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Two years ago I began composing writing-related holiday poems. The first one I shared at CWC’s holiday luncheon, and last year I published it in Write Angles. I would like to continue that tradition.
Holiday Submission Blues
– Tanya Grove
President's Message Old Friends Is Email Writing? Let’s Meet Up! Poetry Page !oo" #e$ie% P'( !ytes Mont*ly Writers +ontest Mem(er -e%s . /id(its Mar"etpla1e & ) , 0 12 1 2 3 3
12/8 – Holiday Luncheon 1/15/13 – Fifth-Grade Story Contest opens 1/1 /13 – Jack London’s
1/2!/13 – "eetin# 1/2 /13 – $or%shop &'()*
I went to a conference around mid-October where agents and editors said, “You have three months to send us your writing—we promise that it will be read.” To surpass the slush pile? A guaranteed reading? The rules are so simple, it’s s ary. !imply mention the on"eren e where you heard them spea# and submit it by mid$%anuary. Then &alloween ame with its pump#ins to arve and o" ourse hildren’s ostumes to sew. 'ut no need to worry—(’ve still got ten wee#s and two manus ripts ready to go. They are rather di""erent so ( should hoose well whi h story ( send out to where. )ne is a humorous early$grade reader* the other is middle$grade "are. 'ut "amily is oming. (’m hosting Than#sgiving—so mu h "ood to buy and prepare+ ,lean up the guest room and get out the linens and somehow "ind one e-tra hair. As soon as ( lear all the ups and the plates and the le"tovers get put away, ( hit the malls early to "ind the best bargains on retailers’ big shopping day. )ur "amily has not one, but two holidays to elebrate this year/ &anu##ah songs and dreidle games will blend with Yuletide heer. The menorah is in the window and the wreath is on the door. 0eighbors will surely wonder at the mi- o" our d 1 or. 2rapping presents, "rying lat#es, going to parties and plays$$ 3very minute is ta#en up "or twenty$seven days+ And even when the tree’s been pla ed, "orgotten, on the urb, The #ids are still at home and don’t #now how to not disturb. ( had three months, but now (’m down to one wee# and a day. ( an’t allow this opportunity to slip away+ (" ( an on entrate, ( #now that ( an get it done. 4aybe i", instead o" two, ( "o us on 5ust one. 'ut whi h to pi #? This has be ome a sort o" !ophie’s hoi e. !ubmit the one "or younger #ids or send the stronger voi e? )ne has made the rounds already. (’ll wor# on the other. 'ut a twinge o" guilt ma#es me "eel that (’m an aw"ul mother. 0ow to "ind the guidelines buried somewhere in my notes. (n one o" several binders inside one o" many totes. 2hi h bag did ( arry to the on"eren e on that day? 0ow (’ve missed the deadline, and all that ( an say
(s ( an write on the hottest o" days and revise when it is "ree6in’ 'ut ( an’t seem to get anything done during the holiday season
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Reacquainting with Old Friends
– Alon Shalev
ast month, Three Clo!er "ress sent me the galley proofs for Unwanted Heroes. I was instructed to read through the manuscript carefully and pick out any light changes# spelling, grammar, word choice, etc. $eading a galley proof is like preparing your kid for college %admittedly, I ha!en&t done this, but I do work with uni!ersity students'bear with me(. It is a last chance to make sure e!erything is as you want it to be before you send them out into with them. the big, wide world. )ou want to make sure they ha!e e!erything they need, are prepared for e!ery scenario they might face. It is the same with a I would like to tell you that I ha!e control of book'a last chance to get e!erything right. these characters. What I type onto the computer decides their actions, attitudes, and Well o!er a year has passed since I last read destiny. 2ut they and I know this is only partially through the manuscript. The no!el was written a true. They are part of the creation, part of the couple of years before that, and since then, I ha!e process, and an integral part in how the plot written four other manuscripts. plays out. I ha!e mo!ed on, right* Wrong. 3any writers claim that the plot defines the O!er the ne+t two weeks, I did not e+pect to feel characters. That has always pu,,led me and, I the emotional rollercoaster that played out. Of suspect, leads to either shallow characters or course I remembered the plot. There are sensiti!e ob!ious stereotypes. The reader in!ests in scenes that I ha!e read, edited, reread, and characters. 4i!en we all cra!e a twist or two at reedited a do,en times-but that was back then. the end of the book, it is for the protagonist that we root, and our commitment to him5her is .o why am I getting teary-eyed as I read them what sends us scurrying to buy the ne+t book in again now* Why do I find myself rooting for the the series. characters that I got so close to back then* /dmittedly, my relationship with these characters This is why reading a galley proof is so much continued into the se0uel that I wrote last year more than scanning for errors or word choices. It and into the notes I ha!e made for the third in the is reac0uaintance with old friends, people with series, both of which are also emotional roller whom we shared so much, people with whom we coasters. laughed, lo!ed, and cried. 3y characters stepped outside their comfort ,one to try to When I am writing a no!el, I become !ery close create a better world. 6or them, we, the reader to the characters. They accompany me on my and author, bear witness. commute, in the gym, and I often dream about them at night. I worry for them, get frustrated $eading the galley proof is so much more than with them, and 1ust between us, I often argue scanning pages of words.
