Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

Home » Guild News and Info » Summary of May 22, 2021 Meeting with Michelle D. Dalrymple

Summary of May 22, 2021 Meeting with Michelle D. Dalrymple


Michelle Deerwester Dalrymple
May 22, 2021



We’re still meeting virtually on Zoom. As soon as we hear from the Hemet Public Library that we can again meet IRL, we’ll let you know. For now, enjoy this recap of our May meeting on Zoom.



Jim Hitt


President Jim Hitt opened the meeting by reminding us that the positions of Guild President and Treasurer will both be open at our regular election meeting in October. He and Lynne talked about the fellowship on the Board, the support from other directors, and the intent to keep the Guild from becoming more complex than a hobby-level club. The board meets six times a year for two hours. If you think you’d be interested in putting your hat in the ring, contact Jim, JoLynne, Michelle, or Lynne at DVWritersGuild@gmail.com for more information.

Writer’s Corner

Stepping in for Sandy Schuster, Lynne Spreen spoke about a great tool for inventing characters when the well has run dry: The Positive Traits Thesaurus, The Negative Traits Thesaurus, and the Emotional Wound Thesaurus, all by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. Not only are there in-depth descriptions of hundreds of character types, but the elements of each type will spark your creativity as to plot lines, character arcs, and back stories. For more information, click the above link to see all the Ackerman/Puglisi books on Amazon.


Cheryl McGuire and Ellyn Wolfe, Editor and Publisher, respectively, of Straitjackets Magazine, reminded everyone that the current issue is out and it’s a beauty. Ellyn pointed out we’re getting a lot of traffic from the web, most likely due to the fact contributors and their fans are sharing more on social media sites. Take a look. The magazine is lovely.

Michelle Bassett, the Guild’s Vice President for Membership, spoke of the fact that, thanks to Zoom, we now have members participating from as far away as other states. When the library reopens, we hope to continue a hybrid version of the monthly meetings, both in person and Zoom. Michelle reminded everyone that membership is only twenty dollars per calendar year, and for that, one receives these benefits among others:

  • eligibility to submit your writing for consideration to Straitjackets Magazine.
  • Have your book(s) listed on our Member Books Page, with links to the purchase location.
  • Enjoy a 10% discount off the list price of new books at Cameron Books in Hemet, California.
  • Know that you are supporting one of the few local writers’ groups in the area

Two Ways to Join:

  • Using PayPal (click on the Home tab at the top of this page, and find the Buy Now button on the left margin), or
  • Send your check to PO Box 1154, Hemet CA 92546.


This Month’s Speaker


dalrympleOur speaker, Michelle Deerwester Dalrymple, spoke about productivity, time management, and motivation. Here are some of the tips that she provided us.

1. Set your goals by the week rather than the day.

2. Use the right tool. She likes her iPad for the size of the keyboard, which allows her the best speed. Find a writing space in your house or neighborhood.

3. Find small pockets of time to write. Take your tablet with you when you’ll be waiting. She used to read while waiting but now she writes. She recommends using a dictation app. One she uses is Speechy.

4. Michelle recommended, in addition to the character thesauruses mentioned above, using genre-related phrase books instead of repeating yourself. 

5. When she tires of writing, she does marketing and promotion, or takes the time for herself.

6. She’s a night person, so writes almost every evening/night. Recommends you find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it.

7. For motivation, recommends joining writing groups in on Facebook. Mentioned 20BooksTo50K on Facebook as the ultimate writer craft/business group. 

8. Find your cheerleaders, and stay away from the naysayers. They will sap your energy.

Michelle had far more than this to say but half the time, I was listening so intently I forgot to take notes! Hopefully we’ll be able to post a link to the meeting replay on YouTube shortly. Click here to access the speaker notes (with links!) Michelle was kind enough to share with us. And click here to see the video on YouTube.



For more about the Guild, including frequent tips and interactions with fellow writers, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/diamondvalleywritersguild/


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