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Members who wish to submit a blog entry should send it to A review committee will consider each submission for membership interest and may suggest edits before publishing the submission to the blog. For more information, see Blog or Be Blogged.

  • 5 Nov 2021 7:17 AM | Deleted user

    The virtual Kauai Writers Conference will launch Sunday, November 14, with the first session of Joshua Mohr's six-lesson master class, Five Sense Psychology. Sessions will be every Sunday at 7pm ET, 4pm PT (2pm Hawaiian.) This is a unique opportunity to join this wildly popular class.

    Josh Mohr was originally introduced to the conference by one of the students in his Stanford online creative writing program. She said he was the best teacher she had ever had of any subject. Organizers invited him, and more than a dozen of his Stanford students came to Kauai because they wanted to spend more time with him. People came away from the class saying that it had forever changed their approach to writing.

    Joshua Mohr

    During the in-person conferences, many sessions are held concurrently, so people have to pick and choose the few they most want to take. In the virtual conference, sessions are spread out over months, with one every Sunday. You'll be able to participate in as many as you want, up to all of them.

    Josh Mohr's class is just the first of many. People attending writers conferences generally want to learn two things: how to write better and how to get published. Our online sessions focus entirely on these two subjects.

    Publishers, literary agents and editors, each among the most experienced and influential in their fields, share practical guidance and surprising insights into the most direct path to successful publishing.

    The authors leading sessions on the craft of writing are renowned, not just as brilliant writers, but as gifted and caring teachers. Those two traits don't always coexist in the same individual, but in each of our faculty they most definitely do.

    Learn more about the virtual Kauai Writers Conference

    Conference organizers want you to feel that you are sitting in one of these two chairs on Kauai. Sitting in the other will be a succession of bestselling authors and leaders of the publishing world, each intent on getting to know you and sharing their lifetimes of hard-won wisdom.

    It's recommended that you sign up before Josh Mohr's first class on Sunday, November 14, but all of the sessions will be recorded and available for members to watch any time at their convenience.

    The virtual Kauai Writers Conference is available to registrants of the postponed in-person events, and to all others by subscription. You are invited to join the conference starting November 14 at 7pm ET, 4pm PT, 2pm Hawaiian.

    The links you need to participate in the sessions will be sent to all subscribers and conference registrants each week by email.

  • 24 Oct 2021 1:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This Season, Visit Shy Moon Lake

    The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake by Reina Lisa Menasche 

    Reviewed by Rebecca Jane

    This novel casts a spell. Its mystery grabs a reader by the spirit and does not let go.  An ordinary family: a teacher, a poet, and a curious son, expect a summer vacation, but then enter a deep mental, emotional, and spiritual struggle. Be ready for a novel that effectively disrupts the peace with its power to contemplate historical accounts that unsettle us. 

    Reina Lisa Menasche gives us relatable domestic struggles between husband and wife and sets them amid the enigmatic presence of a haunted, bottomless lake. An assumption many of us treasure—summer months spent in a cottage by a peaceful lake are unquestionably idyllic — is shattered by the disturbing reality of a small town haunted by the destruction of a nature-dwelling people and their sacred ceremony. So the setting is idyllic, yet not. The family is happy, yet not. This story gives feelings that range from mildly uneasy to ghastly until a reader is grief-stricken and expecting doom. Where is hope? 

    Shy Moon Lake is not a small town full of friendly people. The people are awkward and standoffish. They seem scared of something, and no one is allowed to talk about it. When Jess, Charlie, and their son Jonah move into town, into the “Thurston place,” they ask too many questions. They wonder about strange red handprints on the rocks. The husband-wife relationship turns strained. We are poised to read on with hope awakened in our heart. Why and how does Shy Moon Lake have a beguiling magnetic pull?  With the book’s complex characters, we try to settle in and make sense of a place where spirits and mother nature collaborate to mete out justice. This book gives us things to think about.  

