Sunday, January 18, 2015

California Writer's Club: Berkeley Branch

I went to the meeting of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writer's Club today in Oakland.  It was a grand adventure with my girl friend.  We took the BART, which is always an adventure, and walked a half mile from the Lake Merritt Station to the Oakland Library.  The journey was relatively uneventful; there were no strangers cursing at me on the BART, which has happened in the past.  We were only asked for money a half dozen times during our treck.

When we arrived at the meeting, we made the group large enough that we had to add more tables and chairs.  From 1pm to 2pm there was a meeting about Marketing for Writers led by Kymberlie, who writes several blogs.  I found her input to be fascinating.  Then we had a break, and reorganized how we were sitting.  A speaker named Lucy came to the podium and talked about her long publication journey, and her bad experiences with iUniverse, a Print On Demand pioneer, who was a Vanity Publisher in disguise.

Sarah Sundin took the stage at 3pm and gave a presentation on The Snowflake Method and how to use it to outline a novel.  It sounds right up my alley, actually.  When it comes to writing, I'm definitely a plotter and not a 'pantser.'  The presentation left my girl friend and I enthused about our own writing, but also a little daunted by the wealth of information we were presented with today.  (Much like how we felt after our experiences at the Writer's Digest Novel-Writing Conference we attended this summer.)

I met some really interesting people, and learned quite a few things.  I am definitely interested in joining the Writer's Club, though my friend and I want to explore the other branches that are local--to make sure we find the right fit for us.

We're signed up for the San Francisco Writer's Conference, over Valentine's Day weekend.  My goal is to have my rough draft of Three Tiers (my YA/New Adult, Sci Fi Novel) finished by then.  I'm signed up for UtopYA Con in June, and I hope to have my NaNoWriMo 2014 Novel finished and polished by then.  These are just a few steps in my writing journey, and I'm so lucky to be travelling on it with such talented, giving, wonderful people.

-Missy Kirtley

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