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Kerrytown BookFest

Kerrytown BookFest092116-blog

Ann Arbor writers introduced themselves, I’ve listed their websites and names to thank them for their generosity and to let my Michigan readers learn about the treasure trove of talent in Ann Arbor. In no particular order:

1. WWAAY Women Writers of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti: 2016 Fall Conference. AM workshops and PM readings, 3222 Angell Hall, UM Central Campus, October 15, 2016, Register on our website: WWAAY.com: Zilka Joseph “The Beautiful Detail: Poetry of the Body & Narrative; Shutta Crum, The Toughest Audience: Writing for Young Readers; Leslie McGraw, Where the Wil Writers Are: Social media & Book Marketing; Jeanne Ballew, the Writer’s Architect: Path to Publishing Your Book – Plus Share your own work at our afternoon reading!

2. Charles R. Stern, “Juxtaposition Paradox” traded books for reviews.

3. geniaservice@gmail.com gave St. Joan’s Architect free for Kindle

4. Lacyhippiemama@hotmail.com, Elizabeth Comiskey (follows me on FB)

5. Doris Lemecke “Legacy of Lies”, Historical and Mainstream Fiction www.DorisLemckeBooks.com

6. Woodward Press, Use only the services you need.

7. GeminiChildrensMusic.com, gemini2200@comcast.net, 800-317-9929

8. PamRossi.com pamrossi.voiceovers@gmail.com, 734-740-1199

9. M.G. Marshall, Novelist, Writer, Editor “Angel Fire,” “Face the Lion Chronicles” www.marymarshallbooks.net

10. www.SplatteredInkPress.com “Quit talking start writing.’

11. Ladies of Mischief, Karen Dean Benson “Mulberry Bend” “Mission Song” Devil’s Grace” www.karendeanbenson.com karendean.benson@gmail.com

12. “Searching for Nannie B.” a memoir by Nancy Own Nelson www.nancyownnelson.com

13. Linda K. Sienkiewicz author of in the context of Love. www.lindaksienkiewicz.com

14. Ken Wachsbergber, Azenphony Press, kenwachberg.wordpress.com, www.foicesfrom the underground.com 734-635-0577

15. Fish out of Water Books, Jon and Laurie Wilson, www.fowbooks.com, fowbooks@gmail.com 734-975.6896.

16. PoetryIntoSong.com, Laszlo Slomovits, gemini2200@comcast.net 734-665.0409 poety of Rumi, Hafiz and other mystics, rendered into song.

17. “Reaslizing River City” Melissa Grunow

18. “Creative Cooking” Jay Kinney, chefjaykinney@yahoo.com

19. “J. Thomas Like, author, www.jthomasLike.com justonemorepage@jtomasLike.com

20 “Rooted together, Jolene Witt, www.jolenewitt.com, jowitt85@yahoo.cm

 092116-2

IWSG: Where’s the conflict?

From H. L. Mencken

“Prejudices, Third Series,” Chapter X, The Novel, p 105.

The above author has nothing good to say about feminine novelists with the exception of mentioning Jane Austin and highly recommending Will Cather’s “My Antonia.”

“An unmistakable flavor of effeminacy hangs about the novel. (The novel) in the form we know to-day, arose in Spain toward the end of the sixteenth century, was aimed at the emerging women of Castilian seraglios-who were gradually emancipating themselves. They could now read and write. But to write was regarded as decidedly unladylike.”

‘A single plot served most of these confectioners. Man and maid meet, love, proceed to kiss-but the rest must wait…not until the very last scene for fate and Holy Church license anything more.”

“Women as they have gradually become fully literate have forced their way to the front of the makers of the stuff they feed on, and they show signs of ousting men, soon or late, from the business. They are not really novels but metaphysical sonatas disguised as romances. The novel is concerned solely with human nature as it is practically rendered (in pungent realism).”

“It is my contention that women succeed in the novel…even more strikingly when they throw off the inhibitions that hover hitherto cobwebbed their minds – because they see facts in life more sharply and are less distracted by mooney dreams. They are< I believe, generally happier than men…”

“If I live to the year 1950 I expect to see a novel by a woman that will describe a typical marriage…I venture that novel will demolish superstitions that have prevailed in the Western World since the fall of the Roman Empire.

“It will be harsh, but it will be true and being true, it will be a good novel. There can be no good one that is not true.” Maybe Hemmingway knew Mencken?

Willa Cather’s very distinguished quality in “My Antonia” is a great deal more than simply a good novel. It is a document in the history of American literature. It proves that accurate representation is not inimical to beauty. No romantic novel every written in America, by man or woman, is one-half so beautiful as “My Antonia.”

“The novel of the future will show after a woman has got her man) that a woman begins to live. It will show against a background of actuality, her conduct in the eternal struggle between her aspiration and her destiny. It will be sweet stuff, indeed; and it will come.”

