The Inspired Mic Recap August 18, 2015

loglineAugust 18th Recap

No matter who steps up to the mic, it seems we always have an enjoyable evening. Last night was no exception. In fact, I believe the presenters stood out as quite exceptional.

First up was Alexandra King who delivered high action, blood, tension, and all manner of anxiety. Her story jumped out of the gate running and didn’t slow down one iota throughout. Sh’mal Ellenberg followed with a poignant and revealing story about his decision to become sole caregiver for his father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. His well-written narrative was delivered quite well.

Laura Federmeyer exercised her writer presentation wings with an excerpt from her newest book, “Mystery of the Old Mill.” This preteen reader came across well with lots of intrigue and action that kept us all engaged. Susan Slater brought us a Dan Mahoney Mystery excerpt from her new book, “Hair of the Dog.” The reading contained a murder, a fire, and a rescue all in the span of about five minutes.

Angelica Timothy, one of The Inspired Mic’s teenage readers, delivered an insightful look into the impending return to school and the hassles attached to that return. From lazy, education-phobic students to poor administration, Angelica delivered a somewhat blistering look at the reality of our school system. Her observations were met with much support from the audience.

After the break, Mel Johnson stood up to the microphone and segued us into the fact that he does not write poetry, but he DOES enjoy one form of poetry – music. Mel then proceeded to sing karaoke, a Kris Kristofferson tune, “Loving Her Was Easier.” We were all amazed at his voice and his ability to not only carry a tune, but cultivate it well for our ears. Bodil Haheim, aka Lady Love Rebel, followed Mel with an original song titled, “Sharing” from her upcoming album “…but Alive!!!” Lady Love brings passion and power with a voice that can be soft or gravel, loud or gentle, and lyrics she penned herself from her heart.

Ernest Gallo brought us some backstory as well as recent events surrounding the 1967 attack by the Israeli’s on the USS Liberty. Ernie is one of the survivors of that attack, and he is on a mission to overcome the governmental coverup of the incident. Renny Roker brought us quite the poignant story about his father making the decision to move his family from somewhat horrific living circumstances into a place the family could blossom and grow. This very moving piece of writing came from the first chapter of his book titled, “Positivity.”

Jim Farrell surprised us all with a very adult reading from his new book, “The Extraordinary Banana Tree.” This excerpt stood as incredibly hilarious, gross, shocking, and entertaining. Jim has such a way with humor even in the more vile circumstances of life, and this presentation was a true gem. The visuals he created will be in my mind for some time to come! Last, but certainly not least, Kevin Cox delivered another hilarious real life (wink, wink) piece of writing, this time about growing up in Red Hook, NY. Needless to say, hijinks were afoot. Suffice it to say things were blown up and Kevin, er, Shawn escaped unscathed. This man like Jim who read before him, has a wonderful way with humor.

I must say this. Last night our presenters filled two hours of our time with amazing stories, poems, and songs that entertained us at a very high level. Each presenter did themselves proud. The talent we have around us here in Flagler County is astounding. Please look these folk up and get hold of some of their work.

Susan S. Slater – Inspired Mic Spotlight August 18, 2015

The Inspired Mic is at Cypress Knoll Golf Course August 18th. The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you read on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, and at the Cypress Knoll Golf Course Country Club. You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspire Mic

Susan SlaterSusan S. Slater

Finally! I’m being called a Florida writer! This is a big thing. If locale is almost another character in your novels (think snow in Fargo), moving is truly starting over. Leaving New Mexico after thirty-nine years meant no more mesas, adobe churches, mountains, Pueblo Indians, green chili vs. red . . . you get the picture. Writing about a new environment is always a challenge to get it right. And leaving the old is bittersweet.

But I was smart enough to make Dan Mahoney an insurance investigator—he could move with me! The series didn’t have to die, just imbed itself in new surroundings. And Hair of the Dog was born! Florida has over fifty per cent of all the working greyhound race tracks in the States—and one is just twenty miles from where I live. How could I pass up a setting like Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker Room?

