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Erle Stanley Gardner [1889-1970] was a California lawyer who enjoyed a trial’s strategy. As a writer, he turned this intrigue into the subject of his monthly writing goal of 100,000 words. Later dictating to a staff of secretaries, he wrote stories for pulp magazines and popular crime fiction like the Perry Mason series under his own name plus seven pseudonyms.
"Dear Editor: It's a damn good story. If you have any
comments, write them on the back of a check."
–Erle Stanley Gardner
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Jack London, the Photographer
Recently, the California Writers Club joined the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) and staffed tables at their October 2010 Trade Show in Oakland. While there, Alon Shalev, Berkeley Branch member and author of The Accidental Activist, told me he saw a book about Jack London (1876–1916) at another table—Jack London, Photographer by Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Sara S. Hodson, and Philip Adam, published by the University of Georgia Press. I have a copy in front of me as I’m writing this. This beautiful book proves that London had talent beyond writing stories such as White Fang or Call of the Wild. If you know London fans, this book would make a great Christmas gift for them.
President's Message News from NorCal Write On! Winners Poetry Page West Winds Out Member Profile Survey Member News Tidbits Book Review 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 7 7
Write Anges Write Anges
“London had his camera confiscated in Japan and was often detained by Japanese officials when he got too close to the front lines...”
12/11—Holiday Luncheon 1/9/11—Workshop: Karin Ireland
Writing for the Serious Beginner
London took photos in 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War in Korea and Manchuria. On page 57, the caption reads, "London had his camera confiscated in Japan and was often detained by Japanese officials when he got too close to the front lines, especially as the war spread to the Yalu River, the boundary between Korea and Manchuria." Whatever experiences London had in Korea and China would lead to an essay and a story that ignited a debate that he was a racist. While at the NCIBA, I had two conversations about London. One editor said she heard that London was a racist and had trouble believing that. Later, another editor from the University of Georgia Press said he didn't believe London was a racist either. London's 1904 essay, “The Yellow Peril,” may have contributed to the claim that he was a racist. Using Google, I found sites that support this theory. However, after seeing the pictures in Jack London, Photographer, it is hard to believe he was a racist. (See The Jack London, the Socialist Capitalist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBQoYlXWZyc.) London wrote the The Unparalleled Invasion, which takes place in a fictional 1975, when the West decides to destroy China (for no good reason) by using biological warfare.
______________ Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
25th Anniversary of the 5th Grade Story Contest
Write Angles Write Angles
News from NorCal
by Linda Brown The CWC-NorCal group continues to bring fresh ideas and the energy of idea cross-fertilization to Northern California CWC members. Since its beginning two years ago as an informal idea exchange and forum for mutual event publicity, NorCal has created two writing retreats in Santa Cruz, set up a Northern California Web site (www.cwcnorcalwriters.org), and established a publications committee to help members get published. It has also strengthened publicity among all NorCal branches. The Web site is a one-click link to programs, contests, workshops, and other events in Northern California. If you can't find what you want at a time you need at the CWC-BB, then use your CWC membership to avail yourself of other programs, most within two hours of the Berkeley Branch The CWC-BB invites all members to come to a NorCal meeting and enjoy camaraderie with members from nearby branches. When Linda Brown becomes president of the Berkeley Branch in February, she will step down as our representative. Ideally, two CWC-BB members would make the commitment to be representatives to NorCal. In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, NorCal is working on ways to attract younger members, developing a talent bank and more Open Mics, and making plans for a leadership conference. When: The first Saturday every other month. Next ones are December 4 and February 5. Brown bag lunch and conversation is 11:30–12:00, and the meeting itself is 12:00–3:30. Where: Dave Sawle's office (free parking, block or two from AC Transit route, near Alta Bates Summit Hospital) 2945 Webster, Oakland 94609.
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NorCal agenda for 12/4:
Announcements & Introductions Events Discussion Anthology (Redwood) Contests (Central Coast) Attracting younger members (South Bay) Talent bank (Fremont) Conducting and promoting workshops (unassigned) Open Mic: conduct, value, and pitfalls (unassigned) Event work/cost/benefit sharing between branches–an investigation (unassigned) Reports/Comments Publications Committee/ Web site Demo– Nancy Curteman Leadership Seminar
Write On! Story Contest Winners Announced
The results are in for the 2010 Write On! Story Contest. For the second year in a row, one writer was awarded two of the three prizes. Last year our own Berkeley Branch member, Clifford Hui, won first and third place. This year both the first and second prizes go to Marjorie Bicknell-Johnson. Congratulations, Marjorie! 1st Prize: "The Poisoner's Handbook" by Marjorie Bicknell-Johnson (South Bay membership chair) 2nd Prize: "One Last Ride" by Marjorie Bicknell-Johnson 3rd Prize: "The Perfect Caterpillar" by Michael J. Cooper (CWC member who lives in Lafayette) Honorary Mentions: "All the Time in the World" by Barry Boland (CWC Berkeley member) "You're Going to Learn So Much" by Abby Lynn Bogomolny (CWC Redwood member) "The Seaglass Tide" by Jennifer Snow (new CWC Berkeley member) We thank Marilyn Abildskov for judging the 79 entries that mostly came from California but included stories from several states, as well as one from the U.K. and one from Australia. The winners have been notified, and the three prize-winning stories will be posted on our Web site in December.
