Kubrik’s Mysterious Symbols: an Interview with Featured Member Nicole Berg

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At this Sunday’s final meeting before our summer break, the Berkeley California Writers Club celebrates author and film critic Nicole Berg. Berg’s fist book Discovering Kubrick’s Symbolism is now available for pre-sale from McFarland Books. This is her second year in the CWC. She says, “I really enjoy getting to know the other members here.”

Berg’s career began in animation, gaming, & software industries such as Walt Disney, DIC, Sierra, Symantec, and a number of dot coms during the “Tinker Bell” economy. Later, she taught college-level courses in Animation, Art, & Digital Media in Los Angeles & Portland. When earning her MFA degree, Nicole trained in film pipeline processes at PIXAR & ImageMovers Digital.

One day she happened upon a showing of Kubrick’s 2OO1: A SPACE ODYSSEY and asked herself, “what if other repeating symbols existed in 2OO1 that helped explain the monolith?” Nicole soon realized that indeed there were. This started the research journey of her book Discovering Kubrick’s Symbolism. That grew to include bombshell discoveries within all of Stanley Kubrick’s iconic films such as Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, & Eyes Wide Shut.

Six Quick Questions for Film Writer Nicole Berg

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

Write a list of subjects you think you would enjoy writing about for inspiration.

What one thing has helped promote your writing most?

My push in contacting both publishers & agents whose interests even slightly covered my book’s subject matter.

What are your writing habits?

Having a quiet place like an office is essential for concentration.

Nicole Berg’s forthcoming book

I aim for two or more hours. Some time in the morning & two or more hours in the afternoon or evening, at least 4 days a week.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an animator and was in the animation & multimedia business during the nineties.

What other writers inspire you?

Riane Eisler (Chalice & the Blade), Richard Adams (Watership Down), Margot Adler (Drawing Down the Moon) & Terry Pratchett.

Meet Nicole Berg this Sunday May 17th

Stanley Kubrik Esoterica, Electing Board Officers, and Finding the Discipline to Write

At Sunday’s meeting, Berg will show us some of the mysterious symbols throughout the films of Stanley Kubrik, as a teaser to her forthcoming book. Following, she will take questions.

In addition to writing about film, Berg enjoys anthropology, archaeology, animals, word religion, & folklore. In our Zoom breakout sessions, Berg would love to find other writers who share her interests in film, animation, or graphic design. She wants to support other writers through mentorship and promoting one another’s works. So be sure to drop her a line in the chat window this Sunday, especially if you know of a website or journal that might be interested in film criticism.

Following Nicole Berg’s presentation, we’ll get to hear from former pro basketball player Paul Shirley. Shirley is now an author and productivity coach. He will teach us how to apply the athlete’s discipline to our writing. Commit to your writing this Sunday!

This Sunday We Elect Board Members

Get to know the candidates and have your say in the direction of the club. She we steer this ship into the ice berg, or the gaping maw of the Kraken? Or is there another course? Have your say, Sunday!

Get Tickets for our Zoom Meeting or Learn More about Sunday’s Meeting

SPEAKER 3/17/19— “From Print to Performance: Adapting Books to Film and Theater” with Victoria Zackheim


Adapting Books to Film and Theater with Victoria Zackheim

When you read a book and think, “This would make an excellent movie (or play)!” where do you go from there? In this program, Victoria will discuss what makes a good adaptation…and how to go about doing it! It doesn’t matter whether your write fiction or non-fiction, Zackheim will school us on film adaptations at our March meeting.

About Victoria Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim wrote The Bone Weaver, a novel, and edited six anthologies, including the bestselling The Other Woman, and her most recent: FAITH: Essays from Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics.  She adapted her first anthology, The Other Woman, to a play that enjoyed a simultaneous reading at more than twenty theaters nationwide. Her newest play, Entangled, adapted from the memoir by Lois Goodwill and Don Asher, is now under development, with readings in California theaters. She adapted Caroline Leavitt’s novel, Meeting Rozzie Halfway, to a screenplay, as she did with Anne Perry’s international bestseller Southampton Row. Victoria’s screenplay, Maidstone, is in development with Anderimage, in collaboration with SJ Murray. Victoria wrote the documentary film, Where Birds Never Sang: the Story of Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps, which aired on PBS nationwide. She teaches creative nonfiction in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a frequent speaker and instructor at writers’ conferences and organizational events in the US, France, Mexico and Canada. For more info, check her out at VictoriaZackheim.com

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 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!


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 Leena Prasad 
 3:15–4:00 – Keynote Victoria Zackheim

NEW: 4:15 – CWC Open Mic! Bring up to 5 minutes to read outside, weather permitting

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.

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