President's Message
July 2017

Greetings, San Francisco Peninsula Writers! 

I am just back from a family reunion in New York State's Adirondack Mountains celebrating my mom's 80th birthday. What has grown to five families occupied a row of tiny, rustic cabins on a lovely lake where we used to vacation as kids. In spite of the daily downpours (no rainy "season" back east), it was great being back in that familiar place and experiencing it anew as an adult.
Likewise, I have moved from joining the CWC in 2010, to becoming the inaugural Fault Zone anthology editor for three years, and then joining the board as secretary for three years. Now, fresh back from the lake of my childhood, I am pleased to be writing my first message as your newly elected president. Thank you for all the warm wishes I have received. I look forward to a creative and wonderful year for all of us, filled with familiar connections and new ventures.
Please meet your 2017-2018 Executive Board, voted in at the June meeting:
Lisa Meltzer Penn, President
Audrey Kalman, Vice President
Jean Morrow, Secretary
Pratibha Kelapure, Treasurer
I am excited to work with the entire board and the committee chairs. We have an excellent crew of seasoned and new to shepherd the mission of our club as "Writers Helping Writers." Thank you to everyone who has stepped up, and a special thanks to Carole Bumpus for her outstanding leadership and continued support.
Note that we will not be hosting a July picnic but hope to reinstate it next year.
Did you make it to the CWC Literary Stage at the Fair this year? It might have been the best year ever, with ten days of literary readings, panel discussions, speakers and workshops. Kudos to Bardi Rosman Koodrin and her amazing crew. If you missed the San Mateo Daily Journal front page feature, "A Fair to Remember," check out the picture in Member News.
Enjoy your summer, keep writing, and we will reconvene on August 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City for our first meeting of the new season.
Remember to visit our website for the latest news on club happenings and literary news.

 Lisa Meltzer Penn, President, CWC SF Peninsula Branch

Membership Renewal

Membership is now due. There are two options for payment: 
  1. Pay online using   -or-
  2. Mail your check to:
        SF/Peninsula CWC
        P.O. Box 853
        Belmont, CA 94002-0853

Renewal payments of $45 will be accepted through September 1st, 2017, but we would love to have everyone renewed sooner! Any payments received after September 1st must include a $20 reactivation fee.

August 19, 2017
There will be no meeting in July.

August Speaker:  Donna Levin
Hooked on Page One, Committed on Page 20  

If you write, "The fire started at midnight," you've earned the reader's attention for two or three pages. By page 20, though, you want the reader to be even more interested. 

Donna Levin will talk about that so-called "narrative hook" but concentrate on how important it is, as the book unfolds, to make us care about the characters while continually raising the stakes and increasing the pace of the action.
Donna Levin is the author of two novels, Extraordinary Means (William Morrow) and California Street (Simon and Schuster), as well as two books on the craft of writing, Get That Novel Started and Get That Novel Written. Her latest novel, There's More Than One Way Home, was published by Chickadee Prince Books in May. Her papers are part of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University and her novels are part of the "California novels" collection in the California State Library. Visit her at .

Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
California Writers Club
Sequoia Yacht Club
441 Seaport Court
Redwood City
FREE to first-timers. $10 members. $15 nonmembers.  
$10 students with ID. 
To register with payment go to: 
Think Tank
August's Topic is:  What is Creative Non-fiction?  Moderated by Geri Spieler , author of the award-winning creative non-fiction book, Taking Aim at the President, The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot At Gerald Ford, published by St. Martin's Press and optioned for a movie on the big screen. 

Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these.  The words "creative" and "nonfiction" describe the form. The word "creative" refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction-factually accurate prose about real people and events-in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.

Last month's Think Tank was the Think Tank Sampler, presented as our regular meeting instead of after the meeting. Participants chose two "Tanks" from a selection of four on poetry, writer's block, non-fiction and story jump-starters. A great time was had by all!
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Wednesday,  July 19 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Open Mic at  Reach & Teach
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE



...Enjoy your vacation...

Picnic or BBQ, it's up to you
Upcoming Meetings

August 16, 2017 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open Mic at  Reach & Teach 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

August 19, 2017 - Donna Levin
 "Hooked on Pg 1, Committed on Pg 20": 
Donna will talk about the so-called "narrative hook" by not only concentrating on how important it is, but as the book unfolds, showing us how to make sure our readers care about our characters while we continually raise the stakes and increase the pace of the action.

