Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

Randy Ford Author- Revised MAJOR NEIGHBORS AND CHIEF BUFFALO HUMP

Randy Ford Author- Revised MAJOR NEIGHBORS AND CHIEF BUFFALO HUMP

It wasn’t what the congregation expected as they waited with great expectation. Some of them looked around, and while others looked up at the empty pulpit, others were about leave. It was Frau Seffield who stepped forward and in a good voice began to sing. Not bad, but it didn’t satisfy the worshipers. Frau Seffield was not a great singer, though she won the StaatsSangerfest four times. Yes, they were disappointed. After having come to see the new minister, they were disappointed. He wasn’t on time … wasn’t where he was suppose to be. An awful start (he must’ve been involved in an accident. Why else would he not be there?. If not killed, why was he now late?). Many of them didn’t think he could ever recover from this. Very awkward.

Then, eventually, finally, someone started banging on the church door. He did it loud enough to startle everyone … woke everyone up before they knew what the crap was going on. “What’s this?” exclaimed a deacon. It sounded like someone had hit the door with a baseball bat. Actually, he hadn’t: he’d used a board to make an impression, and sure enough had. Then, however, by the time the deacon reacted and opened the door, no one was there; but someone had been there. Everyone had heard it.

It would be the only time he’d ever get everyone’s attention. He said it was worth it even if it upset some of them and even scared some. If it woke them up!

He thought he was a cut above most ministers just out of seminary (thought he knew his business). “First of all, brothers and sisters in Christ,” he said, emerging from the congregation (no one had seen him come in). “Allow me to catch my breath.”

He grinned, as the congregation stared at him. That made them wonder what he was up to and how in the world he could be in two places at once. He was either an illusionist or had an assistant. Oh yes, he had a wife. Those were the two things about him. He had a wife, and he was a showman. You could see that, all right, as he milked the moment for all it was worth.

When some of them started to leave, he said, “Wait!” He didn’t have to raise his voice. With that as an introduction, he plunged into his first sermon.

It was sort of a challenge for them, which he understood. He was never boring … he made sure of it. It was as if he felt like he had to pull off some sort of stunt to keep them coming back. Yet he had to consciously tone it down or risk offending them.

He started out by telling them, “I understand that many of you speak Plattdeutsch. My deutsch, therefore, may be too pure for you and my English not yet good enough. Give me a little time. Give me that much. Yes sir, I’m from Vienna. Well? My wife and I intend to stay here. We’re not interested in becoming transients. I know that most of you came from somewhere else. We’re like many of you in that we left where we came from because it was getting bad over there. I met my wife Louise after I came to America at a Kindermaskenball. But I don’t intend to get into that now.”

“The ‘dramatics.’ The ‘knock at the door’ refers to Matthew, chapter seven, verse seven. ‘Ask, and it will be given you, seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.’ It seems to me that Jesus isn’t asking for much…’knock and it will be opened to you.’ Sounds easy, doesn’t it? You see … He doesn’t require much. Knock. What else? Be open. Receptive. Yes sir. Of course, I need scarcely suggest that to yo’aw. Christ hears you. I can swear to it. He hears each one of you.”

They’d always remember his first message, the stunt actually, his knocking and being in two places at once. They talked about it all week. All the time he was talking about their Plattdeutsch and his imperfect English, they were thinking about it. His message said something, but they weren’t sure what. They also talked about Frau Louise, something they felt that they were required to do. And they felt they knew her after seeing her once. How great a masterstroke (and the symbolism) was the new minister’s knocking at the door? As if it saved him the embarrassment over being late! They still gossiped. Which of course, he knew they would.

Then at home he never had to remind his wife of her place. He had her well trained. She cooked his meals, never neglected the house, swept and was obedient, faithful and wasted naught, nor did any injury. She was the perfect wife, except she was nosy. He wouldn’t call her smart and really felt superior. Her devotion could be summed up in how she approached marriage and in her belief that true happiness was found in children, the church, and the kitchen. “For sure, but…” And he’d get carried away and say, “And let us have children, beautiful children.” And know that he had the means to carry out the threat.

