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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.

  • 3 Jan 2022 7:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written from the Strength of the Human Heart

    The Colonized and the Scramble for Africa by Wanjirū Warama

    Reviewed by Rebecca Jane

    I’m grateful to Wanjirū Warama for writing The Colonized and the Scramble for Africa, a true village saga that impressed this reader with its precision and clarity. She is generous with her first-hand accounts and descriptions of peasant life in Kenya between 1880s and 1950s. Her writing gives voice to the voiceless. It takes a mighty talented writer to listen to and perceive the humanity amidst all the complexities and conflict that arise when British colonialism meets African tribal traditions. Warama has this talent. For instance, she describes the rite of passage of sex education juxtaposed to the cultural taboo of single motherhood in a way that makes the reader think. Also, readers get a chance to witness what it was like to juggle British tax policies amidst trying to cope with multiple marriages and infertility. Warama is perceptive, and we can trust her to inform us with honesty and integrity.

    Each scene is deftly detailed so it comes alive off the page. I felt I was with this family through challenges, such as seeking health care from a fledgling hospital system, as well as through every joy, such as family members reuniting after long separations. This book gives a bird’s eye view of generations of social change.

    This is a book that helps to understand African life without demeaning references or images. For example, Warama observes the ways previous writers about Africa describe the houses as huts. Not only does her writing show how the word hut and its connotations do not match the ways the Kikuyu perceive their reality, but readers feel akin to the perception that the word hut was never an accurate word to describe these homes. We yearn for more accurate views.

    It’s so refreshing to read a story on Kikuyu terms with Kikuyu perceptions. We can receive Warama’s writing as a fresh voice and welcome perspective. It’s especially honorable to see the way she handles culture constructs of polyandry and polygamy.

    Also, the tone is not sentimental nor is it critical, but it is an accurate articulation of the situation as felt by the strength and fierceness of the human heart, making it all so relatable. Reading this book, we are in the hands of a trusted guide. From descriptions of keeping goats on a village farm to seeing a mother delivering her first baby in a hospital, this book covers vast territory that helps us to understand life of a polygamous father, a junior wife, or an observant young girl growing up in Kenya during socially tumultuous years. It’s a great read that restores our humanity.

    Warama is an author whose journalistic integrity and attention to detail is sure to impress us. I eagerly await the next book in this series of stories that are bursting to be told with humanity and awareness.


    Wanjiru Warama

    PRONOUNCED: One-g-row Wah-Rah-Mah

    Born to farmworker parents with no formal education, Wanjirũ Warama uses her unique experiences of growing up on a British colonial farm in Kenya, her world travels, and as an immigrant in the United States to write biographical, nonfiction books that enlighten, entertain, and inspire readers to do their best and thrive. She has written five books.

    Her latest, THE COLONIZED And the Scramble for Africa, the first in a series about the lives she, her family, and her Gȋkũyũ community led on the colonial farm published November 2021. She is writing a sequel that will publish in Spring 2022.

    Because she grew up in a world devoid of books, education is close to her heart. It’s the only way she knows that will enable a person, born under a cloud of disadvantages, to escape dehumanizing grind of poverty similar to the one she endured in her younger years.

    A philanthropist, Wanjirũ is a lifetime member of the Friends of the San Diego Public Library, a member of the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild, and a member of The Rotary Club, among others. 

    She lives in California, United States. 

    You can reach her through her website at

  • 2 Jan 2022 1:09 PM | Anonymous

    The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) offers a mentorship program to its members. January 2022 is the time to apply for their Spring program.

    AWP's mentorship program, Writer to Writer, matches emerging writers and published authors for a three-month series of modules on topics such as craft, revision, publishing, and the writing life. Mentors volunteer their time and receive a free one-year AWP membership. Writer to Writer is free of charge to mentees.

    Their Spring session begins each February and consists of six modules over a three-month period, concluding mid-May.

    There is no charge to apply, and there is no fee for this program.

    Membership is $75 a year.

