Events Calendar

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2017 Speakers & Events

2017 Critique Group – meets at Beanster’s on alternating first Fridays  (with some exceptions), 6:30 p.m. 1601 Triangle Drive, Ridgecrest, CA;Questions? Call 760-446-2320.

Jan. 5G. Lloyd Helm – widely published poet and short story writer, fantasy/science fiction novelist, will discuss “The Process: How Do I Get the Words on Paper?”

Feb. 2, Brett Battles – Popular thriller author and Burroughs High School graduate

Mar. 2Mary Sojourner – prize-winning author of novels, short stories, and essays – 2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author & 6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

March 31- April 2,  Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Celebration- Maturango Museum’s annual wildflower exhibition (; 760-375-6900) heads the lineup of flora-inspired activities blooming around town, among them a Ridge Writers booth at Red Rock Books and workshop with author signing.

Apr. 6Denise Hamilton  nationally bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist often compared with Raymond Chandler – 2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author & 6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

April 29, Independent Bookstore Day – Red Rock Books will have special events and we’ll have a table there.

May 4Linda O. Johnston – Author of 40 romance and mystery novels.2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author & 6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

June 1, 6:30 PM, Stephen H. Provost

“Making Connections: Using Nonfiction As an Inspiration for Fiction”

Author and journalist Stephen H. Provost will give the Ridge Writers program, “Making Connections: Using Nonfiction as an Inspiration for Fiction,on Thursday, June 1, beginning 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

His novel Memorality came out last February. In March, Provost appeared at the fantasy and science fiction ConDorCon convention in San Diego. His Ridge Writers presentation will address how his research on various topics, including mythology, informed the creation of Memortality. In Memorality,” when Minerva Rus’ dead childhood friend returns to life, she discovers she has the power to raise the dead. This genre-altering contemporary paranormal thriller poses one of the most frightening questions of all: what if the dead don’t stay dead? The plot involves unlikely allies, a truly evil villain, and profound questions about the consequences of our actions.

Also an editor and columnist with more than 30 years of experience, Provost has covered subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language, as well as in his popular culture exploration Fresno Growing Up: A City Comes of Age 1945–1985, and his next nonfiction work, an examination of the history of U.S. Highway 99 in California, due for release next month.

Provost frequently blogs on writing and current events at his website, A Q&A and book signings will follow his talk. The public is invited and admission is free.

July 6, 6:30 PMMaster Mystery Productions Panel

“Striving for Emotional Connection with Readers”

The Thursday, July 6 Ridge Writers meeting will feature a panel of Master Mystery Productions actors past and present. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores. The public is invited and admission is free.

Striving for emotional connection with readers is so important. As a writer, you want your readers to care about what happens, to become invested in the story and characters. You want there to be intensity in the emotions without telling anyone what they are. Actors and directors are the same way. Oftentimes, with very little stage direction, they must pull out the emotion, tension, and tone of piece through nothing more than dialogue.

Writers work the same way. They have to put on solo shows and be actor, director, and producer all in one to have their characters and storylines resonate with readers. So thinking like an actor and director and how they create gestures, movements, and vocal qualities from a script can help create the drama you need in a story. 

The panel includes favorites such as Skeleton Key and Diamond Mask Winners, Monica Lorenz and Katie Cozine (The Last Garden Party and Bury Me in Paris), Devanne Fredette (The Last Garden Party,” ”Bury Me in Paris), and Skeleton Key Winner Calvin Johnson (Goodbye Hollywood, GH: Rainbow’s End, Ex Luna). The audience will ask them questions about how they build characters from the text and what writers can do to add intensity to their work. Ademonstration of the concepts will accompany the discussion. After the panel, there will be a live preview of Master Mystery Productions’ latest show, Ode to Agatha, starring Monica Lorenz, Daniel Stallings, Devanne Fredette, Nicole Johnson, Katie Cozine, and Nicole Cepaitis, that will perform July 15 at 2 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church.

Summer Date TBA– Agatha Christie Tribute. We’ll do something special this summer to celebrate Dame Agatha’s first mystery, Mysterious Affair at Styles, set precisely a century ago in the summer of 1917.


Ridge Writers Calls for Storytellers

August 3, 6:30 PM, Open Mic

AND Sept. 22-23 Weird Weekend

Ridge Writers will hold its annual Open Mic on Thursday, August 3, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores. The public is invited, admission free, and light refreshments will be served.

Please come and share your hidden talents with the rest of us. Anyone can attend or read, with short fiction, nonfiction, essays, and poetry welcome in any genre, however readings must be written by the reader, no longer than 5-7 minutes, and in good taste. No sign-up is required.

Looking ahead: Ridge Writers, dedicated to encouraging creative writers and storytellers in the Indian Wells Valley, will host two related events Sept. 22-23, during Weird Weekend  (“celebrating the stranger side of the desert – lost gold mines, aliens, haunted hideouts, bigfoot sightings”) with an indie film shorts festival on Friday and the Third Annual Weird Storytelling Competition on Saturday afternoon. For these, filmmakers and storytellers interested in participating must sign-up in advance at Red Rock Books. The weekend will conclude Saturday evening with “The Silent City” set in Ridgecrest 2063 A.D., a Mastery Mystery Productions interactive mystery by C.R. Rowenson.

September 22-23, Weird Weekend – celebrating the stranger side of the desert – Third Annual Weird Storytelling Competition on Saturday afternoon and a Master Mystery Productions interactive murder mystery on Saturday evening, both at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Additional fun stuff to be announced.

Oct. 5Samantha Dunn  Executive Editor, Orange Coast Magazine

Oct 15 – 21 –  Celebrate California Writers Week Third Week in October, Visit our display case at Ridgecrest Branch Library in October.

 Nov. 2to be announced


May 4Linda O. Johnston, Bite the Biscuit

2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author

6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

(a Bakery & Biscuits Mystery) Linda Johnston has written dozens of mysteries and romances, notably the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Pet-Sitter Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Lost Under a Ladder in the Superstition Mystery series with Midnight Ink.

2 p.m. at My Enchanted Cottage and Tea Room (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.) and a different one in the evening for the Ridge Writers general meeting at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 6:30 p.m. 

For the afternoon “Read the Book, Meet the Author,” participants buy and read the designated book in advance, then discuss it with the author over tea and scones at My Enchanted Cottage. The event includes the book, tea, scones, conversation with the author, autograph, and entry in a door prize drawing. Tickets are available, $35 per ticket, at Red Rock Books, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., 760-375-3454.

April 6, Denise Hamilton

2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author

6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

Nationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Denise Hamilton’s novel features reporter/sleuth Eve Diamond. Coursing through L.A.’s theater communitySavage Garden confirms Hamilton’s reputation for sexy, sophisticated crime writing with an urban edge. It “rises above the level of an ordinary detective novel to become a vibrant, powerful and relevant story” (- Chicago Sun Times)

2 p.m. at My Enchanted Cottage and Tea Room (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.) and a different one in the evening for the Ridge Writers general meeting at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 6:30 p.m. 

For the afternoon “Read the Book, Meet the Author,” participants buy and read the designated book in advance, then discuss it with the author over tea and scones at My Enchanted Cottage. The event includes the book, tea, scones, conversation with the author, autograph, and entry in a door prize drawing. Tickets are available, $35 per ticket, at Red Rock Books, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., 760-375-3454.

March 2, Mary Sojourner


2:00 PM – Read The Book,Meet The Author

6:30 PM – Evening Meeting Program

Author Mary Sojourner, columnist, NPR commentator, and devoted fan of the Mojave Desert, will give two Ridge Writers programs on Thursday, March 2. The first will be a “Read the Book, Meet the Author” afternoon at My Enchanted Cottage, 214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., at 2 p.m. The second will be at the Ridge Writers meeting that starts 6:30 p.m., Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.For “Read the Book, Meet the Author,” Sojourner and participants will discuss her acclaimed novel “29” set in Twentynine Palms (“at the intersection of a local road to Nowhere and an interstate to Everywhere…crystalline and lovely, a kind of geode broth, filled with light and piquancy” according to David Kranes, author of “The Legend’s Daughter”). The $35 ticket, available at Red Rock Books, covers the cost of the book, tea and scones, and entry in a door prize drawing. The evening presentation, to which the public is invited and admission is free, will address “Breakthrough Writing and the Importance of Craft” and Sojourner’s just-released Southwest-themed story collection, “The Talker.”

In addition to her novels “29,” “Sisters of the Dream,” and “Going Through Ghosts,” essay collection “Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest,” and two memoirs “Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire” and “She Bets Her Life,” Sojourner’s credits include Distinguished Writer in Residence for the Virginia Piper Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University and her monthly writing contest in the Arizona Daily Sun.

Sojourner has mentored writers one-on-one for over 25 years in fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction and memoir, and teaches at universities and colleges, conferences, book festivals and in private workshops. For more information about this remarkable talent, visit For Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club, go to and

Feb 2,2017

Brett Battles

His debut novel, The Cleaner (The Jonathan Quinn Thrillers #1), was nominated for the 2008 Barry Award for Best Thriller, and the 2008 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Deceived, won the 2009 Barry Award for Best Thriller. He cites Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Alistair MacLean, Robert Ludlum, Stephen King, Graham Greene, Haruki Murakami, and Tim Hallinan as his influences, and he’ll talk about “craft, writing habits, life as a full-time, mostly independent writer.”

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

The public is invited and admission is free.

Jan 5, 2017

Helm to Jump-Start Writers for the New Year 

Widely published poet, short story writer, and fantasy/science fiction novelist G. Lloyd Helm will talk about “The Process: How do I get the words on the paper?” for the Thursday, January 5, 2017 Ridge Writers meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

The public is invited and admission is free.

For anyone who has ever asked, “Where do you start a story?,” “Do you need an outline?,” “How hard should I work?” and “Should I set a number of words per session?,” Helm has the answers. He speaks from 40 years of experience, having published poetry in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, among them “The New York Poetry Anthology,” “Stars and Stripes News,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Antelope Valley Press,” and “The Antelope Valley Anthologies,” and short stories and memoirs both in the US and in England. He has also produced three novels in the F&SF field, “Other Doors”,” Design,” and “World Without End.” His most recent volume of short stories is “Train Wheels, Flying Saucers, and the Ghost of Tiburcio Vasquez.”

The presentation will include plenty of advice, insights, and Q&A to help writers harness the full spectrum of their creative skills in 2017. A book signing follows.


The East Sierra Branch of the CWC works side by side with Santa Claus at Red Rock Books’ Stocking Stuffer Saturday on Nov. 19. Activities include helping Santa with kiddie photo ops and promoting the CWC with handouts and word games. Author Julianne Black will autograph her books, My Desert Coloring Book, the 3D Sleep Sweet, and more.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, East Sierra entertains in Victorian Yuletide style with its popular annual Dickens Tea at My Enchanted Cottage and Tea Room – dramatic presentation, costumes, tea, scones, games, and prizes.