He was always running her down, though it wasn’t what he preached. He clearly had problems, and too often his problems became her problems. Unkind? No, he wasn’t exactly unkind. There were times when he could be helpful. He might put a roast in the oven, but he wouldn’t take it out. She’d get very angry with him, which she hid. She’d say to herself, “Forget those old notions about Kinder, Kirche, und Kuche, or else I’ll let the roast burn.”

Here was another example of challenging what was once considered sacred. Meanwhile older people complained about this, and some of them complained very bitterly. They celebrated the old times and remembered with fondness what they went through. But too often their perception contradicted the way things really were.

The new minister and his wife were part of latest wave of German-speaking immigrants in that part of Texas, and they wouldn’t have come if German settlers hadn’t paved the way. And if it hadn’t been for Major Neighbors and Chief Buffalo Hump there wouldn’t have been room for them. The new minister of course heard about Major Neighbors and Chief Buffalo Hump.

For a long time the German’s situation was tenuous. Publicity had brought them to south central Texas, and it would take a while for it to live up to its promise. For starters the land didn’t belong to them. It belonged to the Indians, and their chief was Chief Buffalo Hump. It was not that they had anything against the Indians, except the Indians owned the land. And it would take someone like Major Neighbors to negotiate a deal. And without someone like Chief Buffalo Hump it wouldn’t have been possible either (though he wasn’t expected to do what he did). It had to happen; it had a kind of inevitability; therefore there must’ve been something to the idea of Manifest Destiny. So the German immigrants were bit players in a much larger drama.

It’s hard to know now who deserved the credit. Major Neighbors extended the handshake, and Chief Buffalo Hump possessed the peace pipe. Until then the Indians hadn’t threatened the German settlers. Both men acted prudent and circumspect.

And all this against the background of the invasion of the white man, which Major Neighbors began to apologize for and the chief dismissed. Chief Buffalo Hump, of course, could see what was happening and knew he couldn’t stop it … he didn’t have to be told. But he seemed determined to profit from it. Major Neighbors couldn’t really tell what the chief was thinking when he tried to read him. Maybe the chief fooled him when he expressed affection for German people, uncommon affection. And Major Neighbors was genuinely fond of Indians, (he felt this way before he met Chief Buffalo Hump) and respected them more than any other people of the world. Could this be true? Nothing ever stopped him from trying to convince people that it was true, but who really knew. It was like he’d become an ambassador, though he couldn’t speak the Indian’s language (not one of the major Native American languages, but one that was about to become extinct). The major tried to learn it and tried his best but never got very far, while the chief excelled in foreign languages. Because the chief knew it, they always communicated in English, and they spent long hours talking… meaningful talk.

By then the Indians had been betrayed time and time again. Which made the chief suspicious of white men … more than suspicious, but that wouldn’t become obvious until later. And imagine how he acted around the ladies, the German ladies, dressed in their stylish European dresses and dressed fit for a ball. With veils over their ribbon-tied hats, they felt agitated when they were introduced to the red man, but they relaxed when they saw how Chief Buffalo Hump and Major Neighbors treated each other. And the chief spent as much time around them as he possibly could. He was always coming up with an excuse to be around them, and they were gracious enough when they got to know him. So when the chief suggested that they have a powwow, the ladies were included.

So precisely at sunset they gathered around a fire. They sat in a circle down by the river and the river, where two streams met, later named Barons Creek and Town Creek, reminded the settlers of the Rhine … oh, the river … it seemed like a picnic, only it wasn’t. And where they’d sit in the circle hadn’t been worked out in advance, so the chief turned to the women for the answers. The women settled the matter. But it was his show. He came self-assured and told the tribe that he’d deal with the Germans alone. He talked a lot and Major Neighbors responded and listened when it was important for him to listen because he knew that they’d have to reach a deal.

