In 1976, when Evelyn Kelley Combs, author of Seeded Furrows and King Cotton, came to Florida, she attended a creative writing course conducted by Hal LaTemple at the City Island Library. Impressed by the number of talented writers there, she and Hal were inspired to form the Ormond Writers' League, where members could share their work with one another. From the beginning, Hal was known at meetings for his silent reactions. Often, he didn't need to say a word: the look on his face exactly expressed his opinion of the writing under consideration.
On March 12, 1995, the program at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center highlighted OWL's talent. There were three one-act plays: Cousin Teddy, written by Audrey Cooke and directed by Hal LaTemple, under his stage name, Michael Mulrooney; followed by Do Aliens Like Chocolate? written and directed by Eva Jones, and finally, Round Yon Harry, consisting of dramatic monologues co-written by other members, and directed by Jim Spigener.
With the advent of personal computers and a growing interest in publishing, OWLs made further strides. In 1995, they produced Inkslingers, an anthology edited by Kitty Maiden. The book, published by SeaOats in Ormond Beach, featured the work of twenty-one writers, illustrated with photographs, painting reproductions and pen-and-ink drawings provided by local artists.
The Ormond Writer's League has been open to local writers for nearly twenty-eight years. Throughout this time, almost to the present, Hal and Eva maintained their affiliation with the group. Always willing to share their interest and expertise with others, they are remembered as loyal, supportive and devoted members. To their memory, we dedicate our current anthology, Peanut Butter & Jellyfish
A peculiar combination some might say. We've come to view unexpected and enigmatic fusions such as these as the building blocks of our sandcastles, and we now invite the Reader to spend a little time with fifteen of our pen-wielding, computer-pounding, starry-eyed sandcastle builders.
Peanut Butter & Jellyfish
Peanut Butter & Jellyfish is an astonishingly diverse, uniquely delicious and often incongruous collection of stories and poems. The theme of Florida surfaces and then vanishes as readers find themselves transported to places like Winchester, VA, Taylorsville, NC, St. Louis, MO, Green Village, NJ, Paw Paw, WV, the Mexican coast, and the Syria-Iraq border. The tone ranges from wistful to hilarious, from solemn to silly, from grim to outrageous and back. Humor predominates, at times uproarious, at others wry. Nostalgia comes in a close second with evocations of the past that are moving, often startling in their realism, and now and then, unexpectedly dark.
Fresh, provocative and finely crafted. A rewarding read.