Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chris Berman and His Book The Hive!

Chris Berman, a Science-Fiction novelist, joined First Coast Christian Writer's all the way from St. Augustine. The knowledge he brought to us was definitely inspiring. He taught us the difference between Hard Science-Fiction and Soft-Fiction Writing!

It was interesting to learn the reason he began writing; Chris took a simple ride one morning to rent a van that he was going to drive to Philadelphia for business from the Budget Rent-A-Car six miles from his home. On the way there, he was in a near-fatal bike accident as he was hit by a car.

He had several injuries that made him unable to sleep lying down for weeks. With nothing to do late into the night, he remembered his wife Laressa, had always encouraged him to write. However, with his work load, he never had the time. During his recovery, he had lots of time to write late at night as the pain would not let him sleep. Every night, he sat there working on his story, The Hive.

He spent many hours in research on astronomy for accuracy of the story. This never bothered Chris as it was his passion. He loved watching the stars and studying the science part of it. So, it filled his time as he sat up for weeks on end.

Chris began his discussion about the books he is currently working on at this point in his writing career! To get a publishing contract, he used the site He discover Xpress Yourself Publishing that offered to publish his book, The Hive. The Hive is complete and doing very well in major bookstores. He went on to explain that with using you will find agents and publishers are color coded by green, yellow, and red. The green means they are very good to deal with, the yellow means caution some aspects of their operation seem like scams, and red means total scam don't use!

He also told us about two others books he is in the process of writing. The first one is Red Moon, which is finished. He has sent those revisions to the ARC to be approved. Finally, he has begun working on one other book. This book he has only gotten about four or five chapter completed.

With his book The Hive, he has had the opportunity for book signings up as far as New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and of course in Florida! The Hive he continued to explain is more of a "classic earth vs. alien" style of a book. In other words he explained as "we didn't put dinner on for the aliens, we became their dinner."

He described "Hard Science-Fiction has "technology based information, the hardware so to speak." He went on to say the "One author that came to mind was Arthur C. Clarke as he wrote 2001 and 2010. He also wrote the Fountains of Paradise and many others." Those were just a few titles that he wrote, Chris classified those as Science-Fiction books!

He then gave a description of "Soft Science-Fiction" by giving an example of the book River World written by Phillip Jose Farmer. As well as he named several other books written by different author's on both topics. That is on Hard and Soft Science-Fiction books.

He began the discussion about his book The Hive, and talked about the scientific parts of his books; such as the technology of building different rockets, drawing for us an example of one and explaining how the rocket works.

He spoke very highly of the Orion Project and how it worked. This was demonstrated in the drawing. He discussed the different components of the rocket and what each is responsible for. Definitely a lot of research was noted in his discussion of his book The Hive!

He also mentioned how that a theme in his book was to impart there was higher power, and a "God" was responsible for our early discovery of the approaching Hive fleet. A definite struggle between Man's and Hive technology! He has a driven mind and concept in reaching his readers to understand the glorious power of God's great love! That our God given intelligence as well as as a forewarning would be responsible for victory, but ONLY if we acted as a united human family. We wish Chris all the best of luck with his book The Hive and the many others that will come to follow it!

Christine M Ramey, Secretary FCCW

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FCCW Secretary & VP PR Positions Filled

Tonight was a discussion about the future of First Coast Christian Writers and were we would like it to go from here.

DSC00610 - AutocorrectedTracy Redman, FCCW Treasurer, addresses FCCW participants. 

Many talked about the possibilities of making us in connections with Toastmasters! The majority was in the vote and on the go with Toastmaster. Nevertheless, there were those whom did not like the idea of Toastmasters as it would change the group from what Dr. Lorraine intended for it to be.

Many commented on a job well done that Dr. Lorraine has brought to our group, and the many hours of labor and love she has brought forth to First Coast Christian Writers. This has been Dr. Lorraine’s baby. She had begun this group from the ground up. "The work I've done over the past two years has been very fulfilling, but now it's time to pass the torch to other leaders," says Lorraine.

Many things were talked about as the group discussed together the work that needed to be done. The first thing Dr. Lorraine brought up was the fact of needing to fill all the officer positions. There were several positions that needed to be filled and voted upon. Those positions were as follows: Vice President of Education, Vice President of Public Relations, Secretary, and Treasurer. It's too much of a load for one person to take on all these responsibilities. "The group needs strong leadership in order to be sustainable," says Lorraine. 

We talked about Toastmasters and we discussed the different possibilities, but the decision was to not go in that direction at this time. We decided as a group, and acknowledged it would be too much of a culture change to the group. First Coast Christian Writers was built based on a foundation of Toastmasters principles and procedures, but we're not going to move forward to become an official Toastmasters chapter at this time. 

Someone brought up was the possibility of having two meeting’s a month instead of meeting weekly. Someone brought up the idea of having a critique group one week and a speaker the next. Many other ideas were suggested. No times or dates as to when and if changes will be finalized will take place until after the new leadership team has a chance to discuss changes for 2010. The members who paid through December 2009 can rest assured that the weekly meetings will remain the same through the end of the year.

Ann Brinegar volunteered to work with the VP of Membership to match members as mentors/mentees for members who are interested in extra accountability to their writing goals outside the meetings. This supports our mission for holding each other accountable for reaching goals.

The point was brought back to the floor about needing to fill positions. As time was close to the end, votes were made.
 DSC00603 Lynn Rix

Lynn Rix was nominated and unanimously voted in as Vice President of Public Relations. Lynn wants to learn the public relations side of the writing business. 

DSC00607 Christy Ramie


Christine M. Ramey was nominated and unanimously voted in as Secretary. She is happy and honored to take it.  


Tracy Redman, FCCW Treasurer, was nominated and  unanimously voted in as new President for 2010. Tracy will shadow Lorraine Haataia through the end of the year, and will become the new president effective January 1, 2010.  

Karen Godfrey - Copy

Karen Godfrey is fairly new to her position as VP of Membership. She accepted this position a few weeks ago and is eager to serve FCCW visitors and members.

Buddy Putnam agreed to remain Sergeant at Arms. He has served faithfully in this position since the group began meeting in January 2008.



Bob Haataia has faithfully served as the club webmaster since fall of 2007. Before the group began meeting, Bob worked with Lorraine to build the club website, blog, and other marketing tools. Bob has agreed to remain the webmaster.

Although two positions still remain open, Vice PresidentLorraineHaataiaPhDCroppedCompressedIMG2340 of  Education and Treasurer, Dr. Lorraine Haataia was relieved and thankful that two officer positions were filled and she can now begin training new leaders and concentrating more on her own writing. Effective January 1, 2010, Lorraine will serve as the Immediate Past President, providing guidance for Tracy, and the new leadership team.

Everyone was pleased with the decisions that were made and the meeting was closed and bathed in prayer for the future of First Coast Christian Writers.

By Christy Ramey, FCCW Secretary