Local writers show their talent | SummitDaily.com

Local writers show their talent

Special to the Daily/Lelle Kibitel From left, Summit County locals Scott Toepfer, Andrew Gmerek, Sherry King, Stew Mosberg, Herb Tabak and Maryann Gaug published a collection of short works titled "Colorado High Country Anthology." They have been meeting as a writers' group, Writers of the Soiree at the Summit, since last year and will be doing readings in local bookstores this winter.

“Writers tend to work in a vacuum, usually live with self doubt and are often portrayed as loners. These descriptions by themselves suggest the need for a writer’s sounding board.”The introduction in a new anthology published by a group of six Summit County writers explains why they formed Writers of the Soiree at the Summit in early 2003. As they sought solace and feedback in each other, they realized they had something valuable to share. Six months ago, they began to compile a book, “Colorado High Country Anthology,” which they then used iUniverse to publish on demand.”It was like, ‘My dad’s got a barn; let’s go play – I’ve got a computer; let’s write a book,'” said Stew Mosberg, one of the writers.

While some on-demand publications can be a chore to get through, “Colorado High Country Anthology” offers pages of enjoyment. Short fiction, essays, poems and nonfiction offer variety, and the different writers’ voices keep the anthology fresh.Andrew Gmerek’s “The Dynamics of a Curve” is one of the pieces that stand out. His lead paragraph, structure, dialogue and overall story deserve publication in the best of literary magazines. The pacing and character development captivated me; he took time to develop the story and foreshadow the ultimate revelation, then added a seductive yet satisfying end.A couple pieces didn’t quite hit the mark of exquisite storytelling. These didn’t follow the golden rule of “show, don’t tell.” I wanted the writers to slow down and delve deeper into the characters and action because the stories they outlined were compelling.The emotions contained within the pieces run the gamut from despair and anger to joy and passion. Some pieces pack a hard-to-shake emotional punch.

The essays and nonfiction pieces soar with topics close to many locals’ hearts, including fly fishing, golfing, hiking, taking hut trips, holding onto childhood, merging with the rhythms of nature and traveling.While poetry can be a hit-or-miss endeavor – especially when it revolves around love – Sherry King writes easily understood yet masterful poems. “As the River Finds Its Life” flows visually, then surprises with honest, heartfelt sentiment.Being locals, the authors’ biographies are almost as interesting as the creative pieces. Gmerek catalogues his professions from wooden boat builder to 1-900 psychic. King belongs to the National Association for Poetry Therapists. Mosberg has written two books on design. Herb Tabak spends his time as an accountant and a commercial pilot. Scott Toepfer worked his way up the ranks from Arapahoe Basin breakfast cook to statewide mountain weather and avalanche forecaster. Maryann Gaug worked for Rocky Flats for 20 years then became a master of the leave-no-trace philosophy.The diverse experiences meld into an entertaining anthology that affirms the talent living within our community.

Books are available at Amazon.com and iUniverse. They will be available in local book stores this winter. For more information, or if you are a published writer who wants to join the monthly writers’ group, e-mail Mosberg at wrtrf@aol.com or call him at (970) 547-4665.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

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