Chief Buffalo Hump seemed in the best of health and spirits. Perhaps he was trying too hard. People would later wish that they had had a camera. On taking his place, the chief smiled and bowed to the ladies. Yes, of course, he was trying too hard. He then welcomed everybody. It was his powwow. Overwhelmed by a sense of honor and happiness, the chief acted as if the whole world was watching. And they were getting along as well as temporary friends could.

Now his squaw came forward with a peace pipe and handed it to her husband. It showed her vanity. Handing it to her husband instead of smoking it she in turn was in the spotlight. And in the firelight beside the river, where the two streams met, she was so sure of herself that no one could mistake her for anyone other than the chief’s squaw. But the other thing that was paramount was that everyone could see that the chief delighted in her because his face lit up in a way that showed his pleasure. What a night! There was the chief smiling, when there was something about him that the white women despised. They were prejudice, of course. Prejudiced in spite of the smiling. They were all smiles. But who got the last smile?

Then after the powwow Major Neighbors talked privately with the chief, who finally got to express his dismay (indeed his indignation) over the approach of civilization. He’d been waiting for this opportunity all night. The chief could’ve spoken up sooner. Like he insisted on having a powwow. He said now what he couldn’t say in front of all the other people (they agreed to forget the peace pipe). He didn’t beat around the bush and said what he was thinking. Everything. Said everything that was on his mind, and Major Neighbors was impressed. He said, “Now I see more than ever the necessity for war. The sound of the axe spelled the end of us.” Chief Buffalo Hump then talked about the theft of his land, and even his birthplace, according to him a sacred place.

The major heard what he said and remembered why he left Germany. He wasn’t smiling any longer. He thought about why he came to Texas; and now he was losing a friend over it. He considered the chief a friend. Had since the day they met each other. Without question a friend. Now they were on opposite sides of the fence. Thinking about it he couldn’t sleep a wink that night.

The next day workmen began building the chief a large house when before then he only lived in a teepee. To Major Neighbors it was a slap in the face … he didn’t know but thought perhaps he should say something. And he was there, watching the chief build a house, and it ticked him off.

By this time people throughout the state thought Major Neighbors had gone soft on Chief Buffalo Hump. Rumor had it that he came and went and put his arms round the chief.

As soon, therefore, as it could be arranged, the president and the vice-president of the “Deutscher Verein fuer Texas” (German Society of Texas) came to Fredericksburg to pay their respects to the chief. Their arrival took the major by surprise. It also angered him. But the chief didn’t seem to mind. Flattered, he welcomed the committee into his new home. As a tribute, the chief was inducted into the Sons of Hermann Lodge, a secret German order that up until then had been open only to white men of good character.

It was the best thing that could’ve happened to the chief. These educated men played on his weaknesses, and he congratulated himself for somehow getting on the approved list, something very unusual at the time. Obviously, they were after his land and were looking to double their holdings.

From the beginning, the major questioned the delegation’s motives. What could one deduce today from his reaction? For one thing, he hadn’t received the honors that they bestowed on the chief. He couldn’t help but resent it. And personal interests: he had his eye on some of the tribal land, a section or two, preferably river bottom land to rocky hills (480 acres wouldn’t have been much of a spread in those days.)

A treaty and greed: difficult to separate. It wasn’t something one hurried into. Stalling…tough negotiations was required. Bluffing was not unexpected, and bluffing caused considerable delay. “But pertaining to such matters,” as the good-natured president observed “I have never seen such patience.”

With a treaty finally signed (people seem to forget that there was one signed), a celebration began, days of celebration, an excuse for drunkenness. This was before temperance was a virtue. It must be remembered that men outnumbered women then. Men roamed the streets. And a few women. It was daring for the women. From one end of town to the other, men acted like boys and boys like Indians. There was shouting, yelling, and beating on old washtubs. Cowbells replaced church bells. The tooting of horns part and parcel symbolized everybody’s mood.

