This past January 8 marked the sixth anniversary of the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, which claimed 6 lives and seriously injured 19 other innocent people. John Newport, author of The Tucson Tragedy: Lessons from the Senseless Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, will share his observations of the heroic deeds of thousands of Tucsonans on the day of the shooting and over the months that followed, together with key lessons to be learned from this horrific event.
John was relatively new to Tucson the day of the shooting and lived a few blocks south of the Safeway where the shooting took place. He slept in that morning and would have attended the Congresswoman's "Congress on Your Corner" event if he'd known it was taking place.
He is a prolific author and socio-political commentator with four books under his belt and over 400 published articles and opinion pieces. Following release of The Tucson Tragedy he appeared on several local TV stations and initiated a column in The Tucson Citizen titled "Healing Tucson and Our Nation." He frequently contributes letters and columns addressing pressing social issues to the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Capitol Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other publications and is a regular guest on the John C. Scott Show on radio KEVT 1210 AM.
John will sign copies of The Tucson Tragedy for interested attendees following his talk. He will make the book available at a special discounted price of $15.00 (including tax) and $12.50 for purchaser of two or more copies. PLEASE NOTE: John can accept cash or checks but is currently unable to accept payment by plastic.
Saluting Penny Porter, an Arizona Writer
Also, on February 19th the Society of Southwestern Authors will be honoring Penny Porter for her contributions to the Society and the writing community of Tucson. SSA was founded in 1972 to assist writers in Southern Arizona. It now has chapters in the Santa Cruz Valley, Tempe, Congress, and Tucson.
Penny has served as a diplomat of the Old Pueblo in getting wonderful writers to come to our community with a writing conference called Wrangling With Writing. The writers who have come to Tucson include Ray Bradbury, Billy Collins (US Poet Laureate), Allan Dean Foster, William F Nolan, J. A. Jance, Chuck Sambuchino and many others. She has been a member of SSA for thirty-two of the organization's forty-four years and has served as the President seven times.
She is the author of six children's books and has been published in numerous magazines including Reader's Digest, Arizona Highways, Woman's Day, American Heritage, and Guideposts. She has appeared in fourteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Penny is a mother of six, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of one. She is former teacher, school administrator, and a rancher's wife.
Books by Penny Porter:
Heartstrings and Tail-Tuggers — 2000 (Second edition 2009)
Adobe Secrets — 2007 (Second edition 2009)
The Biography of Eugene Gifford Grace (Second edition 2009)
Howard's Monster — Children 4-6: 1989
The Keymaker — Young Adult Fiction: 1994
Green Eggs and Sam — Grades 3-6: 1998
The meeting honoring Penny will be after the February 19 SSA Forum and will be held at the Hotel Tucson City Center from 1 pm to 2pm at 465 N. Granada (at Granada and St. Mary's). The regular SSA Forum will start at 11am and run to 1pm and there is a luncheon charge of $25. Please let us know if you are attending. Call in your reservations to Danette Young at 520-809-5008 (new number, leave a message) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
When NASA sends a rocket into space neither Mission Control nor the Flight Crew can sit back and enjoy the ride; they know that immediately preceding lift-off is the most critical time of the entire project. That's where we are now with SSA's inaugural Self-Publishing Expo.
Like every new project, whether it's launching a rocket into space or sponsoring an expo, there are always things you could have done better, and you hope that you still have time to make the correction.
We have had a good show of support from our members, but we have failed to bring our message to the general public.
Billboards and an inclusive print advertising campaign were not financially possible, so we have relied on other means, the most effective being our network of writers. We have written and submitted articles to local magazines and have had some success in getting them published. We have sent over 100 press releases, contacted and presented the program to countless writers groups, and every Board Member has been given tickets to sell. We also will be placing event notices to all the January/February publications who have that free service.
But, like the rocket that still sits on the launch pad, there is still time before lift-off. We once again are asking our network—you—to do one more thing. Bring a friend or at the very least be sure and spread the word. If you have a personal face book site post the information about the expo on that site. Just think, if every member who is attending the expo will bring a friend, our inaugural flight will be a whopping success.