November 2012 Writers’ Group Speaker – Joe Hurka and #ROW80

November 17th I attended the Monadnock Writers’ Group meeting at the Peterborough, NH library. We meet every third Saturday and we are visited by a guest speaker, except the December and June meetings. These two meetings are set aside for the Members Read Around. This is where the members read a ten minute excerpt from their own works, so they can hear and share their voice with the group.

This month our guest speaker was Joe Hurka. He is an interesting writer. His first published work was a memoir which he wrote while his father was still alive. Fields of Light: A Son Remembers His Heroic Father, won the Pushcart Editors’ Book Award.

Fields of Light takes place during the era of war between communism and democracy, during a time of Hitler and World War II. It is a tale of espionage and heroic feats by a man who has since left our world.

Joe has published several other titles as well. Some of these titles are short stories published in literary quarterlies like Ploughshares, Agni Review Dos Passos Review and numerous others.

Before, which is published by Thomas Dunne Books is his only fictional novel.

He shared with us his experience with St. Martin’s Press, how one bad review made the publishing house drop the marketing of his book all together without notifying him that they were going to do this.

When a member asked about his writing process he offered up his thoughts on the matter. “Even when you are in a slump and you are doing nothing but staring at the screen you are still writing, believe it or not. The brain and the consciousness are still at work creating the story that must be shared with the world. It is its destiny to be told.”



ROW80 Update:

Yea! I finally got to the end of the story. Now for the rest of the month and part of next month I can begin working on the edit of Road Salt. I am so looking forward to publishing this story. It has been like writing a homework assignment but I think it will be well worth the pain and suffering my characters are going through. They will all be able to look forward to their appearance in their own stories in the rest of the series and each one will finally have their happy ending as they enter recovery.

I have named the series Wings from Ashes as each of the characters has burned the bridges in their lives to their family and friends while they struggle with the different phases of substance abuse and addiction.

Friends of Choice is the first book in this series and was written two years ago. My characters are still making the bad choices in their lives, but many others like themselves make the same mistake over and over again before getting what life is all about.

During the edit process there will be scene building with the missing description I so hate to divulge in and then there is the character building and I plan on doing a lot of that with this story.

So if I do not see you here on this loop, have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Stop by the Linky to see how the other ROW80’ers are doing…

The Toadstool Bookshop Book Signing in Peterborough, NH

That is me standing on the left and my friend Linda T. Kepner sitting on the other side of the table. We made a great team together.

Today was my very first book signing. It went well. I was promoting my newest book Witch Book at the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, NH.

I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. It was my very first time speaking in public. I was told that I did better than I thought I was going to do. But I did have help.

My good friend, Linda Kepner was there with me. She was promoting her newest release Second Chance. We were Linda’s in stereo.

Linda prompted me along, teaching me to walk the walk and talk the talk. She is so good at this book signing thing, she doesn’t even need notes to look at anymore.

Now we are trying to plan our next event.

I guess LK and her husband Terry are looking at setting us up for an event at BooksaMillion in Concord, NH. I’m not sure how long this will take. Terry says that there is a lot of red tape to go through, but I guess he is working on it.

We had a pretty good turnout considering there were a lot of different events going on in the area.

There was a quilt show in Peterborough, a Scarecrow festival in Jaffrey, and an Art Tour in the Monadnock region. Oh and there was a pumpkin festival happening in Milford as well.

I had a wonderful surprise too. Two of my former high school classmates made the trip to Peterborough to hear me speak and each walked away with a signed book. Then there was a co-worker of mine, she too show up to give me support.

My son was there as well. He had brought an old friend with him, one who had gotten into some mishap with him when his life was taking its down turn. It was neat to see how he loved seeing the dedication in my first book Friends of Choice was said to be to him and his sister. He made a point to point this out to his friend and the Acknowledgement part about the Phoenix House Rehab.

This goes to show how much his life has change in the past couple of years.

I found some more inspiration to get Road Salt done today. Several people in our audience mentioned how they will be looking forward to reading Road Salt when it comes out and voice how they liked the topic of Bath Salts. So I had better get that butt in the chair and get writing again. – It’s 30% done at this time.