For the entire month of December, the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library will have a display celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek – co-curated by the East Sierra Branch of the CWC.

For further details:

November 19th

Ridge Writers to Host Pictures with Santa at Red Rock Books!


On Saturday, November 19 Red Rock Books will be inviting guests to their Stocking Stuffer Saturday event! Ridge Writers will be hosting a Pictures with Santa booth from 12-3 and member Julianne Black will be signing copies of her many children’s books from 11-2. Stop by for special sales, prizes and raffles! Kick off your holiday season with Red Rock Books Stocking Stuffer Saturday.
(760) 375-3454
206 W Ridgecrest Blvd, Ridgecrest, California 93555

November 4th

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:30

Our next Critique Group meeting is Friday, November 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Beanster’s Lounge inside Pizza Factory.  It will be our two-year anniversary!  We’ll be reading a member story and doing a workshop on plot twists and how to integrate them in stories without interrupting the flow.  We’ll also be instituting a new system for Critique Group where members can sign up to receive works to critique through their email, allowing for us to critique longer and more works from our writers.  So come to the November Critique Group if you want to find out more!

November 3rd


Debut novelist David Moss will talk about his just-released “This Isn’t a Game” at the Thursday, November 3 Ridge Writers meeting. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

“This Isn’t a Game” takes a phenomenally contemporary approach to online gaming: VegasVegas casino lays odds on the outcomes of TV reality shows. When a movie director appears to have murdered his wife, a customer bets that all charges will be dropped. They are, and the payoff will be huge. So casino head Jackson Oliver pursues clues from Costa Rica to New England, a trail that leads from antique weathervane thieves to a crime blogger.

Moss, an advertising copywriter, has worked for national agencies. He has written in every conceivable medium from menu tray liners and coffee cup sleeve to radio, television, and motion pictures. His Ridge Writers presentation will follow his path from early years in the business to emerging as a published author, with insights and lessons collected along the way.

Ridge Writers is the East Sierra Branch of the 107-year-old California Writers Club ( This meeting is open to the public and admission is free (

October 6th


You can earn money writing or at least spare change, preserve family history for future generations, apply your eloquence to champion a cause, and learn how on Thursday evening, October 6, at the next Ridge Writers meeting. The program “Fill That Empty Nest Write Now” begins at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.   .

Although primarily aimed at newly empty-nest households and the recently retired, the informal panel discussion will guide writers and bloggers of all ages who suddenly have well-deserved free time. Topics include putting that time to good use by penning sci-fi/fantasy and romance, gathering family memoirs, writing stories and articles for publication, ensuring that veterans leave a legacy in print, and “unleashing the hidden talent you’ve always had.”

September 23-24 


Three Events!


Actress Stevie Taken, a longtime favorite at the annual Riverside Dickens Festival for her portrayal of author Mary Shelley, brings her spot-on performance to Ridgecrest on
Friday, Sept. 23 to launch Ridge Writers’ Sept. 23-24 Weird Weekend. Beginning at 2 p.m. and remaining in character throughout, she will talk about “When Frankenstein Was Science.” The literary Victorian gathering will unfold over tea and scones in the intimate back room of My Enchanted Cottage, 214 West Ridgecrest Blvd.

The $35 cost of the afternoon includes tea, scone, discussion, and the Signet Classic edition of “Frankenstein,” “Dracula,” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with a foreword by Stephen King. Purchase tickets at Red Rock Books, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., preferably well in advance to allow time to order and read the book.

September 24, 2 p.m. Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club, holds its third annual storytelling competition in conjunction with the September 23-24 Weird Weekend in Ridgecrest, CA. The two-day event celebrates the stranger side of the desert – aliens, lost gold mines, apparitions, Bigfoot sightings, objects moving when they shouldn’t, and an assortment of eerie tales.

The contest takes place on Saturday, September 24, starting 2 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores. Advance sign-up at Red Rock Books (760-375-3454, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.) is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. Prizes will be awarded, together with the concomitant bragging rights. The rules: 1. Story must be original and written by you; 2. Must be in good taste; 3. Cannot run longer than 5-7 minutes; 4. Must relate to the stranger side of the desert; 5. Truth is optional.

Admission is $5 and includes participation in the competition for those who want to read, provided that the rules are observed.

September 24, 7:30 p.m– Daniel Stallings/C. W. Rowenson interactive murder mystery “Pauper’s Grave,” Saturday September 24, 7:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Ridgecrest is located off Hwy 395, about two and a half hours northeast of Los Angeles, “on the road to Mammoth.”


A fog drapes over the village of Crow’s Killing nestled in the English moors, and shifting shadows play tricks with the eye. Is someone…or something…digging up the graves of the poor? The mystery only deepens when, the following morning, the villagers discover a defiled grave, a missing corpse, and the body of the local gravedigger whose heart has been pierced with an arrow. Hiding in the sanctuary of the church, guests, playing as villagers, will hear local legends about the village’s resident ghosts and ghouls. Could they be responsible for the murder in Crow’s Killing? Or is a far more human presence involved?

Guests will join four powerful families that govern the village of Crow’s Killing–the Masons, the Smiths, the Fletchers, and the Carpenters. Within those families, they’ll learn family secrets, their family tree, and a supernatural legend that binds them all together. Using their wits and bravery, our audience will have to trade information with other families, hide secrets, and face three mysterious challenges in order to unearth the truth behind this fully interactive mystery.

