Mar 192017
 

Gint Aras, Julie Brandon, Donna Wise Coombs, Laura Knapp & R.G. Ziemer will be featured at Waterline Writers on Sunday, March 19th at 7 pm, sharing fiction and poetry that shapeshift listener perceptions of identity, relationship and reality.

Gint Aras will share one chapter from The Fugue, of which Dimitry Samarov of the The Chicago Tribune says “the story loops in on itself, episodes echo over decades, different people often seem to trade thoughts and threads of conversation as if picking them out of the ether and … dreams described by one person are overtaken by another”. Buy a signed copy for $15 or sign up for the 8-week Gint Aras Prose Writing Workshop!

Julie Brandon’s “The Last One In” is her first foray into science fiction but it keeps you on the edge of your seat, or her character’s seat or wait … who is in that seat?

No matter what Donna Wise Coombs is writing about, her poetry seems steeped in the beauty of the states she’s called home — Colorado and Oregon. She’ll share some of that distilled beauty with us on Sunday night!

Laura Knapp’s Pushcart-nominated story should be kept handy for those days when your co-workers make you wild and you long for a little “Natural Selection” in the workplace.

Ray Ziemer blends his Chicago South Sider’s voice with a Southern-writer gravitas, evident in his story The Shiner, which packs a left hook you won’t see coming, and his poem The Hobby Shop, which will have you thinking more deeply about vocations and avocations.

Other writers can join the 5-minute-limit Open Mic at 8:30. Admission is $5/$3 students. Join us in the art gallery at Water Street Studios 160 S. Water Street, Batavia, and enjoy the evening with wine and beer from Solemn Oath Brewery and Bright Angel Wines ($5), and artisanal meats and cheeses from The Market at Gaetano’s!

Wooden Writers will be on hand with beautiful, hand-tooled pens for sale, $15-$75, cash/check or orders accepted.

No event will be held on April 16th due to Easter. There will be one more event on May 21st before our June-August hiatus. The 2017-2018 season will begin on September 17th. 

Find Submission FAQs, our Video Library and more at WaterlineWriters.org. For more information, contact Anne Veague or Kevin Moriarity at waterlinewriters@gmail.com or Like us on Facebook!

Jan 152016
 

VidaCross

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

When I was young, in the 4-5 grade, I wrote a poem and everyone in my family really responded to it.  Also, I read History books on Phyllis Wheatley and read her poems at around the same time: 4th grade.  I attended Scott Joplin School in Chicago and I would just take books out of the library that had to do with African American history, African American poetry.  I read Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes and this fueled my desire to write.

Describe your writing process.

I am a historian first.  I do a lot of thinking and reading and researching.  I do not write every day.  I have a project in the works every day; But most often, I am processing a concept everyday.

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

So many things inspired my work.  My poems are blues poems that reference art, music and develop a literary format for art and literature.  The main thing that encouraged me to create these poems was that someone told me that I could not combine writing, music and art.  This was my main form of inspiration.  I had already begun working on the concept of blues poetry, but when this person, an academic, said it had been done but that I could not do it, I dove right in and never looked back.  Also, my grandparents lives inspired the work.   I don’t write about myself, my friends, or my parents; but my grandparents lives were very interesting.

What are you working on now?

I am roaming through ancestry.com and seeing what’s there.

Jan 142016
 

DonHunt

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

In fifth grade, our teacher used to have writing contests. My fellow classmates liked my stories, and that whet my appetite. I left that dream on the back shelf for a long time, but have dusted it off and finally finished my first book.

Describe your writing process.

With two little kids, finding time to write is challenging for me. I find it very helpful to have “Writing Jams,” where I get together with other writers at a coffee shop or library. I’m also part of a writing critique group, which I find essential for improving a story. I love the interchange. For the most part, I need to be sitting at my computer and hammering it out or researching details online. I try to make sure my science fiction is accurate and that my fantasy is logically consistent.

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

For Jupiter Justice, I had several influences. The primary one was Star Trek. I read once that, as much as Star Trek captured people’s imaginations about the future, it disillusioned many people, because they expected hyperdrive and aliens overnight. I wanted to write a compelling book set in the near-future, to help us get to the next stage of space exploration. Another inspiration was the book Leviathan’s Wake, which the Syfy channel’s series The Expanse is based on. It starts out very gritty, film noire, and I have always liked that genre.

What are you working on now?

