Writing Events

TUESDAY: CINCINNATI: Jessica Strawser. August 1, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Jessica Strawser, Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest, will discuss her stunning debut novel, Almost Missed You. Violet and Finn Welsh are on vacation in Florida with their 3-year-old son, Bear, when Finn suddenly disappears, taking Bear with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all. Books will be available for sale & signing, courtesy of Joseph-Beth Cincinnati. More.

WEDNESDAY: Correspondence Art Workshop. August 2, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Dayton Society of Artists (DSA), 48 High St, Dayton, OH 45403. A free workshop with Colleen Kelsey. Learn about the history of Correspondence Art or otherwise known as Mail Art. After learning new collage techniques you will make your own correspondence artwork. A material fee of $5 covers collage materials, paper, glue, and markers. You are welcome to bring your own art materials including paint, brushes, scissors, x-acto knives, and self-healing cutting boards. More.

WEDNESDAY: First Wednesday Writing Workout with Katrina Kittle, $10. August 2, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. Word’s Worth continues its newest tradition — an informal-tune-up-charge-your-engine writing workout. On the first Wednesday of each month you’ll gather to receive intriguing writing prompts and time to explore them. You’ll get a mini-craft lesson, loads of tips, and the opportunity to share your impromptu pieces. Turn off the inner critic, connect with fellow writers, and collect some inspiration for the month! More.

THURSDAY: Dr. David Novick talks eating. August 3, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Yellow Springs Community Library, 415 Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Dr. Novick, a Dayton Gastroenterologist, discusses his new book “A Gastroenterologist’s Guide to Gut Health: Everything You Need to Know About Colonoscopy, Digestive Diseases, and Healthy Eating.” More.

SATURDAY: Dayton Metro Main Library Grand Opening. August 5, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Downtown Branch. Free entertainment, activities for the family, tours and demonstrations in the extensively remodeled, expanded Library. Regular operating hours resume on Sunday, August 6, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and Sunday hours will continue at the Main Library throughout the year. More.

SATURDAY: End of Summer Reading Party. August 5, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Wilmington Public Library of Clinton County, 268 N South St, Wilmington, OH 45177. Ironwood Wolves will be bringing a live wolf to the library. Join us to learn about wolves and celebrate the end of Summer Reading. More.

SATURDAY: Arts and Drafts. August 5, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm. We Care Arts Inc, 3035 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45429. We Care Arts is hosting Arts and Drafts, a community festival that features local bands, food trucks, craft beers, and on site tattooing and piercing, provided by nationally renowned tattoo artists. This family event includes activities for the kids, who can enjoy face painting, an arts-and-crafts area, and craft root beer floats. More.

Writing Events

Photo of the week

Ernest Hemingway starting fishing young. Here he is at the tender age of 4 fishing at Horton’s Creek, near Walloon Lake, in Michigan (via JFKLibrary). Hemingway would go on to set a world record for catching the most marlins in a day (seven at the time). He was such an avid fisherman, he’d later carry around a machine gun so he could blast sharks that tried to eat his catch.

This week’s top literary events

MONDAY: Memoir: Write Your Story with Katrina Kittle, 5-week class, Mondays from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Every person has a story. Whether you want to honor someone who’s made a difference in your life, document unique experiences or travels, or record your family history, this five-week class will help beginning or experienced writers put their stories on paper. We’ll examine storytelling techniques and pitfalls, and plenty of prompts and exercises will help you dig deeper into your life and mine important memories that add depth to your story. Mondays: March 13-April 10, 12:00-2:00 pm. LOCATION: Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. Price: $165. More.

MONDAY: 2nd Monday Authors: Kristin Bailey and David Kettlehake. March 13, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Centerville Library, 111 W Spring Valley Pike, Centerville, OH 45458. Meet this month’s featured authors in the lobby: Kristin Bailey, from Greene County, grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, a balloon artist, and a substitute teacher. Now, in addition to an author, she is a military wife and the mother of two children and several very spoiled pets. Her featured book is The Silver Gate. David Kettlehake, from Warren County, is the author of two books and he’s a die-hard supporter of the British soccer team, the Fulham Football Club. His featured book is Fever, c2016. More.

SATURDAY: Cynthia Gregory: Book Binding Master Workshop. March 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Dr, Kettering, OH 45420. Exhibiting solo artist Cynthia Gregory is a Kentucky-based maker whose studio work examines themes of time, history, accumulation, and containment. Join us as Gregory leads a workshop in basic book binding structures and techniques. Fee: $15 for Kettering Residents ($20 non-resident). More.

SUNDAY: Dialogue Mini-Workshop with Martha Moody. March 19, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Books & Co, 4453 Walnut Street, Dayton, OH 45440. Say WHAT? Dialogue is one of the most important craft tools for fiction and nonfiction writers. Learn how to use it effectively to create compelling fiction and engage readers! Led by novelist Martha MoodyMore.

