lying in ambush.

GAIL GALVAN read her seven stanza poem, “ A Million Songs.”  This lovely poem describes the importance of dreaming.  “If you never wish, if you never dream, you’ll never truly let yourself be you.”

DIANE STRATTON continued with her true story entitled, “Follow That Hunch.”  On a rainy evening, she saw an old woman walking and had a strong hunch to offer her a ride since she didn’t even have an umbrella.  Once she was in the car Diane asked where she lived, it became evident that she might have dementia from the way she answered.  The woman was able to produce an envelope with her address on it .  The elderly woman was quite a long distance from where she lived and believed she had someone walking with her.

PAM MAUD read her two-page short story entitled, “God’s Fingernail.”  The story starts with the revamping of a woman’s kitchen and the mess it entails while she tells her husband that she intends to start on his office after it is finished.  

AMY BRAILEY read her two-page short story entitled, “Save the Planet.”  The story tells when the Government is taken over by a militant environmental group, three teenagers use art as a way to rebel.

THOMAS PAGAN, a student guest, read his one page short story, which did not yet have a title.  The science fiction story began with a woman desperately needing assistance from Charlie-Delta squadron.  The squadron arrived on time to set up a biohazard decontamination system.

SAVANNAH ALLEN, ZOE STAPLES, ALEXANDRA COX, OLIVIA CARROLL AND ALISHA ROBERTS all brought their very original and colorful art projects and displayed them to the members.  They are all students of AMY BRAILEY.

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

Respectfully submitted:


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

NOVEMBER 7, 2019


Al Koch, Gordon Wilder, Bob Philpot, Katherine Flotz, Amy Brailey, Pam Maud, John Hunt, Sharon Palmeri, Caren Von See, Sharon Buckman, Dennis Mclean, Dianne Stratton, Beverly Stanislawski, Mike Ripley


A vote of approval  for the October 17, 2019 minutes was first given by KATHERINE FLOTZ and seconded by AL KOCH.


CAREN VON SEE stated her newest book, My Treasure Chest, is in the process of being published by Balboa Press, congratulations Caren.

SHARON BUCKMAN announced to the  members that she would like each remittance, that is to be read by the members during the meetings,  to have a small summary at the beginning of the story, poem, etc.  This will reduce the time that the secretary  needs to complete her job.


BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI announced that she took first place in the Ohio State Poetry Contest for her poem, “Just a Paris Friday Night.”  She also stated she took an Honorable Mention for another three of her poems,  “Tribute,”  “When We is Just Me,” and “Sisters.”


AL KOCH read his very comical short story entitled, “Doctor’s Orders.”  The story told of a traveling salesman entering a restaurant and ordering his meal along with a cup of soup.  When the waiter brought the soup, the salesman got very upset when noticing he kept his thumb in the soup.  After hollering at the waiter he asked why he would do this.  The answer the waiter gave was very funny, also very grouse.

GORDON WILDER continued  with his short story entitled, “A Parable for Christmas.”  After Omar’s wife and grandson were killed in a car accident, Omar tries to continue going on with his life by seeking employment as Santa in a department store.  A small boy, Jimmy, climbed on his lap and began telling him a sad tale of he and his mother living under a bridge following the death of his father.  The tale continued and Omar learned that the father was the drunk driving the car that killed his family.  The boy was there to ask Santa to try and find a job for his mother.  The story ended with Omar hiring her to help him with his former business.

BOB PHILPOT continued with his novel, Strange Friends.  The story begins with Zeb rescuing a deputy sheriff from a cattle rustler that is having him dig his own grave.  Chapter 3 continued with Jim Shack, Chief Communication Officer, knocking on his partner’s office door.  He needed to let his partner, Tug, know what had happened  to Zeb and to recommend a way to keep the Sheriff in Yuma from finding out that Zeb was actually working for them .  After working out a solution, Jim makes a date with his partner’s secretary on the way out.

KATHERINE FLOTZ read her short Christmas story entitled, “Mother and Child.”  The very delightful story takes place in Southeast Europe during the Second World War, where countless ethnic Germans were starving and freezing in concentration camps.  One of the women, Maria , was pregnant and about to have her baby when a caring guard came to her rescue and managed to sneak her away, finding an old barn to hide her in.  After her son was born the guard later returned, having told the other guards she had died, he put them on his horse and led them away to a safe border.

AMY BRAILEY  read her short story entitled “Cat Burglar.”  The unfinished story told of a world famous thief being foiled in his attempt to steal a famous pearl called “La Peregrina.”  After honing his skills as a professional burglar for years,  he finally felt he was ready for the “big one.” After entering the Smithsonian Institute he put on his badge that he had recreated from noticing the other employees badges.  All had gone as planned that day until entering the hall where the pearl was displayed, whereupon, he hears a “meow.”

CAREN VON SEE read four pages of her newest novel, My Treasure Chest.  In this part, Chapter Sixteen, frustrated Antonio begins to tell Sara how upset he is whenever he is with his Uncle Lorenzo  and his brother, Angelo.  He explains that the two of them are always bickering and nothing gets accomplished.  Sara tells him that a trip to Rome would help them both, but before leaving he needs to speak to them.

SHARON BUCKMAN read her four page true story entitled, “Weekend Best Forgotten.”  The story, written several years prior, told of one of her husband’s employees murdering his wife’s boyfriend and then hiding out in her husband’s fishing cabin.  After finding out what he had done, Ray, her husband,  explained to Sharon that he had given Roger permission to go to the cabin. After finding him there Ray talked Roger into going for breakfast at a local restaurant.  Ray then called Sharon, telling her to notify the police that Roger was turning himself in but to be sure to meet them outside of the restaurant so no one would be hurt.  Roger was found “not guilty due to temporary insanity” a year later.

DENNIS MCLEAN continued reading his novel entitled, The Eye of the Gift Horse. The story takes place at Pear Orchard School and tells of a picture that had been passed around the schoolroom of an undressed woman.  After the picture was turned in to the teacher and taken to the principal, the children begin to surmise all the various punishments they are about to receive.  Finally, Pete, the boy who had brought the photo to school, stands and confesses that he is responsible.

DIANE STRATTON read her three-page short story entitled, “Follow that Hunch.”  The true story tells of Diane driving down Main street of her home town when she notices an elderly woman walking down the sidewalk in the rain.  Diane had a hunch she needed a lift and after turning around she offered her one.  The elderly didn’t seem to know where she was going and Diane realized that she was going in the wrong direction from the address she was given.  Diane later found the woman’s house and talked to her nephew who was in the driveway, explaining to him that she had been lost.

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI read her four poems, which she had taken awards for.  The first poem, “Just a Paris Friday Night,” told of the tragedy in Paris when terrorists attacked party goers on the street.  The second poem, “Tribute,” tells of giving our vets the proper respect they are due.  The third poem, “When We is Just Me,” tells of the sadness a loved one feels after their mate is taken away.  The fourth poem, “Sisters,” tells of the opposite appearance and nature of two sisters.

MIKE RIPLEY tells of a woman, his wife, who already has her mind made up, never subject for change, in his short story entitled, “The Book.”  As his story continues with various examples of  their lives together, he is suddenly shocked when he hears her saying she is going to take the advice of the fortune cookie that she is about to open.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted: