Valentine’s Day Potluck


Valentine’s Day Pot Luck Brunch for Writers: The Writing Group of Woodland Hills, CA, plus some members of California Writers Club – San Fernando Valley Chapter.

The famous Life Style writing coach, Bernard Selling, center in the visor, spoke about adding “Internal Thoughts and Feelings” to improve any story, for which he received a prize. Gail, back row 5th from the right, sang beautifully and also won a prize. Jeri , peeking out right front, won the top prize for continuing to give the very best critiques, which is so important in helping writers improve their writing skills. Judy, in the hat, was also presented a prize for continuing to provide the conference room at Bella Vista for meetings of The Writing Group of Woodland Hills.

Alan and Norma Wills were the hosts. Alan is in the red shirt with his hand on Bernard Selling’s shoulder.  It may sound crazy but Alan and Norma also hosted a Valentine’s Day Dinner, that same day, for 22 friends! Alan was the cook – Baby Back ribs were enjoyed by all.

NOTE: Both Writing Groups are open to new members. Call or email Alan for the dates of the next meeting of either group: 818-222-9923

The FREE web site welcomes more submissions: Short Stories – Poetry –even a Chapter from Your Book … you can include an e-mail where your book can be ordered. Send a picture and a short Bio, along with your submission to

The Miracle of Spell Check!

How did I become a writer? Being a creative speller I was ashamed to let anyone read anything I wrote.   So I didn’t write!

Then the miracle of Spell Check!

I loaned a girlfriend money which she was unable to repay. To settle the loan she gave me a Commodore 64 computer.

Next I fired an order desk person, who I would classify as nebulous.  So much so, I don’t even remember her name. She came into my office to say goodbye, and handed me an envelope, telling me not to read it until I was on the plane to Paris on a business trip. To which I complied.  I was impressed by the poem she had written, expressing her unrequited love for me, her boss. I was astounded by how few words she had used, and the impact they had on me.  Being somewhat of a chauvinist, I thought if that ordinary girl can write so well, so can I.  On the back of the envelope I wrote my first poem to my daughter, as I would be away on her birthday.

My little girl is eight today
Business takes me so far away.

And ending with:

How I miss my Julie Ann
Daddy is coming as fast as he can.

Not great poetry but she loved it, and it encouraged me to take down the Commodore and learn how to use it.  Spell Check was an epiphany that led me have the courage to write, and even let others read what I had written.

I was going through separation from my wife and children, which led to divorce. I was very alone in my little house.  It was like holding a full bottle upside down and removing the cork.  My emotions poured out … in poetry, and eventually into my first book Cockneys Ain’t So Tough.  That book eventually became Confessions of a Wanker; the first chapter is available on this website

As you can see from my photo I consider life far too important to be taken totally seriously. Confessions of a Wanker is a humorous look at my life growing up in England. It is currently being published and I will let you know where you can order.  I hope you enjoy it!