This article was originally a blog post on eft Coast 8oices %http#55leftcoast!oices.wordpress.com5(, reprinted with
permission from the author.
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The CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB is a !"#c$ #%$ e&'cational nonpro(it) &e&icate& to e&'cating mem*ers an& the p'*lic+at+large in the cra(t o( ,riting an& in the mar-eting o( their ,or-) ,,,)c,c+*er-ele.)org
Is Email Writing?
– Sasha Futran
I was once hired to redo a !ideo by a dentist who had a tra!el dental kit to market. /s things e!ol!ed, he decided that redoing the complete !ideo was too e+pensi!e. Instead, he decided I should write a new script, and we would produce a new audio to accompany the e+isting !ideo. Telling him that wouldn’t work because his mouth would be mo!ing one way and the words another didn’t seem to be making an impact. .o I decided to write him a memo about the problem. There was, howe!er, an additional issue# the malfunctioning keyboard on my computer. It didn’t really matter what I wr t b caus h would n t be abl t r ad it anyway. 9ote# I’!e cheated here and gi!en you a few more letters than he got so you can pu,,le things out. What can you e+pect from a dentist who had a giant smiling tooth wa!ing a toothbrush chained to the front door of the office* It was wonderful and highly entertaining, though, for the short time it lasted. :e took me out to lunch e!ery day and to his tailor for suit fittings, and the whole staff went salsa dancing and he was 0uite good. I played the !ideo he had already made for friends at home and got a lot of mileage out of it. 3y best friend actually fell off the couch. Clearly, this was not going to be a long-term way to pay the
mortgage, but it did keep me funded and laughing while continuing the 1ob hunt. I ha!e dreams of writing a memoir. I’!e had a number of weird 1ob e+periences and also ended up becoming a political acti!ist and e+ercising that acti!ism on the 1ob, media 1obs. Those didn’t e+actly end up in promotions, but did make for more stories to tell. It also e+plains why I had to resort to earning a few dollars from a dentist with a large smiley tooth. Of late I’!e been suckered into ser!ing on radio station boards--first ;<=> and now ;"6/. I’m still mulling o!er the possibility of a sitcom treatment for the latter, but in the meantime what I write is email about ;"6/’s problems. ong, well-thoughtout, analytic ones. .hort, pithy, pointed ones. Others are 1ust plain sarcastic. 3any break accepted format and ha!e odd beginnings and endings that finally tie things together. When I think about my email, I think of it as writing, but is email e!er really Writing* Sasha Futran is a troubled soul about to be re leased from doing si! years of hard time on the "#FA board. $f you want to %now who to vote for in the "#FA board election& it's guaranteed she'll Write bac%. sfutran?pacbell.net
– Kymberlie Ingalls
4reat things are coming to our branch of the California Writers Club@ We always encourage our authors to di!e headlong into the world of social media'this is what dri!es the 3arketing 4roup that meets each month before our .peaker =!ents. We ha!e been working to e+pand the web presence of the club with 6acebook, Twitter, inkedIn, and of course our spectacular website.
On the list of to-do’s is a )ouTube channel designed to feature past speakers, member book trailers, and author readings. /lso coming soon, in time to launch for the new year, is a page on 3eetup. 3eetup.com is a social website that hosts thousands of groups across the country. 3embership is free and easy. Aust go to the site, type in your interest and ,ip code, and up comes a
list of groups and e!ents. Our goal is to help create a sort of personal calendar for you, enabling you to easily keep up with and $.8" to our !arious e!ents, such as monthly meetings, workshops, and social e!ents like the upcoming annual holiday luncheon.