SUNDAY: Book Discussion with Alex Heckman of Dayton History. March 19, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. Discuss The Wright Brothers with Alex Heckman of Dayton History, who was a consultant for the book, The Wright Brothers. More.

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Writing Events

Upcoming literary events

TUESDAY: Daydreaming on Paper Workshop Kickoff (Ages 55+). March 7, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – West Carrollton Branch, 300 E Central Ave, West Carrollton, OH 45449. Participants in this free 6-week collage-journaling class for adults 55+, led by teaching artist Teresa Olavarria, will explore relevant themes with a combination of found, altered, and created images. All necessary supplies are provided at no cost to registrants. Tuesdays, March 7-April 11, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Registration required at (937) 463-BOOK or on the Events Calendar at DaytonMetroLibrary.org.

TUESDAY: Writing Workout with Katrina Kittle, $10. March 7, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. Word’s Worth’s Katrina Kittle begins a new tradition—an informal-tune-up-charge-your-engine writing workout. On the first Tuesday of each month you’ll gather to receive intriguing writing prompts and time to explore them. You’ll get a mini-craft lesson, loads of tips, and the opportunity to share your impromptu pieces. Turn off the inner critic, connect with fellow writers, and collect some inspiration for the month! More.

WEDNESDAY: Marsha Danzig Author Talk. March 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. Join author, speaker, healer and yoga therapist, Marsha Danzig to hear her amazing life-affirming story. From the Roots: The True Story of How I Beat Death and Learned to Live explores one woman’s decision to find grace, hilarity, and ultimately joy, in the worst of circumstances. As a result of surviving childhood bone cancer twice, Marsha endures long-term side effects that include the amputation of her lower left leg, the loss of her bladder and kidneys, congestive heart failure, a kidney transplant, and scars galore. A rebel to the core, her defiance in the face of disease, doctors, establishment, insincere people, and anyone who would steal her joy or life force offers moments of profound depth and humor. More.

THURSDAY: Drawn Together by Art (Ages 55+)March 9, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Burkhardt Branch, 4680 Burkhardt Ave, Dayton, OH 45431. This free 8-week drawing workshop for adults 55+, also taught by local teaching artist Teresa Olavarria, will sharpen your powers of observation and improve your drawing skills. Make new friends and experiment with a variety of techniques in this fun, ungraded class. All necessary supplies are provided at no cost. Thursdays, March 9-April 27. 10:00 a.m.-Noon. Registration required at (937) 463-BOOK or on the Events Calendar at DaytonMetroLibrary.org.

THURSDAY: Antarctic Plunge: Tour of Penguinland. March 9, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – New Lebanon Branch, 715 W Main St, New Lebanon, OH 45345. Allen Johnson will describe his two week trip across the Antarctic Circle to the icy mainland. He encountered thousands of penguins, hundreds of seals and dozens of whales. More.

THURSDAY: New York Times #1 Bestselling Author, Chris Tebbetts, Returns to Yellow Springs. March 9, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Little Art Theatre, 247 Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers. Titles include the #1 New York Times bestselling MIDDLE SCHOOL series, as well as PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO, with James Patterson and illustrator Laura Park; the New York Times bestselling STRANDED series with Jeff Probst; the young adult novel M OR F? with Lisa Papademetriou; and THE VIKING series. Champagne Reception at 6:30pm, Presentation with Q & A 7:30pm Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life screening to follow presentation. More.

Around Town: Dawn Paul at Storybrooke Cafe

Local author Dawn Paul submitted this pic of her reading last weekend at the rather magical looking Storybrooke Cafe in Englewood. Dawn gave a reading from her upcoming book Gnomeling, which comes out on Amazon on March 31. Check her out on Facebook or DMPaul.com.

Come see me at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop Spring Seminar

The amazing people at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop invited me to be on a panel at their one-day spring seminar on March 25. I’m honored, nervous, excited to join Becky Morean, Grace Curtis and Ryan Ireland as we talk about “Finding Your Writing Tribe.”

This is AWW’s second-biggest event of the year (second only to their week-long summer workshop), and it’s phenomenal. Cathy Day (author of Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love and The Circus in Winter) will keynote the event. Last spring, AWW brought in Margaret Wrinkle. I blogged about Margaret’s talk here, and I swear, there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t think about it.

“Your rational mind is a boat drifting on the ocean of your subconscious,” she said. “Do you want to tell the story from the tiny boat or from the ocean?” It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your writing journey, if you love the written word, there’s nothing like spending an entire day surrounded by others who feel the same. Learn more about the spring seminar here.

Angel kisses

I just found out freckle tattoos are a thing, and I’m oscillating between disbelief and wanting to get some. Apparently, they start out dark and fade to look more natural over time. Eventually, they disappear entirely. I dare you to get some. You will be my hero.

Writer's Life, Writing News

Question: How can we boost our creativity?

Answer: Ah, creativity … that fickle Muse! Without getting too much into the inspiration-versus-discipline debate, I often return to (and highly recommend) Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2009 TED Talk “Your Elusive, Creative Genius.” She reminds me that, sometimes, we just need to “show up” – at our desk, at our laptop, wherever we write – so the Muse knows where to find us.

For me, gatherings like the Antioch Writers’ Workshop (disclosure: I serve as Assistant Director, but that’s not why I think it’s great!) and those offered at several local colleges are wonderful places to recharge. Mingling with “my tribe” – folks who don’t think I’m crazy when I talk about listening to the voices in my head – can do wonders for a flagging spirit and an empty creativity well. Of course those are sporadic and not always accessible, so on a more regular basis, meeting with a handful of like-minded writers in a regular writers group, even if it’s online, is a great way to keep ideas flowing.

But we writers tend to be solitary people. The introvert in me doesn’t like to get out much, so I turn to books. I can’t read fiction while I’m writing fiction (at least in the same genre), because I tend to mimic the voice of the author. Fortunately, I also love nonfiction. Whether it’s a classic like William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, or one of my favorites, Stephen King’s On Writing, I’ve found a good craft book can do as much through the guidance it offers as in the language it uses to stir creativity and give the Muse a place to light.

If I’m feeling philosophical, I love Gail Sher’s One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers or Dinty W. Moore’s The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life.

More recently, as I’ve hit a particularly rough patch in my writing life, I’ve found a measure of comfort in an odd little book written by Marcel Bénabou of France’s Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, “workshop of potential literature”), Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books. It’s a parody of sorts, but because of that quirk in me that loves Dalí and all things surreal, it resonates and inspires.

Another, more logical, book I’m finding fascinating these days is Peter Turchi’s A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic. I’m a puzzle fanatic, too, in addition to writing, and Turchi explains why.

But in the end, all of us must return to Gilbert’s advice: just show up. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard/pen/crayon, and if we’ve sufficiently primed the well with good words from whatever source – books, videos, puzzles, or stimulating conversation – the brain will find a way to transfer them to the page.

C.L. (Cyndi) Pauwels holds an MA in creative writing from Antioch University McGregor in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Her debut novel Forty & Out, released through Deadly Writes Publishing in September 2014, is a police procedural set in Toledo, Ohio. Her short fiction has appeared in Mock Turtle ‘zine, Over My Dead Body!, The View from Here (UK), and other journals. In 2009, she published the award-winning non-fiction Historic Warren County: An Illustrated History. Sugati Publications has selected two of her essays for their Reflections from Women anthology series, and Sinclair Community College’s literary journal Flights has published several of her pieces over the past few years. In addition to writing, Cyndi’s portfolio career includes book editing (The Enduring Legacy of Kahlil Gibran and The Essential Rihani), teaching as an adjunct at Clark State Community College and at Yavapai (AZ) College, and serving as assistant director for the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Yellow Springs with her husband of thirty-eight years, three spoiled dogs, and six chickens. Find her online here.

Upcoming literary events

TUESDAY: Dan Rather, January 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. WSU Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy #430, Dayton, OH 45324. For more than 50 years, former CBS News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Dan Rather has been the embodiment of the intrepid broadcast journalist. From the Kennedy assassination—where he was the first to break the news that the president had been killed—to the Indian Ocean tsunami, he has covered every major story of our time with distinction and a fierce dedication to hard news. More.

THURSDAY: Kickoff for Breaking bad writing with Breaking Bad and Katrina Kittle (5-week workshop). February 2, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. One of the most critically acclaimed series ever produced, Breaking Bad unfolds like a great novel. Much about the craft of fiction can be learned from studying this five-season, ground-breaking, multi-award winning show. Each night of this five-week course, we will view and focus on an iconic scene from the show, and will use those scenes to dissect and discuss the brilliant use of dialogue, character arc, symbolism, foreshadowing, character voice, and amazing lessons in plot—how to start and finish a scene, how to end a “chapter,” and more. You are not required to have watched the series, but you will benefit more fully if you have. LOCATION: Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. DATES: Thursdays — 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 6:30-8:30 pm. Price: $165. More.

LOOKING AHEAD: LitSalon: Tim WaggonerFebruary 12, 2017 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Home of Kate Geiselman, AWW Acting President. Tim Waggoner, author of more than 30 published novels in the fantasy, horror and sci fi genres will chat with Dayton Daily News editor Ron Rollins. Tim’s publications include his own original work as well as television series tie-ins and feature film novelizations, so he will offer insight not only into his own writing life, but into these unique areas of fiction writing. Learn more about Tim and his achievements at www.timwaggoner.com. $20.00 per individual or $35.00 per couple. More.

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Writing Events

MONDAY 1/9: Steve Bein and Angie Grigaliunas. January 9, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Centerville Library, 111 W Spring Valley Pike, Centerville, OH 45458. Montgomery County’s Steve Bein is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author whose work has been published in Asimov’s, Interzone, and Writers of the Future. His featured book is “Daughter of the Sword,” c2012, the first book in the Fated Blades series. Greene County’s Angie Grigaliunas is a fantasy writer and blogger who is a country girl at heart. Her dystopian fantasy debut novel being featured is “Sowing,” c2016, book one of The Purification Era series. Both authors will appear in the library lobby. For more information on Washington-Centerville Public Library events and services, call 433-8091 or visit wclibrary.info.

MONDAY 1/9: LEAP & THE NET WILL APPEAR: Steps for Creating Positive Change (3-week workshop). January 9, 2017 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. The New Year is a powerful time to clarify the dreams you have for your life. Katrina Kittle’s next LEAP & THE NET WILL APPEAR CLASS begins Monday, January 9. This is NOT a writing class, but a “life class” for absolutely anyone. Is 2017 the year you finally ________________? This class will harness all the energy of the New Year to help you take stock, take action, and start momentum rolling. Mondays, January 9, 16, and 23, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Learn more.

TUESDAY 1/10: Hiking to Mt. Everest Base Camp 17,000 ft. January 10, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – New Lebanon Branch, 715 W Main St, New Lebanon, OH 45345. Allen Johnson takes on the tallest mountain in the world – Mt. Everest 29,029 ft. Allen will present exciting pictures of the journey, including the trip across China and the Tibetan plateau to reach the Everest area. More.

TUESDAY 1/10: So you wanna write? ($45) January 10, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. Is 2017 the year you’re finally going to start that writing project (…or finish it?) If you ever suspected that there might be a writer lurking somewhere inside you, or perhaps harbored a secret notebook of half-started stories, this class with author Katrina Kittle is for you. In this two-hour workshop you’ll release the writer within through creative prompts to get the words flowing, and will learn strategies to keep the muse turned on. This class is for anyone who longs to write but doesn’t know where to start, and for writers who have dabbled but lost their way. WARNING: this workshop just might seduce you into a life-long love affair with writing! More.

TUESDAY 1/10: Book Discussion – 13th Gift by JoAnne Huist Smith. January 10, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Cherry House Café, 1241 Meadowbridge Dr., Beavercreek, OH. Join a discussion of the 13th Gift by JoAnne Huist Smith. The author traces how the unexpected death of her husband posed painful challenges to herself and her three children. In random acts of kindness, they received anonymous holiday gifts on their doorstep that helped them find strength and healing. Local author Joanne Huist Smith will be attending this event. More.

FRIDAY 1/13: J. E. Irvin Book Launch. January 13, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Montage Cafe, 527 S Broadway St, Greenville, OH 45331. J. E. Irvin will speak on the path to publication of her award-winning novel The Dark End of the Rainbow and launch her new mystery/thriller The Rules of the Game for north Dayton area readers at Montage Cafe January 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase, and the author will sign copies after the readings. (A launch for the south Dayton area is still in the planning stages.). More.

SATURDAY 1/14: Kickoff for fiction jumpstart weekly workshop with Katrina Kittle ($165). January 14, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45419. Whether you’re an experienced novelist who needs your ideas energized or a beginner who isn’t sure where to start or somewhere in between and you rely on prompts and deadlines to keep you writing…this is the class for you. Each week will focus on some aspect of the writing life (such as creating and defending a writing schedule, dealing with the inner critic, and defeating writer’s block) , as well as providing prompts and exercises to stoke your creativity, fan your senses, and get the sparks flying — with light homework and plenty of sharing. DATES: Saturdays: January 14, January 21, January 28, February 4, February 11. More.

SUNDAY 1/15: Point of View Mini-Workshop with Rebecca MoreanJanuary 15, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Books & Co, 4453 Walnut Street, Dayton, OH 45440. A free Antioch Writers’ Mini-Workshop. Add to your writing craft tool-box! Learn tips and best practices for using Point of View to enhance your stories, novels, essays, memoirs and other works… and connect with your readers! Led by novelist, essayist and short story writer Rebecca Morean. Learn more about Rebecca.

SUNDAY 1/15: Jennifer Sommer: Writing in Dialect: A Study for Writers.January 15, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. Fiction writers like to give their characters as much authenticity as possible by indicating where they are from and how they speak. But giving characters proper dialect can be a challenge. In this writers’ study and workshop, author Jennifer Sommer will focus on how dialect is communicated on the page, the history and evolution of dialect in literature, controversies, and best current practices for writers. Registration is requested. Jennifer Sommer is a writer who earned her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University where she presented her Master’s thesis Writing in Dialect in Fiction: a History and Study. Sommer is the former Coordinator of Youth Services at Wright Library and has served on national selection committees for several American Library Association awards, including the Odyssey Award, which recognizes the best audiobook for children and/or young adults, and the Robert F. Sibert Award for non-fiction books for children. More.

WEDNESDAY 1/18: Wright State Visiting Writers’ Series: Amy GustineJanuary 18, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Pathfinder Lounge, Student Union, Wright State University. Gustine is the author of the short story collection You Should Pity Us Instead, a book The New York Times Book Review describes as “an affecting and wide-ranging debut.” Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, PRISM International, and elsewhere. Click for more information, or contact Erin Flanagan at erin.flanagan@wright.edu.