It must be remembered that this wasn’t the first treaty that the white man made with the Indians and it wouldn’t be the last callow attempt to steal their land. The truth was that the chief was more experienced. And he was no fool. He knew what was happening, but he didn’t know what to do about it.

First came the town council, with the burgomaster in front. The pecking order was well established. The order in which they spoke indicated their status. The chief’ made promises, which were received with great joy: “We can count on him. His word is gold. His signature shows his friendship. If he can handle his people we can surely control ours.”

All of the settlers also thought that they had to watch their backs. Also thought that the Indians couldn’t be trusted any more than they were trustworthy.

Now council members tended to be verbose. They were honored, each separately. Deep down they knew that they didn’t deserve the adoration, all the fuss they’d grown to expect. Next came the farmers, the carpenters, the stone masons, wagon makers, machinists, blacksmiths, cabinet makers and artisans of all kinds; each with a token of their appreciation, which they each gave to the chief. Each thanked him. They each also made a request. The farmers asked for the most fertile land, near the river, where there was abundant water. The carpenters, with the cabinetmakers, asked for timber. Cobblers leather. Blacksmiths iron ore. Or for something that would benefit everyone. The coifurists were modest, indeed too modest in their demands. They limited their request to asking for business but while making it clear that they weren’t interested in scalps. The clergy were content, but they knew complacency wouldn’t win them many converts.

In an attempt to be accurate and fair it must be said that both sides were trying to profit from the negotiations. They were all far better off than they’d been before there was any contact between them. There were many reasons for them to feel proud of themselves and Fredricksburg. They had also endured many hardships and learned to expect the unexpected such as the rigors of climate. The drought, the fires, the hail and the destruction of crops. But God’s wrath was preferred to an indifferent God. And when there was great adversity, men and women filled the pews when they otherwise wouldn’t.

Perhaps no one asked for more than the bankers did. They would, in fact, usually ask for more dollars to cover their loses than what they could lose. They took consolation from seeing what the money they lent did for the community. It was the cattle barons who had the most to gain and who complained the most and whose overgrazing had been greatly criticized by the local newspaper. It was therefore the cattle barons who called for the censorship of the newspaper, while the editor of the newspaper pleaded for unlimited freedom.

You know what Chief Buffalo Hump was like and how he felt funny about all of the attention. He never acted like a big shot. It was never anything personal with him. There was something about him that everyone liked, and yet he stood in the way of progress. So he had to be reckoned with.

Everyone wanted a piece of the chief. What did dimly occur to him was that he would never regain what he had lost and that white people would never consider him an equal. The idea that he’d ever be happy living in a house in a town was absurd. And he hated it when people mobbed him. The major told the mob that the Indian wasn’t used to it and that he was worn out by all of the attention. But few of them saw it.

So Major Neighbors decided to take things into his own hands. He had an idea that no one thought of. In the midst of the mob, he circulated a rumor that the chief carried smallpox, and that the person that he caught it from had already died. There was no way to then stop the panic. Farewell then to all propriety.

Night came. It was past dinnertime. It had been a huge meal with many interruptions. By then there had been a major shift in everyone’s mood. Gloom set in. And they had hoped … had high hopes. It was a white lie, since Major Neighbors knew that Chief Buffalo Hump didn’t have smallpox. And they all knew how insidious smallpox was and how it had killed off the chief’s tribe and how fast it spread, and they all blamed Major Neighbors. That also led them to conclude that the only good Indian was a dead one. Partly for that reason they watched the chief closely.

Here, then, was food for thought, something for those embroiled in the debate over the Indian problem to think about. Among them, in spite of himself, was Major Neighbors. He felt responsible and to everyone’s astonishment made a public apology. He made no bones about how he felt. His sense of fairness outweighed everything. That was why he chastised them more harshly than he intended to.