    Plus, it is also cinematic. When I read it, I can see the otherworldly beauty of the setting. A row of cottages, a wall with warning signs, and an ignorant newcomer witness the calm lake swallow a loon? I’d love to see this novel made into a film.

    This story explores the consequences of the murders of indigenous people, and small town culture, where the inhabitants now live as either sedated prisoners or lake spirits. The mystery and message are  spellbinding.   

    The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake lingers with a reader outside the pages of the book. It inspires internal considerations related to what it is like to be sucked into a place or a habit or an addiction and not know why and not know the answer to this question: is there a way out? If so, what is it? If not, how do we continue, knowing we are stuck here forever? 

    But then again, the beauty of our surroundings may simply be reminding us that these very surroundings, this beauty, is longing for us to stay here because all will be well. Be sure there is a profound mixture of emotions and impressions that this book will leave on you.

    If you like being drawn in by currents of fear and peace, if you are attracted to stories of mysterious haunted places, read The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake. Great for a cozy read this autumn. Here there is peace and intricacy; we’re lured by women, a town, and a lake with stories; we find ourselves in “a place too rich for books or computers, where underwater shadows play like children.” Would you want to stay here? Read to find out.

    Reina Menasche will be discussing her book, The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake, at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore on Sunday, December 12th and noon. Please come out and support this awesome writer!

    Other books Reina has written:

    Reina Lisa Menasche’s fiction has been honored by organizations such as the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, the San Diego Book and Writing Awards, and the Southern California Writers Conference. Her first novel TWICE BEGUN, and her second novel SILENT BIRD, were finalists in the 2012 and 2013 San Diego Book Awards. Her newest novel, a paranormal suspense titled THE SPIRIT OF SHY MOON LAKE, was released in spring 2021. Her first children’s book, THE HOUSE THAT SNEEZED, will be released in early 2022. She is currently writing THRICE BEGUN, the sequel (and prequel) to TWICE BEGUN. Her website,, includes blogs on psychology and wellness, writing, and other social commentary.

    Also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Reina has taught psychology and counseling at Southern California universities, as well as therapeutic techniques to human service professionals. In addition, she is a workshop leader at the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego and in Irvine. She created the class called “Character Therapy—And You’re the Shrink” and “It’s Alive!” to emphasize the joyful creativity of exploring therapeutic exercises with a fictional character. Reina has served as Vice President of the Chronos Theatre Group and often uses dramatic as well as therapeutic techniques in her creative work. 

    As Host of BOOKSHELF, East County Magazine’s Radio Show on KNSJ, 89.1 FM in San Diego, Reina interviews local authors about their creative processes. Her website can be found at  

  • 22 Oct 2021 4:15 PM | Leon Lazarus

    Janet Hafner has published a new middle-grade novel titled Peter Poppin and the Lost Emerald. A long time member of the Guild and a serving member of the Board, Janet has been generous with her time and talents in the service of the San Diego writing community, and we wish her all the best with her new book. 

    About the Book

    At the bottom of a treacherous cliff lies a hidden beach. One with tales of treasure, pirates and sunken ships. With his mother's birthday only ten days away Peter decides that a woodcarving will make the perfect present. He'll need the very best driftwood.

    ​While there, a sudden accident leaves Peter blinded in one eye. With doctors unable to help, Peter and his best friend Marian travel to a local Shaman who gifts him a magical new eye. But all magic has a price. Able to see into the past, he must solve the mystery of a great shipwreck and return the lost treasure to its rightful owner.

    Follow Peter, Marian, and his trusted dog, Patches as they navigate obstacles of all shapes and sizes. From friendships and bullying, to pirates and giant eagles, their journey inspires us all to overcome fear and embrace destiny.

    About Janet Hafner 

    JR Hafner spent much of her adult life raising three adventurous boys who were brave and always up for a challenge. A dream brought her main character; her son named him, Peter Poppin. Travelling to the rugged coast of Maine, she discovered the life that Peter encountered as a thirteen-year-old growing up in a late 1800s settlement. Indian tribes still inhabit the area – the same as in her dream. Her travels and research come together in 

    Peter Poppin and the Lost Emerald.

