August 2022
At the July general meeting, Judy Dang showed us ways we can involve our community as we launch a book, including ways to crowdfund the book project.
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, Aug., 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Board meetings are held 6-7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted, and are open to any member in good standing. If you would like to attend a board meeting, contact: to receive an invitation.

  • President's Welcome Video & Message
  • Upcoming Events
  • Membership Renewal
  • Open Volunteer Positions
  • August General Meeting
  • Homegrown Poetry
  • Feature: When did you decide to be a writer?
  • Writing Exercise
  • Member Book Releases
  • Redwood Writers & CWC Events
  • Member News & Events
  • Editor's Note

Mark your calendars for this month's upcoming events! Keep reading the newsletter for more details about each event.

Aug. 9: Board Meeting

Aug. 20: Author Support (in person!)

Aug. 20: General Meeting with Kerry Schafer

Aug. 27: RW Salon
NOTE: If you are reading this newsletter through your email, it may be clipped at the end. If you don't reach the editor's note, be sure to click "view entire message" at the bottom of this newsletter.
Members of the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club must renew their membership each year if they want to be remained as a current member and take advantage of the club’s benefits.
RENEWAL. Membership renewal in Redwood Writers (CWC) begins July 1 and continues through September 30, 2022.  The fee to renew for the year is $45.  

EXPRESS PASS. At the time you renew you can also purchase an Express pass for all club meetings (July 2022-June 2023). Purchasing an Express pass is a one-time fee of $45 which pays for all 12 meetings (get three free!) and the meeting recordings. Express members do not pay the $5 door fee each month to attend a meeting.

On Oct 1 if you have not renewed, you will have to pay the $65 new member fee to be reinstated.

NEW MEMBERS. Applications for new membership also began July 1. The fee for a new member joining the club is $65.

DONATIONS. When you renew your membership, consider an additional donation to the club. Hosting a monthly meeting with professional speakers, publishing two anthologies (prose and poetry), offering three cash prize contests, going to the fair and offering three workshops or a conference each year isn’t cheap. Your renewal provides the branch with $25 income per member to cover these expenses. Your donations help the club plan for new opportunities, speakers, and events.
Would you like to be more involved with Redwood Writers? A few volunteer positions have recently opened up and we'd love to have you as part of our team! If you're curious about any of these, email Judy Baker at

  • Website Editor
  • Speaker Coordinator
  • Contest Chair
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Public Relations

Is there something you'd like to do for the club that isn't listed here? Let us know and we'll find a place for you!
Freud, Not Frankenstein
Creating Lifelike Characters with a Little Help from Psychology

Presented by Kerry Schafer
Nobody wants to read books full of flat, lifeless, or inconsistent characters—and writing them isn’t much fun either. In this class we’ll dive into how to bring your characters to life naturally and organically, rather than artificially stitching them together and trying to force them to do what you want. We’ll talk about defining moments, personality typing, and personal experience as tools to build characters from the inside out.

Kerry Schafer (who also writes as Kerry Anne King) was the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year in 2020. She is a best-selling hybrid author with twelve novels in print. She is also a retired RN, a licensed mental health counselor, and a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. In addition to writing, Kerry provides writer coaching, online classes, and virtual assistant services through her Author Genie business. She is active in the podcasting community and is the host of Taming the TBR. When not absorbed in creative pursuits, you’ll find her hanging out with her real life Viking on their little piece of heaven just outside Colville, Washington. Find Kerry at and her books at
Saturday, Aug. 20
1 - 2:30 p.m.
at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa
and also online via Zoom

$5 Members / $10 Guests

Masks are required by all, regardless of vaccination status to attend this meeting, per CDC.

August's General Meeting Agenda
  • Finley Center opens at noon for networking with other authors
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Kerry Schafer, "Freud, Not Frankenstein"
  • Board and Chair announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn at 2:30 p.m.

Please submit poems to: Submission guidelines: single-spaced, Times or Times New Roman, 12 point font, no all caps, please. Poems are reviewed by a team of poets. We will acknowledge receipt of your work, and let you know if your poem is going to be included, or if we are requesting minor edits prior to inclusion.
Covid Blues
by Richard N. Boyd

What is it, Doc, I just can’t shake these blues,
That have infected me from scalp to shoes.
I’ve got no energy to kick this funk.
I’ve been reduced to just one shriveled hunk.

