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RV West, etc. I have a BA in Technical Communications and professionally, I’m a Technical Publications Administrator.

ank you for your consideration. Bert Millspaugh

Southern California Writers Association
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Volume 12, Number 9 -- September 2013


(click on the page number to navigate to that article) SCWA MIssion! President’s Message ! September 21st Speaker ! SCWA Speaker Schedule ! August Meeting Highlights! October Speaker Preview! Monthly Meeting Information and Map! Board of Directors ! Sponsors and Partners! Events and Announcements! Active Member Directory ! Member Marketplace! Member Projects! Have You Picked Up Your Copy Of...! September “Will Write for Food” Contest! August “Will Write for Food” Contest Winner! Bring Out the Gutsy in You! Do You Have a “My Gutsy Story®”?! Future Speakers - February! Terms of Use and Content Information Disclaimer! 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 15

SCWA MIssion
The mission of the SCWA is to provide a forum for promoting the welfare, fellowship, spirit, education, information, and encouragement among published and unpublished writers in the Southern California area. Return to ToC

September 2013

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President’s Message
Larry Porricelli, SCWA President
Our membership outreach continues to expand. In addition to our paid memberships, which have been steady the last three years, we’ve added 155 new members via Meetup and have 109 members in Facebook. Your Board is discussing the appropriate way to handle our growing web presence, along with some new services we might try out in 2014. Stay tuned for the exciting details. We are considering restructuring the SCWA Board, and preparing to name some new board members. If you are interested in helping out in any volunteer role, even in ways that take little time or effort, please contact me. Our group is thriving in so many ways. Let’s keep up the momentum and fill those last volunteer slots. Thanks. Check out the new Future Speakers profile. It’s a taste of the great talks in our near future. Return to ToC

September 21st Speaker
“Wince-Worthy Tales - When Reality Takes the Mic”
Mariana Williams
Mariana Williams has played piano and sung in hotels and clubs in the L.A. area as well as Casablanca and Japan. She turned her second hobby (boisterously laughing) into a career when she founded West Coast Comedy Contact, an agency that booked comics into one-nighters in L.A. These days when she's not groveling before anonymous literary agents, seeking representation for her two Veronica Bennett novels, she's performing on L.A. stages at story slams.  Last March she was a Moth GrandSlam finalist in the competition at the Echoplex Theater (true stories told without notes).  Everyone cheered at "It Sucks to be Vain and Poor" and she included the ghastly tale on her CD of stories, Wince-worthy Tales, which is now available. Return to ToC

SCWA Speaker Schedule
DATE" " " " September 21, 2013" October 19, 2013" " November 16, 2013 "" January 18, 2014" " February 15, 2014" " March 15, 2014 " " Return to ToC
September 2013

SPEAKER" " " Mariana Williams" " Ina Hillebrandt" " SCWA Author Panel"" Nancy Dodd" " " Dr. Ken Atchity " " D.P. Lyle, MD" "

SUBJECT or SPECIALTY Wince-Worthy Tales Got a Story to Tell? Panel discussion by SCWA Authors From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages Opportunities in a Dynamic Environment Forensics

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August Meeting Highlights
“Polishing Diamonds: Rewriting Your Story”
Sheila Finch
Sheila Finch, winner of the Compton Crook Award, the San Diego Book Award, and the Nebula Award was our first speaker to tackle the critical writing chore most writers dread. She presented “Polishing Diamonds: Rewriting Your Story.” Let’s be clear: Ms. Finch did not discuss editing your plot or character portrayal. Once you’ve fixed those, your next professional obligation is to improve the writing quality, the texture of your expression. For her, creating the first draft is like pulling teeth, accompanied by self-doubt. However, she’s joyful about rewriting because “the work is [already] there.” First, cut extraneous words—whether an editor has told you it’s 1,000 words too long or not— and pay attention to requested magazine word counts. A. Start with adjectives: Wherever you have two adjectives in a row, such as “a nice, sunny day,” cut one or replace both with a single better one. B. Cut all the ly adverbs you use to prop up vague verbs. Replace with a descriptive verb that incorporates the adverb’s meaning. “He said softly” becomes “He whispered.” C. Find places with double verbs and omit one or replace both with a more vivid, comprehensive verb. “He stood and walked” becomes “He paced” or “He headed for….” D. Dialogue tags: Don’t use any other tags than “he said” or “she said,” and be economical with those. In long dialogue, use “he/she said” at the beginning and then omit. After about five different exchanges, use a speaker’s name again for tracking. At this point, add up how many words you’ve dropped. “Now you’re over the ego hump and are more open to cuts,” Finch says. Next, you examine aspects of style. (Ursula Le Guin once had workshop members write an opening paragraph in which nothing actually happens, but it’s ominous. They were not to use any adjectives except numbers, if necessary.) Avoid passive-voice verbs [does not mean ing verbs]. In passive voice the doer is not mentioned. “To say ‘The bank was broken into last night’ is a legitimate statement but not if you add ‘robbers.’” The fix is “Robbers broke into the bank last night.” Examine aspects that do not affect the plot. How many names start with the same letter [or have the same number of syllables]? “Look at the distribution of sexes; keep both sexes in it.” Are the backgrounds of the characters variable or multicultural rather than similar? Ms. Finch next asked, “How many spear carriers do you have—on the pro and against sides?” In other words, “combine characters if possible.” “Don’t give too many names—and none to minor characters.” Show versus Tell: Don’t tell the character’s background, as in “He was a miser.” Show him demonstrating that quality by “not leaving a tip after he counts his money [change].” To show a man is lying can be implied with “He shifted his gaze.” However, to state, “He wouldn’t meet her eyes” or “It took him longer than normal to answer her question” is authorial. Finch asks, “Who’s doing the measuring?” " " " " " " " " " " " Continued on p. 14 Return to ToC