WEDNESDAY 1/18: Kristin Bailey introduces The Silver Gate, January 18, 2017@ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Books&Co, 4453 Walnut St, Beavercreek, OH 45440. KRISTIN BAILEY, author of Legacy of the Clockwork Key, will introduce her new children’s novel, The Silver Gate, which is set in the medieval era of lords and serfs. We meet 13-year old Elric, who is a shepherd, and his 11-year old sister, Wynn. Wynn had been born with developmental delays, and so the village folk determined she must be a changling left by the evil fairies to cause havoc in their village. According to them, she must be abandoned in the woods. More.

THURSDAY 1/19: Antarctic Plunge: Tour of Penguinland. January 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Dayton Metro Library – West Carrollton Branch, 300 E Central Ave, West Carrollton, OH 45449. Allen Johnson will describe his two week trip across the Antarctic Circle to the icy mainland. He encountered thousands of penguins, hundreds of seals and dozens of whales. More.

THURSDAY (OUT OF TOWN) 1/19: Veronica Roth (author of the Divergent Series)January 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Rd M, Cincinnati, OH 45208. Join us for an evening with Veronica Roth, creator of the Divergent series! She’ll be in conversation with “First Draft” podcast’s Sarah Enni, discussing her newest book, “Carve the Mark”. Everyone who purchases a ticket for the event will receive an autographed copy of “Carve the Mark”, and 100 lucky audience members will be randomly chosen at the event to meet Veronica and Sarah and get their pictures taken with the author. For tickets and more information, please call the store at 513-396-8960. More.

FRIDAY 1/20: Chris Bohjalian introduces The SleepwalkerJanuary 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Books&Co, 4453 Walnut St, Beavercreek, OH 45440. Bestselling author CHRIS BOHJALIAN will introduce his new novel, The Sleepwalker, which tells us of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. BOHJALIAN has written 19 books, including Midwives, which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah’ Book Club. More.

SATURDAY 1/21: 2017: The Year of Complete Victory for Your [Love] LifeJanuary 21, 2017 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Dayton Metro Library – Northwest Branch, 2410 Philadelphia Dr, Dayton, OH 45406. If you want something different, you have to do something different. Create the love you desire in 2017 beginning with this interactive and transformational book club discussion. Start your year with specific, intentional actions to create the love transformation you desire. Your registration includes an autographed book, refreshments, door prizes and lively discussion about those creatures we love so much…MEN! This women-only discussion is the prelude to It’s Raining Men: the all-male panel with answers to your burning questions of love and relationships. More.

Writer's Life, Writing Events

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop has a cool fundraiser planned for #GivingTuesday (Nov. 29). They’ve secured a $20,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor. That means any money they raise that day (or through the end of the year) will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000.

Out of curiosity, I asked workshop co-founder Teri Rizvi about Erma’s “most interesting bit of advice for writers.”

“In 1991, I interviewed Erma Bombeck for the University of Dayton’s alumni tabloid,” Rizvi said. “I asked her about her writing process, and she talked about discipline. ‘I can’t imagine any writer saying to you, “I just write when I feel like it.” That’s a luxury, and that’s stupid. The same for writer’s block. If you’re a professional writer, you write. You don’t sit there and wait for sweet inspiration to tap you on the shoulder and say now’s the time. We meet deadlines. I write for newspapers, and newspapers don’t wait for anybody. You write whether you feel like it, you write whether you’ve got an idea, you write whether it’s Pulitzer Prize material. You just do it, that’s it. Discipline is what we’re all about. If you don’t have discipline, you’re not a writer.’

“She also wrote on an electric IBM Selectric typewriter, which we now have in the archives at UD. She insisted that word processors might be quicker, but ‘not funnier.'”

Rizvi’s encouraged writers who donate to the workshop on the 29th to post #unselfie pics on social media to encourage others to give.

Upcoming literary events


With Thanksgiving coming up, there aren’t any notable literary events this week. There are some really cool events in the coming weeks, though. Here are some you’ve got to add to your calendar!

David Sedaris tickets go on sale, December 1, 2016. Sedaris will be at the Victoria Theatre on April 25, 2017. I’ve seen him in the past, so I’m not going, but I have a presale code. If you want it, just shoot me an email and we might be able to score you tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Tickets will be available to the public on 12/1 at www.ticketcenterstage.com.

LitSalon with Joanne Smith, December 4, 2016. Joanne Smith (author of The 13th Gift) will talk writing in an event em-ceed by Dayton Daily News Editor Ron Rollins. LitSalons are put on by Antioch Writers’ Workshop, and they’re always hosted at interesting settings (this one will be at author Katrina Kittle’s house). They’re among my favorite literary events in Dayton. Last I saw, they only had five slots left, so sign up! More

B.A. Shapiro, December 6, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. New York Times bestselling author B.A. Shapiro will talk about her latest book The Muralist. RSVPs requested. More.

Michael Chabon, $25 (includes his latest book), December 10, 2016 @ 7:00 p.m. Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Rd M, Cincinnati, OH 45208. Pulitzer-winner Chabon will talk about his latest book, Moonglow.