Of course, half way through writing I’d wished I’d taken W.C. Fields advice: “Never try to act with a kid or a puppy. They’ll upstage you every time!” Writing is no different. It’s tough to include pets in your character roster. Trust me, if you feed the dog or cat on page twenty and haven’t taken it for a walk by page forty, your readers are going to let you know! And those furry critters have to have a personality—they can’t just appear and sit around.

And even though I write to entertain, it’s always nice to be able to use one’s writing to raise awareness. I’d like to think I never pass up a good cause and finding homes for retired racers is about one of the best. I’ve dedicated Hair of the Dog to two groups: Prison Greyhounds and A Ticket Home. The first highlights the training these track retirees receive before finding their forever homes. And a ticket to this new life can be purchased for just seventy-five dollars. There is, of course, if I do say so myself a pretty good mystery in the midst of all the dogs and racing.

So what’s next for Dan Mahoney on the Florida slate? Well, I’ve heard some relics have been stolen from the Basilica in St. Augustine . . . so a little tale called Epiphany is in the works.

*     *     *

Susan moved to Palm Coast from Taos, NM and has taught at the college level for over 40 years using degrees in theater, English Lit and Adult Education.

She has ten novels and one short story in print. Five mysteries in the Ben Pecos series: Pumpkin Seed Massacre, Yellow Lies, Thunderbird, A Way to the Manger and Fire Dancer. Two stand-alones: Five O’clock Shadow, a mystery, and 0 to 60, women’s fiction. Hair of the Dog is the third book in the Dan Mahoney series behind Flash Flood and Rollover. Susan’s short story, Eye for an Eye, was chosen by Tor for inclusion in the anthology of paranormal stories commemorating the fiftieth year of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. Susan would be the first to say that writing is just plain old hard work but she can’t imagine doing anything else!

Ernest Gallo – The Inspired Mic Spotlight August 18, 2015

The Inspired Mic is at Cypress Knoll Golf Course August 18th. The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you read on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, and at the Cypress Knoll Golf Course Country Club. You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspire Mic

Ernie PicErnest Gallo

Mr. Gallo is a graduate of Philadelphia Wireless Technical Institute with undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. While studying electronics, he joined the Navy Reserve. Called up for active duty in May 1966, the Navy sent him to Cryptologist training and assigned him to the USS Liberty, a Navy intelligence ship. While completing a NSA mission off the coast of the Sinai, June 8, 1967, the ship was deliberately and brutally attacked by Israel during the Israeli/Arab Six Day war. While surviving the attack, his memories continued to haunt the gruesome nature of the event. The Navy Court of Inquiry declared the attack accidental, however, the survivors knew differently. Realizing something was very wrong with the Navy, when his Navy enlistment was completed in May 1968, he reluctantly left the Navy as a Second Class Petty Officer, Communications Technician, Maintenance Branch (CTM-2).

To continue his Cryptologist and communications expertise, Mr. Gallo applied to work for the Central Intelligence Agency and was accepted. He completed a 28 year career with the CIA and received the CIA’s Civilian Intelligence Award, the Commendation Medal. Following the CIA, he worked for GTE, Quality Services Incorporated, TriCorps, Marconi International and BAE taking him into retirement.

Ernie is a member of: Veterans of Foreign Wars; The Navy League, Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association; the USS Liberty Veterans Association, and the American Cold War Veterans. He is the current and former President of the USS Liberty Veterans Association and founder of the Liberty Foundation. Mr. Gallo is on the board of directors of the Daytona Beach Navy League Council and the American Cold War Veterans. In 2005, he created a “give back” project of collecting used books delivering them to the various Navy and Coast Guard commands around the area. The project is called, “the Captain William McGonagle Memorial Library”, named after the beloved skipper of the USS Liberty who received the Medal of Honor for this leadership and dedication to save as many lives as possible.

Mr. Gallo has completed Michael Ray King’s training, “Wright a book in 30 days” and authored, “Liberty Injustices – A Survivor’s Account of American Bigotry”.   The book tells the USS Liberty story and captures his passion to alert America of a major problem. As a Navy veteran and roving activist speaker, the result of telling the truth about the Israeli attack he and the Liberty crew have been subjected to bigotry and character assassination. Ironically, the USS Liberty is the most decorated Navy ship for a single engagement ever.   Two Hundred and eight Purple Hearts were awarded to the Liberty crew alone.

