The Diamond Valley Writers Guild

Last Saturday I participated in The Diamond Valley Writers Guild’s annual Appreciation of Poetry Day. There were over twenty poets and we each were allotted two poems to read. A good friend of mine had been telling me about this group for some time. They meet monthly at the Hemet Public Library. I also know the director of this group, Lynne Spreen, an author of several novels, including Dakota Blues which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lynne has also been a featured reader at my authors’ series held at Koffi in Rancho Mirage.

I was most impressed by this group and will be joining. Their membership dues are only $20. They have speakers at their monthly meetings and other events such as an authors book fair taking place on Saturday September 23rd at 123 North Harvard Street in Hemet. If interested in joining The Diamond Valley Writers Guild go to Oh! They also put out a literary magazine entitled Straitjackets.


I just saved $880

I was all set to enroll in an online writing course through Stanford when I decided to download the syllabus. It consisted of writing a poem a week, reading a list of poets, and reading essays from Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook. Well, it’s not like I need college credit, I just wanted to improve my writing skills. The only advantage of the course would be the critiquing from the professor and fellow students, but I already run a critique group, and we really help each other. So, this is what I did. I ordered Mary Oliver’s book and kept the syllabus. There was also an anthology to order, but I have most of the works of the recommended poets already, and those I don’t have I can google. So, I will do the course work on my own and save $880!


Optimizing your writing time

An article this month in Writers Digest entitled Creative Rations explores how people who have creative writing jobs, whether it’s copy writing, journalism, or advertising, to name a few, find that their personal creative writing many times suffers because their creativity is utilized during the day in the workplace. I found this to be true when I was still teaching; all of my creative energy was poured into lesson plans and writing lectures, not to mention grading essays. Right now though I have a part-time job that does not utilize my creativity, and so, even though these eighteen hours a week I am putting in do take up writing time, I am finding that I am becoming more disciplined  due to my writing time being limited. Many times when I have all the time in the world I tend to waste it. So for me, having to schedule my writing and sending off submissions time more efficiently is resulting in actually getting more done!

If you have a similar story, or a not so similar story, please respond.

June’s Featured Reading Line-up

On June 17th at Koffi in Rancho Mirage, located at 71-380 Highway 111, featured authors are as follows: Ulrike Maria and David Cat Cohen. The program begins at two o’clock and an open mic is also included.

Ulrike writes primarily about her metaphysical findings. She has published five books; some of the titles are Modern Thought Theories and Better Living through Right Thinking. Her presentation is sure to be inspiring.

David Cat Cohen has published eight books on food, travel, and music. Some of his titles include Chicken Soups From Around The World and Road Stories Southwest. He is a gregarious presence and his recipes are tempting!

So, come and enjoy, listen, participate, and even buy a book! These should promise to be good summer reading.


Recap of featured reading on May 13th

On May 13th at our regular featured reading series at Koffi in Rancho Mirage two accomplished authors debuted their books.

Rose Baldwin’s upcoming novel is entitled Mike’s Magic Burgers. It is about a restaurant where the burgers transport a diner to another realm. For example, the tropical burger transports a new customer to a tropical island where she relaxes on a white sand beach while enjoying a massage. The novel will be out in June and available on Amazon. It promises a delightful read.

Our next featured reader was Patty Farmer whose book Playboy Swings chronicles the contribution Playboy made to jazz artists, many of whom got their start at The Playboy Clubs and The Playboy Jazz Festivals. Many only think of Playboy as a magazine with naked ladies, but Hugh Hefner gave exposure to so many jazz greats. In addition, Hef broke racial barriers by having both black and white performers in the clubs,  and on Playboy After Dark.

Playboy Swings is the first in a trilogy. In September Patty will return to Koffi to debut her next in the series Playboy Laughs which traces the evolution of the jokes and cartoons in Playboy. The last of the series is Playboy Talks which focuses on the articles. Remember the catch phrase, “I read Playboy for the articles.”

Patty is a thorough researcher. In her first book The Persian Room she brought to light the many singers and musicians who performed at the famous Persian Room at The Plaza Hotel.

Join us September 10th at Koffi in Rancho Mirage when Patty will debut Playboy Laughs. And don’t forget to order Rose Baldwin’s Mike’s Magic Burgers on Amazon come June.


Featured Reading

A very special reading at Koffi in Rancho Mirage this Saturday May 13th beginning at two o’clock. Author Patty Farmer and her book Playboy Swings which chronicles Playboy’s contribution to the music scene, and Rose Baldwin debuting her upcoming novel Mike’s Magic Burgers. Don’t miss this exciting reading!