The Fremont Podcast

Episode 98: Inside the Vibrant World of Fremont Area Writers with Evelyn LaTorre and Tish Davidson

November 17, 2023 Ricky B Season 2 Episode 98
Episode 98: Inside the Vibrant World of Fremont Area Writers with Evelyn LaTorre and Tish Davidson
The Fremont Podcast
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The Fremont Podcast
Episode 98: Inside the Vibrant World of Fremont Area Writers with Evelyn LaTorre and Tish Davidson
Nov 17, 2023 Season 2 Episode 98
Ricky B

Ever wondered about the intimate, inner workings of a local writing club? Join us as we unpack a fascinating conversation with Tish and Evelyn, representatives from the Fremont Area Writers Club. We delve into the club's rich history, its nurturing inclusivity, and the intriguing stories of its diverse members - a narrative tapestry woven from the threads of their lived experiences. You'll hear Tish's interesting take on the origins of the Kotex sanitary napkin, an odd titbit from her forthcoming medically-related nonfiction book.

The digital age has changed how we live, work and create. Our guests share their experience of transitioning from cozy, in-person meetings to the virtual world of Zoom. We discuss the unexpected benefits this shift has brought, such as connecting with speakers from around the globe. We also touch upon the impact of these changes on the writing process and hear about the inspiring journey of Lollipia, who won the She Writes Press Memoir Contest after joining the club.

Lastly, we turn our lens to the vibrant cultural landscape of Fremont, and explore its influence on the club's writing. Tish and Evelyn emphasize the importance of rewriting, editing, and building meaningful relationships within the writing community. Reflecting on personal growth, they share how their experiences resonate in their writing. Tune in, as we celebrate the power of community and the art of storytelling!

To find out more about the Fremont Area Writers, check out their website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here. 

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered about the intimate, inner workings of a local writing club? Join us as we unpack a fascinating conversation with Tish and Evelyn, representatives from the Fremont Area Writers Club. We delve into the club's rich history, its nurturing inclusivity, and the intriguing stories of its diverse members - a narrative tapestry woven from the threads of their lived experiences. You'll hear Tish's interesting take on the origins of the Kotex sanitary napkin, an odd titbit from her forthcoming medically-related nonfiction book.

The digital age has changed how we live, work and create. Our guests share their experience of transitioning from cozy, in-person meetings to the virtual world of Zoom. We discuss the unexpected benefits this shift has brought, such as connecting with speakers from around the globe. We also touch upon the impact of these changes on the writing process and hear about the inspiring journey of Lollipia, who won the She Writes Press Memoir Contest after joining the club.

Lastly, we turn our lens to the vibrant cultural landscape of Fremont, and explore its influence on the club's writing. Tish and Evelyn emphasize the importance of rewriting, editing, and building meaningful relationships within the writing community. Reflecting on personal growth, they share how their experiences resonate in their writing. Tune in, as we celebrate the power of community and the art of storytelling!

To find out more about the Fremont Area Writers, check out their website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here. 

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I'm Gary Williams. Your reviews help other people find this podcast. If you would please leave a review on iTunes.

Speaker 2:

This really is open to everybody. Even if you're just thinking about writing, you can come and try us out and see if we can help you.

Speaker 1:

Coming to you straight from Fremont, california. This is the Fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont, one conversation at a time. Ricky wanted me to put my microphone inside one of these little free libraries and then close the door and through the glass tell you this is episode 98 of the Fremont podcast. Now here's your host, Ricky B.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, today I have Tish and Evelyn. They are representatives of the Fremont Writers Club. Is that the best way?

Speaker 1:

to say it no, it is not Fremont area. Writers.

Speaker 2:

Fremont area writers.

Speaker 3:

Okay, very good. So it's the Fremont area writers. Tish, tell me exactly what is the Fremont area writers.

Speaker 2:

The Fremont area writers is a branch of the California Writers Club, which has 22 branches statewide. It's a writing organization that's open to anyone who wants to write or aspires to write Everybody. We've had members that range from students to senior citizens. It was founded on 2000,. This branch was founded in 2009 and we have about 40 to 45 members. We have members that write fiction, nonfiction, poetry and memoir.

Speaker 3:

Is this. I'm just curious, all these different people that are involved, are they particularly looking to write short stories, novels, Is there any particular type of it's all over the place.

Speaker 2:

We also have several gifted artists who have written things to go with their paintings.

Speaker 3:

Okay, oh wow, very good.

Speaker 2:

And we're a member of the Fremont Cultural Arts Council. And sponsor several events every month.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I had was an interview with Margaret Thornberry and with the. Yeah, that was back in. Actually, I interviewed her before April because April was the month when we focused on the arts and culture and all of that. So she was. She joined me. That was a fantastic interview. I enjoyed meeting her, but you're a part of that as well then.

