Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September 5, 2019

Dennis McLean, Bob Philpot, Katherine Flotz, Ruthann Graczek, Marilyn Kessler, Al Koch, Beverly Stanislawski, Gail Galvan, John Hunt, Sharon Palmeri, Mike Ripley, Shirley Vaughan, Diane Stratton, Helena Qi, Jim Haworth.

Read and approved by Dennis McLean and Diane Stratton.


Mike Ripley’s Lake Stories is being edited and submitted to agents
Gail Galvan is still working on her book, Problematic President Dangerous Dictators, and will be publishing it soon as an eBook and paperback.
Al Koch will have his book available next meeting.

Dennis McLean read his poem, “All the Fire Flies,” comparing life’s span to the short glow of a firefly. He also continued his The Eye of the Gift Horse where Sidney has finally beaten Spook at his own staring game. Sid survives the Snap-Up Tree and awaits to see Indian Rock.

Katherine Flotz presented an excerpt from After the Pebbles, a biographical account including her marriage, a honeymoon that was postponed because of her illness, and the surprising, early birth of her son Peter after a night of waltzing.

Marilyn Kessler continued her story reading Chapter 6, What Papa Didn’t Know, telling of Kiddo having some fingers shot off, Mama missing Papa and dealing with situations alone at home, and Papa vowing never to return to wild, gold- hungry Colorado again.

Al Koch offeredTable Topicswhich included numerous ice- breaker questions one might ask family or friends during holiday gatherings, including these: What is the best thing that happened to you last month? If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? What was your worst dating experience? and  What’s your craziest fantasy? 

Beverly Stanislawski read her children’s story, “Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear.” It told of the cub’s problems with seeing doubles of everything. On one occasion he showed his bravery by jumping into raging waters to save his sister(s). His heroic deed caused an injury that seemed to correct his eyesight.

Gail Galvan presented a promotional flyer to ask for feedback on her eBook which details some of  her true and partly fictitious experiences walking to campaign for the 2018 primary elections. 

John Hunt continued reading The Sparrow’s Sad Song, Chapter 2. Ryan has not come to expect that his mother would be a loving, caring parent. He was suffering from a sore throat, but she was unresponsive, lying in bed in an alcoholic state. His one friend Caity and he do have a special relationship which included holding gloved hands which got “frozen” together. Ryan’s health grew worse the next day at school. Caity ran for help, but he collapsed before she returned.

Mike Riley’s “A Reason to Show” had us wondering how this mystery of four, dead men would be solved by Detective Allen. Their bodies were discovered in four different cemeteries. While he was at the services for the murdered military man, “ he felt a chill and then noticed a man coming up a hill toward him.”

Shirley Vaughan offered some Chapter 2  pages of her science fiction /fantasy story, The Path of Their Existence. Computer hacker, Scott, has already entered false information into the defense department’s computer system on planet Turaeus. Now he panics about what he has done. He tries to correct it, but is too late. The warning siren continues to sound as the crew members go through their final countdown before… three, two, one, CONTACT, and all five people push their buttons and say a silent prayer.

Helena Qi took us on a trip to Venice and described some wonders and some problems of the famous city. This was the fourth part of her travel accounts that she is writing for her family. Her “travelogue” included such things as St. Mark’s Basilica, built in the 11th century, two types of vaporetto (boats) traveling down the Grand Canal, and their Hotel Mercurio, with its  friendly staff and good food. Problems included the fact that the city is losing population at an alarming rate, and climate changes, floods, and the high cost of living contribute to Venice’s possible downfall. Helena wondered if Venice will devolve into a decaying theme park in the future.

Diane Stratton reminded us how “Unexpected Acts of Kindness” can be exercised every day. Even little acts of kindness can mean a lot: Someone holding open a door for you, or leaving some loose change by a register for someone else to use, or friendly greetings to and from store clerks. Being helpful to the elderly, and helping a stranger are just two more ways to earn some Godly “poker chips” that we can use to judge just how much unexpected kindness we have shared.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Beverly Stanislawski

Monday, August 26, 2019

August 15, 2019

The Meeting began at 6:10 P.M.


Diane Stratton, Al Koch, Dennis Mclean, Tim Phillapart, John Hunt, Bob Philpot, Marilyn Kessler, Amy Brailey, Katherine Flotz, Sharon Palmeri, and Helena Qi


A vote of approval for the Aug.1, 2019, minutes was first given by AL KOCH and seconded by HELENA QI.


AL KOCH’s long awaited book has been published.  He’s expecting copies soon! (And will bring some to the meetings.  Reserve your copies now!)  Congratulations, Al!


DENNIS MCLEAN read the pages 22-25 of his novel entitled The Eye of the Gift Horse.  In this section, Spook has returned from the Snap up tree unharmed, and Sidney learns the secret of the tree.

AL KOCH shared “Hello” which gives a number of hilarious responses to the annoyance of telemarketers.

KATHERINE FLOTZ  shared a section of After the Pebbles which chronicles the events after her book A Pebble in My Shoe.  In this selection, we see Katherine and George’s marriage and wedding reception.

JOHN HUNT read The Sparrow’s Sad Song Chapter 2.  In this section, when moving vans come to take Caity’s things from her home after her accident, Ryan remembers his first meeting with Caity before returning home.   

TIM PHILLIPART read three free verse poems.  The first, “Send Water” looks at the way we respond to tragedy and extends that desire to help beyond natural disasters to the deeper problems in society. “Nicely Tailored” takes a nostalgic look at the snapping of green beans and what is communicated in the process.  “Sweet Delay” reminds us of the special places that feed our souls and make our daily lives more livable. 

MARILYN KESSLER read Chapter 5 entitled “Gold” from her currently untitled novel.  In this chapter, Papa is planning his trip home.  He has just found a rider when he learns his brother (The Kid) has been shot.  He has to change his plans to care for his brother.

DIANE STRATTON read “Story of a Life” in which a trip to the thrift store reveals a portrait which causes wonder.  What happened to the people in the portrait?  What, in fact, is the story of a life?

HELENA QI shared her response to a daughter’s tribute to her mother.  In the tribute, the daughter shared that her mother’s life sparked the desire to be a better person and influence others.  Helena’s letter encourages the daughter with the impact the tribute had.

DANIELLE JOHNSON read Chapter 3 from Love, Death, and Socialism.  This section is told from Tasha’s perspective and shares her home situation which has influenced her attitude.  She is dealing with her mother’s prostitution and the aftermath.

The Meeting Adjourned at 8:10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Amy Brailey