Upcoming Meetings

Since last I wrote (in October, I believe), our beloved bakery, I Knead Love, closed for business. The spacious bakery housed our monthly Writer’s Forum, serving us beautiful coffees, delicious cookies, and some of the best chicken salad sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. Melissa, thanks for making your business our home and we wish you luck in your future endeavors.


We’ll miss you, our beloved bakery.

Because we lost our anchor location, the Writer’s Forum, where we brainstorm ideas, is floating around different locations, trying to find a permanent home. Additionally, the upcoming winter holidays will make our January meeting dates all squibbly.

Sorry for the confusion.

* * *

December Writer’s Forum

Date: Saturday, December 19, 2016

Time: 1:30-3:00

Location: Either the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Brea (1080 E. Imperial Hwy) or the Panera in Fullerton (1981 Sunny Crest Dr). We’re still voting. Send your choice to Kaleo at kaleo10@att.net.

* * *

January Meeting

Date: Saturday, January 9, 2016 (Changed to 2nd Saturday of the month, due to winter holidays.)

Time: 1:30-3:00

Location: Brea Library

* * *

January Writer’s Forum

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016 (Changed to 4th Saturday of the month to accommodate the holidays.)

Time: 1:30-3:00

Location: PENDING

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Writer’s Corner: Types of Poetry: Concrete and Kennings Poems

by Helen McCarthy

There are many different kinds of poetry which are fun and tap into your creativity. Here are two examples.

* * *


A concrete poem describes an object and is written in the shape of that object.


a huge rock

shooting up lava into

the air! Everyone runs for

cover. Lots of thick, black smoke

pours out of the top, giving you a warning

before the explosions, Nothing can stand in its

way. Sometimes they don’t blow up for hundreds of years

This type of poetry combines both written and artistic skills.

* * *


To continue the theme of creating poetry from objects, there is also the Kennings poem which uses two words in each line to describe someone or object. It consists of several stanzas.

The 1918 Ford Ride
















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Writer’s Corner: Writer’s Block Prevention Methods

by Rita Haney

Writer’s Digest Methods

1.) Step away from whatever you’re writing and do anything that’s creative. Paint pictures, write poetry, design images in Photoshop, make a scrapbook or collage, or if you’re masculine, build something in the garage. Work on another creative project for a few hours or days and then go back to writing. When I’m stuck, I paint paintings or work on my website or blog. Jumping to other projects really activates my creativity. The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain and eventually you’ll tap back into the flow of writing.

2). Do free writing. Spend 15 minutes or more a day writing whatever comes off the top of your head. Ignore punctuation. Just write freely. Allow it to be totally random. You might change subjects many times. You might mix fiction with journaling or vent frustrations. The process trains your brain to tap into the words inside your head and gives them a place to live on your computer screen or journal. Do this for a week and then return to your writing project. An alternative is to free write 15-20 minutes to get your thoughts out and then immediately return to writing your book or article. Some of my free writing entries inspired new ideas for my books.

3.) Move your body. Dance, practice yoga or Tai Chi. This may sound funny, but when you get your body into flow, your mind follows. Meditate and take long, deep breaths. A relaxed mind is more open. An open mind is more imaginative. You can focus longer when you are in a peaceful state. Sometimes I step away from writing, do some yoga poses and breathing, then return to writing in a more creative state.

4.) Eliminate distractions. Turn off the phone and unplug from the internet. Clean up your work space. A cluttered desk puts the mind in a state of confusion. Carve out some time in your schedule just for writing — at least 3 to 4 hours. Ask loved ones to honor your space so you can write without interruptions, or write when everyone in the house is sleeping. Giving yourself time and space to be in solitude is important to staying focused.

5.) Write early in the morning. When you first wake up, your brain is still in Theta mode, the brainwave pattern that your mind is in when you dream. My best writing happens when I get up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. I’m amazed at what my mind comes up with while I’m still half asleep.

6.) Write while you sleep. Your subconscious mind is always problem solving, even when you’re sleeping. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a chapter I’ll write for 15-30 minutes prior to bedtime. I’ll think about the problem chapter as I fall asleep. The next morning I usually wake up with a solution to the problem and get back into the flow of writing. I’ll see the scene from a fresh perspective or my characters will say or do things that take my story in an exciting new direction.

