“We’re All in Freefall” — Interview with 11/17 featured author Lily Iona MacKenzie

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In Freefall: A Divine Comedy, Lily Iona MacKenzie zeroes in on a fundamental truth: We’re all in freefall, and that’s the real divine comedy. No matter how old we are, we’re still trying to “find ourselves” and discover what we want out of life.

Meet Lily Iona MacKenzie, a new member this season, at the November 17th meeting, opening for Joan Gelfland.

Lily writes:

I don’t have hayseed clinging to my trousers, but growing up on a Canadian farm gave me a unique foundation as a writer. I sprouted under cumulous clouds that bloomed everywhere in Alberta’s big sky. They were my first creative writing instructors, scudding across the heavenly blue, constantly changing shape: one minute an elephant, bruised and brooding. The next morphing into a rabbit or a castle. These billowing masses gave me a unique view of life on earth.

I continue to seek instruction from clouds. Just as they provide the earth with much-needed water, I believe that stories have a similar function, preparing the mind to receive new ideas. Also, conditions inside a cloud are not static—water droplets are constantly forming and re-evaporating. Stories, too, change, depending on who is reading them, each one giving life to its readers.

A high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in my early years, I supported myself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored me into the States). I also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco; briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (I was the first woman to work on the SF docks and almost got my legs broken); founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County; co-created The Story Shoppe, a weekly radio program for children that aired on KTIM in Marin; and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities). I have published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 160 American and Canadian venues. Fling!, one of my novels, was published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Curva Peligrosa, another novel, was published in September 2017. Freefall: A Divine Comedy was released in January 2019. Tillie: Portrait of a Canadian Girl in Training, featuring the same main character as in Freefall, will come out in 2020. My poetry collection All This was published in 2011. I also taught writing at the University of San Francisco (USF) for over 30 years and was vice-president of USF’s part-time faculty union. I currently teach creative writing at USF’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning. When not writing, I paint and travel with my husband.

Find Lily at https://lilyionamackenzie.com.

Lily answers a few questions about her writing, and then gives advice to writers!

An enchanting story about old friends reuniting as they struggle with thoughts on aging, religion, motherhood, men, art, and death, with plenty of surprises and laughs along the way. A Divine Comedy, indeed!

Freefall’s subtitle is A Divine Comedy. Dante’s epic poem of that same name also involves lots of travelling, and lots of soul-searching. Dante’s poem, however, has three parts: The Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Did you see the four women in your novel as going through a similar time sequence, reaching a kind of paradise at the end of a hellish journey? Or did you mean to suggest a different process? 

I actually wasn’t thinking about Dante’s poem when I wrote this novel. The title came to me much later, and then I realized the narrative was a kind of divine comedy, though I wasn’t trying to imitate Dante’s excellent work. To me it’s Divine because I believe that all life on earth is divine, and the comedy part Isn’t comic in the slapstick sense but in the humor thats implicit in being human. We all face different challenges in our lives. If we’re lucky, we can see through the darkness to the wry aspect of how little control we have over anything. 

But the characters in Freefall, as those in Dante’s work, do travel, and they also do a fair amount of soul searching. And while they don’t reach a kind of paradise at the novel’s end, they have come to a new understanding of themselves and each other.  

“Tillie Bloom,” the main character’s name, is similar to Molly Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Was that intentional? Tillie certainly “blooms” in other ways throughout the novel. Did you choose this striking name purposely?

Yes, I deliberately chose Bloom as Tillie’s last name. Tillie renames herself “Bloom” after reading Ulysses. She didn’t want her previous husband’s name, and she doesn’t have a father. So, she chose Bloom because he lives so much in his senses. And just as Bloom is searching for a son, Tillie is searching for a father. 

Freefall has more than a touch of magical realism in it. Is this a style you use in your other books? What attracts you to this style of writing? 

Reality is both magical and “real,” if by real we mean something that isn’t imagined. Language by its very nature is magical, transforming our everyday reality in multiple ways, carrying us aloft on the wings of thought. When I call on magical realism in my fiction, I do it because it opens me up to a fuller understanding of our world, both internally and externally. I believe it captures a fuller view of what’s going on in our lives than realism can do. 

