WRITE-IN: “Write Global at the Local” with Wolf Pack WAG

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To wit: hyper-local is hyper-global.

Our writer’s action group (wag) is co-hosting a virtual write-in on Thursday from 2-5. Originally scheduled to meet in Alameda the day before the Corona Crisis Lockdown, this is our first online write-in.

Say you’re coming and get the ZOOM link on the Event page.

Our Wolf Pack Write-Ins create space for writers to take action on the climate crisis together. Whatever your genre, this is a space/time to work on your existing articles, stories, letters, or books—or find inspiration for new actions. Our imagination and emotion are crucial to every conversation, to disrupt the narrative of complacency and invoke urgency and new awareness.

Each write-in highlights a partner representing an ecological group or idea. In February we wrote at the Sierra Club. In April, our inspiration comes from 100K Trees for Humanity, a community initiative to plant 100,000 trees and plants to reduce CO2 towards Alameda’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan goal to become carbon net neutral by 2030.

This event, which takes place the Thursday before Earth Day, is a support group for writers preparing statements or submissions for April 22nd.

Zoom in at 2pm, ready to share or seek inspiration, and ready to get some writing done. Here’s our playlist in progress.

2/29 – “Call of the Wild” History Walk & Reading with CWC Writers


On February 29th, we’re excited to celebrate the release of The Call of the Wild, a new movie based on Jack London’s classic novel, with an outing for our club! An author talk, a history walk, and a reading at the place where Jack London learned to write will showcase our club. Get some friends together and see the show before or after!

Prior to the 1:20pm screening, Dirk Wales will be present at the theater to display, discuss and sell his book, Jack London’s Dog, about the animal who inspired Call of the Wild. Dirk Wales is the author of several children’s books, including the best-selling A Lucky Dog.

At 4pm (time may change slightly), we’ll gather at the Jack London statue near the movie theater, and walk the wolf tracks to Jack London’s cabin.

Captain Kristen Caven chats with the spirit of Jack London. Meet at the statue near Lungomare.

CWC Historian Linda Brown will lead us in a walking tour of Jack London Square

Learn the History of the Film in the Location Where It was Inspired

Learn about Jack London at Heinold’s, which inspired scenes from the novel.

As we walk to Heinolds’ First and Last Chance Saloon (48 Webster Street, Oakland), CWC Berkeley historian Linda Brown will provide details on the life of Jack London.

(If you’re not familiar with London’s work, this is a great chance to learn about the complicated man who was a strident socialist, animal rights activist, union organizer and founding light of the California Writers Club.)

Jack London's Dog book cover
Author of the illustrated children’s book Jack London’s Dog will share the inspiration behind his work.

A piece of history, Heinold’s was built from the remnants of a whaling ship and the bar is tilted from surviving the 1906 quake. Known as “Jack London’s Rendezvous,” it was in this bar that Jack London that decided to be a writer, and Heinold helped pay his tuition.

Hear the Writers of Today at Oakland’s Most Legendary Bar

After the walk, grab a beer and enjoy a literary reading featuring local writers who are members of the California Writers Club with pieces focused on California history, animals, and adventure.

Schedule of Events

1pm: Appearance by Dirk Wales, author of Jack London’s Dog in the Jack London Cinema Lobby

Jack London studying at Heinold’s, 1886.

1:20: First showing of The Call of the Wild

4:00: Meet at the Jack London Statue by Lungomare restaurant. Dirk Wales reads from Jack London’s Dog before CWC Berkeley historian Linda Brown’s History Tour.

4:30: Beer & readings at Heinold’s Saloon. Author book sales!

7:00: Evening showing of The Call of the Wild

Getting There

The Regal theater is at 100 Washington Street, Oakland.

The Statue is on the waterfront near the seating are

Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon is at 48 Webster Street, Oakland (Jack London Square).

Call of the Wild Trailer

The film stars Harrison Ford, trailer below.

Come hear today’s voices!