    To learn more, visit:

  • 25 Dec 2021 9:04 AM | Deleted user



    by Tom Leech

    ©2013 Tom Leech

    On the 1st Day of Christmas

    My True Love Gave to Me

    A Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 2nd Day of Christmas

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 3rd Day of Christmas,

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Three Cold Cervezas

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 4th Day of Christmas

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Four Quesadillas

    Three Cold Cervesas

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 5th Day of Christmas

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Five Beef Burritos

    Four Quesadillas

    Three Cold Cervesas

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 6th Day of Christmas

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Six Enchiladas

    Five Beef Burritos

    Four Quesadillas

    Three Cold Cervesas

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.

    On the 7th Day of Christmas,

    My True Love Gave to Me

    Seven Cheese-filled Nachos

    Six Enchiladas

    Five Beef Burritos

    Four Quesadillas

    Three Cold Cervesas

    Two Margaritas

    And a Sea Gull in a Palm Tree.


    Tom Leech wears several hats. He heads his own communication consulting firm, based in San Diego, California. He is author of many published books about business, communications, nature and travel, plus his poems have appeared in many publications and his new children's Christmas book:
    - THE CURIOUS ADVENTURES OF SANTA'S WAYWARD ELVES, just released, a 24 page color-illustrated poetic tale telling how two frisky elves decided to tag along with Santa as he made his special rounds taking presents to little boys and girls. They found many surprises when they also went down the chimney (after Santa had flown off with the sleigh and reindeer to his next destination). By Tom with co-author Leslie Johnson-Leech. 
    - SAY IT LIKE SHAKESPEARE: THE BARD'S TIMELESS TIPS FOR COMMUNICATIONS SUCCESS(original from McGraw-Hill, with different sub-title). WINNER of Int'l Book Awards in "Business: Communications/Public Relations" category;
    - HOW TO PREPARE, STAGE & DELIVER WINNING PRESENTATIONS, 3rd Edition 2004 (AMACOM), named by Presentations Magazine as one of six "Top of the Class" books for the year; 
    - OUTDOORS SAN DIEGO: HIKING, BIKING & CAMPING, with Jack Farnan (Premier), based on his many columns as Outdoors Editor for San Diego Magazine Online;
    - ON THE ROAD IN '68: A YEAR OF TURMOIL, A JOURNEY OF FRIENDSHIP (Presentations Press), his personal stories from his 6-months around-the-world adventure trip during this tumultuous year. (Remember the TET offensive?)

    For nearly three decades, he has helped organizations nationwide enhance communications success and capabilities via executive and team coaching, Winning Presentations Training Seminars, and conference programs and keynotes. He is a long-time free-lance writer and columnist with over 200 articles in national and local publications, among them in-flight magazines of Frontier, Air Tran and American Airlines, Executive Update, The Toastmaster, Presentations, Opportunity World, Sales & Marketing Excellence, Manage, Master Salesman, Business Journals, San Diego Magazine and Mission Valley News.

    He's a native of the Hoosier State -- Indiana, and a graduate of Purdue University. His spare time activities include hiking, travel, ball-room dancing, reading good books and walking the dogs (occasionally). 

    Information about his various pursuits can be found at at, and

  • 24 Dec 2021 11:50 AM | Anonymous

    Mark Clifton has published his second novel, The Mayor of O.B.  The book, available for purchase in the coming weeks, tells the story of the unofficial Mayor of Ocean Beach who holds court daily on the sea wall by the O. B. pier.

    The story follows the protagonist from his youth, growing up surfing, doing martial arts, and finding trouble with his best friend, Al Marutas, who lives next door on Abbot St. directly behind the break called "Middles". Life gets more complicated when they meet a beautiful surfer girl and rescue her from a difficult situation. They both fall in love with her, which divides their once iron-clad friendship.

    As the counter-culture affects all of their lives in 1967, the two friends become enemies while their lives take different directions. The following years dangerously  unfold  for the future "mayor" while he works through the loss of his girl, his friend, and his life.