You describe writing as “your addiction” and “compulsion,” but your website also features several of your watercolor paintings. Then, too, Tillie herself is an artist. Is visual art also a passion of yours? What does painting allow you to do that writing doesn’t, and vice versa? 

If I could reincarnate, it would be BOTH as a visual and literary artist. What I produce when I’m playing with water color or acrylics or oils is not unlike what happens when I write poetry or prose. I start out with no expectations, no plan, and I follow wherever the unconscious leads me. I never know where I’ll end up, and that’s much of the pleasure for me in creating, whether as a visual artist or as a writer. In each case, I’m open to what I’ll discover and what will discover me. I’m passionate about art, and museums are my temples.  

In addition to writing yourself, you also teach and coach writing. What are the advantages of working with a private teacher/editor versus taking a class or joining a critique group?

In a class, at least how I teach it, students receive responses from multiple viewpoints (other class members), though they usually aren’t professional/trained writers. Therefore, the feedback can be uneven, and the writer needs to weigh each comment and decide for herself which ones seem to offer an opening into her work. 

With a private teacher, you hope that s/he will be able to accommodate many different approaches to writing poetry/prose so s/he can offer a wide range of possibilities in his/her critiques. Otherwise, there’s a danger that the teacher/editor will abort whatever in the person as a writer is trying to bloom. 

You have another novel about Tillie in the works. Will we be hearing more about Tillie and her re-found friends as they reach their seventies and beyond? Or just more about Tillie?

The follow up to Freefall that I’m currently working on and will be published in 2010 doesn’t involve an older Tillie but a much younger one. Yet your question makes me wonder if I need to consider writing a novel that follows these women into their seventies and beyond!

Tillie: Portraits of a Canadian Girl in Training is a Bildungsroman that takes the reader back to the ‘50s, to a world that flashes green and red lights at women. This novel starts with three-year-old Tillie and follows her until she’s seventeen and struggling to find her place in the world 

 

Lily Talks to Fellow Writers:

Where are you in your writing career? Aspiring? Published? 

I’ve published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, and essays in over 160 American and Canadian venues. All This, a poetry collection, was published in 2011, and a poetry chapbook (No More Kings) will come out later this year. My novel Fling! was released in July 2015. Curva Peligrosa, another novel, was brought out in 2017. A third novel, Freefall: A Divine Comedy, was published on January 1, 2019. 

How long have you been part of CWC, and what does membership mean to you?

I just joined this past spring, and I’m looking forward to sharing the writing journey with other committed writers. We need to help each other find the appropriate paths that will connect us with our best readers!

What other things would you like people to know about you – writings, passions, etc?

I grew up on a Canadian farm that taught me how dependent the natural world and the animals that inhabit it are on we humans, and vice versa. While I’m not a backpacker or even a camper, I do have a passion for nature. I also love art in all of its forms: music, visual, etc. I’m always uplifted by great art! And I enjoy eating well!

How do you manage your writing life?

I think it’s the reverse! It manages me, since it’s as important to me as eating. Over the years, I’ve had to find ways to fit writing into my days. I’ve discovered that if I only commit to an hour a day religiously, I can produce a tremendous amount of material, as my publications indicate.

Please send a link to something people can read of yours!

My blog is a gateway to lots of samples: https://lilyionamackenzie.com

 

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Raffle & Announcements
1:30 Featured Member: Lily Iona McKenzie
1:45 Keynote Speaker: Joan Gelfland
2:30 Book Sales & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

$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 A 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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

  • December 15th – Winter Social
  • January 19th – TBA
  • February 16th – Jan Steckel
  • March 15th – Panel TBA
  • April 21st – Tanya Egan Gibson
  • May 17th – Andy Ross
  • June 16th – Member Book Launch

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

11/17 SPEAKER – “You Can Be a Winning Writer” with Joan Gelfland

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In this participatory workshop, author Joan Gelfand will discuss her 4 C’s approach to becoming a successful author. Joan will discuss how to incorporate craft, commitment, community, and confidence into a writing practice. Joan and her clients have produced significant results by incorporating this approach into their own writing practices. 