Write Angles Poetry Page
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By Barbara Ruffner
W. S. Merwin, recently named poet laureate of the United States, lives in Maui, and with his wife Paula, they cultivate nineteen acres of endangered Hawaiian trees, shrubs and flowers on what was previously a barren plain. He reluctantly accepted his new job because he is so contented in Maui and was not sure if he wanted to move to Washington D.C. He is 83 years old and has a lifetime of poetry to his credit. He won his second Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his book The Shadow of Sirius. Punctuation was given up over a period of years, and he said that dropping commas and periods had made new poems out of old and caused him to select words in a new way. Merwin translated the work of two of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Federico Garcia Lorca from Spain and Pablo Neruda from Chile. Lorca, 1898–1936, died at age 38 in the Spanish Civil War. His body was never recovered. Neruda, 1904–1973 was a Nobel Prize winner. “I had hardly begun to read I asked how can you ever be sure that what you write is really any good at all and he said you can’t you can’t you can never be sure you die without knowing whether anything you wrote was any good if you have to be sure don’t write” –W. S. Merwin from “Berryman”
Poet Laureate William S. Merwin Photo by Matt Valentine/AP/Library of Congress
Trail Marker One white tern sails calling across the evening sky under the few high clouds touched with the first flush of sunset while the tide keeps going out going out to the south all day it has been six months that you have been gone the then tern is gone and only the clouds are there and the sounds of the late tide – W. S. Merwin from The Shadows of Sirius
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CWC Anthology Includes 2 Berkeley Branch Members
Under the guidance of editor Kelly A. Harrison, South Bay Branch member, California Writers Club has recently published West Winds Centennial, the fifth anthology of members’ work since the club’s incorporation in 1913. For the first anthology, published in 1914, Jack London donated his short story “The Son of the Wolf” in exchange for being named an honorary founding member of the CWC. Founding member Herman Whitaker edited the book. The second volume of West Winds, published in 1925, was a book of verse representing 85 poets, including Ina Coolbrith, Oakland's first librarian as well as California's first poet laureate, who also wrote the foreword. The next two books were published in 1931 and 1989 respectively. CWC-BB member Therese Pipe wrote the foreword for West Wind Four. In West Winds Centennial, two Berkeley Branch members, Anne Fox and W.E. Reinka, are among the 35 whose work was accepted for publication out of the 300 or so submitted. Anne copyedits the Berkeley Branch Write Angles, was a joint copyeditor for the Branch-sponsored 2009 chapbook publication of the WestSide Story Contest winners, and copyedits for the Oakland neighborhood newspaper, the MacArthur Metro. She also does freelance copyediting for writers of fiction and nonfiction. In addition, she co-hosts the third Saturday support/critique writers’ group at Oakland’s Rockridge Branch Library. Her short story "Morocco" appeared online in the Tribute Issue (Winter 2009) of Able Muse. Anne’s anthology story is “It Comes to This.” Just before the West Winds Centennial publication, W. E. Reinka, a past CWC -BB president, died after a long illness. His anthology essay, “Landfalls,” represents one example of his extensive and varied writing that has appeared locally and nationally. Bill contributed many articles about writing and publishing to Write Angles. Members can purchase West Winds Centennial at our next meeting (which helps to support our upcoming contests) or order from Amazon or other online stores. The Publicity Committee has offered a copy to the Oakland Library along with books by CWC members. A copy will be with the CWC archives at the Bancroft Library on the UC Berkeley campus. West Winds Centennial is a publication of the CWC Central Board. Editor Kelly Harrison created the book and cover design. LSI, a print-on-demand press owned by Ingram, published the anthology.
