Waterline Writers

Mar 182018
 

March 18th, 2018: Welcome to Waterline Writers! We host live readings on 3rd Sundays at 7 PM. At 8:30, Frank Rutledge hosts our Open Mic, limited to 6 writers. (We want to hear many different writers. Please don’t sign up more often than every other month!) Tonight’s featured readers are:

Matt Meade is a writer, freelancer, and sometimes music blogger who lives just outside Chicago with his wife and son.  His fiction has appeared in The Sun Magazine, Storyscape, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. He no longer smokes. Some of his work, as well as the one good picture he has of himself, can be found at matthewthomasmeade.com. Matthew will have copies of The Sun Magazine for $5.00.

Linda Heuring is a short story writer known for her character-driven narratives and her penchant for the overheard phrase.  She has won the Fish International Short Story Prize (Ireland), the Rash Award in Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (UK).  Her 2017 short story collection was named an Editor’s Pick by New Pages, and The Irish Times wrote that “Character creation, vivid scene-setting, humour and authentic dialogue are some of the strengths of this excellent short story collection.” A Woman Walked into the Bar is available tonight for $18.00. Her website: lindaheuring.com

Phil Rice is a native Tennessean currently living in Woodstock, Illinois. His writing has appeared most recently in PBS’s Next Avenue, Ginosko Literary Journal, and The Connotation Press. He founded Canopic Jar: An Arts Journal in 1986, a venture for which he continues to serve as editor. He is reading from Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice, available tonight for $8.00. His website: PhilRice.org

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Kate Johnson writes about misfits who can’t fit in, and misfits who won’t. For fun, she throws them into basements or beds together, then locks the door. She’s written three novels in various stages of disregard by agents. Her husband Tom keeps her sane – kind of – along with their kids and exchange student, who says, “Frau Johnson, würden Sie bitte weit weg gehen,“ which means, “Mrs. Johnson, I could listen to you read your brilliant book all night.” **

**Editor’s note, actual translation: “Mrs. Johnson, please go far away from me.”

Writer of fiction and poetry R. G. Ziemer runs a construction company and teaches composition at the College of DuPage. He makes his home in Warrenville on the West Branch of the DuPage River. Recent poetry has appeared in the journals Rivulets and Prairie Light Review and he is seeking representation for his YA novel The Ghost of Jamie McVay. He participates in the Naperville Writing Group and especially enjoys being part of the community at Waterline Writers and other area open mic venues.

READ LOCAL! BUY LOCAL! Authors are selling their books here at special Waterline prices! Supporting local writers financially & artistically enriches our entire community — and books make great gifts!

Sat. April 21st marks the 1st Fox River Arts Ramble, a 1-day, self-guided art tour of 40 locations from Elgin to Aurora. Find more info on Facebook!

Our venue! Water Street Studios makes Waterline Writers possible! Please become a member of WSS, sign up for Art Classes, attend 2nd Friday exhibit openings or 4th Friday Live Art Series, or expand your art collection – buy work from the main gallery or from one of the 26 resident artists’ studios.

Our sponsors! Solemn Oath Brewery & The Market at Gaetano’s.

Our vendors! Hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers and handmade books & journals from Tieri Ton Books make wonderful gifts for writers, readers …  and you!

Our friends! The Republic of Letters, 1 W. State, Ste 103, Geneva offers books, classes, discussions, special events and more. Find Cathy & Ryan on Facebook or at rolnfp.org. The Book Shop Batavia’s Grand Opening is March 24! Congrats, Lizzy & James! Find them on Facebook and at 15 N. River Street!

Our neighbors! Kiss The Sky hosts live music and offers new & vintage vinyl, audio equipment and eclectic gifts! Check out this local gem, our collaborators in the May 20th Blues-themed Waterline event:

Announcing a very special Blues-themed event on May 20, designed to kick off June’s blues music festivals – Blues & Roots on Water Street, June 9th and Blues on the Fox, June 15-16th with poetry, essays and fiction on The Blues. Check out our call for Blues submissions or contact Paula Garrett at waterlinewriters@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions is March 30th!                                                                       

Are YOU writing? Our website contains a wealth of information!

  1. Learn about 20 nearby writers’ groups. Find the perfect format, day and time for you.
  2. Paul LaTour’s Lit By The Bridge Open Mic for writers is 3rd Thursdays, with sign-up at 6:45; start time is 7 PM. Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.
  3. Frank Rutledge hosts Modest Mic for writers and musicians at The Sugar Grove Library, 125 S. Municipal Dr. on 3rd Wednesdays from 6:30-8 PM.
  4. Teens, attend T-WAAP Wordplay workshops! To support Teen Writers & Artists Project and their vital writing programs, contact Shayne Phillips at sphillips@twaap.org, go to twaap.org or Smile.Amazon.

This event is being filmed for broadcast on BATV, plus we also post the videos on this website.