    Mark's first crime novel, There Goes The Neighborhood, was set in the community of San Carlos. 

    Look out for a review of Mark's latest novel in the coming weeks, right here on the SDWEG blog.

  • 24 Dec 2021 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    “Blessed are they that see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”—Camille Pissarro

    Why Art Matters

    By Kelly Bargabos

    My youngest nephew was five years old when we boarded the elevator in my building and stared up at the lit numbers counting down from the fourth floor to the first and he blurted, “I love the city. I want to marry it.”

    He and I had just spent a day hanging out at my condo that was in an old brick building where workers once left their sweat on the factory floor and now the place breathed new life filled with mostly childless couples of varying ages who had time and money to walk to restaurants, hip new bars and lounges, and all the festivals and events held in the city’s downtown square.

    That day, my nephew saw a different life up close as we roamed the streets and walked the gritty landscape of a northeast post-industrial city on a Saturday. Even with his limited life experience, he could sense how different it was from his suburban, predictable, daycare-to-private-school-life. His five-year-old brain didn’t have the language to articulate the strong emotion bubbling up in his chest, so he used what he knew.

    My aunt Sharon died last July after fighting cancer for a few years. She was eighty-one and the last time I visited her, I was awestruck at her peace with knowing the end was near. I wish that same peace for myself someday. Her funeral was held a few days later in the place she came from. She was born on a farm in a one-intersection town that didn’t even warrant a stoplight. The service was held in the Town’s only church, located on the Northwest corner of that intersection. It was a modest white building with a small steeple and a sign out front that told of the next church supper and the summer field days. I sat with my brothers and sisters in wooden pews behind my parents while they greeted old men and women who they had been in grade school with, others they had known when they were just starting out as a married couple and some they met when their kids were little at the same time as us. There were others they hadn’t known at all but they were associated with the familial names of the town. My parents whispered with cupped hands around their mouths and pointed—“He’s a Kincaid.” “Oh, she’s a Miller, I knew her brother.” “Oh, I know her … what is her name? She used to work at the dentist’s office. It’s going to drive me crazy,” and then they’d smile and say hello like they knew exactly who she was.

    I was happy just to be there that day with my mom and dad, sitting behind them as if it was forty-five years earlier and we were getting ready for a Sunday church service. I watched people filter through the receiving line to greet my aunt’s children and their families with stories of how they knew her and what she meant to them. This community knew hard work and tough times and you saw the battle lines in their faces and eyes and felt it in their strong, muscular hands that had worked them through this life. They were proud, not victims. They were old but satisfied to still be here. They were slower to think and speak but quick to share a handshake or a hug and were genuinely happy to see their people come together in this place.

    As I watched this unfold, I was struck with an overwhelming desire to capture this scene. I needed to figure out a way to write about it. I had to find just the right words to describe the smell of old hymnals and church basements, to articulate what it is like to watch your parents greet old friends and grieve the loss of someone who stood with them at their wedding. I wanted to tell how the light broke through the stained glass and for a moment bathed us all in its glow.

    Yes, I know this is the very thing that makes us writers, but why? What is it that makes me want to write about it? What is the purpose? What am I trying to achieve? I also realize that the desire to capture moments that touch our souls is not unique to writers. Writing is just one form of Art. But what is the phenomenon that makes us want to write about these moments, or depict them in a photograph, or a painting, or a song lyric or movie plot? Why are some of us convicted with that thought of “I need to write this” or “I need to paint that?”

    That urge or compulsion to document, to capture, to witness, to share because it touches us so deeply, is at the core of being human. This is what separates us from other creatures and living things on the earth. Art separates us. Art is the language we use to convey moments like these to others. Art is created when a moment, an experience, a sunset, a landscape, a person, overwhelms your senses and compels you to capture the feeling, the emotion, the connection to other humans, in whatever your medium is—words, paint, music, theater, film, pictures, poetry, voice.