Member Profile: Francine Thomas Howard
I am Francine Thomas Howard. I want to urge all CWC members with publishable novels to prepare their work for Amazon.com’s upcoming writing contest—The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I was a most fortunate entrant. Following the 2009 contest, my novel Page From a Tennessee Journal, though a nonwinner, was chosen for publication through AmazonEncore. Released in March 2010, Page has benefitted from the vast marketing expertise of Amazon and has done quite well in sales. The contest offers a wonderful opportunity for unknown writers to break into publishing while avoiding the painful process of agent/ publisher rejection. I urge all BB-CWC novelists to enter. I am proof that miracles can happen. My entry into the first contest in 2007, The Sisterhood Hyphen, is scheduled for release in April 2011 through Parker Publishing. Stay tuned for the publication date on my third novel, Paris Noire.
A Write Angles Survey Do CWC Members Read E-books?
By Tanya Grove
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Type “e-reader” into a search engine and you may be surprised by how much is out there in cyberspace. Googling it got 283,000,000 results. The market has exploded with various e-book readers since the Kindle was released in November of 2007. Now there’s the Sony Reader, iPad, NOOK, NOOKcolor, Kindle 3, Kindle DX, and many others, as well as ways to turn your BlackBerry into an e-reader. Whether you still prefer bound books made of paper and ink or you’ve embraced the e-book technology, I would like to hear your opinions about e-readers. Below is a survey for Berkeley Branch members of CWC. If you are interested in taking it, simply cut and paste it onto a Word document, answer the questions, and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “e-reader survey” in the subject line. I will post the results in the January issue of Write Angles.
Write Angles Survey of CWC-BB Members on E-readers
1. Do you own an e-reader? 2. If so, what kind? 3. If you do not own one, do you plan to purchase one in the future? For questions 4 & 5, please limit your answers to one example. 4. If you do not own an e-reader, what is the main reason? (no interest, price, lacks features you want) 5. If you do own an e-reader… – what is its primary advantage? – what is its biggest drawback? For question 6, please limit your answer to yes, no, or un (for undecided). 6. Are you happy with your e-reader in terms of the following: – design (usability, wireless capability, screen size) – content (ability to get the titles you want) – life (length of time you can read without recharging) – readability (text size, amount of glare, contrast)
Thank you for taking the e-reader survey!
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On Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Charlotte Cook and Jon James Miller will present the Adapting Sideways workshop on “World Building” for novelists concerned about submitting their manuscripts to agents and publishers. The workshop, for participants as well as auditors, is based on the book Adapting Sideways: How to Turn Your Screenplay into a Publishable Novel, coauthored by Charlotte Cook and Jon James Miller. For more information, e-mail Charlotte at email@example.com. Therese Pipe is participating with her photography in the Annual Membership Exhibit at the Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut Street at Live Oak Park, Berkeley, opening Saturday, December 11, reception 5:30– 7:30 pm. Using the theme, "Green," the exhibit runs through December, open Wednesdays–Sundays, 12-5 p.m. 510-644-6893. Essays by the late W. E. Reinka (see November Write Angles Member News) appear, respectively, in the CWC anthology, West Winds Centennial (“Landfalls”), and in the Chrysalis Reader, Fall 2010 Edition anthology, Bridges: Paths Between Worlds (“Bridge Tolls”). Anne Fox’s “The Rise and Fall of Plan A” appeared in the 22nd Flash in the Pan section of Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative, November 2010 issue. Thomas Burchfield's first novel, Dragon's Ark, a contemporary Dracula novel set in the California Sierra, will be re-leased in March 2011 by Ambler House Publishing (http://amblerhouse.blogspot.com/) as an e-book and POD, avail-able through Lightning Source/Ingram, or at independent bookstores. His blog: www.http://tbdeluxe.blogspot.com/. JoAnn Smith Ainsworth has two upcoming guest-author events: 1) Saturday book signing 12/4/10, 1-3 p.m., Borders, 120 Sunset Dr., San Ramon, CA 94583 (925.830.1190). 2) with five other authors at a holiday book signing, 12/18/10, 11-4 p.m., Borders, 4575 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588 (925.227.1412). Sad news to announce that Carlene Cole, former treasurer of the Berkeley Branch and resident of Berkeley’s Strawberry Creek Lodge, died in October after an illness of some time. Her memoir was in progress. David Gray is promoting his nonfiction work-in-progress, How and Why All Languages Continuously Change. The first Monday of every month from December to April, he will present a talk in the back room of Cafe Au Coquelet, 2000 University Avenue, Berkeley. Come at 6 p.m. for dinner or 6:45 for the talk. See firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t RSVPd to CWC-BB holiday luncheon, please do so today so we can get an accurate head count for the restaurant. There are a few spots left, so you can still come! If you’ve reserved a spot but haven’t paid yet, don’t forget to send a check made out to CWC-BB to P.O. Box 6447, Alameda 94501 for $25. If you must pay at the door, please bring either a check or exact change. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ In the November issue of Write Angles I neglected to give Linda Brown photo credit for the group picture taken at NCIBA, which appeared on page two. Thank you for the photo, Linda. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Volunteers Needed for Publicity Committee Marketing your book is almost more important than writing it in the new world of publishing. Learn how to reach the media and build connections with industry colleagues through volunteer work on the Publicity Committee. We meet if convenient but do most of our work on the phone or online. Contact Linda Brown at BrownCalifornia@aol.com or 510-530-1261 if you can commit one to three hours per month.
