Sorry for the delay. This update will cover the remainder of August and most of September. Here are the highlights:
Drum Roll Please – Writer’s Digest Annual Competition – On August 4, I received the following from Writer’s Digest: Hi Chuck, Congratulations! Your poem, “Miner’s Lament,” was awarded Third Place in the Nonrhyming Poetry category for the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. Given that this competition is open to writers worldwide, to receive a third place award is a very big deal. My personal thanks to Peter Mulholland who taught the OLLI poetry class for which I wrote the poem and who encouraged me to submit it to a writing competition.
My father was a coal miner who died of the black lung at my age. This poem is a tribute to him, as will be my next book, Black Hell Drowning. Sorry, but I will not be posting the poem online yet as I intend to submit it for publication. After I do, I’ll post it for all to read.
Amanda’s Move to California Continues – I reviewed and incorporated over 100 pages of computer-generated edit recommendations from California Times Publishing. As a result, Amanda is now slimmer and a faster read than ever. Now she is in the hands of their human editor and I am awaiting that report. While the process is exhausting, I’m thrilled with the scrutiny. My goal is to do quality writing and through the feedback I’ve received from them and from you, my readers, I am constantly learning how to write better. The publisher also sent options for the new book cover. I selected one, provided some recommendations and I am awaiting their final design. I am anxious to share it with you when it’s ready.
As Does Her Journey Toward Hollywood – I am continuing my review of Carl’s screenplay for Amanda’s Room. One of the most thrilling experiences in writing is when the reader sees things in your book that you, the writer, did not. While I created Amanda’s bedroom to serve as a battleground for good vs. evil, Carl has extended that metaphor by creating a more active presence of the spirit of Snakes Finley. The result is a more compelling story. More on this to come.
Are The Angels Ready for Prime Time? – I have finished the new chapters for Angels Unaware and in particular, fleshed out the background of one of the book’s main characters, Frank Russo. Research plays a crucial part in writing fiction and this research took me in directions I never anticipated. Readers will accompany Frank as he struggles to survive in the Pacific theater of WWII. They will also learn, as I have, about the fascinating and heartbreaking story of the Himeyuri students, a group of high school girls who provided nursing and medical care to Japanese troops on Okinawa during the final months of the war. My thanks go to Joan LaRose, who recommended that I pursue Frank’s story line further. I think that she and other readers will find it adds greatly to the book.
We’ll See What the Experts Have to Say – On August 15, I am meeting with two with New York literary agents and a publishing company editor at the Unicorn Writer’s Conference in New York. They have all read the first 40 pages of Angels Unaware and will be discussing their impression of the book with me. We will see if my writing impresses them enough to secure their interest in publishing the novel.
And Stage Lights? – Now that the novel is finished, I need to cull out the sections that could work for the play. As I mentioned previously, I have already discussed the project with an equity theater and they are waiting for the completed manuscript. If they agree it could make a successful play, we will discuss plans for securing a playwright and developing the stage production. More on this to come.
Amanda’s Room – Reader’s Edition
What’s Next? – I met with Richard LaPorta of Husky Trail Press just prior to leaving for vacation to discuss where we’ve been, where we are now and where we will go in the future with this edition. Richard and I are meeting again to move this project further. In the meantime, I have ordered additional copies for upcoming signing events (See below).
Unicorn Writers’ Conference – Saturday, August 15 – 7:30 AM-8:00 PM – Reid Castle at Manhattanville College. As mentioned in earlier updates, I will be attending this conference and meeting with agents and editors there about my new book, Angels Unaware. More to come.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UCONN Waterbury Campus – There are several major developments at OLLI at UCONN. This amazing program provides high-quality, low-cost educational services to mature learners throughout Connecticut and beyond. For information about the OLLI program, its offerings and to register online go to: www.olli.uconn.edu
It’s Official – President of OLLI at UCONN for the 2015/2016 Academic Year – UCONN’s Director of Community Outreach, Brian Chapman, made the formal announcement today that I have accepted the appointment. I am a long-time participant in OLLI, have great respect for the OLLI program and I am honored to fill this position.
