Nov 152015

Nov 15 2015: Waterline Writers hosts curated readings on 3rd Sundays, September-May, at 7 PM. Open Mic at 8:30. Tonight’s lineup: Roger Breisch, D.C. Brod, Russ Devereaux, Lynne Handy, Jim Lewis.

Roger E. Breisch has lived an eclectic life. He holds a MS in Mathematics from NIU and a MS in Management from the Sloan School at MIT. His career includes teaching high school mathematics; managing an international chemical business; operating a management consulting company; and most recently, running the Batavia Chamber of Commerce for 10 years. He chaired the Batavia 4th of July Fireworks for 17 years, works with teens in an anti-alcohol, anti-drug program, and has spent more than 2500 hours answering calls on a suicide hotline. Today, Roger loves challenging audiences to see how their thinking keeps them from finding true happiness and success. He and Judi, his wife of 33 years, have two grown children and live in Batavia, Illinois. Find a treasury of Roger’s essays and columns at Don’t miss the video of his recent TEDx talk, a profound experience for all. Tonight, Roger reads two of his essays, “Eroding the Riverbanks of Life” and “Never Far From Tears”.

D.C. (Deb) Brod is the award-winning author of 8 novels and a number of short stories. Her novels include a private detective series featuring Quint McCauley; Heartstone, a contemporary Arthurian suspense novel, and Getting Sassy, Getting Lucky, and Getting Taken, which are capers in the Getting Even series. She has a fondness for corvids, Famous Grouse and Middle Earth. (Not necessarily in that order.) You can check out her website at She’s also blogging for her alpha cat at: She lives in St. Charles with her husband, Don, and the other cat. Tonight, she reads an excerpt from “My Heroes Have Always Been Shortstops”, a story in her newly released A Chicago Cubs Triple Play, available now on Kindle. Buy it online to find out what happens!

Russ Devereaux has found that writing creates a much-needed equilibrium between the confusions arising from his innate insight into people’s hearts and his general discomfort with his surroundings. He performs his unique, motivational Spoken word and Slam Poetry with humor and passion, ushering his audience through a mosaic of life’s forgotten moments and ignored beauty. He hopes his portraits of the world will inspire you to listen to the innate abilities you may have locked inside. Please join (and Like!) Russ on Facebook at RDTGP (Russ Devereaux the TailGate Prophet). Russ’s poetry makes the importance of art and creativity crystal clear, illuminates dark places and creates story magic as old as the ages!

In 2013, Lynne Handy published a novel, In the Time of Peacocks. Her poems and short stories have been published in several literary journals. “Green Lady”, a short story, was published in an anthology of ghost tales, Familiar Spirits. A retired library director, she lives in North Aurora, where she enjoys nature, and writes poems and short stories. Tonight’s reading includes poems that sing out for women’s rights as well as ekphrastic poetry inspired by a sculpture, a painting and an ancestor’s photograph.

Jim Lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poetry and music reflect the difficulty and joy of human interactions, drawing inspiration from decades of experience in healthcare. When not writing, composing, or diagnosing, he is on a kayak, exploring and photographing waterways near his home in California. Tonight’s poems about ecology, climate (and waterlines!) were inspired during our March event after some banter about how adversely a trip from California to Illinois to read his honorable mention Climate Crisis poem would affect his carbon footprint.

Do you have a special bookshelf for authors you’ve met here at Waterline? (PLEASE tell us you do!)      If you buy a book from one of tonight’s authors, we’ll refund your $5 admission. We’ll also refund your admission if you become a member of Water Street Studios tonight.

At 8:30 PM: 5-minute-limit Open Mic! Sign up at the counter. No racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise hateful content. Note that Open Mic material has not been screened.                                                                            

Are you connected? IF NOT, CHECK OUT! 

  1. Learn about 20 area writers’ groups. Find the perfect format, day and time for you. 
  2. Teens can attend 3 world-class Wordplay workshops in Batavia, St. Charles and Elgin.
  3. Attend Open Mics! Paul LaTour’s Lit By The Bridge is 3rd Thursdays at Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena in Aurora. Sign up at 6:15. Open Mic at 6:30. Limit of 10 readers. Nov 19, Dec 17, etc. His Nov 19th featured writer is Kristin LaTour! (Sometimes nepotism is a great thing!)
  4. 4. Frank Rutledge’s final Harmonious Howl of the season was Oct 22. He’ll return in April with signup at 6:30, open mic at 7, and free gelato or coffee to readers! Graham’s 318, 318 3rd in Geneva. 