August 19, 2017 - Think Tank
What is Creative Non-fiction?  by Geri Spieler 
FREE. MEMBERS ONLY. Immediately after the program, a maximum of 10 participants will get together to discuss matters pertaining to literature and writing.


 The SF
 Peninsula CWC Branch meets the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at:

441 Seaport Court
Redwood City 
$10 members. $15 nonmembers.
$10 students with ID.

Member News
James 'Jim' Hanna is keeping  busy even though he's left us in California and is enjoying his new life in Florida. 

His political spoof, "Hayley's Picnic," appears in Fear of Monkeys. 

"Deceptive," his tale of a polygraph test gone rogue, appears in Biostories.   

James' story, "Tower Duty," placed fourth out of 265 entrants in the Sixfold writing competition. Sixfold will publish it shortly.

Bardi Rosman Koodrin was honored along with her husband Boris Koodrin for their work curating the fine arts and literary competitions.

They were front page news in the Daily Journal on Friday June 16, 2017 in an article written by Samantha Weigel, "A fair to remember."

At the 2017 San Mateo County Fair,  Doug Baird  won the CWC Volunteer of the Year raffle and Alex Veech swept the literary awards, winning the highest prize of the fair's Literary Exhibitor of the Year.

Nanci Lee Woody has a  short story, "Soupy," in the CWC Literary Review. 

She also had an article published about giving and receiving criticism for your writing. It was published on the Independent Publishers (awarder of the IPPY medals) website. Check it out!.

Kim Cromwell was presented with the 2017 honorable mention award for Fiction at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in June. 
Congratulations, everyone!

Find a Pen, Grab a Chair
by Jo Carpignano

Anyone can write a poem
old or young, short or tall, big or small
Not just anyone, but anywhere at all
At a table, on the floor, in a chair
or even sitting on the stairs
Any time is good to write
Just find a time to contemplate
morning, noon, or at night late
Try writing one in dead of night
when noises cease and all is quiet
or even during noise filled days
while little children screech at play
Some poets like to write in rhyme
but not everyone, or all the time
Others like to write lines free
inspired by a butterfly - or bee
sipping blossoms in a tree -
The color of it's wings maybe?
Some poems inspire us to sing
extolling virtues of the light in spring
praise ocean waters sparkling blue
or other joyful things pursue
While other poems ruminate
have personal sufferings to relate
Write whatever you may feel or see
perhaps you'd even like to try
to write for children's nursery time
You might be surprised to find
how quickly words will start to rhyme
Poems can begin with anything
a feeling, thought, child on a swing
Short or long, just like a simple song
write anything  - you can't go wrong
Anyone, anytime, any form, anywhere
just find a pen and grab a chair.

San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Has Another Successful Season
Celebrating our ninth year of the Literary Stage, we had stellar participation at the fair, both in the number of entries and on stage. I'm especially excited about the poetry connections we made with our local Poet Laureates: Kalamu Chache  from East Palo Alto and the new San Mateo County Poet Laureate Lisa Rosenberg . They were joined onstage by moderator Jacki Rigoni,  and the first San Mateo County Poet Laureate, Caroline Goodwin was in attendance.  We're already talking about what we can do next year on Author Day to close the 2018 stage with a poetic bang, so stay tuned.

We were given the opportunity of a lifetime when Kalamu Chache found us two young filmmakers Adrion and James Anderson of Stills N Motion productions They quoted us a ridiculously low price to film a number of our events over Opening Day weekend. It turns out they are writers and artists, so entries to the Fine Arts Galleria will grow next year. They even filmed my book launch for Novelmania: My Ticket to Crazy Town. How's that for shameless self-promotion?

Doug Baird won the CWC Volunteer of the Year raffle and our new CWC Writer of the Year is Alex Veech who swept the awards, winning the highest prize of the fair's Literary Exhibitor of the Year, so our club will benefit from adding these two new men to our membership.

Most of all, I want to thank the people who made this fair the best in nine years. Our Stage Manager Laurel Anne Hill was once again at the helm of planning stage events; Sue Barizon created the literary floor display to perfection; Tory Hartmann of Sand Hill Review Press produced a quality anthology within seven weeks so fairgoers could have them on Opening Day at the fair, always a major challenge; and Kim Schultz helped to organize me and took good care of the contestants in the process. Then there were the writing events offered by our CWC members and other professionals, including the fantastic Nora Profit of the Writing Loft. None of these things would have happened without our dedicated volunteers!

My husband Boris Koodrin and I offer our heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the 2017 San Mateo County Fair!

