Vol. 34, No. 2 April-May '06

Upcoming Events

   April 16
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Ralph Keyes,
"The Courage to Write"
(see article)

   May 21
Forum @11:30-2PM
Sheraton Four Points
Ted Gushée,
"Painting With Words"
(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

The Courage to Write

   Our April speaker is one you won't want to miss. Whether you're just tiptoeing your way into writing or have been published for years, you will find valuable guidance in what Ralph Keyes has to say.

   His topic: "The Courage to Write." Not so coincidentally this is the title of his most popular book, which has been in print continuously since 1995. Some of you may remember that Ralph spoke to SSA shortly after the publication of this book, which author John Jakes has called "one of the two or three best books on writing I've ever read." The sequel, The Writer's Book of Hope, was published in 2003. Ralph's bestselling Is There Life after High School? was turned into a Broadway musical that's still produced in the U.S. and abroad, and his most recent work, The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life, examines how the "routizination of dishonesty" has become entrenched in our culture. (Can anyone say "James Frey"?) Among his other book topics are the importance of making mistakes in becoming successful, how modern conveniences have contributed to time pressure, the loss of community, and what sons think about their fathers.

   Also the award-winning author of hundreds of articles in publications including Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Self, GQ, Newsweek, Parade, and Sports Illustrated, Ralph has collected 35 years-worth of archives, now stored in dozens of filing cabinets in his Yellow Springs, Ohio, basement. He's also an avid collector of toasters and other small appliances. And you can see all of this, along with more information about his books, on his Web site at www.ralphkeyes.com.

Painting With Words

   SSA welcomes author, actor, advertising executive Ted Gushée, as our forum speaker on Sunday, May 21st. Ted will present: Painting with Words, a sure-fire method to enrich your prose by appealing to the senses of smell, taste, sound, touch as well as sight. People who pick our books read not only with their eyes, but also with all of their senses. They want to feel, hear, smell and taste our words upon the page.

   "Use words as a painter uses a palette," Ted suggested. "How do you describe a color to the blind? Or show fear with words? How can you make an evening sky the portent of disaster." The Write Word The Courage to Write

   Ted's forum presentation will demonstrate painting with words is easier than most writers might think, especially when describing a scene.

   Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could write with our eyes closed because what we see with our mind is often more visual and more descriptive than what we see with our eyes wide open.

   Ted Gushée graduated from Williams College where he majored in English and minored in theater. His theater-mates included John Frankenheimer and Stephen Sondheim. He served as a combat pilot in Korea, flying B- 29 Superfortresses and earning an Air Medal. In 1959, he joined the prestigious J. Walter Thompson Advertising firm. He retired to Scottsdale in 1993 after supervising the Thompson firm's Ford Europe branch in London and subsequently advancing to COO and General Manager of the firm's Detroit office.

   Ted's books include Someone's Picking the Daisies, Guardian Devil, and Kira's Diary. He is currently writing a book about the experiences of his aviation cadet class in the Korean War. Don't miss this amazing forum speaker on May 21, 2006.

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!)


Lois Bauer's book, A Case of the Pecan Conspiracy. was published through Airleaf Publishing. They have put it in their own bookstore and in about 20 other stores throughout the U.S. However they don't have it with Barnes and Noble. It is on the Amazon.com website where it can be previewed.

Eileen Birin compiled and edited the work of several authors of various genre into a children's book entitled The Wall for The Phoenix Writers' Club, the oldest writing group in Phoenix, celebrating its 80th anniversary May 20th. The story escapes into the delightful adventures of nine-yearold Belinda as she goes beyond the wall and into the fascinating worlds of Double Circles and One Points. This enchanting story is intended for children of all ages, anyone with an imaginative mind who knows there's more to this life than meets the eye. The Wall will be available in April. For more information about the Phoenix Writers' Club and their 80th anniversary celebration or for advance copies of The Wall, contact Eileen Birin at neeliepubl@aol.com. Eileen will also be one of the presenters at the third annual Write On! Women Writers of the Desert Conference, Saturday, May 13th, at The Heard Museum, Phoenix. this years's topic is "Write for Success; Selling Your Words & Making Money as a Writer." Eileen's powerpoint presentation is titled: "Let's Get Published-A Look at Self-Publishing Today! What's new, what's available, what's in it for you." For more information about the conference or for a similar presentaion for your club/organization, contact Eileen Birin at neeliepubl@aol.com or 623-561-6751.