;eep your eye out for these great features. :ope to see you soon on the web@
!O"F#SS$O"%& PO#'S $$( 'heodore Roeth)e
Theodore $oethke %BCDE-BCFG( was a contemporary of $obert owell %see 9o!ember Write Angles( whose work not only won the "ulit,er "ri,e and 9ational 2ook /wards, but influenced a generation of poets, including .yl!ia "lath. $oethke was born in .aginaw, 3ichigan, and spent much of his childhood working in his family’s greenhouse. This e+perience, along with his uncle’s suicide and father’s death from cancer infused much of his poetry. $oethke earned an /. 2. and 3. /. in =nglish from the Hni!ersity of 3ichigan and taught in se!eral colleges in "ennsyl!ania and 8ermont before 1oining the faculty at the Hni!ersity of Washington. :e died of a heart attack in a friend’s swimming pool on 2ainbridge Island. The pool was e!entually filled in and is now the site of a Ien rock garden. W. :. /uden and .tanley ;unit, were 1ust two of the poets who praised $oethke for his austere yet lyrical style. JThe WakingK was published in BCLG and contains his signature natural imagery.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go. We think by feeling. What is there to know? I hear my being dance from ear to ear. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Of those so close beside me, which are you? God bless the Ground I shall walk softly there, !nd learn by going where I have to go. "ight takes the Tree# but who can tell us how? The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair# I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Great $ature has another thing to do To you and me# so take the lively air, !nd, lovely, learn by going where to go. This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
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The Placethat InhabitsUs: Poemsof the SanFranciscoBay Watershed
edited by members of %i&teen 'ivers (ress
– (ohn ). *c+onald ,-mcd.earthlin%.net
M"laceM has become a catchword for a certain kind of writing. =n!ironmental, architectural, nature writing and memoir, all are enhanced by a strong sense of "lace. There probably is no place that is not a "lace if looked at in the right way. The .an 6rancisco 2ay /rea, of course, has a grander sense of place than many others. Its natural beauty, connectedness to the en!ironment, the setting of its cities, all contribute to a uni0uely attracti!e region that has drawn people for centuries. .i+teen $i!ers "ress, named for the number of ri!ers and tributaries to the bay, has compiled this outstanding !olume of poetry. =ach piece connects in some way to .an 6rancisco and the "acific Coast. :ere also is a broad spectrum of poets, from relati!ely unknown writers, to pri,e winners like C,eslaw 3ilos,, and famous names back to ;enneth $e+roth and Walt Whitman. It is a fine collection, touching on the beautiful setting of this place, but also on lo!e, loss and death, the usual realms of poetry. It is all organi,ed in this !olume behind an insightful introduction by 2erkeley&s own $obert :ass, with a co!er featuring a stunning print by Tom ;illion and an o!erarching tone familiar to people who know and feel connected to the .an 6rancisco area. The term MwatershedM in the subtitle implies a focus on the natural setting, but the collection is broader than that. To a reader who knows the 2ay /rea, the book can be a compelling, warm, and in!iting 1ourney. To others, it might be less engrossing, but there is enough e+tremely fine poetry in this collection to warrant any discerning reader&s attention. /t the !ery least, it is an introduction to .i+teen $i!ers, an artful and producti!e local poetry collecti!e.
The 'er#eley 'ran h meets on the third !unday o" ea h month 7e- ept %uly, August, and 8e ember9
– NL Fix
Page + of 12 at :/;; p.m. in the 'radley ,. 2alters ,ommunity <oom o" the 4ain =ibrary in )a#land at
>:? >@th !treet 7Aiew 4ap9. 3nter on 4adison !treet. Bree street par#ing is available, and it is a short wal# "rom the =a#e 4erritt 'A<T station.
