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Club Members gather for our February 21st 2017 meeting with Tommy Tomlinson.

Club Members gather for our meeting February 21st 2017.

President, Jack Hemphill makes club announcements.

Tracy Himes, Membership Chair welcomes members and guests and provides a membership update.

Grace Ocasio, Contest Chair, announces winners from the CWC Nonfiction Contest.

Grace Ocasio, Contest Chair, reads from 1st Place Winner Lucia Robinson's entry Half a Life in Gloves.

Grace presents 2nd place award to Suzanne M. Degni for Kingsley Lake Lost Lake.

Suzanne M. Degni reads from her 2nd place entry Kingsley Lake Lost Lake.

Justin Hunt reads from his 3rd place entry Hog Trade with Dutch Shobe: A Memoir.

Grace awards Susan Proctor Honorable Mentions for her entries.

Susan Proctor reads from her Honorable Mention entry Skinny Skimming.

Susan Proctor reads from her Honorable Mention entry Milestones and Pebbles.

David Harris, Program Chair introduces guest speaker Tommy Tomlinson.

Tommy Tomlinson spoke to a crowd of almost 100 club members and guests.  He told us about the inspiration for the book he is writing, 'The Elephant in the Room', a large guy living in a growing world. He read from one of his chapters talking about the glorious food his family ate at gatherings including the 'white food group' referring to potatoes, pasta, etc.  His family and friends at the time worked at hard labor type professions, which burned off this high calorie diet.  Tommy, however, loved to READ!  He said that his 'soft life had no chance against a Southern Supper'.

Advice Tommy gave all of us was to not quit when it gets hard, and let your perserverance take you where you need to go. He also recommended to write about what scares you.  Make a list of things that you care about the most, the things that scare you the most, and the things that piss you off the most.  From those lists, you'll find what you need to write memorable stories.   He further explained that looking at a whole book project at once can be overwhelming. It is better to break it into smaller manageable pieces.

One question that was asked was, 'How can you remain authentic when writing about the pain family members have caused you, when you worry about protecting them from your reality?'   His answer was simple and profound, "Have empathy for those people while you are writing about what happened."

Follow Tommy on or on Facebook.

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