Calls for Submission: Send in a mini–book review
What books or literary journals are you reading? What have you read that you recommend? What was disappointing or not worth your time? Write Angles is calling for submissions of mini–book reviews. This is not the New York Times Review of Books, so no research is necessary. You don’t need to give the author’s background, set the historical stage, or draw parallels to any other books. Just write your honest opinion. And keep it between 250 and 350 words. I’ll start.
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CLUB OFFICERS President: Lloyd Lofthouse Vice President: Linda Brown Past President: Barbara Ruffner Secretary: Kymberlie Ingalls Treasurer: Madelen Lontiong COMMITTEE CHAIRS
It’s Not Just a Book
By Tanya Grove
Earlier this year, I vowed I would no longer buy myself any books unless I was at a book signing where I could meet the author. It’s a Book by Lane Smith made me break that promise. I saw this picture book at Pegasus, picked it up, and read it. It struck an immediate chord with me. I had to have it. I asked the sales clerk if Lane Smith was due for an author appearance in the Bay Area any time soon. Not that he was aware of. Hmm…I realized I had a credit slip for Pegasus. So I decided that getting this book was more like redeeming a gift certificate than actually making a purchase. (Was it Woody Allen who said no one can go a day without a rationalization?) But the point is that I was willing to break my own rules for this book. That’s how fabulous it is. The plot is simple: a donkey sees a monkey reading a book. The donkey asks the monkey all sorts of questions about the book: How do you scroll down? Does it need a password? Can it text? Tweet? The monkey keeps saying “It’s a book.” Smith’s book reminds our technologically advanced society that we don’t need an app, a screen, or a source of electricity to enjoy a good story. It’s a Book came out this past August, and to my mind, not a day too soon. Yes, publishing as we know it is changing. Newspapers are in the process of reinventing themselves, small presses are being eaten by larger ones, and the big publishing houses are taking fewer risks while trying to look toward the future and imagine what paths to choose in order to keep afloat. In today’s world of blogs, twitters, and e-readers, the bound book could conceivably be on its way out. But Smith assures us with his simple text and captivating pictures that there will always be a place for old-fashioned books. I for one breathe a sigh of relief.
Marketing: Lloyd Lofthouse Publicity Chair: Linda Brown Membership: Clifford Hui New Member Orientation: Barbara Gilvar Speaker Chair: Jane Glendinning Workshop Chair: Barbara Ruffner Write Angles Editor: Tanya Grove Copyeditor: Anne Fox Delegate Central Board: Lloyd Lofthouse Delegate CWC-Norcal: Linda Brown Web Manager: Matt Martin Write On! Story Contest: Tatjana Greiner 5th Grade Story Contest: Debby Frisch
____________________________________ Oakland Public Library West Auditorium 125 14th Street (94612) Entrance on Madison Street between 13th & 14th Streets. ____________________________________
Our monthly meetings are free and open to the public and feature a speaker, an author event, or both.
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.
Find out about our speakers, authors, contests, workshops, writing groups, and more at www.cwc-berkeley.com.
South Bay Writers is proud to present
“THE NEW ‘BOOK’ MODEL: How to Write, Publish & Promote Your Book”
with DAN POYNTER Followed by a Self-Publishing Fair On January 15, 2011 - 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m The Lookout Restaurant, 605 Macara Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085 Registration at 8:15; workshop begins promptly at 9; continental breakfast and lunch included. Early Bird (before Dec. 30, 2010): CWC members: $45; Non-members: $55 Students w/ID (up to age 25), anytime $25 After Dec. 30 and at the door: CWC members: $55; Non-members: $65 Cancellation Policy: $5 fee through midnight 12/25; $15 fee 12/15 through midnight 1/8; no refunds after midnight 1/8. Register and pay by credit card (Paypal) at www.southbaywriters.com SELF-PUBLISHING FAIR:
During the last hour and a half of this event, you’ll have the chance to meet SBW selfpublished authors, and local print-on-demand and e-book publishers. Ask your questions about how to self-publish your book, which self-publishing options have worked for other authors, what self-publishing costs, and more! Plus, purchase books from SBW authors.
Contact Information: Nina Amir, CWC-SBW workshop chair, 408-353-1943 or at email@example.com.
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