Writer's Life, Writing Events, Writing News

A finished book is deceptive. It’s neat and tidy and all bundled up with a beautiful cover. What us struggling artists don’t see are the hours of doubt that went into its creation.

The hours of doubt are hidden in every work of art. As creators, we either learn to work through those doubts, or we crumple up the sheet of paper and toss it in bin — giving up entirely.

When Stephen King was writing Carrie, he did exactly that. He typed up three pages. Then, he realized he didn’t like the story; he didn’t like the main character; and he worried he didn’t know how to write from a woman’s point of view.

So, he threw his pages away. When he got home from work that night, he found his wife Tabby had rooted through the trash, read the pages and fallen in love with them. “You’ve got something here,” she said. “I really think you do.”

King would go on to finish the novella. It got rejected by 30 publishers before landing at Doubleday. King’s $2,500 advance was enough for him to put a down payment on a Ford Pinto and move his family from a trailer into an apartment.

The hours of doubt nearly destroyed a book that went on to sell more than a million copies and launched the career of one of America’s most famous writers.

Our task is learning how to suffer through those hours. There is no question they will come. The only question is whether we can rise to meet them.

This week’s top literary events

MONDAY: Ohio Spirits. October 17, 2016 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Dayton Metro Library – Northwest Branch, 2410 Philadelphia Dr, Dayton, OH 45406. Author Jim Kleefeld will bring antiques and artifacts and share tales about The Golden Lamb, The Mansfield Reformatory, the Franklin Castle and other local places where people have reported strange and ghostly occurrences. More.

MONDAY: James Balog. October 17, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, University Of Dayton Kennedy Union Ballroom, College Park Avenue, Dayton, OH. A decorated photographer, avid mountaineer, and climate change researcher, Balog is the founder of the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. All UD Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. No tickets required, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available in B and C lots only. Parking in any other campus lot requires a permit. More.

WEDNESDAY: Breaking bad writing with ‘Breaking Bad’ class kickoff with Katrina Kittle, $165. October 19, 2016 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45419. One of the most critically acclaimed series ever produced, Breaking Bad unfolds like a great novel. Much about the craft of fiction can be learned from studying this five-season, ground-breaking, multi-award winning show. Each night of this five-week course, we will view and focus on an iconic scene from the show, and will use those scenes to dissect and discuss the brilliant use of dialogue, character arc, symbolism, foreshadowing, character voice, and amazing lessons in plot—how to start and finish a scene, how to end a “chapter,” and more. Wednesdays through 11/16/16. More.

WEDNESDAY: Open Mic Story Slam, $5. October 19, 2016 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St, Dayton, OH 45402. We follow The Moth story slam rules. 5-6 minutes, true stories, told in the first person and related to our monthly theme. October’s theme is Campfire Stories. Tell us your story about camping, outdoors, fall or sitting around the campfire. No story to share, bring a friend, grab a drink and enjoy great true stories told live by other folks. Cash bar. More.

THURSDAY: Readings for National Day on Writing. October 20, 2016 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Sinclair Community College Library, 444 W 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402. Hear readings from Flights, Sinclair’s literary journal (from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.), and hear selected readings from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction and non-fiction finalists (from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.). More.

THURSDAY: Celebrate National Day on Writing. Tweet why you write with the hashtag #WhyIWrite\Dayton on Twitter.

THURSDAY TEEN EVENT: NaNoWriMo Prep. October 20, 2016 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Brookville Branch, 120 Blue Pride Dr, Brookville, OH 45309. Determined to give National Novel Writing Month a try? This Katrina Kittle workshop will give you a clear roadmap for your novel!

SATURDAY: Dayton Ghosts. October 22, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Northwest Branch, 2410 Philadelphia Dr, Dayton, OH 45406. Join us as author Karen Laven recounts her experiences while researching local haunted places for her book Dayton Ghosts. Karen is also the author of Cincinnati Ghosts and Other Tri-State Haunts and has also authored or co-authored nine books. She has also been an actress on stage, TV, cable, and in feature films. More.

Not a subscriber? Sign up for my weekly email. Why do I send these? Because I want to help grow Dayton’s literary scene. I want to support our local writers and encourage our young artists. I can only do it with your help! Got an event you’d like to promote? Please submit it here.