*

Begging to differ, Leah St. James’ novel “Adrienne’s Ghost” throws away any lingering inhibitions. The love-making scenes promise ‘the happy life after’ that Mencken talks about. Would scenes of setting dinner tables, wiping various noses and bottoms of their off-spring, balancing check books and re-carpeting the house add to the knowledge of human nature? I doubt it. Where’s the conflict?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Outline Structure: What do you include?

What do you include in your outline structure? For my novel “Ann Arbor’s Bus Orphan” I’ve gone about as far as I can go without listing the scenes (an outline—in fact). All of the scenes in the re-write have not been listed but the highlights of the novel’s progression are set down.
ANN ARBOR’S BUS ORPHAN
Act I
Scene THAD*
CREATION: BLANK PAGE
0%-10% Stage I: SETUP Fully in False Identity
October, 1990
Prologue          1-3
Congressional Session, Lansing MI
POV First Person, Norman Kennedy (60)
Theme of Reparations to Native American by restoring their sacred burial grounds.
Introduction of characters:
Sam Storrer, his brother Jason’s wife Megan and their prophet child Ray
Tom Sweetwater and his uncle Torchey, his wife Heather and sister, Megan
Robert and Doris (Dunacker) Westroad
Ghost: Cougarman
Uncle Torchey threatens tornadoes if sacred burial grounds are not returned by the Harvest Moon
Cougarman attackes camermen
Chapter One          4-11
Norman’s Apartment, Ann Arbor, MI
POV First Person, Noman Kennedy
March 15, 1987
Book, Black Elk Speaks levitates, knee disappears, he disappears in a bus window reflection, billboard dame turns into his mother, and Doris’ blue and yellow mansion turns into a white-painted house.
Doris’ House
Ghost cat comes through the floor, Cougarman appears to Norman for the first time.
Chapter Two          11-17
Norman overhears Uncle Torchy (fringed leather jacket) and Tom Sweetwater discussing the lay of the land under Doris’ house.
Doris hires Tom who helps her buy a car
Busches Grocery Store
They meet Roger Westroad at Busches with six Storrer children (Jason, etc.)
Sam sees Cougarman on Tom’s shoulders
Norman’s Apartment
Norman worries Roger Westroad will replace him in Doris’ affection
Turning Point #1 10% Opportunity
EXODUS: HERO’S JOURNEY
10%-25% Stage II NEW SITUATION Glimpses True Essence
March 18, 1987
Chapter Three          18-45
LAW: LEGALITIES & PUBLISHING CRITERIA
Act II
Turning Point #2 Change of Plans 25%
25% to 50% Stage III PROGRESS Vacillates between false identity and true essence
Date—————–
Chapter Four          46- 57
WISDOM: WHAT DOES HERO LEARN
Chapter Five          58- 71
Date—————–
PROPHECY: FORESHADOWING
Chapter Six          72-78
Date ——————–
TRUTH: HERO FACES REALITY
Turning Point #3 Point of No Return 50%-75% Stage IV:
COMPLICATIONS & HIGHER STAKES Fully in essence, but reverts one final time
Chapter Seven          79-86
Date——————-
APOCALYPS: BLACK MOMENT
 Act III
Turning Point #4   Black Moment Major Setback 75%-90% Stage V:
FINAL PUSH Returns to true essence
Chapter Eight          87-99
Date——————-
RESOLUTION ALL POINTS
Date————–
Turning Point #5 Climax 90-100 % Stage VI AFTERMATH Transformed essence
Chapter Nine          94-96
THE END

Inserts for a Novel in Progress

081716 Blog

Initial Step

“Writing the Natural Way” by Gabriele Rico may transform my dull novel of 1994 into a richer tableau. The original idea was to bring redemption to our Nation by re-instating Native Americans burial grounds to various tribes who were stripped of land rights by greedy settlers.

My novel “Ann Arbor’s Bus Orphan” states the case in dry terms with a few interesting ghosts thrown in when the reader might have slipped completely into a coma.

Rico’s prompts on page nine resulted in the following:

*

Norman is an old-fashioned name. Mother explained it has something to do with Ulysses. Her drinking usually interrupted the story, but something about cyclops asking his name and Ulysses saying it was No Man made sense to her. Of course I never met my biological father. When the friends of the cyclops hastened to his cave after Ulysses put out his one eye with a stick, they asked who was hurting him. When the cyclops answered, “No Man,” they abandoned him to his fate.

Norman couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t feel deserted. The university was the closest to claiming a family, even though he was never invited to join a holiday celebration. So Doris’ friendship was crucial. Being an orphan, unloved, left him with a hole in his heart, something even Niagara Falls couldn’t fill.

