Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Oct. 17, 2019


John Hunt, Mike Ripley, Sharon Palmeri, Sharon Buchman Gail Galvan, Jackie Huppenthal, Bob Philpot, Gordan Wilder, Beverly Stanislawski, Hardarshan Valia, Marilyn Kessler, Kathy Flotz, Amy Brailey, Dennis McClean, Al Koch, Gina Gadson, Pam Maud 

Marilyn Kessler granddaughter, Gina

approved by Kathy Flotz and Dennis McClean

 Christmas dinner at Pappas Restaurant in Crown Point, Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.

AL KOCH gave his version of a “Menu for Seven Corpse Dinner,” which included these items: “Brain Muffins, Cadaver Barbecue, Fruit Corpse, Bloody Beets, Salted Newts, Boogers in Mucus Sauce, and Choke-A-Cola.

GAIL GALVAN had members acting out “Good Witch/Bad Witch” which had two boys and a girl daring each other to see old bag lady Bonita that they believed to be a witch. Could she grant their wishes or not?

JOHN HUNT read “The Apprentice,” (with apologies to C.S. Lewis). This story dealt with characters trying to film some weird goings on in the woods. Meanwhile, two of Satan’s men, Dubium and Sloven, sit watching, hoping for the “Devil’s sake” that no evil one would get caught on camera again.  

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI introduced us to “Baba Yaga,” Polish for witch. Baba had a green face, a nose wart, and an appetite for inviting children to dine. “One Scary Night” was about Halloween. Two boys went to Hacken’s house, where his dog Killer also lived. One boy got stuck there. The other one saved him with something which stopped the “Hacken, Killer, Coffin.”

JACKIE HUPPENTHAL invited us to dine at “The Corpse CafĂ©,” where the buffet had a “few alive, most dead creatures.” Entrees included “stuffed skulls, wolf mousse, varmint claws, goblin guts, spider legs, and several dishes which screamed BEWARE.”

DENNIS McCLEAN presented a somewhat spooky excerpt, from his novel, The Eye of the Gift Horse. “Sidney caught glimpses of cobwebs and hanged men festooned in trees and bushes.” He also believed he could “sensed the dead rising from the underworld, inhabiting fresh minds and bodies.” The continuation of his novel showed some characters boys playing and fighting like typical boys, arguing about how to play the game. They notice Bob Jonson is missing and wonder if he went back to school to snitch about the racy photo being passed around the room.

MARILYN KESSLER  told us that she “ Knew it’s Fall, for Sure Now” as she noticed the wind blowing leaves in circles,” the sky dark and gloomy sky like snow is on its way, and mothers with wild blown hair quickly getting bussed kids home. As expected, Mother would be cooking a pot of stew.

MIKE RIPLEY tells in his book, Dreamrail, about a train ride for Christina which proves to be a unique experience. She notices lives of people through their windows as the train passes their houses. A call from Phillip Savage distracts her. As they chat, his dog begins to bark.  Christina hears heated voices, and the phone suddenly goes dead. The train shifts unexpectedly, and she falls to the concrete. A young boy tries to help, but she is wary of him and is still worrying about Phillip.

HARDARSHAN VALIA read his poem, “Tale of Two Coffee Houses,” that was printed in Northwest Indiana Literary Journal. One is “a smoke-filled coffee house with barren floors, age-scarred walls, visited by a poet, late in bloom.” The other is a Hoosier coffee house near Lake Michigan where the poet meditates on a poem by Mari Evans, “Celebration”  “brilliantly displayed on a mural made with fallen leaves of poetry chips.”

GORDON WILDER offered part of his story, “A Parable for Christmas,” which told the story of yet another Christmas miracle. Improbable circumstances which lead to unlikely people meeting and the power of forgiveness and empathy that can indeed produce a miracle. When we divest ourselves of prejudices, we can enjoy the beauty found in other groups. 

PAM MAUD presented her story, “God’s Fingernail” One character is comforted knowing that God is watching over you when you see that He’s been cutting His fingernails (the crescent moon). Another character, Don, is concerned about his favorite radio station and views the countryside he drives his truck. As he gets close to Mitchell’s town limits, he slows down. Life in the little town is rather ordinary with some men doing remodeling chores.