Speaker 2:

Yes, okay, very good, and we're also part of California. Writers Club, which is a statewide organization that was founded in 1909.

Speaker 3:

Okay, okay. So, tish, what kind of writing do you enjoy, like, what is it that you do? I?

Speaker 2:

write nonfiction. Okay, I write non. My background is in biology and I write medically related nonfiction Mostly. I've written other things. I've written some children's books for Scholastic and I. My current book is called medical firsts to change the world published by boomers berry. Wow and I'm working on one right now. It's from the war room to your living room everyday objects that have originated in the military, wow. Fascinating did you know that freeze-dried instant coffee came out of the technology for freeze-drying blood plasma in World War two.

Speaker 3:

Are you kidding me that I did not know that that sounds. I'm gonna have to get your book. This sounds pretty fascinating.

Speaker 2:

It won't be out till April 24 of.

Speaker 4:

Next year next year.

Speaker 3:

I've heard of a few other things, too, that have come out of like they were originally designed, I think. I think superglue was one of them superglue duct tape duct tape? Yeah, because superglue they was something they had in the field that they could. They could help seal up last rations really quickly.

Speaker 2:

But my favorite is Kotex sanitary napkins after World War one. Well, cotton was expensive during World War one and Kimberly Clark developed this paper pulp based bandage material to absorb blood, because World War one was pretty bloody okay and At the when the war ended, they had this huge supply.

Speaker 2:

Okay and they discovered that nurses in France were using this bandage during menstruation. Huh, so they decided that they would manufacture a product. The problem was not the product. The problem was that they couldn't get anybody to take the advertising for it, and most of the store clerks were men, and women wouldn't go in and ask for sanitary napkins, and they tried all kinds of things like giving them a coupon.

Speaker 2:

They're letting them buy a coupon and then putting a coupon in a basket and just take the product. And finally, albert Lasker, who was an advertising genius, who developed Smokey the Bear, convinced ladies home journal to take advertisements for a sanitary napkins and then the product just took off.

Speaker 3:

Wow, that is really fascinating. Yeah, when, when the book comes out, I'd be interested in be interested in reading that. That's um. I know that Banter books shop down in down on Capitol Avenue. I know that they have a lot of local writer books bookshelf for them right down there, so I don't know if we can get it on the shelf down there if you already have.

Speaker 2:

We will certainly try. Most of my books are sold to schools and libraries. Okay but I'm always happy and I'm hoping the war book can get into some more museums. Oh, that'd be great yeah because you already have an audience, then that's somewhat interested.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 4:

Banter books has has um at least my first book, maybe my second book I walked in there one day and there it was. Wow and not only that, but Amy, the owner, put me in touch with Book clubs and they had me come and speak, which I'm always very cool authors love to. Writers Usually love to talk about their writing. That's right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, um yeah, the banter book shop is a sponsor of the podcast so. And we I interviewed Amy, I don't know maybe a month before she opened up and so, like we released the episode about banter book shop on the day that they had their grand opening, so they were cutting, so it's pretty cool.

Speaker 4:

Well, and I know my publisher really pushes us to try and and support the independent bookstores on our websites. We can't get away with just having you know one place that you can order our books.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Well now, evelyn and I have both spoken about our publishers, but I'd like to emphasize that most of the members of Fremont area writers are either not published or self-published, or have published on a hybrid model, and there is absolutely no requirement that you'd be published to join. We encourage people who want to be published and try to help them find Outlets that are appropriate for what they want to write. But this really is open to everybody, even if you're just thinking about writing you can come and try us out and see if we can help you.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah. So what does that look like? I mean, what is the buck, what is the Fremont area writers, what? What does that look like when they gather like? Are there Helps? Are their workshops? Are there like, like? And even in, if someone is interested in publishing, is there anything that might be helpful for them, someone to get published?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, well, we started in 2009,. Okay, and I was one of the Beginning people. In fact, I've served. You were asking what Position do we, are we in? And I remember I started off as secretary and I one time I had to fill in for the treasure, and so we started small, with just a few. Okay, and it was started by Bob Garfinkel, who had been going to South Bay because there are 22 branches and he just thought, well, fremont ought to have their own branch, and so he started our branch, exactly a hundred years after John. Jack London is purported to have influenced the forming of the California writers.

Speaker 4:

We've got stamps that have something to do with Jack London.

Speaker 3:

Okay, it's a nice yeah. Yeah, that's a great. No, yeah, it's a good fable, it's a good legacy to reflect on, for sure. Yeah, so it started in 2009, and then what did it look like?