PAUPER’S GRAVE is the closing event of Ridge Writers’ fourth annual Weird Weekend. The show will feature a light refreshment buffet for our guests to enjoy as they play along. Period dress is welcome, but not mandatory. Tickets are $20 for a single ticket, $30 for two and are available right now at Red Rock Books.

Come and join us for a weird, wicked, and wonderful night of ghosts, ghouls, and gumshoes at PAUPER’S GRAVE!

Sept 9, 2016

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:00

The workshop topic for this critique group will be on genre blending, combining multiple genres together.

You DO NOT need to be a member of the group to participate, having a love for writing is enough!

Sept 1, 2016


Daniel Stallings, mystery writer and founder of Master Mystery Productions, presents “Poisoned Pen: How to Design Dastardly Deeds, Puzzling Plots, and Meticulous Mysteries” for the Thursday, Sept. 1 Ridge Writers meeting. The program takes place starting at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

It will be an interactive workshop on the art of crafting complex yet compelling mysteries where the public will help design a mystery story and learn everything including how to balance suspects, crafting alibis, the art of red herrings, how to organize your solutions, and managing mystery subplots. The discussion will trade on multiple sources of mystery media from prose to television to film to theatre.

A lifelong lover of mystery and detective fiction, Daniel Stallings, founder of Master Mystery Productions, has been writing mysteries for 12 years. His passion for authors of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction such as Dame Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Dame Ngaio Marsh, and Ellery Queen, and so on inspired him to become a mystery writer. In addition to writing, Stallings has a long history with theatre, working in areas such as acting, publicity, directing, and play production. His theatrical and writing experience led him to develop Master Mystery Productions in 2015. That same year, Stallings received The Jack London Award from the California Writers Club for all his hard work. He currently serves as president for the East Sierra Branch of the CWC.

The public is invited and admission is free.

August 13, 2016

Summer Reading Day at Red Rock Books 

Local Authors
Please join us at Red Rock Books to
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Following its success with Independent Bookstore Day in April, Red Rock Books will hold a Celebrate Summer Reading Day on Saturday, August 13. Festivities include local author book signings, a scavenger hunt, games, prizes, a Hawaiian shirt and cruise wear contest, and a lemonade stand. Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the 107-year-old California Writers Club, will have a table featuring a word game, door prize drawing, sign-up for September 24th’s Weird Storytelling Competition, and a sneak preview of Weird Weekend’s activities.

August has been designated May Your Reading Be a Haven Month. Ridge Writers adds, “To Read Is to Travel.” In keeping with that spirit, the door prize basket will be loaded with travel-themed goodies.

August 4, 2016

Open Mic with refreshments

We invite the public to attend and read from their original works, in good taste, limit 5-7 minutes

July 8, 2016

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:00
This event’s topic is Your Elevator Speech – Discussing Your Novel or Story
You DO NOT need to be a member of the group to participate, having a love for writing is enough!

July 7, 2016


Jim Kiggens last spoke to Ridge Writers several years ago, back when he chaired the Cerro Coso Community College Media Arts Department. He returns on Thursday, July 7, to talk about “The Literary Goat and World-Building (and a Few Surprises).” The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church meeting room, 633 W. Las Flores.

In the intervening years following Cerro Coso, Kiggens left the area while continuing in CGI and game development. Still a game developer, he recently came home to the South Fork of the Kern River to add goat ranching to his portfolio. Today Fairy Mountain Farms Goats, operated by Jim and wife Debbie, specializes in soaps, lotions, and artisanal “Moroccan Date” Chevre cheese, and has a booth at the Ridgecrest Farmers Market on Sundays.

They launched their effort with eight Nubian goats. The herd has grown, and its award-winning lineage and registration allow Fairy Mountain Farms to support local education in that the kids born each year can go to FFA and 4H families.

“When our does get older and retire from the milking line, they will live out their days on the farm as store mascots and assisting with landscaping,” declares their website, “and every goat has a name and a story.”

Jim will share tales, adventures, and insights at the July 7 meeting, including the fascinating role of goats in literature and how writers can incorporate goat lore in the world-building aspects that reside at the core of science fiction and fantasy creation.

Ridge Writers is the East Sierra branch of the 107-year-old California Writers Club. General meetings take place on the first Thursday evening of most months at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend

June 2, 2016


Smashwords marketing director Jim Azevedo will present “A Jargon-free Introduction to Ebook Self-Publishing: How to Publish, Distribute and Sell Your Book” at the Ridge Writers meeting on Thursday, June 2. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores. Jim will explain what makes it “easier to self-publish an ebook than you might imagine. No technical experience necessary!” The public is invited and admission is free.

Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks, serves over 120,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents and has helped authors around the world publish and distribute more than 380,000 titles to ebook retailers, subscription services, and libraries. Jim’s program will cover the basics with an ebook publishing checklist that includes an overview of the latest publishing trends, the advantages of ebook self-publishing, and guidance on ebook creation, pricing, and distribution. Throughout the session, he will reveal some of the best practices from bestselling self-published ebook authors.

Prior to joining Smashwords, Jim’s high-tech public relations expertise led him to Mark Coker in 1994. They worked together for eight years before parting ways for another eight years. From p/r, Jim moved into industry analyst relations, positioning clients favorably in the eyes of the high tech researchers who recommend multi-million dollar software packages to large corporations. Toward the end of this stretch he began consulting. When Coker launched Smashwords, he asked Jim to come aboard.