Accompanied by a thirty-minute Power Point, Joan will open the workshop for questions about writing and publishing challenges. Based on “You Can Be a Winning Writer” published by Mango Press, this workshop has been presented to California Writer’s Club and other venues to enthusiastic audiences including:  the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, Dominican College Low Residency MFA, San Francisco Public Libraries, Osher Lifelong Learning, Books, Inc., Creative Light Factory and other writer’s clubs, groups and conferences. 

Joan Gelfand’s reviews, stories, essays and poetry have appeared in over 100 national and international literary journals and magazines including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, PANK! Kalliope, The Toronto Review, Levure Litteraire and Chicken Soup for the Soul. 

The author of three well-reviewed poetry collections and an award-winning chapbook of short fiction, Joan’s novel “Fear to Shred” takes place in a Silicon Valley startup. Mastadon Press will publish the novel in 2020.

Past President of the Women’s National Book Association, Joan is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and a juror for the Northern California Book Awards. 

“The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics,” a poetry film based on Joan’s poem was featured at the 4th Annual Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece and won Certificate of Merit in a juried art show at the International Association for the Study of Dreams. It has since showed at nine international film festivals and won Best Poetry Film at the World Film Festival. unknown.jpgA graduate of Mills College MFA in Creative Writing, Joan has been speaking on the 4 C’s approach for over ten years. You can find her at http://joangelfand.com, on twitter at @joangelfand, facebook as JoanGelfand, and on Instagram as joangelfand.

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Raffle & Announcements
1:30 Featured Member: Lily Iona McKenzie
1:45 Keynote Speaker: Joan Gelfland
2:30 Book Sales & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

$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 A 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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

  • December 15th – Winter Social
  • January 19th – TBA
  • February 16thJan Steckel
  • March 15th – Panel TBA
  • April 21stTanya Egan Gibson
  • May 17thAndy Ross
  • June 16th – Member Book Launch

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

10/20 SPEAKER – “How Writers Can Avoid Legal Trouble” with Nicholas Jollymore, esq

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Writers can get into legal trouble without knowing it. Learn best practices and get the basics about libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, subpoenas, confidential sources, and the California Shield Law from Literary Lawyer Nicholas J. Jollymore. 

About Nick Jollymore

Nick Jollymore has run a legal practice out of a home office since he moved to San Francisco in 2010.  Prior to that he was a litigator at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance) in New York, a staff lawyer at Simon & Schuster, and a staff lawyer at the former print and digital publisher Time, Inc.  For 18 years he taught a course in Mass Media Law at Fordham University School of Law in New York.  He has represented the writers and editors as well as the corporate owners of the Associated Press, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, InStyle, People and Entertainment Weekly (magazines and their websites) and . . . from 1978 to 1983, The National Enquirer.  Nick was a journalist for five years in New Jersey (UPI) before going to law school 

Learn more about Nicholas at www.jollymorelaw.com

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Featured Member: Tim Jollymore
1:15 Keynote Speaker: Nick Jollymore
2:00 Announcements & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

$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 A 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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

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

Interview with Featured Member Gark Mavigan

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The first featured member of our 2019-2020 speaker series is poet and hip-hop artist Gark Mavigan. Originally from Stockton, he was a founding member of the city’s first slam team to compete in Brave New Voices—the world’s largest youth poetry slam. He has performed at The White House and the National Poetry Slam, sharing stages with the likes of Common, DMC (of Run DMC), Watsky, and MC Jin.

Gark’s words have appeared in The Huffington Post, EARMILK, sPARKLE & bLINK, Points in Case, Robot Butt, HotNewHipHop, and MapQuest, among other publications. Additionally, he has penned bylines on behalf of CEOs, covered music releases and festivals as a journalist, and crafted key messaging and PR strategies for leading technology companies—from NVIDIA to pizza-making robots to Kim Kardashian’s favorite baby monitor.

On the hip hop side, Gark is the creator of RAMENdon, the world’s first Top Ramen-themed EP. He recently released GOOD CHOICES, an LP that donates 100% of proceeds to nonprofits in San Francisco and Stockton. His music has graced the pages of 2DopeBoyz, Fiverr, RESPECT Mag, ELEVATOR, and more. Learn more about the “prose-fessional” Gark Mavigan at http://www.garkmavigan.com

“Meeting other writers face to face [has] helped share my work, connected me to reading gigs…most have become good friends!”

