Stars in the Zona Rosa: A list of just some of our successes!

RosemaryOr as Zona Rosan Connie Baechler calls them, A Cascade of Glittering Stars!

FOR STARTERS, GET A LOAD OF THESE  “ALPHA BABES!” 

Atlanta Zona Rosans Pamella Smith and Kathleen McGuire wrote the book for Zona Rosa, The Musical, and the highly original work was previewed to much laughter in Atlanta.  Everyone agreed that it’s destined to be the next Menopause, the Musical, and/or The Vagina Monologues (see Rosemary’s upcoming blog for details)!  Jill Angel Davis took Zona Rosa into Zambia this summer as part of the Riding the River mission trip with St. James United Methodist Church. "The Paper Promise," an excerpt from Jill’s book-in-progress, won the Inspirational Award at the Tennessee Mountain Writers conference; her essay, "Raggedy Angel," was published in the Birmingham Arts Journal.  Anne Lovett’s short stories have been published in Aethlon:  Journal of Sports Literature, Red Wheel Barrow, The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, and The Distillery: Artistic Spirits of the South. Anne reviews for the Georgia Writers News magazine; she gave a workshop on “Writing Book Reviews” for the Georgia Writers Association..  Barbara Knott’s short story, “Naked on the Mountain,” also appeared in The Distillery: Artistic Spirits of the South.  See her wonderful online magazine, “The Grapevine Art and Soul Salon,” at the address listed on our web page links. The Grapevine Art and Soul Salon also hosts literary events.  Charlene Ball’s story “While We Were Talking, appeared in the North Atlantic Review; “Dragon in the Road” will be in Concho River Review. Estelle Ford-Williams’ new story was featured in the Louisville Review. Anne Webster’s essay on her poetry, and how it came to be written, appeared in The Poetry of Nursing: Poetry and Commentaries of Leading Nurse Poets, a prestigious anthology of nurse-poets published by Kent State to be used in their medical literature; Yale University has purchased the anthology.  Her poems also appear in.  Her poem, “Mien Liebes Deutschland” is in the Tall Grass Writers Guild anthology, published by Outrider Press; a poem and an essay appear in Stories of Illness and Healing:  Women Write Their Bodies. Three poems will appear IN 2007 in an untitled anthology edited by Dr. Paula Sergi. 

Maggie Cohen, at 88, our role model, published one of her many exquisite poems in the South Cobb Commons newsletter. Maggie also led an eight-session course named "The Jane Austen Book Club," covering the six main novels by Jane Austen, at the Emory School for Retired Professionals. Deborah Bailey’s first published poem, appeared in Java Monkey SpeaksCarol O’Dell, Judi Painter, and Vicki Manibusan all published pieces in skirt!, one of our favorite (and most femme) publications. Vicki also published a piece on how Southerners do business differently from Northerners in The South magazine. Jessica Handler’s witty piece on how it felt for her husband to create an action figure in her image was published in More magazine.  Connie Baechler’s poems “Angie Flies High” will appear in The Ledge, “Fifi Bakes like a good Little Woman” and “Fifi and Julia:  A Love Story” will appear in Kalliope, “My Cup Runneth Over” in Wild Violet, “Poverty” in HeartLodge, “Some Thoughts on Currency at 2 a.m.” in Arch and Quiver, and “Werewolves Won’t Housebreak” in Yowl. Her poems “Cream Sequence I” and “Dream Sequence II” appear in Barbaric Yawp.  Pearl magazine will publish her story, “Coconut Milk,” adapted from her novel of the same name.  The prolific and skilled Connie’s many awards include Honorable Mention in the Rita Dove Poetry Award for her poem, “House Specialty.”  She was a finalist in Concrete Wolf’s chapbook contest for “A Seduction of Voices,” a collection of dramatic monologues; she was also a finalist in the The Ledge’s chapbook contest for the same selections. Anne Doggett won a $500 first prize in the Wisteria contest offered by Paper Journey. Anne was in Rosemary's Highlands, N.C. Zona Rosa group. Better Homes and Husbands by Valerie Ann Leff was published by St. Martin’s Press. Producer Meryl Poster (The Shipping News, The Cider House Rules, Shakespeare in Love, Chicago) at NBC-Universal has optioned the dramatic rights for television.

A FEW OF OUR ZONA ROSANS IN ACADEME . . .