Bardi Rosman Koodrin
Literary Director for the San Mateo County Fair                                                                                         
San Mateo Critique Group

2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 to noon.
The Peninsula Regent, 1 Baldwin Avenue, San Mateo, rear of the large meeting room opposite the elevator.  

Bring at least 5 copies of your no-longer-than-6-page manuscript to hand out. For more info, contact Karen Hartley at or (408) 315-0271.

Submission Opportunities

If you have something newsworthy for the state-wide CWC Bulletin, please send it to  before 7/25/17 . Subject line: State-wide CWC Bulletin
Advertising deadline is the same, and they are asking us to encourage our members and guest speakers to use the CWC advertising program in the Bulletin. Details may be found under the "Publications" banner on .

Please Welcome our New Board

Executive Board:
President: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Vice President: Audrey Kalman
Secretary: Jean Morrow
Treasurer: Pratibha Kelapure        
Appointed Board Positions:
Membership Chair: Margaret Nalbach 
Publicity Chair: Bill Baynes 
Newsletter Editor: Jeannine Gerkman 
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Bardi Rosman-Koodrin 
Parliamentarian: Bette Houtchens
NorCal Representative & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus 
Non-voting Members:
Immediate Past President: Carole Bumpus
Web Manager: Pratibha Kelapure
Hospitality Chairs: Geri Spieler and Eve Visconti
Think Tank: Geri Spieler
Assistant Newsletter Editor: Alfred Jan 
State Board Rep: OPEN

by Doctor Jac Fitzenz and Laura

We live in a senior community we call "Geezerville". The average resident's age is 77 and their antics are constantly amusing. Here's a small sample; all based on true events.

Security to the Rescue
The female partner of one of our couples put a call into Security one evening. Her distress wasn't clear so an officer staff sped to her residence. The lady brought him in and pointed to her 90 plus husband, dozing in his Lazy Boy. She exclaimed, "Tell him I'm not in the mood!" 

The Big OOPS
A neighbor lady went into the hospital recently for a hip replacement. Soon after the procedure she began rehab. When she took her first steps, her therapist noticed something odd. The new leg was shorter than the old one by a full two inches. So far, no solution has been forthcoming.

Every Monday there is an arthritis pool exercise program. A hydro therapist leads the group of 20, mostly ladies. Standing poolside, she gives instructions for the group to mount their Styrofoam floaters called noodles.

To start the instructor said, "Put the noodles in your left hand, raise your leg, push the noodle down into the water and straddle it." Noticing one of the two men having a problem she asked, "Mr. Moon, are you okay?"  He replied, "I can't get it down."  To which someone commented, "Well that's better than the other way."  Eighteen ladies nearly drown laughing.

Faux Pas
Lest you think that everything is sunshine and lollipops in Geezerville, let me share an incident at a recent family gathering. Thirty people turned out for grandpa's birthday party. One lady who had not met the whole tribe noticed the clowning of two men and asked the man sitting next to her, "Who are those two? They look like the black sheep of the family."  He replied, "The one on the right is my nephew and the one on the left is my son." 

The fun never stops.
Writers' Corner on the CWC Website
Check out the updated 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 a list of branch members who provide writing-related services for a fee: editing, coaching, and more. Check it out!  

Letter from the Editor

Everything is new and wonderful. New President, new Board, new books published, new record highs in temperatures...

Speaking of hot weather,  I wrote a little poem in the 'heat' of the moment:


Perspiration tickles the lip.
Wet sweat at the nape of the neck.
A hundred degrees in the shade.

Sacramento's even hotter.
Don't forget to drink your water.
Or maybe sip some lemonade.

I'm honored to continue as your editor and am pleased to bring on board our new assistant editor, Alfred Jan.  Alfred is an Optometrist at San Jose Kaiser by day; and a writer by night.  He has six books out on his Amazon Author's page . Please join me in welcoming him!

Jeannine Gerkman - Newsletter Editor

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article or poem published here?
We often have room for one or two short  articles. 
Please follow these guidelines when submitting your piece:
  • You must be a current member of the club.
  • Your article must be related to writing.
  • 350 words maximum. (Please indicate the word count at the top of the article.)
Format requirements:
  • Submit your article in a Word file or in the body of your email.
  • Use Times Roman font, 12 point.
  • Put only one space (not two) at the end of a sentence.
  • Edit and proofread carefully before you submit. If accepted, your article will be printed as submitted.
       Send submissions to: 
Include the words "CWC Newsletter Article"  in your subject line. Deadline is the 25th of the month. Earlier is encouraged! Thank you.
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