Kudos for San Francisco Writers Conference Feb. 14-18, 2013

i sincerely loved volunteering at the San Francisco Writers Conference….it was sooooooo invigorating. Soooooooo thanks, new friends.
I just returned from the San Francisco Writers’ Conference…WOW! What a wonderful time…energizing, great content and people…and when I’d introduce myself as director for the Central Coast Writers’ Conference in San Luis Obispo at Cuesta College sooooo many wanted to be invited to present or would want the dates and workshops so they could sign-up. http://www.communityprograms.net once I get my final, final set and launched…Registration will begin in June.

S……..MANY thanks to Laurie McLean for recommending me to Linda Lee, the volunteer coordinator, who allowed me all the best volunteer jobs to see how it all works and it works like a well tuned clock. Linda will be at CCWC in September and show us how to develop our author blogs and keep them going forevermore. Definitely need that help!! 

Thanks for Michael Larson and Elizabeth for starting this conference 10 years ago. Thanks to Lissa and Jane for keeping the volunteers on track…great training and assignments. Thanks to Harvey for hosting dinners where we could meet attendees from all over the country and break bread over talk…what do you write…when will it be eBooked or published…

Awesome keynotes…Anne Perry and R.L. Stine…wow, wow….Bella Andrea was amazing, but I have to say Guy Kawasaki might be the BEST speaker I have ever heard in my lifetime of listening to many, many speeches..just the right mix of good content, funny, timely, power point, rhythm so I could take good notes…personable and such a story for NOW in publishing…check him out.

Workshops were terrific….I only got to a few of the many more that were on the schedule…but it was 4 days and CCWC is 2…but Chuck Sambuchino was awesome..building platform for authors efficiently and fast tracked…a how to prioritize and use social media to promote our books…..his books SimpleStupid even for me, his Political Dogs book made our ailing Aunt Stella laugh and laugh….you have no idea what you did, Chuck, for her and her homies….I took lots of notes and will share.

Heard Dalya Massachi talk briefly about writing for change…SF had such a stand alone conference….SLO needs one…Want more from Dalya or Constance or…..

Of course, my BFF Victoria Zackheim was wonderful interviewing Anne Perry who was gracious and lovely and relevant and amazing…etc. etc. and missed her panel…darn, but a regular to CCWC…always nugget-driven take-aways from her presentations.

Watched Mark Coker being patient in a Mark Hopkins lobby power meeting with a wannabe published author. He is such a gentleman and listened…and listened…and….

Joel Friedlander is so terrific and new content as of Friday, he’s now labeled a genius! I’m soooooo excited he will be doing his Book Cover presentation for the CCWE closing..it is so on-point and we’ll get format/design workshops from him too….he’s terrific and a nice man as well…

His friend and foil was Book Baby’s Brian Felsen who is funny and personable with great knowledge….and a real working poet too…2014….Brian, please, come join us!!

Joan Gelfand is a poet’s poet who mc’d all the poet workshops. She was awesome with great questions…intros…and answers. I was impressed.

Constance Hale really got my attention with Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch and Sin & Syntax…Catchy titles, but could she deliver on jazzing us about word usage…YES, YES, YES…and just as fun as her titles!! GUESS WHAT CCWC ATTENDEES….SHE WILL BE COMING TO SAN LUIS OBISPO AND JOINING OUR FACULTY IN 2013…I’M SO EXCITED.

The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson, did a wonderful job and we will miss her joining us in 2013.

Agent Speed Dating…got to volunteer for this activity and bring coffee to the needy agents…with 4 hours of talking every 3 minutes to the pitchers. Fun really…..

Ken Sherman, Anne Perry’s agent, was such a gentleman and fun and informative, too…loved his style during the screenwriting workshop…best content on the panel! Katharine Sands had such presence and connectivity even if on NY time; had lunch with Nephele Tempest and really enjoyed meeting her…comfortable agent and hard working; Jill Marsal is Victoria Zackheim’s agent and I see why….Victoria and I have similar tastes and this talented lady has style and grace and serves her clients well; Lara Perkins is the go-to agent for developing social media for your eBooks at Andrea Brown Agency…I predict a rising industry star and always with a lovely smile; And, of course, my friend and mentor Laurie McLean…wow…everyone wanted to talk to her and Pam van Hylckama Vlieg because they are the hot, hot, hotties and great people and smart enough to take on Danielle Smith to learn the biz and agent for children’s and picture book, too. WooHoo, Danielle! Gordon Warnock: I loved listening to his advice to his sciFi (and more) peeps…I won’t mention everyone and feel guilty about that, but….Jody Rein was such a generous, personable lady…and, of course, Michael Larsen would talk to anyone anytime about how they could succeed. This was awesome…and forgive me if I left Taylor Martindale, adorable or Rayhane Sanders or Becky Vinter or Mandy….they were all someone…you should get to know.
And, of course, the gracious and lovely and industry pro Andrea Brown, who dropped by to check on Lara Perkins and knew she would be awesome. Andrea will be joining us at CCWC…Wowzer, for sure.