Major Neighbors stood up and shouted, “You Germans will pay dearly for this!” This didn’t mean he excluded himself because he also chastised himself. It was he who upset things, while he sincerely wanted to help. But before he had a chance to talk to him, the chief fled the town. The chief had more or less given up trying to pacify everyone and felt that he had to teach the settlers a lesson. That was also when Major Neighbors realized that he couldn’t rely on kindness or old friends. He gave way to his fears and knew the Indians were enraged and that they could expect war.

Shortly after this Waldrip and his gang road into town. There was an element of absurdity in how the gang thought that they wouldn’t be recognized. Then the shooting began almost immediately. Right off Waldrip murdered John Joy and Tom Doss. The Fredericksburger Wochenblatt documented the killings and how this desperate and dangerous gang rode roughshod over the unarmed and defenseless people of Gillespie County. There was a lesson here for all of them to learn. How long had Chief Buffalo Hump lived among them without anything like this happening? Chief Buffalo Hump, and with all of his faults.

By then Major Neighbors had given his allegiance to the Confederacy and was too busy chasing whitewashed Yankees to defend Fredericksburg. “Those poor son-of-a-bitches!” To hear him tell it the whole war was a picnic. Smiling with too much complacency for most people’s liking, the major explained his role by saying; “We ended up chasing the will-o’-the-wisp and nothing more.”

“And nothing more!” exclaimed the town’s burgomaster. “When you left the town to the Waldrip gang….”

“Yes sir, that will-o’-the-wisp didn’t turned out to be Yankees but Mexicans, who on foot resembled bullfrogs. On horseback they looked like a hoard of Sancho Panzas. And there were no Yankees at all. Very distressing. Truly disappointing … to be sent on a wild goose chase.”

“Distressing! Awful! And meanwhile, we’ve suffered! Waldrip and his gang raped, killed and burned at night and hid like varmints in the daytime.”

“You don’t have to tell me,” interrupted the major, frowning sadly, “but you can rest easier now. I’m back.” The major didn’t have to say anymore. There was no cheap dime novel nonsense about him.

Early the next morning they took off after Waldrip and his gang. Their experience then with the gang showed them that there were situations far worse than an encounter with a few Indians. Living with an Indian hadn’t been anything like putting up with Waldrip and his gang. They didn’t have a simple explanation why it hadn’t worked out.

And what ever happened to Chief Buffalo Hump? They never saw him again, and by this time the people of Fredericksburg had more to worry about than him.

A few years back, an immigrant from Vienna, with a little luck and great expectations, came to this town on the Pedernales River. He and his wife formed a strong attachment to the place. Early on he used Chief Buffalo Hump’s story in a sermon. Underneath there was a moral to it, but he didn’t hit them over the head with it. The mayhem that Waldrip brought to the community was never forgotten; neither was Chief Buffalo Hump’s generosity. They didn’t like being told what they should’ve known. What they all knew was that there were no longer any Indians living in that part of Texas. In spite of everything they could still sing Das Deutsche Lied (the German song).

Fredericksburg still talks about Chief Buffalo Hump and his generosity. Ninety-nine-year old Mrs. Feller remembers when the chief came to town, promising everything under the sun in exchange for a peace treaty. Then a white gang came to town and instead of an honest exchange for meat and hides all hell broke loose. “The rascals had a habit of taking whatever wasn’t tied down.” With respect to the various petitioners, the bakers, the carpenters, the hairdressers, etc., they all felt cheated; whereas Mrs. Feller just felt disappointed. .

Randy Ford

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JE Gurley Author- HELL RIG

HELL RIG

by JE Gurley

Lisa Love had always thought of the Vodum Loas as Saints. She was not prepared for the death that stalked the decks of rig #13 as Loas take sides in a battle that could destroy the gateway between life and death.

Available Now at DamnationBooks.com

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Playwrights Foundation- Thanks every single person who was a part of the 35th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival!

Playwrights Foundation- Thanks every single person who was a part of the 35th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival!

