Berkeley Branch Newsletter
April, 2018      ||    Volume 108, Issue 6*

The Wind In Your Sails

Some hot air from your president

Working with words is [insert meaningful, informative phrase here]. Because the WORD is a powerful thing. To put something into words is to form an idea, a feeling, an intention. The Bible doesn’t say, “In the beginning there was a swatch of color.” It says, “In the beginning was the Word.” You cannot, in fact, spell “world” without “word!”

As people of the word we need to be people of our own word. To be a person of your word is to be trusted, to have integrity, to do what you say you will do. Keeping your word means keeping your agreements, commitments, keeping a promise. If you break your word, it can have consequences as serious as breaking a law, so we need to do that with great care.

However, as writers, have to break our words all the time. Not just when we promise ourselves we will get that novel published this year—and then finding out it's harder than we ever imagined. Not just when we have to edit ruthlessly, rewrite, kill our darlings, murder our bad ideas. Sometimes, we intentionally break our words, tear them apart and reassemble them in the spirit of creativity, like breaking eggs to make omelets. 

(Which reminds me of the word “portmanteau," the French word for suitcase, but also a kind of word made by breaking two words and slamming them together for clarity and efficiency: Motel, brunch, bromance and podcast are all portmanteaux. Here’s more.)

Speaking of brevity, I once had a delightful conversation with this month's speaker, Amos White, about the minimum number of words needed to make up a poem. Is a poem like a table, which needs a minimum of three legs to stand? He suggested you only need one. It's like a Zen koan. Or a pedestal table.

April is National Poetry Month. We’ve got two poets speaking at our April event, and we’re starting a new Poetry group! But before I hear another WORD about the fact there is no National Comedy Month, I would like to say ha HA! Guess what? April is also National Humor Month! It even starts with a day just for fools! (Which was Easter this year... don't get me started telling Jesus jokes!)

And so, my dear wordworkers, I hope this month you write a poem. I hope you write something funny. Break some words. Break some sentences. Maybe even break some wind! Send your effutations and brimborion, your tosh and stultiloquence in for the next Write Angles "Open Mic" section. In honor of both poetry and humor, this month's prompt was to write a limerick, and mine is the Last Word in this newsletter. Read it to the end!

                                             Sail On,
A younger, more capricious me at an actual helm. 
The California Writers Club is a nonprofit professional organization open to writers in every genre and at every level of experience, from novice to notable. Our purpose is to promote fellowship and to provide practical information that supports all members in achieving their publishing goals.

Visit our website at


by Christine Evelyn Volker

After merrily accepting the challenge from Kristen to manage nominations this spring, I’ve spoken and sent emails to many of you. I’m pleased to say that we now have a FULL slate of officer candidates which we’ll present at the April meeting. We appreciate every candidates’ interest in helping to lead our organization forward. Voting place indicator, United States

Voting will take place at the May meeting (May 20th), by the members present—so it’s really important for you to attend. Tim Jollymore or I will manage the vote tallies. Nominations from the floor will be accepted, per the bylaws. Should the competition get rollicking, President Kristen promises some fun surprises. YOU get to decide who her veep is! Be sure to come cast your ballot.

Through the nominations process, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know my fellow members. Each person I contacted was friendly, and courteous. I highly recommend volunteering for the club.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that the club still needs ongoing assistance with Write Angles. What could be a more natural opportunity for writers than getting into the habit of contributing on a monthly basis, or better yet, assuming an editor’s post? 

Please email your nomination to me at, or contact me if you have questions. Thank you!

After merrily accepting the challenge from Kristen to manage nominations this spring, I’ve spoken and sent emails to many of you. I’m pleased to say that we now have a FULL slate of officer candidates which we’ll present at the April meeting.  We appreciate the candidates’ interest in helping to lead our organization forward. Voting place indicator, United States

Voting will take place at the May meeting, by the members present. So it’s really important for you to attend. Tim Jollymore or I will manage the vote tallies. Nominations from the floor will be accepted, per the bylaws. Kristen will add commentary, perhaps interviews and perhaps surprises. [She has promised a rollicking good time.] In any case, this will be the time to cast your ballot.

Through the nominations process, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know my fellow members. Each person I contacted was friendly, and courteous. Thank you!

P.S. Don’t forget that we still need ongoing contributors to Write Angles.  What could be a more natural opportunity for writers than getting into the habit of contributing on a monthly basis, or better yet, assuming an editor’s post?

—Christine Evelyn Volker
Breaking news! Christine Evelyn Volker just received the exciting news that she won the award for her mystery, Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City.

Congratulations, Christine! And thank you for helping the club!