    This is why art matters. Artists have something they need to say. Most of us do not commit to our work or our craft in lust of notoriety, fame and fortune. No, we do it because we love what we see so much we are compelled, driven and harassed by our inner voice until we put pen to paper or until we draw or paint or create. We cannot rest until we’ve done what we can to capture and record, to preserve the moments and share them in the only way we know how.

    Artists work to hold on to real life, in its most raw state, so that we can all remember this day, this sunlight, this cathedral, this heroine, or that farmer in my aunt’s hometown. We are so in love with this beautiful life and all of its pain and glory, its aching sadness and joy, the people who inhabit our generation, the ones who’ve come before us and the ones we will leave behind. We love it all so much we want to marry it.

    Kelly Bargabos is currently hosting two podcasts, All There Is and Here to LEAD, and the author of Chasing the Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home When the World Moves Too Fast, a 2018 Nautilus Book Award Silver winner and a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. She is currently serving as a board member for the SDWEG and finishing a nonfiction book on mastering the art of leadership.

  • 19 Dec 2021 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    In 2022 You Need to Write Your Book

    Wednesday, January 19, 2022
    5:30 to 7:30 PM

    Hera Hub, 5205 Avenida Encinas, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92008
    General public: $15
    Hera Hub members: $10


    Join SDWEG members Andrea Susan Glass and Melody A. Kramer, along with publishing consultant Karen Wilkins, to talk about writing a book that will build your business in 2022.

    About this event

    Are you a business owner, service provider, coach, or an expert in your field? Would you like to add a published book to your credentials and be able to share your expertise with far more people than you could ever reach in person? Would you like to attract more clients to you as the author of a bestselling book?

    2022 could be the year you write your fabulous first book! In this educational and interactive evening, authors Andrea Susan Glass and Melody A. Kramer, along with publishing consultant Karen Wilkins, will share their experience and expertise for getting your book written and published in 2022.

    In this panel presentation, you’ll learn valuable tips such as:

    • How a book can build your credibility, visibility, and profitability for your business
    • How to overcome fears and challenges stopping you from becoming an author
    • How to schedule time to write when you are running a full-time business
    • An overview and timeline of the process from book concept to published book
    • What kind of support is available for self-published
    • Presentations by panel members will be followed by Q&A, as well as networking and light refreshments.

    This event will be offered as a hybrid event - live and virtual via Zoom. We hope you will join us in person for this event, but understand that current Covid challenges might make that difficult for you. Register now to reserve your spot.

    If you have any questions, please contact

    About the presenters

    Andrea Susan Glass is the bestselling author of Your Fabulous First Book: How to Write with Clarity, Confidence & Connection and My Fabulous First Book: A Workbook Companion to Your Fabulous First Book. She serves as a book coach to first-time nonfiction authors and teaches at the University of California San Diego Extension. She’s the owner of WritersWay, a business that has offered copyediting, ghostwriting, and coaching for 20+ years. Andrea is active in the four largest writing and editing organizations in San Diego. She offers one-on-one book coaching and several coaching programs and courses.

    Melody A. Kramer is a trial lawyer, visionary, and bestselling author on a quest to make lawyers useful again. She launched her legal career in Nebraska and now runs a business law practice in San Diego, California. Her consulting company, Legal Greenhouse, is committed to creating innovative solutions in the legal space, changing how lawyers and clients interact, and making lawyers more useful to their clients. You can buy her book, Why Lawyers Suck! Hacking the Legal System, Part 1 on Amazon. (Also available under the more politically correct title Lawyers Decoded.

    Karen Wilkins is the Executive Liaison for Elite Online Publishing, a full-service publishing and marketing firm. She got involved in the publishing business since her best friend is a book coach. Karen became intrigued with learning more about publishing and marketing after to talking to entrepreneurs and business leaders who benefitted from publishing their books. Although Karen’s background is in environmental regulations, she brings her skills as an administrator and public speaker to this newfound career.

  • 17 Dec 2021 3:42 PM | Anonymous

    SDWEG’s mission is to promote the skills and development of writers of all ages and levels of experience. We especially appreciate creativity and energy of young writers.

