CWC Writers at LitCrawl Saturday Night, 10/19

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We are so proud of all of our members who are reading at or hosting at LitCrawl this year! One of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, San Francisco’s Lit Crawl is a massive, one-night literary pub crawl throughout the city’s Mission District. Lit Crawl SF brings together 500+ authors and close to 10,000 fans for the world’s largest free pop-up literary event. Started in 2004, Lit Crawl cultivates a unique, resonant brand: smart and silly, worldly and wacky events presented in venues usual (bars, cafes, galleries, and bookstores) and unusual (police stations, tattoo parlors, barbershops, and laundromats).

Grab a map and we’ll see you at one or more of these events!

5-6pm:

Amos White hosts Bay Area Generations, which presents "Two Turntables and a Microphone": six writers and poets read their poetry and tell their stories before a live DJ mix at Harrington Galleries Furniture Store, 599 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Gark Mavigan reads at LitCamp: the Comeback at Four Barrel Coffee, 375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

6:30-7:30pm:

Cristina Deptula hosts Synchronized Chaos: Five published authors read short new pieces they have written inspired by the work of an aspiring author, who joins them in reading onstage. CWC readers include Christine Volker, Aqueila Lewis, Kristen Caven, Henry Hitz & Sheryl Bize-Boutte!

8-9pm:

Paul Corman-Roberts hosts Babar in Exile, Gents Barber Club, 3041 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Thaddeus Howze reads with Time Travel: A Literary and Poetic Exploration to The Next Dimension at Fingersnaps Media Arts 3527 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Aqueila Lewis also reads with Women Who Submit at Haus Coffee 3086 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

See the full schedule here.

See You Sunday! CWC Speaker Series & Meeting 10/20/19

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Our October meeting is just around the corner. Say you’re coming on Facebook!

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.

Come for the whole meeting or part of it! Cover charge for the whole afternoon is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.*

Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket but PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE MORE! 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!

Speaking of which, members please bring one of YOUR published books (‘hurt’ and proof copies ok) to donate to our raffle. We decorate the room with US! Last year’s books will be donated to the Prisoner’s Literature Project this year.

Please note our NEW SCHEDULE!

12:00 pm – come help set up, or volunteer for the front table.
12:30 Doors open for coffee, snacks & networking. Thank you Trader Joe’s for donated snacks! (Extra treats are always lovely!)
1:00 Tim Jollymore is our "Opening Act" — we finally get to a glimpse at his new book, People You’ve Been Before!
1:15 Tim’s brother Nick Jollymore is our keynote speaker.
2:00 Club Business, Networking & transition to our breakout groups*
3:00 Marketing Success Group with Kymberlie Ingalls – check your to-do list and report your achievements!
4:00 Craft Discussion Group with Henry HItz – what deep dive will we take with Henry today?
Note: if you aren’t staying for the breakout groups, please respectfully take your networking outside and keep voices low. We’d also love a few volunteers to help with QUIET cleanup tasks!

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

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!

Was Nick Jollymore REALLY in People magazine? Bring all your questions to our meeting!

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.

9/23/19 – Mini-WORKSHOP with Kathy Meis of Bublish

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Help Your Audience Find You

Tips for Writers on Book Positioning

A Dessert Discussion with Bublish Founder + CEO

Kathy Meis

Monday, September 23, 2019

7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Lungomare Restaurant, Jack London Square (map)

Join us for a casual conversation with a leading light in the new book industry.

Kathy Meis is passionate about helping authors break through the noise. Come hear her advice for creating a  strong marketing foundation at any stage of writing your book—from first draft to reboot. Bring your books and your questions for kind guidance.   

Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing platform with built-in marketing where authors can write, promote, publish and track their work in one place. Kathy has worked for iconic editorial brands as CBS and Forbes, Inc. and is a sought-after expert on independent publishing, author branding, book marketing and disruption in the publishing industry, Kathy has spoken at Book Expo America, San Francisco Writers Conference, Women in Media, ALLi’s Indie Author Fringe conference, GrubSteet, PubSmart, AuthorYOU, and IndieRecon, among others.

$10 for CWC members, $20 for non-members. No-host dessert, coffees & cocktails. Cash, check, or Paypal. Reservations required, write to berkeley.cwc at gmail.com.

Kathy Meis 9-19

PSA – Stop Laptop Snatchers!