In his spare time for the past 16 years, Jim has been the drummer for Rivals, a popular San Francisco Bay Area hard rock band. His forthcoming book, “How to Get Your Band out of The Garage,” will show fledgling musicians/bands how to transition from hanging out to playing their first live events. It comes out later this year

We hope to see you at the meeting, and please bring your friends.

May 5, 2016


Acclaimed actress and playwright Kathrine Bates will appear as literary legend Dorothy Parker when this year’s “Read the Book, Meet the Author” series wraps up on Thursday, May 5, 2 p.m. at My Enchanted Cottage & Tea Room (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd). 

J.J. Murphy’s mystery novel “A Friendly Game of Murder” features real-life Dorothy Parker as a fictional sleuth. “Read the Book” participants buy it in advance at Red Rock Books (760-375-3454, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd), read it, then discuss it over tea and scones with Kathrine, in character as Parker. The $30 ticket includes book, tea, scones, an afternoon with Kathrine, and entry in a gift basket drawing.

Later the same day for Ridge Writers’ May general meeting – 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church (633 W. Las Flores) – Kathrine will talk about “Building a Drama around Hatshepsut of Egypt.” This evening program is free and open to the public. 

Kathrine returns to Ridgecrest by popular demand, having visited first as creator of “The Manor” and next in a one-woman show about Lucrezia Borgia. She has performed frequently with Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills in “Blood Wedding,” “The Constant Wife,” “Chekhov in Yalta,” “Roar of the Crowd,” “An Act of Imagination,” and other productions. As a musician, she plays classical piano. During the holiday season, she conducts “The Choraliers,” a Culver City-based choral group that she organized.

Ridge Writers is the East Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club in Ridgecrest (; California Writers Club:

April 7-10, 2016, Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Celebration


Friday Apr. 8, 2 p.m. interactive murder mystery Wildflowers for the Funeral

at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church; and Sat. Apr. 9, 11:30-2:00

Ridge Writers and Master Mystery Productions present “Wildflowers for the Funeral.”

Daniel Stallings presents his seventh interactive murder mystery, WILDFLOWERS FOR THE FUNERAL, on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Audiences will experience the story of Wildflower, a serial killer menacing the Mojave Desert whose habit of leaving desert wildflowers by her victims’ bodies quickly becomes her signature. When Wildflower mails her murderous scrapbook detailing her crimes to a newspaper, it raises alarms that a new victim is about to fall. Set at a memorial service for her victims, the audience will work in teams to sift through clues left by Wildflower to not only discover the killer’s identity, but also save someone’s life. Our teams play both detective and hero as they try to stop the agenda of an insane killer. WILDFLOWERS FOR THE FUNERAL will feature a tasty treat banquet for our guests and lots of twists and turns during the story. 

The show performs on Friday, April 8th at 2 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church (633 W. Las Flores Ave.). Tickets are $12 general admission and $20 for couples, and are available now at Red Rock Books. Seating is limited, so buy your ticket soon and don’t miss out on this unique experience!


Saturday, April 9th, Local Author Showcase at Ridgecrest Library

Saturday April 9, 11:30-2:00

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Round Table Writing Discussion
Open to the public – Listen in and ask questions about
writing, inspiration, promotion, publishing & more

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Reception & Meet and Greet
Light refreshments served

Writing Workshop
(by April Hayman, IWV NaNo Group following reception)

**** Participating Authors Include *****

April Hayman, NaNoWriMo |

Tamara Hise, Non-Fiction =

Daniel Stallings, Mystery

Theresa Goldstrand, Contemporary Romance Fiction
Freelance Journalist / Photographer / Editor –

Chautona Havig, Christian Fiction = |

Julianne DiBlasi Black, Children’s Author & Illustrator = |

Deborah Mills, Investigative Journalist =

Robert Mariner, Science Fiction

Cheryl McDonald, Artist & Writer =

*** “=” This author will have books on sale at the event!
Every book sale includes a 20% donation to the Friends of the Ridgecrest Branch Library!

April 7, 2016

Eva Poole-Gilson, poet/author,  talks about U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins and the Key West Literary Seminar workshop

2pm: Read the book and meet the author event at My Enchanted Cottage

Buy the ticket and book in advance at Red Rock Books, 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. Read it. Discuss it with the author over tea and scones at My Enchanted Cottage & Tea Room, 214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.


6:30: April meeting speaker

More information coming soon!

March 4, 2016

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:00 pm

You DO NOT need to be a member of the group to participate, having a love for writing is enough!

March 3, 2016


Kathleen Haun will give two programs about her novel “Dear Carrie: Letters from the East Sierra 1878-1899” on Thursday, March 3, first at 2:00 p.m. for “Read the Book Meet the Author” at My Enchanted Cottage & Tea Room (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd) and next for the Ridge Writers meeting that takes place starting 6:30 at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church (633 W. Las Flores).

For “Read the Book Meet the Author,” participants purchase the book in advance at Red Rock Books, read it, then discuss it over afternoon tea and scones with the author in a relaxing Victorian ambiance on March 3. Tickets ($35) include the book, tea, scones, a personalized autograph, and entry in a gift drawing. Kathleen will address other aspects of her writing at Ridge Writers’ March 3 evening speaker program (free admission), among them why she writes what she does, anecdotes of her research trips, and “a few things not everyone might know about in the eras in which my stories occur.” Both events are open to the public.