Speaker 4:

Well then, we gradually grew and talk about bookstores. In the beginning we would meet in bookstores that existed then and in critique groups we would write, and then we would share our writing and other people other members, would, you know react to it. And Then we've got. We've had different venues at Around town is it wasn't really easy to always find a place that you could gather, and especially as we grew, and I think the most we've ever had is probably 45 people at a time.

Speaker 4:

And so you have to find a place, but then with the pandemic, right we went to zoom and now Most of the members seem to like that, because we can get speakers from all over the world.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

Saudi. Arabia, you know that they come to us. And not only that, but people can attend from all over the United States.

Speaker 3:

Okay, is your gathering like once a week, once a month, once a month?

Speaker 4:

the third Saturday of the month. Oh, fourth.

Speaker 3:

Oh, thanks dish fourth Saturday I should have shown up.

Speaker 4:

No, I said that because I belong to another branch. You can belong to as many branches as you want okay in fact, you get a cut rate if you belong to more than one branch, and so the fourth Saturday of every month at 2 o'clock we have our business meeting, then we have a speaker some time between 2 and 4 yeah, and then there's like so the speakers probably there to help just inspire and to maybe give information for people on writing.

Speaker 3:

Is that yes?

Speaker 4:

craft tips on better writing. A long time ago I presented on how to write a memoir at tishes.

Speaker 2:

Presented a few times, I think they also talk about publicity and some of the scams that occur in writing, and we actually have three events up a month.

Speaker 2:

Okay we have the monthly meeting, we have the social right, in which is the second Saturday of the month and what happens at the social the social right in is where we gather and on zoom and are put into rooms of four people each and you get Four writing prompts and you pick one and you write for ten minutes and then each person reads their prompt and then there's time afterwards to talk and the prompts are designed so that at least one or two of them are personal, so that you'll write something about your Yourself, but then there are also ones where you don't have to. Then we reshuffle into different rooms so you get to meet a lot of people and Do a different kind of writing challenge so these are intended to kind of help exercise different areas of writing that are like kind of to expand creativity, I guess yeah, and and to also get feedback.

Speaker 3:

I imagine. I'm just. I'm just imagining Getting prompts and taking and having ten minutes to write. I mean, I, like me, I'm imagining maybe coming up with a hundred words or something like that.

Speaker 2:

No, one expects you to have a finished piece. That's why it's a non-judgmental environment. There is no feedback there. Then we also have a salon where you can come and read your pieces, again Non-judgmentally, on Monday night, fourth Monday of them.

Speaker 3:

Okay, and where's that? Usually, that's all on everything is on zoom and everything is free.

Speaker 2:

Okay, we do encourage people to join. There's a moderate fee for joining. Then you can have your work published in the newsletter and you get access to other club events. You can attend any, any event of any Club in the state, remember.

Speaker 3:

We'll be right back. You can hear the rest of this conversation in just a moment. If you are looking to buy or sell your home, look no further than Petracelli homes. You can find out more about them at Petracelli homes calm or pay Jennifer a visit in downtown Niles. Billy Roy's burgers in Centerville is a great place to enjoy family food and great service. You can find them off the corner of Thornton Avenue and Fremont Boulevard in Centerville. Howler's pharmacy is here to help. They have been in our community for decades. So whether it's a seasonal issue or whether it's something that you have to take care of regularly, howler's pharmacy is here to help you find exactly what you need. Check them out on the corner of Fremont and Peralta in downtown Centerville. And now back to our conversation. Is there anything particularly that you guys have experienced personally through this that has been especially influential for you?

Speaker 4:

I would not have published. I probably wouldn't have written as much either had I not belonged to this group, because I have gotten to know developmental editors that have helped. I've gotten to know who publishes at what level and it's really taught me a lot about the writing community and it's really encouraged me to keep going. And especially when we have critique groups where we get feedback on what we write, that really helps improve our writing, and that's if people form those groups themselves. But the motto is writers helping writers, and that's what we try to do is help one another.

Speaker 3:

Well, tish said, you said that you mainly do nonfiction right, and Evelyn, what do you like to do?

Speaker 4:

Well, it's nonfiction also, but it's memoir. I was in the Peace Corps in Peru and it's funny because I never thought that much that I had a story, but I've always liked to write since I was in elementary school and then I wrote a doctoral dissertation and that totally messed up what people really want to read and so premonario writers had people come in. We have well, this is before, when we were meeting in person, we would have local experts and people that would come to us. Now that we're on Zoom, we have people like Jane Cleland, who is from New York, who is very generous and tells us about writing crap. So once I learned how to not do a dissertation type thing and make it interesting, because in this case….