    Another part of her life focused on a rescued pup named Tessa. A dog who didn’t think she was a dog. In No Cage For Me! I’m Free, little Tessa, the runt of her litter, shows us how to escape a bad situation and how never to lose hope.

    In Steps, Sidesteps and Missteps, a memoir, JR Hafner, demonstrates how perseverance is never wasted. Her memoir essays have appeared in anthologies, such as The Guilded Pen, the annually published anthology of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. One of her scenes, The Watermelon, was one of ten winners in the 2020 Memoir Showcase. She says, “I’m an all- time optimist who loves to laugh and knows the value of tears.”

    Buy the

  • 15 Oct 2021 6:54 PM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)

    Exhibitionist Novel Outstrips Convention

    Book Review of Lights On, Clothes Off by Stuart Schwartz

    By Rebecca Jane

    Lights On — Clothes Off: Confessions of an Unabashed Exhibitionist by Stuart Schwartz will expand your sensitivity related to exhibitionism. The book is narrated by Eddie Saul who tells his story of being a proud homosexual who likes nothing more than a crowd gawking at his naked body. The book follows Eddie in his ability to feed this desire. Eddie is lovable and relatable, and his joy for what he does drives the plot forward. In fact, his enthusiasm is infectious. It’s enthusiasm that leads Eddie to opportunities, financial gain, and interesting relationships.

    The book demonstrates a fresh writer’s voice that is able to make nudist sensibilities accessible and even endearing. Eddie becomes a friend, confiding in the reader. Voice is often one of those aloof skills of writing a novel that is difficult for a writer to master. It’s not easy for a writer to present a story with an original voice. But the voice is refreshing because Eddie tells familiar stories—such as a gay man coming out of the closet—in a conversational and relaxed way. This sense of feeling relaxed extends to receiving the wisdom of gay identity and desire. So often, stories about homosexuality and desire feature sadness, cruelty, heartbreak, and frustration. But this isn’t the case with Eddie. His story is uplifting and entertaining. He displays his joy as readily as he displays his genitalia.

    This means readers never really know if Eddie has any internal conflicts.  Anything that might be a potential setback for the protagonist is dealt with in a quick sentence.  For instance, we learn that Eddie does not want his parents to know about the secret life he leads, but the reader is never filled in as to why not or what is at stake if his parents find out. His parents handled his sexuality with ease and tenderness. What would it take for his parents to be equally accepting of their son’s exhibitionism? This and other potential conflicts are resolved in ways that make Eddie’s life seem too easy. Readers may finish this book wondering about all the challenges Eddie is not telling us about. Perhaps there will be a sequel told from another perspective.

    While it’s light on dramatic tension, this novel does give a strong sense of what it’s like to pose nude for a Life Drawing class where the instructor encourages “tactile learning.”  As this method of learning is no longer part of art programs, Eddie’s experience is so precious because it is so ephemeral. It’s reassuring to know a reader can open a novel and participate in a culture that is rare, a hidden gem.

    Lights On, Clothes Off is a light-hearted reading experience that stimulates curiosity, appreciates kinky desire, and perhaps even helps a reader relate to his or her own nudity with fresh enthusiasm. I highly recommend this character-driven jubilee that celebrates the simple joy of being seen.


  • 13 Oct 2021 7:41 AM | Deleted user

    The Rick Lakin Podcast featuring Andrea Susan Glass

    Andrea Susan Glass, CEO of WritersWay, is a leader in personal and professional development book coaching, ghostwriting, and copyediting of books and ebooks. She prides herself on being flexible and easy to work with, providing successful solutions and building satisfying relationships with her clients. WritersWay assists both emerging and seasoned authors in reaching their writing goals on time, on track, and on budget!

