Upcoming Events

   Augugst 18
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Geoff Notkin - "How a Science Writer Accidentally Became a Television Star, Traveled Around the World 5 Times, Published 2 Books and Had a Planet Named After Him""
(see article this page)

   September 15
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Tucson City Center InnSuites
Barbara McNichol - "How to STRENGTHEN Everything You Write—and Rewrite"
(see article this page)

   August 31
SSA Writing Contest Deadline - Gather up and send in all your unpublished short stories, memoirs and poems!
contest page

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

   Geoff Notkin hosts the award-winning television adventure series Meteorite Men on Science Channel and has also appeared in shows for Discovery, NASA EDGE, TLC, PBS, A&E, National Geographic Channel, History Channel, Travel Channel, and the BBC. He is a science writer, meteorite specialist, photographer, world traveler, and the owner of Aerolite Meteorites LLC, a company that provides meteorite specimens to collectors and institutions worldwide. Geoff has appeared on Coast to Coast and the Today show, and has been interviewed by The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Space.com and many other leading publications.

   An award-winning author, Geoff has published more than 150 articles on meteoritics, paleontology, astronomy, adventure travel, history, and the arts, with his work appearing in Astronomy, Astronomy Now, Sky & Telescope, USA Today, Wired, Reader's Digest, The Village Voice, Seed, Rock & Gem, Geotimes, American Digger, Meteorite, and many other national and international publications. He is the author of the books Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space and Rock Star: Adventures Of A Meteorite Man, and a popular science and arts blog, The Logical Lizard, for TucsonCitizen.com.

   Geoff has worked with many of the world's major institutions including The American Museum of Natural History, New York; The Natural History Museum, London; and The Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU, Tempe. He is a fellow of The Explorer's Club, and a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the International Meteorite Collectors' Association, and the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences. The minor planet 132904, discovered at Mount Palomar, was named after Geoff in recognition of his contributions to science and education. Adventuring has taken Geoff to 45 countries and some of our planet's most remote areas including northern Siberia, Chile's Atacama Desert and the Australian Outback, and he has three times crossed the Arctic Circle.

   Fascinated by meteorites since he was a little boy, by the age of 7 Geoff was already an avid rock hound and fossil collector. His father was an amateur astronomer and shared a love of stargazing. "I was stunned that you could actually see other worlds from a suburban London garden," Geoff states: "I suppose the epiphany came when I visited London's Geological Museum as a child. I was awed by the Hall of Meteorites and realized that studying and collecting meteorites would be a unique combination of geology and astronomy. I have been hooked ever since."

   Geoff was born on 14th street in Manhattan and grew up in London, England. He studied geology, astronomy, photography, writing, and design in London, Boston and New York, now resides in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and considers Tucson his home.

   You enjoy the creative process of writing and telling poignant stories. You think you've "nailed it" beautifully—until you sit down and reread your latest draft. Not so great after all. It's now time to polish it until it shines. But when it comes to perfecting your own writing, do you know what to look for?

   It's time to think like an editor and revise your own work just as a pro would do. Writer/editor Barbara McNichol shows you how in this skill-building session to improve EVERYTHING you write—from emails to blog posts to promotional pieces and book chapters. You'll apply proven writing/editing techniques to help you:

• write more clearly without wordiness
• craft persuasive messages devoid of clutter
• plan and revise your work with confidence
• proofread and punctuate with fresh eyes
• avoid choosing the wrong words and blemishing your reputation.

   Come to this interactive session to capture practical skills you'll use forever. Barbara provides expert editing of nonfiction books for authors and entrepreneurs. She has placed more than 300 books on her editor's "trophy shelf"; some have even appeared on New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

   The creator of a word choice guide called Word Trippers, Barbara produces two ezines: "Word Tripper of the Week" and "Add Power to Your Pen." She also offers her How to STRENGTHEN Everything You Write Wordshops regularly. Contact her for details at editor@BarbaraMcNichol.com.