Speaker 4:

What dissertations are not… Well, people's attention spans are shorter and so they won't keep reading unless your first sentence really grabs them, and then the first chapter has to grab them and but no, it's fun. I've gotten to the point that I really really enjoy the writing process. I think in the beginning sometimes it's hard. I mean, I remember in school that people struggled with having enough words to be able to say something coherently, and now you have to say it really interestingly because we're competing with social media.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 4:

And big statements. Yeah, like.

Speaker 3:

Twitter. People have that short attention span of just reading something they can get in one screen or whatever. So a question for you you went from in-person gatherings to Zoom and so that obviously you have the benefit of bringing in somebody in that's around the world to be able to speak to you. But it is called the Fremont. It's the Fremont….

Speaker 1:

Area providers.

Speaker 3:

So I mean, like, is there a significant shift at all I mean in a maybe positive, maybe negative way, going from in-person to Zoom, because I would imagine that part of the advantage or part of the outflow of meeting in person is that you're really geographically bound, like someone who's willing to drive a certain amount of distance in order to show up at a place and meet in person. Has it kind of taken away? Maybe the community feel to it in a sense? Or like the Fremont community feel, in other words, do you have somebody joining you now from Richmond or from Hollister or whatever?

Speaker 2:

Sacramento.

Speaker 3:

Sacramento and then, but what does that look like then? To build a community then with that, with the new… with the change?

Speaker 4:

Well, you have to get the vibe through your you know internet connection. The other branch that I belong to is the San Francisco Peninsula branch, and it meets just across the bay in a yacht club actually, and they were trying to do a combination of online and in-person and it just doesn't work well because it just….

Speaker 3:

You mean at the same time, yeah, at the same time.

Speaker 4:

I think that's challenging, yeah and it was a mess, frankly, and the people that were responsible for the technology didn't get in on the program because they were so busy taking care of the technology. But I have to say, the energy that you feel, both from the speaker and from your colleagues. And then there's a lot of informal back and forth that you don't really have on Zoom, but I like the fact that I don't have to get in my car and go someplace and that I can hear somebody with something to say from far away. So I like both ways actually, but I think it's the energy that you feel.

Speaker 4:

It's the same thing when you're presenting in person. At one time we did have what was it called, where we would go to Starbucks and read our writing, and there's a certain… the salon is out… no, that was…. No, I can't remember what the name of it was and the energy that I would feel, plus I would get more nervous reading….

Speaker 3:

Being in person in public like that, for sure.

Speaker 2:

But we haven't lost any membership. I mean, our membership is about the same and we do have two in-person events during the year.

Speaker 4:

We have a holiday party and we have a picnic.

Speaker 2:

So we do meet each other, but one of the nice things about meeting on Zoom is that if you have mobility or transportation challenges, if you have young children at home, if you have social anxiety, you can participate to whatever degree you want, and we've had speakers, we had a children's book author from Dubai, speak to us.

Speaker 3:

So that's… Wow, that's amazing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's kind of… there's a limit. We do pay our speakers an honorarium, but it's quite small and with the price of gas there's a limit to how much people want to drive to come and speak to us, where on Zoom, there's not that problem.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's great, that's great. I'm curious if you guys, because of the club or because of the speakers that you've had, that you…. I mean, I kind of asked a similar question just a moment ago, like how have you been influenced by the club or by the… Not the Kasada club, by the gathering, but is there anything particular that has influenced you to perhaps shift in a genre or in a particular way? Like you felt… Like maybe you started writing at one point in one particular way, like I know you mentioned writing a dissertation, but then writing a dissertation versus something that people actually read for pleasure, or two different things.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

So what has maybe? Perhaps your experience with other writers or within this community shifted and helped you to maybe go a different direction?

Speaker 4:

Well, so many of our speakers talk about what readers will read. I mean making it interesting, So…. And we have speakers on all different kinds of topics. One that's coming up is how do you do your research on the Internet? And Tish can maybe talk about changing genres because you did from mystery writing. Oh, you were a mystery writer.

Speaker 2:

Well, no, I've written…. I've had 16 books published 10 for children and six for adults.

Speaker 2:

And I wrote a mystery and I had an agent for it and he couldn't sell it, which is very disappointing. But the way Fremont Area Writers influenced me most was that I had always written nonfiction. I've probably written hundreds of encyclopedia articles when my children were in college because they paid well and Fremont Area Writers encouraged me to try fiction and I haven't given up on the mystery idea. I think I'm going to retool it. But I've also tried some shorter fiction pieces. I've never seen myself as a fiction writer and I love science, so it's not painful to write about medical things or diseases and disorders.

Speaker 2:

My kids used to laugh when they were little because they said you always think we have whatever disease you're writing about.