Thanks to our crew Frank Rutledge, Chuck Bennorth, Ginny Klespitz, Ray Ziemer, Paula Garrett, Barbara Barrows & Rick Veague; WSS’s Dani Hollis & Jaime Gutierrez; and to our wonderful audience!

Mar 162018
 

The inspiration behind Skip Tracer is my mother, who’s 90. A few years ago, she fell for her young garbageman. Because she’s a Polish busia, she’d hand him a plate of pierogis to take on his route.”

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

This one’s easy! The inspiration behind Skip Tracer is my mother, who’s 90. A few years ago, she fell for her young garbageman. Because she’s a Polish busia, she’d hand him a plate of pierogis to take on his route. She said he was a widower with triplets, but she’s extremely hard of hearing, so I’ll never know for sure. Before I could meet him, his route changed and their “relationship” ended. When I was thinking about the next thing to write, my mind wandered back to him.  What really was the story there? Since I’ll never know, I made one up.

What are you working on now?

I’ve got something different brewing, harder to write and more serious in tone. I have to take a deep breath and dive in; I’m still circling around the edges.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

I’ll choose LaRose by Louise Erdrich. She has a way of adding a dash of magic to a really hard story, that sticks with me, kind of haunts me. I’ve been a fan of hers forever, since Love Medicine blew the roof off my little brain.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Because I’d be mute in front of my most beloved authors, I’d need to invite two so they could talk to each other, while I knelt in a corner, head bowed. I think Jane Austen and Jack London would have to work so hard for points in common, that they wouldn’t notice what I’d cooked. That would be good! My results in the kitchen are mixed!

Mar 152018
 

Most of the poems are very personal, sharing expressions about family members and close friends.”

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

Most of the poems are very personal, sharing expressions about family members and close friends. I also reach back a little to childhood memories.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel based on experiences as a teenager growing up on the south side in the 60’s

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I was sorry to finish it.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

I expect Mark Twain would be a lively and entertaining guest.

Mar 142018
 

Waterline Writers is proud to participate in the inaugural Fox River Arts Ramble. Held April 21st, it will be your chance to visit more than 40 locations, featuring artists, artwork, performances and more, including individual artists’ studios and public and private galleries. For more information, check out this map!

Mar 142018
 

Dad was an artist who emphasized the importance of craft; Hal [my brother] was a craftsman who emphasized the importance of art.”

How did you discover that you were a writer?

My earliest memory is of my mother reading me stories, so that is my conscious starting point. Also, during my childhood my father was a wordsmith who wrote in genres ranging from short stories to highly intellectual articles for theology journals, and my older brother Hal enjoyed writing nonsense verse and eventually grew into a serious songwriter and musician. Dad was an artist who emphasized the importance of craft; Hal was a craftsman who emphasized the importance of art. Their collective influence was certainly in the neighborhood when I started scribbling little poems at the age of 12 or 13.

Describe your writing process.

For commissioned freelance pieces I generally write at night, with 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. being the sweet-spot. Mornings and afternoons are for research, editing, and revision.

My creative writing process is hit-and-run. Initially I put words down without any structural concerns; if it calls me back, I bring tools to shore up the structure. For poetry the return call may come after a few minutes, a few days, or a few years—if at all. If the writing leans toward prose, eventually it will likely be finished off within the “10-to-2/edit in the morning” frame.

At present all of my writing takes place in my poorly lit basement office. It’s a beautiful spot.

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

I’ll be reading two pieces from Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and Hospice; the inspiration is contained within the title.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am editing and designing Priests Without People, a novel by Nicholas P. Cafardi scheduled to be published by The Ross House Press in April.

The Ross House Press is an imprint of Canopic Publishing that has been established as an alternative for authors who want control of the production and distribution of their work but don’t have the expertise for self-publishing (RossHousePress.com).

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

“Letter to Miss McClurg,” a poem by Gene Kimmet that won’t let go.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Jonathan Swift. To awkwardly borrow a baseball metaphor he wouldn’t understand, his work demonstrates the ability to master any literary position. Probably good at keeping the conversation going, too.

Mar 132018
 

Stories should be like disobedient pets, always ready to defy, always challenging and frustrating, but sometimes, for reasons entirely unknown, delighting.”

How did you discover that you were a writer?

Mostly from my G.I. Joe guys.  Once I realized I was more interested in my toys than what was happening on the TV show, I knew there was something weird about me.

Describe your writing process.

If try to write every day.  If I can’t write, I read.  If I can’t read, I watch Altered States. That usually does the trick.

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

I am reading a story called “The Unified Conspiracy Theory.”  I am fascinated by conspiracy theories and what they tell us about ourselves.  It can be a way to look at what we are afraid of and what we have a hard time admitting to ourselves.  The more inaccurate the theory, the more it tells us about the world we live in and the more interesting it becomes.

What are you working on now?