Old man, your problem seems to be quite normal,
Although I could invent a name more formal.
Your symptoms bother many who I see.
Who also seem to have your malady.

Turns out the ail that is ubiquitous,
Has now affected nearly all of us,
If not with all the medical complaints,
At least with some societal constraints.

There’s not a lot that I can say to you,
Except be vaccinated through and through.
Your funk, I do believe, will go away
As soon as Dr. Fauci says ‘okay.’

And you do have my reassurance
That your main fear won’t cause a flu occurrence.
I’ve checked you through and through, my aging buddy
So your concern won’t warrant further study.

And do be sure, before your exit’s made
We’ve scanned insurance cards so I’ll get paid.
Gosh thanks. I’ll leave with high rapidity,
Assured gout’s not a co-morbidity.


Richard Boyd is a retired physics professor, having dealt with subjects in nuclear physics, astrophysics, and astrobiology. After settling in Sonoma County, he turned to writing novels and poetry. The novels, often sci-fi, frequently deal with scientific issues, wrapped in intriguing stories, often with aliens and romance. The poetry deals with a variety of subjects, but is generally written for his own amusement.
When Did You Know You Wanted to be a Writer?
Last month in I asked members to share about the moment they knew they wanted to be a writer. Here is what some had to say:
Natasha Yim:

When I was 11 years old and my 7th grade teacher gave us a creative writing assignment. We had to create our own island and make up towns, cities, mountain ranges, rivers etc. and people it with characters then write a story about it. I was immediately hooked into making up stories and using my imagination. This led to writing poetry and short stories as a teen. I've been writing ever since.
Charlotte Tressler:

I can't remember ever NOT wanting to be a writer. I started writing stories as soon as I was able to wield a crayon. It is as ingrained in my genetic makeup as my eye and hair color. 
Joan Goodreau:

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eight and wrote a poem about my pet goldfish with my grandmother, who taught me I could just make up rhymes if I couldn't think of any. She called it "poetic license." I finally got to write my memoir about my son on the autistic spectrum when I retired and had the time.
Jeanne Jusaitis:

When I was 12 years old, my teacher suggested that I submit a Valentine's story to the Aunt Elsie section of the Oakland Tribune. I did, and not only was it accepted, but it was the featured Valentine's Day story printed on pink paper. I was hooked.
Tommie Whitener:

I knew I was going to be a writer on a torridly hot day in Texas more than 60 years ago. I was completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base when my drill sergeant wiped sweat from his brow to announce that in spite of my recruiter’s promise that I would be trained as a military intelligence analyst, the powers that be had decided to send me to Bunker Hill Air Force Base in Indiana, where I would work as a reporter on the base newspaper. In one of those pearls of military logic, I would begin my duties as a cub reporter even before a scheduled stint at journalism school to learn exactly what it was that reporters did. However, I eventually did become a journalist and after two seemingly interminable years in Indiana, I was transferred to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, where I became the editor-in-chief of its base newspaper, the Tropic Topics. Of course, the writing I did for the Air Force was much different from the writing I did during my almost fifty years as a lawyer, just as that legal writing bears no semblance to the style of the novels and short stories I write today. Nevertheless, I like to think that each of them, in its own particular way, has contributed to making me a rounder, better and more readable writer. 
Want to participate in next month's callout? Keep an eye on!
Each month, the Redwood Writer will feature an exercise to help inspire your writing. This can be an exercise you do on your own, or you can send your 300-word (or less) piece to for possible publication in the newsletter.
Avoiding Adverbs & Adjectives

What is an adjective and adverb? Both are description words. Adjectives are words like colorful, clumsy, wide, scary… and are used to describe a noun. Averbs are words that describe an action and often end in -ly. Examples are sleepily, peacefully, angrily, vainly…

Adjectives and adverbs are also words that, when used too often, will weaken your writing.

Stephen King once said the following: 

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique.

If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions.

By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.” 

You could say adverbs and adjectives are lazy writing. Instead of showing the reader, writers who use a lot of adverbs and adjectives are guilty of telling by taking a shortcut in description. 

Writing Exercise

Write a scene or short story using no adverbs or adjectives. Make it as descriptive as possible! If you like what your wrote, send it to newsletter editor Crissi Langwell at for possible inclusion in next month’s newsletter. 

Final note: There is nothing wrong with using adverbs or adjectives effectively (see what I did there?). In fact, one of my favorite examples of an effective adverb was in the James Bond novel, Dr. No, by Ian Fleming: “The centipede was whipping from side to side in its agony – five inches of grey-brown, shiny death. Bond hit it again. It burst open, yellowly." So, go ahead and use adjectives in your own writing, but use them as sparingly (again!) as possible. 
Ten Seconds of Boldness
by Shawn Langwell

One of the Most Practical and Effective Personal Growth Books in Years

Ten Seconds of Boldness outlines a simple yet transformational five-step method to move you from where you are to where you want to be in a way that is purposeful, meaningful, and lasting. Through personal experience and insights from influential leaders across the nation, Shawn Langwell will help you uncover the courage you need to live the life of your dreams.

Shawn says he wrote this book because he didn’t want to die with any regrets.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Shawn is the past president of Toast of Petaluma and immediate past president of Redwood Writers. He is the author of the memoir Beyond Recovery: A Journey of Grace, Love, and Forgiveness, and several other published stories and articles

Ten Seconds of Boldness: The Essential Guide to Solving Problems and Building Self-Confidence is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and bookstores everywhere. 
You can find him at
Redwood Writers will be at the Sonoma County Fair!
Redwood Writers members with published books will be at this year's Sonoma County Fair! Look for us in the Garrett Building, 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, near the Brookwood entrance and attached to the Kraft Building. Aug. 4, 5, 6 and Aug. 12, 13, 14.

If you haven't signed up yet, you have until today, Aug. 1. Click the link below to add your name to the list!

Any questions? Contact Jeane Slone at
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
~William Shakespeare
Perhaps for our August Writers Salon you’ll take the challenge proffered by the quote above and write a sonnet! Or feel free to come and read whatever poems or prose (fiction, memoir, whatever) you may have in the hopper. We are inviting 15 RW members to read 5 minutes from your works in progress or published pieces you would like to share (first 15 to register read) in a comfortable and welcoming environment. We welcome listeners as well.
Salon is a good place to practice your reading skills, try out the sound of a new piece, or just enjoy the company and talents of your fellow writers. Come join us for this writers’ potluck of readings, snacks, and drinks. 

Directions will be sent to participants a few days before the Salon. 
Sonoma County Writers Conference
Save the Date: October 8, 2022

Mark your calendars for the next Sonoma County Writers Conference! More details about speakers and sessions coming soon.

If you'd like to be a part of our team of volunteers for this exciting event, please contact Pamela Heck at
August 20, noon - 12:45 p.m.
Held at the Finley Center before the general meeting

Please join us in person to chat about writing, listen to the challenges of others, and share resources. All levels of writers can benefit from participating. Published authors enjoy this group as well as beginning writers. This is a forum where you pick the topics and questions to be discussed. Discuss the challenges of writing fiction, memoir, or nonfiction. Find new ways to handle rejection, writers' block, or to start a critique group.
The Author Support Group's purposes are to help those who want assistance getting unstuck, want new resources, or need guidance in choosing options. 

Registration not required.

Hosted by Jeane Jusaitis and Deborah Taylor-French
The following are announcements from a few of our fellow CWC branches. To see all branch events, visit the CWC events calendar at
Submit your writing news to CWC's The Bulletin!

The deadline to submit to the next issue of The Bulletin is September 1. All submissions should be sent to

For new book releases, short stories, poems or articles, or news of literary honors. 50 words or less. Put “Member Spotlight” in the Subject line. Send a copy of your book cover in JPEG format as an email attachment.

Articles on writing craft, marketing and publication: Send a proposal by email. Contributors will receive a short blurb to promote their books and/or services.

Photographs: JPEG format, sent separately (not embedded in a Word doc or PDF). Please provide complete details in the caption, including names of people pictured.

To see the current issue of The Bulletin or more information on submissions, visit

Note: This is separate from the Redwood Writer newsletter. To submit your news or articles to this newsletter, please email
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance, or other writing-related news, send a 100-word or less announcement to Photos encouraged. Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.

Fran Claggett-Holland and Les Bernstein, with their band of merry poets, under the auspices of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, invite you and other poetry lovers to celebrate our poetry together. Fran will be launching her new book Under the Wings of the Crow and is celebrating by expanding the circle to honor and embrace our burgeoning community of poets.

WHEN: Sunday, August 28, 1-4 p.m.
WHERE: At the lovely home of Linda Loveland Reid. Address and parking instructions to be sent upon rsvp.
WHY: We will gather to share our poems, indulge in refreshments, drink wine or lemonade, all while enjoying poetry and music by our own performers—YOU!

RSVP by August 24 to Les Bernstein
Yes, I will be there (please indicate name, total number if including guests)
New Bookish Shop by. BK Sweeting

B. K. Sweeting Shop is live online! For bookish items such as books by the author, B.K. Sweeting, bookish totes, and luxury scented candles. The first candle of the Story Setting Series has been released, it's Bonnes Bay, a delightfully refreshing coastal scent. Check out the launch of her woman-owned, small business here - And follow updates on products on Sweeting's Instagram - @bksweeting
Tween Writing Workshop with Natasha Yim

I'm teaching a series of FREE virtual writing workshops for Tweens (ages 9 - 12) for the Sonoma County Library:

Sonoma County Literary Update

Have you heard about the Sonoma County Literary Update? Published by Jo-Anne Rosen and Terry Ehret, this free online publication is sent out once a month as a service to writers and those interested in writing-related news and events. For submission guidelines, visit
Marie Judson keeps an ongoing list of RW members interested in joining or creating a writing group. If you would like to find a critique group, or add more members to an existing group, send your genre(s) and contact information to You'll receive an email with the subject line, "Writers seeking writing groups." You can then either reply to all or select specific writers to contact. This has been an ongoing free service for Redwood Writers members for nine years.
Deborah Halverson
You've Written a Book, What's Next?
September 17, 2022
at the Finley Center and on Zoom
Dear friends,

Shawn and I spent this past weekend taking care of a few household tasks we’ve been putting off for months. We cleaned out a portion of the garage, put together bookshelves, and organized my writing area (and found my desk!). And presto, it also cleared my mind space of all the clutter that was getting in the way of my writing. 

I have discovered time and time again that my environment affects my mood for writing. If I’m surrounded by disarray, it’s hard to get in the zone. But when my writing space is tidy and I’m surrounded by things that make me happy, creativity is so much easier to come by. 

If you’re struggling to stay in the writing mode, consider the space you’re working in. Tidy it up. Add a few plants. Light a candle or incense. Play some non-distracting music. Breathe. Then start writing. 


We have a few exciting things to look forward to this month. Coming up the first and second weekend in August, Redwood Writers will be at the Sonoma County Fair! Be sure to stop by and say hello. The speaker at this month’s general meeting is Kerry Schafer who will speak on how psychology can help round out your characters. And after a few missed years, we’re finally. gearing up for the next Sonoma County Writers Conference! Be sure to keep Oct. 8 free and clear. 

Before I close, I want to add a note about volunteering with Redwood Writers. When I first joined Redwood Writers ten years ago, I was shy and unsure about what I could add to this club. When I finally took the plunge and signed up to volunteer, I realized I should have done it so much sooner. It was a great way to get to know the members of our club, and I soon realized how much I loved being a part of what makes this club function. 

If Redwood Writers is an important part of your life, consider being a part of the team that keeps it going. We have several positions that need to be filled at the top of this newsletter. And if those don’t suit you, we’ll find a place for you. Contact Judy, me, or any of our board members – we’d love to have you on board!

Happy reading, and happy writing!

Crissi Langwell
Newsletter Editor
Want to be a part of the newsletter? Here's the cheat sheet to the different sections of this newsletter and the word count requirements:

  • Writers Helping Writers - 300 words or less
  • Other Articles or In Memoriam - 300 words or less
  • Members News - 100 words or less
  • What We're Reading - 100 words or less
  • Homegrown Poetry - short poems work best

Please do your best to adhere to word count limits! Send your articles and news by the 15th of the month to the newsletter editor at Send your poems by the 10th of the month to the poetry editor at Submission guidelines may apply, read section for requirements.
If you're interested in advertising in the Redwood Writer newsletter, contact the editor at for submission requirements and guidelines.
An easy way to support Redwood Writers...
EDITOR: Crissi Langwell
Our mailing address is:
The Redwood Writer
P.O. Box 4687
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Redwood Writers is a branch of the California Writers Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.