JUNE, 2021
Newsletter of North State Writers (NSW), a Branch of the California Writers Club

NSW promotes the art and craft of writing across genres, connecting writers, editors, illustrators, publishers, reviewers, agents, and others interested in the continual renewal of creative thought and the written word.
President's Message
Dear friends,
This is my third and last column of our fiscal year, and what a year it’s been! Most of the time North State Writers has been shut down due to the pandemic and the resignation of our past President.

In March 2021, the board voted me in as President and we’ve had two zoom general meetings with speakers in April and May, but it just didn’t seem the same as when we all got together in person.
We’ve missed the in-person connections with our guest speakers throughout the state and country.

Now comes some exciting news!!

First, beginning June 21st, at 6 pm we will be having our first in-person meeting at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 554 Rio Lindo Avenue, Chico with Nora Profit as our guest speaker. 

Second, hopefully, by now you’ve received an email ballot because the election for new officers is upon us! Only Nick Hanson is on the ballot as an incumbent all the other candidates have not been on the board for a while. Twenty-six ballots have already been completed, but we’d like to have all members vote before the June 13 at 6 pm deadline. Be sure to check your spam folder if you do not see the ballot in your email.

Finally, at the June 21st meeting, I will announce which of the candidates won their positions on the board!! So change is on its way, and it’s going to be a great fiscal year!!

Please remember that CWC-NSW is an organization for all writers – including individuals who have “always wanted to write.” Publication is not required to join. Membership renewal fees are due in July!

Jim Henson
President NSW
NSW News
Emo-Crafting: The Secret to Outstanding Writing

Writers often forget that reading is an interactive activity. If the reader can't emotionally participate, then the story is dead. Great writing starts and ends with Emo-Crafting—the writer’s ability to use words and sentences to create emotional responses so dramatic that the reader lives in his/her imagination and elevates your characters into real people. During this talk you’ll learn how readers actually read and how that informs writing. You’ll learn the correct way to use description, how to make your sentences read like music, and to create impactful meanings using word combinations. All this is essential to affect an emotional connection with the reader throughout your entire book. Emotional connection is the secret to great and memorable writing. 

Nora Profit “Anyone can learn to write and write well,” says Nora Profit, the executive director of The Writing Loft. “Writers are on the forefront of bringing meaning and significance to the events that influence our lives. That’s why writing with impact and emotional engagement is so important.” 

This belief is the cornerstone of The Writing Loft, Northern California’s only creative writing school, founded by Nora in 2001. The Writing Loft is a unique writing school with a practical approach to skill and craft that is easy to internalize and easier to implement. It is a place where she is changing the way would-be writers consider their artistic abilities, the craft of writing and the business of being an author.  

Nora Profit is an award-winning journalist, feature writer, columnist, editor and author. She is a co-author in Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup: Living Your Dreams. Her own books include 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them, The Ultimate Novel Writing Workbook and numerous how-to booklets on the craft of writing. Nora graduated with honors from San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism. Her broad experience in the world of writing includes everything from books, articles, corporate newsletters, and short stories to newspaper columns and celebrity interviews.

The Writing Loft’s programs are designed to take students past mere theory to what really works and does it with the end goal of getting every student writing well enough to produce publishable work. The Writing Loft runs a highly regarded private student program, online and onsite classes complete with instructional mentors, as well as live webinars. The Writing Loft also conducts writing boot camps, three-day retreats, and a Distinguished Young Writer’s Program.

The Writing Loft’s newest program, Resolute Writers, is a comprehensive program for writers who know the difference between just writing and writing outstanding material. The program is designed to fashion outstanding successful writers. 
NSW News

Board election ballots were recently emailed to all members. The deadline to cast your ballot is June 13, 2021. Results will be announced at the June 21, 2021 general meeting. Thank you for your participation.
Membership Renewal
To all North State Writers members:

Membership renewals are due on July 1st for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Please send your payment either by mail to the address below or online through our website.

The NSW board has discussed renewal fees for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2020. After considering the lack of activity due to Covid 19 it was decided to reduce the amount of the yearly membership fees. The normal fee is $45, however, for the current members this renewal cycle only we are reducing the fee to $35.

This one-time reduction applies to current members only. New members will be charged the normal fees to join. This will provide the club with $10 per member as the remaining fees are sent directly to the CWC.

We sincerely appreciate your faith in sticking with us during this difficult year.

We hope you'll join us for another year of interesting presentations and warm fellowship with others who share a passion for writing.

Please send your renewal payment of $35 payable to North State Writers, P.O. Box 6734, Chico, CA 95927-6734. You may also pay your renewal on our website using Paypal. (The website says $45 but $35 is the amount due for renewals this year only).
**Newsletter Editor needed. After six years, our current Editor has decided to step down from her role and a new editor is needed. She will provide training if desired. This is your chance to participate on the board and advance the future of the club. We have several members who have stepped forward to provide content. If you are interested, please contact President Jim Henson.
NSW Member News
Do you have a milestone you would like to share? Send it to northstatewriters@gmail.com using "Newsletter" in the subject line.
85 daffodils were added to the mural to commemorate the 85 lives lost in the 2018 Camp Fire
NSW member, artist/illustrator Steve Ferchaud, is involved in the creation of a new mural being installed on the Skyway Antique Mall building in Paradise. NSW member and photographer Douglas Keister photographed the process.
CWC News

This month's recommended article is from Writers Digest. Editor and poet Robert Lee Brewer gives us his list of the 10 best movies involving writers and writing.

