Lisa Roettger Talks About Editing at November Meeting

Guest - Lisa RoettgerIf you’re a writer, at some time you will be considering what to do about editing. Like many writers, you may have questions and fears: What does an editor do? How do I find a good editor? What if the editor changes my writing so it no longer looks or sounds like mine? What does an edit cost? At our November meeting, Lisa Roettger of Watchword Editing hopes to answer these questions and more, and to ease your fears of the editing process. There will be a time for questions, so come prepared.

For those of your participating in National Novel Writing Month, there will be writing time after the presentation is done.

The meeting is at the Cherry Valley District Library on Saturday, November 14 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


In Print Writer To Be at Book Festival

Edgerton Book FestivalKristin Oakley, author of award-winning novel Carpe Diem, Illinois, will be at the Edgerton Sterling North Book and Film Festival on Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The festival is at the Edgerton High School and includes a number of literary events, including information on how to publish your own book. Over two dozen area writers are expected to attend. Kristin will be available to sign purchased copies of her book.

The event is free and everyone is invited to attend.

WaR Review – The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany

by Marion Applegate

The Cielo CoverAt the latest WaR meeting, members met to exchange views on the historical novel, The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany, by Paul Salsini, an instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Marion Applegate led the discussion of this first time author. The setting of The Cielo is Tuscany during the last year of WWII. Ordered by the Germans to evacuate, a group of Italian villagers run to the hills to escape the brutality of war. These neighbors move into an abandoned farmhouse. During their stay they face betrayal by a neighbor, death for harboring an escaped prisoner, and Nazi terrorism for being Italian.

The WaR members were bursting with enthusiasm as the meeting began. Salsini’s portrait of Italian life and customs is vivid. Told in third person, the reader could understand the villagers’ lives during wartime and even comprehend but not accept the Nazi rationale of their cruelty. Participants were excited about responding to the questions about the author’s craft. Our readers enjoyed his method of integrating setting, characters, and theme while keeping the action moving.

For history buffs The Cielo is a must read. Salsini has four more novels in this series that span from WWII to the 1980s.

Grandma’s Breakfast

by Bob Francis

My grandma kept the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in the refrigerator.  They were crisp and cold and terrific with a spoon of sugar on top and bathed in whole milk.  Orange juice was served in small glasses.  I didn’t drink coffee, but my Grandma would open the can of Folgers and let me smell it before she filled the tin coffeepot on the stove.

Grandma slipped a tall pile of Roman Meal wheat toast onto the table with a saddle-shaped lump of butter.  Grandpa didn’t slice the butter from the side, but scraped the top with a serrated knife.  Small curlicues would melt evenly across the surface of the bread.

There is a fine line between crisp bacon and burnt.   Grandma’s bacon was crisp.  It crumbled in your mouth.  Grandma would use the grease from the bacon to cook up the eggs, whipping them with a fork on an iron pan that almost glowed red.  Only an instant would pass and there were plates of “scrambled eggs” set down in front of us.

InPrintBlog_GrandmaI loved watching Grandma work around her kitchen.  It was like watching a choreographed ballet, set to the news commentary from the table radio in the living room.


Bob Francis is a writer.  He lives in Belvidere, IL.

Writers Retreat at Lake Summerset

Lodge main roomThe Lake Summerset Writing Gals are hosting a writers retreat at the Lake Summerset Lodge on Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Everyone is invited to attend. Power is available for laptops. The cost of the event is $10, which includes lunch. Please make your check out to Sharon Boehlefeld and send it to the following address by November 1.

November Writers Retreat
c/o Sharon Boehlefeld
1884 Sextant Drive
Davis, IL 61019

Please include your name and e-mail address. Lake Summerset is a gated community and you will be put on a list to enter.  Directions to the Lodge will be e-mailed to you. If you have questions, please e-mail Sharon.

