Writers Night Out by Chuck Thurston


FE open mike posterDear Writers –

Here’s what’s coming up in the next few months:

July 23 – Writers Night Out – Mike Knox

Mike Knox is a journalist with the Kannapolis-Concord Independent Tribune. He’ll be our discussion leader and tell us how his reporting skills helped him in putting together a documentary film on the circus. Who doesn’t like a circus? This promises to be an interesting and informative evening. As always at our meetings, we will wind up the evening with an open mike so you can share your poetry or short prose selections with us.

August 27 – Writers Night Out – Peg Robarchek

Peg published a book of poems, Inventing Sex this spring. Listen – if that title doesn’t get you off the coach and to a meeting…Peg will read from her work, and discuss poetry generally – or whatever else pops up. Be prepared to read some of your own or perhaps a favorite poem by someone else for open mike. An evening with Peg Robarchek is to be much anticipated and subsequently savored.

September 24 – Writers Night Out – Melinda Metz

Melinda will discuss her plans to support NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – This is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.  On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Melinda is a tremendously productive creator of Young Adult literature.

All meetings are at the French Express Coffee House at the corner of S. Cannon Blvd and Dale Earnhardt Blvd. – around the corner from the new Planet Fitness facility. We get started at 6:30 p.m. and go until the FE folks kick us out – generally around 8:00 pm.  Get there early to sign in and get a cup of the good French Express coffee – or iced mocha this time of year might be your choice.

September 26 and October 24. Kannapolis Arts Festival dates

This is an outstanding opportunity to sell your published material at an authors’ table. Check with Mike Knox (mknox74@gmail.com) for details.

Chuck Thurston

Regional Rep, North Carolina Writers’ Network

Charlotte Metro North Region



Kwitcherbitchen by Chuck Thurston


My wife has had a string of gnawing physical ailments over the last month or so; recovery is sure, but too slow in her view, and she is not a paradigm of patience. She is getting snarky. Today she gave me a semi-apology. “I shouldn’t bitch to you about my problems. You didn’t do anything to deserve it!” Well, I gave a quick second to that emotion.

bad attitude

We got talking though. Bitching about what gripes us is quintessentially human. It might even be necessary. There is probably some therapeutic value in letting all your grumpiness hang out, but how can we do this without jumping on those close to us?

My wife remembered a time several years ago when I came home from a particularly bad day at work and said a few unpleasant things to her in the kitchen as she went about preparing dinner. She was irritated and snapped at our oldest son who was lax in doing something she had asked him to do. He, in turn, hollered at his younger brother over some matter – and he got on our daughter – the youngest – for no good reason at all. She, justifiably, took it out on the dog, which continued its doggy smile and wagging its tail. Labs for some reason known only to their maker seem to have a perpetually friendly attitude. My bad day at work fizzled out at that point.

The dog – Maxine – was available in our incident, but had her limitations. Granted, she could maintain a cheerful composure, but she couldn’t provide what the bitcher really needs – someone to say things like “sit down…tell me all about it,” or “I don’t blame you – that would irritate me, too,” or “there, there…it’s going to be alright.”

Look – there are visiting nurses who visit convalescents to change dressings, administer medicines and perform other such ministrations. Why can’t there be a specialist in listening to our complaints and empathizing with them – a kind of designated bitchee? Surely, as the population ages, and gets more cranky, there is a call for this skill. We can’t leave it all to ministers who have enough problems of their own. These good people tend to have to much anxious concern. We need people who can be totally unobjective – who could care less about what is ailing you.

george burns

I am reminded of a remark that George Burns once made in response to someone who asked him what the secret to his success as a comedian was. Burns didn’t hesitate. “Sincerity,” he said. “Once you learn to fake that the rest is easy!

I can see a promising career path here.


Chuck Thurston is the author of Senior Scribbles Unearthed and Senior Scribbles Second Dose – a collection of humorous essays and memoirs.  Available on Amazon or through Second Wind Publications.