Class: Melanie Vetter - Write Your Life (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 10:00am

Saturday September 22 • 10 am - 12 pm • $60

Writing your life —two pages at a time—using universal themes such as family, career and work, and spirituality. Priming questions will help evoke memories of events and people. Writing and sharing life stories with others is an enjoyable way to gain a growing appreciation of your life and the lives of others, as well as put the past into perspective. Narrative storytelling is a wonderful way to learn about yourself, and has been shown to enhance the writer’s sense of meaning. This introductory class will include creative exercises, writing tips, writing, and sharing of stories. All levels of writing experience (from no experience to expert) are welcome and encouraged to join.

Melanie Vetter is the founder of Wellfleet Circle. Melanie's life’s work is dedicated to teaching and empowering others to celebrate, document and share a purposeful life using fun and joyful tools and techniques.  She helps others preserve and share  their intangible wealth—traditions, wisdom, values, stories and love. Melanie is a Harvard Law School trained attorney and business professional and a certified Legacy Advisor. She holds a certificate in Guided Autobiography Instruction from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, and is also a Certified Senior Advisor®.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Susan Fritz-Prey - Learning to Listen to Classical Music (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:30am

Four Mondays; September 24 - October 15th • 10:30 am - 12:00 pm • $120

Are you curious about Classical music but unsure what you are listening to? Do you already enjoy this music but would like to understand more? In this class, we will explore how we already experience music, how we can apply what we know to this genre, and ways to gain a deeper and more rewarding listening experience.  

Susan Fritz-Prey received her Masters and Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in piano.  She has taught at USC, Cal State Dominguez Hills, San Francisco State, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and she currently maintains an active piano studio in Marin County.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Pamela Feinsilber - Meet the Author (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 7:00pm

Four Mondays; Sep. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19, & Dec. 17 • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm • $95

In the first hour of this long-running group, we discuss the book we’ve just read. In the second hour, we talk with the author about what it took to create it and other engrossing topics. We’ve had wonderful conversations with Daniel Handler, Elizabeth McKenzie, Yiyun Li, T.J. Stiles, Anthony Marra, Tom Barbash, Elizabeth Rosner, T. Geronimo Johnson, Adam Hochschild, Joyce Maynard, Natalie Baszile, and many others.

Pamela Feinsilber is a Path to Publishing mentor, book editor, and freelance writing consultant at

September 24

A Kind of Freedom – Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

October 22

Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

November 19

Goodbye, Vitamin – Rachel Khong

December 17

When It’s Over – Barbara Ridley

A Kind of Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9781640091030
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - August 14th, 2018

Long-listed for the National Book Award
Winner of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association
A New York Times Notable Book

Lucky Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101982266
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 5th, 2017

A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.

“Sekaran has written a page-turner that’s touching and all too real.”—People

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250182555
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - July 10th, 2018

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; San Francisco Chronicle; Esquire; Huffington Post; Nylon; Entertainment Weekly; BuzzFeed; Booklist; and The Independent

When It's Over Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631522963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - September 26th, 2017

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Character of Crime (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2018 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

The Character of Crime: Creating the Character Web in Crime, Mystery/Detective and Thriller Fiction

In this pre-conference lecture and workshop, award-winning crime novelist David Corbett will guide students in exploring the key roles that make crime fiction work, with specific focus on the specific demands of the three major subgenres of crime fiction—mystery/detective, crime, and thriller—and an emphasis on maintaining dramatic tension, creating moral complexity, and avoiding cliché.

In particular, students will learn:

  • How to create strong, compelling protagonists who push the action forward and serve the story’s theme—instead of victims of circumstance, intrepid boy scouts, ciphers, stiffs, or sleepwalkers.
  • How to create equally compelling opponents or villains who aren’t just another iteration of Lucifer or the Creature from the Black Lagoon—with the purpose of gaining an understanding that the hero’s only as compelling as his enemy, that evil must be justified to be dramatically interesting, and that there’s “no beast so fierce” as man.
  • How to create secondary characters—from Watsons to wheelmen to femmes fatales to sympathetic heavies—who elicit nuance and subtlety from the main characters, flesh out the values in conflict in the story, create moral complexity through ‘four-corner conflict,” serve the hinge points of the plot, and bring to life the story world.

David Corbett worked 15 years for the famed private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland. He is the author of several novels including Done for a Dime (A New York Times Notable Book), His latest is Thirteen Confessions: Stories. His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called “a writer’s bible.”

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: John Hart - Reading the Poets (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 7:00pm

Eight Mondays: Oct. 1 - Nov. 19 • 7:00-9:00 pm • $200

To have great poets,” Walt Whitman said, “there must be great audiences.” He wanted not just many readers but also able readers, open-minded and demanding. What makes a poem worth the effort of reading it? In this group we look at (mostly) famous, (mostly) English-language works from Shakespeare to last week. Widely published local poet and author John Hart edits the venerable all-poetry journal Blue Unicorn.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan - Advanced French Lvl 2 (Corte Madera)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 10:30am

Eight Tuesdays; Oct. 2 - Dec. 11 (no class Nov. 6, 13, & 20) • 10:35 am - 12:35 pm • $275

Review of advanced grammar, discussions on current issues. Students will read the contemporary French novel “Un Sac de Billes” by Joseph Joffo.

Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan is a graduate of the Sorbonne. She has taught French at College of Marin for over 30 years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan - Advanced French Lvl 1 (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 1:00pm

8 Tuesdays; Oct. 2 - Dec. 11(no class Nov. 6, 13, & 20) • 1:00 - 3:00 pm • $275

Review of grammar, use of videos from “7 jours sur las panete”, discussions on current issues. Students will read the contemporary French novel “Un Secret” by Philippe Grimbert.

Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan is a graduate of the Sorbonne. She has taught French at College of Marin for over 30 years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Lary Kirchenbauer - Writing Tools for the Digital Age (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 6:30pm

Two Wednesdays: October 3 and a second meeting choice of October 10 or 24th • 6:30 - 8:30 pm • $175

Writing Tools for the Digital Age


Writing required a hand-held instrument for thousands of years. Priests copied the Bible by tediously copying another Bible, line by line, before Gutenberg lightened their burden.

More than 500 years later, the personal computer created the next major revolution (no offense to the typewriter, but you don’t see many of them any more). Today, we are blessed with thousands of digital writing tools, but our writing isn’t as simple as typing words on a page. 

If you’re still using MS Word or another traditional word processing program for all of your writing, this class will create the same revolution in your writing process as Gutenberg’s printing press did for the priests.

Word Processing Isn’t Enough

Fortunately, whether you're blogging, freelancing or writing a book, there are hundreds, probably thousands, of applications providing valuable tools that can be personalized to your specific writing process, strengthen your writing platform, and make your writing flexible, portable and secure.

They include some of these features:

  • Research notes
  • Writing notes
  • Outlines
  • Mind Maps
  • Annotation
  • Editing
  • Timelines
  • Bibliographies
  • … and much more.

By integrating a variety of these tools,  I can help you build an arsenal of proven tools that will make you a writing ninja very quickly.

It will also give you a much deeper and richer writing environment so that your final product will be that much more powerful and compelling.

Class Structure

This class takes place in two, 2 hour sessions.

The First Session

The class is structured in this manner so we can initially review a series of proven programs to support your writing process. It is likely that each student will discover different tools that work best, so we’ll discuss some of the key features of various applications and how they can be integrated into your writing process.

The Second Session

The second session is scheduled to give you time to explore some of the applications discussed in Session 1 … on your own so you can determine which ones will fit into your writing process. Most applications have free trials, and wherever possible, I’ll arrange discounts for purchase when you’ve chosen an application that will help you. In any case, most of these tools are inexpensive and their value will easily exceed their cost.

  • If you want to move quickly following the first class, I’d suggest taking the second class one week later.
  • If you need more time, you can wait an additional week or two (depending on when you enroll) for the second session.

Each of the second sessions will be the same. There will be plenty of time to discuss your findings, explore additional features and to answer your questions about how to fit different applications into your writing process.

You will also be provided with my contact information and a private users group so I can help you between sessions and after the classes are finished.

October Schedule

For October, 2018, the first session will be on Thursday, October 3 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

The second session can be scheduled either one week or three weeks after the introductory session:

  • Thursday, October 10 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.
  • Thursday, October 24 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

If you want to become a more efficient and effective writer, make all of your research and writing notes easily accessible and incorporate tools like mind maps, outlines and timelines into your writing process, join me and take your writing to the next level.

P.S. While most of the applications we’ll discuss will work on both the Apple and PC platform, a few of them will be for Apple only devices, but with PC equivalents.

About Lary

I've been writing professionally for more than 30 years. For many years, I wrote a weekly column for major city newspapers, including an affiliate of the New York Times. I have also written fiction and nonfiction pieces, published e-books and have been writing an active blog at for almost 10 years. I am just now finishing my first novel.

I have been an ardent student of writing tools and applications since I bought my very first Apple Computer more than 30 years ago. I have tried, tested and extensively used hundreds of applications. I can save you countless hours of exploration and help you immediately establish a productive and powerful writing environment.

I have been teaching courses and workshops for over 30 years in a variety of subjects, and have served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco. My presentations include compelling slides that have rich visual content, variety and tasteful humor to enrich the audience experience and drive home the key points in a practical and memorable way.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Sara Bender - Intermediate Spanish (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 10:00am

Ten Thursdays; Oct. 4 - Dec. 20 (no class 11/22 & 12/6) • 10:00 am-12:00 pm • $325

In this course, participants will learn more conversational Spanish, improve upon and add to their vocabulary, work on their accents and learn the remaining "core" grammar.  By the end of this course participants will feel confident communicating in Spanish. 

Sara Bender was born in Mexico and lived there until she was 5. Spanish was her first language, yet she also studied abroad in Mexico and majored in Spanish Translation at the University of Maryland. She later received her Master’s in Secondary Spanish from The Johns Hopkins University. She was a teacher for 8 years and is currently tutoring in Marin. She is looking forward to teaching Spanish courses to the community and welcomes everyone.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Melissa Cistaro- Mapping Your Memoir (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 6:30pm

Four Thursdays: Oct. 4 - 25 • 6:30 - 8:30 pm • $220

Finding a structure can be one of the biggest challenges of writing a memoir. How do you choose what to put in your story and what to leave out. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to create a series of visual “memory maps” specifically for your story. We will use these personal maps as a tool for writing narratives that are both emotional and compelling. Experienced and beginning writers welcome. Materials provided.

Melissa Cistaro is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother. Her stories, essays and interviews have appeared in numerous literary journals and national publications. She also works as an event coordinator at Book Passage and has taught memoir writing classes in the Bay Area and beyond.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925