Where we meet
Carrollwood Barnes and Noble
Check out each group for meeting times.
We are now posting “external” screenwriter events to our calendar and to the Screenwriters Group.
Please visit our Contests page for updated information we receive from the surrounding Tampa Bay community regarding essay, poem, and other contests.
Visit our groups page to see which groups support your interests.
Visit our resources page for information on craft, conferences, publication opportunities, and protecting your work.
Tampa Writers Alliance, Inc., participates in many activities in the surrounding Tampa area, including the Festival of Reading held in October of each year.
Check out our Events calendar at the bottom of this page for more information.
To Kill A Mockingbird reading
Monday, July 13th, from noon until 9pm, Barnes & Noble (11802 Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618) is sponsoring a complete reading of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee to commemorate the release of the book’s sequel. If you are interested in helping to read, please contact Jay Wood, Community Manager at B&N by calling the Barnes & Noble store (813) 962-6446. Each person would be reading 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, for an hour.
August General Meeting
Please join us Wednesday, August 5th for our general meeting, speaker to be announced.
No general meeting for July
I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their Summer vacation. Being so close to the 4th of July, the July 1st general meeting has been cancelled. Enjoy your celebration!
Why Spring Cleaning is Important
–Sandra Kischuk [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Over the years, I’ve noticed how easy it is to accumulate ‘things.’ A friend goes on vacation and brings back a souvenir from a place where I’ve never been. Another friend gives me something that doesn’t go with a thing in my house. I’m encouraged to participate in a holiday ‘gift’ exchange to receive something I would never have gotten myself. My tables get buried under magazines I haven’t read. I ‘win’ a prize someone has carefully selected from the dollar store. My shelves get full of books I only bought one at a time. I receive one more framed “certificate of appreciation.”
Getting hit with boredom, I think of acquiring that little something, subconsciously accepting the media hype that buying something will placate the gnawing emptiness. Usually it’s just a matter that my body/mind is telling me I need to do something or stop doing something, not a real matter of needing to continue to crowd my environment.
Occasionally, I slip up, and I have one more ‘thing’ that owns me. (We don’t own things, they own us. Think about it!) My excuses? It’s cute, it’s new, it won’t take much space. The reality? If it’s alive, it needs to be fed, watered, pruned, walked, or taken to the vet. If it’s inanimate, I find myself dusting it, washing it, repairing it (or paying to have it repaired), or horrors! replacing it when I wasn’t sure I wanted it in the first place.
If it’s mechanical, I may delude myself into thinking buying it will solve a problem, but guaranteed, it will find the most inopportune time to stop working. After all, the dishwasher didn’t decide to break until it was absolutely full. I have found that if I rely less on some of those things I used to take for granted, my life becomes simplified. For seven years I have done my dishes by hand. The house is quieter.
If I’m realistic, breaking at the most inopportune time isn’t always the case. Years ago, my car died on the way to church. Things would have been a lot more exciting if it had choked to a stop during rush hour, and if I hadn’t been able to floor it into a grocery store parking lot. Later, when I went back to clean the last of my things out of the trunk, the car was still making sputtering noises all on its own. I felt like a crab, shedding a too-small shell, and leaving behind an empty discard. I felt an odd sense of loss.
Shedding the material things in life, the odd little accumulations, gives us the opportunity to grow. Doing without, or not adding things, lets us redefine who we are. But in the redefinition, are you moving closer to who you really are, how the world tells you to define yourself?
What, in your life, do you take for granted that you don’t really need?
What are you adding to your life as a substitute for what you really want?
As a writer, are you letting too much of the outside world define how you should live? What you should do? And how you should define your own happiness?
If you are a writer, the best thing you can do is let go of the confusion, the things, the distractions (mental clutter) and let the writer do her work.
Far better to be owned by your craft than by your things.