Jim Farrell – The Inspired Mic Spotlight August 18, 2015

The Inspired Mic is at Cypress Knoll Golf Course August 18th. The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you read on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, and at the Cypress Knoll Golf Course Country Club. You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspired Mic

Jim Farrell 2Jim Farrell

Jim Farrell moved to Florida in June of 2013.  After he arrived here, he completed his first novel, Brooklyn Boy, a semi-autobiographical novel about a young boy growing up in the 1940s and 1950s in Brooklyn and Long Beach, NY.  When you read it, you will find yourself falling in love with the young Puertoricana, Anita Sanchez, the hero’s young girlfriend.  One person who does not love Anita is the hero’s mother.  The conflict between the boy and his mother creates compelling reading.  Who will win in the end? The most often heard comment from readers: “It brings me back to my childhood. I loved it!”

After publishing the novel, Jim published a second book, a collection of short stories, Kiss Me, Kate and Other Stories.  KMK is set in a variety of locations and illustrates the depth of the human spirit, the importance of laughter and the miracle of love.  Bill Reynolds, columnist for the Providence Journal, recommended the book in one of his columns.

Jim just completed his second novel, The Extraordinary Banana Tree, about the fall of Saigon in 1975.  Again it is semi-autobiographical.  The author was Manager of Flight Operations for Air America.  The main character, Billy Dobson, is Manager of Flight Operations for Air America.  The reader will also fall in love with Cheryl Flynn, the heroine, and a beautiful, amazing woman.  Jim seems to fall in love with all his heroines.

He is currently working on a second collection of short stories, The Committee and Other Stories.  Anyone who has ever lived in a community with a HOA and the self-appointed enforcers of real and imagined HOA rules will love the title story.  One story, It All Started One Saturday in Perth, is now one of the author’s favorites.  If the author likes it, it must have a pretty heroine.  It does, Sky Winters.  She appears in two other stories in the collection.

Jim is a member of the Florida Writers’ Association, and recently published a short story in their magazine. He has had a few local book signings.  His books are available at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach and The Book Rack in Palm Coast.  They are also available in the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast and the Volusia County Library. And, of course, on Amazon and B&N.

August at The Inspired Mic!

Inspired Mic August 18, 2015

Michele Marie January 2015Wow! Where did the year go? August? Really? What a whirlwind! The Inspired Mic last month put on a “War of the Words” competition at which Yvonne Rice walked away with a crisp $50 bill! The audience voted, and the contestants all brought their “A” game.

August is a special month for me at The Inspired Mic. The first year we were in existence, we had nearly 75 people at our event. August tends to be a bit toasty and wet, especially at night. At Cypress Knoll, we have a great venue, great food, drinks, and a very comfortable setting. Coming over the next couple weeks on this page will be Spotlights on some of our presenters.

These people work at their creativity, polish it up, and bring it every month. I believe if more people knew about The Inspired Mic, our local creative community would thrive more. Please, come back and check out August’s presenters. Take a read at what they’re working on and what they hope to do with their work. Then come out and support them when they do the one thing most everyone fears above all else – present their work live in front of an audience.

Please pre-purchase your tickets here: The Inspired Mic so that we may have appropriate staffing for our event. You will enjoy yourself!

The Inspired Mic Tuesday July 21st!!!

Cypress Knoll Will Host July 21st Inspired Mic!

cropped-InspiredTransparent.pngYes, Tuesday evening will be special. We not only have an incredible lineup, we also will introduce our first “competition” in a “War of the Words” format. More on that in a moment. Right now, I want to go over our presenters.

In no particular order, we have Angelica Timothy who blew away the audience at Pen Meets Brush last month. She’s entered in the competition and should be a formidable opponent. Renny Roker will be bringing his message of Positivity from his newly published book titled Positivity. He too will be in the competition and loves a challenge. Yvonne Rice, who presented for the first time at The Inspired Mic in June will be bringing it in the competition as well.