We want to thank every single person who was a part of the 35th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival! From the artists, staff, patrons, and supporters, it truly takes a village to produce the Festival and support the development of these new plays.

Over the course of two weekends we had over 600 people come through the doors of The Thick House to take part in both the readings and the surrounding special events. Some days were hotter than others. No matter how hot it was though, everyone stayed focused and engaged in the development of the six selected plays. For that, we thank you!

As some of you heard at the Festival, we have a new addition to the PF family: the soon-to-be-named Playwrights Foundation Studio! We began to announce the Studio while hinting (not so) subtly of all the work still left to do in order for it to really be ready for the developmental rehearsals and readings to be held there. Help us to finish Phase I and the initial construction, and to begin Phase II of the Project by giving here. Gifts made will be matched by a few generous donors, but only for a limited time!

Stay tuned as we begin to announce new dates and information for our other projects and programs. And don’t worry, it won’t be long till we are announcing the dates of next year’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival!

Raffle Winners!

Cole Hardware Giftcard:
Lauren Biggs

Christopher’s Books Giftcard:
Ann Dow

An Extra Large Goat Hill Pizza:
Dyke Garrison

St. George Spirits Bourbon:
Andrew Rich

St. George Spirits Tasting for Four:
Gordon Dahlquist

Two Tickets to A.C.T. Theater:
Charles Belov

Brunch Certificate to Pera:
Elena Czubiak

Tickets to the California Academy of Sciences:
Agnes Carr and Steve Collier

A Class with the New Play Institute:
Peter Mueller

A Special Congratulations to George Brant.
The winner of our 50/50 raffle!

Playwrights Foundation uses Vendini for ticketing, marketing, and box office management.

Playwrights Foundation – 1616-16th Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA, 94103, (415) 626-2176
Vendini, Inc. – 660 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104, 1 (800) 901-7173

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Sydney Writers’ Centre- Jewish Writers’ Festival & Student Success Congratulations Allison Rushby & Learn how to write a picture book & Many More Writing Courses

Sydney Writers’ Centre- Jewish Writers’ Festival & Student Success Congratulations Allison Rushby & Learn how to write a picture book & Many More Writing Courses

If you’re interested in screenwriting, you’ll love our course, Screenwriting Stage 1.

You’ll discover:
the ideal way to structure your story
what you need to include in your plot
how to write characters people love to watch.
why pressure is the catalyst of character
the difference between story and plot
genre, style and theme – and how this applies to your screenplay
and MUCH more.
Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
5-week evening course starting Monday 13 August 2012
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Student Success
We’ve heard from many of our graduates this week about all sorts of publishing successes. One of our Travel Memoir graduates, Allison Rushby, is frantically working on TWO books after she scored a deal with Momentum Publishing (part of Pan Macmillan), for a travel memoir and a collection of her columns (published in the Courier Mail).

Here’s what she wrote to us:

I did the travel memoir weekend course with Claire Scobie and it was really helpful. I’ve been published before, but Claire had so many amazing tips and resources that allowed me to locate the problems I was having in structuring what I was about to write. I’m sure she saved me a whole lot of rewriting! It was also fascinating to see what everyone else was writing.

Allison’s memoir, KEEP CALM AND CARRY VEGEMITE, will be released in 2013.

Congratulations Allison!
Jewish Writers’ Festival
Live in Sydney and can’t make it to the Melbourne Writers Festival? Don’t worry – there’ll be plenty happening in Sydney as well! The Jewish Writers’ Festival will be held 25 to 28 August 2012 and promises to be a weekend full of frank and fearless discussion on everything from writing memoir, blogging, writing for the screen and the upcoming American elections.

Writers appearing at the festival include our very own Kerri Sackville, plus Mark Dapin, Anna Fienberg, Danny Katz and Joanne Fedler. There will also be in conversation sessions with Ita Buttrose and Elliott Perlman.

Tickets are on sale now.

