Blogging with Kate Bourland

At our April meeting*, new Writers Forum webmaster Alicia McCauley will present a brief explanation of the functions and features of the newly designed Writers Forum website.

Then special media consultant Kate Bourland will educate our audience on the nuts and bolts of blogs and blogging.  Kate has been involved with online marketing and social media since 1995 and has enjoyed many successes using Social Media to achieve marketing objectives.  Her background in sales, marketing and traditional media give her a unique perspective on how to effectively integrate Social Media into an overall business plan to achieve desired results.

Writers Forum members will come away inspired by the many ways they can utilize the organization’s Web site to their advantage, and by the enormous potential value of blogging as a way to enhance a writer’s career.

If you’ve not yet paid your annual membership fee of $20, please pay our Membership Director, Jennifer H., at the door when you arrive.  Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you at our April meeting!

*Monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month from 10:30 am-12:30 pm in at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Memorial Hall.  Doors open at 10:00am and the meeting begins promptly at 10:30am.  All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA.  For more details about monthly featured programs and other Writers Forum events, please visit our Calendar Page.

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Member Monday: A Passion for the Word by George Winship

Welcome back to Member Monday.  It’s my pleasure to feature a piece by past Writers Forum President, George Winship.  Here’s a little more about George.

Professional writer George Winship found his niche in community journalism even before he earned a master’s degree in that field from the University of Oregon in 1980.  Since then he has reviewed opera, symphony, chamber music and solo performances in Oregon and California; covered Montana’s State Penitentiary (from the outside); revealed the mysteries of education and business; won awards for his writing in two states; worked for a California State Senator; ghostwrote three books while authoring a nonfiction biography; and enjoyed a regular paycheck all while honing his craft.

A Passion for the Word

Although I have practiced the craft of writing for more than 30 years, it never fails to amaze me when I discover a diamond of a story taking shape in the rough. Just as Winston Churchill once described Russia, chiseling a beautiful tale out of chunks of raw material is analogous to “solving a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

There are so many layers to this craft that each day I peel back one only to find another staring back underneath, one more way of seeing yet a different angle, always drawing me closer to an idea’s true essence.

The power of words never fails to amaze while simultaneously amuse me. All too often, I discover the best stories are those that sound simple at the outset, yet reveal deep truths through powerful emotions.

That is what keeps journalism — the art of telling the stories of real people caught up in an everyday world — so fresh and alive day in and day out. No two days ever create déjà vu. Life is  always ebbing and flowing, an unceasing tide of reason wearing against a constantly eroding shoreline of misunderstanding.

Read more of George’s work at the Anderson Valley Post.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss his heartwarming story of that all started with a POW/MIA bracelet bought for $2.50.  You may, however, want to grab a box of tissue first.

A Note from the Webmaster: Writers Forum has the author’s permission to publish this work. The author retains full copyright ownership and protection. This work may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the author.  If you’re a member in good standing, please consider submitting a piece of your work to share.  Essays, poems, songs, articles and any other stand alone pieces are welcome.  To submit your piece, please e-mail it to webmaster, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.   Members featured here are guests in our Writers Forum house.  Treat them as such in the comments section and enjoy this beautiful thing we call writing.

Member Monday: Rain by Dale Angel

Welcome to Member Monday.  Each Monday we’ll feature work by different Writers Forum members.  It’s my pleasure to share a piece by the delightful Dale Angel.

Rain
It wasn’t unexpected, I heard on the radio it was on its way. In the early morning a gentle whisper moved me to up and open the windows to fresh moist air carrying earthy smells of wet dust. The damp wind swirled lightly across the thirsty dry barren land announcing relief from the relentless sun.

The music began, made of raindrops falling softly on the roof, barely perceptible at first, gathering power from the heavens like an orchestra when all instruments get to share their parts. Thunder pushed the whirling sheer clouds toward the east rolling and shifting shafts of blues and grey weaving and separating lavender wrapped in pale black, coming together to disappear over mountain peaks toward a colorless sky.

Water poured, trees swayed, leaves fell. I walked out across the yard wet weeds grabbed my legs sending chills. I opened my mouth to catch rain drops and ran my hands through wet hair. The drought has broken, the drenched earth sighed…and I had raspberries for breakfast.

A Note from the Webmaster: Writers Forum has the author’s permission to publish this work. The author retains full copyright ownership and protection. This work may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the author.  If you’re a member in good standing, please consider submitting a piece of your work to share.  Essays, poems, songs, articles and any other stand alone pieces are welcome.  To submit your piece, please e-mail it to webmaster, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.   Members featured here are guests in our Writers Forum house.  Treat them as such in the comments section and enjoy this beautiful thing we call writing.

