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Write Angles June 2011

Write Angles June 2011

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cover: Edward Rowland Sill
cover: Edward Rowland Sill

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Published by: California Writer's Club - Berkeley Branch on Dec 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Edward Rowland Sill (1841–1887) An inspiring teacher, a poet and essayist, came toCalifornia for a teaching position at Oakland High School in 1871. In 1874 he became thesecond English professor at the newly created University of California, Berkeley.
“What we all need is to keep clear of restraining influences – these obscure, subtle ones,that throw us out of rapport with ourselves and make us think of the writing instead of the thing to be written.”
–a letter to a student, transcribed in
Edward Rowland Sill: His Life and Works
by William Belmont Parker
Linda Brown, president
President’s Message 1June Speaker 2May Workshop Highlights 2Leadership Conference 3Don’t Forget & Thank You 4Guest Column—C. Hope Clark 5Member News & Tidbits 6Contacts 7Picnic Invitation 8Speaker Flyer 9Other branch announcements
6/5 –
Grade Story AwardsCeremony
6/19 – Speaker
Cara Black“How to Pull the Reader intoYour Created World”
– CWC-BB Board PlanningRetreat7/30
CWC Annual Statewide Picnic
1:00-4:00 pm
Fire Circle inJoaquin Miller Park
7/31 – Jack London Awards
View from the Mountain Top 
By Linda Brown
Members,This issue of
Write Angles
will be the last one for the Club’s fiscal year,which ends June 30. Great work by Tanya Grove and all the volunteers whomade it happen. Watch for your next issue (and alerts about Septemberprograms) in late August.When I wrote in last month’s column about not writing on my book, I think Imoaned. With this column, I will reflect and catch you up on what’s plannedover the summer. Just writing this column, having it copyedited by Anne Fox,and attending the craft workshops have all helped improve my writing style. Ican add this column as recent work on my résumé. (The last time I wrotecolumns was nearly nine years ago.)Through
Write Angles
, I have learned more about writing and gotten to knowmore members, most in the Berkeley Branch and some in other branches.I am energized today. We had a successful branch board meeting on April 30.A week later, on May 7, NorCal held its
Leadership Secrets of Successful CWCBranches
, with nearly 50 people from the 10 NorCal branches participating.Last Sunday, May 8, we held our final workshop, with 20 people attendingand an excellent leader. On May 15, I learned about what I needed to know ayear ago when I first set up my own website.Six of your board members participated in the NorCal workshop, and we havemore than 13 ideas to cogitate on and then discuss and prioritize at thePlanning Retreat July 16.The Planning Retreat is a six-hour visioning/strategic planning session open toall members. I hope many of you will join the board members in creating thestrong blueprint for next year. Our goal is to end the day with the Club’spriorities set forth in writing with these documents:Five-Year GoalsRolling Three-Year Business PlanApproved Budget for the Next Fiscal YearMeanwhile, I hope to see you on June 4 to support the winners of the Fifth-Grade Story Contest, at our last speaker program on June 19, at the PlanningRetreat on July 16, and at the statewide picnic at the Fire Circle (where Jackand his friends hung out) in Joaquin Miller Park on July 30.
Research on California cover author by Karren Elsbernd About Us:
The CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB, founded in 1909, is a 501(c) (3) educational nonprofit dedicated to educating members and the public-at-large in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work.
Write Angles
June Speaker:
Sharpen Your Senses, Create an Experience
By David Baker
Strains of Arab hip-hop remix drifted in from the street. The narrow caféoverlooked rue des Cascades; no entrance to a back room was inevidence at first glance. Pinball machines from the sixties, their silverpatina rubbed off in places, stood blinking in the corner.The words provide a setting, foreshadow difficulties for the protagonist, whoexpects to meet someone in a back room, and introduce us to the Belleville districtin Paris. Not bad for a short paragraph. The passage appears in
Murder inBelleville
, the second of the Aimée Leduc Investigations, an eleven-volume noirmystery series written by Cara Black, our featured speaker for the June 19meeting. Black will talk to us about creating a sense of place with settings thatdraw the reader in.For her, the place is France. Daughter of a Francophile father, Black attended aFrench-run Catholic school where nuns taught her archaic French and gave hersummer subscriptions to
magazine. She also made numerous visits to Paris. In1984, while standing on cobblestones in the Marais, the old Jewish district, sheheard a story from a friend about a fourteen-year-old girl who hid alone in a hotel room after her family disappearedduring the German occupation. The story stayed with Black, and, ten years later, provoked her to write
Murder inMarais
, the first book in the Aimée Leduc series.Black spends a lot of time sketching locations to prepare for the work of crafting scenes in her books. She alsointerviews people and joins historical societies in the districts she’s writing about. Her efforts yield descriptions thatmake readers feel they’re having a real experience in a real place. We can learn to do the same. At the June meeting,Cara Black will tell us how.
 May Workshop 
 Memoir Writing Workshop Delivers
By Shereen Rahman
Linda Joy Myers conducted a workshop on memoir writing on May 8 at the Independence Plaza auditorium. The livelyinteractive workshop drew upon writing exercises on turning points and timelines. The main topics included these:Why are you writing your memoir? (The reason decides the path.)What do you want to say, show and share? (That’s the theme.)Issues of truth and family (solving the obstacles on your writing path)How memoir writing is different from journalingTransforming your “turning points” to scenes. (That’s the story.)As an experienced therapist for over three decades, Myers described how she had seenthe healing power of writing memoirs.Participation was high in this well-attended workshop. At the end, the consensus wasthat three hours was too short a time.“Excellent speaker and workshop. I have heard this speaker before and really enjoyedhearing her again – many helpful suggestions,” wrote one of the participants.Once president of CWC’s Marin branch, Linda is the founder of the National Associationof Memoir Writers (NAMW).

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