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October Speaker Preview
“Got a Story to Tell?”
Ina Hillebrandt
A recovering Fortune 500 Consultant, Ina Hillebrandt turned to writing a decade ago. Ina moved to California with her daughter in the mid-eighties. She has written and edited articles for the New York Times and LA Times and a range of radio, TV and video programs. Ina turned her focus to specializing in helping people create vivid, compelling memoirs and morphing them into performance on stage, screen, TV and Internet. Have you been thinking you'd like to write your Life Stories? Have you starting with notes in a shoebox? Need help organizing your notes? First time writer? Ina Hillebrandt has worked with folks of all ages some who've never written before as well as published authors. She has a wealth of proven techniques to help writers open up to new ways of thinking and writing. Her tools will help ignite your creativity, improve your writing form and structure, and help shape your life history. Learn how to write the book of your life. Return to ToC

Monthly Meeting Information and Map
Meeting Location:
Claim Jumper Restaurant Banquet Room entrance, rear of building 18050 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, CA Restaurant telephone: (714) 963-6711 Registration & Networking: Meeting: Lunch: A ernoon Program: 9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Meeting Fees (cash, check or credit/debit) Reservation Type RSVP by Early Bird Date RSVP after Early Bird Date or Walk-In SCWA Member $25 $30 Student $15 $15 Others $30 $35

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ank you for your consideration. Bert Millspaugh Board of Directors
President .......................................... Larry Porricelli VP, Programming ............................................ Open VP, Meetings ......................................... Dava White VP, Membership ............................ Brennan Harvey Treasurer ......................................... Charla Spence Webmaster .................................... Brennan Harvey Newsletter Editor ....................... Steven G. Jackson Non-Voting Newsletter Speaker Reporter ............. Glenda Rynn Mailing List Manager ........................ Victory Crayne Membership Information
Brennan Harvey,

March&2011 Meeting Reservations

Dava White, 714-204-6500

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Sponsors and Partners
The SCWA gratefully acknowledges our sponsors, friends, and partners:

La Jolla Writer's Conference of San Diego

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September 2013

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Events and Announcements
The SCWA Terms of Use and Content Information Disclaimer.

Recent Publications
Evelyn Marshall has published her second book: The Way They See. Marianna Williams has published her third book: The Valentine State. After achieving prominence and success for a book she’s stolen and taken credit for, feisty 38-year old Veronica finds herself faced with the pressures of expectation and a looming deadline. A tongue-in-cheek metafictive bookabout-a-book-within-a-book, The Valentine State, is a comedic tale of dysfunction and misadventure. Williams pens a year in the life of a writer as she lives in a beat-up house in Seal Beach, California, with a couple of misfit roommates.  Billy Anderson is an ex-classmate turned handyman and small time drug dealer, and Liz Alden, is a gorgeous, young aspiring model.  Secrets abound as the housemates get mixed up in blackmail and Veronica is hiding a love triangle.  Everything is on the line as Veronica’s deadline steadily approaches, threatening to reveal her for the plagiarist she is and leave the three charming, yet roguish characters high and dry. Susan Kay Gilmore has published her first non-fiction short story, “Possessed by Baseball.”  As the daughter of a semi-professional baseball player, she left home at the age of eighteen and took a forty-one year hiatus from baseball.  What happened forty-one years later to turn her into a raving baseball fanatic, and what valuable life-changing lessons did she learn?  Is there life after baseball? “Possessed by Baseball” is now available digitally on Sony, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Copia, eSentral, and Scribd applications.

