Upcoming Events

   April 11
Arizona Mystery Writers @ 10am—1:30pm
Morning: Speaker from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, will discuss the rumors and myths surrounding SWAT.
Afternoon: Ethel Lee Miller will speak on "building your writer platform." At the Old Pueblo Grille, 60 N. Alvernon (just north of Broadway) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(more info: arizonamysterywriters.com)

   April 19
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Stuart Watkins & Christy White - "Sharing Poetry"
(see article this page)

   May 17
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Carl Forssell - "How to Help Your Luck"
(see article this page)

   June 1 Deadline
Arizona Mystery Writers Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest
(see more at www.arizonamysterywriters.com)

   September 15 Deadline
2015 SSA Writing Contest
(see more at www.ssa-az.org/contest.html)

To R.S.V.P. SSA Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$25 with reservation or
$30 paid at the door

   April is National Poetry Month and we have the opportunity to have Arizona poets to share their work. Christy White is the treasurer (and former president) of the Arizona State Poetry Society as well as the newsletter editor and the website administrator. SSA member Stuart Watkins is the president of the re-ignited Tucson Poetry Society.

   Christy White has published a number of chapbooks and other volumes of poetry—her first was Heart of Fire. Others include: At Last a Voice, Naked Again, Western Reveries and her latest, Rain.

   Stuart Watkins has two books of poetry, his first was a celebration of the Centennial Celebration of Arizona Statehood, Arizona: 100 Years, 100 Poems, 100 Poets and Black and White are Only Shades of Gray.

   The Tucson Poetry Society meets on the first Saturday of the month at 10:10 AM at the UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen Street, in Tucson. The objective is reading poetry and gentle critiquing. The next meeting is April 4 and you can contact Stuart at watkins4AZ@gmail.com or 520-818-0844 with any questions.

   The Arizona State Poetry's April 25th meeting is their annual Spring Festival where they will be discussing poetry and film at the Scottsdale Mustang Library, 10101 N. 90th St., Scottsdale. Christy White, Host, 480-677-0000, cchristy1@prodigy.net.

   The Academy of American Poets defined the month in 1996 and it is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, libraries, booksellers, publishers, poets and celebrating poetry in our culture. Poem in Your Pocket Day initiated in 2002 by the New York City Mayor and was added to the Academy of American Poets events for National Poetry Month. The normal celebration will be April 30th this year, but SSA hopes everyone who comes to the Forum brings a poem in their pocket on April 19th.

   Our May speaker, Carl Forssell, will talk about luck and ways to avoid bad luck. He will explore how to go for what you want and ways to enhance your luck as a writer. Carl Francis Forssell's parents immigrated from Norway and Sweden to Fairbanks where Carl was born. His birth would make him a "Sourdough"—a long time Alaskan—but the word today may be joked into "sour on Alaska and short on dough."

   His early life was filled with turmoil. He father was an alcoholic and his mother moved with Carl to a Seattle slum area, where she taught him to pray. Eventually a brother and sister appeared and forcibly took him to Circle Hot Springs in Alaska. At five years old, Carl moved to East Los Angeles with a prize fight trainer who taught him to box. Carl had no schooling until he was reunited with his mother two years later.

   Carl had a few years of high school before he joined the Navy to see the world. He ended up as a hospital corpsman at Great Lakes when he transferred to the Marine Corps. He took GED tests and entered the University of Washington on probation. He had jobs as a lifeguard and a dog food salesman. Carl also earned a Bachelor, two Masters and a Doctorate in California. He then worked as an instructor for USAF personnel in Europe and North Africa and was promoted to Chief of Personnel and Training.

   He taught at the Anchorage Community College and became a bush pilot flying fish from the Kenai to Anchorage. He and his wife have two children and now live in Oro Valley, Arizona; he has authored poems, short stories, and a script for a documentary video.

   In his novel The Amazing Adventures of Big Nick in Alaska, his protagonist, Nick, demonstrates courage and resourcefulness in fighting off grizzly bears, in shootouts, in rescuing a kidnapped woman, and saving the life of his nephew. Big Nick, a modest man of towering proportions with a heroic heart, is a great adventurer and can relate to the actual Big Nick who lived in Central, Alaska.

   Carl even got a good review from an actual guide, hunter, and prospector Alex Masarik — "An absorbing and fascinating story about life and adventure in the Alaska wilderness."

   The focus of Carl's talk will be on luck—how to cultivate it and have it work for you. It is something that Carl's life has been affected by and he has some lessons that he will share with us at our May 17th Forum. Handouts will be available.


Dan Baldwin's Western series is brought to life again in Caldera III—A Man of Blood. His lead character, Caldera, continues his quest to find and determine the meaning of family within the violent times at the end of the Apache wars. His quest is hampered by the arrival of a previously unknown half-brother, a Harvard educated tenderfoot with plans for a takeover of his (and Caldera's) father's enormous business empire in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. While his half-brother ruthlessly carries out a business plan, Caldera faces life and death choices in a war between mining communities, as a "regulator" hired to hunt down the most dangerous renegade Apache in the West, and as a man who must at different times face down two unforgettable women: Honeybee and Fanny Blue. Tiring of violence and bloodshed, Caldera leaves the country and settles in for a peaceful life in Cuba — 1898. Once again, he becomes a fighting man, acting as a scout for the Rough Riders where he finds battle, betrayal and, perhaps, the love of a beautiful Cuban freedom fighter.
Caldera III — A Man of Blood is available in e-book and paperback formats from Amazon.com.
Dan was interviewed by Lupita Murillo of KVOA-Tucson about his involvement in the Isabel Celis missing person case and his Find Me group of psychic detectives, who were asked to investigate. His as-told-to book, Find Me, was featured prominently in the story.