Heidi Tassone, one of The Inspired Mic’s loyal presenters and fan is back in July after a month away. Heidi likes to write with a ‘twist’ and always delivers something cool. Stan Drescher loves to write metered poetry that is usually historical and/or locally themed. He’s presented some fun pieces in past months. Ashley Flores will be back for her second Inspired Mic presentation. She absolutely blew us away in May with her Shakespearean tinged monologue. She is entered in the competition as well.

Alexandra King, back from Salt Lake City, steps into July’s Inspired Mic as our third 16 year old. She’s been presenting at The Inspired Mic for over a year now. She too is entered into the competition. These teenagers seem to love the challenge of competitive presentation! OJ Bryant is back as well.OJ always has something powerful to say. This will be her second time presenting and we look forward to what she has to bring. Steve Boone of The Lovin’ Spoonful fame returns this month. Steve’s been all over the country and it is always a pleasure to hear a little something about what rock and roll life was like in the 60’s.

Mystic “Mel” Melvin returns this month. I cannot begin to write of this man’s incredible ability to grab an audience, make us laugh, and move us in incredible ways. We are thrilled to see him back on his feet and ready to roll! Cyndi Rose has been with us since our beginning two years ago. Cyndi tends to present very socially conscious writing. She always makes us think and look at our world from a different perspective.

Ron Adams is back as well. This will be his second presentation at The Inspired Mic. His first one was full of powerful life experience and lessons on making change in our lives. Our dear Harvey Baron returns with is 88 year old homespun humor. Harvey can charm you into laughter with his turns of phrases and unique perspective on life situations.

I’m telling you, this will be an Inspired Mic you do not want to miss. Great entertainment, great food by Cypress Knoll Bistro (formally Leroy’s 19th Hole), and the uniqueness of diversity of original presentations. Tickets are available at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach, Cypress Knoll Bistro, and online at The Inspired Mic.

As to the competition, the audience will vote on which presenter entertained them the most. There will be three judges whose vote will each be worth 10% of the overall vote. This competition will bring out the “A” game in our contestants and should spice up the energy levels. The winner will walk away with a crisp $50 bill!

So come on out, have some fun, participate in the voting, relax with some great friends and food and drink and enjoy some eclectic fun! We look forward to seeing you there! Cypress Knoll Country Club at 6:30pm Tuesday July 21st! Be there or be square!!!

Renny Roker Pen Meets Brush Spotlight – June 26, 2015

Pen Meets Brush June 26, 2015

The Inspired Mic is teaming up with Salvo Art in Palm Coast to present “Pen Meets Brush” where 10 presenters will deliver their creative material while artist J.J. Graham paints his interpretation of their work live. The painting will then be auctioned off to help support scholarships for children in the Summer Art Camp Program at Salvo. J.J., nor anyone else, for that matter, will know the content of each presenters’ work beforehand. This event pairs at least three incredible creative mediums in one event. Click this link for tickets: Pen Meets Brush

Renny RokerRenny Roker

How about a sneak peek at just a couple of Renny’s TV appearances. Check out this video!

Renny Video by Steve

Renny has been in 100’s of  TV, movie, commercials, and other videos over the years. He was once in a movie with Jackie Gleason! He will be presenting at Pen Meets Brush!

Becky Pourchot Pen Meets Brush Spotlight – June 26, 2015

Pen Meets Brush – June 26, 2015

The Inspired Mic is teaming up with Salvo Art in Palm Coast to present “Pen Meets Brush” where 10 presenters will deliver their creative material while artist J.J. Graham paints his interpretation of their work live. The painting will then be auctioned off to help support scholarships for children in the Summer Art Camp Program at Salvo. J.J., nor anyone else, for that matter, will know the content of each presenters’ work beforehand. This event pairs at least three incredible creative mediums in one event. Click this link for tickets: Pen Meets Brush