    This season, writing professionals in San Diego have an opportunity to fulfill the Guild’s mission by volunteering expertise or donating time or resources to the San Diego Writers Festival Kids Write contest. This contest is open to children ages kindergarten through 12th grade. Their submission deadline is February 28.  

    Kids Write is seeking judges for the writing contest. This involves reading contest entries and searching out the best writing. This is an exciting opportunity to discover young talent. Plus, judges gain insider knowledge of what kinds of content kids like to write about, what they think about, and how young writers wish to express themselves. This year’s theme is “Here Comes the Sun.”

    Kids Write is seeking leaders for workshops for young writers, especially workshop leaders for graphic stories and fiction. This is an opportunity to volunteer time and expertise to help young writers grow and thrive. It’s also a chance to bridge the generational gap and get to know one another better. If you like teaching workshop to young writers, please step up.

    Kids Write is also proud to work together with an organization called C2SDK whose mission is to help families in need have access to technology, computers, internet, and education. You or your organization may choose to help give a young writer a much-needed computer.

    Perhaps you know an organization, or you yourself, could sponsor a monetary award. Kids Write welcomes anyone to donate money to sponsor a monetary gift to the young writers who win the contest.

    If any of these opportunities are calling to you, please reach out and communicate to the Director of Kids Write, Lindsey Salatka. Her email is

  • 16 Dec 2021 12:19 PM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)


    By Bob Boze

    Let’s start with the fact that there are no real rules for chapter breaks. Chapters can be as long or as short as you want. Because of this, the answer to the question we often get asked, “How many chapters should I have?” is  “As many or as few as you want.”

    Two of the tools in a writer’s toolbox that we find are often overlooked are chapter breaks and titles. As such, when we edit someone’s work, all we see are seemingly random breaks with Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and so on.

    We believe several things about chapter breaks. They should be used to make a change in our story. A scene change, a POV change, a lead into a major event, a dramatic twist… anything we want to stand out. Thus, our chapters can be as long or short as we need to make the change, then close it out.

    We’ve seen one-page chapters and twenty-page chapters, where both worked well. We don’t typically recommend twenty pages since we also believe chapter breaks should be used to allow the reader to catch their breath; to take a break after an intense or emotional scene. Here again, it’s whatever length works with your story.

    Like your story title, chapter titles should also entice the reader, make them want to read on. Any good reader will open a book to the table of contents and scan the chapter titles. When they do, you want them to go: “Wow, wonder what that chapter’s about?”

    So, use every tool in your toolbox, including chapter titles. However, not all fiction has chapter titles, but they do enhance the structure and interest in the book.

    One last suggestion. Chapter titles are often hard to come up with. Write your chapter, then go back and look for something that will make the reader ask, “Wow, where is this going and what’s that about?” But, don’t give anything away! 

  • 10 Dec 2021 6:22 PM | Anonymous

    Current Board member, Janet Hafner’s favorite place to find books is Diesel Bookstore in Del Mar. Thanks to her efforts, the store ordered a copy of the The Guilded Pen – The Power of Ten!

    Diesel opened in October of this year, and we should show support for a local bookstore of this quality. When you go in to browse, ask for a copy of the SDWEG anthology.

    Thank you, Janet!

  • 2 Dec 2021 11:27 AM | Anonymous

    The 2021 Memoir Showcase features two of our very own members, Valerie Looper and Janet Hafner. Both have pieces that will be performed live on December 7 at 7 PM at the Conrad in La Jolla. 

    Presented by the San Diego Memoir Writers Association, the 7th Annual Memoir Showcase with the theme, “But I’m Still Here,” features ten bold, theatrical, and entertaining readings.

    You will be immersed in stories about driving through life-threatening wildfires, facing down a hammerhead shark, being left alone on a war-torn tarmac in Afghanistan, and more.

    This is a one night only event and tickets are on sale now!

    Get your tickets here.

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