California Writers Club San Francisco Peninsula Branch
The Monthly Missive
December 2020
This Too Shall Pass
Dear CWC Members,

The mind grows numb with numbers, numb and number. Those of us with means and resources stay home. We abide by what began as recommendations and morphed into mandates. We bubble and buffer and distance. Some of us weep into our solitary cups.

What, I asked myself as I sat to write this message, could I possibly say to you in this darkest of dark seasons?

As I take a break from my third Zoom meeting of the day, I can remind you that we still have the option to return to the wells that sustain us—family, friends, community. We can still gather.

We are meeting for our virtual holiday party on Saturday, December 5 (register here). No, it won’t be the same. And I know how hard that is. I remember last year’s holiday party at the Yacht Club. The sparkle of sun on the water, the burble of conversation, the buffet tables overflowing with food, the games and stories we shared.

But maybe writers, of all people, are better equipped than most to adapt to this new reality. After all, we are the ones who can create an atmosphere in a sentence, paint a character in a paragraph, conjure a world in a chapter. Surely we can see beyond the two dimensional images on our computer screens to close the physical gap between us and those we care about. Surely we can listen (because writers must be good listeners) and offer empathy (because writers must be empathetic).

I hope you’ll join our virtual holiday gathering. We’ll aim to create a warm and welcoming space where we can, for a couple of hours at least, seek refuge in each other’s company. And yes, we'll even aim for some lighthearted fun.

Let’s celebrate our collective creative accomplishments during this tremendously difficult year. Let’s remind ourselves that we are a remarkably resilient species and that, in the words of my grandmother, “This too shall pass.”

Thank you all for sticking with us and I look forward to reconvening (still remotely) for our regular meetings and activities in January.

Holiday Party
Writer Celebration
Were you published during 2020? Or did you participate in NaNoWriMo? If you would like to read during the holiday party, please email Megan McDonald no later than Thursday evening.

Saturday, December 5
1 - 3 PM
(via Zoom)

Join us for a fun couple of hours of community and to celebrate writers who have published during 2020!

1:00 - 1:20 Breakout Rooms Mingling, with Literary Mad Libs

1:20 - 1:30 Welcoming Remarks and Word Cloud of 2020 Branch Accomplishments

1:30 - 1:40 Literary Mad Lib Results

1:40 - 2:40 2020 Published Authors (Any Format!) Read From Their Works

2:40 - 2:50 NaNoWriMo Winners Read Their Opening Lines

2:50 - 3:00 Wrap Up and Live Writing Word of the Year
Upcoming Events
SF Peninsula Branch Events
09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

18:30 – 20:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

13:00 – 15:00 Virtual Holiday Party and Writer Celebration via Zoom

09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

18:30 – 20:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

18:30 – 20:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom
19:00 – 20:30 Open Mic via Zoom

09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom

09:30 – 11:30 Shut Up & Write via Zoom
For full event details, check out the CWC SF Peninsula Event Calendar on
the right side of the CWC Peninsula website.
Outside Events
We thought you might be interested in these, too!
10:00 – 12:00 CWC High Desert Branch Monthly Meeting

18:00 – 21:00 CWC South Bay Writers

12:00 – 16:00 CWC Berkeley Monthly Meeting

10:10 – 12:00 CWC Inland Empire Branch Monthly Meeting
14:00 – 16:00 CWC Fremont Area Writers Monthly Meeting

10:00 – 12:00 CWC High Desert Branch Monthly Meeting
For full event details, check out the Outside Events Calendar on
the right side of the CWC Peninsula website (just below the CWC SF Peninsula Event Calendar).
Member News
Mickie Winkler published Politics, Police, and Other Earthling Antics, a collection of 54 short satiric illustrated anecdotes -, note p.2

Vanessa MacLaren-Wray read and interviewed on Nov 27 on Apple's Authors Read Podcast with Ryan Bender

Richard E. McCallum had two short stories ("The Salvation of Angelo Raguel" and "Real Women Hunt Moose") published in the High Desert CWC branch's 2020 pandemic anthology, Survivial: Tales of the Pandemic

Carolyn L. Curtis had a memoir episode (Cracker Jack rings unearthed in a garden lead two shy persons to tie the knot) published in GreenPrints (The Weeder’s Digest)

Mary Miller Chiao published Death on the Funeral Yacht: A 1950s San Francisco Mystery. Find out more at
Do you have writing news you want to share? Reached a goal? Got your author website up? Have success you want to shout about? Tell us about it!

Send an email to with "Member News" as the Subject line, and the following information in the body of the email:

Description - No more than 15 words. Be as creative as your like - prose, verse, rhyme, stream of consciousness, you name it!
Who - your name (or pen name, if you're using one)
What - the exact nature of your success (i.e., short story, novel, website, agent, event, etc)
Where - links are great, or a physical location if it's relevant - or both!
Resources for Members
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: Vibha Akkaraju
Treasurer: Alisha Willis

Additional Voting Positions
Membership Chair: Tim Flood
Marketing & Outreach Chair: Linda Glave
Fault Zone Editor-in-Chief: Laurel Anne Hill 
Immediate Past President: Lisa Meltzer Penn 
State Board Rep: Carole Bumpus
NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus     
Committee/Individual Contributor Positions
Reading Series Coordinator: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Membership: Margaret Nalbach
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Newsletter Editor: Linda Glave
Webpage & Newsletter Design: Corinna Sherman
Hospitality: Megan McDonald
Think Tank/Writers Helping Writers: Geri Spieler 
Retreat Coordinator: Korie Pelka
Volunteer Coordinator: OPEN
Parliamentarian: OPEN
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Megan McDonald
SMCF Literary Stage Manager: Laurel Anne Hill
SMCF Literary Stage Exhibits Coordinator: Sue Barizon 
Critique Group Contact: Jean Morrow

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