8/18/19 – Sail On!

President’s Message by Daniel Stallings

Most of us don’t go through life expecting a disaster. But sometimes, life takes a turn none of us were expecting. A frightening turn. A life-changing turn. For Ridgecrest and Trona, that turn came in the form of the July earthquakes.

During our meeting, members expressed how hard it was to get back into writing, especially creative writing, after the crisis. I know, for me, it was excruciating to even think about putting words on paper. I was exhausted, terrified, uncertain, confused, and depressed. It was a wash of jumbled emotions that crowded my brain with white noise. Every jolt—be it aftershock, washing machine rumbling, or subwoofer—spiked my anxiety. Creativity was the last thing on my mind.

But I couldn’t shake myself out of the cloud of gloom suffocating me. I am a writer. It’s how I express myself, how I interpret and come to terms with the world around me and the situations I and others live through. Without writing, I am an incomplete soul. So I had to find a way to recover on my terms. I turned to books. I read a great play I had been meaning to read—‘night Mother by Marsha Norman. It gave me the healthy perspective I needed on my personal experience with those quakes. I recognized that I was not at the rock bottom situation of the protagonist. I knew I could still fight and push forward. Then I began to process my experiences. The interview with (CWC Bakersfield Branch president) Joan Raymond helped a huge amount as it allowed me to write my story, to not only share the experiences, but actually write about them in my voice.

There is no rush to recovery. We all move at our own pace. But I want to encourage our members who have perhaps felt lost or unable to write after these events to confront and share their own story. Write it down. It can help you break through that prison of anxiety and get you back into your writing passion. That way, like the CWC motto says, we can “Sail On!”




Ridge Writes, the East Sierra Branch of the 109-year-old California Writers Club, has begun work on the book “Scenes from Lives of Service: IWV Stories, World War I through Desert Storm.” It will profile servicemen and servicewomen who live or have lived in the area and served during those years.

Each entry of approximately 500 words will focus on one event or episode from the individual’s time in service – some heroic and crucial, some little-known but fascinating, or some simply funny. A photo or two will accompany each piece. The book will not deal in long lists of biographical data, assignments, and postings.

Stories will come from newspaper research, from families, and/or from the veterans themselves. According to a spokesperson, “We cannot yet predict the length of the book, nor an approximate release date. Such decisions will depend on the response to our call for participation. If you have a story to share, please contact John Anderson at

Please understand that as much as we will appreciate any and all material brought to us, we cannot guarantee to use everything, and we reserve the right to decline any submission. We are extremely excited about this project, and look forward to hearing from interested individuals.”



The Allison Aubin Scholarship for Young Writers

This year, the Eastern Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club (Ridge Writers) plans to award the Allison Aubin Scholarship for Young Writers to a high school senior preparing to enter college to study writing.  The winner will earn a $500 cash prize.  Students will write a 500-word essay on the topic “Why do I write and what do I want to do with my writing career?”  Entries should be double-spaced in 12 pt. Times New Roman font and include the student’s real name (no pseudonyms), school, and grade at the top of the essay.  All entries should be submitted by email as a Word document to  

We will start accepting entries on April 1st and all entries are due on April 30th.  The winner will be informed by email and awarded the prize at the Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Burroughs High School on May 22, 2016.


October 2015 – Local (Authors) Showcased at Ridgecrest Library Saturday, The Daily Independent

By Jessica Weston | CITY REPORTER | | Posted Oct. 16, 2015 at 1:31 AM

Local authors will be showcased at the first ever Kern County Library Local Author Showcase Saturday, in cooperation with the Ridge Writers.

A wide variety of authors will be on hand to discuss their work. Fantasy writer C.R. Rowenson and mystery playwright Daniel Stallings will discuss their work. The two recently teamed up to put on the well-received Wierd Weekend mystery play “Hello Out There.” Stallings is also known to local audiences for his recent Hollywood plays “Goodbye Hollywood,” and “Goodbye Hollywood: at the Rainbow’s End.” Stallings recently told the Daily Independent that he intends to share his recent experiences putting on the play “Hero” in Sacramento at the showcase Saturday.

Non-fiction writer Tamara Hise will be on the panel. Freelance journalist/photographer/editor Theresa Goldstrand will also talk about her work in contemporary romance fiction. Children’s author Terry Pierce has 17 published books according to her website and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She remembers The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss as her first book purchase.

Chautona Havig writes Christian fiction. She described her journey as a writer on her website. “From my earliest years, I spent most of my free time lost in a book, until 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.

“Dreams are beautiful things, though; they never quite disappear. I began writing again, editing, writing, editing … more editing … and now I have over a hundred books in progress and a few dozen published.”