Mike Rom's 3-minute supernatural thriller, Gold, that he wrote and directed, will be shown in the Tucsonfilm.com Shortfest 2006 at the Loft Cinemas on April 15. It will be an out-of-competition showing because Mike is one of the judges and will be on the filmmaker's panel before the showings.

Ann Staadt's romance novel, The Reluctant Cowboy, is available from PublishAmerica or from Ann Staadt, a-r-staadt@juno.com. Anita Kinsmore sold her Blue Bonnet Inn at a good profit but watched the proceeds melt away to pay for her mother's medical and funeral costs. She needs a job. Joe Harmon is a busy Colorado vet trying to raise cattle and run a dude ranch in his spare time. Joe needs a manager. Anita takes the job only to find that Joe is reluctant to spend the money to fix up the dude facilities. He shows an interest in Anita but is reluctant to get serious. He's especially reluctant to make any commitments to her. Will Anita be able to overcome Joe's doubts? Everyone who reads the story will be on her side. Check out www.annstaadt.com to read about Ann's books.

Jennifer J. Stewart has signed a contract for a new children's novel (working title: The Secret Summer Room Re-Do) with Dial Books for Young Readers, part of the Penguin group. This will be Jennifer's fourth novel, and it sold on the strength of two chapters. Erin Murphy is her agent. Jennifer also had an article, "Biker Chicks," accepted for publication in Tail Winds Magazine, and it should appear in print soon. This humorous personal essay received a commendation in SSA's Writing contest.

John Stickler and his wife, fine artist Soma Han, will be signing and "chopping" their book, Land of Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now, at the L.A. Times Festival of Books at the end of April. The 32- page picture book presents 19 facets of Korean life, from the symbolic national flag to the preparation of kimchi. Now in its second edition, it is published by Shen's Books, a national distributor of cultural and educational materials for young readers. Reviews are posted on the Internet at www.amazon.com and www.shens.com. The national children's magazine Skipping Stones selected Land of Morning Calm to receive its 2005 Honor Award, as an exceptional title in the multicultural and international category. The list of Honor Award winners may be seen on the magazine's website www.skippingstones.org/ book2005.htm.

Betty Webb's new book, Desert Run, is based on a true event. On Christmas Eve, 1944, 25 German POWs escaped from a Phoenix, Arizona prisonerof- war camp. The crew members of U-boat submarines, they were all hardened seamen, and had built collapsible boats to sail south to Mexico, using their smuggled maps as navigation guides. What they didn't know–not being native to the desert–that even in December, those "rivers" marked on their maps were bone dry. After getting their fill of sun and rattlesnakes, most surrendered. The others were captured by local Indians and ranchers. "I take the true story of what has been called 'Arizona's Great Escape' and turn it into a many-layered mystery novel–and the critics are loving it." Publishers Weekly said of Desert Run, "Webb combines evocative descriptions of place with fine historical research in a plot packed with twists. In reviewing Desert Run, Booklist said, "A fascinating adventure. As in the preceding episodes in the series, Webb effectively evokes the beauty of the Arizona desert." Such praise is not unusual for Betty's Lena Jones Arizona-based books. The New York Times called Desert Wives, her expose of Arizona polygamy, "Eyepopping," and added that if it had been written as non-fiction, she would have been "up for a Pulitzer." Desert Wives is currently in development to become a Lifetime TV movie. You can order Desert Run from your local independent bookstore–they might even have signed copies–or from the Poisoned Pen itself–call toll free 888-560-9919. You can also visit www.bettywebb-mystery.com.

Bob Wagner's very first vampire tale, "Simple Economics," has appeared in the Spring Issue #9 of Night To Dawn–"no mystery, a bit of humor."

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 May