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Write Angles November 2011

Write Angles November 2011

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Milicent Washburn Shinn
Milicent Washburn Shinn

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Published by: California Writer's Club - Berkeley Branch on Sep 18, 2012
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09/19/2012

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Page 0
Write Angles
 
November2011
 
Milicent Washburn Shinn
[1858–1940]
Th
 
Overland Monthly 
, a California literary magazine, was given a new life in 1882. MilicentShinn, a recent graduate of the new University of California, Berkeley, and only twenty-fiveyears old herself, took over as editor, and by performing every task, kept the impoverishedpublication alive. She strongly believed that Californians needed writing to better the state’sgrave post-Civil War social problems. She succeeded in keeping the magazine in print fortwelve years, until she resigned to return to her studies and become the first female toreceive a Ph.D. from UCB in 1898.
The Biography of a Baby 
is her detailed personalobservations of the early years of her niece’s life, and it was acclaimed as one of the mostthorough scientific accounts of a baby's mental and physical development.
 
 
Write Angles
Page 1
Write AngesWrite Anges
 View from the Mountain Top
–Linda Brown 
 
Early in October, Andy Rooney retired from his 33-yearrun with 60 Minutes, the venerable CBS televisionnewsmagazine. Rooney insisted, however, that he didnot retire. Why? Because “I’m a writer, and a writernever stops being a writer.I never thought of Rooney as a writer. To me he was acommentator and a crusty one at that. I imagined himdoing some writing but not that he saw himself first andforemost as a writer. If I thought about it all, I imaginedhim polishing the words that a stable of young writersworking behind the scenes put on paper after one of hisrants in anticipation of a future show. I suspected he wasin his 80s, never dreaming that he was 92 years old orthat he started his
60 Minutes 
gig at age 59 or 60.Reading that he started this successful career at an agewhen many people retire gave me hope that perhaps I have one more career movein the future.About this same time, I watched a television documentary on
Saturday Night Live 
.The cast reminisced about sitting around the “writing table.” Flashback photosshowed young people in their 20s and 30s working at a table testing zingers thateventually made airtime. I never knew such working conditions existed. Theseimages contrasted to my writing work in Corporate America and my image ofstruggling writers working feverishly, alone and often in poverty.In reflecting on these two stories, I wonder what steps these people I do not knowpersonally but who have been a part of my adult life took to become suchrecognized writers. Did they set goals to find these careers? Did they meet someoneby accident who introduced them to a new path?I never had a desire to write comedy lines or move to LA. I did, however, write amovie script in my early 30s when I lived in San Francisco, and I shopped it in LA.Today, I harbor goalssome say fantasies—of writing and producing a documentaryor being part of a team writing for a television series.Just maybe its not too late. Right now I’m in Arkansas and far removed physicallyfrom that path. I packed the outline for my nonfiction book, a couple of referencebooks, and a folder full of notes. My hope/plan is to get serious and translate thewords I have into a query and start the pitch process. I can always useencouragement, and yours will be appreciated.
 
November
2011
contents
Presidents message 1November Speaker 2Member Profile 2Holiday Luncheon 2Poetry Page 3Guest Column 4October Survey Results 5Tech Team News 6Remarks from the Road 7November Survey 7Member News 8Blogroll 9The Last Word 10
Holiday
luncheon invitation
11Workshop Flyer 12Speaker Flyer 13South Bay Workshop 14
upcomingevents
11/5
 
Workshop
: Dennis Evanosky
—“News v. Research”
 
11/20
 
Speaker
:
Karen Joy Fowler —“Adventures in Genre”
Presidents Message…
 
 
Write Angles
Page 2
Write AngesWrite Anges
November speaker 
 
 Why Not Experiment?
 – 
David Baker 
I’m a very contrary person,” Karen Joy Fowler admitted in an interview at109.com, so rules or formula are actually very energizing and inspiring to mepartly because I have no intention of following them.” Fowler, our featuredspeaker for the November 20 meeting, has found that breaking genre ruleshelps her “think about stories and where they can go.”Short stories established Fowler as a science fiction writer. She then went on tomerge sci-fi with mainstream fiction in her first novel,
Sarah Canary 
, set inWashington Territory in 1873. Readers are drawn to the enigmatic Sarah buthave to wonder whether she’s an alien. Fowler’s second novel,
The Sweetheart Season 
, relies on postWorld War Two Minnesota to provide the setting for a fantasy.
Sister Noon 
blends well-researched fact with ingenious conjecture. But Fowler refuses to classify the work as historical fiction because shewas more interested in creating human drama than in depicting San Francisco during the Gilded Age.
The Jane Austen Book Clu
, taking place in California’s Central Valley, was widely acclaimed as a contemporary comedy ofmanners but marketed as chick litin the U.K.
Wits End 
, Fowler’s most recent novel, is set in present-day SantaCruz, where a woman tries to find the truth about her family. She has mysteries to solve, but the story is really aquest. Its also a game in which the author challenges us to distinguish between reality and fiction in a world wherereal people become characters in blogs.As a reader,” Fowler says, “there’s no aisle in the bookstore in which I dont shop. As a writer, I always want to betrying something new. Not a great career probably, to leave things I know how to do in favor of things I don’t, butthat’s what keeps writing fun for me—those new problems to be solved, those new techniques to work on.” Soundsappealing doesn’t it, but can we really cast aside our literary shackles and experiment? Why not? Come to theNovember meeting and join the fun.
 Member Profile: Aline Soules
Aline Soules' work has appeared in journals, e-zines, and anthologies such as
The MacGuffin,
 
Variations on the Ordinary, Literature of the Expanding Frontier,
and
10Words 
. Her book,
The Size of the World,
was co-published with
The Shape of the Heart 
by Plain View Press. Poems from her chapbook,
Evening Sun,
have appeared in thepublications
Kaleidowhirl,
 
Reed, Shaking Like a Mountain,
and
The Houston Literary Review.
Prose poems from
Meditation on Woman 
have appeared in
Tattoo Highway,Poetry Midwest, Long Story Short, the Newport Review 
, and the
Kenyon Review 
. Herbackground includes an MA in English, an MSLS in Library Science, and an MFA in CreativeWriting, this last from Antioch University Los Angeles. Further details about her creativewriting credits can be viewed at http://sites.google.com/site/alinesoules/creative-resume.She also maintains a blog at http://alinesoules.wordpress.com. 
Save the Date for CWC-BB Holiday Luncheon
Save the date for our CWC-BB writersholiday luncheon on Saturday, December 3, 2011, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.Our theme—Paris Noire. Our mascot—the Black Cat in a Santa Hat. Our location: Grand Tavern, 3601 GrandAvenue, Oakland. Limited parking is available in the restaurant parking lot and along Grand Avenue. GrandTavern is located about a mile up from the Grand Lake Theatre (between Safeway and Ace Hardware) in aconverted multistory private residence. Grand Tavern is handicapped-accessible with a ramp through the backentrance. A few steps lead from the street into the restaurant at the front. (See invitation on page 11.)

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