I have a short story called “The Parts of a Shadow” appearing in Bourbon Penn later this year.  The story is about the lost boys of Barrie’s Neverland being discovered and becoming wards of the state.  I’m also working on a novel (but then again, who isn’t?).

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

I just discovered a writer named Cole Bucciaglia Nagamatsu whose work, especially the prose poem “Flightless Creatures” in the lit mag West Branch, is strange and compelling and beautiful.  I have been telling anyone who will listen about Suzanne Burns’ short fiction.  Her first book Misfits & Other Heroes is maybe the most underrated book of the 21st Century.

A story I just read called “The Men” by Lydia Millet in The Baffler still has me unsettled.  It is a beautiful inversion of the Snow White story.  It doesn’t do what you expect it to do.  I love when that happens.  No story should do what you expect it to do.  Stories should be like disobedient pets, always ready to defy, always challenging and frustrating, but sometimes, for reasons entirely unknown, delighting.

I also love to read the work of my friends and people I know.  People like Dan Leach, Ray Ziemer, James Charlesworth, Noah Kucij, Debbie Urbanski, and Blake Kimzey have taught me so much with their work.  Looking at peers and seeing how they produce their own work is a very important process for a writer.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

I’ve heard John Crow Ransom, Franz Kafka, George Plimpton, and Truman Capote were all amazing at dinner parties, but as I age I am less interested in arguing with charming raconteurs and more interested in having a nice time.  So, since Junot Diaz gushing over Toni Morrison is one of the sweetest things on the internet (https://youtu.be/J5kytPjYjSQ) and since they are two of the greatest writers in history and also happen to have gentle and beautiful spirits, my impulse is to invite them.

Mar 122018
 

I have a few stories in the works at the same time, and as one of characters in my short story ‘Roommates’ says: if I talk about them I can’t write them.”

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

I’ll be reading the short story, “Until There’s Not,” from my latest collection, A Woman Walked into the Bar.  The story was inspired by a man with a band-aid on his hand who boarded a Metra train I was riding.  He carried a cup of coffee and a worn briefcase, and I watched as he tried to maneuver without spilling his drink.  His movements were so interesting I started writing them in the notebook I always carry, and before long his story began to emerge from my imagination.  The story was first published in Crannog magazine in Ireland.

What are you working on now?

I have a few stories in the works at the same time, and as one of characters in my short story “Roommates” says: if I talk about them I can’t write them.  I just finished a piece of flash fiction titled, “Open House,” which I’m sending to magazines now. I’m also revising a stage play.

One of the fun things I’m doing is visiting with book clubs that have chosen my book, answering questions and reading a little from my stories.

What was the last great thing you read by another author? 

Most recently Lincoln at the Bardo by George Saunders.  I put off reading this because Saunders was one of the few successful writers who considered himself a short story writer and was an inspiration because he didn’t need the “validation” of writing novels.  However, I read an interview with Saunders who said he didn’t set out to write a novel, the story just grew beyond its bounds. The novel was fascinating.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party.  Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

Only one?  Flannery O’Connor.

Mar 062018
 

On Sunday, March 18 at 7 pm,  Waterline Writers will feature authors Linda Heuring, Kate Johnson, Matthew Meade, Phil Rice and Ray Ziemer. 

In her exceptional collection of stories, A Woman Walked Into The Bar, Linda Heuring’s beleaguered protagonist gets total revenge on his boss by spilling just one tiny drop of blood.  

We’ll admit that Kate Johnson’s story had us at “She woke in a tiny bed shaped like a race car … evidently she had slept with the wrong Ruby,” the first line from her humorous murder-mystery, Skip Tracer, Heart Breaker. 

Matthew Meade’s A Unified Conspiracy Theory begins with “I didn’t care about much that summer. Even the break-in didn’t bother me,” then it takes us into extra-terrestrial territory that will bother us. 

In Winter Sun: A Memoir of Love and HospicePhil Rice writes of great love and great loss, bringing a rare clarity of vision to the loss, and choosing to dwell in the beauty of the love. 

Ray Ziemer offers us poetic tastings of two wines, Desire … “(its) cranberry blood redolent with … late-hour coffee, indulgent chocolate, wild raspberry of untamed lands” and Grief … “Pair this wine with bitter herbs and salt.” 

Admission is $5/$3 students. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase signed copies of authors’ books, wine or beer ($5), a hand-tooled pen from Wooden Writers or a hand-constructed book from Tieri Ton. We also offer food from The Market at Gaetano’s and desserts from Limestone Coffee & Tea!

Everyone is welcome! Writers may bring a 5-minute piece to share at our 8:30 Open Mic or follow the Submission Guidelines to be considered as a future featured writer. Note the deadline for our call for submissions for May’s Let The Blues Be Your Muse  is March 30th. 

Waterline Writers, 3rd Sundays at 7 pm, September to May, in the newly accessible art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia IL. 

Contact Anne Veague or Kevin Moriarity at waterlinewriters@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Feb 212018