Conferences and Events
Southern California Writer’s Conference, Sept 20-22, Newport Beach, CA. Central Coast Writer’s Conference, Sept 20-22, San Luis Obispo, CA. “Bring Out the Gutsy In You,” Sept 26, 6 to 9 p.m., Regency South Coast Village movie theatre.

Active Member Benefits
BookBaby offers a 15% discount on all services in 2013 to SCWA members. Enter SCWA2013 as a promo or discount code. The La Jolla Writer’s Conference allows paid SCWA members to receive a registration discount year-round. The Southern California Writers’ Conference, held thrice annually in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Orange County, offers discounts to SCWA members who register early. Suspense Magazine allows paid SCWA members to sign up for a lifetime membership. SPAWN allows paid SCWA members to sign up for a $10 discount. Return to ToC

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Active Member Directory
The SCWA offers a complimentary listing with all paid memberships. If you would like your contact information listed in the newsletter, please forward this information to
Name " Abbott, Pauline Alanen, Marie Beagini, Marcus Belmas, Genelle Berg, William Bornemann, Douglas Bradbury, Mary" Colando, PJ Crayne, Victory " Davis, Bonnie Jo DiVita, Salvatore Drucke, Carl Dunn, Polly" Dutcher, Mary Jo Gilmore, Susan Kay" Glenn, Peggy Goldinger, Sharon" Harvey, Brennan" Huss, Erin Izzo, Dan Jackson, Steven G" Jacobson, Don Jones, Kim Jordan-Dardashiti, Irene Khan, Tami Kimbrough, Andrew King, Roy " Kudukis, Alexandra Lanove, Ivory Lloyd, Rita Lee" Long, Laura" Marsh, Sonia" Marshall, Evelyn" McGraw, Sharmyn Morgan, Glenn Parker, Lucy Porricelli, Larry" Porter, Kathy" Quinn, Darlene" Ragsdale, Mike Rynn, Glenda" Sikes, Dara Silverstein, Mark" Spence, Charla" Thomas, Shirl" Turner, Rita Vicente, Russell Waits, Marie Walker, Danny Warburton, Lynette Westenhaver, Don" White, Dava" Williams, Mariana" Xiros II, Nikolas H. Primary Genre" Email" Web" Phone

" Espionage/SciFi"""


714-960-9179 949-206-0922

" NF/Fiction" " """" SCWA:

" " "

714-306-8934 714-381-2006 949-581-6190



Mainstream Fic " ""


" " " Literary Fic """""""""

949-493-1625 949-246-3211 949-309-0030 714-220-1882

" " Mainstream Fic " " " Non-Fiction" """ ""


714-580-5072 562-431-0366 562-432-1280



Hist Fic / Thrillers "" " SCWA:" """ "

714-994-1943 714-204-6500

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Member Marketplace
SCWA Members sell stuff. Check with the author for details on how to purchase your copy.
Author" Bennett, Veronica" Crayne, Victory " King, Roy " Lloyd, Rita Lee" Marsh, Sonia" Marshall, Evelyn" Marshall, Evelyn" Porter, Kathy" Porter, Kathy" Quinn, Darlene" Quinn, Darlene" Quinn, Darlene" Quinn, Darlene" Spence, Charla" Spence, Charla" Westenhaver, Don" Westenhaver, Don" Westenhaver, Don" Westenhaver, Don" Williams, Marianna" Williams, Marianna" Title" " Happy New Year, Darling" " Reluctant Spy" " Symfonie Fantastique" " How to Survive in the 21st Century as a SSOFF! Freeways to Flip-Flops" " The Provider" " The Way They See" " Gray/Guardians" " Earth’s Ultimate Conflict" " Webs of Power" " Twisted Webs " " Webs of Fate" " Unpredictable Webs" " Personal Healthcare Record (Adult)" " Personal Healthcare Record (Child)" " The Whiplash Hypothesis " " The Red Turtle Project" " Nero’s Concert" " Alexander’s Lighthouse" " Stars or Stripes Fourth of July" " The Valentine State" " Year" 2003" 2013" 2011" 2011" 2012" 2012" 2013 2006" " 2010" 2008" 2010" 2011" 2013" 2011" 2011" 2008" 2008" 2008" 2012" 2011" 2013"


