Posts Tagged ‘California Writers Club’

The Wonder of Workshops

February 4, 2019

Tri-Valley Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, is putting on its third writers conference on April 13. I’m president of the branch this year, so naturally I’m biased in favor of the event, but even so the day is going to be pretty special (shameless promotion alert, here’s the website link). I’m telling everyone I know to consider attending because there is nothing like gathering with a group of like-minded people pursing a shared passion to ignite creative bonfires.

You would think, given my last statement, that I would always be searching for workshops and conferences. Not so. Luckily, I have friends who point out the treasure I’ve overlooked, like the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco, which holds workshops and classes on just about everything. I attended a wonderful writing workshop on sentences presented by Nina Schulyer. We spent three hours reviewing sentence structure, and playing with different forms to create amazing emotional effects (For you art quilters, imagine the fun of spending three hours experimenting with different embroidery techniques to enhance the overall artistic vision and impact of your piece.).

Schulyer has written a great book called How To Write Stunning Sentences. Still, there’s something magical about being in the same room with creative minds. You learn from each other almost as much as you learn from the presenter. So, look for those hidden gems around you – the adult learning annexes, small conferences, extension courses – and register for as many classes as time and your budget allow. You’ll thank me later.

Luck and wisdom!

Journey of the journal quilts

December 2, 2010

My friend Thea McCurry ( sent me a quilted Christmas postcard.

It’s beautiful, even if it did arrive during November and remind me how far behind I am already in the preparations and it’s only the first of December. It also reminded me that I have been saving scraps of special fabric for journal quilts.

The first journal quilt in my collection began as a contest entry. It didn’t win, but it might serve a useful purpose yet. A friend and I are writing a cookbook, and the motifs I used in this piece might work as a logo for us.

I liked the concept of journal quilts, and thought this would be the start. Months have passed, and this is still the only quilt in the collection. It isn’t that nothing has happened worth commemorating, it’s just that I haven’t been able to hear the fabric.

Well, now something has happened that has inspired me. I got a short story published in the California Writers Club anthology, West Winds Centennial.

The book just came out (and is available at It definitely deserves a quilt, or maybe two, but when Thea’s postcard arrived I knew that the first one was going to be a journal quilt. The fabrics under the book are ones I’ve pulled out for the background.

With any luck, I might even come up with a design that could be used as a quilted postcard. Updates to follow.