Speaker 3:

That is hilarious, that's all. Well, you know it's interesting. Well, let me ask you this first, and then I'll give something that I reflected on as you were talking there. Do you have any hero writers, people that you look at that have influenced you, people that you've admired as writers.

Speaker 2:

Coulson Whitehead.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, mainly because of his quote that writing is always hard, it never gets easier, it never gets harder, it's just always awful. But I really admired the Underground Railroad and some of the other things that he's written. And I especially admire him because he's written in so many. He's always written fiction, but he's written in so many different subgenres of fiction.

Speaker 3:

Okay, wow.

Speaker 4:

And about the only fiction writer that I read now because I read almost exclusively memoirs, because that's what I write is Anne Patchett, and I met her when her the house, the something house, came out.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

Not her last book and she's just a great storyteller. But it's funny because in elementary and high school I would write a lot of fiction. Then, like I said, when I got into college it was all you know facts, and now I am. Memoir just seems to have grabbed me, partly because my background is psychology, and it just is a great way to find out about yourself.

Speaker 4:

That's interesting and how you look at other people. And it's funny because my first book is about falling in love. When I was in the Peace Corps in Peru and I would be writing, I could write for eight hours straight and I would come down and talk to my husband and say, well, I had to change his name because he didn't want to be in it. So I'd say I just love this Antonio guy and it's true. By thinking about him and details it really helped me resolve my thinking about my marriage. I've been married for 58 years Wow, congratulations.

Speaker 4:

But my second book is about the marriage, and it wasn't always ideal, and so I wasn't always coming downstairs saying I just love this.

Speaker 3:

Antonio guy. He's like I hate the San Antonio guy.

Speaker 4:

Well the second book is called Love, in Any Language. So it resolves itself, but that also helped a lot. I mean, I'm just putting a plug out for people to write about themselves because it's just. I just learned so much about myself and a lot of memoir writers do the same, and it seems like I can't stop writing in that genre. So I'm writing about travels.

Speaker 3:

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Speaker 3:

I've had moments in my life that have been very exciting. I could tell stories that are just fantastic and it's like when I tell them I'm wondering am I just the only one, or is everyone else just? Do they not see life through the same perspective that I see it? Because I feel like I have stories that I could tell that are just. I've never heard them before, but I know that they've happened in my life. I'm not making them up, but then I just wonder maybe other people have had those same experiences. They just either don't, they didn't acknowledge it in the moment, or they just completely approached it from a completely different perspective. And so I've had this feeling of like I need to document these stories while I can remember them, because they are ones that I feel I've learned from.

Speaker 4:

I mean I kept diaries when I was in high school, living in Montana, and my world was so small that I mostly just put in my diary what things cost like a pair of heels cost $4.

Speaker 4:

I mean, I go back looking for nuggets of how I felt and I don't find them because I don't think I was that reflective. So that's really something. But I was gonna say, if you do write, there are a lot of people you'll be surprised that identify with whatever you write. I've been surprised about that in my writing, that people come up to me all the time and say, oh, I really identified with this or that or the other. Yet it's unique to me, on the other hand, by reading and being in critique groups with people who've had different experiences, it really just opens up my world. Like the last critique group I was in was a woman who had been adopted and the first thing she said to me and I'm gonna reveal something very personal, but I do that in my book anyway, but she said oh, you were in the situation that my birth mother was in.

Speaker 4:

I happened to get pregnant before I was married which in my I was raised very Catholic so it was kind of a thing of that day and age to be ashamed of. But by writing about it I totally got rid of the shame. Plus times of change too that helped too. But I never had been inside the world of an adoptee's life, and that's true of when I'm in groups that are writing memoirs. You get to be really intimate scenes into their lives and you just never realized that was there.

Speaker 3:

That's fascinating. That's really cool. I do like the idea of memoirs being able to catch glimpses into people's lives, because I think that we have a particular perspective of somebody, just based on whatever they say. First impressions are lasting impressions. Like, just as an example, when I met you two upstairs, I walked through and I had my arms full of gear and I think I care a lot about first impressions but I walked in and realized this is a horrible first impression, like I'm not even prepared to greet you. Well, but I'm reflecting on that and I'm thinking I'm glad that I get to have this conversation with you, because I don't want that to be the lasting impression. I want the impression to be one that's different, that we can have in a conversation like this. But I do think that memoirs are ways for us to be able to not only see, like we have, what we see in observing people, but then there's also the.

Speaker 3:

There's a way that people understand and see things from their perspective and how they see life, how they're experiencing life, and I think that that's really helpful, that's really cool.

Speaker 4:

With a division in the country. They're encouraging us all to get to know other, different people.

Speaker 3:

That's great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, some day I would like to write a young adult book about a romantic relationship written one part of the book written from the girl's point of view and the other from the guy's point of view.