* - H = hardcover; P = paperback; e = eBook; a = audio. ** - A =; B&N = Barnes&

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Member Projects
SCWA Members write stuff. Here’s what some of us are up to. Victory Crayne writes novels in two genres: espionage thriller and science fiction. Usually in both at the same novel. She recently published Reluctant Spy. She is writing her next novel, tentatively titled Nuclear Blackmail. Steven G. Jackson has written five thriller novels, three in the last four years, which are in various stages of development: The Megalomania Gambit (marketing to literary agents), The Zeus Payload (marketing to literary agents), and The Lamia Transmutation (in rewriting stage). Darlene Quinn recenty released Unpredictable Webs, and is working on a fifth book in the series. Don Westenhaver specializes in historical fiction novels which commingle actual historical figures and events with fictional characters. He just completed his fourth novel, Alexander’s Lighthouse, which takes place in Alexandria Egypt during the first century AD, and an agent is reading it.  Mariana Williams is Producer of Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller. In its second season, this event is held at the Long Beach Playhouse. Facebook Fan Page: LB Searches, tales. Return to ToC

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Have You Picked Up Your Copy Of...

Your Next Book Here

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September 2013

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September “Will Write for Food” Contest
The ”Will Write For Food“ contest is a monthly blind competition to determine the best story based on the monthly writing prompt. First prize is a free admission to an SCWA meeting and publication on the SCWA website. Second prize is two movie tickets to a Regency theater. Third prize is a $5.00 gift card. Unlike the previous version, there are no limits to the number of times you can win. Like the previous version, you must enter to win. Join the fun! Email your story before the deadline to

September 2013 Prompt My Gutsy Story
Compose a story (1000 words max) based on the above theme. See Do You Have a My Gutsy Story for specifics. The deadline for the September Prompt is September 14, 2013. Sonia Marsh will be the guest judge. Winners will be announced at the September SCWA meeting. An additional prize for the September winner – publication in Sonia’s next Gutsy Story anthology. Return to ToC

August “Will Write for Food” Contest Winner
There were no entries for the August contest, so no prizes to give away. That makes us sad. We like to give away stuff. Return to ToC

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Bring Out the Gutsy in You
A Free Book Launch Event with “Gutsy Traveler” Marybeth Bond, Keynote Speaker, National Geographic Author, Contributor to LA Times, USA Today, PBS, CNN and Guest on Oprah. What: Sonia Marsh, founder of the “My Gutsy Story®” series, launches the first My ® Gutsy Story Anthology together with our special keynote speaker, Marybeth Bond, and a panel of indie authors who have contributed their inspiring stories to the My Gutsy Story® Anthology. This event is offered at no-cost to the community, and will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone, take risks, and follow your passion. We are offering a no-host bar and raffle prizes from our sponsors. When: Thursday, September 26th, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Regency South Coast Village movie theater, 1561 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704 Who: - Moderator: Marla Miller, Author and founder of The Marketing Muse workshops - Sonia Marsh: Award-winning author and founder of the My Gutsy Story® series. - Linda Joy Myers: President of the National Association of Memoir Writers and co-president of the Women’s National Book Association, SF. - Jason Matthews: Hosts a weekly Indie Authors Google+ Hangout, and is an epublishing expert. Theme: To inspire everyone to be gutsy and not postpone their dreams. We shall share our own “My Gutsy Story®” and answer questions related to why we decided to step out of our comfort zone, how we changed, would we do it again, does being gutsy entail danger, and so much more. We encourage audience participation. Charitable giving: A percentage of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to WomanSage, which provides opportunities, experience and education to enhance and empower all women. Sponsors: We shall announce our sponsors and raffle prizes as we get closer to the event date. RSVP: Go to and add your name to the list. Questions: Send e-mail to: Return to ToC

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Do You Have a “My Gutsy Story®”?
by Sonia Marsh
" • • • Share something "Gutsy" you've done that either: Changed you Changed the way you think about something Made your life take a different direction Submission Guidelines and possibility of being published in our 2nd “My Gutsy Story®” 2014 Anthology: • • • • • • • • • Written, no more than 1,000 words Submit to A new story posted every Monday on One winner/month. Winner picks prize from our great list of sponsors We offer link backs to your website, and your social media to help you get more readers. We promote you on other sites as well. Check out guidelines and prizes. Questions? Contact:

! I'm starting my Pubslush Campaign and hope you check it out and like the rewards I'm offering. " Here is the link, (