Books were his only tangible friends—except for Doris. But he realized he failed Doris. Otherwise she wouldn’t have needed a man like Robert Westwood. He didn’t know how to show his emotions to her. All Norman was sure of was his lust for her house full of books and the orderliness she lacked. Life was worth a search for meaning in the chaos of things strewn pell-mell around a person. In order to demand reason, life required a place for everything.

His rising panic each morning attested to the power or preeminence she held in his life. Norman was at Doris’ beck and call. Would she ever acknowledge his dedication to her, or at least her library? Maybe he should write out why he needed to move in with her, with all the words at his command surely he could choose the most convincing reasons.

 

Stepping into Reality

080916 Blog

Stepping into Reality

Beware the metaphor.

Paul and I often walk around Gallup Park here in Ann Arbor. On one such ramble we met a young couple pushing a stroller on the wood-chip path. I smiled at the beautiful blonde mother. She didn’t smile back. Her glazed sky-blue eyes didn’t focus. Her husband, a loose-limbed, tall fellow showed all his teeth—almost in excited relief.

We walked on and Paul nudged my arm. “There is no baby in the stroller.”

“Maybe under the blanket?”

“No.”

“Why would a couple push an empty stroller?” I hadn’t tried to look at the baby in the pram.

We conjured all kinds of excuses, “The grandmother must have the baby at a picnic table; but why take the stroller?”

We got giddy, looking in the bushes for ‘Moses’ along the path. Still no plausible answer presented itself. Then more fiction rose to the rescue.

*

Delores understood the green, they were at the park after all. The blur of grief did lift at times, usually in the shower when her damp tears could have been the hot water. Daniel hadn’t cried as far as she knew. She should have worn a hat or at least sunglasses for the bright day. Daniel held onto her shoulder, as if she might disappear, too.

His constant refrain of, “Come back, come back;” did nothing but drive her further away. She liked to slip into the fantasy of still being pregnant. Gigantic in her ten month. He’d been proud telling everyone they were probably having twins.

*

Well after the due date, Delores awoke in their first home, sitting on the family room couch with a bundle of wrapped blankets tucked in her left arm. The television wasn’t on.

“Never mind,” Mother said. “You’re getting better, you know.”

Encouraged by the positive words, Delores began to un-wrap her baby. Why had Mother allowed her to over-heat the child? She noticed her mouth got dryer and dryer after each swaddling cloth dropped away.

“You needed something to hold,” Mother said.

The blankets were empty. “I better lie down,” Delores stretched out her arms to escape the painful couch.

Mother helped lift her, nearly carrying her down the long hall to their sun-brightened bedroom suite. “Daniel will be home soon,” Mother’s words had lost their cheerful tone, “or do you want me to call him?”

“No,” Delores remembered hearing herself say as she drifted into her patch of numb oblivion, “Daniel doesn’t have the baby either.”

*

Delores nearly stumbled on the uneven winding trail as she pushed the light stroller. At first all had been well. She could feel the hot sun burn her face. Her eyes had dried up—no wetness.

Other people dragged her mood down to her empty arms.

She tried not to face their smiles, but stopped avoiding them when an older couple walked up. The woman’s face was lined under her wide hat, her smile genuine. The sixties-symbol her older husband wore promised peace. He had stared inside the stroller—but didn’t break stride with his wife.

Daniel pressed her shoulder.

“I know,” she said. “How long has it been?”

“Four months.” Daniel lifted both his hands to tug at his hair. “We can’t have anymore.”

“You’ve been so alone.” Delores slid her barren arms around his waist. “We have each other.”

Nearly breaking her fragile bones, he embraced her with his powerful, life-sustaining arms. “Always.”

*

To understand the power of the scene, I immersed the parable into my futile writing career. My babies, novels, were freed of their sterile boxes, sent out into the glutted world among the dreams of other writers floating in Amazon space.

When they visit with their five-star reviews enough, I repeat the husbanded muse. “Always” means the joy of writing will not leave me—or anyone aspiring to create perfect relief from reality.

Help

Rohn Federbush

Ann Arbor, Michigan Author

 

July 23, 2016

Small Press Department

Barnes & Noble

122 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10011

In Lincoln’s Shadow

ISBN 978-1-5049-3357-5

 

Dear Evelyn VeLazuez, Coordinator,

                Following your suggestions please consider this my fifteenth request for Barnes & Noble to shelve my book “In Lincoln’s Shadow” in your Ann Arbor, Michigan store. A year ago I paid substantially for three years of returnable books from the publisher, Author House. In 2013 “In Lincoln’s Shadow” finaled in the Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense category held by the Daphne Du Mauier Award sponsored by the RWA Kiss of Death Chapter. Lincoln’ quotations used by the detective when his emotions need calming are from “The Life of Lincoln,” 1858-1865, published by P.F. Collier, New York, NY 1906—as noted in thirty references. The setting’s cover photo of the Ann Arbor City Club is another shelf-appeal factor.

