You don’t have to wait until September to get together again with your fellow Tri-Valley Writers. Join the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch in collaboration with the Pleasanton Library for “Open Mic Night with My Friends” on Monday nights July 8 and August 12, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The events will be held at the Pleasanton Public Library, 400 Old Bernal Avenue. Free and open to the public. No reservations needed. Readers sign up from 6:00-6:15 p.m. in the meeting room. For more information, please contact Deborah Bernal.
Patricia Marshall will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard, Pleasanton.
Writer and editor Patricia Marshall, who has helped more than a dozen authors self-publish, will walk you through the steps you need to take, from formatting book pages to selecting a cover designer to obtaining metadata and getting your book on the market. Along the way, she’ll offer guidelines for each task to help you determine whether to tackle it on your own or enlist others.
Ms. Marshall’s talk is titled, “You’ve Written the Book, Now What? Ten Steps to Take you from Finished Manuscript to Published Book.”
Patricia Marshall lives in Eugene, Oregon and is the owner of Luminare Press. She is the editor of Forest Magazine, published by a national conservation group located in Eugene. She has extensive experience producing marketing and promotional materials, and in 2010, introduced an online edition of the magazine. She is currently writing a non-fiction book about Burley Design Cooperative. For more information about Ms. Marshall go to http://www.luminarepress.com.
Jordan E. Rosenfeld will be the guest speaker at our next monthly meeting on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard, Pleasanton.
Jordan E. Rosenfeld, author of the popular writing guide Make a Scene and the debut novel Forged in Grace, will teach you how to activate your writing, creating the page-turning energy of blockbuster fiction by mastering the essential building block: the scene. You’ll learn how to “demonstrate” not “lecture,” crafting compelling, textured, memorable scenes. You’ll never write the same way again.
Ms. Rosenfeld’s essays and articles have appeared in such publications as AlterNet.org, Publisher’s Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, The St. Petersburg Times, The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazine. Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report, a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio. She lives in Northern California with her Batman-obsessed son and Psychologist husband. Find out more at www.jordanrosenfeld.net
I spent the last week in April at the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) conference in Santa Fe. During one of the evening meet-and-greets, I was introduced to the woman in charge of blogs for the Northern California region. I mentioned my quilting sci-fi novels, and offered to write a blog about my experience as a new member at my first SAQA conference. She agreed, so I asked about editorial guidelines.
“Oh, I’m not concerned about that,” she said. “You’re the professional writer.”
I was surrounded by women making a living as artists, and she called me the professional. I was stunned and almost protested. Then I realized, yes, I should call myself a professional writer.
Even before joining CWC, I took classes and read books on the art of writing. Since then, I’ve had more opportunities to take workshops, submit stories to contests, and work with editors and critique groups. I have honed my craft and become a better writer. Still, the step between training to be a writer and acknowledging myself as a writer is daunting. For as much as family and friends have encouraged, supported and affirmed my goals, I realized that I had not made that step until someone else—a stranger—said the words.
I’m constantly advised to grasp every opportunity to promote myself and my writing. I can testify that the advice is sound. Not only do I have a chance to let a whole new group of potential readers know about me and my books, I received an affirmation I had not realized I wanted or needed.
May 18, 2013: Young Adult at Heart: How Voice, Subject Matter and Characterization Separate YA from Adult Genre
Gretchen McNeill will be the guest speaker at our next monthly meeting on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard, Pleasanton.
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, clown, and writer. She has written the Young Adult horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist which debuted in 2011. Her follow up, TEN was released in 2012, and her third novel 3:59 is scheduled for fall of this year. She is currently working on a Young Adult mystery/suspense series Don’t Get Mad, which will begin in 2014.
Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4′s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as “Monday.” She is represented by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Find out more about Gretchen at http://www.gretchenmcneil.com.
Stacey Gustafson‘s story, “War in the Skies,” will be published March 26, 2013 in the anthology series, Not Your Mother’s Book…On Travel. This is Stacey’s second story in the Not Your Mother’s Book series.
I read a column by SciFi great Robert Silverberg about his writing desk, the one he has used for fifty years. It’s gray steel, with drawers, made in America. My desk is also gray and made in America (by my husband). I’m not sure what Silverberg envisioned when he installed the desk in his New York apartment, but I know what my husband envisioned when he installed the desk in our family room. It isn’t what he got.
I’m not a tidy person. I have notes, notebooks, files and binders piled hip deep on, around, and under my desk. There are unread books, out-of-date computer cheat sheets, and memos-to-self about deadlines that have passed. Sometimes I’m afraid to sift through the piles lest I unearth something that was once terribly important and now is just tragic.
For all the psychic pain, one thing I will not experience at my desk is physical pain. My husband made it with an adjustable keyboard tray, my chair moves in so many directions you’d think it was tap-dancing, and I have all manner of devices to keep my wrists in the proper configuration.
Silverberg didn’t mention how comfortable he finds his desk, but I think it is as important to fit the desk to your body as it is to fit the shoes to your feet – not the other way around. The life of a writer is precarious enough without adding physical pain caused by a poorly designed work space. Make it fit. Your writing depends on it.