In Print Author Presenting with Mystery Writers

detectiveKristin Oakley, author of the award winning novel Carpe Diem, Illinois, will be at the Who Dunnit? Mystery Authors Reveal All event at the Columbus Public Library on Thursday, October 22 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Kristin will be presenting the whys, the hows and – of course – the whodunnits of her stories along with fellow mystery writers Julia C. Hoffman and Peggy Williams.

The event is free and everyone is invited to attend.

NaNoWriMo in November

typewriter_poster_detailNovember is National Novel Writing Month. It started in 1999 with a handful of writers in San Francisco and a challenge: write 50,000 words in 30 days. In fifteen years, NaNoWriMo has spread across six continents. Over 300,000 people participated last November.

Sign up is free on the website. When you participate, it includes pep talks by famous authors, the chance to meet up with fellow authors in the area, and tools to help you get organized. Not writing a novel? No problem! There is a sub-group of writers on the NaNoWriMo site called the “NaNo Rebels”.   They write short stories, memoir, creative non-fiction, experimental work, basically anything but novels.   NaNoWriMo is for adult participants, but a Young Writers Program is available in November for students who wish to take the challenge.

This year, In Print members Bob Francis and Mary Lamphere are the Municipal Liaisons for NaNoWriMo in the Rockford area.   They are organizing “Come Write In” events where NaNoWriMo participants are welcome to write for a few hours with fellow writers. There will also be social events. The kick-off party is Sunday, October 25 and the “Thank God It’s Over” Party is December 5. Sign up on the NaNoWriMo website for more details.

50,000 words is a lot to write. Writing it in a month with holidays and school and sporting events is a challenge.   However, every month has challenges when it comes to finding time to write. NaNoWriMo helps writers give their words a higher priority. 87% of students who participated said the NaNoWriMo program said it made them more confident writers. 86% of those participants asked reported they learned more about what they could accomplish if they put their minds to it. Over 250 books have been published that had their origins in National Novel Writing Month. However, even if you don’t make the 50,000 words by the end of the month, any words you write will be that many more closer to the completion of your goal.


by James Simmons

With toothy grin and frog in hand
I will not skip ‘til I kiss again
If by chance that I might win
A strong, loving, beautiful man
Or charming prince from foreign land
Kissy kiss kiss
Photo_HopscotchOne. Two. Three.
Become a prince to live with me
Four. Five. Six.
Oh dream come true supply my wish
Skip seven. (oh, wouldn’t it be heaven)
Eight. Nine. Ten.
Wonder should I try again?
Toss a rock for another hop
Kissy kiss kiss


Practicing presence and expression in different forms, James loves the melody of a well spoken line. His highest goal in writing is to foster a sense of play and wonder in all things. He is inspired by simple things, like nature, discovery, people, daydreams, and irony.

In Print Author Will Be Teaching Workshops

Kristin OakleyKristin Oakley, author of award-winning novel Carpe Diem, Illinois, will be at the Weekend With Your Novel event. This is an annual writers retreat through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies Program. Twelve workshops and six optional critique sessions are offered over the three-day event. It runs November 13 – 15.

Kristin will be teaching two workshops: You Have an Idea for a Novel – What Comes Next? and The Beginning Writer’s Toolbox.

Writers at all levels are invited to attend. The cost varies, depending on which events you sign up for. Space is limited and the deadline is October 17 for attending critique sessions.

October Meeting – Thinking around the Box

by Tricia Wagner

What is a writer, sitting before the blank page? She is a pilot looking at a clear sky. He is a seafarer gazing across never ending tracks of sea. There are words to be written on all that blue, and stories can fill the emptiness on the water. When the writer sits down, determined to create, the blank page seems faithful enough and waits patiently to be filled. The writer, however, is often at a loss to understand how to tap the ink well of the mind. How is one to hear the words that are silently spoken from shadows, whispers from the interior self that nudge the hand forward? To access the ink well of inspiration, the body needs exercise, and the mind needs to learn to just let go.

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