Connie was also selected to read from her poems at the National Women’s Studies Association’s 25th annual conference, and also served as a judge in poetry for the Georgia Writers anthology in 2006. And last but far from least, Connie received her Ph.D. in Literature and Women's Studies from Georgia State University after writing what was deemed a "brilliant" dissertation on women writers and journal writing, drawing on our leader, Rosemary Daniell's personal journals, and those of famous diarist Anais Nin
Sharon Full, formerly of the Savannah and Charleston Zona Rosas, received her M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University.  Janice Gary, a long-time member of the Savannah group, and planner for our Vienna, Virginia, Zona Rosa, received the 2004 Christine White Award for Nonfiction/Memoir from Goucher College where she earned an M.F.A. in creative Nonfiction (Janice started her wonderful memoir in Zona Rosa). In 2005, she was invited by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) to read at the New York Public Library as a part of their emerging writers series, “Periodically Speaking.”  Janice’s work has appeared in Literal Latte, Kaleidoscope and Women Speak Out, an anthology published by Crossing Press.  Danielle Alexander, who left the Savannah Zona Rosa to become part of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, received her Ph. D. from the University of Denver, based on three novellas written with the help of an Evan Frankel Dissertation Fellowship given by the Evan Frankel Foundation in New York.  She now teaches at Belmont College in Nashville.  Charlotte Harrell, who drove from St. Simon's Island to attend the Savannah Zona Rosa group, is listed on Google as an Independent Scholar re: her two papers, "Sex, Emotion, and the Life You Save by Writing About Them in Rosemary Daniell's Fatal Flowers" and "Writing Your Story to Save Your Life: Control of Time in Rosemary Daniell's Fatal Flowers." Jessica Handler read her essay on “The Union Maid” at the Southern Women Writers Conference at Berry College. Sharon Full, formerly of the Savannah and Charleston Zona Rosas, received her M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University.

AND ZONA ROSA IN THE COMMUNITY

Mary Feagan, Jill Angel Davis and Lynn Whitten led a Zona Rosa writing workshop for Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta; a second and a third workshop are upcoming. Gwen Whiting, of our Atlanta Alpha Babes Zona Rosa group, teaches creative writing in a women’s substance abuse treatment program. Mary, author of Conversations with Grandmama God, performed her poetry at the Fair Grinds Coffee House in New Orleans.  Laura Webb sat in on the Savannah Zona Rosa for a year, observing us, and received two awards for the M.A. thesis she wrote about the group. Judi Babine Painter is starting Book an Author!, a business connecting book clubs with authors.  Ricci Ackerman’s painting, Emerging Zona Rosa, sold at the Harris Center for the Arts exhibition where Zona Rosan Gray Bailey is Director (three of Rosemary’s daughter Darcy Daniell’s paintings were also shown in the show).

AND SOME OF OUR RECENT BOOKS!

Savannah Zona Rosan Ann Douglas, whose son Fred Cox was killed on Sept 11 in the World Trade Towers, wrote, illustrated, and published Freddy & Flossy Flutterby, a beautiful book dedicated to Fred. She also created Betta Place, Inc in Fred’s honor, a foundation replete with Ann’s many highly original, inspiring ideas and her inventive means of communicating with the young, to help school children in Staten Island, NY, and other parts of the country. Nancy Attwell, participant in every European Zona Rosa retreat to date, plus many in the States, published the novel we had eagerly awaited:  The Fool’s Path:  A Tale from the Lothemian Legacy is the first of Nancy’s trilogy in progress.  New South Books published Lisbeth Thom’s delightful first novel,  Row Away From the Rocks. We had the pleasure of following her book in progress as it was being written in the Atlanta and Savannah Zona Rosa groups.  Lisbeth also published essays and poems in many publications..  Kunati Press published Carol O’Dell’s memoir and first book, Mothering Mother in Arpil 2007; her happy publishers are calling her their rising star, and we heard the book hot off Carol’s computer as it was written in the Savannah Zona Rosa group! Indeed, Carol has many publications to her credit – indeed, she seems to find a place for everything she writes! – but chief among her credits may be publication and first place award in the first Atlanta magazine literary issue;  the magazine also published her second short story, "Fascination.” Kathleen MacArthur's second book, Annisa - Daughter of Afghanistan was recently published through Lulu.com; her first book, also set in Afghanistan—Spies Behind the Pillars, Bandits at the Pass—was published to much acclaim. Marna A. Krajeski’s new book – she was an Army helicopter pilot when she was part of our Savannah group, then married a fellow officer – is Household Baggage:  The Moving Life of a Soldier’s Wife, published by Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. And on Rosemary's recommendation, Elizabeth Pool, age 92, and her sister-in-law Eleanor West, age 90, and also well-known in environmental circles, published their exquisite account of their adventures with the Greek god Hermes, The God of the Hinge: Sojourns in Cloud Cuckoo Land with Harbor House Press.

