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V I E W S NATIONAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION LOS ANGELES JANUARY 2011

VIEWS, a newsletter for the members of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Writers Association is published monthly, except for July and August of each year. The meetings take place at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month, except July and August, at Mo’s Restaurant, 4301 Riverside Drive, Burbank. OFFICERS President-LaVonne Taylor Vice President-Joe Panicello Secretary-Arturo Ruiz Treasurer-LaVonne Taylor CHAIRMANSHIPS Historian/Photographer-Madelyn Beck Hospitality-Mary L. Ports VIEWS editor-LaVonne Taylor Fundraising-LaVonne Taylor Membership-Jack Clubb

For information, call: 661-267-2220 or click on www.nwala.org Go to www.issuu.com/the-taylortrust/docs for archived issues of VIEWS

FIRST PROGRAM OF 2011

Personality ...

Personality … why do I as a writer in a mostly solitary pursuit need to pump it up? In 2011 the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Writers Association will be presenting programs with the general theme designed to help its members get out there and be seen. In the January meeting, Morgan St. James, a prolific author and a gal with loads of personality herself, will give us some tips and practice on developing our own style and public persona. If you’re a writer who wants to be read, you eventually will have to line up speaking engagements and be prepared for radio and television interviews. When you think about speaking in public do your palms begin to sweat? Your voice shake? Your every rational thought evaporate into thin air? If that’s the case you need to be at the January 15 meeting. Ms. St. James says, “I speak from experience. There was a time I could not talk to someone I didn’t know, let alone a crowd of people, without approaching cardiac arrest.” But then she got an unexpected opportunity to practice many approaches. She will tell us more about how she overcame her shyness and moved on to become the dynamic speaker that she is today. Writing under the pseudonym of Arliss Adams, Ms. St. James authored Devil’s Dance and The Devil’s Due. As Morgan St. James, she says, “It started with a romantic suspense story in my head that demanded to be written. “Ready to tackle fiction after writing many published magazine “how to articles,” I attended workshops and conferences, and joined writer’s groups. That was almost sixteen years ago. What a shock. I discovered the techniques for writing magazine articles and fiction are a world apart. Over the next years there were many rewrites of this story ... and, with each one the story intensified and the characters became more ‘real.’ ”  She continues, “Along the way, a funny thing happened. My sister and I launched an awardwinning comical crime caper series called The Silver Sisters Mysteries. The titles in the series include Seven Deadly Samovars, A Corpse in the Soup, and Vanishing Act in Vegas due out at the end of the year. Light and funny, these

were far different than the still unfinished books that continued to haunt me. The funny mysteries provided the humorous breaks I found I needed to finish the spine-tingling stories in Devil’s Dance and The Devil’s Due that had been with me for so long. “My husband and I split our time between homes in Las Vegas and Southern California. I have three grown children, all married to wonderful spouses, and three grandchildren. Because I’m an incurable workaholic, I always seem to have a minimum of two to three projects in the works and look forward to many more books and short stories in the future.” Morgan also has a story, “Welcome to Paradise” co-authored with Meredith Holland in the anthology Dreamspell Revenge. A book signing will follow the program.

JANUARY 15, 2011 2 pm at MO’S RESTAURANT, BURBANK for more info see http://www.morganstjames-author.com/


PRESIDENT’S CORNER

The best-laid plans of mice and men ...

On December 22 at about 9:30 a.m., my husband Jaime blacked out and fell with a splat, face down on the hard kitchen tile. I called 911 and he was subsequently hauled off to the Antelope Valley Hospital, where he spent the next three days being tested intensively and ultimately having a pacemaker installed on Christmas Eve. I brought him home on Christmas day. Along with multiple bruises and cuts, his teeth are cracked and out of alignment, his chin is cut, and he suffered a cerebral hematoma that, fortunately, had not caused pressure on any crucial area of his brain.

On a happier note, we will have Morgan St. James as our speaker for the January 15 meeting. This is one dynamic author that I can hardly wait to meet. Below you see her as Arliss Adams, whom she calls her alter ego and the pseudonym she uses for her mysteries Devil’s Dance and The Devil’s Due. In February, she and her sister Phyllice will be starting the fourth title, Diamonds in the Dumpster, in The Silver Sisters Mysteries. In addition to all the other writing Morgan does, she also maintains columns Spotlight and Writers Tricks of the Trade in the Los Angeles and the Las Vegas editions of www.examiner.com.

For all his many other ailments, transverse colon inflammation, H. pylori infecting his stomach, a hiatal hernia, gallstones, kidney stones, cysts on his kidneys and liver ... we had spent months running back and forth between specialists of one kind or another, testing facilities, urgent care centers, hospital ERs, and days in hospital wards. The cardiologist turned to me on Christmas Eve and said “We want to install a pacemaker to improve the quality of his life.” Surely he was joking. The quality of life for a man who cannot walk by himself, go to the bathroom by himself or get into bed without help? But of course I assented and now here we are, hoping that he will improve enough to be able to once again at least make it across the room, even if only with the aid of a walker, sans my assistance. “This is a hell of a way to live,” he said to me last night. I said nothing, but in my heart I agreed. Time now for things other than caregiving is even more limited. Hence, the two-page newsletter. I felt it imperative that I finish it on Sunday, January 2, because this coming week will once again start the merry chase from doctor to doctor. If you’re interested in checking in on his progress occasionally, you can click on http://www. caringbridge.org/visit/jaimepickell

COMING ATTRACTIONS

FEBRUARY 19 – The Extraordinary Jill Schary Robinson We are fortunate to have been able to schedule writing maven Jill Robinson to address us. With nine books and countless articles in respected publications to her credit, Robinson now teaches writing.

PLEASE ACCEPT OUR APOLOGIES In November, Views contained a crossword puzzle, with the key scheduled to appear in the December 2010 issue. However, in the editorial haste to get the publication to the printer in December, we picked up a key from a previous version of the puzzle, which made no sense at all. Below you will find the correct key. 1 3

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3. The birthstones for November are: (3 words) [TOPAZANDCITRINE] 5. The day after Thanksgiving is ______ Friday. [BLACK] 7. Who attended the first Thanksgiving besides Native Americans? [PILGRIMS] 10. All ______ Day falls on Nov 1 [SAINTS] 11. Who do we honor on Nov. 11? [VETERANS]

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APRIL 16 – National Poetry Month A meeting to celebrate poetry: its history & connection with music. We will be joined by Grace, a well-known, female a capella quartet. http://gracesings.com

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MARCH 19 – Speaker: Four Characteristics of a Successful Brand A rep from Back My Book www.backmybook.com will bring us up to date in the world of publishing discussing the buzzwords “branding” and “platform.” From their blog: “We talk a lot about ‘brand’ and its importance, and define it using examples of people who have already found success. Creating a new brand, your brand, can seem pretty daunting, especially if you feel like you’re not quite sure how to go about doing it.” Come and learn how.

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The February issue will be four to six pages, returning to our usual format that showcases members’ writing.

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1. Nov 7 is the end of _____ _____ (2 words) [DAYLIGHTSAVINGS] 2. Nov 5 is: _____ _____ Day (2 Words) [GUYFAWKES] 3. The first one took place in 1621 ACROS [THANKSGIVING] 4. November is National American _______ ______ month (2 words) [INDIANHERITAGE]

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VIEWS JANUARY 2011  

The official newsletter for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Writers Association.

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