Set in the 19th century Eastern Sierra, “Dear Carrie” uses the device of fictional letters to weave the fictional Eastman, Perry and Carrington families in with those who actually populated the region during the timeline of her books—and whose descendants count themselves among her most ardent fans. So far Kathleen has four titles in her very popular saga, each one drawing on the local history and towns of the Sierra during the 1800s.

Before moving to the Owens Valley, Kathleen distinguished herself as a nature and California history photographer with corporate clients and considerable success at major art and garden shows. Exploring the Eastern Sierra led to her building a house in the middle in the Alabama Hills sagebrush, where she developed an acre of lush and colorful wildlife gardens now registered with the National Wildlife Federation in its “backyard habitat” initiative.

Through her “real job” as the manager of the Mt. Whitney Cemetery District in Lone Pine, Kathleen is responsible for four historic cemeteries that date back to 1865. Each year she organizes “Echoes from the Past,” a walking tour that celebrates the lives of the miners, pioneers, stagecoach drivers, artists, Civil War soldiers and local business people buried in these cemeteries—using actors to portray those featured.

For more information about either “Read the Book Meet the Author” or the evening presentation, visit or, or phone Red Rock Books at 760-375-3454.

February 27-28, 2016

Riverside Dickens Festival

CWC South will again have a booth at the Riverside Dickens Festival, February 27-28 and Ridge Writers will be there to help staff it. The festival takes place on Main Street between University Avenue and 10th Street in Historic Downtown Riverside and the booth sits next to the Authors Salon where actors portraying Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and other authors of the period appear, lecture, and debate. In addition to serving as their relaxation station when they go on break, our booth will have plenty of club literature available and a display about Dickens contemporaries in California, and we’ll present the workshop “There’s a Great Dickens Essays inside You. Write It with a Twist” at the request of Festival organizers who sponsor an annual Dickens essay contest for schools.

Other Festival activities include Pickwick Pub Night, the what-if drama “The Trial of John Wilkes Booth,” and Gilbert and Sullivan Performances.

February 4, 2016


Jenna Elizabeth Johnson will speak about ”How I Became a (Semi) Successful Indie Author” at the Thursday, February 4 Ridge Writers meeting that takes place beginning 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores Avenue.

She will talk about YA (Young Adult) books and what she has done to market hers with online sites, social media, local book fairs and more, then will broaden her remarks to cover the entire “indie” (independent) spectrum.

A popular and multi-award-winning author of fantasy and young adult paranormal romance, Johnson received a BA in Art Practice with a minor in Celtic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. It was during her time in college that she decided to begin her first novel, “The Legend of Oescienne – The Finding.” Reading such classics as “Beowulf,” “The Mabinogi” and “The Second Battle of Maige Tuired” in her Scandinavian and Celtic Studies courses finally inspired her to start writing down her own tales of adventure and fantasy.

Johnson is currently at work on the fourth book of her “Oescienne” series, as well as more novels and novellas in the “Otherworld” series, and any book ideas that might come to her along the way. Besides writing and drawing, she enjoys reading, gardening, camping, hiking, bird watching, and practicing long sword fighting and archery using a long bow.  She also loves creating the many images and maps for her various worlds and getting feedback from readers, “so feel free to send me a message any time.” Reach her at and

A book signing follows the formal program. The public is welcome and admission is free. Ridge Writers ( and is the East Sierra Branch of the 107-year-old California Writers Club (

January 8, 2016

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:00

You DO NOT need to be a member of the group to participate, having a love for writing is enough!

January 7, 2016


Chautona Havig will speak about “Mistakes People Make in Self-Publishing (and how to avoid them)” for the Thursday, January 7 Ridge Writers meeting which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores.

Havig says she writes to provide her readers an escape. And, she says, “Not just any escape. . . the ‘write’ escape.” Like many authors, she spent most of her free time as a child, reading. “One day I realized that I had stories in my heart and mind that I wanted to tell. Time passed, life, family, and work got in the way, and my dream of being a writer seemed to vanish into the desert winds.”

Her dreams didn’t completely disappear, though. She began writing, editing, and writing more. She has over 200 books in progress. More than 50 have been published. “I write the stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs,” Havig says. “Through their stories, I try to share the hope that is within me.”

Havig encourages her fans to visit her Facebook page at “Just the Write Escape” and blog @Chautona where she offers weekly Amazon gift card giveaways in addition to free episodes of her serial novels. She also shares opinions about writing, characters, inspiration, and books she’s read. “When I’m not writing,” says Havig, who lives in the Indian Wells Valley with her husband and six of their nine children, “I enjoy paper crafting, sewing, and trying to finish home educating the rest of my children, so that I can retire.”

We look forward to seeing you at the January meeting, and by all means, bring your friends.

December 8, 2015

Dickens Tea at My Enchanted Cottage, 2pm

Ridge Writers holds its second ever Dickens Tea at My Enchanted Cottage (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.) for Tuesday, December 8 at 2 p.m.

Join us for Victorian holiday tea and treats provided by My Enchanted Cottage and Tea Room along with other gifts and goodies inspired by Charles Dickens and his classic holiday tales provided by Ridge Writers. Enjoy a traditional Victorian Christmas craft, our holiday craft and advanced reader copy book exchange, and even a visit from a famous literary ghost for a performance from one of Dickens’ classic stories.