In 2006, Santa Fe, Zona Rosan Glenys Carl published her extremely moving memoir Hold My Hand: My Mother's Story with MacMillan UK. Glenys has huge followings in both the U.S. and England. In New Orleans, Zona Rosan Marda Burton published Galatoire's: The Biography of a Bistro, written along with pal and writing partner, Kenneth Holditch, a.k.a. "Mr. French Quarter," to much attention in the Big Easy and beyond. Martha Ward published the acclaimed Voodoo Queen: The Many Lives of Marie Laveau, becoming the reigning expert on voodoo. And Beverly Rainbolt and Kay Murphy published their poetry collective's anthology, Workshop into Print, in a beautiful lipstick-red edition. Photographer, writer, and Savannah Zona Rosan Meryl Truett is having great success with her book of photographs, Thump Queen and Other Southern Anomalies.  While it started out as her M.A. thesis at the Savannah College of Art and Design, it's now being carried nationally by Barnes & Nobles. Meryl was also just named one of the five top artists to be collected in Savannah.  Savannah Dog by Pat Andres, the charming story of a friend's dog, is also a perennial local bestseller in Savannah, where Pat was part of the original Zona Rosa group.  Pat donates some of the proceeds from the book to the Humane Society.  Former Zona Rosan Winnie Walsh chose to self-publish her riveting story, Child of the Lots, through Dorrance Publishing Company, as did Elizabeth Bowles, with her first novel, Mamie and the Root Woman. In May 2006, former Zona Rosan and professional studio model Linda Bulloch's landmark book, Finding Human Form: Artists' Models in Studio and Classroom was released by RSPress.  Running through Menopause is Karen Dove Barr’s account of running at midlife – a subject our many athletic Zona Rosans will love!

THEN THERE ARE THE GUYS . . .

And Eric Haney, one of our guys in the Zona Rosa, is in Hollywood with wife and former Zona Rosan, writer Dianna Edwards Haney, working with prestigious playwright David Mamet on The Unit, the popular TV series based on Eric’s book, Inside Delta Force.  Eric was as a member of the original Delta Force, and his book, which he first read from in the Atlanta Zona Rosa group (back when we still had guys, was described in in Vanity Fair.  Ghost Road Press published Mike Shay’s collection of short fiction, The Weight of the Body.  Mike a resident of Cheyenne, heads up Literary Arts for the Arts Council of Wyoming.  He took part in a two-day Zona Rosa workshop in Laramie.  In Atlanta, former Zona Rosa guy Fred Willard saw his novels Down on Ponce and Princess Naughty and the Voodoo Cadillac, published to a great deal of interest in Germany.  Jody Schiesser, of the Savannah Zona Rosa group (the one with men!) is serving as editor and contributor to Not from Concentrate: Literature Served Fresh, a short fiction anthology that includes stories by former Zona Rosans Connie Pinkerton and Susan B. Johnson.  One of Jody’s Silverbeauty photographs won third place in the exhibition, “Natural Wonder – Beauty in Human Form.”  He and friends have recently produced, written, and directed the award-winning independent film, The Street Cleaner.

AND CONGRATULATIONS TO

Pamella, Kathleen, Jill, Anne L., Barbara K., Charlene, Anne W., Maggie, Deborah,  Carol O., Vicki, Barbara C., Jessica, Connie, Janice, Danielle, Charlotte, Sharon, Mary, Laura, Judi, Ricci, Gray, Darcy, Ann D., Nancy, Lisbeth, Marna, Marda, Martha W., Beverly, Kay, Meryl, Pat A., Winnie, Linda B., Karen, Eric, Dianna, Mike, Fred, Jody, Connie, Susan J.!  You’re all Stars in the Zona Rosa!

