Thursday, October 28, 2004

Coming Soon: Dazed and Raving... the Undercurrents

I have finally gotten a go-ahead to produce a collection of my newspaper columns. That is, I think I made enough of a nuisance of myself that the Powers-That-Be pointed me toward the street and said, "Go forth and do what thou wilt. Just don't embarrass us." So that's why I've been kind of absent for a week or two.

The collection is full of Century stuff, including some that have not appeared as entries here. The cover art I'm submitting is a John Russo cartoon of me on a scooter; it ran with a "Bay Book" column I wrote for the Local/State section of The News Herald in 2001. Instead of an author photo on the back cover, I'm submitting a color portrait of me that John drew a couple of years ago.

I've spent the last couple of weeks adding columns from 2004 (this project began in early 2003) as well as updating my info on various publishing alternatives, narrowing the field, and making a Hail Mary -- not really. As I'm up-fronting the funds to do this, and can't afford a printing house's requirements (i.e., thousands of dollars to fill my garage with boxes of books that may not sell), I chose to use, a print-on-demand publisher that will list the work with Barnes &,, and put two copies in the hands of Ingram so that it is shown as "in stock," rather than "backorder only" and can be purchased by bookstores. (That's the idea, anyway.) If all goes well, I might have it out by Christmas, but January is more likely.

Not that I have any misconceptions about the appeal of this thing. I suspect it will be widely loved by those in my immediate family, a few friends, and maybe a handful of regular readers who find it a "novel" item. (I dream that it will strike a chord with someone who will give me billions to write some more stuff. Hey, a guy can dream, right?) Trusth is, I'll have trouble getting it into Books-a-Million because of their distribution requirements, but I plan to have a few signing parties around the area and sell it direct. We'll see. I'll keep those of you out there listening in updated.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Schedule for the conference

Here's a copy of an email from Dottie Hall, writing for Michael Lister:

We're looking forward to this weekend. We've got a great conference in store for you.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.(SDT) with the first session to begin at 9:00. (The tentative schedule is below). All sessions will take place in LL38 (the lecture hall). The editor appointments will take place in the student lab.

Come to the front entrance of the Language Arts Building at Gulf Coast Community College.

Please e-mail me back with your lunch selection: Your choice is chicken or chicken--fried or baked.

For those of you with editor appointments, they will take place during the afternoon following the luncheon. You'll receive your time slot when you sign in.

Don't forget the conference bookstore. It will have the latest and best books on writing and publishing.

... Please tell all the writers you know. They can still join us, and they won't want to miss out on such inspiring and practical presentations as the ones we've lined up this year.

8:30 a.m. Registration / Welcome

9 a.m. Art, Craft, and Obsession: Some Thoughts on Writing Michael Lister

10 a.m. Do it and Die: Thirteen Deadly Mistakes First-Time Novelists Make Dirk Wyle

11 a.m. Whose Story is It?: P.O.V. - The writer's Critical First Choice Lynn Wallace

12 p.m. Lunch Work in Progress Luncheon: Elements of Writing and getting Published Group Discussion

1:30 p.m. Privileged Information: Narrative Techniques You Need to Know Terry Lewis

2:30 p.m. Process: Idea, Instinct, and Interaction Tony Simmons

3:30 p.m. Keeping it Real: Realism and Regionalism in Writing Michael Lister, Lynn Wallace, Terry Lewis, Benjamin M. LeRoy, Tony Simmons, Dirk Wyle

4:30 p.m. Pitfalls to Publishing: Today's Publishing options for Writers Lee & Juanita Raymond

(See the previous posting for prices, etc.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

This just in:

The 5th Annual Gulf Coast Writers and Storytellers Conference
Saturday, October 30, 2004 (8:30 - 6:00 CDT)

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Benjamin M. LeRoy, executive editor of Bleak House Books. In both conference sessions and individual editor appointments, he will be revealing what editors are looking for and what it takes to be successfully published. Other presenters include judge and novelist Terry Lewis; poet, novelist and writing professor, Lynn Wallace; fiction writer and newspaper columnist, Tony Simmons; novelist, Dirk Wyle; novelist and reporter, S. V. Date; reporter Tim Croft; Florida Historian and true-crime writer Stuart McIver; novelist, columnist, and screenwriter, Michael Lister.
This exciting conference will cover all elements of the writing craft, and will host the September meeting of the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Please join us to learn about crafting the perfect crime and to network with established writers. We’re also offering manuscript and script evaluations by agents, editors, published authors, and professional screenwriters.
LOCATION: Language Arts Department of Gulf Coast Community College (5230 W. Hwy 98, Panama City, FL).
Our experience has been that each participant in past conferences has added great dimension and diversity to the experience, so please see yourself not only as a participant, but as a valued contributor to this celebration of craft and artistic endeavor.
Registration Form
Telephone E-mail
$35.00 if postmarked on or before October 10th
$45.00 if postmarked after October 10th
$25.00 for a manuscript critique (send 25 pages no later than 10-10-04)
$25.00 for editor appointment with Benjamin M. LeRoy
$20.00 for the Mystery Writers Luncheon
$60.00 for Novel Writing Contest (Deadline is 10-10-04 / Winner will be offered contract from Pottersville Press)
For more information call Michael Lister @ 850-639-4848 or e-mail Gulf Coast Community College is located at 5230 W. Hwy. 98 in Panama City, FL.

Just Added: Novel Writing Contest Winner will be Published in 2005.
Learn the Craft.
Get Published!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Trying to post a link to the "Century" Yahoo group

alt="Click here to join DawningOfANewCentury">

Click to join DawningOfANewCentury

Monday, October 11, 2004

Look out, it’s autumn in Florida...

There was a crispness in the air on Friday morning — a reminder that this is, in fact, autumn.

Not that you’d know it by the 85-degree afternoons that make the season seem more like Summer: Part II — The Revenge of the Lovebugs.

That’s because Northwest Florida is unlike places to the north where trees change colors, hillsides turn a fiery red and yellow, and frost can appear on cold October mornings. Places where you bundle up to go for walks and can’t get your kids’ Halloween costumes on over all the layers of coats.

Here, autumn is as much about mosquitoes as the summer months are. People go to football games in shorts and flip-flops. You’re more likely to have to cut your grass than to rake fallen leaves.

Here, autumn is when going to the beach is fun again — the water’s warm, the seaweed and algae have disappeared, the sun still is hot. The summer tourists have gone away and the winter snowbirds haven’t yet arrived.

And yet … .

The autumn has a different spirit than that of summertime, a different attitude, even before the days grow noticeably shorter than the nights. There’s a sense of clocks winding down, of calendars growing thin, of minds turned back upon times long passed away.

That brings me, in my roundabout manner, to a virtual tour of the Florida Panhandle at the "Film North Florida" Web site.

The photos reveal glimpses of little communities such as Chumuckla, Jay, McDavid and Walnut Hill (and my hometown, Century) — places from my past, when days were brighter and calendars thicker and clocks wound tight.

There are more well-known places to visit there as well, such as Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Navarre. There are even forays into Alabama, including Brewton, Mobile and Flomaton.

This is where autumn takes me, time traveling to other places and times, to memories of crisp evenings and warm afternoons, to small towns and familiar faces.

Where does it take you?


(The preceding originally appeared in print on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2004, in slightly different form as my weekly "Undercurrents" column for The News Herald.)

This is just a test... see if I've set up my Yahoo Groups notification email correctly. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Want to see some pictures?

Then check out Film Florida for images taken all over the Century area -- Flomaton's in there, and Walnut Hill, and Brewton, and McDavid and all sorts of places around the area.