Tickets are $20 and will be sold at My Enchanted Cottage (214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.). Seats are limited, so reserve yours soon.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ridge Writers Allison Aubin Scholarship for Young Writers.

November 13, 2015

Peer Critique at Beanster’s Lounge, 6:00

You DO NOT need to be a member of the group to participate, having a love for writing is enough!

November 5, 2015 – David Berg


Dave Berg, Jay Leno’s longtime co-producer and author of the new memoir “Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show,” will present the Thursday, November 5 Ridge Writers program, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 Las Flores.

He will discuss writing a “tell-all” and no doubt reveal, if not all, at least a tantalizing array of anecdotes about booking and working with the most erratic, barely coherent, most demanding, and most appreciated guests. Expect to hear about superstars, sports giants, presidential and vice presidential candidates, “wardrobe malfunctions,” lists of celebrities’ demands, and bouts of uncooperative behavior. Find out who ended a pre-interview because he deemed the questions, such as “where did you grow up?” too personal.

Beyond the gossip, Berg will explain Leno’s contributions to late-night television, what goes into the day-to-day mechanics of putting a TV show on the air, and the roles of writers in the monologues and other aspects of “Tonight.” Leno dominated late-night ratings for nearly two decades, a feat unprecedented in the modern era of television. Berg co-produced “Tonight” for most of those years.

Bill O’Reilly has said, “Dave Berg knows everything about late-night TV. And if you read ‘Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show,’ so will you.”

Berg will conclude his November 5 talk with a Q&A and book signing. The public is welcome and admission is free.

October 23rd, 2015 – Pizza Fundraiser

Fundraiser Flyer
Fundraiser Flyer

October 17th, 2015 – Local Author Showcase

Saturday 10/17 at the Ridgecrest Library

Presentation Panel from 11 am to 12 pm

Meet and Greet from 12 pm to 1 pm

Reception at 1pm

Beginning Writers Workshop (by April Hayman, IWV NaNo Group) following the reception.

Authors confirmed so far:

C.R. Rowenson, Fantasy

(Main Area)

Tamara Hise, Non-Fiction

(Community Room)

Daniel Stallings, Mystery

(Main Area)

Theresa Goldstrand

Contemporary Romance Fiction Freelance Journalist / Photographer / Editor

(Main Area)

Terry Pierce, Children’s Author

(Children’s Area)

Chautona Havig, Christian Fiction |

(Community Room)

Julianne DiBlasi Black, Children’s Author & Illustrator |

(Children’s Area)

April Hayman

NaNoWriMo |

(Community Room)

Deborah Mills, Investigative Journalist

(Non-fiction Area)


 October 1, 2015 – Julianne DiBlasi Black

Marketing for Authors

Indie Author, Julianne Black will be sharing her twenty years of marketing and professional creative experience on Thursday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 Las Flores.
Distilling down her work with mega-corporations such as Sears and Mitsubishi, government agencies across the country, and the branding and marketing her own five books, she has complied some of the most important information on successful branding into a checklist she calls “Hydra Self-Marketing”.  Designed to benefit authors at any project stage, this formula provides anyone looking to go public with their work a set of action items that brings the monster of self-promotion into manageable steps.
What is the differences in choosing “.com” over “.org” or “.usa”? Do I need them all? Are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all necessary? And what would I write when I’m there? How about blogging, what is that all about and why would I do it? I don’t need a business card – the publisher will do all that, correct? I wouldn’t even know how to go about looking for a mentor, never mind what to talk about! Are you sure I need one at this stage? I don’t need to network until I have something to sell, right? I’m just starting out, don’t I wait until the book is finished before beginning marketing?
From selecting a web address to the importance of a mentor, if you are even just considering writing, you can’t afford to miss this information!
Black will conclude the October 1 talk with a Q&A and book signing from her own children’s books. The public is welcome and admission is free. For more about Ridge Writers, visit and

September 17, 2015

The Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert and Ridge Writers present

Family and Oral History Panel

Thursday, September 17, 2015, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion and Dinner at the Historic USO Building in Ridgecrest

The Panelists: Felicia Kelley, Senior Programs Manager, Cal Humanities (formerly California Council for the Humanities)

Tex Hoppus, President, Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert; past president, Indian Wells Valley Genealogical Society

Casey Wilson, interviewer, journalist, seven-term past president of the California Writers Club

Donna McCrohan Rosenthal, columnist, journalist, lecturer (including the Smithsonian), author specializing in popular culture and cultural history

The Dinner: A tri-tip entrée and beverages; you add the salads, side dishes, and desserts. Prepare recipes from old school, church, and group cookbooks and contribute both the food item to the potluck and (if you feel generous) the cookbook to the HSUMD archives.

The Program: Along with the panel discussion on family oral history with an emphasis on Ridgecrest, we invite family photos with Ridgecrest and the Indian Wells Valley in the background for scanning into the collection, and we urge veterans (or a veteran’s family) to bring the veteran’s photo and a narrative of his/her service to go into the Veterans Memorial Building.

September 11-12, 2015 (Friday-Saturday)


Weird Weekend

“Celebrating the stranger side of the desert”


Jenna Elizabeth Johnson talks about “Lorehnin: A Novel of the Otherworld” 

Friday, Sept 11, 2 p.m. at My Enchanted Cottage, 214. W Ridgecrest Blvd.

