San Francisco Peninsula Writer
Writers Helping Writers Since 1909
July 2020 | California Writers Club
President's Message
 Sometimes Focus is Overrated
Dear CWC Members,

In June, we wrapped up the final CWC meeting of the year (our year runs July 1-June 30) with a Think Tank panel about staying focused in the time of pandemic. (The topic was popular. If you missed the Think Tank, you can catch the panel again on July 14 at 4 p.m., virtually. See below for more.)

I came to the panel prepared to share productivity tips and things that have helped keep me writing through this strange, strange time. But what stuck with me most was the advice from some of our other panelists who encouraged writers to slow down. Maybe even to stop writing altogether.

What? Why would writers stop writing?

We might do it to catch our breaths. We might do it because we are living a story whose ending we can't know. We might do it because other parts of our lives (our families, friends, pets, jobs) need our attention right now.

And that's okay.

"Not writing" doesn't have to mean you close your laptop or put away your pen. Instead, it can mean shifting your focus and goals from producing to witnessing. Someday, we will be through this time. Instead of using writing to figure it all out, we can use our talents as writers to document what life is like. We can be kind to ourselves and remove the word-count/hour-count goals from our daily writing sessions. We can write a sentence or two about what happened yesterday or about how we are feeling. We can ask questions. Later, on the other side, what we write now will be there as a reminder, rich source material for reflection.

Or we can simply be quiet and listen.


P.S. Don't forget that our membership renewal has begun (more below).
P.P.S. And if you'd like some (virtual) summer fun with fellow CWC members, see below for more on our July picnic!
Our Virtual July Picnic will be held via Zoom.
Watch your email for an Evite invitation.
Attend the CWC SF Peninsula (Virtual) Annual Picnic!
We generally don't hold an official meeting in July, in favor of gathering at a local park for a potluck. Since the pandemic is preventing us from keeping that tradition going in person, let's do a Virtual Picnic!

We'll host a series of genre breakout rooms, a summer-themed writing prompt, and time for members to share their writing with the group.

Saturday, July 18
1:00 to 3:30 PM via Zoom

Plan to have a snack or beverage with us in the comfort of your own home. And bring a writerly toast, favorite literary quotation, or easy recipe to share.

More details are forthcoming via an Evite to be sent within the next week, so be sure we have your up-to-date email address!
Membership Renewal Begins Now
It’s time to renew your membership in the CWC SF Peninsula branch!
Renew early to be eligible for a Kepler's gift card!
Renewal period is from July 1 through September 30.

CWC SF Peninsula is part of the oldest writing club in California, and we love having you as a part of it. We hope you avail yourself of all we have to offer in supporting your writing and publishing efforts. Your continued membership is essential to the vibrancy and energy that makes our branch work so well.

Given the chaotic nature of this year, we will not be offering an option to pay for meetings in advance. Beginning with the August meeting, we will charge five dollars for online meetings. If the situation improves and we can meet in person again, we will revert to the normal ten dollars per meeting for members and fifteen dollars for non-members.

Your cost to renew is $45.00. (By statewide club policy, any payments received after September 30, 2020, must include an additional $20 reactivation fee. Your renewal for 2020-2021 covers the period July 01, 2020, through June 30, 2021.)

You can pay via one of the following:

  1. Pay online using PayPal ($45).
  2. Mail your check to CWC SF Peninsula, P.O. Box 853, Belmont, CA 94002.

Renewal payments will be accepted through September 30, 2020, but we would like to have everyone renewed sooner.

To encourage early renewal, we are offering a special gift. If you renew before July 19th, you will be eligible for a drawing to win one of three online gift cards from Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. Kepler's is offering delivery so you will not have to travel to receive your books. Don't wait, renew now!

Best regards,

Margaret Nalbach and Mark Dooley

Your Membership Team
Special Event with Menlo Park Library
Many writers have been struggling in these times to complete a sentence, much less write an essay or a poem, as they juggle the demands of family, Zoom meetings, work and child care. Or they face the challenge of too much unstructured time.

Sound familiar? Learn how a panel of Bay Area writers has been coping, and maybe find some strategies that you can apply to your creative practice, whether that's writing or another pursuit, or just to life in general.
Tuesday, July 14
4:00 to 5:00 PM via Zoom
About the Panel
Moderator Carole Bumpus 
Having retired as a family therapist, Carole began a second career as a culinary/travel writer, when she stumbled upon amazing stories of women and war in France. Her historical novel and companion cookbook, A Cup of Redemption and Recipes for Redemption were published in 2014-15. Carole has three more books in this series. Book One, of Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table was published August 2019, her second of this same title is due out this summer. And her third book, A Summer to Remember: Searching for Culinary Pleasures at the Italian Table is due April 2021. She is a past president of the California Writers Club SF Peninsula Branch and remains an active member on both the regional and state boards.
Korie Pelka
Korie left the corporate world five years ago to enter a new stage of life she calls her third act. Since then, she has become a certified life coach, been published in Fault Zone: Strike Slip and performed original works for Women’s Journeys, a reader’s theater event. Korie serves as secretary of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club and is exploring the world of fantasy and memoir.
Megan McDonald
Megan was named Literary Stage "Exhibitor of the Year" at the San Mateo County Fair in 2018, and also placed in that contest's poetry and fiction divisions in 2019. More recently, she read a pair of personal essays at Bay Area Generations, a literary salon. She is at work on a novel about how the threat of wildfire impacts ranching and agriculture on the West Coast.
Audrey Kalman
Audrey writes fiction with a dark edge about what goes awry when human connection is missing from our lives. Her most recent book, “Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories,” was shortlisted for the 2019 Rubery Book Award. She is the author of two novels and numerous short stories and currently serves as president of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club. In early 2020, she was selected as one of 21 literary residents at the newly formed Shuffle Collective. More at
Mark Dooley 
After decades of telling computers what to do, Mark decided to make take his talents and opinions to the entire world. The result was awards for writing argumentative essays and the publication of his short stories in literary magazines. Currently, Dooley is querying his first novel, a murder mystery set in gold rush San Francisco and working on a contemporary comedy caper set in the South Bay.
Support Independent Bookstores!

As writers (and readers), we know how valuable our local independent bookstores are for helping us find a new favorite author, an obscure old story, or a friendly place for a relaxing browse among the stacks. With the shelter-in-place orders hitting bottom lines hard, these small businesses are especially vulnerable to the disappearance of foot-traffic.

We know that when we're ordering so much online, it's easy to just add that book you want on to the order you're placing with that big jungle on the net (and as authors we know how vital they are to getting our books in front of a lot of readers!) but maybe take a bit of time - even call and speak with a real person - to contact your local independent bookstore and help keep your community thriving.

Here are some suggestions for local independent bookstores:
Barnes & Noble (which is not independent, but have definitely been supportive of us, especially at the Hillsdale Mall location.) - can order online from independent bookstores - can order online from independent bookstores

News from June Meeting
Missed the last meeting but heard about the amazing speaker?

Linda C. McCabe generously allowed us to record her presentation on Using Travel to Enhance Research for Your Writing . Don't miss a wealth of information on how you can take advantage of her knowledge as a trained historian to bring your historical fiction to life.

(Password is 7q@3?4?)
Welcome to Our New Board Members

Secretary: Vibha Akkaraju - Vibha has been writing memoir essays and personal narratives for about 15 years. She wrote for Big Apple Parent many years ago, and more recently has had several articles published in India Currents . In the last few years, she has enjoyed being a part of the CWC and some other writing groups, as well as reading her works at open mics, including at Kepler’s Literary Foundation’s Story is the Thing series and twice at Bay Area Generations . In May 2019, her essay, “Of Idols and Indophiles,” won first place in the personal memoir category of the San Mateo County Fair Literary Contest. Some of her current pieces can be found at  She is also working on a memoir about her family’s move from India to the U.S.

Treasurer: Alisha Willis - Alisha has an accounting background developed and deepened in her employ as a San Francisco civil service employee. In her downtime she enjoys writing poetry, and fiction. Her writing experience includes daily writing from May 2017-June 2018 as a member of poet Ross White’s Grind, an online writing accountability community. She has served on the board in the role of Parliamentarian for the past three years, as well as helped plan some of our holiday parties.
Note: In the earlier version of this email; we misspelled Alisha's name - our sincere apologies for this error.
Congratulations to Louise Boggess Award Winner
Congratulations to Korie Pelka, recipient of this year's Louise Boggess Award. The award is our branch's top honor and is given each year for outstanding contributions to the club. Korie's include serving as the board's secretary between 2018 and 2020, where she helped our meetings run flawlessly and facilitated our twice-yearly board retreats. She hosted Open Mic at the San Carlos library, helped coordinate two workshops, volunteered at the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage, and led a Writers Helping Writers program. She continues to host our Thursday evening Shut Up & Write group online and has generously offered to stick around to help with board retreats during the coming year. Thank you, Korie!
Recurring Events - NOW ONLINE!
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). For now, we're doing this virtually... an hour and a half of writing after a half hour of check-in and chat. RSVP via MeetUp to receive the link to join.

Every Tuesday , 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Every Thursday , 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Join your writing peers as they lead free workshops on the techniques of writing. For now, these events are virtual.

2nd Wednesday (evening) every month

3rd Wednesday (evening) every month

On hiatus

Never Miss a Thing
See more events listed on our calendar .

To be notified of upcoming events, join the CWC group on MeetUp .

Resources for Members
Critique Groups
Looking for critique group partners? We can help! Please contact Jean Morrow .
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: Vibha Akkaraju
Treasurer: Alisha Willis

Additional Voting Positions
Membership Chair: Mark Dooley
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
Volunteer Coordinator: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Membership: Margaret Nalbach
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Newsletter Editor: Linda Glave
Newsletter Production: Corinna Sherman
Hospitality: Megan McDonald
Think Tank/Writers Helping Writers: Geri Spieler 
Retreat Coordinator: Korie Pelka
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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