Writers of Kern Newsletter | December 2022
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In this issue: |
 President's Message | Winter Dinner | Last Month's Speaker | CWC 2022 Literary Review | WOK Critique Group Chair  |  The Value of Volunteerism  | Mark Your Calendar Sunshine Chair | Webmaster Needed ASAP | From Your Editor | Nuts & Bolts | 

President's Message

Salutations from Sandy ~
We have survived Thanksgiving…a horrible thing to say?  But in truth, we spend so much time planning and prepping that when the day finally arrives, we are too exhausted to enjoy those who have gathered to share it with us.  And now we’re about to do it all over again.
May I offer another thought?  Christmas, no matter your faith background, is a time of celebration.  We celebrate family and friends.  We celebrate winter’s takeover of the fall leaves; in some places, covering them with a cleansing of white wonder.  We celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to what the next year will bring.  We celebrate goals – some realistic, some not – but goals still.
Yes, I’m a grandma, and I’ll be part of the in-person or online masses; but I’m also taking time to reflect on the simpler things, and writing about them – baking with my grandchildren, making grandpa’s secret cranberry relish, and creating handcrafted expressions of my love for others.
But most important for me will be remembering all the blessings that have come into my life this past year.  Making new friends and renewing acquaintances.  Sharing time with my family.  Listening to the music of the season; and while waning, my ability to still sing it out.  It doesn’t have to be a time of stress.  It can be beautiful, if we choose it to be.
May your Christmas be blessed.  May your future be bright.  And may you write about all of it.  Celebrate the Season!

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Winter Dinner: 17 December 2022
WOK's Annual Holiday Dinner

Dear Writing Family,
Our December holiday party is in the works, and it’s going to be a fun night.  Besides delicious food, there will be a "First Lines" contest, opportunity drawings, and a holiday book exchange.  You may take care of your reservation and payment on line via PayPal or send a check to the PO Box.  The cost is $22 per person.  You may bring your spouse or a guest at the same rate of $22, and we need a final count for Hodel’s by Monday, December 12th.  We may or may not be able to add people at the door, so please don’t count on that.  Doors open at 6:00 and we have access to the buffet after our opening remarks. 
You are asked to bring two things:  1. a wrapped book for our gift exchange (please choose one that you’ve enjoyed; this is not a white elephant or gag gift); 2. something you’ve written to share.  There will be ample time during the night for people to read short pieces.  If you have something holiday related, even better.  So that everyone that wants to can participate, please limit your reading to a maximum of 3-5 minutes.
We look forward to seeing your smiling faces, and feel free to wear your festive finery…or not.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday…as you prefer.

The deadline for your RSVP is Monday, December 12th


Thanks to our very own Joan Raymond, who presented her "Crush Imposter Syndrome and Start Writing!" at Hodel's during the November meeting. She helped us recognize our personal negative voices that keep us from writing, and then Joan introduced us to ways of reframing those thoughts into empowering statements. We looked at our past experiences and how they affected the writing process as well. During the morning, Joan shared many ideas with the group and answered questions, helping us reignite the passion for writing once again! 
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CWC 2022 Literary Review


The 2022 CWC Literary Review has been mailed. Soon a PDF of the Review will be posted on our website. If you want additional hard copies of the paperback, we are using a new process for our members to order extra copies. The book is available on Amazon for the discounted price of $10.00. The book will not be available for sale from your Branch.

If you have any questions, contact:

Roger Lubeck, President.

Order on Amazon (CWC 2022 Literary Review)


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WOK Critique Group News

Interested in a Critique Group?

Carla Joy Martin, Critique Group Chair

The Value of Volunteerism

By Bob Isbill, CWC Vice President

Director of Publicity and Public Relations

     Experts generally agree that the best way to succeed is to surround yourself with great people. How best can we do that?     You may think you know someone at the office or in your branch of the California Writers Club. Whether you are considering forming a business partnership, developing a professional project, or the thought of hanging out together more often, one way to find out more about people is to volunteer with them. Immersing yourself in a temporary project can reveal flaws as well as talents you otherwise would never encounter in a relationship.

     The simple act of working together to complete a goal can be beneficial in many ways. We bond (or not) in a more meaningful way with the mutual joy of accomplishment. Often when I have elated with others to achieve something together, I was astounded to discover they knew something or knew how to do something of which I otherwise would never have been aware. Discovering the abilities of others is just one byproduct of volunteering. Another obvious reason to “show up” is for our own personal development. It is a safe way to explore your own abilities. Giving time to do something for the general good of a project can be fulfilling in many ways.

     I remember a dozen years ago when High Desert CWC had enormous growth. We went from 14 to 100 members in 26 months. The reasons? Determination not to fail but to excel was one reason. Another was not caring about who got the credit. Another key factor was establishing to visitors that we were looking for members, not dues payers. We expected them to contribute to our growth and achievement. It was something of a rite of passage. Newbies were expected to join in our success story by sharing their talents and abilities.   

     The outcome was outstanding relationship building. Even today, years later, the close bonding that took place through massive volunteering is present now. Friendships formed are solid and growing stronger. And our branch is still thriving.

     One of the things I love about the CWC is the concept of Jack London Awards. They are something of a barometer of how well a branch is doing. For example, if there is a year where no Jack London is given, it is a red flag that either nobody is doing anything or that people are doing a lot without recognition. The Jack London is awarded only once per lifetime, but have you noticed that JL Award winners keep doing exceptional things over and over again? I recently contacted one of our former members who was a Jack London Award winner. I was not surprised to learn that years later. while working for an internationally famous company. she was awarded that organization’s equivalent to our Jack London Award. She knows the value of volunteering and it has paid off all her life.

     I find myself writing this on the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who is famous for his challenge, “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.” Find a need in your branch and fill it. You will discover the value of volunteerism.

From Your Sunshine Chair

The Sunshine Chair sends holiday, get-well, birthday (if we have your birth month), sympathy, and other supportive cards to the Writers of Kern members. Every card is filled with nurturing, caring thoughts from all the other members of our club, sending rays of peace and comfort to uplift our fellow members' spirits. How do we know when those special occasions, illnesses, or hardships arise? We rely on you, our WOK members, to alert the Sunshine Chair by emailing her the information:


We need someone to take over the Webmaster position for Writers of Kern as soon as possible. Please contact Sandy, 
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From Your Editor

Here's to you, my fellow writers:
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!
May the New Year 2023 
be bright as the Son
as you write on, 
and may you be blessed in all ways.

Shelley J. Evans
Newsletter Editor
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Nuts and Bolts

New members are always welcome. whether you are a published writer or not! Writers of Kern energetically assists all members who aspire to become published. 

The Write Way
The Writers of Kern
PO Box 22335
Bakersfield CA 93390-2335
Shelley J. Evans, Editor

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