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Fresh Voices Scholarship
S. Kay Murphy, President
S. Kay Murphy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Writer, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, Chicken Soup for the Soul and other national publications. She is the author of two books, and her third--Lessons I've Learned from the Dogs that Saved Me--is soon to be released.
After recently retiring from 40 years in education (2010), people have been asking me- "Now what are you going to do with the rest of your life?" I have had that answer in me for years, so that question was easy! "WRITE!" Being an educator I have always been fond of books and reading. I have also loved traveling to numerous countries. But photos were not the only memories I have kept from those trips. Journaling my adventures was always second nature to me, and I love re-reading my stories. I have written some other stories of my experiences but only for my own enjoyment. Now I would like to learn how to share them.
When meeting new people and sharing some of my past experiences, I have often had people tell me - "You should write a book!" Well, I am so thankful that one of my co-workers, Sharon Herdina, shared the date and time of the writers club. I am now happy to say that I am a member and I can't wait to learn how to write professionally and possibly get something published!Sue's email
Members A to Hu
The month after I was born, my eldest sister graduated high school and left for college in the fall. Before I started first grade, I remember paging through a college library book left behind after a weekend visit and daydreaming about my turn at school. I envisioned myself in a lab coat monitoring lots of glassware set up on a counter and at night quickly pecking out newspaper articles on a large black manual typewriter.
In elementary school I became a voracious reader. It was during that time that I envisioned myself smartly dressed in a suit and practical shoes shaking hands with people who had bought my novel. Of course, the novel was about a girl and a horse on a southwestern ranch. It didn’t matter that I had never actually been to the southwest, or on a ranch, and had only been on a horse at an amusement park, but I was going to write a book about it anyway.
Some of my early prophesy did get fulfilled. I became a high school chemistry teacher and have cleaned my fair share of glassware. I worked as a freelance journalist on an early PC rather than a manual typewriter. And, while that novel doesn’t have a horse in it, the setting is in the desert southwest.
I’ve been a member of CWC since the mid 1990s and live in the high desert with my husband, Rick, and various numbers of cats.
Oh heck, on second thought, maybe there’s room for a horse somewhere in that novel.
I was always a reader but never a creative writer. I currently read at least two fiction books a week in almost every genre. This started only after graduating from the University of Redlands with my B.S. in Business Administration. My favorite professor would say that my schooling got in the way on my education. There was never an abundance of free time during my schooling to actually read non-school books, unless I wanted to ignore my compulsion in being a straight-A student. Once I start reading for fun, I’m hooked. I will stay up until 3 a.m. to find out what happens next with almost any novel. A good book can be a curse to the vicariously adventurous.
Though I loved writing research papers and essays in college, I never really attempted to write anything in the creative context until after I graduated. That was when my insomnia encouraged me to create elaborate stories in my head that would eventually exhaust me enough to finally succumb to sleep. But when I woke up, these stories continued to fester and demanded my attention. I had to get them down on paper. Now I have written an urban fantasy novel that I plan on getting published one day and numerous short fiction stories that I continuously submit to literary magazines. So far, my writing falls under horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
I majored in business because I never had a passion for anything. Once I started writing my novel, I knew this was what I was meant to do.
Following four years of military service, my professional career was as an administrator and writer for Financial Management Services at the United States Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. Little did I know during 32 years at Treasury that I would acquire a passion for poetry or be a resident of California. Fortuitously after my retirement, my bride of now 50 plus years visited the Inland Empire. She liked all she encountered and asked me to come and take a look. Liking it, too, we said goodbye to often unkind winters of suburban Maryland and took up Inlandia residency.
One day on a stroll, breathtaking hilly and mountainous scenery settled in my head. I hurried home to write “The Walk,” my first poem since taking a stab at poetry as a youngster. Relatives and friends liked it. With scant knowledge of the craft of poetry, I searched for a writing group. Finding one at Barnes and Noble in Rancho Cucamonga, its members led me to IECWC. My membership in the club since 2001 has been one of my better experiences. Now a published poet with contest winnings under my belt—I owe it to my dear mother who, out of love for his work, named me after Robert Louis Stevenson—Scottish novelist, essayist, and poet. Indebtedness extends also to IECWC colleagues for contributions that I lean on and glean from, endeavoring to become a keen writer.Bob's email
Originally from Texas, I grew up in Los Angeles where I worked in the film industry for over twelve years and read scripts as part of my job. During that time I was fortunate to have worked with many known actors and artists. It was a great experience. This eventually led to writing my own stories. And since I love the strange and unusual, science-fiction, horror and fantasy, these were the stories I wanted to write. I also love to read books by Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dan Brown, and the short stories of Ray Bradbury.
By 2006, I self-published my first short-stories book Tales of a Lucid Dreamer, a collection of 12 stories based on lucid dreams of a strange nature, which I am rewriting and extending for a late Spring 2013 re-release.
By fall of 2008 I wrote a second book The Night They Came, a science-fiction thriller about aliens invading L.A., which I have rewritten and is now available. If you're interested, be sure you are ordering the Newly Revised Edition dated 11/2012.
Currently, I have just released my new novel Wicked Mountain: The Forbidden Zone, as an eBook through Smashwords.com and soon, if not already, on Kindle, Nook, Apple iBookstore, Sony Reader, and a few other eBook devices. You can sample up to 15% of the book before you purchase, if you like.
Filled with unruly characters and wicked creatures, Wicked Mountain is a story about a man who becomes
stranded in the desert only to discover a mysterious cave that leads him into another world.
I am retired from nursing and also from working as an adjunct English teacher in the community college system. Since I have retired, I’ve come to believe in the maxim that everyone needs a hobby, and I think that writing may fit that description for me. Aside from my nursing career, I’ve been a late bloomer at everything else.
When I was nearly middle aged I began taking a few courses at Chaffey College and discovered that I enjoyed the humanities and actually loved going to school. I transferred to CSSB and earned a dual BA in English and French in 1988. I received my MA in English from UCR two years later. After much procrastination, I finally completed my PhD in English at UCR before the century was up. When I was in grad school I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation that writing provided, but despite writing literally pounds of academic papers, it’s only recently that I’ve started writing for pleasure.
I’m drawing upon memory and a little imagination in my efforts to compose some short pieces of fiction. I am happy to have been accepted by the Inland Empire chapter of the CWC as an associate member. I hope to stick with my new hobby to the point where my work might be accepted for publication and will no longer remain just a guilty pleasure.
I have been the publisher of Water Strategist, analysis of water marketing, finance, litigation and legislation for over 20 years and, for the past year, I have been thinking that it is time to do something different. (I won’t give up my day job.)
Telling that to friends, family and my business partner, the question was asked, “So what do you want to do?” My answer was at first a long silence. Then it just popped out of my mouth, “I want to write.”
I was asked, “What will you write about?” I answered, “What they tell you to write about---write about what you know.”
Upon hearing this, my daughter replied, “Oh lord, please don’t use my real name.”
I extend a heartfelt thank you to the members of the California Writers Club of the Inland Empire who have welcomed me into their ranks and encouraged me to bring my writing out of personal journals to become published stories and articles.Lisa's email
I was raised to be a silent woman. I spent half of my life writing personal letters and journals; that seemed to be the only acceptable outlet for my repressed desire to write. I began writing to save my life.
But the time came when I wanted, no, needed to write my mother’s story. So I returned to college at the age of 65 to take a writing course. The staff encouraged me to enroll in the Technical and Expository Writing graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I graduated at the age of 67.
I played it safe in hiding the fact that I only wanted to write a personal story, but when I finally revealed my subject, I was encouraged to make this my final project. The result is a 50-page Web site (down for repair at this writing) www.familythreads.net. More importantly, my professors fell in love with my mother and her stories.
While at the University, my short story, “The Bride Wore Oshkosh” was selected to be published in the annual anthology, Quills and Pixels.
I have found a talent for editing. I edited The Floor is Not an Option! by Sheila G. McCurdy, an organizing book for people with ADD. My own writing is primarily non-fiction: biographies, observations and musings. I am currently co-writing a woman’s spiritual biography. An actual current event inspired me to begin a fictional book. I am also a judge for the Eric Hoffer non-fiction book awards.
Laura Hoopes is the Halstead-Bent Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. She received the AB from Goucher College and the PhD from Yale University. In 2009, she received a Certificate in Creative Writing from UCLA Extension. Hoopes has written and published 25 nonfiction articles, 2 poems, and 3 short stories since she took up creative writing in 2005. Her current book projects are a novel and a double biography of two women in science. She enjoys several critique groups and is the editor of Fresh Ink, the IE CWC newsletter.
www.westcoastwriters.blogspot.com - Laura's Blog
I began my life without my husband of twenty-five years by revving up the travel dream and flooring it. And something unexpected happened. All the people in my life--family, friends and the multitude of newfound friends made along the lonely road--began praising me for the inspiration I instilled in them, giving them hope that life did not have to end after the death of a loved one. Their inspiration was like fuel to my hungry soul and in turn fired up another item on my "Always Wanted To Do” list: Write a book.
I hope my book, Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost, will inspire and give hope to anyone journeying through life's difficulties as I share not only my grief from the loss of a loved one but also as I examine the agony and the complexity of an abusive yet loving marriage.
For those who cannot either physically or financially go on a road trip, I invite them along literally to travel with me as my words instill in them a spirit of adventure as they visit the places they've yearned.
I live in Sun City, California and am now working on my second novel.
Dr. John Hull is an applied psychological communication specialist. Dr. Hull earned his bachelor degree and teaching credential at the University of Northern Colorado and his masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Denver. His educational and professional background includes advanced training in cognitive, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, clinical hypnotherapy, and, radio, television and film presentation and performance. John is a certified/registered Clinical Hypnotherapist and a member of the National Communication Association, American Board of Hypnotherapy, National Guild of Hypnotists, American Association of Professional Hypnotherapist, and the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Hull’s company, Hull Talk, Inc., offers personal development, performance coaching, and professional improvement programs in: Your Esteem Solution for Unleashing and Expressing Your Greatest Self; Your Esteem Solution for Effective Interpersonal Communication and Collaboration; Your Esteem Solution for Remarkable Executive Leadership; Successful Motivational Speaking and Inspirational Presentations; Your Esteem Solution for Winning Teams and Shared Leadership; Effective Team-Based Strategic Planning; Contact: Effective Customer Relations; Your Esteem Solution for Extraordinary Mind Power & Practical Intuitive Decisions; and, Optimum Golf Performance.
Dr. John Hull has consulted with numerous non-profit, public and governmental agencies, and, regional and national corporations including: the PGA of America; Nissan USA; the Lexus Division of Toyota USA; Harley-Davidson, Inc.; Southern California Edison Utility Company; Nordstrom; Tiger Federal Credit Union; South Orange County Senior Services; the cities of: Grover Beach, Chino, Alhambra and Anaheim, California; and, Colorado’s Winter Park and Steamboat Ski Areas. In addition, John provides one-on-one counseling to top administrators, athletes, actors and artists on how to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence, and, how to enhance their creativity and professional performance.
Dr. John Hull is also an adjunct faculty member with Chapman University College teaching undergraduate and graduate adult students in all areas of organizational leadership, psychology and communication. Currently, John is working on several self-help, “How To”…..books on self-esteem, leadership, mind-power, and golf psychology.
Steve Healton, Vice President, Membership Chair, Publicity
My husband, Fred, and I live in Claremont, California. Before retiring, I worked in the Dean of Students Office at Claremont McKenna College. Previous to CMC, I was employed at General Dynamics in Educational Services, acting as liaison with state colleges and universities. I have also worked as a consultant, conducting workshops on Behavior Modification and Stress Management.
My published articles have appeared in magazines such as Mature Living, Writers’ Journal, Woman’s World, and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. My mystery, Desert Soliloquy, is presently available on Amazon. The first book of my women’s fiction trilogy, Promises to Keep, will be published in 2013.
I have served on the board of IECWC for several years, and I facilitate a weekly writers’ critique group at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. In both groups, I enjoy the camaraderie of other writers. I write a weekly blog. My website is www.libbygrandy.com
Duncan Dieterly is a seventy year old single unmarried man; according to his state of California property deed. Duncan is a native of Cincinnati Ohio who now resides in California. Like all Californians he suffers from the indignities of traffic congestion, uncontrolled urban spiral, Wal- Marts, air pollution, fires, earthquakes and escalating prices. He enjoys the pleasure of the American dream of surfing over 110 channels and watching endless movies and documentaries on the Cable TV. He grows lemons in his back yard as well as a wide range of California weeds, collects books and cooks well enough that he can generally prepare anything he wants for dinner.
His four adult children and one grandchild is his major accomplishment. He began writing fiction recently in 2006. So far he has self-published two books, Short Stories One and Short Stories Two. He hopes to improve his word weaving skills to entertain and engross an ever growing audience.
He stumbled through a modest twenty year military career after graduation from the University of Cincinnati in June 1961. He retired from the Air Force as a Major in 1981. His last assignment (1979-1981) was as a liaison officer with NASA Ames Research Center in San Jose California working on multi-crewed aircraft safety, cockpit design and decision making. He completed another twenty–two year career working for Southern California Edison, the electric utility serving the greater Los Angeles area. He experienced and survived the management turbulence caused by the impact of the power melt down resulting from the state deregulation fiasco in 2000. He was a manager of safety when he retired in December 2006.
The Air Force graciously provided him with the training to acquire both a Masters Degree in Test and Measurement Psychology from George Washington University in 1965 and Doctors Degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1975. During his professional careers he has written endless letters, memos, emails, reviews, manuals, articles and reports. Forests of the world, he apologizes to you.
He has watched the world spin around several times and is not overly proud of our current government’s imprudent policy decisions. Duncan is sadden by the wars, recession and waste that continue to ravage our earth and hopes to live long enough to see better times, much better times for all of us.
In the summer of 1999 I signed up for Mike Foley's UCR Extension class, "Writing and Selling Nonfiction Articles." He taught me how to write query letters and helped me gain enough confidence to send my essays and articles to editors. Some pieces were declined and others have been accepted (but not always by the first editor I sent them to!)
My writing falls into three categories: travel articles; personal experience essays (including memoir); and articles/essays about language, writing and keeping a journal. I've been published in The Los Angeles Times, Personal Journaling, Writers' Journal, Verbatim, The Christian Science Monitor and other periodicals. Three essays have appeared in anthologies, The Walker Within, Gardening at a Deeper Level and Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Resolution.
While I love getting paid for writing, money is not my primary motive. Rather, it's the satisfaction that comes from seeing my thoughts in print, and knowing that others are reading my words. If those readers gain an insight, look at something in a new light, or at least relate in some small way to what I've written, that is the ultimate reward.
Besides writing and reading, I love travel, food, roses, puzzles, history, nature and photography. My digital images are posted at PBase.com
Members Hu to Z
My full name is Ishrat Husain Austin. I enjoyed writing short stories for Sunbeams, my college magazine in the early years. Then there was a long gap going to medical school,and doing residencies. I have been a Dermatologist for nearly twenty-five years but my love for writing has never diminished. For the last two years I have been writing with the" Night Writers" group in Claremont.
Most of my writing is fiction. Some of it is based on real life personal experiences, and some on the lives of others whose stories have moved me. I lived in Pakistan with my family when I was growing up before I came to live in the States and many of my stories have social undertones, the injustices to women and stories of loves not found. I wrte about the blending and the clash between two cultures, and their impact on our lives. Ihave written over fifty-five short stories over the last two years. I hope to publish these as a book of short stories someday.
Sossy Hyatt is a Dance Studio Owner/World Champion Dancer/Instructor and Marketing Director. She spent most of her college life in writing classes to a point where her counselor informed her to stop. Her writing instructor on the other hand continued to encourage her writing and asked her to submit several of her writings to magazines, etc. But she never felt they were good enough; along with a book that she had started back in 1994. So basically she is a closet writer.
During the day, she spends time writing newsletters and direct marketing materials for a credit union in San Bernardino. And when challenged, she gets to use her previous Legal Secretary skills to write business demand letters. Quite a talent!
She enjoys going to church, reading, dancing with her husband and traveling. Her goal is to finish the book she started in 1994 so that she can start working on the rest of the books she’s been wanting to write for quite some time.Sossy's email
Sossy's website TopCatsDance.com
AKA: AJ (because no one can spell Aleta or pronounce it at coffee bars and restaurants).
I love to write. I have been making up stories from the time I was 5 years old. Fiction, Poetry and essays are my favorites. I have published some Non-Fiction but it is not my best work.
I wrote my first novel in 2011. That story lies dismembered in a wee coffin under my bed. It is a feeble tale, with a haunting pulse, awaiting reconstructive surgery. Exploratory research determined that the weakness steams from a lack of plot; the main character was a secondary character, and there was not enough conflict. I so love this manuscript that I am powerless to take the scalpel to dissect it. Instead, I work on other patients, a young Viking. But a writer’s lifestyle atrophies my lower back, and cramps my shoulders. I cure these afflictions with inspirational treks around Claremont. I take photos of gardens with succulent plants, ponder the tribulations of being a writer, and post to my blog called Succulent Claremont. Come walk with me at http://judykohnen.blogspot.com
My digital images are posted at PBase.com
I have a glamorous career (not) as a Tax Analyst, and have worked in the payroll tax industry for over 13 years. In 2010, I had this crazy idea to pursue writing for fun and as a personal challenge. I have an addiction to reading fiction, devouring four to five novels per month. Genres of interest include romance, fantasy, mainstream, sci-fi, and horror. Stories on werewolves, vampires, witches, fairies, demons, and aliens (oh my) are most captivating.
I’ve had a persistent inner voice shouting and demanding for stories to be released from captivity of my mind. To appease that voice, I’m exploring the possibilities of becoming a writer. I’ve found there are many facets in writing, and it’s not easy. It’s a complex, difficult, and isolating journey. I believe that through dedication and incredibly hard work, all things are possible. Also, connecting with others is crucial for success, which is why I joined IECWC. I look forward to sharing experiences with a diverse, talented, supportive, and fun group.Kelly’s email:
Born in Pasadena, CA, Dorothy (Dotty) McMillan is a long time writer, artist, and actress. For the past 30 years writing has been her main occupation, with Polymer clay art her artistic passion. From age three on she has also spent time “trodding the boards” on stage, and in TV and film.
She is the author of four published novels and two art/craft books,as well as two screen plays sold but not filmed, along with a wide variety of magazine articles, and working as a stringer for several newspapers. She was also a content editor for Agency Sales magazine.
She lives in her Riverside home with her husband, two widowed daughters, Two grandsons, three dogs, two cats, and an assortment of lizards.
Samuel Thomas Nichols, ‘Sam’, was born in Oklahoma City. Shortly after his birth his father uprooted the family of four who spent several years drifting from state to state until a misunderstanding back in Oklahoma was cleared and his father’s picture removed from the Post Office walls. The family then settled down in a small Los Angeles County suburb at the south end of the Santa Monica Bay where Sam spent many his formative years.
Sam trained as an anthropologist at the California State University at Dominguez Hills while working for the Xerox Corporation. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree he stayed for a second bachelor’s program in accounting and then transferred to the MBA program at Loyola-Marymount University in Westchester. At the age of 26 he was promoted to Accounting Services Manager at Xerox. Three years later, at the age of 29, he accepted the position as Corporate Vice-president for Information Systems and Materials for Benchmark Technology, Inc. where he met, and later married, the love of his life. In 1986 he became a Senior Consultant for T.H.E. Professional Software and spent the next two decades developing computerized Manufacturing, Accounting, and Financial Applications and other Business Systems for companies that crisscrossed the United States. In 2006 he left behind the long hours, and even longer commutes, to become a part-time high school diploma teacher, and to pursue his lifelong love of writing and music.
Sam has completed 5 novels and 2 novellas for which he is actively seeking a publisher and (as of early 2013) is in the process of preparing a marketing plan for one that has expressed an interest. Sam has also written numerous poems and short stories including "Museum Pieces", which was featured in the Winter 2012-12 CWC Literary Review. He has written two musicals and is reworking the second with the help of a dramaturge, which is expected to be work-shopped in September of 2013 and premiered soon after.
Sam has also written numerous songs and instrumental pieces. His 24-minute long piano trio Two Worlds Gone, an exploration of Native American and Gypsy themes, premiered at Crafton Hills College on December 8, 2011. Two of his playful shorter compositions (written for violin and cello) Spoonful of Sunshine and Jennie Kissed Me premiered on April 17, 2012. Selections from his symphonic poem Shelly’s Dream, a composition inspired by his novel of the same name, premiered on December 4, 2012.
Sam’s novel The Seventh Stage is being serialized a chapter a week on his wordpress site at: seventhstage.wordpress.com. His eclectic blog ‘Scapes, which features
poems, short stories, musings, music, and more is at: samuelthomasnichols.wordpress.com. His website is samuelthomasnichols.com and contains links to both these sites.
I always dreamed of being a writer, but unfortunately listened to everyone, during my early college years, who said I couldn’t earn a living at it.
That belief didn’t change for decades. But, when I had many psychic experiences, as well as dreams, during my first husband’s illness, coma, and death, I was led to fully embrace my doubts about my childhood religion and to follow my inner resolve to find peace of mind. Not only did I immerse myself into the field of metaphysics, I eventually earned my doctorate in that philosophy. I teach private workshops about dream interpretation and analysis from a Jungian perspective. Early on I wrote about numerology; creating scrolls and booklets that flew off the shelves of half a dozen local stores. After a couple of years, I used that material to write the first of my books. I kept writing, having many good and not so good publishing experiences.
A few years ago I was told about CreateSpace, the self- publishing division of Amazon, and now seven of my eight non- fiction books are being sold through them along with Kindle. The great news being that anyone who has a Kindle Prime Membership also has access to the Kindle Library where my books can be down-loaded for free. And unlike the regular Libraries, I get paid when a person borrows them. Here are the titles:
Just How DO Affirmations Work?
Currently, I am writing my first fiction. Of course, I’m not leaving my love of symbolism and metaphysics. No, the book is loosely based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Reincarnation is the theme.
Victoria's website is ColonyLibraryLady.com
Writing, for me, has been a long, slow process of evolution. This process began in childhood and I have traveled through many genres in search of my voice. Early on, I wanted to sound like Ray Bradbury. Later literary role models included Stephen King and Shirley Jackson. While my first love will probably always be horror, I also wanted to explore the possibilities inherent in other genres. The discovery of Margaret Atwood marked a major turning point in my literary development, as her feminist allegories allowed for a gentler—yet still edgy—perspective.
My first novel was a mystery, which featured police officer Jasmine Kincaid on the trail of a serial killer. Currently titled The Upland Murders, the book is still in search of a publisher, so keep your fingers crossed! My second novel, Proof of Gold, is a work in progress. The genre is historical fiction, which is uncharted terrain for me, and I’m enjoying the challenge. In addition to these projects, I’ve written a number of short stories, mostly because the novels take so darn long and face it, there’s gotta be immediate gratification somewhere!Ro's email