I’m thrilled to announce that my poem “El Diablo” was accepted and has been published in the 2018 Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology. It “contains poems by a broad range of Sonoma writers: in addition to about a hundred poems depicting the many aspects of life in Sonoma county, it has a special section devoted to poems rising out of the ashes of the devastating wildfires of October, 2017. There are poems written by a number of people who lost their entire homes and all their belongings. The anthology includes poems written by all of the Sonoma County poet laureates, many of whom were directly affected by the fires. Three poets received the Sonoma County Award of Merit distinction, and their poems open this special volume.” It’s an honour to be published in the same book as these distinguished poets.
I’m so pleased that my short story was accepted for publication in this year’s Redwood Writers Anthology. The title and theme is: Redemption. Mine is an edgy memoir about how one day at work in 1978, after being sexaully assaulted, I learned the corporate secretaries had been repeatedly harrassed and assaulted by the same guy over a long period of time. It took some doing but I convinced enough of them to stand up against the ongoing sexual harrassment at the company. I credit the current #metoo movement for my wanting to share the story so women are reminded that fear of retaliation or being fired can be overcome with the support of other victims. But it is critically important to document and subtantiate all the details to be credible before accusing anyone of bad behavior. I also credit my employer with doing the right thing and firing him the same day, not a common occurance in that era. I’m working with a wonderful editor to polish the story before publication and am pleased to finally get the story out of my system. It had been festering in my mind for 40 years.
I’m so proud to be co-chair for the Redwood Writers conference this year! A lot of planning and preparation has gone into the creation of the 2018 Pen to Published Conference scheduled for April 21, 2018. In addition to a new venue (the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa) and sessions on craft, genre, publishing and marketing, there will be workshops on Flash Fiction, Fiction/Nonfiction, Social Media and Memoir and Individual Coaching Sessions from experts in their fields. There will be two keynote speakers: Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writers Press and SparkPress and President of Warner Coaching Inc. and Ellen Sandler, TV Writer/Producer and current President of the Entertainment Industry Assoc. of Consultants & Educators. There will be entertainment during lunch—Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits presented by Healdsburg’s Raven Players. You’ll see some of the Bard’s best scenes from hits like Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors in 30 minutes! See more information about the conference and register by Feb. 15, 2018 to receive the Early Bird discount rate of $95.
Today was the official Redwood Writers 2017 Anthology Book Launch Party at Linda Loveland Reid’s elegant home. I had a lot of fun reading an excerpt of my story, History in Our Midst, and then introducing the main characters and my guests, Dusty Roads and Jean Montague, just before the luncheon. Dusty and Jean were beaming as they were surrounded by a bevy of writers thanking them for what they did for women’s rights.
I am proud to announce I was elected vice president (one of three) and member of the executive board of the Redwood Writers Branch of the California Writers Club. When I embarked on my writing journey and joined Redwood Writers in 2014, I experienced how the workshops, contests, conferences, and support groups truly exemplify their theme of “writers helping writers.” I’ve always been a supporter of professional organizations that educate and help their membership to achieve their highest potential. I look forward to returning the favor by assisting and promoting the organization and its members. It is also my pleasure to be co-chair for the 2018 Pen to Published Conference.