Local News Since 1890 Now Online!

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Stories, the tapestry of our lives

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Literature, Opinion, Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 at 9:35 am

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines
DIH LOGOLong before man learned to put pen to paper, stories kept the history of human kind. Passed down from generation to generation, our stories weave the tapestry of who we are as a people, the perils and the promise, the struggles and successes.

One might think in this modern age of nonstop information, digital data and wearable technology, that we would have abandoned the need for sharing stories verbally. Thankfully, I’ve learned not only that the practice is alive and well, but also takes place often in the most unlikely places.

Recently I was privileged to attend a storytelling event hosted by my friend Michael. For more than two decades, he and some of his closest friends have gathered each year to share stories of all kinds.

Painting by Albert Anker

Painting by Albert Anker

Everyone brings a snack or beverage to share and gather, goodies in hand, to lose themselves in the tales spun by each reader.  Those chosen to read take, in turn, the “reader’s chair” to share aloud an original story or a piece by a favorite author.

I’ve both hosted and attended author readings before. But I’ve never been to something like this. But there is no formal group or organization involved here. There is no religious or political agenda – something I found beyond refreshing.

The entire evening is focused, not the quality of the writing or the impact of the stories, but the fellowship and common interest of long time friends and new acquaintances. It was the modern day equivalent of a tribe sitting around a campfire.

What I was most impressed by was everyone’s level of attention, respect and admiration for the person in the reader’s chair. This was not something people were compelled to attend. There was no work obligation or social requirement.

And, while some of us who were there are writers, most were not. Add to that such a variety of people who really had only one thing in common – our host. One person whose circle of friends combined for this single purpose, a couple of hours of distance between us and the chaos of the world outside.

The stories chosen were also captivating, not as much because of the tales being told but the teller. Each reader had his or her own, individual style, some more animated, others more calm and quiet. To say it was entertaining would be an understatement.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that in our “immediate” society, it was really nice to calm down, relax and just be there, in the moment, among friends and new acquaintances.

You know what else? No one was looking at their smart phone or any other kind of screen for a couple of hours! Sure people checked for texts once in a while from the sitter or verified the ringer was off. But, for just a little while, no one was nose-down into a glowing box.

It might sound corny to some people but there’s something great about the disconnection from the outside to connect with the in. That’s saying something since socializing is not my strong suit. I’ve never been that comfortable at social gatherings, always feeling awkward and out of place, but not this time.

Everyone was engaged and welcoming in this setting, with no hidden agendas, no ulterior motives, no business maneuvering. This was just some great people getting together to enjoy an evening of calm, thoughtful writing.

Yes, it’s probably a bit nerdy and may sound pretentious to some people. But, I can assure you it wasn’t. If anything, it gave me a break from the hustle bustle of the week and I got to see my friend Michael in a different environment, something we should all try to do from time to time.

Sharing stories creates our history and weaves our society together and we need to remember that it started with two people communicating with each other – directly, person to person. Try it sometime. You might just find you have more in common with those around you than you may have thought. And thanks again to Michael and his storytellers.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Catch the Deer In Headlines podcast at MyGreeneRadio.com.

 

 

Local writers read in Beatnik Cafe at Books and Co. Feb 14

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Holiday, Local News, Uncategorized on February 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

WOWA_VAL_BEATNIK_POSTERBeavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7 pm on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Titled “Sweet Fire of Love,” the event features writers from all genres will perform through short works of fiction and poetry. The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960′s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

WOWA_Beatnik_Dec_2013_4Greene County native, Gery L. Deer is the co-founder and executive director of the organization. A professional freelance journalist, editorial columnist and commercial writer, he started WOWA in October of 2008. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” he says.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

WOWA Logo 2Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive. Details at the group’s website, http://www.westernohiowriters.org.

Watch the video interview with co-founder, Barbara Deer on WDTN-TV2’s, LIVING DAYTON program …

October 2013 marked the organization’s fifth anniversary and these talented scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Commercial WritingBooks & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Follow the WOWA on Facebook and Twitter.

Blue Jacket Books Hosts WOWA Beatnik Café Author Reading

In Business, Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Local News, Media, psychology, Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 at 5:25 am

WOWA writers Michael Martin (left) and Gery Deer at the 2010 Beatnik Cafe. Both will be reading at the upcoming event.

XENIA, OH – On Friday, August 3rd, local authors of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will present a live reading of short stories and poetry at Blue Jacket Books, 60 S. Detroit St. in Xenia. Known as Beatnik Café, the relaxed, informal format of the evening pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry cafes of the 1960’s in a more contemporary style. An author reception will begin at 6 pm and the live readings will run from 7 pm until 9 pm. The event is free and open to the public and coincides with Xenia’s First Friday activities.

The Beatnik Café is presented three times a year by members of the Western Ohio Writers Association, a resource group that provides support, education and professional assistance for writers in southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

Writers in a variety of genres attend monthly WOWA critique and educational meetings where they can hone their skills and have their work reviewed by fellow scribes. Gery L. Deer of Jamestown is the founder and coordinator of the organization.

“Outside of a college class or expensive writers’ conferences, there was no consistent support available in our area,” Deer said. “We started the WOWA to provide critique and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional.”

Deer is a professional freelance commercial writer and editorial columnist. While making a move from periodical content to longer, creative manuscripts he found that networking with other writers might help him with the change in writing styles but opportunities were limited.

“The public readings give people the opportunity to hear from some of the most talented writers in the Midwest,” Deer continued. “We invite everyone to come out and meet our writers and enjoy the atmosphere provided at Blue Jacket Books.  It’s an ideal place to hang out, read and enjoy the work of our writers.”

The Western Ohio Writers Association events are sponsored by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing concierge business writing services. For more information, go online to http://www.theconciergecopywriter.com and click on the WOWA logo in the upper right corner, or email gdeer@gldenterprises.net. The Beatnik Café and the WOWA are trademarks of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing.