January Meeting Roundup and Good News

It’s been a long holiday break, so it felt great to kick off the new year with our January meeting, featuring writer and motivational speaker Lee Silber.

Lee Silber is a surf shop owner who became the best-selling author of 21 books (including two novels and 15 business books.) He started his first small business at the age of eleven (painting neighborhood mailboxes) and has since founded five others including a chain of retail stores, and a corporate training company with clients that include Major League Baseball Teams (the Padres) and Fortune 500 Companies (GE, HP, and GM.) Silber has hosted his own radio talk show, was featured in USA Today, and appeared on CNN. An award-winning speaker, Silber has given over 1,480 speeches to nearly 992,000 people around the world. He lives with his wife and two young sons in Mission Beach, California.

On Saturday morning, Lee came to speak to us all about “Dates in Your Calendar are Closer than They Appear: How to Make the Most of Your Time and Talent in 2018.

He opened with the suggestion that “whatever you’re doing now, be 100% in.” He also reminded us that we know more about what matters to us and when faced with a decision between two equally compelling choices, “trust your gut, trust your instinct.”

He also reminded us that although the seductive pull of technology can get in the way of getting things done, there are ways to use a cellphone to boost productivity. Some suggestions were using the voice recorder app, listen to motivational talks and podcasts, take pictures of things that match description and setting for your story, quickly check email on breaks, jump on the internet for research, play background music to establish mood, or set a time to focus on work. Some useful apps members use to increase productivity include Habitica and WorkFlowy.

Finally, he concluded the morning with a suggestion to simplify by focusing on the Top Ten of everything important to you – people, activities, writers, bands, place, etc. Live by a personal 90/10 rule where you invest 90% of your time and energy into the ten percent of things that matter most.

In the afternoon, he followed up with a talk on “All In: How to Pull Out All the Stops and Commit to Your Career and Your Goals This Year.” He advised members, “don’t let the expectation of others stop you from trying new things.” When we encounter obstacles, we really have three choices – give up, give in, or give it your all. Finally, he reminded us that the work we do as romance writers is valuable because “people need faith in the future.”

Tessa McFionn (l.) and President Rick Ochocki.


Tessa McFionn (l.) and Tami Vahalik.

Cj Corbin (l) and Tessa McFionn

Aside from our inspiring speaker, we also handed out our monthly awards. This month we awarded two Member of the Month awards. One went to Tami Vahalik, for getting the new budget together as Treasurer and for serving on the Cal Dreamin’ committee. The second went to President-elect and former Treasurer Tessa McFionn for handling the transition of all the Treasurer’s books over to Tami.  Our Atta Girl was given to CJ Corbin, who’s been keeping her writing going despite hip replacement surgery.

After the holiday break members had some Good News to share:

  • Jackie Leigh Allen’s new novel, The Sherriff Gets the Girl, was accepted for publication in July 2018
  • Mary Galusha submitted Racel’s Secret to Desert Breeze and was accepted. It will be released on May 11th.
  • Christy Jeffries’A Proposal for the Officer will be released on February 20th.

Join us next month, when our guest speaker will be sex educator and romance writer Emily Nagoski. She’ll be offering a workshop titled Come as You Are: The Science of High Impact Love Scenes. See you in February!

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