Featured readers include:

Henry Hitz 
Terry Tierney 
Fred Dodsworth 
Judith Offer 
Keith Mark Gaboury 
Kristen Caven 

To learn more about Dirk Wales’ books, go to http://www.greatplainspress.com

Your trusted web mistress, Karma Bennett, ready for adventure!

1/19/20 — General Membership Meeting


Gust of Wind

A Gust of Wind

Full membership meeting 1/19/20

“When Jack London said you have to go after inspiration with a club, I think he meant a writing club.” — Kristen Caven, author, president of CWC Berkeley 2017-2020

Dear Members,

It’s time for us to hold council at a general meeting about the state of our branch. Please join us for a very special monthly meeting where, in lieu of a speaker + announcements, we’ll have a chance to talk together about what we want from each other our association.

After our announcements & featured reader, The meeting will have three parts:

Where We’ve Been

Historians Therese Pipe and Linda Brown will do a brief (10-minute) presentation on the history of the California Writers Club. If you don’t know much about us, this is a MUST-SEE! This club has been operating, and run by volunteers, for  110 years.

Where We’re At

As the century swings into gear, we employ various technologies to run the intricate business machinery of our metaphorical sailing ship. But the ship is only as strong as it’s sailors. President Kristen will give an overview of who pulls the ropes and pushes the oars, and help you see YOUR place in the crowd & crew.

Where We’re Going

Reflecting on the overview, club leaders will host breakout groups where we will all brainstorm about: 1) something the club is doing well, 2) what we get from the club, 3) what we want from the club, 4) what we can each contribute to the club, and 5) the club’s greatest concerns.

We’ll close by sharing priorities from each group, and selecting task groups for our crucial next steps and future.

We are a Participatory Democracy (or better yet, a DO-ocracy!), so do plan to come to this important group event and participate—this is YOUR club. Until then, please give some thought to these existential questions:

  • Who/what is the CWC?

  • What do we all, as a group, want to do?

  • Why does having a club matter to you?

  • What are you willing to contribute so that you get the benefit you need?

We are an eclectic assembly of strong writers who are all very interesting people. So…

  • How can we best work together to help each other and ourselves?

Here’s the day’s schedule. (If you’re attending the 5-page group the day before, we still hope to hear from you!) Please send notes to berkeley.cwc@gmail.com if you cannot attend.

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Raffle & Announcements
1:30 Featured Member: Judith Offer, poet & playwright
2:45 Break & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group (Kymberlie Ingalls)
4:00 Craft Group (Terry Tierney)

Happy New Year to all writers, editors, publishers, publicists who follow this blog. Please take time to savor all of your writing and personal accomplishments! I look forward to us all giving each other energy on our writing goals for 2020.

Kristen Caven

$5 for members, $10 for non-members*

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket

PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE AN EXTRA RAFFLE TICKET! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s equity program. You can win a book written by our club authors!

* Support groups are members-only but guests may audit
Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, a welcoming community.

1204 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

Our Forthcoming Events:

Check for support groups and more member events on our Calendar.

See You TOMORROW! End-of-year BOOK LAUNCH!


Our final meeting of the year will take place TOMORROW at 3pm at our Member Book Launch! Here is information on the event and links to purchase all the books!

  • Thank you to Fred Dodsworth for emcee-ing the event…
  • Welcome to new member, Jane Anne Staw, author of Small: The Little We Need for Happinesswho will be joining us last-minute…
  • Say you are coming on Facebook HERE! Please bring a friend!
  • Plan to come a little early to find parking… and stay after for another book event and/or some socializing!
And now a word from Laurel Bookstore:

CWC Author BOOK LAUNCH June 16th!


Instead of our regular meeting, this June we will celebrate all the Berkeley CWC authors who were published in 2017-2018 with an evening of readings at Laurel Bookstore. Come and celebrate our amazing members! The diversity of our writers gives a unique taste of the Bay Area publishing scene and nine creative, emerging authors.

The event is steps away from the 12th St. BART station in a charming local bookstore, Laurel Bookstore at 1423 Broadway St., Oakland, CA 94612.

We are holding this event from 3-5 on Saturday, rather than our regular Sunday meeting, so as not to conflict with Father’s Day. No meeting on June 17th!