Then there were the editors…my roommate C.S Lakin (Suzanne) was wonderful and talk about SpeedDating. They had an editors face-to-face for two days…attendees signed up to pitch every 10 minutes…Suzanne made herself available 2 days from early to end of day…wow…she was amazing….we will see her at CCWC, 2013….figuring out how to do an editor/agent opportunity in our format.

So I’m going to get myself in trouble with this huge post and leaving someone out I really really enjoyed, for example, my volunteer new best friends Tara Farquhar, Kristine Meister, Beatie Pompa, Silvia McCleary, Lissa, Jane and Dawn Pier and the awesome couple who run the show with Laurie and Michael..the awesome Richard and Barbara Santos.

  Thank you Cuesta College Community Programs for encouraging me to attend. It will pay dividends for our Central Coast Conference.

Like · · Promote · Share

Pat McKaye: The Spirit of Volunteerism

In 1972 the San Luis Obispo office for RSVP – Retired Senior Volunteer Program – opened for business to match seniors over 55 to a variety of activities. The Inn at Morro Bay hosted one of three area brunches celebrating their 40th Recognition for RSVP Volunteers of the Central Coast. San Luis Obispo County Supervisors, Senator Sam Blakeslee, and Representative Lois Capps recognized the 182,000 hours valued at $4.26M tallied in 2011 – support services rendered by senior volunteers.

Capps wrote, “What would your communities do without you?”

For example, 140 volunteers donated 13,000 hours to ten police departments; 50 volunteers visited frail elderly weekly; more than 220 helped at parks, hiking trails, museums and recreation departments; 150 individuals gave up 20,000 hours to gather, distribute or home deliver five million pounds of food.

Most volunteers say they are the true beneficiaries – and for good reason. Harvard Medical School’s Dr George Vaillant stated in 2001, “As one ages, remaining connected to life is crucial.” The RSVP website (www.rsvpcentralcoast.org) reflects, “Active involvement in solving community problems can stimulate positive thinking…”

RSVP Program Director, Marie Brinkmeyer, recognized volunteers with 300 to over 1,500 accumulated hours and asked why they volunteered.

Cayucan Patricia McKaye and Arroyo Grande’s Ted Hanson received the 2012 Carol Conway Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. Both emulate Conway’s legacy as an early RSVP director to model and inspire volunteers. Hanson serves at multiple locations, including Woods Humane Society, Pacific Wildlife and Veterans’ services. Cayucos Seniors’ President Betsy Watts nominated McKaye for dedicating 1,000 hours a year for 12 years as manager of the volunteers for their thrift store and senior activities’ center.

Brinkmeyer remarked, “They so take care of one another. We patterned the Good Neighbor Program after Cayucos Seniors.”

“I’m there because of the people I work with,” McKaye said. “Bonnie Allen and Ray Guillen coordinate the weekly food distribution; Mike and Doreen Cavataio pick up food from the grocery stores weekly; Pat Machen, Loretta Scholfield, Betty Hall and David Robinson organize the thrift donations so our board can donate thousands each year to our community, especially Cayucos School. Trudy Minott’s group does crafts. My receptionists keep the doors open six days a week and I especially thank my friend, Arley Robinson, who had the idea year’s ago for the thrift store.”

Northern District Volunteer of the Year, Ann Fletcher said about their Atascadero Fun Club, “Behind every successful program is a team. Volunteering comes from the heart.”

Cayucans Machen and Scholfield agreed volunteering fulfilled their lives.

Bill Pluma volunteers at ten stations and said, “I get to meet people at the top, bottom, and in between and learn something new every day.”

PostScript: Pat McKaye was my mentor and my mom. She lived life to the fullest until her last breath August 11. She continued to serve the Cayucos Seniors until the very end and they honored her royally and miss her sincerely as do I. Her birthday was February 10 and she would want us to celebrate. We would have gone to the movies. I did. I saw Daniel Day Lewis in LINCOLN. She would have loved it. Goodnight, my moon.

She walked with grace and attitude. You felt good being in her space. She breathed life into Cayucos and it smiled back and gave her joy.

She walked with grace and attitude. You felt good being in her space. She breathed life into Cayucos and it smiled back and gave her joy.