Tag Archives: Millville

23-07-05 Millville City Commission Meeting

Millville City Commission Meeting

Before I returned from the Retirement Celebration Tour, I began thinking about events to do with Fritz.

Fritz is political. He likes politics, presidential trivia, government, etc. His current plan is to study poly-sci and then continue onto law school. To that end, I thought he should see government in action. I took him to the city commission meeting this evening.

We began with the work session. The mayor was absent. The meeting lasted four minutes. Absolutely nothing was accomplished. In-between the work session and the regular meeting, we walked High Street. Fritz counted 36 empty storefronts. There was absolutely nothing for us to do on High Street at 6:10 on a summer Wednesday evening.

We figure there are five barber shops and two hair salons on High Street. There are a couple Chinese restaurants.

We returned for the regular meeting. A few more people attended. The mayor was still absent.

I figured it would be a 45-minute meeting as there wasn’t much on the agenda and nothing controversial. The meeting actually went just less than an hour. The almost extra 15 minutes came from Joe Sooy rattling off all the work at water and sewage that is on the agenda.

Not a whole lot went on. Two more marijuana businesses received endorsements from the Commission.

My son got to see government in action. He asked questions afterwards. I think it was a profitable experience for hi,

Jayanti Tamm

23-05-25 Jayanti Tamm

For the third installment of the Reading Around New Jersey author series at the Millville Public Library, Jayanti Tamm spoke this evening. She is the author of Cartwheels in a Sari: A Memoir of Growing Up in a Cult. I picked this book up the other day, but didn’t have the time to make it through. Admittedly, it wasn’t striking a cord.

That changed after hearing her tonight. First off, it truly is a fascinating story. She was born into a cult. Because her mother was pregnant, that caused issues for the guru. To “make it right”, the guru declared that Jayanti was the “chosen one.” Wow! Talk about pressure! The cult continues, but Jayanti got out. The whole thing is bizarre . . . and interesting.

What was equally fascinating and I suspect pleasing for Courtenay, who put together the event, is that this is the first author in the series that resonated with me as to the writing process. Jayanti is a teacher at Ocean County Community College and she taught us about memoir writing. It dawned upon me as I sat there that this is my kind of writing. That is what this blog is. I was in tune with what she shared.

I even asked a question, which is unusual of me in these situations. I asked about the ethics of molding stories. She had discussed creative nonfiction. She spent a lot of time on purpose. It seems to me that purpose can change over time. I kept thinking of my story about selecting a movie in Charlottesville that I tell. The events of the story remain constant, but the meaning of the even has absolutely shifted over time.

She acknowledged that that indeed happens and sees nothing wrong with it. I mentioned that now that we are in the digital age, multiple copies of stories may exist with different purposes applied to them. Jayanti seemed to think that is a good thing. I am rather in agreement with her, I believe, on this.

At the end, she provided something for us to work on. She suggested we begin with “I don’t know why I remember . . .” to begin a writing about some memory. Write about the setting and the characters (3 or 4 things I know about him/her) associated with that scene. What’s important about that moment?

Good evening event.

R.G. Evans, New Jersey Poet

R.G. Evans

The Millville Public Library hosts a monthly New Jersey author event. Tonight was the second one. R.G. Evans, a local poet/songwriter, shared his process and read several poems from Imagine Sisyphus Happy.

  • Moon at Day
  • Lucky
  • The Year in Goodbyes
  • Instead of Smiling
  • Imagine Sisyphus Happy
  • Fallout
  • At the Border of the Day
  • Apology to Time
  • Almost Holy
  • “The Fantastic End of America”

Bob is a retired high school English teacher. He is two years older than I and retired a couple years back. I know him as I have attended his poetry sessions at the library in the past.

I enjoyed most of what he read tonight. His insight into poetry publishing pretty much is a lesson of not earning money. 🙂

It was an enjoyable evening.

Reece Brett, Millville Author

23-03-02 Reece Brett, Millville Author

Courtenay Reece began a new book club at the Millville Public Library. Each month will feature a New Jersey author who writes about New Jersey. Tonight was the first “meeting”. Reece Brett, a Millville author was featured.

Now I thought this was going to be a book club discussion like our other club in which the author participated. It was not. This was a presentation from the author.

Lots of people attended. We filled the Gant Room.

Mrs. Brett gave some background. She was a longtime Millville High School creative writing teacher. She’s written a handful of books and has more coming.

She spoke about using local “color” to enhance stories. She read the passage from Levels of Truth about the diner to highlight how all of us locals recognized it was Jim’s Lunch and the character described was Rochelle. Then she introduced Rochelle, who sat behind me.

She also had a bunch of us stand up, handed us index cards that were colored, and line up according to color. She explained that writing often is writing scenes, but that those scenes don’t necessarily connect. She says we group them together (the colors). But then when done, they are often re-arranged. At that point, she re-arranged us. We were no longer entirely grouped by color. At that point, the author writes the transitions that connect the scenes.

Brett then described the publishing process. Agents are no longer the norm. She spoke a lot about self-publishing and independent publishing and the benefit of not having to work off/pay off the marketing bill. She then introduced Anton Kukal, another local author who discussed the Kindle Vella platform.

At the end Brett drew names for giveaways. I won! Woo hoo! A couple of her books (including Levels of Truth and Stranger to Love), a couple notepads, and a package of wildflower seeds. Oh, and the ever-present tote bag.

A couple of the ladies from the regular book club stopped me to say how nice it was that I was there. It’s been a while. I stopped participating with the move and all but am looking to get back in the flow of things.

I spoke with Courtenay on the way out. She gave me a copy of Bob Evans’ book Imagine Sisyphus Happy. I shared that that was from Camus and I had studied Sisyphus as part of my senior study long ago in college. I look forward to reading it. Bob, another local New Jersey author, will be April’s author for this group.

Fun times!