Pen and Keyboard Writers member Bonnie Lanthripe not only sets the world as her stage with writing, but she also stars in the Oklahoma City Jewel Box production of Driving Miss Daisy. I scanned the review from the Daily Oklahoman, but it's not as clear as I wish it were. Tell Bonnie we are proud of her.
P&K Writers win big
Several members of Pen and Keyboard Writers placed in the OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc) writing contest for 2015.
The OWFI 1st Vice-president, Tony LoPresti, announced the winners at the OWFI Writing Conference's Saturday banquet. Placing from Pen and Keyboard Writers were the following:
Congratulations to our winners!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR VERY OWN VIVIAN ZABEL ON HER WIN OF THE OWFI LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR 2013-2014!
High School Division (total entries 25):
1st place: Insaffatus by Candance Osterhout, Crossings Christian School
2nd place: The Sinister by Ethan Smith, Edmond Memorial High School
3rd place: Antique by Jenna Hapton, Edmond Memorial High School
honorable mention: Safe in Mind by Aubrie Visor
College Division (total entries 20):
1st place: Fiction and Reality by Dianne Wade, SNU
2nd place: The Write of Shame by Morgan Sorrell, UCO
3rd place: Unbroken Promises by Kellyn Eaddy, UCO
honorable mention: New Hope by Madison Castelli, UCO
All those who placed will be honored at the January 11, 2014 Pen and Keyboard Writers meeting. We hope all will attend. Visitors are invited.
Pen and Keyboard Writers
January 11, 2014
Mardel's conference room
33rd and Boulevard, Edmond
The winners of the competition will be posted here by September 15.
Click here for winners.
Mike Hinkle will speak on writing articles at the September 14 meeting. Mike is an excellent speaker and writes articles for the Edmond Sun weekly.
It Could Be Worst, You Could Be Me by Ariel Leve, is one of those books of essays that seems to be right on point. They are very relatable. Leve and I have a lot in common.
One essay is called, “I Know You Don't Like Me.” Yeah, Leve is pretty direct. I'm sure she figures that life is too short so let's get to the point. In this essay she thinks people should just be forthright with their feelings.
She writes, "Think of all the time it would save. No more lying to get out of a relationship. No more trying to figure out what you may have done to make someone distant or wondering if you're being paranoid. They wouldn't have to offer a reason. 'I don't like you' is all I need. Knowing where they stand would be enough." I agree with all of this except I'd want a reason. It doesn't have to be a big reason. But something. When I was in third grade I was somehow connected to Andrew, a kid in my class. We'd hold hands as we walked to the lunch room each day. He told me he didn't want to do it anymore because he wanted to be with Christina, another girl in our class. His reasoning was, she wore a training bra. Not the best reason but still at least he had a reason, and that made a difference.
One of my favorite essays in the book is about Facebook. She writes that she joined Facebook under pressure from her friend Sophie. "'I'm so excited!'" Sophie wrote on her wall. "'Finally!'You'd think I'd gotten engaged."
Leve says Facebook for her "opens up a whole new world of paranoia. I always knew I had the potential to alienate people in real life but now I can drive away thousands of people in cyberspace too?" She writes about her friend Emily who she had been trying to get in contact with. Emily hadn't gotten back to her so Leve assumed she was just busy. Emily left a status message on her own wall talking in the third person, "'Emily has just spent eight hours doing nothing and is incredibly bored.'" Now what? I'd be hurt too! I'm as paranoid as Leve. When I ask someone to be my friend and they don't "friend" me I'm thinking, "What’s up with this? She's friends with so and so, what's wrong with me? Who am I, chopped liver?" I often end up leaving a message saying "friend me for crying out loud; I'm getting a complex." Usually that does it; we become friends and I'm so happy. :)
She sees FB as a tool to replace email. "Now even texting and phone calls have become a chore. I'll get through to Madonna before I'll get through to Lisa."
Facebook does open up an opportunity to find out about the mundane of our friends. Leve writes, "'Liza is folding laundry.' I felt so included. God only knows what else I've been missing." I find out a lot about people from their status.
Another essay is about Recycling. I found this essay especially enlightening. I had never thought of this...that being childless is a benefit to the environment. Who knew? Now I feel better about not having kids. Leve writes, "Putting fewer people on earth does far more to prevent global warming than buying organic blueberries." She makes a point, so much that I really feel better. I'm not making trips to soccer games or carting my kids from place to place. I'm not buying non-biodegradable toys, electronic devices or containers. I should get a rebate from the government for my conscientious decision. Thanks Ariel, I feel so much more superior!
At first I wasn't as impressed with the book but as I got to reading more and more and understanding Leve's personality, I loved it. I highly recommend this book!