Be sure to check our website: www.cwc-berkeley.org
Where else can you find free food, !isit different !enues, talk with writers, and do so while binge writing LD,DDD words in one month. The annual 9anowrimo, started by Chris 2aty in BCCC with NB participants, has e+perienced e+ponential growth, and by NDBD o!er NDD,DDD people had participated in 9ational 9o!el Writing 3onth. The annual 9o!ember e!ent pro!ides forums for writing ad!ice, information, criticism, support, and an opportunity for Mcollecti!e procrastination.K
3y second year of 1oining 9anowrimo, I decided to !isit a number of writing !enues in the .an 6rancisco 2ay area and engage with fellow 9anowrimos to see how they approach the art of speed no!el writing. /t 2erkeley .hare.pace, I found myself in aptoplandia, where groups of students, mystery writers and Internet bloggers cloistered to write the ne+t big no!el. /lmost e!eryone was wearing earplugs and seemed to be e+periencing altered states of consciousness, pausing long enough to replenish their appetites, gurgle down o!ersi,ed cups of free coffee, and rush off to the restroom. In this per!asi!e atmosphere of penmanship, a writer suddenly 1umped up and yelled, JND,DDD words'I 1ust hit the mark,K and then calmly sat down to reacti!ate the keyboard.
She ,as giving pep tal-s to the ,riters an& (rom time to time hollere&/ 01eep ,riting23
/t an =ast 2ay college campus, I encountered .tan, a writer who bucked the wa!e of keyboard 1unkies and wrote with a pen and paper. :e mentioned that although he used his laptop de!ice to store and distribute his writing, he was still wedded to the old writing platform when doing his Joutlining and imaginati!eK work. /s he put it, there was
#ub /ytes continued
something e+pressi!e about using an old-fashioned fountain pen and paper where the ink showed his emotional states# ennui, transcendentalism, or pure unadulterated wickedness. :e didn’t know if he was going to make the LD,DDD-word goal, but he didn’t really seem to care.
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/t the .an $amon restaurant, I met I+y "i+y, the liaison for the =ast 2ay $egion. .he was in a group of 9anowrimos huddled around a table in the middle of a busy restaurant. .he was gi!ing pep talks to the writers and from time to time hollered, J;eep writing@K /t the table were ongoing discussions about publishing, character de!elopment, and popular no!els. Tim said that he had finished his first no!el, the epilogue, and was ramping up for the start of his second no!el, a book of poems that he wanted to sell on /ma,on. We congratulated him with applause. 8eronica mentioned that she wanted to write her cousin into her work. .he described him as a despicable, dishonest cheat once sought by the 62I for money laundering. .he had repeatedly tried to write him into her science-fiction no!el but after awhile stopped because she thought no one would belie!e someone could be such a dark character'e!en for a !ampire. Aim asked if anyone had planned the flow of the no!el before starting. 3ost responded negati!ely, and writing resumed. I left after two hours and felt inspired by this group of 4eneration O who came out on a stormy 6riday night to participate in a community of writers. In week three, I decided to do all-nighters and typed into the wee hours of the morning. .itting in front of the window, I watched a slew of characters wandering through the backyard. There was the random pack of raccoons that bounced and bounded o!er the porch sca!enging for food and plant material. /s they disappeared from the scene, a feral cat crept by on its daily so1ourn to pilfer lefto!er food from the cat bowl. 3ost unusual and une+pected was the appearance of a solitary creature with a long white snout that lurked around the porch furniture, emitting clicking sounds as it gra,ed for seeds and scraps. 6or the first time in my life I saw a possum close up, and I reali,ed he, too, had come out of his comfort ,one to befriend another nocturnal creature to e+perience 9anowrimo. 9ational 9o!el Writing 3onth is the perfect e!ent to pull indi!iduals out of their nomadic world of creati!e writing and to e+perience writing as a collaborati!e and social acti!ity, where the mission is not simply to write LD,DDD words but en1oy the process with fellow creatures. Writing
connects us all.
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)onthly Writers* +ontest
,nfortunately, we received no entries for $ovember*s contest. We*re going to try again with a new theme. %o if you’re interested in entering December’s contest,
the theme is “The Cliff.”
=ntries should be PLD words or fewer and can be any genre. "lease send your entry to ynne at writeangles?gmail.com and write “WA Writers’ Contest” in the subject
line. Entries are due no later than December 15.
.onthly /riters0 !ontest 1ecember 2212 THEME THE C!"##
Carti ipate in the ,lub
2eEre waiting "or you to author that arti le, poem, story, or artoon.
We/re all in this together. Writing will improve you and give you something to reply when someone asks you what you do and where. -or the +lub +ontribute to the +lub newsletter and .oin the merry band of writers. -or your Writing "ife
-or the 'eward
The work you do will be noticed. In fact, there could be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or most likely a gift to
cherish because you won the monthly writing contest.