Adjourned 8:15p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 

Beverly Stanislawski

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oct. 3, 2019

Members Present:
Gail Galvan, Amy BraiIey, Beverly Stanislawski, Kathy Flotz, Sharon Palmeri Sharon Buckman, Al Koch, Hardarshan Valia, Mike Ripley, Dennis McClean,         Caren Von See, John Hunt, Helena Qi,  Pam Maud, James Haworth, Corri Stephensen. Paula Stephensen, Danielle Johnson, and Diane Stratton. 

Guests: GordonWilder, Gina Gadson and daughter.

Minutes:  Read and approved by Kathy Flotz and Hardarshan Valia

New Business:
Announcement about authors wanting to sell their books in the library, Dec. 7, first to fourth floor,
$25 fee. See librarian for details.
Caren Von See’s book, My Treasure Chest,  is completed, and will soon be on Amazon.

Sharon Palmeri announced that at the beginning (the first 30 minutes) our next meeting on Oct
17, authors are encouraged to read any spooky stories they have written to get us in the mood for
Halloween.  Short oral storytelling is also acceptable.  Sharon also stated that our only
December meeting will be held at a local restaurant, details later.

Special Presentation by Gail Galvan: “Surprise Ending: Writers’ Wagon Train.”
Gail explained the ingredients and the recipe needed for Self-Publishing. She told of her own experiences and offered information about publishers, agents, e-books, editing, prices, and distributed a sheet containing many other helpful hints for writers wishing to Self-Publish.

Amy Brailey read the first of her many stories that has no ending, “Jarold Mac Neil and the
Case of the Vanishing Art.”  Readers are to supply their own conclusion. Private detective
Jarold must try to solve the mystery of the valuable, missing artwork from
wealthy people.

Kathy Flotz presented excerpt from her sequel to After the Pebbles. Her grandmother visited
from Germany to see Kathy’s first son, Peter. Grandma’s stay would have been only 18 months.
Thanks to a bill South Dakota’s Senator Langer introduced in the Senate and House of
Representatives, grandma could stay permanently in America. Kathy told of her husband
George’s jobs and their moves four times since their marriage in 1957.

Beverly Stanislawski offered two poems. One, “The Chief’ Headdress,” written with certain
syllable counts, described a beautiful, eagle-feathered headpiece which brought power to the
Indian. The other poem, “Hey Shakespeare,” chastised William Shakespeare for making
several plays deal with sadness, death, or despair, including…“Why did you have to make the
patrons cry when Juliet would die, and live, and die?”

Sharon Buckman asked if  “The Best Things in Life are Free?” She then showed that sitting
and watching fish swim around a pond is free, but buying chemicals and food to keep them
alive, isn’t. Then taking time to smell the roses…free, but spending $949 to kill those beetles…
not free.  (Maybe some Best Things are worth the price, Sharon?)

Al Koch read “Personal Currency,” which retold stories about being a Special Education
teacher. He posted no classroom rules, but suggested students, “Do whatever you think is best,
and then I will do whatever I think is best.” He chose never to get angry” but “prodded, poked,
challenged, and encouraged them to become better,” and “treated them with dignity, respect,
positive words and reality-based instruction.” Their personal currency,” he said, “is the wealth
of life.”

Hardarshan Valia presented “Three Facets of Refugee Status.” 1) Broken Wings told about
“dreams consumed by the fireworks” and “journeys to the realm of unknown.”
2) Promised Land  “Boat would accept no more; wife and husband separated, two fish out
of water.”
3) Welcome Home “Father victim of cross-fire on a street, wife and newly-born daughter at refugee camp gate. Sign reads “Earth without Borders.”

Mike Ripley read from “Dream Rail” about Christina, a reporter, whose sister was murdered
in Chicago. The reporter interviews the killer, William, in an emotion-filled question and
answer session. After she tells him he is “horrible” and she hopes he dies, William tosses a
necklace through the gate.” She picks it up. The inscription read ‘To Natalie. Love Forever.’

Dennis McClean offered part of Chapter Three, from his novel, The Eye of the Gift Horse.
 Antics of some students in Miss Knott’s class continue. This time, a racy picture is passed
around without her knowledge. Sidney did not approve of the prank, but passed the photo,
anyway. He describes his teacher in more detail as “a cross between a rabbit and a sly and
sneaky fox… capable of pouncing on small children.