This event is being filmed for future broadcast on BATV, HOWEVER… you can catch up on missed Waterline readings or re-experience your favorites at any time. Visit our Video Library, a treasury of over 220 individual readings! If you want more, check our website or Facebook page for Kevin Moriarity’s interviews with the writers. You’ll  find Chuck Bennorth’s beautiful portraits of our writers there as well! 

Upcoming 2015-2016 events: Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17 and May 15th. Over 130 writers have been featured at Waterline Writers since February of 2012! Read our Submission Guidelines, then send submissions to or share our info with writers! 

Thanks to: Water Street Studios for hosting Waterline Writers; tonight’s writers; volunteers Frank Rutledge, Ginny Klespitz, Erin Bell, Nik Markevicius, Barbara Barrows and Paula Garrett; and to our wonderful audience for supporting this growing community of 350+ writers!  

Your hosts, Anne Veague & Kevin Moriarity  

Facebook       Twitter @waterlinewriter

Nov 122015

dcbrodHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I can’t remember not writing. Always had something going. I read a lot and my mother encouraged me to write. When I was in seventh grade, there was a short story contest every student in that grade had to enter. (I think it was district-wide.) It had to be a mystery involving a theft, and everyone had to use specific names like Johnny and Jenny Goodperson and Dirk Snidely. Well, I knew what was expected, but I made Dirk a down-and-out private detective (I was into the Mike Hammer TV show starring Darren McGavin.) who was hired by Jenny. I think I made Johnny the thief. I did this knowing I wouldn’t win the contest (and I did not), but it was the story I wanted to write. And it was my first attempt at hard-boiled detective fiction. My teacher really liked it and encouraged me to keep writing. I was also lucky to have a couple of teachers in high school who encouraged me. I was inspired by writers such as Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Tolkien, John D. MacDonald and many others. I continue to be inspired by other writers.

Describe your writing process.

I usually work on new stuff in the mornings and revisions in the afternoon. Every day. Sometimes I’ll also work on new material late at night. I feel as though I work better with a clean desk, but that doesn’t often happen. I usually meditate before writing. It helps declutter my mind. (If not my desk.) I don’t outline, so I do tend to get stuck on occasion. When I hit a wall, I sometimes use a program called “Write or Die.” It silences my self-censor. I set it for 500 words in a half hour. If I slow down the screen starts to turn pink, then red. If it looks like I’m not going to make it, violins start screeching. It is weirdly motivating. 

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

I’ll be reading a portion of a short story that was originally published in an anthology called Chicago Blues. Each story had to be set in Chicago and had to have something to do with blue—be it the lake, the cops, music, whatever. I immediately thought of the Cubs. The title of the story came first—”My Heroes Have Always Been Shortstops.” (This almost never happens to me. I usually have a tough time with titles.) I wrote from there. I have had three stories about the Cubs published. When the Cubs beat Cardinals for the NL Division, I got the idea to publish these stories together in an ebook mini-anthology—A Chicago Cubs Triple Play. What could go wrong? … Sigh … I just hope I didn’t jinx them.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a sequel to Heartstone, my contemporary Arthurian thriller. No title yet. Also have a standalone suspense novel going. 

Nov 112015

RogerTedx-croppedHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I hated writing in school! When I applied for business school at age 26 I asked a English-teacher friend to proof my essays. He was very complimentary about what I wrote. That was the first time I thought maybe I could write. It still took many years to live into words. I often still have doubts.

Describe your writing process.

I sit and ask “What is trying to be said through me in this moment?”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

Both pieces were inspired by the ways I have come to think about life in general…and my life in particular. I am given so many opportunities to spend time with people in crisis. Those times often spark a thought about how life can be so much more beautiful.

What are you working on now?

For about the 6th time in my life, I am trying to nurture a longer piece…perhaps even a book. But the other five attempts ended up in the trash bin of life. This one may as well!

Nov 102015

LynneHandy20151106What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

I want my words to sing out for women’s rights. We become forgetful of foremothers who worked tirelessly for women’s suffrage. A wave of political conservatism now threatens women’s reproductive choices in the United States. We have yet to achieve equality in the workplace. My poems reflect these concerns. I’m also reading ekphrastic poems inspired by the following: an ancient sculpture of a Greek boxer, a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, and a photograph of my great-great uncle Thomas who served in the Union Army.

What has changed since you last read at Waterline?

Since last reading at Waterline, I’ve published a short story in a ghost anthology and several poems in online and paper publications. Two of my poems placed in the Kentucky State Poetry Society Adult Contest, winning second place and honorable mention in the Grand Prix category. I’ve launched several new projects. With Frank Rutledge, I’ve started a poetry group that meets at my house. I’m putting together a chapbook, Spy Car and Other Poems, and am working on a mystery novella, The Untold Story of Edwina.

