Tammie Diehl

Tammie Diehl

The local writing groups are dealing with COVID-19 in various ways this summer.

Our Writers Own Workshops’ first meeting since February will be at 10:45 a.m. Saturday in an outside venue at Broadmoor Park, 646 Rotonda Circle, Rotonda West.

The Suncoast Writers Guild’s Poetry Pod has begun virtual meetings, and the Readers Pod will soon begin meeting by Zoom. Members will receive information via email.

Englewood Authors met June 10 in a open-air clubhouse, and will meet again July 8 in a safe environment. Look for details via email.

Meanwhile, in answer to which style manual our local writers should use, there are many good ones, but the best fit for most of us is The Associated Press Stylebook.

The AP Stylebook is the media go-to. It contains commonly accepted journalistic standards for usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Most U.S. newspapers — including this one — and many magazines and broadcast writers use it as their guide.

The AP Stylebook is diligent in keeping writing style easy, concise and free of bias. In recent years, marketing departments and public relations firms have also adopted it. So using it as a guide goes beyond the actual writing and into the areas of publishing and marketing a book.

A POEM FOR OUR TIMES

In keeping with the current national events, several local poets have responded to the emotional environment through poetry.

‘I Can’t Breathe’

“I can’t breathe,” he implored.

Over and over he was ignored.

And America whispered, “I can’t breathe.”

It all happened in slow motion.

His killers showed no emotion.

And America said, “I can’t breathe.”

“I can’t breathe,” the poor man cried

Over and over until he died.

And America screamed, “I can’t breathe.”

Poor America marches again;

Because its people are in pain.

There’s hunger, rage, anguish, fear,

Sickness and death. The future’s unclear.

A better America must arise

To help ensure the swift demise

Of hatred that makes America seethe.

Until then we chant, “I can’t breathe.”

—Lee Fanning Hall

Please stay safe, practice social distancing and wear masks to protect us all until we can meet in healthier and happier circumstances. Happy Independence Day celebrate safely.

Tammie Diehl writes a regular column on writing. You can email her at tamiamifl@comcast.net

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