Vol. 33, No. 6 December '05/January '06

Upcoming Events

   December 18
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Norm Marini,
"Holiday Magic"
(see article)

   January 27-28
Wrangling With Writing
(see article)

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
before noon the
Wed. before the Forum
$20 paid at the door

Wrangling With Writing
Confernce info

Holiday Magic for SSA Members,
Friends and Children

   December 18, at our regular third Sunday of the month forum, our Holiday Party featuring Norm Marini, past president of the Society of American Magicians, and winner of the Close-up Magician of The Year award as well as three time winner of the Stage Magician of The Year, will toss us into the forthcoming coming season with his spirit of magic.

   Do come, one and all. Enjoy a fun social event, a great meal prepared by Tommy, The Four Points Sheraton's fabulous chef, and time to share ideas on writing with members, both old and new. Don't forget you can park your car underground. There are 84 slots and an elevator beneath the hotel. Entrance on east side of the outdoor parking lot.

   Bring a gift-wrapped book to exchange with someone else. The book can be one of your own or one you have especially enjoyed reading.

   We will meet at The Four Points Sheraton at the usual time, Sunday, December 18th, from 11:30 to 2:00. Plan to bring your books for display and sale for Christmas. You will have a huge selection to choose from as this luncheon is a last chance opportunity to sell your book in 2005 until the conference.

   Phone 546-9382 for reservations. We hope to see all of you there.

Final Alert for the Conference January 27-28, 2006

   The brochures are out. If anyone didn't receive theirs, please notify Penny at wporter202@aol.com. She will send you another and/or you can bring it up on-line by going to our website: www.ssa-az.org/conference2006.htm. The entire brochure and registration forms are here following a spellbinding waterfall photographed by our Write Word editor, Mike Rom.

   We urge you to register early-classes do fill and so do interviews with agents and editors. Follow the "Wanted" link for cross-referencing-select the genre you have chosen for your manuscript, read the list of names of agents and editors interested in that genre, then go back and read about them in the bios attached to their picture. If there isn't a picture, at least their names will be there.

   We are often asked, "Will the classes fill so I can't get in?" If we find a class is getting too full, we will urge late registrants to select another in the same time block and purchase the tape for the overcrowded class. This has rarely happened as we have two classrooms at the Holiday Inn that hold 150, and four that hold between 40 and 80. This will be our 34th conference. We urge you all to attend. You will feel newly energized by 32 workshops that Wrangling With Writing offers. Add to that, four keynote speakers.

   Come hear Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box, a self-published book that nobody wanted, that became so successful he formed and organization known as The Christmas Box International devoted to building shelters and providing services for abused and neglected children through which 13,000 children have been housed.

   Drift and dream on Saturday evening to the readings of Billy Collins, 2001-2003 Poet Laureate of the United States, author of eight collections, the last three of which have broken all sales records for poetry. Included among the honors Collins has received are fellowships from the New York Foundation for the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

   You will hear Sam Swope, multi-published author of books for both adults and children. His first book, Araboolies of Liberty Street, was made into an opera, and the movie version of his second book, The Krazees, will star our all time favorite, Robin Williams. Learn about his teaching memoir, I Am a Pencil: A Teacher, His Kids, and Their World of Stories, named a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2004.

   And laugh with Firoozeh Dumas, born in Abadan, Iran, who moved to Whittier, California in 1972 knowing exactly seven words of English. In 2001 she decided to write her memoirs for her children, but Random House was waiting. Funny in Farsi was on the SF Chronicle and the LA Times bestseller list, and she has recently opened her own, one-woman show, Laughing Without an Accent that will run for a full season in 2006 in Northern California.

   Don't miss this wonderful conference. It's the best writers' conference ever.

processing fees are too high,
we do not make a profit on the luncheons-
what you pay is what the hotel charges us.

Also, if you R.S.V.P. please attend-SSA pays full fee if you don't!)


Peter Baird's first novel will come out in hardcover in June, 2006. The publisher is Winter Wolf and the title is Beyond Peleliu. In a sentence, it is about a San Francisco trial lawyer who, in the 1990's, discovers what happened to his doctor father during the World War II Battle of Peleliu.
"I am indebted to the Society of Southwestern Authors because it was at its Wrangling For Writers several years ago that I met my wonderful agent, Andy Welchel, who never gave up on me or my story."

Mary Ellen Barnes' independently published book, Forged by Fire: The Devastation and Renewal of a Mountain Community, came out at the end of March 2005, in time for the second anniversary of the Aspen Fire.
The book contains more than 70 photographs of the blaze that destroyed 344 homes and consumed nearly 85,000 acres of the Santa Catalina Mountains and graphically demonstrates the dilemma faced by Wildland Urban Interface communities like Mt. Lemmon. Photos of key community figures interviewed for the book, maps, and new cabins are included in these pages. The story also gives the reader a smattering of Mt. Lemmon history enlivened by a few of the author's personal memories. Her father, Tony Zimmerman, was one of the early developers of the mountain.
Bonnie Henry wrote in her April 22 column in the Arizona Daily Star: "Mary Ellen Barnes chronicles in heartbreaking detail the devastation of the 2003 Aspen Fire. Beginning with the first column of smoke spotted at 2:54 p.m. on June 17, 2003, Barnes grips the reader with her "you are there" reporting. Altogether, 72 people„many of them firefighters and Summerhaven dwellers„were interviewed . . . this book is more than a requiem. It's also about rebirth.