Gark Mavigan, Berkeley CWC featured member for September 2019

Interview with Slam Poet Gark Mavigan

Interview questions by CWC speaker chair and book publicist Cristina Deptula.

What’s the most important piece of writing advice that you could give to other writers?

Just write. Sitting, standing, coffee or tea, force yourself to fill the page. Finding inspiration is often like squeezing out the final gloop of toothpaste, but it’s worth the trouble. Even an “uninspired” free-write can produce some unexpected gems.

What one thing has helped promote your writing most?

Getting out and meeting other writers face to face. These folks have helped share my work, connected me to reading gigs, and introduced me to other writers in the community. More importantly, most have become good friends!

What are your writing habits?

slam poet Gark Mavigan
Meet Gark Mavigan at our fist meeting of the new season.

When I write at my apartment I’m constantly fighting the temptation to nap. A quaint coffee shop is my preferred writing den. I buy a cup of iced coffee (black, always), crank some instrumental music (either hip hop beats or ‘90s film scores), and squeeze that toothpaste tube as hard as I can.

I’m still very much in the Padawan stage of my writing career, though I’ve been lucky enough to have some of my pieces published. How do I manage my writing life? Poorly. But if I get ANY writing done in a given day, color me content.

Meet Gark Mavigan and September Williams at our Monthly Meeting Sunday, September 15th

Mavigan says he joined the Berkeley California Writers Club to meet other writers from all genres, and further saturate himself in the Bay Area writing scene. He is also looking to gather helpful feedback on his writing. If you are a writer who hates black licorice or if you have a strange fascination with the show Unsolved Mysteries; you already have something in common. Or you might ask him about attending his first writing conference in April (Lit Camp). You can meet him at the launch of our next speaker series Sunday September 15th.

We have a new schedule so be sure to get there early so you don’t miss Gark Mavigan or September Williams!

September 15th author, bioethicist, and filmmaker September Williams, M.D. will show us how to deliver facts in a package that doesn’t detract from the tone of the story. This is a meeting for writers looking to illuminate a truth or cause without being didactic. Click on the link below for details such as location, snacks, or to learn more about September Williams.

Causes Cross Genres: Infusing Facts into Fiction with September Williams is the first event in our annual speaker series.

Third Sundays September – June

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Featured Member: GARK Mavigan
1:15 Keynote Speaker: September Williams
2:00 Announcements & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

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

9/15/19 – SPEAKER: “Causes Cross Genres” with September Williams

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Causes Cross Genres: Infusing Facts into Fiction with September Williams is the first event in our annual speaker series.

Some people find understanding through technical language and academic conveyance. But almost all people can learn through well-constructed Aristotelian Plot Curves. 

Using accurate scientific, medical or other precise technical information to inform fictional narratives is not for the faint of heart. It does not mean “dumbing down.” 

But for those committed to using every tool to convey the causes of humanity across race, class, culture, and genre—it often means an author must wade in well over her/ his own head. Exactly what tools do you need to get back to breathing air? How do you deliver science in a package that does not detract from the tone of the story or the truth of the ‘cause’ which the didactics seek to illuminate? Our September speaker seeks to answer these questions. Plus, her name is September!

Important!
Note new schedule below,
so you don’t miss the speaker

About September Williams

Physician-writer, bioethicist, and filmmaker September Williams, M.D. seeks a better understanding of and between ourselves in all her work.  She focuses on promoting resilience for people who are ill, aging, dying, or stressed by environmental and humanitarian violations. She is the author of The Elephant in the Room: Bioethical Issues in Human Milk Banking, which is representative of her nonfiction works covering health disparities, bioethics, and film, and a fiction writer as well. Chasing Mercury is a romance-suspense-memoir about families committed to human and environmental rights, and the first book of the “Chasing Mercury Toxic Trilogy.” The upcoming sequels are Weighing Lead and Mining Gold

September is also a member of the National Writers Union (AFL-CIO/UAW 1981), the International Federation of Journalists, and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. All of these organizations maximize the breadth of her work by informing, provoking thoughtful action, frequent tears and the greatest tool of all, laughter.         