Note: Lynne read at Waterline in April 2015 – Read her previous profile!

What is the value of Waterline Writers, or an organization like Waterline Writers, that provides a venue for writers to read, or perform, their work?

I enjoy attending Waterline presentations because I’m curious about what other writers and poets have to say. I feel honored that I can offer my work alongside other juried writers.Waterline offers a gathering place for area writers and artists to share their work, and that’s a wonderful thing. 

Nov 092015

j.lewisHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I started writing poetry when I was about 8 years old, because it seemed like a cool way to say things. My earliest memory was a 3 page poem about Robin Hood and Maid Marian which my mother insisted I could not have possibly written. I was both crushed and flattered. Poetry has remained a way for me to observe and comment on things that move or touch me in some way, and I’m always pleased when a poem reaches another person and provokes a reaction. Although there isn’t a specific poet who has inspired me in terms of “I want to be like that,” I did adopt e. e. cummings’ style of writing in lower case when I was in high school, and have kept it for most things that I write.

Describe your writing process.

I don’t often sit down and say “I’m going to write a poem.” Most often, I hear or read something that sparks a creative leap and gives me a title for a poem. Where that eventually leads, I don’t always know before I start writing. Paintings and photos are fun to write about, especially when there is no limit on the topic. There will be some aspect of the artwork that appeals to me, and I write to that. Other times, it is simply a remark that someone makes that sparks a thought and a response, so I put it down. So I am much more impromptu than disciplined. Only recently have I approached the idea of writing collections of poems on a theme, and that has been very rewarding. It does require more thought, research, and discipline to make the collection cohesive, but the results are worth it.

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

Earlier this year, I submitted a poem to one of the Waterline Events, and it was selected as an honorable mention. As Anne and I discussed the theme of the event, she made several comments that sparked ideas for poems and I ended up with four additional poems that all related in some way to water, ecology, climate change. Fun experience. Thank Anne for the prompts.

What are you working on now?

I have one major and two minor projects that are getting my attention at the moment. The major project is getting a book of poetry and photographs published, and I’m pushing to make that happen before Christmas. The two minor projects are actually related. The first is a collection of poems called “In the Shadow of the Ark” which was inspired by three other poets’ work. The second is a collection of poems, also with an Old Testament theme. I am writing about the 10 plagues of Egypt from the point of view of the plagues themselves, as if the rivers, frogs, flies, locusts, etc. were making observations about what was happening.  My plan is to get both collections published as chapbooks.

Nov 082015

We recently asked people what they value about Waterline Writers. Here, Mary McHugh responds:

Waterline Writers creates a rare forum for the exchange of language and ideas between writers and readers. It celebrates the spoken word – not for sake of language alone, but rather for the sake of raising words up off of the page and bringing them out into the world. We ask ourselves: Does art exist if it remains unseen? Does music have melody if it remains unheard? Does poetry have meter if it remains unread? Waterline Writers brings the best amateur and professional writers of all genres together with lovers of the same to share the deepest value of writing and reading; binding us all together in the truths of why we laugh, love, weep, scowl, gossip, dance, mourn and celebrate.

Mary McHugh

Nov 052015

Waterline Writers continues its 2015-2016 season of monthly reading events on Sunday Nov. 15, 2015 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a writer to enjoy Roger E. Breisch, fresh from his recent TEDx talk, share insights on how rules enhance or erode our lives; or hear D.C. Brod, reading from her new book, A Chicago Cubs Triple Play, examine how far a young woman will go to see her team win the World Series. Russ Devereaux, The Tailgate Prophet, illuminates dark places and creates story magic as old as the ages; Lynne Handy broadens and deepens the important place of women in poetry and literature; and Jim Lewis, true to his Poetry On Tap, joins us from California with poems recently inspired by changing ecosystems and his interaction with Waterline Writers! We will also unveil a painting created for Waterline Writers by artist Carolyn Abramofsky. Come to listen once a month, and let the words and work of writers from the Chicago area and beyond inspire you for days to come! $5 admission/$3 students! Open Mic follows at 8:30. 3rd Sundays from September to May at 7 PM. Find us in the art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. on Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17 and May 15th. Like us on Facebook or find submission info at

Nov 022015


It’s that time of year again. Novelists – this is your month. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has commenced. To help you get that novel done, both the Batavia Library and the Geneva Library are hosting NaNoWriMo writes this Saturday (November 7th)! Go to the Batavia Library from 9:30 am to 1 pm, and then to the Geneva Public Library  from 1 to 4:30 pm the same day. Both will have coffee and snacks in the meeting room, as well as power strips. Thanks to our local libraries for promoting writing in our area!