Speaker 3:

I think that would be very interesting. I like that.

Speaker 2:

I like that very cool and the other thing that's so great about writing is you never know where your book will end up. I wrote a book called the Vaccine Debate and it's now in libraries in all 50 states and 39 different countries. Wow, that's pretty fascinating A lot of small countries will buy books in English for their universities, so it's yeah, just so that they have it turns up in odd places like Armenia. Well, that was.

Speaker 2:

There is a website where you can find out where your book has been, what libraries your book has been lodged in.

Speaker 3:

Wow, yeah, I had Early on, I had a NASA scientist that she grew up here in Fremont. But she wrote a book or it was an essay. Actually, I think it was an essay or an article on her particular findings and it found its way into somebody else's Like somewhere around the world and all of a sudden it was being.

Speaker 3:

She was getting calls from all over the place about her research and it just happened that she thought it was just an insignificant article, but then it ended up being a very, very significant piece that she had written. So that's cool. I was curious because I asked about if you have any writers that you admire. I'm not a writer. I like the idea of writing and I like writing when I wrote actually actually tells, actually says what I am feeling or what I wanted to say and I don't know that I have the trick to do that, Maybe I need to join your guys'

Speaker 3:

group. But what I? But I love CS Lewis and CS Lewis, you know, I love the fact like a lot of people know him for his writing, his children's books, but he also wrote like textbooks for Oxford, you know, and so he was a professor who wrote textbooks. So I actually bought a number of his textbooks that he wrote on the English language and on literary criticism and stuff like that, and then I wanted to read those as well because you know, if you look at what he has written in his fiction or his fantasy or whatever genre it's considered, you know whatever he's written there comes from. You know his experience as a teacher and as a textbook writer, but then he's also written theology and a lot of other things. So he was all over the place, wrote a lot of different genres, but I just was fascinated with the fact that he could speak to children at a very, at a very elementary level but then write for you know, Oxford University and a textbook level and be able to do both of those at the same time.

Speaker 3:

So anyway, just fascinating.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, could we revisit the question of what Fremont area writers can do for you?

Speaker 3:

Yes, let's do that.

Speaker 2:

I have a quote here. This is from Lollipia, who is one of our members and is also a member of the Sacramento branch. She won the she Writes Press Memoir Contest, which means they will publish her book and provide her with a promotional package.

Speaker 3:

She won this contest, this contest.

Speaker 2:

She writes press. It's a substantial win.

Speaker 3:

Okay wow.

Speaker 2:

Her book is called the Fortune Teller's Prophecy a memoir of an unlikely doctor, and it will be out in April of 2024. And what she said was I initially joined Fremont writers after I heard a great presentation from a great speaker and I was attracted to the adrenaline in the group. This was years back, but I feel that Fremont area writers is inclusive, cohesive, supportive and I like how they get us involved in writing projects in a non-judgemental write-in each month. It also has been helpful to have a few of my writing projects in the newsletter. They gave me some clout that I had prior publications out in the wider world Wow. And although all our meetings are free and events are free, if you wanna be published in the newsletter you need to join and there are some other advantages to joining.

Speaker 3:

Okay, wow, that's awesome.

Speaker 4:

And I just learned yesterday that this publisher she Writes Press which is also my publisher is going to be distributed by Simon and Schuster now. So it's a big step up for them.

Speaker 3:

That's awesome Wow.

Speaker 4:

So it's a hybrid publisher.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

Which means that you pay a certain amount so that they design your book cover and help you with editing, but they have a certain standard. This particular one does.

Speaker 3:

Okay, you brought some books. Yeah, these are. These are some of the ones that you've written.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, right, okay yeah.

Speaker 3:

Did you mention any of these already? No, I haven't. Okay, what do you have here?

Speaker 4:

Well, my first one is Between Inca Walls, a Peace Corps memoir.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

And that's won quite a few prizes. In fact a Peace Corps prize, which is pretty good for it because it's a national prize.

Speaker 2:

And a lot of Peace Corps.

Speaker 4:

people must have bought it because it's I don't know, or they still have some in the warehouse, I understand. Second one is Love in Any Language, a memoir of a cross-cultural marriage, and that's kind of about what happens when you marry someone from another country or what can happen and they don't know English and they don't have a skill for a job and you're about to have a child and lots of obstacles to overcome, and that was another thing.

Speaker 4:

That was good about writing it is I really got an appreciation for what we had been through and how we had survived it, because I had to look at lots of detailed how did we get from here to there?

Speaker 3:

You know kind of a thing. That's good, yeah, and so those are fascinating and those are around for people to be able to find or know, and you banter books should have them.

