April 2
SSA Santa Cruz Valley Chapter @ 1p–2:45pm
Green Valley Library
D.L. Dennis– "Publishing & Marketing!"
(see article here)

   April 21
SSA Workshop @ 1 pm–3pm
Hotel Tucson City Center
Sharon Miller– "Not the Truth of History, But the Truth of Memory: Writing Your Memoir"
(see article this page)

   May 7
SSA Santa Cruz Valley Chapter @ 1p–2:45pm
Green Valley Library
Deborah Quintana– "U of A Libraries Self-Publishing Services"
(see article here)

   March 18
SSA Forum @ 11am–2pm
Hotel Tucson City Center
(see article this page)

To R.S.V.P. SSA Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 520-444-8253
or e-mail: macarman6@gmail.com WEDNESDAY before the Forum
Forums are $25 with reservation/$30 at the door
Workshops will be $5

   After you were born, your life may have been a quiet river passing through the landscape, allowing you the time and space to enjoy the journey. Or it may have been a whitewater adventure churning through rocks and narrow canyons, threatening to reduce your fragile boat to splinters and to submerge you in inescapable darkness. Or maybe your journey navigated both quiet rivers and raging rapids. All of us have a story, and perhaps you've thought of writing it, but why would you?

   Who wants to read your story anyway? What if your brothers or sisters or parents or aunts or uncles or friends don't remember navigating those rapids quite like you do? What if they will be painted in a negative light when you describe your experiences? Will they hate you? Will they accuse you of lying? Will they turn their backs and never speak to you again? Will Crazy Uncle Richard write you out of his will? Author and memoirist, Mary Karr, advises us to forget about "lawsuits or how those crazy suckers you share DNA with are going to spaz out once you tell about what Uncle Bubba did during naptime.”

   Yes, there are risks and consequences when you make the decision to sit down and recount your life in print. But is this really what memoir is all about? Just recounting the events of your life? No. That's autobiography. Memoir is quite different. Memoir is often about selected experiences, not a chronological, factual account of one's life. The experiences shared in a memoir should resonate in some way with the reader. Memoirists are driven by the need the make a difference with their stories. They strive for emotional truths.

   This workshop is designed to help you understand the challenges and rewards of liberating your story and to encourage you to begin. You will distinguish between memoir and autobiography, identify your goals, confront your fears, and mine topics for writing, such as turning points and light-hearted moments, as well as those darkest moments lurking in the corners of our memory.

   Bonus workshop content will address requirements for the 2018 SSA Writing Contest.

   Sharon Miller is an author and freelance editor, specializing in working with authors who wish to self-publish print and e-books. As owner of Buckskin Books, she offers editorial and writing services, including editing at multiple levels, interior book design, and preparing manuscripts for e-publication and print manuscripts for print-on-demand technology. She is the author of The Clay Remembers, The Clay Endures, and The Clay Sustains, three historical novels inspired by the history of southern Arizona. Together, the books chronicle the tale of a single pot and three strong women over the course of eight hundred years.

   Our May forum, the last one, will have a Surprise Speaker. Watch online for the announcement!

   The forums will be replaced by monthly workshops that will continue to be $5.00 per person. We will cover a variety of subjects as we have in the past. Members are encouraged to let us know topics that they would like to learn more about regarding our industry.

   If you'd like to be a presenter at one of our workshops please contact Mary Ann Carman (macarman6@gmail.com) or Sharon Lashinger (srlashinger@hotmail.com) to let them know. Be sure to give them the topic you'd like to present.

   We love having the membership involved and will consider any and all suggestions.

$25 Paypal / Credit Card Forum payment link

(NOTE: if you are having trouble accessing the link, right click on it and open in a new window)


Dan Baldwin's, and his co-authors, Dwight and Rhonda Hull, will be interviewed on Coast2CoastAm on May 7-8 (midnight —2 a.m. MST), the day their paranormal investigations book Speaking With Spirits of the Old Southwest is released by Lewellyn Worldwide. The book covers their investigations into Arizona ghost towns, the history of those places, and their adventures in getting in and out of those locations. Transcripts of paranormal conversations are presented in each chapter with online links so the reader can hear the recorded voices of some of those spirits.
The book relates how the intuitive skills of the Hulls combined with Dan's pendulum dowsing abilities often achieve surprising and surprisingly emotional results.

Shirley Gray's, Living with Harold and Hitler: a WWII Memoir, was released in November 2017 and is available on Amazon.com.
"Harold and I walked slowly up the street, as if in a trance. We gazed at the houses on Wesley Avenue, pleasantly surprised that so little had changed in over half a century. Despite the restrictions of war, the rationing and the 'black-outs', our childhood was not an unhappy one. Life was simpler then. Memories came flooding back: the air raids and the shelter in our back yard, the huge black rabbit that frightened our mother, searching for shrapnel after an air raid, and Harold and his pals collecting German memorabilia—much to my mother's consternation. Our father, a major in the British Army, was serving in India for three years. While war raged on in Europe, he had no connection to events playing out in Britain. Sadly, to Harold and me he became a distant memory. It was our mother to whom we clung. She kept us safe from Hitler's bombs and Harold's hair-raising escapades. Fortunately, she never knew about the unexploded incendiary bomb he brought home one day."

Mike Rom's "Watercolor Pencil Bison" drawing is being displayed at Absolutely Art Gallery and Gifts, 16701 N. Oracle Road, Suite 146, in Catalina. He received the pencils as a Christmas present and this is his first drawing with them.

Duke Southard announced that the editors of the 2017 edition of the Oasis Journal selected his essays "Three Weeks," a 2015 SSA Writing Contest winner, and "There's A War On," an excerpt from a longer autobiographical work about growing up with a greatest generation father, highlighting the difficulties of a poor family during the early years of World War II. This memoir received a commendation in the SSA Writing Contest. Oasis Journal 2017 is available at Amazon.com.
Duke expects to publish two books this year. The first is now in the editing process. It is an anthology of short pieces, many of which have won awards or recognitions, including the winner of the 2016 Writer's Digest competition in the personal essay/memoir category. The second, his fourth novel in the Detective Parker Haven't series, is expected to be published in late fall. A selection from this book was a semi-finalist in the fiction category of the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards this year.

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

Rajendra (Raj) Srivastava:

Vice President
Chris Stern: azwritten@gmail.com

Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Recording Secretary & Forum Registrations
Mary Ann Carman: macarman6@gmail.com
Forum Registrations:
520-444-8253 or macarman6@gmail.com

Sharon Lashinger: srlashinger@hotmail.com

Members at Large
Dan Baldwin: baldco@msn.com

Solomon Cantanio: scantanio@gmail.com

Ed Harter: edwardharter@cox.net

Natalie McGee: socrates.plato76@gmail.com

Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.com


Conference Chair
Sharon Lashinger: srlashinger@hotmail.com

Conference Co-Chairs
Mary Ann Carman: macarman@centurylink.net
Solomon Cantanio: scantanio@gmail.com

Writing Contest
Jay McCall: 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