Upcoming courses
Online course: Creative Writing Stage 2

If you’ve done one of our creative writing courses or have been working on some stories and want to hone your skills, your next step should be our Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2. In this course you’ll build on what you’ve learned in Stage 1 and also have a chance to workshop more of your writing. No matter where you are in Australia (or the world!) you can attend this course through our secure online classroom, at a time that suits you.

5-week online course starts Monday 20 August 2012
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Thriller Writing

Want to know how to make your thriller an engaging, edge-of-your-seat novel that readers won’t be able to put down? Let best-selling author of The Genesis Flaw and Thirst LA Larkin show you how in this five-week course. You’ll learn the eight “must haves” of a good thriller, the dos and don’ts of action scenes, how to build pace and suspense in your novel, and much more. There are only a few places left in this one so be quick!

5-week course starts Thursday 16 August 2012
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

How to write a Chick-Lit Novel

Our first chick-lit course was such a hit, we’re holding it again! If you want to learn what makes books by Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes or Helen Fielding so engaging, this course will show you. Author Lisa Heidke will show you how to craft a great chick-lit novel. You’ll learn about creating believable characters, structuring and pacing your story, and the steps to take to publishing.

Weekend intensive course Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 August 2012
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

TIP: If or whether?
Both if and whether are conjunctions, connecting one idea to another in sentences. But they are not always interchangeable. No matter how many times you see them used this way in informal writing, it’s important to remember there is a difference between the two.

If introduces one condition, or describes one possibility. For example:

I asked a friend if she’d like to go to the movies with me.

Whether introduces alternative possibilities, or suggests more than one outcome is possible. For example:

I don’t know whether (or not) I’ll go out on the weekend.

We can’t decide whether we should eat all the rocky road, or give some to our students.

This week on Writing Bar
The English language is constantly evolving and it seems we’re adding new words to the lexicon at an incredible pace! This week on the Writing Bar we look at 35 new words that have made it into the Oxford Dictionary Online. You may be surprised by some of the additions – chillax, bromance and mankini have all made it. You should totes check out the full list here.

Also on the Writing Bar, our interview with author and social researcher, Rebecca Huntley. She chatted to us about her new book THE ITALIAN GIRL and her writing life.
Plan ahead – Writing Picture Books

Think writing a picture book is simple? Well, maybe not. Writing an engaging book that will capture the imagination of young readers actually requires a lot of skill and technique. And that’s what we plan to show you in our five-week Writing Picture Books course.

Editor and picture books expert, Cathie Tasker, will show you the secrets to writing a wonderful picture book. Whether you’re writing or illustrating, this course will teach you how to use language and rhythm, how to find the right voice for your book and how to get your book published.
Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
5-week course starting Wednesday 5 September 2012
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395
Just for laughs

WEBPICK: Rhymer
According to Rhymer, an online rhyming dictionary, among the top 10 rhymes searched are you, me, love and heart. That might suggest there’s a lot of bad love poetry being written thanks to this site… Maybe not. Rhymer by Write Express lets you search simple rhymes such as end rhymes (hat/cat) or last syllable rhymes (pleat/complete) as well as double rhymes (walking/talking), beginning rhymes (table/tailor) and first syllable rhymes (highlight/hydrant).

All you need to do is enter the word you want to rhyme, and select the type of rhyme you’re after. You can also browse an alphabetical list of rhyming words or download a desktop version of Rhymer.

Other upcoming courses
Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Jeni Mawter – FULL
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 9 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Week beginning Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with Pamela Freeman/Cathie Tasker
When: Week beginning Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Course: Screenwriting Stage 1 with Tim Gooding
When: Every Monday starting Monday 13 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Thriller Writing with L.A. Larkin
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 16 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Food Writing with Carli Ratcliff
When: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

WEEKEND Course: Write a chick-lit novel with Lisa Heidke
When: Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Online Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge/Nicola Robinson
When: Week beginning Monday 20 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Online Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White/Allison Tait – NEW DATE
When: Week beginning Monday 20 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: Whenever suits you
Cost: $395