Speaker 4:

Okay, okay and if not ask her to order them?

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

I know I walked in there one day and the first book was there and I told her at that time we were distributed by Ingram Publishing, cause she doesn't. If you're self published independent books, a lot of times won't stores won't carry your books because, I don't know if people know this book Bookstores that buy books can return them if they don't sell them.

Speaker 3:

Right right.

Speaker 4:

And so, unless you've got a distributor, that will do that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah, this is really cool. I'm curious. Both of you spend a significant amount of time in Fremont. Is there anything in Fremont that has inspired your writing or anything that you have written that you maybe you've changed the name of a place? I know we have Antonio, who's not really.

Speaker 4:

Antonio, maybe we have a. Fremont is mentioned in my second book, in fact a good part of it. From 1971 on I it has been. You know it takes place in Fremont, but I have a map in the front of the whole barrier just so that people know where. Fremont is located in connection with San Francisco and the other places.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, that's cool. And any other influences from this area, culturally or geographically on.

Speaker 4:

Well, I think Fremont is a very pleasant place to work. I for my work. I've been an educator. I was for 32 years and I used to commute out of Fremont and when I retired I thought oh no, and I'm going to have to spend all my time in Fremont.

Speaker 4:

But it's and then that's when I began to appreciate it. I thought well then, let's get involved. You know so. I belong to a lot of organizations in Fremont and I've learned that Fremont is a very well. There's a reason why they come out number one on one of the best places for families to live To live or families to live right.

Speaker 2:

Well, what's impressed me most about Fremont is how multicultural it is. And it hasn't been a direct influence. But I did write a book about theocracies where I read quite a bit about the Taliban and Afghanistan and it made me appreciate a lot of the Afghan immigrants that had come here. And I've also written two books African-Americans Scientists and Inventors and African-Americans in Business. These are books for children or young adults and it's made me more open to writing about cultures that are not my own, because I've found the ones in Fremont so interesting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the community that I specifically grew up in, where I was influenced the most, seemed to be very, very much more monocultural than here. I mean, most of the people were very much like me in a lot of ways and I think that even going to Baltimore it shifted a little bit. But coming out here it's very different than any other place that I've lived, but it's been very, very helpful and I think when you come with an open mind and when you come with a desire to truly get to know people and care about them, I think that you it opens up a lot of doors and a lot of opportunity to get to know people.

Speaker 4:

Well, there's so much more variety in California. I remember growing up in Montana, a southeastern corner, and I was born in North Dakota and that was my world. And I say in my book the expectation was a girl by the age of 18 should have a horse and a husband, in that order. And I wasn't crazy about horses. I did ride them and I never thought of husband, I mean yeah.

Speaker 4:

And then moving to California. It just was such a variety of people that I'd never been exposed to and I loved it. So, at the first chance I got, I spent a summer in Mexico and then, like I said, I went to Peru for two years, and now my husband and I have traveled to over 110 countries.

Speaker 3:

Wow, that's incredible.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, there's just lots of different ways of doing things.

Speaker 3:

I knew very little about California when I moved here before I moved here, and I literally believed that California was just beaches and LA, you know Hollywood. I didn't know much about California and so in some sense, I think what my fear was is that I was exchanging one monocultural for another monoculture. And I think what I found beautiful when I came and visited which was part of the convincing that I needed to move here was that I came here and realized, oh man, there is a mix of all kinds of people from all over the world and the cultures are very different, and so I wasn't just exchanging a monoculture that I grew up in, that I was comfortable in, for one that I was uncomfortable with, but I was actually growing into a place where I fit right in with the diversity that exists within this particular place.

Speaker 2:

I absolutely did not want to move to California and I found it very difficult, partly because I always worked from home as a writer and partly because my children were old enough that I didn't meet the parents of their friends. But over time I have come to appreciate it.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah, quite a bit.

Speaker 2:

It's very good for my kids to grow up in this kind of culture. That's why.

Speaker 3:

I'm feeling about my kids as well.

Speaker 2:

They seem to be much more flexible than I was when I was growing up.

Speaker 3:

So I'm going to close by asking you tricks of the trade. If you could give one trick of the trade for maybe somebody who's listening, who needs to be urged or inspired into taking another step in the writing world, what would be the trick of the trade that you might pass along?

Speaker 2:

You can't edit a blank page.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I like that you have to write.

Speaker 3:

Keep writing.

Speaker 2:

Remember the rule of writing is the first sentence is to make you want to read the second sentence. The purpose of the second sentence is to make you want to read the first paragraph and the purpose of the first paragraph is to hook you on the story I like that I like that. But you have to write it. Yeah, you can't just think it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's one of the reasons why I'm happy that I have an editor who edits the podcast, who is a writer, because I think he takes all this content and listen to it, which is really great, so that people will actually want to, and he fashions is, in a way.