For more information see: http://www.septemberwilliams.com

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Featured Member: GARK Mavigan
1:15 Keynote Speaker: September Williams
2:00 Announcements & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

$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 A 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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

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

5/19 PANEL: “The Working Writer”

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What did Anne Rice, Anton Chekhov, Frank McCourt, Franz Kafka, Harper Lee, Herman Melville, Jorge Luis Borges, Toni Morrison, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams and Virginia Woolf have in common? All of these writers had full-time day jobs.

The struggle all writers have in common, no matter what their genre or medium or level, is working the economy of creativity. Artists with trust funds are as rare as starving artists—the great in-between is filled with writers who are paying the bills. Join us for a panel discussion in May about how writers make their livings.

Working Writer Panel May 19th

“The Working Writer” will feature three writers with different relationships to work.

  • Thaddeus Howze makes a living with his writing
  • Paul Corman-Roberts makes a living doing something related to his writing
  • Peggy Dougherty, now retired, made a living doing something completely UNrelated to her writing.

Meet our Panelists:

thaddeus

Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze, also known as “The Answer Man” on Twitter and Quora, is comic historian and a prolific writer of speculative fiction, scientific, technical and cultural commentary. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories, and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013), an urban fantasy novella starring paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram. Thaddeus works as a writer and editor for two magazines: the Good Men Project, a social men’s magazine; and Krypton Radio, a sci-fi enthusiast media station and website. He is also a freelance journalist for Polygon.com and Panel & Frame magazine. Thaddeus is the co-founder of Futura Science Fiction Magazine and one of the founding members of the Afrosurreal Writers Workshop in Oakland.

“I define myself as a “working writer” – someone who has accepted the changing nature of work in the modern era and is utilizing “streams of income” in which my goal is to have writing become my main source of income. I have worked in the tech field and in the gig economy (Dasher and Uber), but have developed online patronage through Patreon, staff writing (through Krypton Radio and The Good Men Project) and technical writing assignments with different video-game and computer-technology companies.”

pcrPaul Corman Roberts

Paul Corman-Roberts is well known in the local literary scene as an original co-founder of the Beast Crawl Literary Festival, an electrifying poet, and a warm human presence. He is the author of the full length poetry collection Water for the House of Yes, forthcoming from Nomadic Press in early 2020, the a chapbook collection 19th Street Station that will be reissued from Full of Crow Press later this year, Coming World/Gone World (Howling Dog Press,, 2006), Notes From an Orgy (Paper Press, 2014) and We Shoot Typewriters (Nomadic Press, 2015.) He is an instructor at both the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute and the Older Writer’s Lab in San Francisco, as well as a substitute teacher in the Oakland Unified School District.

Paul Corman-Roberts will speak to the experience of being a contract worker in the literary scene while balancing that work with full- to part-time payroll work positions outside of the arts while pursuing a career as a published writer. Paul can talk about event production and organization, teaching opportunities, and breaking down and throwing your labor in with the service industry. Ask him how to stay sane in this tectonic landscape of the gig economy!

PDS & 10 coverPeggy Dougherty

Peggy Dougherty is an award-winning playwright whose plays have had had thirty-eight productions. Her plays (all comedies) have been performed in New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Boca Raton, Houston, San Francisco, Great Britain, Toronto, and elsewhere. Peggy is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., and The Drama Association of Rossmoor.

Peggy, a clinical psychologist now retired, has thirty-five years of clinical experience working with adults, couples, children, and families. In 2013 Peggy published a self-help book, The Ten Minute Cognitive Workout: Manage Your Mood and Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day (authored by Peggy Dougherty Snyder, Ph.D.). The book won the 2013 San Diego Book Award for Best Self-Help.

Age Matters, Peggy Dougherty’s first novel, was published on October 5, 2018. This comic novel is a satiric take on age, Hollywood, and relationships. Now that Age Matters has finally been published, Peggy’s plan is to recommit full time to playwriting—but her recalcitrant novel refuses to promote itself! She is eager to talk about

WHEN PROFESSION VIES WITH PASSION! Peggy will share how she juggled her professional career as a clinical psychologist with her passion for writing. She will discuss how her profession informed her writing and how being self-employed helped her carve out a viable writing schedule. She’ll also share the boundaries she established between her psychology practice and her devotion to her writing passion.