   John Hunt continued reading Chapter two from his book, The Sparrow’s Sad Song. In this part
 we learned more about the friendly relationship between Caity and Ryan. Caity also spent a lot of
 time telling about her desire for her friend Ryan to feel better and to just get “his listless frame”
 up from his sick bed in the ICU. She felt nausea grip her as she watched Ryan’s body tremble
 violently. Later, on the way home, “the warmth of car’s vents brushed across her cheeks, soothing
 her blushed skin….”

 Helena Qi  took us on a trip along the northern Italian Riviera to Cinque Terre (Five Lands)  
 National Park. She described the string of five seaside villages with some records dating back to
 the 11th century. Another train ride later, we were at  Monterosso al Mare, the farthest northern
 village. There the family began hiking, enjoying the beautiful scenery, including graffiti carved
 on a giant cactus. They also viewed “stout churches, ruined castles, and multicolored new
 buildings” in Vernazza.

Caren Von See  offered part of Chapter 16 from her novel, My Treasure Chest. Sara tries to
quiet Antonio after he comes storming out of his office after meeting with Uncle Lorenzo and his
brother, Angelo. She offers to rub his shoulders and inquiries about the fighting she heard.
Antonio responds, “History, discipline, my Uncle’s role reversal, and my father’s death” Sara
tells him to be a man, not a coward. Antonio worries he will lose his brother if he reacts too

Meeting Adjourned 8:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Beverly Stanislawski

Monday, September 30, 2019

September 19, 2019

Al Koch, John Hunt, Katherine Flotz, Dennis McLean, Beverly Stanislawski, Marilyn Kessler, Sharon Palmeri, Gail Galvan, Mike Ripley, Helena Qi, Shirley Vaughan, Amy Brailey,    Guests: Pam Maud, Neal. Bedeker 

Minutes: Read and approved by Shirley Vaughan and Dennis McLean

New Business: Al Koch had his new book, Koch’s Choice.

Al Koch considered “The Sameness of Us” where our sameness and differences increase the quality of life. 

John Hunt read from Chapter 2 of his work, The Sparrow’s Sad Song. We learned more about Caity and her mother’s troubled relationship and Ryan’s health issue.

Dennis McLean offered Chapter Three,The Unicorn’s Horn” from his novel, The Eye of the Gift Horse. Children in Miss Knott’s class don’t seem to know where Russia is on the map. Morris knows how to challenge the teacher’s authority. Her punishment threats were unconvincing.

Beverly Stanislawski presented two poems. “The Luck of Canary Jones,” was about a junkman and his activities as he travels around the alleyways. “The Eagle Has Landed” relates the once greatness of an eagle, now found dead.

Marilyn Kessler continued in Chapter 7 Life goes On. John is preparing to take his injured brother, Kiddo, back home. It was an arduous journey. However, John was happy to meet his brother’s family when they made it home, safely.

Sharon Palmeri’s “On Call” told of the moon being “responsible” for an increased number of babies born nocturnally. Sharon also related some interesting first-hand accounts of dealing with pregnant women when she was on call.

Gail Galvan’s poem, “Miracle Million Dollar Baby,” praised the winner of America’s Got Talent. Young Kodi, is an autistic, blind pianist and singer. She also offered some poems about the creative spirit and holding on to your dreams: “Tree Climbers,” “Choices,” “Helen’s Vision,” “That Fire,” and “Dream Keepers, Dream Makers.”

Mike Ripley presented more of his novella A Reason to Come, a crime mystery story. Officer James Palmer learns a little more about people and events concerning the murders of the four men. He decides to visit the relatives of the victims to get more information to help solve the cases.

Helena Qi took us on another travelogue adventure, this time to “Pisa, a flourishing mid-sized Italian city.” She stated fascinating facts about the famous 800-year-old tower, including why it leans and what they tried to do to get it to stand upright. The photos she included helped us to see various sights that she witnessed on her trip.

Shirley Vaughan read Chapter Three, “Chaos,” from The Path of Their Existence. The Military in Unified Nation believe they were being attacked by other countries, so they set off their nuclear weapons, not realizing that the only threat to their country is from a computer hacker. There is suddenly a strange lightning in their area…”

Meeting adjourned 8:30

Respectfully Submitted,

Beverly Stanislawski