    Andrea’s professional writing experience spans a 30-year period where she has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, and individuals. She's the bestselling author of Your Fabulous First Book: How to Write with Clarity, Confidence & Connection. As an award-winning ghostwriter and copyeditor, she has written and/or edited several hundred books and ebooks on subjects ranging from business and alternative health to memoir and fantasy fiction. She is the recipient of the 2001 San Diego Book Award for the best “how-to” book. Additionally, Andrea teaches “Marketing for Copyeditors” and “Building a Business Around Writing” for UCSD (University of California San Diego) Extension, and has taught several webinars and workshops on writing and publishing.

    Andrea’s memberships in professional trade associations include San Diego Professional Editors NetworkPublishers & Writers of San DiegoSan Diego Writers Ink, and San Diego Writers & Editors Guild. Her hobbies and interests include organic gardening, healthy cooking, crafting (mostly beading and mosaics), reading, word games, volunteering, and napping with her cat!

    Write a Fabulous First Book Even If You Don’t Know How to Begin

    Are you a coach, speaker, service provider, or entrepreneur whose goal is to write a non-fiction book to share your message, attract business, and generate passive income…
    but you just can’t figure out how?

    Perhaps you’re frustrated because you don’t know how to get all your content organized...
    Or you’re afraid your book won’t be good enough or no one will want to buy it…
    Or maybe you don’t know how you’ll market and sell your book.

    If this is you, welcome to the club. It’s normal and it’s what just about every first-time author experiences when writing your first book. Fortunately, all you need is an easy-to-follow guide to walk you through how to write and finish your fabulous first book. You want the steps to writing a book that will guarantee you’ll write and publish a book that will sell.

    That’s why author Andrea Susan Glass wrote Your Fabulous First Book: How to Write with Clarity, Confidence & Connection. In the book, you’ll follow an award-winning ghostwriter and book coach as she leads you, an aspiring author, to discover the key ingredients that if missing could mean the difference between success or failure for your book.

    Guests on The Rick Lakin Podcast appear in exchange for promotional considerations.

    Theme Music is Energy: 

    Contact me at    


    Follow me on Twitter @rickspodcast

    Link to The Rick Lakin Podcast


  • 8 Oct 2021 5:43 PM | Leon Lazarus

    Available on Amazon. Isabella Steel’s political thriller novel, “Revenge is Reason Enough,” is set against the backdrop of a stagnating cesspool of corruption, partisanship, and apathy in Washington, D.C.

    “The novel takes readers into a world in which politicians callously line their pockets without the slightest regard for the consequences of their actions. They simply do not care for the innocent victims left in the wake of their political games,” Steel writes.

    According to the publisher, Black Raptor Books, the political thriller is a roller coaster ride. "From beginning to end, the reader will be left wondering about who the true villain in the novel is. They would ask themselves whether it was the grief-stricken and vengeance-seeking protagonist or the crushing and corrupt government machine that drove him over the edge."

    Fans and readers can find Steel's murder mystery, intrigue books, and political thriller novels, on Amazon and at

  • 6 Oct 2021 11:02 AM | Deleted user

    The San Diego Public Library has issued a call for submissions for the Local Author’s Exhibit for 2021. As we have in the past, we will be submitting this year’s 2021 anthology to be included in the exhibit. Previous events included a “live” reception with the local authors and guests and luminaries of the local writing community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, events since 2019 have been relegated to the online venue only. The 2021 exhibit will debut in January of 2022. Whether there will be an “in-person” event depends on what COVID-19 restrictions will be in place at that time.

    For information about the exhibit please view this link:

    Please note that SDWEG is one of the local organizations that is featured on the public library homepage. Clicking on the link (SDWEG Logo) will take you to a video of former president Sarah Faxon talking about the Guild and its benefits to the writing community.