Writing Events, Writing News

12 photos and 3 takeaways from Dayton’s first Write On! Christian Writers Conference
The welcome sign at the first annual Write On! Christian Writing Conference. The conference was held at Apex Community Church.
The welcome sign at the first annual Write On! Christian Writers Conference. The conference was held at Apex Community Church.
Kim Villalva welcomes everyone to the first annual Write-On Conference.
Kim Villalva welcomes everyone to the event.
The world's first-ever DaytonLit.com booth!
The world’s first-ever DaytonLit.com booth!
Event volunteers busy getting lunch ready.
Event volunteers busy getting lunch ready.
Authors and writers networking at the event.
Authors and writers networking at the event.
Getting to know one another.
Getting to know one another.
Keynote speaker Lorie Langdon talks about her long journey into publishing.
Keynote speaker Lorie Langdon talks about her long journey into publishing.
Katrina Kittle offers up wisdom on writing description.
Katrina Kittle offers up wisdom on writing description.
Kim Villalva thanks all the volunteers who helped make the conference possible.
Kim Villalva thanks all the volunteers who helped make the conference possible.
Lunchtime.
Lunch time.
Bookmarks I made as giveaways at the conference.
Bookmarks I made as giveaways at the conference.
Goodie bags and raffles at the conference.
Goodie bags and raffles at the conference.

My top 3 takeaways

1) Stick with your vision. When Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp finally landed an agent for their book, Doon, they were ecstatic. Based on feedback from the agent, they started working on a rewrite. When they re-submitted the book, the agent suggested they change the relationship between the two main characters from friends to “frenemies.”

The authors put their feet down, parted ways with the agent, and stated the querying process all over again. It took 85 more query letters before they found another agent and eventually sold Doon in a 4-book deal. Persistence matters.

2) It’s never too early to start marketing. That means getting a website BEFORE you’ve finished your book, says Molly Jebber. Jebber’s carved out a strong niche in Amish historical romances. Publishers today, she says, rely on authors to have and execute marketing plans. That means blog tours, social media, book signings, workshops and more. And it’s never too early to start.

3) Use a sense on every page. Katrina Kittle led an excellent session on description. In it, she said she goes through every page of her books to make sure there’s at least one visual element and some other sensory description on every page. That gives readers the sense of being physically dropped into the world of your story. That’s what you want, Kittle says, citing a quote from E.L. Doctorow: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader — not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”

This year’s other speakers included Kathleen Rouser on productivity, Teresa Slack on dialogue, Linore Rose Burkard on self-publishing, Tamera Kraft on researching for historical novels, Gerald E. Greene on social media, Tina Toles on poetry, and Carole Brown on characterization.

It’s great to have such a wonderful event in our back yards, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Dayton Christian Scribes cook up next year.

Writing Events, Writing News

We all have at least one secret thing we want to do. It’s that tiny little flame we’re tending when we daydream. It’s the lives we wish we had; the things we’ll do after we’ve gotten rich, bleached our teeth and purged our lives of stress.

“Every man dies; not every man really lives,” William Wallace writes. We’re not really living if we keep our secret things submerged. I want to dig them up, show them to my wife, my friends, my children. I want to write my secret book; not the book I think will sell. I want to live my secret life, not the one our culture says I must.

Look at your secret thing (that book you want to write, that audition you want to take). Look at the stone wall that stands around it, and figure out how to tear it down. You’re the only who can because you’re the one who built it.

‘Writing talent is as common as dirt’

Dayton horror writer Tim Waggoner just posted an excellent piece on what it takes to make it as a writer. Dubbed Writing dreams and harsh realities, he offers up some tough love to aspiring writers.

“I’ve encountered hundreds, maybe thousands, of students over the years who had enough basic talent to have a good shot at establishing a writing career,” he writes. “Almost none of them have, though. Talent is only potential, and it’s worthless unless it’s developed, focused, and applied.”

Check out the rest here.

This week’s top literary events

Visit the homepage for more information and links to all of these events:

WEDNESDAY: Ridley Pearson, September 21, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Books & Company, 4453 Glengarry Dr, Beavercreek, OH 45440. RIDLEY PEARSON will introduce Lock and Key: The Initiation, the first book in his middle grade trilogy on Sherlock Holmes.

WEDNESDAY: UD Speaker Series: Lawrence Lessig, September 21, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, University Of Dayton Kennedy Union, College Park Avenue, Dayton, OH. A Harvard Law professor and New York Times bestselling author, Lessig first became known for developing the very foundations of internet law and running for president.

THURSDAY: Bust Out of Your Writing Rut!, September 22, 2016 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Dayton Metro Library – New Lebanon Branch, 715 W Main St, New Lebanon, OH 45345. Author Nancy Christie will help participants identify objectives, overcome self-imposed barriers and get out of their writing rut.

THURSDAY: Kevin Sands and James Ponti, September 22, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Books & Company, 4453 Glengarry Dr, Beavercreek, OH 45440. KEVIN SANDS will introduce Mark of the Plague, a sequel to the beloved The Blackthorn Key and JAMES PONTI will introduce Framed, the first in a new middle grade series.

THURSDAY: PechaKucha Dayton, September 22, 2016 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Gosiger Inc, 108 McDonough St, Dayton, OH 45402. PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where speakers show 20 images, for 20 seconds each.

***SATURDAY***: Write On! Christian Writing Conference, September 24, 2016 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Apex Community Church – 5200 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45429. Presenters include Katrina Kittle, Linore Burkard, Lorie Langdon, Gerald E. Greene, Teresa Slack and more! Look for my DaytonLit booth if you end up going!