 

Watch for an interview with all three writers by Cristina Deptula, and plan to attend this exciting panel on May 19th. This will be the final installment in the 2018-2019 speaker program! 


MEETING SCHEDULE

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

2:00–2:30 – Writer Networking
2:30–3:00 – Welcome, Raffle & Club Announcements and ELECTION!

3:00–4:00 – PANEL: THE WORKING WRITER

Meetings are $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 A RAFFLE TICKET! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s programs. You can win a book written by our club authors!

*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, and sometimes that means a welcoming place.

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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

  • June 5 Setting that Works!  A workshop with John Byrne Barry
  • May 4 Writers Social at Bay Area Book Festival 3-6pm at the Saturn Café. Sponsored by the Wolf Pack Writers Action Group: let’s talk about the weather—and how to change it BACK.
  • May 4-5 Visit our booth at the Bay Area Book Festival!
  • May 27 CWC Writers at Bay Area Generations 
  • June 15 Member Book Launch & Showcase at the Octopus Literary Salon!

 

 

April 21st— “Plan Your Novel Like a Pro” with Beth Barany

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Learn the 7 Keys to Story Planning on April 21st in person—or catch the lecture online later!

 

In this interactive lecture, we’ll help you brainstorm the steps to create your novel—from character development to plot structure to story themes and world building—so you can start writing your novel with clarity and confidence.

We’ll do bite-sized exercises step-by-step to help you stretch your imagination and get excited about the writing process.

If you have never written a novel, still feel lost on how to go from brilliant idea to The End, or always hit that sagging middle and lose focus, this event will help you dream up exciting ways to torture—er, challenge—your characters all the way to the resolution of the story.

This mini-workshop, “7 Keys to Story Planning,” is a mini-course Beth offers at her online school, The Barany School of Fiction, which she runs with her husband Ezra, who is also a novelist.
 
Which means: if you can’t make it to our meeting, you can still see the lecture!
 
Beth will be providing a coupon to all who attend so that they can access the lecture for free at any time. If you can’t make the meeting and would still like to see the lecture, sign up for the course here. Half of the $17 fee will be donated to the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club. 

Register for the online version of Easter Sunday’s workshop.

Thank you, Beth!

About Beth Barany

Beth BaranyAn award-winning novelist, Master NLP Practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany specializes in helping genre fiction writers experience clarity so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers. Her courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away. She runs Barany School of Fiction, an online school for fiction writers, which includes a 12-month group coaching program to help you get published. Beth is also the editor of the Writer’s Fun Zone blog, for and by creative writers, where you can download her free reports on book marketing and novel writing. She’s also the author of books for writers, including The Writer’s Adventure Guide, Overcome Writer’s Block, Twitter for Authors, and Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! Ready to embark on the next step in your writer’s adventure? Sign up for her free 5-day Writer’s Discovery Mini-course here: http://bethb.net/discover.


But Wait, There’s More!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…

Preservation Park

Be sure to arrive early on the day of our meeting, to participate in the Craft and Marketing support groups. These are interactive conversations where you can talk to other writers to resolve the issues in your writing and your writers career. Make the commitment to be join us every third Sunday; your writing career is important and you deserve this. Non-members and guests can audit any of our critique & support groups before joining. 

Enjoy the buzz of our networking time from 2-2:30 p.m. Have some coffee and make some great connections!


MEETING SCHEDULE

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

 2:00–2:30 – Writer Networking
 2:30–3:00 – Welcome, Raffle & Club Announcements

 3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member 
 3:15–4:00 – Keynote Beth Barany

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

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket; bring a few bucks to purchase additional tickets at $1 each or 6 for $5. Support the club and win a book written by our club authors!

*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are committed to supporting writers.

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!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

  • April 3 Setting that Works! A workshop with John Byrne Barry
  • May 19 The Working Writer: Day Jobs as Writing Inspiration Panel Discussion with Paul Corman-Roberts, Peggy Dougherty, and Thaddeus Howze
  • June 16 Member Showcase at a bookstore near you!

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