We had our eighty-fourth Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting on Saturday, September 14. Thanks to Steve, Lisa, Sean, Matt H, Salvador, and Cary for joining me for the latest in a series of fun afternoons of useful conversation. We also welcomed back Marianne after a prolonged absence because of, as she put it, “greatgrandbaby duty on Saturdays,” as well as welcoming back Michelle, who specifically took a day off of work to join us. Thanks, also, to Jaime for his benevolent patronage.
As usual, we started with a few agenda items:
– I mentioned that I used the Android app @Voice Aloud Reader to have my phone read some of the pieces for this month as I was stuck on my ungainly commute. It handled everything very well, even the patois in Michelle’s piece
– Before each of the films in the recent Silent Summer film fest, a slide show of local businesses was projected on the screen, and this year I purchased time to advertise my novel, The Opening of the Elysium. I figured the time setting of the book and the story of the construction of a movie palace would fit the festival. And when I mentioned to the crowd that the book was on the shelves at the Brookfield Library and is available via inter-library loan, I received much applause.
– The 2019 Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books is on Nov 2. In addition to the traditionally published authors speaking there, they offer a Writers Marketplace, where independents can “reach more than 1500 Southeast Wisconsin readers in person.” I went two years ago, and while I didn’t sell a lot of books, I had fun. They are under new management, so maybe the book sales will be better this year. Cost is $30/3 hours, $50/All day – deadline for entries is Oct 1 – https://www.sewibookfest.com/
– Matt H told us of an ownership change at the Atlas Obscura web site and he said that they would like him to again host his tours of Hyde Park and Riverside. He also said they are eager to have him reprise the presentation he gave in 2018 with fellow writers group member Marianne about Frances Glessner Lee. That one sold out in record time, so as soon as he tells me it’s been announced, I’ll let everyone know.
– The play THE MYSTERY OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY will be presented by the Oak Park Festival Theatre this fall. Dates are Oct 24 through Nov 17, and will be presented at the Chaney Mansion, 220 N Euclid Ave in Oak Park. The play is part biography of Poe, specifically his relationship with his wife, and part dramatization of some of his short stories. What makes it unique is that the audience moves from room to room in the building, with different parts presented in each room. Several of us saw this at the First Folio Theater in Oakbrook in previous years and highly recommended it – https://oakparkfestival.com/project/poe-2019/?mc_cid=79fedde596&mc_eid=e668cbf013
– Speaking of the First Folio Theater in Oakbrook, the Fall presentation this year will be Sherlock’s Last Case, a play featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It runs from October 2 to November 3. https://firstfolio.org/?production=sherlocks-last-case (And coming in February will be a brand-new Wooster and Jeeves play!)
– Cary said that the La Grange Park Library will be holding a Bingo night as a fundraiser for the library. The date is November 15, and details are at https://www.lplibrary.org/events2/bingo-fundraiser/
– The web site https://www.craftliterary.com/ is having their first flash fiction contest for unpublished stories up to 1,000 words! Submissions end Oct 31, Previously unpublished work only – $20 reading fee per entry allows up to two stories of 1,000 words or fewer each – 3 $1000, 4 $150 prizes, All entrants will receive an exclusive digital compilation. Details at https://www.craftliterary.com/craft-flash-fiction-contest/
– Lisa reported that the there will be a panel discussion on “First Amendment, Art, Censorship & Freedom of Speech” at the Harold Washington Library downtown on October 1st at 6:15pm. The panel will be moderated by Robert Jordan, Chicago journalist and former WGN-TV news anchor, and is presented by American and Illinois Library Associations, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Morris Library at Southern Illinois University and in collaboration with Chicago Public Library. Details are at https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/events/5d0167bcf4162d9e401e0818
– Explore More Illinois is a cultural pass program that allows Illinois public library cardholders to get discounts and benefits from museums, park districts, historical societies, performing and visual arts centers, and other attractions. Featured Museums include Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (Springfield), Chicago Children’s Museum (Navy Pier), Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum (Oak Park), Illinois Holocaust Museum (Skokie). Not every library offers it, but the Brookfield Library does. – https://exploremore.quipugroup.net/
– Salvador mentioned that he’s been talking to members of a writer’s group that meets on the campus of Triton College. He was thinking of inviting them to one of our meetings.
– The silent film The Phantom Carriage (1921) will be shown with live organ accompaniment at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in La Grange on Sat Oct 5. Popular Swedish fantasy film “considered to be one of the central works in the history of Swedish cinema”. I saw the Phantom of the Opera there last year, and the pipe organ was spectacular! Details at http://www.silentfilmsjaywarren.com/events.html
– Sean is excited that his three Bernie Sebastian books are now available at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore on Madison Ave in Forest Park (https://www.centuriesandsleuths.com/) and he will be included in the Celebration of INDEPENDENTS DAY event at the bookstore on November 30. This event will allow readers to speak one-on-one to authors, and Sean will be there form 2 to 4pm.
We then went around the table to get everyone’s current reading list:
– Steve is still working his way through On the Road by Jack Kerouac
– Lisa liked The Sleep Detectives Go To Washington by Matthew Bieniek, and is also reading Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game by Allen St. John, which she is finding fascinating
– Sean is still reading the Louis L’Amour collection he mentioned last month, and is also reading Three Strikes You’re Dead by Robert Goldsborough, which he picked up after meeting the author at Centuries & Sleuths
– Matt H is enjoying The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb
– Marianne is reading The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
– Cary has been reading The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
– Matt B liked A Life Rebuilt by Beth Robb despite the many typos, and is now reading Charlie Harmer Takes A Ride by Brendan Detzner
– Michelle and Salvador said they hadn’t read anything of note
The rest of the meeting was taken up with the usual general writing discussions. The list of pieces for critique was short this month, but that just meant that we had plenty of time to discuss the intricacies of each story, after spending quite a bit of time talking about the upcoming events listed above.
Thanks again to everyone for joining me this month. Here’s the schedule for the next month or so:
– The next Tamale Hut Café Reading Series event will be Saturday, September 28 at 7PM, with series regular Chris Krazmus as featured reader. Please check the blog (http://thcreadingseries.wordpress.com/) for more information.
– around September 29, I will to send a reminder to you to submit a piece for critique during our next meeting.
– as I get pieces, I will send them out as quickly as I can
– our next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, October 12 at 2PM at the Tamale Hut Café.
Thanks for your interest in the THC Writers Group. I hope to see you at the next Reading Series event or at the next Writers Group meeting.
Things to remember:
– If want to reach out to one of the other members directly, send me an e-mail and I will send your e-mail address to the other person, asking them to get in contact with you.
– If you simply want to forward something to another member, send it to me and I’ll do just that.
– And as always, if you no longer want to be on this list, simply reply saying so and I’ll remove you from the list promptly.