Becky Pen Meets  BrushBecky Pourchot

Becky Pourchot started her journey as a writer in 1995 when she took an online class through the University of Wisconsin with writing coach Marshall Cook. At the time she had no interest in being a writer she simply wanted to “try something new.”
The class, that focused on writing features articles, proved to be an exciting challenge for her. Becky didn’t look back. She took every class Marshall offered. In no time she was submitting articles to local papers, enjoying seeing her byline in print. Within the year she had blossomed into a professional freelance writer.
With an itch to tell her own stories, Becky began work on her first book, I Look Better in Binary, a collection of humorous short stories featuring the most embarrassing moments of her childhood. After publication she wrote a second book Forgive Me Martha—a funny dedication to Martha Stewart asking for forgiveness for her failed homemaking skills.
One day, while visiting an 8th grade class to talk about writing an idea for a book came to her—why not take the quirky troubles of being a teen and merge it with her favorite subject—ghosts. The result was the Hungry Ghost Series, a funny collection of books about a fifteen year old girl who resents her ability to talk with the dead.
Earlier this year Becky decided to delve in the dark side. Open Souls is a romantic thriller about facing, and ultimately embracing our own darkness within.
Becky now lives in Flagler Beach, Florida with her husband and three kids, and even though she’s perpetually busy, she always finds time to focus on her first love—writing.
You can find all of Becky’s books at www.beckypourchot.com

Amy Alysia – Pen Meets Brush – June 26, 2015

Pen Meets Brush – June 26, 2015

The Inspired Mic is teaming up with Salvo Art in Palm Coast to present “Pen Meets Brush” where 10 presenters will deliver their creative material while artist J.J. Graham paints his interpretation of their work live. The painting will then be auctioned off to help support scholarships for children in the Summer Art Camp Program at Salvo. J.J., nor anyone else, for that matter, will know the content of each presenters’ work beforehand. This event pairs at least three incredible creative mediums in one event. Click this link for tickets: Pen Meets Brush

2689767Amy Alysia

Vocalist Amy Alysia is a performer who works tirelessly to claim her place as one of the premier vocalists in Central Florida.  Always known for her soulful, heartfelt ballads, impressive vocal range, and unique approach to a song, Amy Alysia always leaves her audience wanting more. Fans say her voice is “like sweet butter,” while others say “her voice is a gift from God”.

Amy Alysia entertains her audience with a wide variety of Smooth & Jazz Standards, R&b, & Soul, and is not afraid to diversify her song selections that easily sets her apart from other performers.  some of her female vocalist that has influenced her includes Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Randy Crawford, Natalie Cole, Bonnie Raitt, and Sarah Vaughn.  Crowds are captivated with her sound, energy, and especially her ability to incorporate them into every live performance.  

This musical journey isn’t a new one.  Her mother has a cassette tape recording of her singing at the age of 2. “Yes Jesus Loves Me.” Who knew that her humble beginnings in the church and the local school choirs were preparing her for a successful life in music.  Amy credits her parents for a strong spiritual foundation, that built her character; junior high school music teacher Earl Thompson for developing her gifts at an early age; & college music director, Roger Sears, who helped develop her confidence.  

Although she began singing in church, around the age of fifteen she began traveling with local gospel artists singing around the State of Florida.  Her senior high school music teacher took interest in her and  she began to sing as the vocalist for many weddings, funerals, civic events, and more. Today, She is quickly winning the hearts of local audiences who simply want more!   In addition to Amy Alysia’s musical abilities, she completed her college education earning a Bachelors in Accounting, a Masters Degree in Business Administration, and an All-Lines Claims Adjuster Certification, she has decided to pursue her lifelong dreams of singing.  With the management and support of her husband Phil Reed, also drummer, she is able to focus 100% on building her brand. Currently, Amy Alysia is working to release her first highly anticipated album to be released soon.

Angelica Timothy – Pen Meets Brush – June 26, 2015

Pen Meets Brush – June 26, 2015

The Inspired Mic is teaming up with Salvo Art in Palm Coast to present “Pen Meets Brush” where 10 presenters will deliver their creative material while artist J.J. Graham paints his interpretation of their work live. The painting will then be auctioned off to help support scholarships for children in the Summer Art Camp Program at Salvo. J.J., nor anyone else, for that matter, will know the content of each presenters’ work beforehand. This event pairs at least three incredible creative mediums in one event. Click this link for tickets: Pen Meets Brush

Angelica TimothyAngelica Timothy

My name is Angelica Timothy. I’m 16 years old and a student at FPC. I have a wide range of interests that include writing, video games, music, and movies. My tastes are very eclectic and I’ll write about anything and everything that interests me.