To date, more than 40 Zona Rosans* have become (or soon will be) published authors (and one book has been optioned for a movie, another made into a TV series)!  Indeed, we love nothing more than when we have one of our own come to Zona Rosa as our special guest!

Cassandra King, former Zona Rosan via a Black Mountain, N.C. retreat, saw her novel, Those Same Sweet Girls, rise to the top of bestseller lists. And her pal, Loretta Cobb, of the same Zona Rosa retreat, came to the Atlanta group to read from The Ocean Was Salt, her recently published collection of divine short stories. Julie Cannon, a former participant in a Zona Rosa workshop in Athens, Georgia, and now a Simon & Schuster star, came visited us in Atlanta with the first of her books, True Love & Home Grown Tomatoes.  Charlotte Miller, author of the Behold, This Dreamer trilogy, three novels set in the South in the 1920s and later, visited both the Savannah and Atlanta Zona Rosa groups, where she told the Zona Rosans that Rosemary was the first person to encourage her when she was still an unpublished author in Rosemary’s Zona Rosa workshop at the Alabama Conclave writers’ conference.

And of course, we want to honor the Friends of Zona Rosa -- those published authors who graciously come to share their expertise, experience, and excitement with us. The-soon-to-be-famous, and friend of many of us, Joshilyn Jackson talked to the Atlanta Zona Rosans about how she wrote and published her first novel, gods in Alabama. To the delight of all, Alice Friman, award-winning poet and author most recently of The Book of the Rotten Daughter, visited our Savannah Zona Rosa group,!  Prolific author and scholar Judith Ortiz Cofer visited our Atlanta group with her recent novel, The Meaning of Consuelo.  We were all impressed with her words of wisdom.  Karin Gillespie came to both Atlanta and Savannah to tell us about how, after twelve years, she achieved her goal of becoming a fulltime writer, beginning with her first published novel, Bet Your Bottom Dollar! and a three-book contract with Simon and Schuster (until four years ago, Karin was a public school special ed teacher in Augusta, Georgia.  Way to go, Karin!).  Karen Salyers McElmurray visited the Atlanta group with her award-winning memoir, The Surrendered Child; the book won the Associated Writing Programs Creative Nonfiction award for 2004. (Since Rosemary and Karen are old friends, Rosemary had followed Karen's book since it's inception in 1998, and the book holds a unique place in her heart.)  Sue William Silverman, also an Associated Award Winner in Creative Nonfiction for her book, I Remember Terror, Father, Because I Remember You, a moving account of her childhood sexual abuse, visited us in Atlanta to talk about that book, and Lovesick, her account of her resulting sexual addiction as an adult.  What Sue had to say was very moving to many members of the group.

Other marvelous poets, novelists and writers who have visited the groups are Kathy Trochek (a.k.a. Mary Kay Andrews), author and journalist Deborah Scroggins, novelists Maryanne Stahl and Mary Alice Monroe, Barbara Hagerty, author of the delicious Handbags, South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjorie Wentworth, Nikki Hardin (founder and editor of Skirt!, our favorite femme publication), historian Shay McNeal, novelist Ruth Setton, author and journalist Carol Polsgove, poets Marty Lammon and Stephen Corey, and last but far from least, well-known authors Pat Conroy, Brett Lott,  Bruce Feiler, and John Berendt.

AND THEN THERE ARE THE MEN WE LOVE, WHO, OF COURSE, DESERVE SPECIAL CREDIT . . .

Very Important Zona Rosan Pamella Smith’s husband Mike Smith and associate Bill Mills designed our great new lip print logo.  Mike also gamely donned drag to play the villain, Dick, in our Atlanta preview of Zona Rosa, the Musical. Anne Webster’s Larry Webster has his house in Atlanta filled with women one night every month (“What are you all laughing about?” Anne says Larry often afterwards, hearing us from the den). Rosemary’s husband, Timothy Zane Ward, immortalized in SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA, and others of her books, knows better than complain at Rosemary’s continuous travels on behalf of Zona Rosa, and many other Zona Rosa significant others are just as supportive.  Jody Schiesser designed and maintains this beautiful web page for us. Jody also helps those of us who need help with computer literacy to conquer those all-important skills.  Thank you, guys!  And a big Zona Rosa kiss!


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