Reviewed by Eva Mahoney
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A BOX OF PANDORAS by Steve Brewer
E-book original, Kindle and Nook 2012
Steve Brewer’s famous character Bubba Mabry is nowhere in sight. This book belongs to Loretta Kimball, President and Newsletter Editor of the International Michael Girard Fan Club, operating from the one-horse town of Pandora. In reality, Pandora is barely a one-horse town. It’s more like a half-horse town but thanks to the Internet it’s a perfectly adequate place for the headquarters of an international fan club.
The story is from Loretta’s point of view, written in first person, so we are caught up in her life from the first page. Opening line: “When I first heard that my film idol was coming to New Mexico, you could've knocked me over with a feather boa.”
Michael Girard will arrive in Santa Fe as star of a film festival ramrodded by the Santa Fe Silver Screen Society. Santa Fe is only a three-hour drive, and Loretta uses her wifely wiles to persuade her husband Harley to pack a tuxedo and take her to Santa Fe.
As fan club president, Loretta is friends with Girard’s assistant. She’s assured of a chance to hang out with the VIPs and do an interview with Girard. Harley buys a tux from eBay and off they go. The festival is a lark. Brewer makes hilarious hash out of everything from the posturing of drama queens to equipment malfunctions, to hangers on, to wannabe film producers trying to sell a project.
The only real fly in Loretta's ointment is an old high school nemesis named Mitzi. A congenital scene-hogger, Mitzi is president of everything in Pandora. She shows up at the festival dressed to kill, trailing Loretta like a shadow. Mitzi is the center of attention – until the first body drops.
Brewer does have a way with words. A character takes a high dive from a hotel window and lands on the sidewalk at Loretta's feet. (Quote) She looked like a bag of elbows. I leaned closer. Her face was smashed on one side, flattened against the unyielding concrete. The other eye was wide open, looking right at me. I screamed at the top of my lungs. (End Quote)
Loretta reels from the shock until her imagination goes into overdrive and she decides that a famous actress probably lured the victim up to the roof for a private chat under the stars: "Why, that would be lovely -- whoops, splat."
More murders spur Loretta into action, determined to find the killer, save Girard’s reputation and get that interview. The secret to her success: “I've raised two children and sent them to college. After that, most everything seems doable."
This is a funny, gossipy small-town mystery. I loved the characters and hope to meet them again.
Review by Pat Browning
PLAYING WITH POISON
By Cindy Blackburn
CreateSpace Paperback, 2012
Kindle E-book, 2012
Book #1 in CueBall Mystery series
This book was bright and breezy, an easy read that kept me laughing.
Opening line: “‘Going bra shopping at age fifty-two gives new meaning to the phrase fallen woman,’ I announced as I gazed at my reflection.”
The speaker is Jessie, the protagonist. Her friend Candy pokes her head around the dressing room door and says, “I hope my figure looks that nice when I’m old.”
Really, now, fifty-two isn’t that old, and it doesn’t bother Jessie as much as it seems to bother everyone else, especially Captain Wilson Rye of the Clarence, North Carolina Police Department.
And why is it any of Rye’s business? No sooner has Jessie paid for the royal blue bra and matching panties and hauled them home than her doorbell rings. Candy’s handsome fiancé stumbles in, flops down on Jessie’s couch and dies. Enter Capt. Rye. Since the victim died on her couch, Rye figures Jessie for the killer and becomes an unwelcome fixture in her life.
Jessie writes steamy romance novels under the name of Adele Nightingale. Like everyone else on the planet she has a work in progress. The working title is “Temptation at Twilight” and passages are scattered throughout this book, making it part of the fun.
Jessie’s loft features a roof garden overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and The Stone Fountain bar, where she likes to play pool. Not that she plays for money these days. She pays her bills with royalties from her novels which Jimmy Beak, an obnoxious local newscaster, tells the world are “almost pornographic.”
The attractive Capt. Rye keeps dogging Jessie with yet another set of incriminating questions. During a search of her loft he ogles her book shelf and pinches her copy of “A DELUGE OF DESIRE.” He admits later that he only read the good parts. Twice.
Jessie’s real life associates are every bit as colorful as her fictional characters. There’s Lt. Densmore, who’s deathly afraid of heights. There’s Bryce, the bartender at The Stone Fountain who keeps changing his college major because he can’t decide what he wants to be. There’s Ian, Jessie’s asinine ex-husband, and his equally asinine new wife. There’s Jessie’s cat Snowflake, who likes to sit on laps.
And there’s Candy, whose taste in clothes runs to mini-skirts and stiletto heels, who inherits money under the terms of her murdered fiance’s will, and whose old boy friend shows up hot to trot.
Jessie decides to clear her own name and keep Candy out of jail by ferreting out the killer. The denouement, while fraught with peril, is just plain funny.
Review by Pat Browning
Pen & Keyboard Writers
The writing group meets monthly to discuss writing and critiquing each other's work, or critiquing by email.