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WRITERS BEWARE! There is a rash of laptop raids going on right now. Small groups of unarmed thieves are bursting into coffee shops and snatching 1-3 laptops then dashing out again. They use the element of surprise and make their escapes in rented Gig or Zip cars. The perpetrators are typically teenagers. Male and female. If you are a writer or someone who uses your laptop in a public place, here are some guidelines for protection:

  1. BE ALERT for for groups of 2-3 teens looking in windows of, or gathering in doorways of coffeeshops. Watch their eyes – they shift from side to side, scanning the room. They do NOT look relaxed and social or work-focused like most people entering coffee shops.
  2. If you see this happening, CLOSE YOUR LAPTOP. If you require a password to open it, this will slow them down from accessing your information. (Be sure you are backing up to the cloud so you don’t lose work.) CLUTCH ONTO IT or put it out of sight.
  3. TAKE OUT YOUR CAMERA if you feel safe doing so, and aim it at the group. If they see several cameras on them, they may leave.
  4. SIGNAL other writers to be on alert with a sound (think of groups of meerkats or other prey animals)—a whistle, a loud cough, a word or phrase like “Heads up” or “Watch out” or “Hey.” Listen for signals from other writers.
  5. ENGAGE. If you are close to a doorway and see a group forming, a friendly hello can go a long way in prevention. Remember these are teens who might be about to make a bad choices, and it takes a village to say “we don’t put up with this, kids.” Relax and say “Hi, What’s up?” Say something embarrassing like “Hey, don’t I know your mom?” Or, “Cool hoodie, dude! Love the camo!” Say something loud that draws attention to them, so if something does happen, you have more witnesses, and  can describe them. Sometimes baristas, if they are not busy, will all go out and talk to these groups. It works.

Also keep your eyes out for idling cars parked on sidewalks with open doors. Alert the staff if you see this, tell them to call the police. Coffee shops know about this and are looking for ways to protect their customers without scaring them off. Pay attention when they give warnings. This is a situation where the community can create defensive/protective energy, and stop crime before it starts. Sometimes it takes a village to make kids think twice about what choices they are making.

Psa-laptop-theft-coffeeshop-alert-writers-PixTeller

DON’T BE AFRAID, BE AWARE!

This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the California Writers Club. Please share!

—–

—Written by Kristen Caven, co-author of The Bullying Antidote. We believe in Prevention and Restorative Justice. Learn more at the Zorgos Reader and our FB Page.

 

Interview with September Feature September Williams

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Today we have an in-depth interview with the first speaker in the launch of our speaker series: physician-writer, bioethicist, and filmmaker September Williams, M.D. She seeks a better understanding of and between ourselves and her work offers resilience for those who are suffering. She’s 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

 Interview with Author September Williams

How do you stay intelligible to average readers without ‘dumbing down’ science or medicine? 

I think of complex  information in scenes of a novel as film script. You can’t just have a white screen showing with words — there has to be something pictured. That  something has to be understood by others than myself — an actor, cameraman, special effects person, reader. I have to make the reader a participant in the scene. I establish a line that serves as a slug line in my head— Where they are and time of day.  Then only the dialog drives the visuals after that. Then I write the science information, and I usually allow the reader to be touched emotionally by laughter, sadness or love — so the scene and the science stick with them. 

The issue is that the details have to become visual for the reader just as they would for a patient or a medical student — and the “teacher” in the exchange get’s feed back from the learner and vice versa.  I also make sure there is more than one purpose for the exchange of didactic information — so if science really bores you then you stick with it to hear the end of the part of the scene that interest you. In the example in the shot  here the interlocutors are clearly flirting. But the scene is here as an explanation of the Seldinger technique—which is used to draw water samples to test for mercury. The purpose of the scene is for Sicily to understand how arduous and monotonous is. 

Do you ever take liberties with facts to tell a better story? If so, how and where do you draw the line and make those decisions?

I do take liberties but I have rules.

  1. I never take liberties with scientific facts.
  2. I do take liberties with historic details that are not scientific because that would defeat the purpose of incorporating science into fiction.
  3. I never take liberties with facts around real people who are depicted in a scene who were really in that situation in that place even if their names. 

In the novel Chasing Mercury the lovers meet in the Montreal Airport en route to a World Youth Festival in 1973 Berlin. I changed the dates of the festival. I did that because though based in fact the story is fiction. I wanted anyone who had been there to know that the story was fiction. I also did it because the timeline was set so that the main character would be 18 years old before the festival ended because she began having sex with a 26 year old man before the end of the  festival. I needed her to do that on her 18th Birthday because of key things elsewhere in the story. Anyone who was in Berlin would know the dates were wrong. 