7.) If nothing else works, I resort to my number one, lethal weapon to cure writer’s block: the Glass-of-Water Technique. Before bed, fill up a glass of water. Hold it up and speak an intention into the water. (Example: My intent is to tap into my creative source and write brilliantly tomorrow. I choose to be in the flow of my best writing. I am resolving my story’s issues as I sleep and dream). Drink half the water and then set the half-full glass on your nightstand. Go to sleep. When you wake up the next morning, drink the rest of the water immediately. Then go straight to your computer and write at least an hour without distraction. This may seem a bit out there, but give it a try. It works! Do this technique for three nights straight. It gets me out of my writer’s block every time, often the next morning and definitely within 72 hours.

When you apply one or all of these methods, you’ll find that writer’s block is simply a minor speed bump that you can overcome easily and stay in the creative flow. Happy writing!

Rita Haney’s Top 3 Methods For Writer’s Block Prevention

1) Focus on your strengths. When writer’s block hits, more often than not it’s discouraging. Similar to the writing free hand technique mentioned in Writer’s Digest, focusing on your strengths when writing creates a more positive feeling towards yourself and your writing. To focus on your strength one of the simplest ways is reading a favorite piece that you wrote. Look at a piece that was written when inspiration was high and more often than not you will find your confidence and your ability to write returning. An alternative is to write about anything that has captured your attention or inspired you recently.

2) Questions. Often times when I get stuck if I’m asked a question about a specific part in the story my brain provides an answer that wasn’t there before. Before I realize it the story is back on track and my writer’s block is gone. Having someone read your work and ask about anything confusing is not only a great way to edit, but a way to progress the story.

3) Build a writing ritual. Humans are creatures of habit. Whenever you sit down to work on a story try to do something specific that signals “It’s time to write.” Do this up to ten times and you will find that the ritual will start to activate the more creative side of your brain. Writer’s block will happen far less if there is a ritual activating your creativity. It can be something simple like having a notebook and a special pen, or it can be more elaborate like building a small environment specifically for writing, like an office.

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Change of Plans for Next Writer’s Forum

Normally on the third Saturday of the month, our club has it’s “Writer’s Forum” at I Knead Love. But on Saturday, September 19th, 2015, things are going to get changed up.

First of all, we are switching locations from I Knead Love Bakery to Midastee Tea House.

Kaleo writes: “The I Knead Love bakery was too loud, and too busy – thanks to their new snow cone machine. The new venue is the “Midastee Tea House” is less than 100 feet to the West of the “I Knead Love” bakery (so 4 or 5 doors to the West). The gentleman there said it would be fine to meet there this Saturday. They open at 1pm. They serve dumplings, appetizers, soup, rice plates and many varieties of teas. Their address is 912 E. Imperial Highway. Their phone number is 714-256-1618. Their website is: www.midastee.com.”

This coming Saturday will be our first meeting at Midastee instead of I Knead Love. We will meet at the same time, from 1:30-3:00.

However, there will also be an Author’s Visit at the Brea Library at 2 pm.

Linda Civitello is the author of the award-winning book Cuisine and Culture:a History of Food and People. Her talk will be dealing with the Authentic Aztec vs. the Conquistador Cuisine,and deals with the foods of both the native people (Corn, chile, and chocolate) and the foods of the Spanish (Carne queso and sugar). And there might even be some food samples.

Some members will be attending the Author’s Visit, while others will attend our scheduled Author’s Forum. Whichever choice you make, you will be greeted by familiar faces and sure to kindle your flame of inspiration.

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Upcoming Meetings

Saturday, September 5th: Brea Library Writer’s Club

What: Our monthly meeting, where we correct the month’s submissions.

This month, Rebecca Lang is going to present about National Novel Writing Month and how to tackle 200 pages in 30 days.

Where: Brea Library

When: 1:30-3:30

Saturday, September 19th: Writer’s Forum

What: Casual meeting at a local bakery to toss around writing ideas, brainstorm, etc.

Where: Midastee (Changed from I Knead Love)

When: 1:30-3:30

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Writer’s Corner: Winning Nanowrimo

By Rebecca Lang

Note: This is a condensed version of my talk. For a full version and explanation. see my four-part blog on Winning Nanowrimo. I’ll be posting every weekend in September, starting today.

Winning Nanowrimo: The Challenge

What is Nanowrimo?