Gary Carter
Membership Chair
It's the oldest story in the book when it comes to writers: Barton Fink is a young writer with promise who gets the break of a lifetime to write movie scripts. But there's the usual problem: He can't seem to get started. Written and directed by the Coen brothers, this was the most recommended movie related to writing when I asked on social media, and it's got the awards to back it up. 

Movie 2: Misery (1990)
Nearly every writer's dream is to make it big with millions of dollars and adoring fans. But Misery is sure to make all writers feel a tinge of unease at hearing, "I'm your number one fan." In this movie, famed novelist Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan) gets in a car wreck and is found by his self-proclaimed number one fan Annie Wilkes (played by Kathy Bates). It doesn't take long for Sheldon to realize his fame comes at a price. [By the way, another great (and much lighter) writing-related movie with James Caan is Elf with Will Ferrell playing the role of Buddy.]

This re-imagining of William Shakespeare's life and times is a fun love story that is not historically accurate, but it's not exactly trying to be. Instead, it "plays" with Shakespeare's language, themes, and paradoxes of his day. All in all, it's an enjoyable romance that will leave most viewers wanting to watch a play (or movie adaptation of a Shakespearean play).

Or you may decide to jump from Shakespeare in Love to Dead Poets Society, which makes sense if you've watched both films. This is the movie that alerted me to the phrase "carpe diem," and I admit it helped foster my own personal search for great writers and writing. But as with all movies on this list, Dead Poets Society is more than just a story of writing or writers; it exposes the humanity (both the highest peaks and lowest depths) in all of us

Another literary re-imagining, Finding Neverland examines the life and times of J.M. Barrie and his creation of Peter Pan and the land in which he lives. While the relationship between Barrie (played by Johnny Depp) and Sylvia Llewellyn Davies (played by Kate Winslet) is satisfying, I can't help but empathize with the protagonist's view of the world around him. If this movie does not move you as a writer, then well, you're a tougher critic than I.
None of the movies on this list are documentaries, so they're all fictional accounts. That said, this movie comes the closest to representing true events as they happened, and it follows Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman) as they break one of the biggest stories (and maybe the biggest) of American politics ever. In addition to their investigative methods, I'm captured by the editorial discussions and considerations involved throughout the process. 

This movie is a multi-layered story about storytelling that's based on a real book (The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean) that is not about storytelling. The basic premise is that you have a scriptwriter named Charlie Kaufman (who is the real scriptwriter, though played by Nicolas Cage in the movie) trying to adapt Orlean's The Orchid Thief into a movie only to realize that it doesn't have a Hollywood story in it, which causes Kaufman to panic and an endless array of hijinks ensues. An interesting side note is that the real Susan Orlean had to sign off on this story and originally said no, but ultimately warmed to the idea and enjoys the movie now.
Writers tend to romanticize Paris, and why not? Midnight in Paris takes this to a whole new level by following a writer through Paris and time as he attempts to unlock his version of Paris as well as his own writing. One element about this movie that some writers may be able to empathize with is how the screenwriting protagonist who is trying to finish his first novel Gil Pender (played by Owen Wilson) struggles to fit into a world of non-writers. It's a magical romp through time and place.
Anyone who's experienced writer's block knows how frustrating that process can be. It's almost like you lose a piece of yourself. However, the block that Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) experiences takes things to a whole new level of suffering--both for the writer and his family. This is actually the second film based on a Stephen King novel to make the list, and they're both terrifying.

This is a guilty (okay, not so guilty) pleasure of mine, and it's the silliest movie on the list. Add to that the fact that the protagonist Charlie MacKenzie lives a completely unrealistic life as a beat poet in San Francisco, and well, be prepared to suspend your sense of reality. But honestly, So I Married an Axe Murderer is about as funny as it gets while playing with stereotypes about poets and the people who want them "deed!" (If you don't get this, do yourself a favor and watch the movie.)
Book Recommendation by Brian Marshall
Pretend it’s the dead of winter. Pretend there’s a roaring fire. Pretend you want to lose yourself in a book of epic proportions. I can’t imagine a better choice than Helprin’s magnum opus.

Like other monumental works (think Tolstoy’s War and Peace), A Soldier works on a grand scale, conveying the sweep of history and the birth of the modern era. But at the same time—again, much like Tolstoy—he gives that story its depth and poignancy by focusing on the details. By seeing the world, in all its complexities, through the eyes of a single man. Sometimes he’s a callow youth, experiencing war firsthand. Sometimes an aged and crippled survivor, viewing that time from afar. Whatever the perspective or framing device, Helprin always gets it right, whether it’s the raw terror of combat or an old man’s reverie.

But rather than just ape the established tropes of great historical fiction, Helprin gives us a fresh perspective. Adds unexpected moments of magic realism, surrealistic invention, and absurdist humor. Much like Joseph Heller in his classic Catch 22, Helprin portrays the horror of war by pointing out its folly. Never is life so enticing, so real, as at the moment of its extinction, and nothing illustrates mankind better, our potential for good and evil, as seeing it expressed in our darkest invention, the catastrophe we call war.

Clocking in at just over eight hundred pages, this isn’t some pool-side read. Like any great book, it deserves respect, and the time it takes to read it. But if you want to journey outside your life, and our world of tweets and selfies, then you’ll find no better time machine than A Soldier of the Great War.
President:  Jim Henson 
Vice-President: Brian Marshall  
Secretary: Joan Goodreau      
Treasurer: Nick Hanson
Director of Membership: Gary Carter
Newsletter Editor: Linda Sue Forrister
Central Board Rep: Jim Henson
NorCal Group Rep: Jim Henson
Events Coordinator:
Social Media: Nick Hanson
Critique Group: Cathy Chase