Books by CWC Authors Featured Sat. June 16th:

51t-cfi3y3l-_sx322_bo1204203200_JoAnn Smith Ainsworth: Expect Deception

(She Writes Press)

Just when US WAVE Livvy Delacourt thinks she and her team of psychic Nazi hunters are ready for whatever The Reich can throw at them, Hitler adds to the mix a spy who also happens to be a wizard. Now dark magic is being used to attack US facilities, and Livvy must match wits with the evil wizard, whose objective is to destroy Operation Delphi and all her team. If she fails to ramp up her psychic powers, she may perish―and perhaps cause the US to lose the war with Germany while she’s at it.

An emotional journey through paranormal realms, Expect Deception is a fast-paced, suspenseful sequel to Expect Trouble, about what happens when US Navy psychics pit themselves against their Nazi counterparts.

cover1Kristen Caven (writing as Cosima Zanardi): The Vesuvian Affair

(Mystic Editions)

Carla White never expected to be climbing a volcano, and she never expected to be at Carnevale in Venice, much less swept up by romance. Had she been paying attention, she might have been prepared for the Italian *baci*. But no one ever expects to be possessed by a goddess.

The Vesuvian Affair is a limited edition art print only available at special events, exclusive venues and from the author at www.kristencaven.com. Kristen, who also writes psychology, poetry and personal essays,  will also give a sneak peek at her forthcoming travel memoir, Ten Days, Ten Pounds, which inspired this fantasy.

51hk42bn6igl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Tim Jollymore: Lake Stories and Other Tales

(Finns Way Books)

Comic, heartfelt, and mysterious, these stories charm the reader with good humor, affection for their natural settings, and the gentle, persistent seeking for a lasting place in the daily world of common folk.

Some tales cast moonlight over the solitary in us all who wander at dusk. Others haunt us with loss and evoke a certain sense of autumn, likely to press sighs from an ache in our breath. Still others fill us with the pride in a true hero.

Within, the reader finds young love, aged angst, bumbling travelers, the fogged memory, moon watchers, dog rescuers, lost and very-lost tourists, and long, sweet farewells.

The humorous among these engender wistful smiles, occasional smirks, and outright chuckles punctuated by a shaking of the cynical head.

9781631523106Christine Evelyn Volker: Venetian Blood, Murder in a Sensuous City

(She Writes Press)

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A mysterious tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth —before it’s too late.

51fwyiqriol-_sx326_bo1204203200_Alice Jurow: Vamps of ’29

(Deco Vamp)

In the darker corners of the City of Light, three fashionable young women revel in the glamor of late-1920s Paris nightlife. They model cutting-edge styles at a couture house on the rue Cambon. And, they are vampires. “Vamps of ’29” follows their piquant and picaresque adventures as they seek to define for themselves what it means to be a modern vamp. Jazz-mad and fashion-obsessed, this debut novel is period fiction with a touch of urban fantasy.

Alice Jurow, as “Ms Mhoon” is a bit of a cult figure in the Art Deco Society and it’s worth coming out just to see what she will wear.  She is working on the sequel, Vamps of ’39.

Kymberlie Ingalls: 43

(Rainfall Press)

“Like the Fool, I began this life feeling strangely empty and profoundly sad as if I had already lost something. I have no prediction to how it will end, but do believe my truth will be found when I get there. I am a hoarder of moments, of words and photos and status updates. I’m not sure if I’m letting go so that I can move forward, or so that I can finally be at rest. Death has taken hold and isn’t letting go – 12 people in 12 months was only the beginning. I’m tired of the fight, of the grieving and the recovery that never has a chance to happen.

I’m ready for it to be over.

My life was to expire at 43 years of age. My Intuition said so, and she’s never wrong.

Interpretation is everything.”