  • National Novel Writing Month
  • One novel/ 50,000 words (200 pages) in November

Nano calanderHow It Works

  • Make a commitment
  • Let go of quality, focus on quantity
  • No going back and re-writing/ editing
  • Discipline, focus, and endurance

Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

Set a Goal

  • Doesn’t have to be a novel
  • Doesn’t have to be 50,000 words
  • Stretch yourself, don’t stress yourself

set and reach goal concept

Think of a Reward

  • Tangible: Not “the satisfaction of writing a novel.”
  • Motivator during tough times
  • Achievement or effort?
  • Multiple rewards? Daily? Weekly? Milestones?
  • You need to celebrate


Make a Plan

  • Where and when do you best write?
  • Can you adapt if conditions aren’t ideal?
  • How efficient are you at writing?
  • How can you fit writing into your schedule?
  • What sacrifices will you need to make?

timerCreate an Outline

  • Brainstorm ideas for novel
  • Organize ideas into a logical sequence
  • Doesn’t have to be permanent: go off script
  • Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

contents 2Crunchtober

  • “October is crunch time.”
  • Practice: 500 words a day in October
  • I use it for brainstorming/ outlining

37310-Dear-OctoberGather Support

  • Affirmation, Accountability, Mentorship, Company, Competition, Free Time
  • Nanowrimo.org: Word Tracker, Pep Talks, Find Local Writers, Prizes

writer groupMy Group

  • Meet twice in October in order to goal-set and brainstorm.
  • Meet at least four times in November to check in and write together.
  • Send out inspirational emails every day.
  • Celebrate together at the end of the month.

Your-heartInterested? If so, email me at reddragonfly1285@yahoo.com by October 31, 2015.


What’s your story about?

List at least ten key events that happen throughout the story

Event #1: Inciting Incident

Event #2

Event #3

Event #4: Reversal

Event #5

Event #6

Event #7: Reversal

Event #8

Event #9: Climax

Event #10: Resolution

How do these events connect to each other?

Problems or Questions:


Ask your main characters the following questions:

What do they look like? (Age, gender, important physical qualities)

Who/ what do they love/ hate? (Stakes)

What do they desire? (Motivation)

What do they fear? (Obstacle)

What do they believe in? (Theme)

What is their background/ history? (Depth)

What is their greatest secret? (Surprise)

Don’t forget to come up with an antagonist.


Decide on the General Setting.

Physical Landscape

  • city, suburb, or country?
  • land and water
  • nature: plants and animals
  • buildings and man-made environments

Era/ Culture

  • clothes: how does it express their culture?
  • objects: what things are commonly used?
  • technology, politics, religion

Time Frame

  • how long does the story take place: days? months? years?
  • any noticeable time gaps?

Seasons/ Weather

  • clothes: how does it protect them from the elements?
  • holidays
  • dangers

Try to come up with 3 Specific Places

Room, house, café, train, fort, spaceship, forest, etc.

What objects do you see? How might the hero use them?

How might this setting help advance the plot?

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Next Meeting and Events

Saturday, August 15th: Writer’s Forum

What: Casual meeting at a local bakery to toss around writing ideas, brainstorm, etc.

Where: I Knead Love

When: 1:30-3:30

Friday, August 21st: Brea Fest

What: Sample delicious food and beverages from over 30 area restaurants and features two outdoor bands, live music, and exhibition in the Gallery, demonstrating artists, live theater performances, balloon artist, magicians, and much more. The Brea Library will be holding a major sale. Books 50% off! Buy and fill a bag of books for just $5. Say hi to our volunteers and support our library!

Where: 1 Civic Center (the concrete building complex, which includes the library)

When: 6:30-10:00 PM

Saturday, August 22nd: Author Visit Rebecca Lang and Michelle Knowlden

What: Authors Rebecca Lang (The Changelings) and Michelle Knowlden (Sinking Ships) discuss the topic of “Putting the Mystery in Fantasy and the Fantasy in Mystery.” Come for support a member of the Brea Library Writer’s Club!

Where: Brea Library

When: 11AM

Saturday, September 5th: Brea Library Writer’s Club

What: Our monthly meeting, where we correct the month’s submissions. This month, Rebecca Lang is going to present about National Novel Writing Month and how to tackle 200 pages in 30 days.

Where: Brea Library

When: 1:30-3:30

All Summer Long: Free Shakespeare at Griffith Park

What: The Independent Shakespeare Company put on a spectacular version of Much Ado About Nothing set at the end of WWII and they’ll be showing Romeo and Juliet during labor day weekend. (I just saw MAAN and I cannot recommend it enough! It was hysterical. Best entertainment deal.)

Where: Griffith Park, near the old zoo (follow the signs)

When: Thurs-Sun, 7pm-11pm (come early to get a good spot)

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