My current project is a book where two ancient organizations are battling for power using magic and modern technology. A once-homeless kid from Detroit named Milton—who is now a secret agent—must save three siblings from being captured and entangled in an evil plot. It’s a lot of fun to write. I’m working through the second draft now. It’s also high stakes, of course. If they fail, multiple worlds will fall to darkness.

Jan 132016
 
22 year old First Lieutenant Harold G Walker, Marine Helicopter pilot , November, 1969. Phu Bai, South Vietnam.

22 year old First Lieutenant Harold G Walker, Marine Helicopter pilot , November, 1969. Phu Bai, South Vietnam.

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

I have always been interested in history, even though I was a Biology Major in school.  I knew that I was living through a unique time period when the Vietnam War raged.  I kept a journal of thoughts and observations when in Vietnam that never left me and which are now included in the upcoming book, “The Grotto.” Upon retiring, I finally had the time to reflect and write.  First, without notes, I began writing what became, “Murder on the Floodways”. Next comes the experience of a lifetime, Vietnam. I began the writing in 1974 and with some luck, the book will be completed in the spring.

Describe your writing process.

I only work on nonfiction, which requires a great deal of research. When I have the book’s chronological order laid out, I do a draft, a “brain dump” that I let sit and age as I go forward into the next project. Then, upon returning to the original project, I work in relentless marathon sessions, researching and when possible, interviewing witnesses. I verify all events associated with the subject area, not unlike a criminal investigation. I do draft after draft until I am satisfied all the information is accurate. then comes the editors.

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

The incredible experience of Vietnam: a life changing event.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the Vietnam book now.  The next project has been laid out, which is my experience in the Philippines, during 1991, while conducting helicopter rescue operations during the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.  

Jan 122016
 

jennyscott

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

I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember. In first grade, I wrote a story called “The Math Path,” about a rabbit and some other animals going along a road and solving math equations written on the pavement. My teacher called my parents in to tell them how good it was. Looking back, the story doesn’t seem all that great, but that incident gave me great confidence in my writing and a lifelong appreciation of how teachers can affect young lives with positive words.

Describe your writing process.

I usually work in the morning/early afternoon. I begin by making coffee, the nectar of the gods. Before I get down to writing, I usually read for a while, either news, fiction, a short story, poetry or the Bible. After that, I’ll write for two or three hours, if I’m lucky and I don’t get caught up in the outside world.

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

I’ll be reading part of my novel, It’s Your Fault, but Please Forgive Me, which looks deeply into the challenges and rewards of forgiveness.

What are you working on now?

I’m almost finished with my novel and hope to send it off to agents soon. I recently had an essay published in Bark Magazine. I’ve had other essays, poems, and short stories published in the past, and plan to continue to submit to magazines and literary journals.

Jan 112016
 

michelledonfrio

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

I was a born writer! I didn’t decide to become a writer. Writing was just an integral part of who I was from a very young age.  I think most writers need to write. There is no other alternative. The profession chooses us.

Describe your writing process.

I tackle writing a little each week. Sadly, my life is a little crazy right now and I don’t have as much capacity to write as I’d like to. Therefore, I have to schedule writing time between other commitments. That may mean actually writing, or it may mean revising, submitting, networking, etc. I try not to make my writing too routine-laden. If I force myself to write simply “because I should,” nothing natural comes out. My best writing has come easily and quickly. That doesn’t mean revisions are not involved. It simply means that my writing works best when its inspired. It breaths on the page.

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

Well, since the writing world would call me an “emerging writer,” (aka “No Name,”) I wanted to share a menagerie of my work. The writing I’ll be reading spans different moments and time periods in my life. Most of my work is thought or image driven.  I think of my poems almost like photographs. They capture a moment and attempt to crystallize it. I hope my readers can gather something from each of my poems, even if they may not be able to completely relate.

What are you working on now?

A million little things at once. No large projects are in the works as I am trying to build my portfolio before moving into the chapbook phase. I’ll get there! I’m currently in graduate school to receive my Masters of Writing and Publishing. That is my main focus right now. From there, I’d like to teach college and continue to publish.

Dec 182015
 

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

I knew early on that I wanted to be a writer. In high school, two of my favorite English teachers encouraged me to pursue writing. My father, too. I remember writing a short story called “Black Rose” about an American soldier in Vietnam who discovers a white rose that bloomed black in the midst of war. Dad shared that story with all his friends, which meant so much to me.