The popular Ridge Writers “Read the Book Meet the Author” series takes a paranormal detour as part of September’s Weird Weekend. Jenna Elizabeth Johnson will speak at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 11, at My Enchanted Cottage & Tea Rooms, 214 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. Over tea and scones, she will discuss her spellbinding romance/thriller ‘Lorehnin: A Novel of the Otherworld.”

“Lorehnin” spans two realms, both the Otherworld of legend and magic and the more familiar realm defined by San Luis Obispo and Cuesta College. Protagonist Robyn Dunbarre, pursuing a course in business at Cuesta, lands squarely in the path where they converge. Written for older YAs and adults, the story moves forward with touches reminiscent of Harry Potter, “The Twilight Saga,” and perhaps a little Anne Rice. Expect some dark behavior. 

Participants sign up at Red Rock Books (206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., 760-375-3454) to give themselves enough time to read the book in advance. The $35 cost of each program includes the book, tea and scones at My Enchanted Cottage & Tea Rooms, and a seat for the event. 

These afternoon book discussions are definitely not limited to Ridge Writers members. The public is welcome. 


Weird Storytelling Challenge

SATURDAY, September 12th, 2:00 p.m.
At the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert,
230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.
Weird Storytelling Challenge
Read your story. Compete for accolades and prizes.
We’re calling all tale-spinners to share their original weird stories for a chance to win fans, acclaim, and prizes. We’ll emphasize aliens, lost mines and spirits haunting them, bigfoot sightings, and related happenings. Truth optional.
The rules:
1. Anyone who attends is eligible to tell a story onstage. Admission: $5/person.
2. The story must be by you or part of the lore of the desert. Truth is optional.
3. A time limit of no more than 10 minutes per story will be strictly observed.
4. Stories must be in good taste – no obscene or profane language or situations.
5. We would prefer that entrants sign up in advance. However, you may also enter up until 15 minutes before the contest begins.
6. Prizes including gift certificates and coveted strange stuff will be awarded.


Murder Mystery Dinner

World Premiere of Daniel Stallings’ “Hello Out There”

Saturday, Sept 12, 6 pm at the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert, 230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. • 760-375-3454

– Event on FB – 

September 3, 2015-  Victoria Heckman

Novelist Sets the Scene for Mystery at Ridge Writers September 3 Meeting

Novelist Victoria Heckman will present the September Ridge Writers program, “Setting as a Character,” on Thursday, September 3, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 Las Flores.

Victoria has produced several mystery series, each one exemplary in its use of colorful backdrop that advances her story. She stages the first two series in Hawaii and the third, featuring animal communicator Elizabeth Murphy, on California’s Central Coast. Her recently released stand-alone mystery, “Pearl Harbor Blues,” has particular significance in Ridgecrest for the next few months, because its theme ties in with the 70th Anniversary celebrations of the Historic USO Building. Heckman’s presentation will include discussion on that subject, together with newspaper clippings and photographs related to Pearl Harbor Day.

The plot of “Pearl Harbor Blues” begins on December 7, 1941, when the United States enters World War II, unleashing a chain of events that, 50 years later, has explosive consequences. A family, a corporation, greed and power combine to reveal terrible secrets, and a community icon dies.

Victoria divides her time between Hawaii and California’s Central Coast and serves as Vice-President of the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She will conclude her talk with Q&A and a book signing. The public is welcome to attend, and admission is free. Please bring your friends.

August 6, 2015 – Open Mic Night

This month’s program will be our always popular annual Open Mike night. We will begin at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Members of the public are also invited to attend and to read from their own work.

Presentations must have been written by the people who read them, must be in good taste, and are limited to no more than 5-7 minutes in length. If you have not already signed up to read, you can get your name on the list at the beginning of the meeting.

Please also bring a plate of fruit, cheese, cookies, or other snacks to share. And do bring your friends. Sometimes our guest Open- Mike readers turn into members!

Event on FB

 July 2015 – Karen Gorback

July Meeting Looks at “Writing Dazzling Dialogue”

Award-winning novelist Karen Gorback will speak about “Writing Dazzling Dialogue” at the July Ridge Writers meeting. Although we usually get together on first Thursdays, we’ve scheduled this event for July 9, second Thursday in July, to avoid Independence Day conflicts. The program begins at 6:30 pm at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 Las Flores.

Readers love dialogue, one of the most intimate components of storytelling. In this hands-on workshop, Karen will discuss and practice a few basic strategies for writing crisp dialogue to keep readers engaged and glued to your pages. Please bring paper and pens, or a laptop with a fully-charged battery, for an hour of fun.

CWC member Karen has belonged to the San Fernando Valley Branch since 2008. Her short stories have placed in a number of contests, and her one-act plays have been selected for production several times by the New Works Festival at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. “Writing for the stage is terrific training for crafting engaging dialogue,” she says. “For me, it’s the most exciting and pleasurable part of fiction writing.”

Her novel “Freshman Mom” is a fast-paced story of a divorced mother’s difficult decision to go back to college and the personal challenges she encounters throughout her freshman year. The book won the 2015 Regional Excellence Book Award in the category of Adult Fiction for the Western United States and was also honored as a Finalist in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.

In a recent email, Karen let it slip that “as part of the Ms. Senior Ventura County Pageant, I read an excerpt from my novel and won the award in the category of best talent. Then, I went on to win the pageant. What a surprise! Now, I’m going to compete for Ms. Senior California in June. That will be a very interesting experience!”

On the subject on interesting experiences, we look forward to seeing you at our meeting, and please bring your friends. The public is welcome and admission is free. To contact Karen, go to

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