Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2014

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Roundtable helps writers save memories

Writers work

What: Senior Center Writers Roundtable

When: Every first and third Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Boulder City Senior Center, 813 Arizona St.

Cost: Free

Info: 294-1930

If you write for yourself, you'll always have a good audience, and if you read for the Writers Roundtable, you'll always come away with ideas, participants say.

For 18 years, local authors — published and privately enjoyed — have met for discussion, critique, feedback and just to hear each other's work.

Doris Woodliff, who has written for magazines, and children's books, leads the group, now based in the Senior Center of Boulder City, 813 Arizona St., and encourages members to put thoughts and memories down on paper so they don't get lost forever.

Everett Chase, a longtime member of the roundtable with a background in journalism and bookselling, has stockpiled memories of old Las Vegas since he came in 1943, when he was 6 years old. He might assemble a book, he said.

Marjorie Gleed is working on two books based on memories: a novel about her youngest daughter, "Sugar Baby in Search of Insulin Finds a Miracle," and "Jewel Under Capricorn," a family history recounted from her days growing up in the Outback of Australia.

There's no problem the writers roundtable won't tackle if asked. On Feb. 17, Paul Stoutenborough needed advice about how to write a half-page biosheet, and the other five there led him to a solution under his nose.

Stoutenborough recounted his son and daughter-in-law tricking an older family member into recording an oral history by hiding a tape recorder during conversations.

Woodliff suggested Stoutenborough tape himself talking about his own history to more easily translate it to print.

Some came to read for feedback, like Don Reilly, who recently returned to writing after his wife uncovered a long discarded poem.

"I'd gotten disgusted with it and threw it in a box," he said. "I sat down to rewrite it and it turned into three books."

Reilly has yet to find a publisher, so he bound the books himself at home and read a couple for the group.

Freeman Freitag read from his newest novel in development, "Lucrecia Maria," set in Southern Arizona and told through four distinct voices. He's published a novel, "Travels With Cheyenne," and said he's still waiting to make a million dollars from it.

The two said reading to the group helps them polish, by collecting others thoughts and providing their own.

"We're always better at writing someone else's stuff than our own," Freitag said.

Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or [email protected].

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