Mary Ann Hutchison's short story, "Baked Apples Sometimes Grow on Trees" will be published in The Good Old Days magazine, in the August, 2006 issue.
As the story unfolds, she is 14 years old, living in farm/lake country Wisconsin, and it is: ". . . a time when owning a television set was still a rarity, [and] the lake, the orchard, the woods or the swamp were happily, and gratefully, my only live entertainment." But, those things she dearly loved came close to being totally destroyed by a fire that left its calling card in a delicious way.

Robert Lewis' new book, Lytle's Landing, recently released by PublishAmerica, is a saga of a boy growing up in the setting of a rural midwestern lake, circa 1930, when youthful pleasures and challenges were so different from today. A book the entire family will enjoy. The book is available through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com, and Publishamerica.com or contact Robert directly at K7ybf@aol.com.

Paul E. Morrissette's debut novel Charlie Ann went public October 15. A suspense thriller about a child who is abducted shortly after her mother dies from injuries delivered by her abusive husband.

Kaye Patchett's Children's biography, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Inventors and Creators), was published October 7, 2005 by KidHaven Press. She has written three other children's nonfiction titles: Eli Whitney, Cotton Gin Genius; The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge; and Robert Goddard, Rocket Pioneer.

David Skramstad's publisher has purchased his third book in a series of detective novels set in Tucson. His first two were Murder at Gates Pass and Murder at Seven Falls. His third book to be published is Death among the Saguaros, subtitled "Beware of the Coyote." The latest plot involves a vacationing Pima County detective stumbling into the middle of a human smuggling operation near the Mexican border. The author includes all the factors involved in present day border troubles including troublesome vigilantes. The gun-toting Coyotes spirit the captured detective away in a truck filled with illegal border crossers.

Harvey Stanbrough's long-awaited poetry collection, Beyond the Masks, was finally released November 17. Order it from your local bookstore or purchase it at the conference in January. This comprehensive collection has received rave reviews and was nominated for the National Book Award and several other prestigious awards.
Harvey will offer "Walking in the Wholeness: Living the Art of Observation" on Sunday afternoon, January 29, the day after the conference. This will be an extension of Harvey's conference presentation, "Writing the World: The Art of Observation." Exact time and location to be determined. Information will be disseminated at the conference. Cost, if any, will be minimal. For more information or to sign up early, contact Harvey directly at h_stanbrough@yahoo.com or visit www.StoneThread.com.

Jennifer J. Stewart's latest children's novel, Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind, is a finalist for the Tenth Annual Teddy Children's Book Awards, sponsored by the Writer's League of Texas with support from Barnes & Noble Booksellers. These awards were created to honor outstanding books for children published by a member of the Writers' League of Texas. The name, the Teddy Children's Book Award, was chosen because teddy bears, like children's books, are classic, time-honored, childhood symbols cherished by children and adults alike. Jennifer and the other finalists will be honored with a reception at the Governor's Mansion in Austin during the Texas Book Festival.
Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind is also up for an Arizona Young Reader Award in 2007.

Bob Wagner's short story, "What's In A Name" is online at hardluckstories.com archives; another of his stories, "Sharp Revenge!" will appear this month in Beyond The Badge magazine (out of New York) and they've also accepted for reprint 3 Sides To A Story; and "Not That Kind Of Girl," was accepted for an anthology to be published "after 1 Jan."

The Write Word
published bi-monthly by the Board of Directors
of The Society of Southwestern Authors
P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751

Chris Stern: cstern@us.ibm.com

Dale Adams: 2dale@dakotacom.net

Carol Costa: starlit@theriver.com

Recording Secretary
Bill Pohlman: billpohlmann@hotmail.com

Member Chair
Penny Porter: wporter202@aol.com

Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Beach: rbeach930@theriver.com

Conference Co-Chair
Barbara Stahura: barbara@clariticom.com

Directory Editor
Sam Turner: clearskys@cox.net

Conference Interview Chair
Sharon Landeen: SLLandeen@theriver.com

Forum Program Chair
Rob Raine: rmskraine@msn.com

Reservations Chair
Randy Ford: info@randyfordplaywright.com

Writer's Contest
Mary Ann Hutchison: douglashutchison@comcast.net

Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)
e-mail: writeword@ssa-az.org

SSA Home Page:


Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

Deadline for next issue is the 21st day of January