                Your delay in offering my book has undermined my marketing efforts here in Ann Arbor and around the state. One local reader had to argue with a sales clerk who ordered and delivered the book (after some delay)—about not being able to return it. I apologize for the obvious lack of a patient tone in this appeal. My frustration is continuing to grow.

                On August 23, 2015 The New York Times Book Review featured my book “Separation Anxiety” on page two (ISBN 978-5049-2012-4). My July 2016 release “St. Joan’s Architect” by Reader’s Digest LifeRich (ISBN 978-1-4897-0775-8) has already received three five star reviews on Amazon and several more on LinkedIn. Because of previous delays, I’m hoping you will consider shelf space for these two books, too.

Sincerely,

 

Rohn Federbush

734-994-6217, 734-223-6045

2141 Pauline Court

Ann Arbor MI 48103

www.rohnfederbush.com

rohn@comcast.net

 

 

 

St. Joan’s Architect – Reader’s Raving Reviews

St Joan's Architect - Cover

By Jen L. on July 6, 2016

Art, history, island life, and romance. Lovely romantic read on the island of Mont Saint Michel. The protagonist, Catherine, is approached by St Joan of Arc and given a mission. She starts to fall for Romee, an artist, as her conservative mother watches out and advises her. The connection between mother and daughter is showcased as we witness the continuous dialogue between Catherine and her mother. I absolutely loved Rohn’s classic smooth writing style. It was a very pleasant, fun, that had me inspired by the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure to read

By Michelle Geist on June 28, 2016

Set upon the magical island of Mont Saint Michel, this is a romantic and beautiful tale. Federbush has created a world where history and the modern day meet, and explores an original idea in which this meeting creates an opportunity for Joan of Arc to live on into the present. Through Catherine Marksteiner, a young student, Joan is able to convey messages. The theme of St Joan’s Architect is one of art, the love of art, and the importance of remembering the people who helped shape our heritage and make it possible to achieve what we want in life. An inspiring story and a pleasure to read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and historical with a twist

By Julie Burroughs on June 22, 2016

‘St Joan’s Architect’ combines fiction, with historical facts about the island of Mont Saint Michel and it’s previous inhabitants. The story follows a young architectural student, Catherine, who is persuaded by St Joan of Arc herself to undertake a project in her memory. A love story between Catherine and resident Romee adds to the passion of the situation. I enjoyed the development of the relationships in this story, and the little elements of humor made for a light hearted read. A well written romantic story with a historical twist that kept me highly entertained.

 

St. Joan Five Star Reviews

St Joan's Architect - Cover

By Jen L. on July 6, 2016

Art, history, island life, and romance. Lovely romantic read on the island of Mont Saint Michel. The protagonist, Catherine, is approached by St Joan of Arc and given a mission. She starts to fall for Romee, an artist, as her conservative mother watches out and advises her. The connection between mother and daughter is showcased as we witness the continuous dialogue between Catherine and her mother. I absolutely loved Rohn’s classic smooth writing style. It was a very pleasant, fun, that had me inspired by the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure to read

By Michelle Geist on June 28, 2016

Set upon the magical island of Mont Saint Michel, this is a romantic and beautiful tale. Federbush has created a world where history and the modern day meet, and explores an original idea in which this meeting creates an opportunity for Joan of Arc to live on into the present. Through Catherine Marksteiner, a young student, Joan is able to convey messages. The theme of St Joan’s Architect is one of art, the love of art, and the importance of remembering the people who helped shape our heritage and make it possible to achieve what we want in life. An inspiring story and a pleasure to read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and historical with a twist

By Julie Burroughs on June 22, 2016

‘St Joan’s Architect’ combines fiction, with historical facts about the island of Mont Saint Michel and it’s previous inhabitants. The story follows a young architectural student, Catherine, who is persuaded by St Joan of Arc herself to undertake a project in her memory. A love story between Catherine and resident Romee adds to the passion of the situation. I enjoyed the development of the relationships in this story, and the little elements of humor made for a light hearted read. A well written romantic story with a historical twist that kept me highly entertained.

 

IWSG: Calling All Authors

Interview Questions

1. Over the length of your career how many manuscripts have you published?

2. Do you use a critique group or Beta readers for feedback?

3. How many agents have you become acquainted with and what were their redeeming characteristics?

4. How do you track your readers to inform them of new books being published?

5. How long were you subsisting on royalties without other employment?

6. What advice do you have for tax records?

7. How has RWA National been of assistance to your career?

8. Of all your characters which is your favorite?

9. Which book are you most proud of?

10. Which publisher was the most helpful with marketing and distribution?

11. Which book is in line to be published next?

12. Do you offer reviews for your fellow writers?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG