San Francisco Peninsula Writer
Writers Helping Writers Since 1909
December 2019 | California Writers Club
President's Message
"You can't edit a blank page" 
― Nora Roberts

As of November 30, 2019, at 6:45 p.m., I am officially empty of words. That's because I participated for the first time in NaNoWriMo. Since November 1, I put 55,252 new words to the page.

Before you get overly excited, please know that these are far from finished, polished words. But, as Nora Roberts points out, having words on the page is a prerequisite to moving on to the next stage.

I learned a lot from the process, including:

  • I'm more competitive than I thought, and it works to my advantage. Knowing that my daily word count was public among my NaNoWriMo writing buddies gave me a sense of accountability and the desire to keep my 30-day streak going.
  • Sometimes the best writing comes when you feel like crap and think you have nothing to say.
  • Knowing I wasn't doing this alone kept me going. Talking to my fellow NaNoWriMo participants over email and in person made me feel supported.
  • I may do it again!

While I ponder my next step with my NaNoWriMo-generated material, I'll be spending time celebrating the holiday season with fellow writers and CWC members. I hope to see you at Barnes & Noble Author Day on December 7, Writers Helping Writers in San Mateo on December 11, and our Holiday Party on December 15 .

PLEASE NOTE : We have NO REGULAR MEETING in December and NO OPEN MIC. Both will resume in January.

Wishing you all a happy and word-filled holiday season.

Author Day at Barnes & Noble
These CWC authors will read and sign their books at Author Day. Come support your fellow writers, hear some good stories, and shop for holiday (book) gifts.

Saturday, December 7
9 AM - 9 PM
Barnes & Noble , Hillsdale Shopping Center
11 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo

9 AM - Noon
Audrey Kalman
Chris Knoblaugh

Noon -  3 PM
Laurel Anne Hill
Marjorie Johnson
Penny Cole

3 PM -  6 PM
Luanne Oleas
Nanci Lee Woody
Thomas Crockett

6 PM -  9 PM
Carole Bumpus
Jeannine Gerkman
Holiday Party!
California Writers Club SF Peninsula Holiday Party
Join your fellow CWC SF Peninsula Branch members for some Writerly Fun & Holiday Cheer!
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City

This party replaces the December Monthly Meeting, and is FREE to members plus 1 guest. (Note: If you're not yet a member, it's never to late to join !). If you are a member, you should have received an invitation via Evite. If not, please let Megan McDonald know .

We will provide a taco bar that includes carnivorous and vegetarian options, plus all the fixings, as well as non-alcoholic punch, coffee, and tea.

Adult beverages will be available at the cash bar.

OPTIONAL : If you would like to participate in a Cookie Exchange, please bring 2 dozen cookies—1 dozen for eating and 1 dozen for swapping—and we'll divvy them up at the end of the party.

Dress code is casual, but feel free to get festive!


2:00-2:30: Arrivals, Eating, Socializing, Games
2:30-2:45: President's Remarks & Announcements
2:45-3:00: More Eating & Socializing
3:00-4:00: FAULT ZONE Launch—Readings & Sales!!!
4:00-4:30: Cookie Exchange, Departures

If you have any questions, you may contact Hospitality Chair Megan McDonald by email or phone: -OR- 650-274-9206.
Events in the New Year
Saturday, January 18: Monthly Meeting
Happenstance as Muse
January 18, 2020
10 AM (club meeting & networking), 11 AM (speaker)
441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City

Come hear how memoir author Martha Clark Scala found the word happenstance, and how it continues to find her. Discover how this ten-dollar word might stir your creative juices or deepen your wisdom.

This presentation will: 

  • Offer tools and techniques to utilize happenstance in your writing endeavors
  • Demonstrate how ordinary activities can boost our creativity
  • Provide a fun learning experience that will enliven you

Optional: Bring a personal photograph or a picture from a magazine with you.

Think Tank after the meeting will feature Tim Flood demonstrating the power of Scrivener.
Thursday, February 20: Literary Reading and Salon
November 2019 Literary Salon - Neetal Parekh and Jordan Sher
Our first literary reading and salon was a success! 10 fabulous readers, 1 fantastic musician, a cozy cafe and… magic! 

Our next salon will be Thursday, February 20th. 

Want to be a reader the next time? Grab a partner at the holiday party or find another writer friend somewhere else in your life and submit your work together. The caveat—you need to be different generations (at least 10 years apart in age). For more information, stay tuned for announcements as we get closer, or check back at Bay Area Generations website or the CWC website or Facebook page .
November 2019 Literary Salon Readers
Readers from our first Literary Reading and Salon on November 21.
Recurring Events
As the name implies, we sit quietly and write. If you'd like to participate, join  Shut Up & Write Silicon Valley on MeetUp  to RSVP (look for Shut Up & Write/CWC SF Peninsula).

Every Tuesday in Foster City
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Every Thursday in San Mateo
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
No meeting Dec. 26 or Jan. 2. We will resume Jan. 9.

A monthly opportunity to read your work and hear the work of others. All are invited for this free event.
Co-Hosted by Korie Pelka

4th Tuesday of every month
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
No Open Mic in December.
Join your writing peers as they lead free workshops on the techniques of writing.

2nd Wednesday of every month
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

3rd Wednesday of every month
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
No meeting in December
for San Carlos location.

See more events listed on our calendar.
Member News
Sheena Arora's two short stories are published in URSA Minor: Vol. 3 and one story in 166 Palms - A Literary Anthology.
Steve Latner has published a crime thriller, I Love You To Death. This book is a sequel to This Taxi For Hire , published earlier this year. Both books take place on the Peninsula 40 years ago and include many local landmarks, restaurants, bars, and street names familiar to many residents of this area. The books are non-fiction but inspired by some experiences the author had while driving a taxi decades ago. The reviews have been very good. The books are available on Amazon.

There will be a book signing for both books on
Saturday December 14th from 3:30-5:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Senior Center
1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City
Ida J. Lewenstein is proud to announce the publication of two more of her children’s books -- The Weary Little Clock and Jump Up . The latest additions join Poor Old Goat and A Sad Little Dog in her portfolio.
Congratulations to our members!
Get Involved!
Marketing Team

Calendar Master - Keep our master Google calendar up to date with club and other activities
Event Promoter - Posting our events to Facebook and/or MeetUp (familiarity with FB helpful)
Marketing Strategy - Help oversee our marketing efforts.

Fault Zone Book Launch Team
We need help to get our wonderful new anthology and the whole Fault Zone series to a broader audience with readings and book sales.

Contact Lisa Meltzer Penn by email to find out more or just chat about how you can get involved. What’s your creative vision for CWC?

Presenters for Writers Helping Writers
Our monthly series (currently the second Wednesday of the month at the San Mateo Library and the third Wednesday at the San Carlos Library) are casual sessions in which a club member leads a discussion about some element of craft, such as writing, plotting, research style, or anything else that goes into the process. You don't have to be an expert on a topic, just interested and comfortable leading a discussion. Contact Geri Spieler to get involved. We especially need volunteers for the month of January.
Resources for Members
Critique Groups
Looking for critique group partners? We can help! Please contact Lisa Meltzer Penn .
Resources for Writers
Check out the Writers' Corner  page on the SF Peninsula CWC website, where you'll find a list of resources to help you write and get published. Listings include publications and small presses founded or edited by branch members, literary magazines where members' work is published, local writing conferences and contests, and local writing organizations. 

There is also a list of branch members who provide writing-related services for a fee: editing, coaching, and more. 

Board Members
Executive Board
President: Audrey Kalman
Vice President: Geri Spieler
Secretary: Korie Pelka
Treasurer: Jean Morrow

Additional Voting Positions
Membership Chair: Mark Dooley
Marketing & Outreach Chair: OPEN
Newsletter Editor: OPEN 
Fault Zone Editor-in-Chief: Laurel Anne Hill 
Immediate Past President: Lisa Meltzer Penn 
State Board Rep: Geri Spieler
NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus     
Committee/Individual Contributor Positions
Volunteer Coordinator: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Memberships: Tim Flood, Margaret Nalbach
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Hospitality: Megan McDonald
Think Tank: Geri Spieler 
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Megan McDonald
SMCF Literary Stage Manager: Laurel Ann Hill
SMCF Literary Stage Exhibits Coordinator: Sue Barizon 
Critique Group Contact: Lisa Meltzer Penn
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