All of the material related to The Queens Ballet in the book is accurate except for the name of the principal male dancer —this is because I couldn’t reach his estate and he has died. So I changed his name. However, I kept Rudy’s name because I know he would have wanted me to. 

The farm the main characters visit in Grunwald was actually modeled after one in Karlmarkstad. But you can’t see the Berlin Wall from there—so the Horse couldn’t take Sicily to the water and it would be too cumbersome to explain the journey to Karlmarkstad. Fictional story based in fact but a work of fiction. But anyone who was there would also know many things happened in the city about which they were unaware. 

Though I will own that the female protagonist Sicily is modeled after me, the male protagonist is modeled after many First Nation Brothers I was close to at the festival but with whom I did not perform. Though I did perform with a Canadian who was studying in Berlin before 30,000 people it was a reading of poetry and he translated and played the guitar for me. 

I never took liberties with facts about people who have popular exposure and  are real. For instance Angela Davis, or the sole survivor of the Massacre of Mali. Who were both at the  World Youth Festival and the events surrounding them happened as reported not with a fictitious person but in fact with me—so the content was accurate.

Does the research you do ever end up inspiring new stories, or new plot points?

Constantly— I love the research and I still don’t understand how it makes me do what I do with it.  I don’t write by outline but plot points which I recognize when I write them. In Chasing Mercury the Character Sicily has epilepsy not because I have epilepsy ( I do) but  because seizures or Cat Dance disease was the key symptom in recognizing Minamata disease in Japan. I wanted one of the characters to have a visceral affinity with a diagnosed child or children in the story.  Neurological damage to the body that looks more like cerebral palsy could have been a more visually recognizable option but I needed to link one of the main characters directly to the affliction that was being described. I did want to also have a child with a lesser manifestation of mercury poisoning to illustrate the subtlety sometimes as happens with lead poisoning.

Learning that  private citizens contacted the Minamata Disease researchers in Japan for help in 1972 inspired me to write the story because it showed the same unity that resulted in the Minamata Convention on Mercury being signed into Law began 30 years before.

In fact while writing Chasing Mercury I also  was a writer-bioethics consultant on a children’s book called Toxic Water Minamata Japan.  One of the photos I chose for the book was of a woman who is one of the longest survivors of Minamata disease. In Geneva she told me that I had a selected a photo of he, in her first demonstration as a child. She inspired the character Sophie in Chasing Mercury just based on the photo. 

How do you incorporate background information on a topic for your readers without taking them out of the story? Are you usually able to present all the knowledge readers need to understand a story within the narrative? 

I definitely can’t provide all of the information. I try to figure out  two things: 1) an over arching paradigm that connects the dots and 2) things in the near past that foreshadow things in the near future. 

The over arching paradigm in Chasing Mercury’s themes are the attributes of the god himself. This created the characters in the book. Greed and commerce, medicine, moving around the world, duplicity.

Writing about things in the near past—I know what’s important because I’ve been following the science for 30 years and if I’m writing about something that was toxic 30 years ago I can bring the readers up to speed by bringing them back to the past. In Chasing Mercury the epilogue explains why the book exists. But the epilog is about events that happened the year I started writing it. The story starts in 1973—but it was stimulated by the events of both 1956 and 2017.

Don’t get me wrong I lived and breathed mercury for three years. I made friends with people all over the world dealing with mercury from artisanal gold miners to UN diplomats. That’s how I picked the time period of the main story. Picking the time period is important for how much information you have to deliver in the book. Weighing Lead required that I go back to a point when the first water-borne lead toxicity was being dismissed.

Does it require any sort of mind-shift for you to get out of ‘facts mode’ into ‘storytelling, imagination mode?’ How do you make the transition? 

Definitely it is hard to get out of the fact-spewing mode. The facts are easy. They are in the literature and in my history in science and medicine. I read and research a lot because the science has to be accurate for the time period. I am kicking myself for not having kept 30 year old textbooks. So in a week I may absorb 100 pages of new data on a heavy metal. I’ve absorbed it but I have not massaged and learned it enough to condense it. That’s why it is good to have characters of different temperaments. I  channel them. I let them tell me when to shift gears. I use those characters to get me out of didactics. The frictions in their relationships can shut down a boring diatribe in a heart beat. The Whistleblower Journalist protagonist is really more tied to facts than to his emotions—that is—he masks his emotions with lame humor. The ballerina drags him back to feelings forcibly.

