Writers’ Group


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Sun Lakes Writers Group is more than just a group of writers getting together weekly. It is a group of fine women and men who have experienced many extraordinary times in their lives and shares their stories with others. We meet once a week, every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Ceramics Room at the Cottonwood clubhouse.

Our guidelines are simple. We write on just about everything possible. However, we avoid writing on politics. At the end of each meeting, we draw a slip of paper which has one to two words on it. These words are “assigned” for the following week to use them in our stories. It is our choice to use them if we like. Write on one or two of these words or write on words of your choice! The words are simply there as a crutch if you need a helping hand to get you started.

You may take any subject, a headline you have found and expound on it or write on your life’s experiences. We have several members of the group who are writing memoirs for their children and grandchildren.

Every month, we offer up some of our writings to the Sun Lakes Splash. It is our way of sharing our talents and interests with the community. In order to have a submission to the Splash, you have to be a member of our group.

We have a great deal of fun in our meetings, and we have a break for coffee or tea and sometimes goodies.

Next time you want to share some stories and feel as though you don’t know where to begin, take out that pad and pen or the computer and start your stories. Everyone has stories to tell and would like to share with others.

Step inside the room and meet new friends who will encourage you in every step of your journey.

We listen to all readings and we do not critique unless you specifically ask for feedback. Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. will never be the same for you!

Cottonwood Ceramics Room (A-8) is the place to be.

Plan on arriving at 12:30 p.m. for a little meet and greet. Our begin time is 1:00 p.m. We are looking forward to seeing many of you soon.

For questions on our group, please call Barbara Schwartz, chairperson, at 480-388-0190 or email [email protected]


Gail Thatcher

As you approach the front door of the Cottonwood/Palo Verde dining room, you are greeted by a decorative fountain. On the right side rests a small bronze plaque that reads, “In memory of Dutch and Jean Luchtel.” When Dutch passed away, Jean learned the HOA wanted to install a fountain, so she offered to donate money toward it if they would allow her to place the plaque there to honor Dutch’s military service to the country. When Jean passed away, her name was added in honor of her numerous contributions to the Cottonwood/Palo Verde community. I’ve often wondered how many people walk by and never see the plaque and wonder how many see it and think, “I wonder who they were?” and then it’s forgotten.

I also wonder if people who knew them walk by and think, “Oh yes, I remember them,” and then it’s out of sight, out of mind.

I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Dutch, but I know that whenever I mention his name to someone who knew him, the face lights up and they talk about what a good man he was. I do know that he and Jean often entertained couples at their home, where Jean became famous for her Jell-O shots. They were a frequent sight sitting on their patio, which faced the golf cart path, waving and saying “Hi” to the golfers as they passed.

I did have the fortune to know Jean. She was a gracious woman who always seemed to be helping people. It seemed to be her mission to bring people together. She started a monthly neighborhood get together, which I understand continues today. Jean made beautiful beaded jewelry and purses and would demonstrate how it was done for anyone who wanted to learn. She arranged for a room in Cottonwood and invited anyone who was interested to bring whatever craft they were working on and enjoy company while they worked.

Going further, she helped start the Ambassadors, which is a group that contacts new homeowners and invites them on a tour of all that the community has to offer, followed by a meal at the dining room. This helps people who are new to the community meet other homeowners, which often facilitates their transition into the community.

One evening Jean was standing at the kitchen sink, when she decided she didn’t want to cook another dinner for one and eat alone. She called a neighbor or two and invited them to join her for dinner at the dining room. They had such a good time, that the next week she invited more friends and then started a widows’ group. She felt that no one should have to eat alone. It is now called The Singles Group, which has been a godsend for many women who were having trouble finding their way after losing a spouse. Jean didn’t counsel, in fact there isn’t talk of loss, the healing comes from just having dinner, laughter and eventual friendships.

I hope now when people pass that plaque, they will remember or now know what a vibrant and special person Jean was.

Please know, Jean, that you will always be remembered in the hearts of those who knew you.

The Good, The Bad and More

Barbara Schwartz

There are many words we speak daily. Some are good, some are nice, some are fine, some are evil, some are vile and some are too bad to even mention in public.

When we wake up in the morning, we are more or less setting the tone for a new day and all its trials and tribulations. We are faced with a task of doing the routine things in life. We have to gather food to feed the family; we must decide what to wear to work or school.

When we read or watch the news, we find out the activities of the past days and the weather for the future days.

When we call some of our friends, we can arrange events that will hopefully turn into fun times to be had by all.

When we entertain or have a party, we must plan what food to serve, what game or other form of entertainment to have and how many pals we should invite.

So, just ever so quickly, you can see what it will take to live a somewhat normal day and that our lives are full of four-letter words.

Just for a grin and a giggle can you remember how many four-letter words I have used in this short writing?