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/er%eley /ranch members are encouraged to send us writing related news. #lease write “Member News” in the subject line and send to Anne at writefo!.aol.com no later than the 15th of the month.
Thomas 0urchfield’s >racula no!el +ragon's Ar% has won $unner-up for 2est :orror 9o!el at this year’s :alloween 2ook 6esti!al. This marks the third award +ragon's Ar% has won this year. 1eff 2ingman was a national finalist this fall in the 3idwest Writing Center’s poetry contest, with two poems published in their 1ournal, 0ff 1hannel. /nother poem of Aeff’s was published in issue QP of lo ball. 'isa $ye debuts as 3s. 2arstool in the 9O.: section of /er%eleyside' http#55www.berkeleyside.com5NDBN5BB5BP5raising-the-dead-at-re!i!al-bar-kitchen5 Tempting tips on tasting and tippling. 1o!nn %mith !insworth will join other historical romance authors for a chat on
12/13/12 1 !.m. Eastern" at the #amhain Caf$. %he& will chat about writin' and !ost e(cer!ts. http#55groups.yahoo.com5adultconf*destRSN6groupSN6samhaincafe SN6messages" )ublic in*ited.
!lon %halev*s Unwanted Heroes http#55www.alonshale!.com
%hree Clo*er )ress" is now a*ailable on +indle and #mashwords. %he !a!erbac, is to come out in -anuar&. .or more on the boo,/ !lease clic, here. #ee Alon’s blo' on !a'e 2 of this Write Angles.
3eborah -risch’s story, JIsaiah’s Inauguration,K will appear in the Aanuary56ebruary issue of S%ipping Stones, a many times honored multicultural children’s maga,ine. The publication coincides with "resident Obama’s second inauguration.
It was a small but li!ely gathering at the last
0an'in’ 1ut with Writers at the 2er,ele& 3arina. Cliff 0ui and his crac, team of stor& starters !enned the first !ara'ra!h of a fictitious no*el/ and those of us who 'athered to hear it offered !ossible titles. After Cliff wrote down all su''estions/ we *oted on the one we li,ed best. .or +&mberlie 4n'alls’s winnin' title of !cream" #ou !cream/ she became the !roud owner of half a toilet seat/ one that loo,ed sus!iciousl& li,e the other half of the that one 3ar& 5uersen won at an earlier 0an'in’ 1ut with Writers.
$hoto courtes% of N& 'i(
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/er%eley /ranch members are welcome to ad)ertise their writing*related ser)ices. $lease write “Mar+et,lace” in the subject line and send to Anne at writefo!.aol.com no later than the 15th of the month.
+harlotte +ook offers story editing, prepublishing ser!ices, and workshops for writers of fiction, creati!e nonfiction, and screenplays. /lso a!ailable is office5retreat space for classes and meetings. www.adaptingsideways.com or charlotte?adaptingsideways.com. Tat.ana Greiner offers de!elopmental editing for all genres of fiction and nonfiction. =mail her at workshop?mac.com. 3ore information at# http#55tat1anagreinerwordshop.com. !nne -o&, Write Angles copyeditor, offers copyediting ser!ices for all le!els of fiction and nonfiction. $eferences a!ailable. writefo+?aol.com Thomas 0urchfield offers editing and proofreading ser!ices for fiction and nonfiction books by CWC 2erkeley members. 6or details, !isit his webpage, e-mail him at tbdelu+e?sbcglobal.net, or call LBD-EBT-PPGN. For Sale: / great computer for a writer@ i3ac 4L running O. BD.L.T %J eopardK(, loaded with 3icrosoft Word, 9otebook, and other great programs. /!ailable online for UPLDV for sale to a Club member for only UGDD. 3any good books were written on it %and a lot of Club business done@(V it will definitely bring you luck. In good condition with memory upgrades, working C> burner5>8> player and a new power supply. Writing software plus installation C>s are included. Call ;risten at LBD-LGP-BPBL write kbc?littlepig.com with 0uestions.
Editor Mont*ly Writers +ontest . P'( !ytes +opyeditor5Mem(er -e%s5/id(its 7pea"er Pro8ile Poetry Page Editor /anya 3ro$e - L Fi4 6nne Fo4 9a$id !a"er 6lysa +*ado%
+ontri('tors: ;ym(erlie Ingalls< 6lon 7*ale$< 7as*a F'tran< =o*n >? M19onald
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