Did you miss an issue of Write Angles? Read past issues here.


In Every Issue

Member News

Club News
State News




Members Only

Member Forum

Member Perks

Upcoming Events

Member News

Have you got news? Let us know! Send a short description with particulars, plus links and images if you have them, to! 

3 CWC Writers @OPL Tuesday 4/24 

Annual Montclair poetry reading & open mic at OPL

Sheryl Bize-Boutte will again be hosting the National Poetry Month reading and Open Mic at Montclair Library, featuring Cristina Deptula, and new member Amos White. Bring a poem up for the open mic!

Tuesday, April 24, 6-8pm at the charming Montclair Library.

Tim Jollymore

One of our busiest authors!

Tim has a busy presentation schedule featuring Lake Stories and Other Tales this spring!

April 21, 2018 @ Petaluma Copperfields - noon to two, Saturday

April 28 & 29, 2018 @ CWC Booth in BABF, all day Saturday and Sunday (volunteers are needed)

May 4, 2018 @ Brown Bag in the Fremont Library - noon to one, Friday

May 19, 2018 @ Sebastapol Copperfields - noon to two, Saturday.

Read about LAKE STORIES on Tim's website!

Kristen Caven Speaks Twice

Kicking off two new community speaker series.*

Kristen Caven will be presenting in two different lecture series this month, both at The Bellevue Club.

On April 18, just before Earth Day, she will be sharing a hopeful and creative multimedia meditation on change and sustainability, focusing on the worldwide research project called Project Drawdown that shows how climate change can be reversed with citizen action. She will also share a sneak peak at Invocation, a poetic collaboration-in-progress with pianist Daniel Finnamore around a tempestuous piece of classical music by Franz Liszt. Here's the Facebook Invite. 

On Friday, April 20, Kristen will be the featured member at a new "Members on the Mic" supper club event, presenting short stories about socialites, socialism, and anti-socialization.

RSVP to Kristen at if you would like to attend either event!

*what's the plural of series?

~ Look at us GO! ~ 

The little steps get us to big places.

"I just submitted my epic poem, “Mockingbird Fillibuster,” to the Wergle Flomp poetry contest. Please cross your fingers and eyes for me." —Kristen Caven

"I am exploring some publications that are oriented toward Seniors, in connection with some of my proactive activities for the benefit of the environment (Climate warming, etc.)." —Theresa Pipe

"I signed up for the NaNoWriCamp and AtoZBlog challenges during April to start draft an art book called Drawing Lines. My progress will be posted on" —Bobbie Kinkead

“I began a relationship with Dartfrog Books, and online and bookstore vetting service with nationwide aspirations.” —Tim Jollymore 

"You'll be happy to hear that my (unpublished) novel A Walk on the Beach has won an honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival. I am going to the event on the 14th and am going to be looking for a publisher.  Keep your fingers crossed, we'll see  what happens." —Dirk Wales

"I'm proudly announcing that I've finally finished rewriting my entire memoir manuscript, The Red Sandals, as of a few minutes ago! 145,000 words. I wrote it all by myself, in my second language English. It's about the first thirty years of my surviving life story: I was a born-unwanted peasant girl, raised by my illiterate peasant grandmother with a pair of three-inch bound feet, who once threw her own newborn baby daughter into the urine pot to drown because she wanted a boy ...  I competed my way to America --  the runaway number one winner as an elite high school English teacher ... taught over three decades in both China and America ..." —Jing Li

Did you know the CWC-BB website hosts a list of published members? Check under the "Our Members" tab on the website! 

If you have published books, short stories, articles, etc. and are a current member of CWC-BB, you are eligible for a listing. Especially if there are links to your work!

To be included, fill out this form.

ALSO send a headshot (100dpi width min.) to

— JoAnn Ainsworth, PM Page Webmaster


One of the best parts of a writers' club is trading books, meeting new minds, being in awe of your new friends. Make the commitment to read and review at least ONE book by a fellow member each year. Send a copy of your review to celebrate good work!

Home Base

One member describes our club as "a great home base for all kinds of writers." This is what's happening in our branch.


Past & Future

The Art of Giving Live Readings - 4/15

Amos White, haiku artist and literary producer, reveals the secrets of moving an audience

For poetry month we welcome Amos White to speak to the Berkeley CWC on joining and succeeding at giving public readings. Amos White will share with us tips on securing public readings, as well as how to make a big splash once you walk on stage.

Amos White is the author of The Sound of the Web. 

Say you're coming on Facebook!

The 4th Annual Bay Area Book Festival - 4/28 & 4/29

It's in Berkeley! Let's make our presence felt!

Tens of thousands of book lovers meet hundreds of acclaimed authors over an exciting weekend in downtown Berkeley, California, for one of the premier literary events in the nation! Come hear speakers, browse booths, and just soak up the literary vibes.

Get your tickets today!

Volunteers from our branch are needed for shifts at our club's booth. Contact Tim Jollymore to sign up for Saturday, Sunday, or Both! 

Art in the Park with CWC 5/12

An outdoor art & writing retreat in our favorite hillside hangout

Writers & artists, come for a day of quiet creativity in Joaquin Miller Park to celebrate Oakland’s Art Month. We'll meet informally at our “home base” and generate new work with inspiration from the “minister of the woods.”

Who: Sketch artists, painters, literary and performing artists living in or visiting Oakland.

What: A generative gathering in community ~ includes a short history of “The Hights,” Joaquin Miller’s arts retreat in the Oakland Hills, an optional Literary History Hike, and time to write and to hang out!

When: Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10:30am – 2:30pm. Come for all or part of it!

Where: Joaquin Miller Park ~ Park on Joaquin Miller Drive and meet at the Fire Circle. 

Bring paper and pens, your laptop, or easels and paints, and a sack lunch and drink. Sharing is wonderful!

Say you're coming on Facebook!

Bookstore Owners Lit it up!

Enlightening insights by Those Who Sell Books at our March Meeting.

Photo by Linda Brown

CWC-BB at the San Francisco Writers' Conference 

Thank you to Tim Jollymore for a great job representin'!

The Berkeley Branch took the lead putting the California Writers Club  front and center at this huge writers conference February 15-18 with the assistance of writers from Redwood, Tri-Valley, Mt. Diablo, and Fremont clubs. 

This was a chance to meet writers from all over California and from pockets throughout the United States. Also attending were representatives from publishing houses, literary agencies, other writers' organizations, and presenters such as freelance editors, writing/publishing coaches, and members of the literary community. 

New to the conference this year was a Exhibitors' Forum  at which exhibitors, including Tim Jollymore from the CWC-Berkeley Branch, presented half-hour talks such as “How to Write a Bullshit-free Memoir,” “Make it Memorable!” and “Leaving the 'Writer-Lonelies' Behind” (Listen to Jollymore's presentation). 

The conference was notable as the 15th year, the last at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and Michael Larsen's swan song as producer and director. Next year's conference should be notable for all the change in the air.

Spring Speakers

Watch for these exiting upcoming events!

Are there local writers you would like to hear speak to our club?

Do you know any amazing writers who might like to speak to our club?

Please send suggestions or make introductions to our Speaker Chair, Kymberlie Ingalls, via email at

~ Branch News ~ 

Welcome New Members!

Jeanne Rana & Cameron Tremblay-Adams!

Poetry Group Forming!

First meeting: April 12th, 7pm

Leena Prasad is hosting a new poetry support group in Berkeley. Meeting second Thursdays at Au Coquelet in Berkeley from 7-9pm, the group has yet to choose a name. Will it be...CWC Poetry Pals? Poetry Posse? CWC Poetential? Poem Zone? How about Poetic Angles? Contact Leena at to RSVP or get involved.

Leena is the author of Not Exactly Haiku

One More Opening in Memoir Group!

Last Fridays 1-3pm

We have a last Friday of the month MEMOIR group going on, rotating between Walnut Creek and Berkeley areas...and we have room for one more member! Each writer brings five double-spaced pages. Contact Wendy Sonenson at for more information.

Suggested reading: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

~ Tidbits ~ 

Submit to LitQuake

Be part of the action!

Since 1999, San Francisco's annual Litquake literary festival has drawn booklovers of all types to enjoy words and ideas, straight from the artists' mouths. This year's festival dates will be October 11-20, 2018.
Submissions are now open for San Francisco's annual LitQuake festival! You are more than welcome to apply to be included on a potential panel or to do a reading from your work sometime during this weeklong series of events throughout the city in October. Submissions are open until May and the festival organizers will let you know whether they have room for your presentation this year by August.
LitQuake focuses on authors who are connected in some way to the Bay Area, who have had something published within the past two years, and who can speak well in public. They ask for a cover letter, short bio, and a writing sample, which you may send them here:
—Thank you to Cristina Deptula!

Win Books by Members!

Donate to get your book SEEN! Every month!

Our member raffle has become quite the thing! Published authors, please donate something from your frontlist or backlist to our next meeting ("hurt" books are fine). Using raffle proceeds, the club will be the first one to purchase your next new book when it is published! Get raffle tickets for $1 each or 6 for $5. ALSO... now every meeting attendee receives a FREE raffle ticket! We also welcome donated bottles of wine and gift certificates.

One of these fine books could be YOURS! Buy more raffle tickets!

“How To CWC”

Here are some TIPS for getting the most out of the CWC:

Add the CWC Calendars to your digital calendar! Put each of these links in the “Insert from URL” or equivalent box in your program:

Members only events:

Public events:

You can show and hide these calendars on your device, and copy events to your own calendar as well.

This is also on the website at 

Our Facebook Page
Our Twitter Feed
We're not on Instagram just yet...

Affairs of the State

Here's what's happening at the division and state level, and/or in other branches.

Club Volunteers Needed for the Bay Area Book Festival 4/28 & 4/29

It's in Berkeley! Let's make our presence felt!

The NorCal Board has again provided a booth at which members will inform the public, including prospective members, of our mission: to support writers in California.

We need volunteers to work the booth on both Saturday and Sunday. This is a great chance to meet other writers and promote our club!

Volunteers are able to sell their own books in addition to promoting the CWC, which is the most important.  Volunteers who do choose to sell their own books will need a California Sales Tax License.  

Volunteers from the CWC are needed for shifts at our club's booth. Contact Tim Jollymore to sign up for Saturday, Sunday, or Both! 

The SPRING Statewide Bulletin has Arrived!

Stay in touch with our club wherever in California you are!

Our club now has over 2000 members! (2055, to be exact!) Are there any journalists out there who would like to report on our branch to the state newsletter, summarizing what happens here in Write Angles or at our meetings? Please contact a board member!

Open it now!

Nearby Meetings

Mt. Diablo meeting 4/14: Writing Humor

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Scene: 

Why and How to Use Humor in Serious Stories"

featuring Dean Gloster
Click here for info.

Marin Writers Conference 4/22

The Marin Branch is hosting Marin Writers Conference 2018 on April 22, featuring a keynote by (Berkeley CWC Branch member) Michael Larsen, a first-page editing workshop by editor Mary Rakow, a self-publishing panel with David Kudler and Ruth Schwartz from Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA), and pitching sessions with agents. We have Kimberly Cameron, Dorian Maffei, Peter Beren, Carlise Weber, and Jennifer March Suloway. 

Special conference pricing for CWC members!

  —submitted by (Berkeley Branch member) John Byrne Barry, author of Wasted: Murder in the Recycle Berkeley Yard and Bones in the Wash: Politics is Tough, Family is Tougher (winner of the 2015 Best Book Award from Bay Area Independent Publishers Association)    

State-level Elections!

Nominations are still open for state board representatives.

Bob Isbill is collecting nominations for Club service at the State level.

Offices to be elected are: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Any CWC member in good standing is eligible to run for Secretary or Treasurer. Eligibility to stand for President or Vice-President requires that the person be on Active status within their own branch, and that the nominee be a member of the Central Board for one year out of the last five years. Therefore, there are members who are not presently on the Central Board who wold be eligible to stand for those offices.

The person elected to any of the four offices except for the office of President would automatically become the home branch's Central Board Representative.

Please refer to the CWC Policies & Procedures, which can be found at for further information on job descriptions and election rules.

The Central Board is also considering an appointed position as Executive Director who would assist the President in gathering information from the branch representatives to complete timely reports. At this point in its formative stages, the position would not require travel away from home, but mostly communication over the Internet via emails and the collection of necessary reports.

If you would be interested in such a position, please contact Bob Isbill at or 760.221.6367.


The Writing Life

Submit articles about craft, business, opportunities, or writing advice to! 

Risk-Free Writing:

Dealing Yourself 5 Hearts for a Winning Hand

by Michael Larsen


"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." – Steve Jobs

"Pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life."

—Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up

At their best, reading, writing, agenting, editing, publishing, reviewing, and bookselling are labors of love. How can you tell if what you’re doing is a labor of love?

You aren’t aware of time.

It’s challenging.

It’s creative.

It gives you pleasure and satisfaction.

You feel you were born to do it.

You do it in the spirit of service.

It brings out the best in you.

It gives you peace of mind.

It has social value.

There’s beauty in it.

You return to it without prompting.

It enables you to grow.

It helps you fulfill your potential.

You don’t regret it.

You feel you’re creating a legacy.

The Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran wrote that “Work is love made visible.” May your life be a quest to do more of what you love. May it be filled with the spirit of love and community. May you find what you love to do so much you’d do it for free, and then create a way to earn what you need from it.

—Excerpt from a work-in-progress by Michael Larsen

Big News from Smashwords!

Authors and publishers can now create and distribute audiobooks.

Smashwords now has a partner to produce and audiobooks with nonexclusive, global distribution, and the openness for which they are known. Learn more about it here!

Goodreads adds Notes Share Feature

A cool new tool for authors and readers

One of the newest ways for authors to engage on Goodreads is by sharing background information on their own books via Kindle Notes and Highlights. This allows you to highlight sections of any Kindle book and add notes specific to the highlighted section. 

Authors have started using it as a tool to share additional content, behind-the-scenes, or Easter Eggs about their own books for their readers. Here are my notes.

Kindle Notes and Highlights is available to anyone (read more about them here), but contact us so we can add you to our Authors Beta (we’ll ask for feedback on how we can continue to improve). 

Read more about Goodreads Notes here!

Open Mic

This section honors Oakland's lively literary scene with clips of fresh writing by members. Send a short short (500 words max), an excerpt and a link, or a poem to! 


by Lucille Bellucci                       

     To those who object to the prevailing use (except by stern TV journalists and nitpicking academics) of the plural pronoun following a singular antecedent, I say everyone should talk the way they want.
     Given this freedom, let us reword some proverbs:  Anybody who stumbles twice over one stone, deserves to break their shins.  A fool should not have their own axe.  Every person is the offspring of their own works.  Who spits against the wind, spits in their own face. If thine enemy hungers, feed them; if they thirst, give them drink.  Happiness belongs to them who earns it. And, of course, inevitably: A fool and their money are soon parted.
     Do these feel like sand in your teeth?  Do they make you cry out "Zounds! What abominations are these?"
    The reason behind this warp in pronoun usage is, obviously, the desire of the speaker (fearful of gender discrimination) to avoid doing the diligence of saying “he or she,” therefore causing a disruption in the flow of the sentence.  Used more than once, in fact, it could distract the listener from absorbing the message and cause them to fall face forward into their rhubarb pie.
     I would propose a solution, though I have no slightest hope of its ever catching on amongst the populace.  Let lawyers and writers carry on as they always have.  Upon those others, let us try to foist the term (which is already being bandied about) Shehee pronounced as written or written as s/he, an elision as musical and graceful as, say, Sh'boom
      See?  It is possible to avoid sexist language and not cause tics to develop in the face of the listener. 
P.S. As for those who persist in saying “laying” as in “He was laying on the ground” I have a habit of interspersing (laying eggs) mentally while maintaining a neutral facial expression.   

Blondie Blues

by Stephanie Polanco

My journal hides

How I confide

My empty life.


Play shallow roles,

I’m dead inside.

Beauty hiding

Suicidal rotting.


My Playboy men

Play toys again.

Bubblegum love

Bursts by dawn.


Dream of pure life

Where I never lied

Too late to reconcile.


Close the book

Because I took

The broken mirror look.

The Last Word...

I wanted to write a haiku...
And thought I would try something new:
I broke my own word
Into something absurd!

See? Instead of three lines, I wrote two.


—Kristen Caven

There once was a Writer from Oaklin,
Who captured some words that were spoken.
But he mixed up his tense,
So the words made no sense,
And just dangled like sentences broken.


—Linda Zallen

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* This naming convention was adopted in 2017 to mark the years the club has been in operation, and the number of issues per business year. We don't know when Write Angles was christened! Please share this or any other club history with us, just hit "reply!"
Board of Directors 2017-2018

President Kristen Caven 
Vice President  Lynn Fraley 
Secretary  Teresa Boardman 
Treasurer  Henry Hitz 
Central Board Representative  Kymberlie Ingalls 
NorCal Delegate  Jane Glendinning 
Past President Karma Bennett
At Large  Francine Howard, Lucille Bellucci
New Member Liaison Linda Zallen 
New Member Orientation  Linda Brown
Nominating Committee  (appointed in January)
Newsletter Editor ~ THIS COULD BE YOU~
Web Master  Karma Bennett
Social Media Cristina Deptula
Advertising & Public Relations  Linda Brown 
Copyeditor  Anne Fox
MRMS System Administrator  Kristen Caven 
Monthly Speakers & CWC Authors  Kymberlie Ingalls
Workshops Gini Graham Scott
Fifth-Grade Story Contest  POSITION OPEN 
Book Raffle  Lucille Bellucci
Craft Support Group Tim Jollymore/Henry Hitz
Marketing Support Group Kymberlie Ingalls 
Google Group Moderator Kristen Caven
Historian Therese Pipe

Thank you to Cowgirl Creative for our Newsletter design!!
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