OLLI Open House – August 18 – 9 A.M. – 1 P.M. – UCONN Waterbury Campus – Free and Open to the Public! Come join us for this opportunity to explore what OLLI at UCONN has to offer you. Learn about the program offerings, schedule and costs, hear from out Keynote Speaker, Jonathan Kellogg, former Executive Editor of the Republican-American, and choose to attend two of the 15 sample classes offered. To register, go online at: olli.uconn.edu/special-events
Voices and Visions 2015 is Published – The fifth volume of the OLLI annual arts and literary review is finished. I have chaired this journal’s editorial committee for the past three years. I am very proud of this quality publication, of the diligence and creativity of the editorial committee, and of the outstanding contributions of OLLI members in areas of visual arts, prose, poetry and photography. You can receive a free copy by attending the OLLI Open House on August 18 or you can request one from OLLI at UCONN by contacting the campus by phone at 203-236-9924, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Dollar Feeds Kids (EDFK) Annual Bike Run – Sunday, Sept 13 – 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. Wolcott American Legion, 1253 Wolcott Rd, Wolcott, CT – This may seem an odd entry for my writing update, but if you look on the copyright page of Amanda’s Room you will note that a portion of the proceeds go to this organization. I have been involved with EDFK since its inception and I am past Board Chairman for the organization. Our mission is simple, to raise money to feed hungry children in the U.S. and abroad. If you have a motorcycle (or not) and want to have some great food, fun and enjoy the fabulous scenery of the Connecticut countryside while supporting a worthy cause, join us. For more information about the organization and the event go to: http://www.edfk.org/EDFK/HOME.html
Television Interview by Jan Lewis on Be My Guest – Upton MA – Wednesday, Sep 16 -Jan Lewis will interview me and my fellow author and friend, Casey Morley, on her cable television program, Be My Guest. The program will air locally in the Upton MA area and nationally and globally on the internet and U-Tube. More information to follow.
OLC Book Club discussion, Farmington, CT – Sep 18 – As a writer, one of my favorite activities is meeting with groups that have read my book to discuss their views, answer their questions and provide the “story behind the story.” On September 18, I look forward to doing just that with the members of the OLC Book Club in Farmington, CT. Special thanks to Nancy Castonguay for arranging this get-together.
Eastern States Exposition 2015 – Agawam MA – Once again, I’ll be back at the Big-E for this annual New England event at one of the biggest fairs in the country. I will be in the Connecticut building signing and selling my books on the following days and times: Sat 9/19 10am -2 pm; Mon 9/21 10am -2 pm; Weds (CT Day) 9/23 4-6 pm; Sat 9/26 10am -2 pm; and Mon 9/28 12-4 pm. If you are at the fair during any of these periods, stop by the Connecticut building, say hello and, if interested, explore book offerings by me and other Connecticut authors.
Know someone who has not read Amanda’s Room yet? Copies are available at the following:
Amazon.com (Paperback, Kindle and Audio book), http://www.amazon.com/Amandas-Room-Chuck-Miceli/dp/1475291973
BarnesandNoble.com (Paperback and Nook), http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amandas-room-chuck-miceli/1109800880
Smashwords.com (Multiple e-book formats), https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131678
In Connecticut: Southington, Willington, Bristol, Forestville, Oxford, W. Hartford (Faxon Branch)
In Massachusetts: Dudley, Woods Hole
In Pennsylvania: Laughlin, Pittston
If your public library carries Amanda’s Room and is not listed above, please notify me and I will add them to the list.
If your library does not carry Amanda’s Room and would like to, please let me know and I will be happy to send them a free copy for their collection.
Local (In Connecticut)
The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Bradley Memorial Hospital Campus, Gift Shop, 81 Meriden Avenue, Southington, CT 06489
Tops Market, 887 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, CT 06479, (860) 628-8794
The Southington Chamber of Commerce, 1 Factory Sq # 201, Southington, CT 06489, (860) 628-8036
Grace’s Restaurant, 1678 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Milldale, CT,
The Bristol Senior Center, 240 Stafford Ave. Bristol, 06010, (860) 584-7895, has copies available to loan to their members.
Thanks and Good Reading