Describe your writing process.

I’m a morning person. I rarely write at night.

When I began my novel, “Maelstrom,” I got up very early every day and wrote until about noon. Often, I wrote at the kitchen table. Now, I use a small guest bedroom as my writing space. I think it’s really important to have a designated place for writing.

I do not outline. I like to have the story develop organically and let the characters reveal themselves to me. Maelstrom required a lot of research and I loved every minute of it. The novel is set in Boston and Iceland during WWII. I went to both places to do research…Iceland, twice. Only about ten percent of all that research ended up in the novel. The rest is there, though. Between the lines.

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

The shootings in Paris and San Bernadino. I found I couldn’t think about anything else and needed to write about how those events impacted me.

What are you working on now?

A second book to accompany Maelstrom, told from the point of view of a Icelandic girl. I’m also working on a memoir/blog called Le Colonel and Me. It chronicles my friendship with a 90-year-old Frenchman. And I am always busy writing up and looking for contacts for Talking to the World. In Talking to the World, I attempt to talk to one person in every country of the world. To date, I’ve interviewed about 3o people around the world. I am as interested in our commonalities as I am in our differences. I encourage each person to honestly delve into their lives, beliefs, and world perspectives, no matter what their religious or political backgrounds. The goal is a genuine, open conversation with people around the world.

I still have a long way to go.

Dec 172015
 

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

My earliest recollection of ‘being a writer’ is of a time in third grade when I wrote a story during a sleepover with my friend Cheryl. I have no idea what that story was about, but I recall that we also wrote a letter to the President of Romania. We had high hopes that the spritz of perfume we added before sealing the envelope would inspire him to introduce us to our idol, the gymnast Nadia Comaneci. Actually, I think I dictated the letter to Cheryl. She had better handwriting… I ended up editing my high school and college newspapers, earning an undergraduate degree in journalism, and have continued processing my experiences of the world through writing in various genres, ever since!

Describe your writing process.

My writing process is pretty organic, and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve begun accepting and even celebrating it as valid. It works for me — and besides, it’s fun! In a nutshell, I try to strike while the iron is hot and write when the spirit moves me. (If I’m lucky, I also manage to avoid too many cliches ;) ) I work best under pressure — i.e., I’m deadline driven. My mom once reassured me that this doesn’t mean I am a slacker, but more of a percolator. Yes! I allow ideas to percolate (or marinate … aren’t metaphors fun?) until they’re ready — or until my editor is ready (deadlines!), and then I begin typing. In some cases I type nothing but the wee kernel of an idea, and just hope for the best. Yes, I wing it. I trust that the process of getting the ball rolling will allow those ideas to further unfurl. Sometimes they don’t, and remain sweet nothings. Other times, they blossom.

In this way, writing, for me, is more of a lifestyle than an activity that begins and ends at my desk. As I go about my days I keep my antennae up for material for my stories. I stay tuned-in to my experiences of the people and the world around me, and if I hear something or see something that resonates with me somehow, I’ll jot it down (or message myself on my phone), and later, after percolating a bit, will do that sit-down-at-the-computer-with-the-wee-nuggets thing, and see what develops. I get a huge kick out of puzzling things out, especially when ideas begin to hang together well, and then further sculpting (i.e. trimming / editing) them into something others might find coherent and palatable. So no, I’m not an outliner, or a ‘daily, ’butt-in-chair’ kind of writer. I’m more of a pull-over-to-the-side-of-the-road-and-write-on-a-receipt — or dictate something to whichever kid happens to be in the passenger seat, kind of writer. Or a wake-up-in-a-sweat-at-3:00 a.m.-and-write-it-on-my-arm-in-the-dark-lest-I-forget-it (because where is that dang notebook?) kind of writer. I abuse a lot of hyphens — and ellipses. Yeah. And I obsessively edit (letting go is hard!), even after I’ve clicked SEND, and yes, I do lots of research, unless the piece in question is pure memoir. I have a desk in the den, but no door, so no dice. Too many distractions — so my ‘real’ desk is an antique red painted table I picked up at a yard sale 11 years ago, which now is stuffed into a corner of my bedroom, and my chair is an antique, oak office chair I nabbed at a flea market for $25 — which, I love! And which, I suppose, could use some oil.