51k52uhmz4lSheryl J. Bize-Boutte: Running For The 2:10


This book of autobiographical short stories follows Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte’s 2014 publication of “A Dollar Five: Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey.” In “Running For The 2:10: More Stories From a Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey,” the discord of skin tone often seeps in to color the path, playing like an ever present low hum in the background of these coming of age tales. Set in Oakland, California, the road winds from family shopping trips to the local hardware store that activate the writer, to near derailing losses and finding alternative ways back to joy. In these stories, Bize-Boutte deftly describes how heartbreak can give way to hilarity and loss can make room for celebration. Be prepared to laugh, cry and gasp out loud, in no particular order.

61xtw43yw1lGary Durbin: Nano-Uncertainty

(Amazon Digital Services)

Nano-Uncertainty brings to life the strange world of high-tech in the Bay Area while presenting the real danger of an unconstrained artificial intelligence.
Software super geek James Forrest becomes unexpectedly embroiled in a murder case when he is hired to investigate the software at Distributed Nanotech Inc., a Berkeley supercomputer software company. James tells Susanne Anderson, the CEO, that DNI’s murdered Chief Scientist copied his code from an artificial intelligence project; this makes her life even more complex. While she struggles to keep the company’s venture financing on track and James struggles to understand the software, they become murder suspects.
James builds a visual tool to see inside the supercomputer. Even though the Visualizer is hypnotic and painful, it helps him unlock a hidden AI. The DNI system breaks, and when James figures out how to fix it, the murderer is enraged and comes after James. Pulled together by their romantic attraction for each other, James and Susanne join forces to contain the dangerous AI.

51de6m0tggl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Henry Hitz (writing as KM Lovejoy): Supremacy

(Wordrunner Press)

Peter Graves, a longtime activist, with inoperable brain cancer, is desperate to have a meaningful death. The Supreme Court is about to forbid the use of the stem cells that could save his life. Someone needs to arrange the assassination of one of the reactionary Supreme Court Justices, and it might as well be him…

This “kinky political thriller with a big heart” is written pseudonymously by an author of White Knight, another political thriller about an activist caught in the secret and tragic connection between the Harvey Milk and Jonestown massacres.




CWC Summer Social—July 23rd at Heinold’s

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There will be no statewide picnic in Joaquin Miller Park this year, our club’s original “home base,” but we will once again be holding an “open house” for all “California Writers.”

(That’s a lot of “quotation marks.” We writers sure know how to use our tools, don’t we?)

Join the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club at Jack London’s favorite hangout, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Jack London Square, from 3:30-5:30pm on Sunday, July 23rd. No-host bar & lots and lots of writers.

We welcome all California Writers, and invite you to come and see if joining the club will benefit your writing career.

happy hour-kristen-copy

P.S. Although this is an “open house,” Jack London’s cabin won’t actually be open but you can learn about this important founding member of our branch.

Get Inside Your Reader’s Brain with Novelist and Scientist Ransom Stephens

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Ransom Stephens speaks March 19 CWC - "Be a better writer...with SCIENCE!"

The Neuroscience of Reading

How to Make Readers Laugh and Cry

Neuroscience is like looking under the hood to see how It works. When you know how readers process your writing you can figure out what grabs readers, what bores them, and why. In this presentation, we’ll investigate how to write in ways that administer dopamine when you want readers happy and withholds it when you want readers sad. We’ll explore the roots of what people like and why bestsellers aren’t always critical favorites. Art is subjective, but our subjectivity has a lot in common. Join us for this exciting approach to writing March 19th!

About Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens, Ph.D., is a scientist, science writer, and novelist. He’s written hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from neuroscience to quantum physics to parenting teenagers. In his first novel, The God Patent (47North, 2010), a troubled father is caught in the science-religion culture war and in his second, The Sensory Deception (47North, 2013), scientists and venture capitalists use the relationship between the senses and the mind to give people the experiences of endangered animals. His first nonfiction book, The Left Brain Speaks but the Right Brain Laughs (Viva Editions, 2016), is an irreverent and accurate look at neuroscience for a lay-audience with emphasis on innovation in art and science. Ransom has given thousands of speeches across the US, Europe, and Asia and has developed a reputation for making complex topics accessible and funny.



12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Marketing Group

12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements

Featured Speakers
3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member reads
3:15–4:30 – Keynote Speaker Dr. Ransom Stephens






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