Children’s author and illustrator Julianne DiBlasi Black cites such diverse influences as Tim Burton and Jim and Brian Henson in her bio, “blending life experiences and day-dreams through text and image, she draws in children of all ages with her whimsical story lines and mixed-media illustrations.”

Rounding out the panel are April Hayman and the Daily Independent’s own Deborah Mills, who will talk about her experiences with investigative journalism.

A meet and greet with the authors will take place at noon, with a reception following at 1 p.m. Authors will be set up at different areas in the library to allow them to talk to people individually.

The event will wrap up with a beginning writer’s workshop facilitated by April Hayman of the IWV NaNo Group following the reception.

The following items will be available for purchase with cash or check between noon and 1:30 p.m. (Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to the Friends of the Ridgecrest Branch Library).Easy Reader “Tae Kwon Do” and “Greatest Goofiest Jokes” by Terry Pierce for $5 each.Children’s books “Sleep Sweet” and “Bringing Flowers to the Moon” by Julianne DiBlasi Black for $10 each.Tammy Hise will have eBook certificates for her book “The Child He Gave Me Sara” for $15.14 to download on any eBook device.”Deepest Roots of the Heart,” “Corner Booth,” “Shadows and Secrets” from the Annals of Wynnewood series, “Cloaked in Secrets” from the Annals of Wynnewood series, and “Beneath the Cloak” from the Annals of Wynnewood serie, and “Discovering Hope” by Chautona Havig. Limited copies will be available for $10 each.

Charissa Wagner of the Kern County Library said the groups are hoping to put on another event next spring to accommodate the many local authors not available Saturday. She encourages the community to attend the first showcase, however. “We’ve got a great lineup and we hope that the community will come out and support their local authors.

Local Author ShowcaseSaturday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m.11 a.m. to noon –

Presentation Panelnoon to 1 p.m. –

Meet & Greet1 p.m. –

Reception followed by Beginner’s Writing Workshop by April Hayman

for more information see

Article link:

October 2015 – Babcock brings history to life, from The News Review

Renowned author, Maturango Museum history curator and life member of Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert, Elizabeth Babcock has just completed “The Historic USO: 70 Years at the Heart of Ridgecrest, California.”

“When Liz was asked last year to pen a history of the venerable building, she soon realized that the building’s story encompassed far more than those few short months when the structure was new and just a USO Club,” said Tex Hoppus, HSUMD president.

Babcock proceeded to use primary sources that included an invaluable scrapbook donated to HSUMD by Oliver K. “Frank” Franklin. His mother, Mildred Franklin, had put the collection together to commemorate the building’s earliest years when it actually was a USO.

At the beginning of her book, Babcock writes, “Ridgecrest’s Historic USO Building has experienced seven full decades of service in the Indian Wells Valley, with its walls sometimes ringing with the joyous sounds of parties, dances, plays and meetings and sometimes echoing only to the sounds of silence, interrupted only by occasional visitors poking through the debris of previous eras.

“Today, the building stands restored to its former glory – but a lot happened to it during those intervening 70 years.”

The content of the book opens readers’ eyes not only to the history specific to the building, but also to the history of the Ridgecrest community.

“While enjoying the book’s narrative and many of its photographs, readers will see their own words or images,” said Hoppus.

“All will learn and see the history of this place that many of us call home.”

Babcock will be in the lobby of the Historic USO Building on Friday, Oct. 16, to sign and sell copies of her book.

Story First Published: 2015-10-02

August 2015 – Congratulations to our own C.R. Rowenson for receiving an honorable mention in the 2015 Writers of the Future contest!

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new and amateur writers of new short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. Each contest event receives hundreds of thousands of entries from 147 countries. More information can be found at

August 2015 – Group Vice-President Julianne DiBlasi Black had a recent illustration published in the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International’s Souvenir Book!

Her portrait of the Marvel character S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Nick Fury was included in the 50th Anniversary article. The Comic-Con International Souvenir Book is a keepsake full-color trade paperback given FREE to all show attendees featuring bios and photos of each year’s special guests, plus articles and art created by fans and pros devoted to the anniversary celebrations. It also functions as a kind of “Yearbook” for the show, featuring Eisner Award winners from the past year and current nominees, Hall of Fame inductees, and tributes to those popular arts creators who have passed away in the previous year. – See more at:

July 2015 – Congratulations to Daniel Stallings for winning the 2015 Jack London Award!

Jack London Awards, July 2015
Jack London Awards, July 2015

Every other year, each CWC branch may nominate one member to receive a Jack London Award in recognition of outstanding service to the organization.

The award honors a member whose service to the CWC and/or a branch has been exemplary. The merit of the award is in the service, independent of writing accomplishments. It is not mandatory that a branch designate a recipient simply because the opportunity exists.  The CWC president bestows the awards at the annual corporate meeting. [Read more on the CWC’s web site! ]

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