In fact there is a scene in Zurich where the powwow dancer is going on and on about Algae growth in the Limmat River and the guy who discovered the cause. The ballerina takes a break by retreating into her own thoughts which are pretty funny including jealousy directed at the river.  But I needed the water connection in the scene. I set the scene in Zurich to make that ecological concern the Powwow dancer expresses.

As for fiction inspired by science, what do you think are emerging new areas of science that will, or could inspire stories? 

Of course the next direct hit on fiction and science is going to be CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)  a family of DNA sequences found derived from DNA fragments of viruses used to detect and destroy DNA from similar viruses.

I think we will see stories first about therapeutic uses and then cosmetic uses of CRISPR. We will see stories of CRISPR insertions to black babies from getting sickle cell anemia, and removing hereditary diseases like muscular dystrophy. The bioethics will be a large sub theme because the risk is to further marginalize those who are “different” by assuming that they should be  genetically altered. But beyond science fiction the stories and possible stories related to this technology will be told in espionage, in love, in heist tales etc. But if I write it it will start with Linus Pauling determining the genetic sequence of Sickle Cell Anemia Hb and working forward. Or the irradiation of malaria—and the bioethical battle related to doing that by erasing female mosquitoes from the earth without know what else they do beyond malaria. Yep it gonna be the new genetic fiction. 

Next will be the environmental fiction—as a version of post apocalypse stories. 

Any of these will be open for romance-suspense, espionage corporate and international, and mysteries. 

I think we will also see bioethical stories about loss of speciation and it’s side effects but not in a science ficiton model but a domestic model. 

Meet September Williams at our next meeting THIS SUNDAY Sept 15th

Don’t miss our speaker series kick-off!

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.

See You Sunday! Kickoff with September Williams + GARK!

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Don’t miss our speaker series kick-off!

The Wind In Our Sails

Some words from your captain president

Kids are back in school, and what that means for me is my husband, a teacher who blogs (or a blogger who teaches?) is back in school. Which means, with no one to talk to, and the music of my choice on in the background, words are now flying from my fingers for hours at a time! I hope your summer was productive or, on the flip side, a nice break.


We’re ready to start up our monthly meetings, and there are some big changes happening, some that we’ve been talking about for years! The first big change is that  Write Angles will now be dropping in “nuggets” into member email boxes through our Google Group.

The second big change is that our meetings are “flipped around” now: we’ll be starting with our speakers, and doing our support group breakouts afterwards. Hopefully this will not inconvenience anyone too much. We weighed the pros and cons carefully, and are always sorry we can’t please everyone.

The third big thing is a huge triumph: we have booked every month of our Speaker Series! (Notice we’ve also renamed our monthly meetings “speaker series,” because that’s what it is, and has been for 110 years!). We have a wide range of topics that we hope will appeal to our members.


Now is a great time to pre-pay all of your meetings to commit to your writing career. Don’t plan to come to them all? Any unused fees will help other writers. Jack London would have been proud. More information here.

Our membership is at a nice fat 104 right now, let’s keep it that way! If you haven’t renewed your dues yet, please do so today by check or Paypal. Renew on or before our September 15th meeting, or risk having to pay extra to reinstate your membership! Here’s the renewal link.

Hello to our new members Gark MaviganAnn Harleman, and Penn Hughes. They’re all pretty dazzling. Gark (like Mark with a G) is unafraid to hit the mic as our first featured member in September — I think he’s our first rapper! Ann is already enjoying an inspiring literary career, and Penn has just published his first book, about Oakland history. 

We are looking for ways to involve every member in the life of the club this year, both giving and receiving support. There will be a volunteer opportunity sheet on the sign-in table at every meeting. Shoot a message to Gary at members.cwc.berkeley@gmail.com if you can help on the Member Relations Team this year, creating a smooth and friendly flow. Write me if you can join the Wolf Pack at the Watershed Poetry Festival on October 5, 12-4pm, focusing on environmental writing. Contact Fred at Fdodsworth@comcast.net if you want to talk about publishing a Literary Magazine in our branch or holding a contest. And if you love and support kids, we would still love to revive our 5th Grade Writing Contest!

Sail On!

Kristen Caven
www.kristencaven.com

BB President 2017-2020
berkeley.cwc@gmail.com

CWC-Berkeley.org

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