  • 3 Oct 2021 8:10 AM | Deleted user


    Congratulations to the 2021 Memoir Showcase and “Shaking the Tree, Volume 5” selections! (If you made it to the Memoir Showcase, you are also included in “Shaking the Tree.”) Apprently this was a very tough decision this year as there were so many wonderful stories to choose from. 

    Scroll down until you find "2021 Results" to see that two SDWEG members, Janet Hafner and Valerie Looper, are among the 2021 Memoir Showcase winners. This is at least the second time Janet has been among the winners.

  • 2 Oct 2021 7:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Death in a Desert Garden:

    A Bea Rivers Mystery by Marty Eberhardt

    Publisher: Artemesia Publishing

    And You Thought the Garden Was a Safe Place  

    This is a cozy mystery for plant lovers, artists, and those who fundraise. Bea Rivers is a character who we care about. We relate to Bea’s challenges as she is a working, single mother rushing to meet the kids’ camp bus in time. Unfortunately, her routines are spiced up with a murder investigation. In this book, such common, everyday routines take on roles in the drama. The book is evocative in that way that after finishing it, when I returned to my own daily routine, an eerie sense of foreboding stayed with me. 

    Engaging dialogue moves the plot toward great personality clashes. The characters interactions highlight traits and flaws. These characters endure the heat of Tucson, Arizona while fighting for a desert botanical garden that is teetering on survival. Yes, there is a lot of questioning: who can you trust. It’s a 204-page turner that is appropriate with the fireplace lit, even better if you are in the desert lighting your fire pit. I liked all the references to plants because I learned new information about desert flora such as invasive plants relating to climate change. Rivers’ story gives a cozy combination, interweaving plant knowledge with motive sleuthing. Plus, the novel can be read as a deep psychological investigation into how Bea relates to all the characters, including the main detective on the case, a woman who has a history with Bea. 

    Eberhardt has crafted a fine novel that reveals the ways personality clashes create intrigue. Characters come from different walks of life, their fates tangle, and all their interactions hint at the sinister. 

    The novel wraps the quiet stillness of a high desert with the risk of uncertain romance, all enduring the uneasiness of an unsolved murder. Eberhardt’s work reminds me of books by Ellery Adams or Amanda Flower. Her writing gives the thrill that stays with me after I’ve finished reading. I love when a book puts me in the kind of dream that keeps me on edge, so I stay alert. 


    Get a copy of Marty Eberhardt's awesome mystery below!

  • 26 Sep 2021 8:52 AM | Deleted user

    Did you publish a book or ebook in 2021?
    If the answer is yes, and if you reside in San Diego County, you are invited to participate in the upcoming
    56th Annual Local Author Showcase! 

    The registration period is September 25 to November 30th


    As the crowning event of the library’s Local Author Program, the Showcase offers our published authors an opportunity to present their work to a large audience of readers, publishers, and fellow book people and residents. The event will run the entire month of February 2022 in the beautiful San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common. There will be a special reception to honor participating authors and officially unveil the exhibit to which authors and guests will be invited. 

    For information and to register, please visit the Library’s 
    Local Author website, and follow the instructions below:

    1. Complete the online registration prior to submitting your book.
    2. If you use a pen name, please register under your pen name and NOT your real name.
    3. If your book is in both print and digital formats, submit the PRINT version only. 
    4. All authors must submit a high-resolution photo of their book cover to complete registration. Accepted formats: JPG or PNG. No PDFs 


    Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, we are requesting authors to send their books by mail to the Central Library.

    SAN DIEGO, CA 92101-7416


    If this option presents a hardship, you may put your book in the Central Library’s book-drop at the corner of J and 11th Streets. If you choose that option, place the book inside a sealed manila envelope labeled:

    and remember:  

    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2021


    Be sure to add to your contacts so that further correspondence does not end up in your junk mail. If you have any questions or comments, please reply to this e-mail. Emails will be answered in the order they are received. Thank you and we appreciate your patience! 


    Local Author Exhibit Staff

    Humanities Section, Central Library @Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common

    City of San Diego

    San Diego Public Library


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