SATURDAY: History, Mystery, Mayhem & Murder Walk at Woodland Cemetery, September 24, 2016 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, 118 Woodland Ave, Dayton, OH 45409. A spooky walk that includes tales of Dayton’s own bank robbers, counterfeiters and murderers.

SUNDAY: Kyle Kondik, September 25, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Books & Company, 4453 Glengarry Dr, Beavercreek, OH 45440. KYLE KONDIK discusses his book, The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President.

Writing Events, Writing News

Kim Daniksa and the Dayton Christian Scribes have come together to host the first-ever Write On! Christian Writing Conference in Dayton. Keynoter Lorie Langdon (author of the DOON series) will be joined by nine other writers on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM. The group hopes the event will become an annual thing.

Conference organizer Kim Daniska was kind enough to answer some questions about the upcoming conference for DaytonLit:

1) Why did you decide to host a writing conference?

A: This was something we have been wanting to do for a few years now. We had actually co-hosted a conference with another local writing group several years back. We really wanted to bring back that opportunity for Dayton-area writers to connect in a fun learning environment. We wanted to provide that chance for writers of all levels to set aside one day — just one day — to focus on their craft.

For the past few years our group has held a “Writers Mixer” where we invite other writing groups to one of our meetings. This 2-hour event held yearly has been a huge success and a lot of fun! We’ve seen such sharing and energy come out of it that we knew we had to pursue planning a longer event like a conference that could reach more people and cover more topics.

2) Do you plan to make it an annual thing?

A: We hope to make it an annual event. We realize this first year is a lot about getting the word out and building an audience but we are very hopeful that this will meet a need for Dayton-area writers — providing a local writing conference that is affordable, educational and a great networking experience for both speakers and attendees! No need to travel great distances and you’re home in time for supper!

3) Will the event have a Christian focus?

A: Not so much in that it will be talking about the “Christian Writing Market” or things specific to Christian Writing that might not apply to other writing. But attendees might expect to hear references to God, a prayer that our conference goes well and things like that. The focus is obviously on writing — skills, techniques, tips and tools — to help a writer improve their talents. Our audience and speakers may come from a variety of faiths and are all welcome.

4) Do you think writing has a spiritual component?

A: What a great question! I think it depends on who you ask and what their beliefs are. I know for me personally, I think there is definitely a spiritual component. When I write devotionals, for example, I often find that I can be completely stuck on what message I’m trying to convey…or the words to use to express a certain point. But then there is this moment where the floodgates open and everything just seems to click without me even realizing it. What makes this different from a normal type of inspiration and “being on a roll” when writing is the topic. Having that wondrous clarity come to me when writing a devotional leads me to hope that I am writing what God wants me to say about that idea or text. It is always my hope that my writing will reach someone in some way. If I’ve reached even one person that God wants me to reach, then I am happy!

5) What do you write?

A: I write mainly inspirational pieces. I just love to write short stories for Christmas and I’ve won and/or placed in newspaper contests across the country for 14 years straight. I even had a story appear in a Canadian paper one Christmas morning! There was just something pretty neat about knowing that somewhere in Canada, someone sat down at their breakfast table, opened the paper and read a story about my grandma. I write devotionals, children’s and fiction as well. On the business side, I’ve written several training manuals and workshops in the area of leadership, communication and conflict management.

6) What do you think is the hardest part about writing?

A: Tough question! Everything? Just kidding! Again I think this varies from writer to writer but I would guess that persistence is a big challenge for most. That might mean carving out a time to write and sticking with it no matter how crazy your schedule gets. This is definitely a challenge that I face as a stay-at-home mom and active volunteer in many organizations! Or to someone else it might mean not giving up when another rejection letter comes in the mail. Or not doubting your idea or talent. Persistence. Not giving up. Sticking with it. If you have the passion and drive to write, then its in there and not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you do to try to ignore it or to tell yourself you aren’t good enough, that passion will remain and keep popping up when you least expect it. So, I think you owe it to yourself and your talent to not give up no matter what. You never know who could benefit from your writing some day.

7) What do you hope people take away from the event?

A: I hope they come away charged up (or re-charged!) and ready to write! I’d love for them to walk away inspired and with increased confidence in their abilities, especially if they want to try something new that they learned. I’d also love attendees to come away with pages and pages of notes and business cards! This is such a great way to connect with other local writers and the synergy that happens when you bring writers together is just amazing. Hopefully everyone will make some new contacts that they might follow up with for sharing of stories, tips or even just support. And of course, we are thrilled to bring readers and authors together as well so hope that attendees will take advantage of this great opportunity to check out our speakers’ books.

Write On! will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Apex Community Church, 5200 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45429. Here’s the full list of speakers: Lorie Langdon, Carole Brown, Linore Rose Burkard, Gerald E. Greene, Molly Jebber, Katrina Kittle, Tamera Kraft, Kathleen Rouser, Teresa Slack and Tina Toles. Click here for tickets and information. I’ll also have a DaytonLit booth set up at the conference, so please stop by and say hello!