Second Saturday Art Night: Author Signings at All About Books

Saturday night was clear with just a hint of winter in the air.  It was the perfect night to enjoy Second Saturday Art Night.  All About Books featured several local writers including Writers Forum authors, Linda Boyden and Tim Hemeon.

Children's author and illustrator, Linda Boyden, showcased her award-winning books.

Local author and teacher, Tim Hemeon, was recently featured in The Record Searchlight.

Writers Forum President, Larry Watters, and Richard Lucas, author and owner of All About Books, were all smiles in front of the Local Authors section of the store.

Local authors interested in being a part of upcoming Second Saturday Art Nights can contact Richard Lucas at All About Books.  Congratulations, Linda and Tim, on your successes and thank you, All About Books for your continued support of local authors.

 

Write Your Own Biography with Victoria Morse

Many thanks to Dr. Victoria Morse for being our featured speaker at our March Writers Forum meeting. I left the meeting with scads of great writing starts and ideas for many more pieces to add to my story.

From writing our first memories to composing six word autobiographies, we spent the morning embracing our stories and getting acquainted with ourselves. With each person who shared out, I was humbled to be in the presence of such skilled writers, writers who craft words that one moment make a lump bob in my throat and the next moment dislodge that lump by causing me to chuckle. It was great seeing so many new faces in addition to the familiar faces I’ve come to know and love. Here are some snapshots from the day.

Dr. Victoria Morse compelled attendees to get acquainted with themselves by writing about first memories, family members and the special bonds we share with our parents or grandparents.

It's always a pleasure to see Writers Forum charter members like John Lawson.

Ed Sulpice takes a few minutes to write a childhood memory.

Renee had us all giggling as she recounted her earliest childhood memory of eating leaves.

Writers Forum guest, Nancy Byrne, shared a touching tribute to her father.

Writers Forum newsletter editor, Kailey O’Connor, puts her thoughts to paper.

Author Edna Eades shared a tragic childhood tale of accidentally damaging a library book.

Ellie Hagstrom wrote about a 'deer' childhood friend.

Children's author, Linda Boyden, reads about a dream she refuses to let die.

Victoria Morse is currently teaching a class, Write Your Own Biography. It began on Monday, March 5 and runs through April 2 at 6:00 p.m. in Redding Library. Sign-ups are taken through Redding Recreation at 225-4095. The cost is $31.

For now, I leave you with Victoria’s closing words.

Write On…

You are worthy. You have been given the grace to touch other people’s lives. Your very breath has made a difference in our world’s make-up. Write as though you have a message to share with posterity; because you do! Whether to many or a certain one, in their eyes you are a light. Know this. You and your story are of inestimable value. Continue always to write as the Spirit moves you.

Looking forward to seeing you at our April meeting!

Fondly,

Alicia McCauley,

Webmaster & Director at Large

A Message from the President: March, 2012

If you are a person who keeps these newsletters on hand for years and years, and if you were to drag it out in ten or fifteen years, please reread my predictions:

  • Reddingwood is thriving.
  • Walk-of-Fame has thirty-seven stars in front of the Cascade Theatre.
  • Reddingwood sign has letters that stand twenty-two feet high and is on the bluff above the Sundial Bridge.
  • Renamed Reddingwood Boulevard is the place to be on Friday night.
  • Clarity Entertainment Inc. has won seventeen Oscars since building its studio complex on three-and-a-half lots totaling more than 77 acres at Stillwater Park.

These and more imaginative predictions came to me, and maybe others, during our Screenwriting Basics presentation by George Winship and Sharon Owen last month, which included a Q&A with Steve Durkee of Clarity. While we are writers at heart, and have several in our midst who excel in screenwriting, it didn’t stop many of us from catching “Audition Fever” the following Saturday at Redding School of Arts as more than 1200 people of all ages auditioned for a film that was scheduled to start shooting in August. Visit redding.com/news/2012/feb/18/film-company-conducts-local-audition/ for more of the story.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings, our new website is close, if it hasn’t been made public yet, to being unveiled. With a new name, Redding Writers Forum, it should be easier to keep you updated on upcoming and past events with articles and photos, submitted writings (look for Member Monday which posts work of our members), Board of Directors activity, etc. Powered by Word Press, it is formatted like a blog with multiple pages. Subscribing to it is easy and any updates and new postings will be emailed if you so choose.  Our new Webmaster, Director at Large Alicia McCauley, is doing a bang-up job, catching the enthusiasm of her first grade students for projects. Her bio includes this “…Throughout her childhood Alicia won awards for her truly magnificent poetry.  She’s since stopped torturing people with bad poetry and instead spends her free time trying not to crash while endurance cycling.  Alicia is published in the anthology What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms and is a featured blogger for A News Cafe.  You can read more about her life as a teacher, writer and cyclist at her blog pedalsandpencils.com.”

Larry Watters,

President