Mabel Leo's first book, The Saga of Jack Durant, is the true story of the original owner of Durant's Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. It tells how a young boy escaped his father's beatings, hopped a train, left his home in Tennessee with dreams of being a professional baseball player. Instead, he became the most trusted friend of the infamous gangster, Bugsy Siegel. Because Jack lied to everyone about everything, Leo did five years of research, traveling to Tennessee, Nevada, numerous places in Arizona, interviewing everyone who knew Jack or thought they did. Leo uncovered his three aliases, three ex-wives, and, according to official records he was born in three different states. The book came out in 1996. When Phoenix playwright, Terry Earp, read the book, she quickly wrote In My Humble Opinion, a play that ran for 22 sold-out performances at its first run and 15 sold-outs on the second run. After the show, Leo was often approached by someone with more stories of Jack. With Terry convincing her to write another book, Leo wrote Jack's World in 2005. With interest in Jack growing, Leo's editor suggested she do more research on Jack's connections with the Mob. Working on the new book, Leo began getting phone calls late at night; voices giving leads to sources of information. F.B.I. records were obtained; 127 pages with warnings to agents "SUBJECT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DANGEROUS BECAUSE HE IS REPUTED TO BE IN A POSITION TO HAVE A PERSON KILLED OR TO PERFORM A KILLING HIMSELF." The third book, Mob Mole was born in 2008.
A phone call in 2014 brought Jack back. A local Phoenix film company, Running Wild Films, wanted to bring Jack's story to the screen. Leo met with the producer, Travis Mills—a contract was signed and auditions began. The movie, Durant's Never Closes, is scheduled for the first showing in May, 2015.

Duke Southard reported that on Sunday, March 1, over 85 people attended the book launch of his 3rd novel, Live Free or Die, at the Arizona Family Restaurant. The book is a sequel to Agent for Justice, Southard's 2nd novel, continuing the story of Detective Parker Havenot. A bonus feature in the book is a preview of the next Havenot novel entitled Cracks in the Wall. Live Free or Die is available at Amazon.com

Larry Stillman's The Rope Catcher is now available on Amazon.com in hard cover and Kindle edition.
It is April of 1942 and 28-year-old Jimmie Goodluck leads an aimless existence on the Navajo reservation, where he knows only poverty, prejudice, and lack of opportunity. Everything changes when he hears a Marine Corps recruitment message on the radio. Without a second thought, Jimmie heads out toward what he hopes will be a new and meaningful life.
As a marine recruit, Jimmie becomes a code talker. He and his small, all-Navajo platoon develop a classified code using the Navajo language—the only code in WWII the enemy could not break. For the first time, Jimmie experiences equality, respect, and admiration: everything he's dreamed about all his life. But it is when he returns home four years later that he discovers the devastating truth about what can happen after your dreams come true.
This enthralling (and well reviewed) tale, told with keen historical accuracy, combines both fictional and real-life individuals. It depicts Jimmie's journey of hope, disillusionment, and redemption as he immerses himself in a world war and in the turbulent changes that sweep across the Navajo reservation, forever changing his own destiny.

Stuart Watkins' The House that Ran Away is a fanciful story for parents and grandparents to read to their children. This house finally had enough of the kids running up and down the stairs, slamming the doors, and it needed a fresh coat of paint. One day it just ran away to a quiet place by a pond. The family had to convince the house to come back, and it finally did. Stuart added five children's poems as a bonus.
Stuart also published Kona, Hawaii, Walking Alii Drive, a picture book of interesting sites along Alii Drive that are often missed. Beautiful gates, interesting mail boxes, wonderful places to eat, and other sites to look for making your visit to Kona a little more exciting.

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

Board of Dirctors

Chris Stern:

Vice President
Donna Young: karmamiranda@aol.com

Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Recording Secretary
Jean Young: migralaws@aol.com

Corresponding Secretary

Membership & Forum Programs Chair
Penny Porter: wporter202@aol.com

Forum Reservations Chair
Duke Southard: dukesout@dukesouthard.com
Reservations: 546-9382 or
E-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com

Members at Large
Dan Baldwin: baldco@msn.com

Bob Hunton: rlh10@cox.net

Sharon Lashinger: srlashinger@hotmail.com

Rajendra Srivastava: rajendrasrivastava@outlook.com

Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.com


Conference Co-Chair

Writing Contest
Bob Hunton: info@ssa-az.org
contest page

Speaker's Bureau Coordinator

Writing Group Coordinator
Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

SSA Home Page:


Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

NOTE: Deadline for next issue is the 15th day of May