Esther Royer Ayers has published a new book entitled Girls in the Cult: A Journey into Self Discovery by a former Old Order Mennonite. The book provides answers for "free thinkers" who ask: Why would people of a religion systematically program their children to fear the outside world? Why would the people of a religion limit a child's education to eighth grade. What could prominent Dr. Erik Erikson and his Eight Stages in Life say about my childhood religion? How does the Amish in the City television show fit into this book? Books and e-books are available through Amazon and all other book sellers. Please see my website for photos and more information: www.EstherRoyerAyers.com

Geraldine Birch's YA historical novel, The Swastika Tattoo, is the story of Rudolf Meier, a young German prisoner of war whose love for Nazi Germany is as visible as the swastika tattoo on his forearm. After Rudolf and his U-boat (submarine) crew mates are captured by an American destroyer, Rudolf is sent to a POW camp in Arizona where he labors picking cotton for a Jewish farmer. It is there that he comes face-to-face with the bigotry and intolerance he learned as a Hitler Youth. Through long months of internment, his only joy is his friendship with the farmer's son who shows him the true meaning of humanity, individualism and democracy. Then, just as his repatriation to Germany is in sight, a murder in the camp makes Rudolf realize he may be the next target of the hard-core Nazis who really control the Arizona prison camp.
The Swastika Tattoo is published by Silverlake at ebooks.com and selling well in the U.K. thanks to a U.K. tweeting service. Visit Geraldine's website at http://theswastikatattoo.com.

Richard W. Coan's book Human Consciousness and Its Evolution is now in print. It is available from AuthorHouse both in soft cover and as an e-book. The book deals with alternative evolutionary goals in terms of five modes of fulfillment and their interplay. It touches on both individual development and the psychic evolution of our species.

Cynthia Lang's new book Sarah Carlisle's River and other Stories has been published by Mill City Press. What defines a legacy? Is it a fortune, a factory, or a debt, a grandfather's prized baseball card collection or a mother's silver spoons? Sarah Carlisle's River and other stories begins with a family legacy. Sarah- the author's ancestor and mother of Gardner Colby, benefactor of Colby College--married a successful Maine shipbuilder and lived a life of wealth, even extravagance, until the war of 1812 destroyed the business and erased all traces of former fortune. "Having known what such adversity is," Sarah wrote to a nephew who'd fallen on hard times, "I can appreciate the distress you are in."
Through nine short stories and a cast of vibrant characters, Sarah, Carlisle's River collects legacies of all forms-not all as tangible as Sarah's letter. Take a journey, and nothing may change hands but tickets. But now and then... a train ride to Texas connects two orthodox students, unmoored from competing religions. A celebrated computer geek flies to the Caribbean to help his father but finds his own future reprogrammed. The harmony of three musicians is altered for good when the trio accepts a booking at an Edinburgh nightclub. For more info: www.cynthialang.com.

D.R. Ransdell's Mariachi Murder was just published by Oak Tree Books. When the death of a fellow musician puts his mariachi in jeopardy, Andy Veracruz must risk everything to find the killer, even if she turns out to be his boss's alluring wife.
D.R. is spending the summer in Italy. Curiously enough, they're reading her book all over the country!
Check out youtube.com "mariachi murder" and www.dr-ransdell.com

Duke Southard's first novel, A Favor Returned, which was originally published in hard cover by Peter Randall and distributed by University Press of New England, is now available in paperback and e-book format. The book underwent a substantial rewrite, as Southard has learned a lot about writing in the 14 years since it was first published. The difference between the two versions is the subject of a literary program entitled "A Tale of Two Books" which the author will present at the Green Valley Forum on September 18 and later in the month at several venues in New Jersey where A Favor Returned is set. Both paperback and e-book are available through Amazon and all other major outlets. Wheatmark of Tucson handled the new interior and jacket designs and all other aspects of the re-release of the book.

John Stickler's 5,400-word memoir, "How I Met Chiang Kei-shek and Launched Korea's Advertising Industry" will be published by the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch in its annual scholarly anthology, Transactions. The unpaid honor recognizes John's entrepreneurial role, from 1964 to 1976, in South Korea's dynamic post-war history. He founded his own ad agency in Seoul in 1966 and introduced international advertising to Korea's tourism and consumer products sectors.

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; Membership Chair
Donna Young: karmamiranda@aol.com

Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Recording Secretary
Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.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
Steve Adelson (advertising manager of events):

Jean Young: migralaws@aol.com

Carroll Rinehart: c.rinehart48@gmail.com

Dan Baldwin: baldco@msn.com


Conference Co-Chair

Writing Contest
Donna Young: karmamiranda@aol.com
contest page

Speaker's Bureau Coordinator

Writing Group Coordinator
Barry Webb: Barrywebb3@yahoo.com

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 September