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

Inspiration for the next piece I’m reading at Waterline? Fear, frustration, and then clarity, about how we all can reclaim our authority as the electorate we are and turn this ship (the state of affairs re: guns in America) around. Yeah, especially THAT.

What are you working on now?

JenGraphicWhat am I working on right now? Among other things, an absurd, and hopefully humorous rhyming picture book (most of my picture books are written in prose, however), for which I jotted down the kernel of an idea eight or nine year ago, following a particularly humorous but trying walk to the quarry beach. Perhaps it will resonate with the artist behind this illustration, which I spotted a few years ago (left). Yeah. Inevitably, there are moments, at least one a week, when such things happen that inspire me to write. But those weeks when I’m feeling too weary to be inspired or simply have ‘no (publishable) words,’ for that thing about which I’m really preoccupied but about which I absolutely couldn’t or shouldn’t write about for publication, about he-or-she-who-shall (for now)-remain nameless, when a column is due anyway? I still gotta come up with something — and sometimes, what I come up with really sucks. Please don’t read my column, those weeks, OK?

Dec 162015
 

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

I had just received my Masters in History with no real idea what to do and i sat down and started a novel. After five pages I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. My mother was a painter and voracious reader and this gave me some sort of sense of permission.

Describe your writing process.

I write in the morning on first drafts and rewrites. A first draft is usually only a couple hours while rewriting i can do all day long. I have an office over my garage that is very private. I dont  outline but I keep a notebook that allows me to know what scene I am going to write the next day. On narrative non fiction I spend the first month researching.

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

Real Santa is the story of a man who wants to preserve his daughters belief in Santa Claus by becoming the Real Santa. My own daughter was beginning to doubt Santa and I stared at the roof of my home and realized someone could land a sled on the roof if they had to.  That was where it started and I ended up with a man who would go a hundred grand in debt to preserve his daughters belief in magic. 

What are you working on now?

I just finished two Narrative Non Fiction books called Madame President and the Last Cowboy due out next year. A novel is coming out in April called My Best Year.

For more information, visit www.williamhazelgrove.com.

Dec 152015
 

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

The piece I’m reading is “The Tale of the Christmas Axes.” This is the very first essay I wrote when I started my blog “Running with Stilettos” several years ago. And it came about when–during the first Christmas holiday after my divorce–I had handed over the rolling pin and the cookie cutters to my kids to do the traditional Christmas cooking decorating. I was absolutely exhausted by the buildup to the holiday–cooking, cleaning, trying to make everything “perfect” despite the personal upheaval. So I sat and relaxed in the living room while they decorated, and from all the sounds–jokes, laughter, glasses clinking, cookie sheets clattering–they were really having a great time together. I didn’t see that they’d decorated some of the cookies like bloody little axes until they’d left for the evening. And it was just so hysterically PERVERSE and antithetical to the classic Christmas photos you see in magazines, that I just had to write it all down…once I stopped laughing!

What has changed since you last read at Waterline?

What has changed since I read at Waterline? Good lord, what hasn’t changed? This summer I sold my home of 32 years, with 14 acres of forests and fields, and moved to a sleepy residential neighborhood in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where I still work as a prosecuting attorney. I’ve downsized considerably, and adjusted to walking my wolf-sized dog, Lucky, several times a day. (He used to just blast out the door on his own to chase deer and turkeys and rabbits.) We’re both losing weight! Writing had been pushed to the back shelf for a year and a half for the house adventure, but I’m getting back in the saddle again. On the writing front, I’ve finally finished the first draft of a children’s chapter book “Finnigan the Circus Cat” and will start shopping it around soon to agents and publishers. I’ve also gone back to work on a YA novel that I hit “pause” on at the halfway mark while I focused on the house.

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?

What is the value of Waterline Writers…? I am such a fan of writers getting up and “reading out loud” in front of other people. Waterline Writers is hands-down the most gorgeous and artistic venue I’ve done “live lit” at in the several years since I decided to put my fear of public speaking to the test, drive to Chicago and read a chapter from one of my books at one of the early “Essay Fiesta” gatherings. Since then I’ve read in bookstores, libraries, a tattoo parlor, and a couple of bars. I wrote an essay about it a few years ago for my blog at Growing Bolder. Here’s the link. As a writer, it can be scary to get out from behind your keyboard and put your words in front of a group. But there is so much positive energy that comes from it too…and I always come away from these events with my senses just crackling from all the different stories and ways of seeing the world that the other authors have brought to the table.