Speaker 4:

Well, and I say people love stories. If you see even politicians or anybody, if they tell a story or a vignette, that's what captures your attention. But it takes rewriting. I mean, my greatest joy is rewriting and I will rewrite five, six, seven, eight times. And even when I got the galleys for my first book I didn't know there was a limit to how many times you could return it, changing things.

Speaker 4:

And I think I returned it 18 times because I always found some better way to express something and it's a real pleasure for me. Yeah, but first I had to learn. One of my teachers had said you know, right at the bottom of this page, she gave us a certain. It was a mystery book and I never read mysteries, but I did this one and write it. What would make you turn to read the next page so I'm always aware of that when I'm writing is what would make people and there's conflict and I forget. There's another thing that you do. But writing can be a real pleasure and in my case, especially writing about your life is a real pleasure.

Speaker 3:

And it's not a pain. Yeah, I love that. I love that.

Speaker 4:

And it's a real satisfaction. I'm sure to do podcasts just like it is to see your writing in print.

Speaker 3:

Yep, yeah, and it's interesting too, and I trust my Andrew, who's my editor. I trust him a lot. When I get done with this, I will send him the files and then I don't listen to what he does with it until it comes out live. So I don't go and check what he's done and I always find it fascinating what he does with what I handed over to him and I just think it's, I think it's beautiful.

Speaker 2:

So I think, it's.

Speaker 3:

I think it's really great.

Speaker 2:

And I think when you're talking about writing and you want to be a writer, you have to remember that whatever comes out initially is not the finished product. You can't expect it to be perfect right away. You shouldn't get discouraged. It's hard work but it's worth it, and Fremont Area Writers is here to help you get through those times. When you look at it for the 25th time I think, oh my, there's something wrong with this and I don't know what it is that's great.

Speaker 4:

And our website is CWCfremontAreaWritersorg.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and you can find us.

Speaker 4:

We have a, we're on Facebook and, just you know, you put in Fremont Area Writers.

Speaker 2:

Right. Or if you can't remember the website, you just Google Fremont Area Writers and we come up and all our every month our newsletter is updated and put on the website.

Speaker 3:

Okay, Yep, and then we'll have those links also in the show notes for this episode. So people will just pull up the episode and they can click on it there too Perfect. Is there anything else that we want to get into the ears of people before we go?

Speaker 4:

Just start writing or keep writing. There you go.

Speaker 3:

There you go. So I'm a politician, evelyn. Thank you guys so much for joining me and I'm excited to hear I'm excited to read what you guys have written. Maybe I'll have to dive into some of these books and my son, I'm sure, will be fascinated with your book that'll be coming out in 2024 on the stuff that came out of the military experience. So that's pretty cool. Thank you guys for joining me.

Speaker 2:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B, scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Rachel Prey is the print editor in charge of our newsletter. I'm Gary Williams. Andrew Kovett is the editor. Music provided by SoundStrikecom Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything we make the podcast, our newsletter and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom. Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 3:

Just the other day my 10-year-old turned 11 and he had a party, every party that we've had for him on his birthday.

Speaker 3:

He was born on Halloween, so it was on Halloween, and so every party that we've had for him has always been significant, like he's been our only child up until last year when we had our second child and we've just kind of gone all out for him. But this last one he even said I just want to have a few friends come over, I want to carve some pumpkins and just have some hang out with them. So they all did that. They came and then they left and after they left he turned to me and my wife and said I am so thankful for the party, thank you for doing that. And he said but I feel really sad. And in that moment I was just thinking what is happening, like why is he sad and why is he also seemingly very thankful? And I thought you know what? He has hit a milestone in his life and in his maturing process where he actually now has both a part of life that he can reflect on and compare to.

Speaker 3:

But he also is he's also acknowledging the reflections that he's having on what his parties may have been like or they had been the joy and the exciting things of those versus now. He truly did enjoy this party.

Speaker 3:

But, there's something about this party that stands out that's different from those. So he's very thick. So, anyway, it was just one of those things where I started reflecting was, like my child has turned a corner where he is reflecting on moments in his life and he has something to compare them to that are now causing a deeper emotional response in him, and I just made me start thinking more about even my experiences in my life and thinking how significant they are to me. So I know I just talked a lot on that.

Speaker 4:

But no, it sounds like you're. Both are introspective, which is a good thing to record. I think yeah.

Speaker 2:

This was margin media podcast.

Fremont Area Writers Club and Publishing
In-Person to Zoom Writing Transition
CS Lewis and Book Publishing
Writing Inspiration in Fremont
Reflection and Growth in Personal Experiences