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Future Speakers - February
Opportunities in a Dynamic Environment
Dr. Ken Atchity
Story Merchant Dr. Ken Atchity believes in the power of stories to change the world. A storyteller himself (his recent thriller, The Messiah Matrix, can be visited on Ken has been privileged to spend a lifetime helping stories reach their ideal audiences in both publishing and entertainment. As a literary manager he has sold over 200 books (fiction and nonfiction), and overseen over twenty New York Times bestsellers, including Mrs. Kennedy and Me, The Kennedy Detail, Dracula: The Un-Dead,  and The Last Valentine. As a producer working with both major studios and indie financiers, he’s produced thirty-something films, most recently Hysteria, Erased, The Lost Valentine, and the Emmy-nominated The Kennedy Detail. His own books include several for storytellers, including How to Publish Your Novel, Writing Treatments that Sell, and A Writer’s Time: A Guide to the Creative Process from Vision through Revision. Former professor of comparative literature at Occidental College and Distinguished Instructor at UCLA Writers Program, Ken has also served as Fulbright Professor to the University of Bologna and as regular book review for The Los Angeles Times Book Review for twenty years. With what he calls “the new Gutenberg Revolution” in full sway with the technologies of communication, Ken says, “I’ve not been this excited about helping storytellers for years. Today there is truly a level playing field, where the old gatekeepers are giving way to new methods of reaching the audience.” At the recent Thrillerfest in New York, his talk on “Direct vs Legacy Publishing” was the most highly-attended workshop in Craftfest. His analysis of the situation can be found on his website For all his background as manager, producer, writing coach, and author, Ken is proudest of being known for “thinking outside the box.” “If I find someone stuck in old ways of thinking,” he says, “I’m not sure I can help him. We’re living in a world of accelerating change, and your mind must be open to seizing the opportunities such a dynamic environment presents. Storytellers haven’t been this fortunate in over a hundred years.” That’s what Ken will talk to us about when he speaks in February. He can be reached at Return to ToC

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August Meeting Highlights (Cont)
Rather than “tell” that a man likes to show off his body,” you can say, “He opened his shirt down to the navel.” To indicate a teenager’s embarrassment by her appearance, write, “She dropped her chin.” Don’t tell too much of a character’s background (“that’s backstory the author knows”). The reader may begin to doubt the author if he/she tells more than shows. Check for overused quirks. “Are there too many sighs, or does a character often blink rapidly? Ms. Finch complained that all James Lee Burke’s characters seem to have green eyes. Mysteries: “To play fair to the reader, hide the major clues in the beginning, even on the first page.” These details work up front “because the reader doesn’t have any background yet.” Word choices: “If a reader has to keep using a dictionary, you’ve lost the story. If a word is new to you, don’t use it—unless it’s historical, as in a period piece.” In writing science fiction, Ms. Finch has to fight herself from overusing opalescent and translucent. Evaluate the level of your sentence structure, Ms. Finch says, in other words, the ideas you express in independent/main clauses versus dependent clauses or phrases. If you have clauses of equal weight, are the actions of equal weight? “He walked to the store, and he encountered a robber.” Are walked and encountered of equal importance? You make the first idea minor by saying, “After he got there, he encountered a robber” or “After walking to the store, he encountered a robber.” Now the structures are of appropriate weight—but “can be lazy writing… because one implies a reason (or condition) or incidental information.” The “walking to the store” portion needs to be cut entirely. Ernest Hemingway was so good it was hard to suggest any cutting in his work. Get busy and do the polishing you’ve been dreading. Find out more about Sheila Finch’s workshops: " " " " " " " " " Return to Meeting Highlights Glenda Brown Rynn, Reporter Return to ToC

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Terms of Use and Content Information Disclaimer
" The SCWA encourages open, respectful communication between individuals interested in the craft of writing through a variety of social and traditional media, such as Facebook, SCWA website and emails. Any individual using inappropriate language, discussing inappropriate topics, or commenting in a disrespectful way will be removed from access to any future SCWA communication methods. " The SCWA communication sites should only be used for dialogues related to the craft of writing. Non-writing related topics should be done via other forms of personal communication. Please review the content disclaimer located in the newsletter via the SCWA website  or on the About page of the Facebook. The SCWA does not endorse individual opinions placed of any of its sites." " The SCWA receives information on various services, writing contests, and events. As a courtesy, we will forward the information to our members. Unless otherwise indicated, the SCWA does not discourage, encourage or recommend any of the services, contests or events. Many of these services, contests and events cost money; therefore, we recommend that you evaluate the opportunities based on your individual situation and interest. Because of our membership email protection policy, please do not forward information to the general membership directly. We request that all members forward any information to the SCWA President for approval and forwarding to the membership. " SCWA members wishing to share appropriate writing-related information and resources are welcome to do so via the SCWA Facebook page or the SCWA discussion board. The SCWA Newsletter Editor will determine the information to be contained in the SCWA online newsletter which is primarily used for official SCWA information. " " " " " " " " " Return to Events and Announcements Return to ToC

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Related Interests