Seminar: Grammar and Punctuation Essentials with Deb Doyle
When: Wednesday 22 August (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with Judith Ridge
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 22 August 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Business Writing Essentials with Tony Spencer-Smith
When: Thursday 23 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Writing for the web with Grant Doyle
When: Monday 27 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $450

Seminar: How to Get Your Book Published with Geoff Bartlett
When: Tuesday 28 August 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Professional Business Writing with Sue White
When: Thursday 30 August 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Creative Writing Stage 1 with James Roy – NEW DATE
When: Every Monday starting Monday 3 September 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Course: Writing Picture Books with Cathie Tasker
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 5 September 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Perfecting Your Pitch with Sue White
When: Tuesday 11 September and 18 September 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: Successful Freelancing with Gayle Bryant and Valerie Khoo
When: Tuesday 11 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Self-publishing – How to do it with Geoff Bartlett
When: Thursday 13 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Weekend course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Sue White – NEW DATE
When: Saturday 15 September and Sunday 16 September 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Program: Write Your Novel with Pamela Freeman
When: Every Tuesday starting Tuesday 18 September 2012 for six months
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $1980

Seminar: From Blog to Book with Kerri Sackville
When: Thursday 20 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Seminar: Introduction to Travel Writing with Geoff Bartlett
When: Tuesday 25 September 2012 (two-hour evening seminar)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $85

Course: Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 with Marina Go
When: Every Wednesday starting Wednesday 26 September 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: PR and Media Releases that Get Results with Catriona Pollard – NEW DATE
When: Thursday 27 September 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $495

Course: Travel Writing with Sue White
When: Every Monday starting Monday 8 October 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: $395

Course: Creative Writing Stage 2 with Jeni Mawter
When: Every Thursday starting Thursday 11 October 2012 for five weeks
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $395

Weekend Course: Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie
When: Saturday 13 October and Sunday 14 October 2012 (2 consecutive days)
Time: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Cost: $395

Seminar: Editing Essentials with Deb Doyle – NEW DATE
When: Tuesday 16 October 2012 (one-day seminar)
Time: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Cost: $450

Course: Writing About Interiors, Style and Design with Nigel Bartlett
When: Tuesday 30 October and 6 November 2012 (2 evening classes)
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $175

Seminar: How to Write a Business Book with Valerie Khoo
When: Friday 16 November 2012 (half-day seminar)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm
Cost: $295

WRITING TOURS
Writing in Bali with Patti Miller – FULL
When: Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July 2012

Writing in Paris with Patti Miller – FULL
Arrival: Thursday 18 October 2012
Departure: Saturday 3 November 2012

Sydney Writers’ Centre
Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street Milsons Point NSW 2061
http://www.sydneywriterscentre.com.au

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Abingdon Theatre Company- Abingdon Theatre Company- Abingdon Bay Ridge One-Act Festival at Christ Church Saturday, August 25, 2012

Abingdon Theatre Company- Abingdon Bay Ridge One-Act Festival at Christ Church
Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 7pm

Submissions were invited from playwrights who have had a history with Abingdon and who have shown talent and dedication to writing full-length and short plays. Treatments were submitted on a social theme: “All mankind struggles to balance personal needs with their responsibility to society.” Three Abingdon staff members selected three playwrights to receive a commission: Kevin Armento, Bo List, and Jen Silverman.

Three guest professionals will attend and judge the festival, naming one playwright as the winner of The Father Hamblin Festival Award and an additional cash prize. The Staged Readings at Christ Church Bay Ridge will be cast with professional actors and directed by Abingdon’s Artistic Director, Jan Buttram, Associate Artistic Director, Kim T. Sharp and Abingdon Director of Playwriting Outreach, Bara Swain.
Suggested Donation $10 CASH ONLY at the Door
Christ Church Bay Ridge
7301 Ridge Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY
Take the R train to Bay Ridge Avenue or 77th Street. New York City

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