Writing Classes: Nonfiction

Class: Diane Conway - Brainstorming Your Book (Corte Madera)

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 12:30pm

Saturday, January 18, 2020 • 12:30am - 3:30pm • $75

This class helps you strengthen and refine your vision for your nonfiction book or memoir. You have the idea for your book and have done a fair amount of writing, but the concept is still fuzzy? You can’t grasp exactly what your book is about and so you are failing to gain traction? With her experience in developmental and concept editing, Diane Conway will help you brainstorm your core idea. In this supportive class you’ll discover how a clear focus is key to writing that flows.

Diane Conway is a seasoned writing coach and teacher who has published three books including What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Valerie Caccia - How to Eat a Millennial .. One Byte at a Time (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 3:00pm

Bay Area brunches, private plane lunches & the Contessa Ghibli await in How to Eat a Millennial...One Byte at a Time, a hilarious, imaginative and insightful start up book taking on the most creative generation of all time: the Millennials! Armed with a rotary phone and gluten, and with the help of friends and family from each generation, ranging in ages from 1 to 106 years old, Valerie Caccia reminds the modern world how to respectfully laugh at itself with everyone in it.

Valerie Caccia is a Wine Country based real estate salesperson, comedy writer and humorist. Born and raised in San Francisco, she lives in Sonoma, California with the greatest of Great Pyrenees, C.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Roy Parvin aka Yoga Matt - Yoga for the Inflexible Male (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 1:00pm

The benefits of yoga—greater strength, flexibility, and presence of mind—are for anyone, no matter their skill level. But most classes don't feel that way if you're a first-timer—or an inflexible male. Enter Yoga for the Inflexible Male, a welcoming and humorous guide for people of all stripes that gives three vetted hour-long yoga routines, each with roughly a dozen yoga poses. The poses are illustrated and described in depth, and each one contains variations so that they are accessible to anyone, no matter their flexibility. The back of the book also has sequences geared for practitioners of specific sports, like running, biking, climbing, and so on. As more and more men are encouraged to increase their flexibility, the health advantages of yoga are no longer beyond their reach.

Yoga Matt is the nom de namaste of Roy Parvin and a nod to the everyman of yoga. Parvin is the award-winning fiction author of In the Snow Forest, and a recipient of a National Endowments for the Arts Grant in Literature. Roy is also an elite cyclist; his devotion to yoga began as therapy for a bout of sleeplessness. The yoga proved to be so therapeutic for his insomnia that he became an evangelist of the ancient practice.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

P. Carl - Becoming a Man (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 3:00pm

Renowned artist and activist P. Carl uncovers the intricacies of transitioning and finding himself anew in his memoir, Becoming A Man. Carl is an award-winning producer and dramaturg, and co-founder of Howlround, a free and open platform for theater-makers worldwide. When working with Claudia Rankine on her new play “The White Card,” Carl was transitioning, and this book came from that experience. “On March 16 of 2017 I become a man, a white man,” writes Carl, just months after Trump’s election, two months shy of Carl’s fifty-first birthday, and just a few more months away from the eruption of the #MeToo movement.

Against the backdrop of our pivotal political moment, Carl’s personal journey interweaves with a broader mission: Carl delivers a cutting, clear-eyed dissection of gender and identity in America. Carl has a unique vantage point—having moved through the world for decades as a woman before walking those same streets as a man. And he uses his first-hand experience to shine a light on the subtle double standards and injustices that run through daily the daily lives of millions in America. Even as Carl is finally able to celebrate his arrival in the world as the man he has always known himself to be, he must reimagine masculinity and challenge it. “To construct that man,” he writes, “knowing what I know as a woman, is my work now.”

Carl delivers a singular, heart-baring story—about what it’s like to transition at age fifty, to become oneself after waiting a lifetime, and how this transformation ripples through all the habits and relationships (including his roles as spouse and sibling) he has built over half a century.

P. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston and was awarded a 2017 Art of Change Fellowship from the Ford Foundation, the Berlin Prize fellowship from the American Academy for the Fall of 2018, the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington, and the Anschutz Fellowship at Princeton for spring of 2020. He made theater for twenty years and now writes and teaches. He resides in Boston and lives with his wife of twenty-one years, the writer Lynette D’Amico, and their dogs.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Shauna Shapiro with Rick Hanson - Good Morning, I Love You (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 7:00pm

In conversation with Rick Hanson

All signs pointed to a promising future for the vibrant 17-year-old. Her entire life lay before her. The possibilities seemed bright and limitless—until they weren’t.

Shauna Shapiro was the star of her high school volleyball team and had just accepted early admission to Duke University when an early childhood health problem remerged, leading to emergency spinal surgery. Instead of finishing up high school with her peers and preparing for her freshman year of college, Shauna was living in pain, both mentally and physically with little reprieve. It wasn’t until she was given a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are that she realized she could be happy again by practicing mindfulness. Flash-forward four years when Shauna is making her practice a reality, visiting and meditating among monks and nuns in Nepal and Thailand. Yet, even with all of the time she’d put into her practice back home, something here was different. It was harder; her mind wandered, and her frustration with herself took over. It became less about what Shauna could do, and more about what she couldn’t.

That is, until she met a monk who said five simple words that she’ll never forget—what you practice grows stronger.

It was then when Shauna realized what mindfulness truly is. That it’s not just about paying attention. It’s about how you pay attention—with kindness. That’s where the magic is. Because kindness changes everything. In her debut book, Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness + Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity + Joy, she draws on both her 20+ years of clinical experience and the remarkable research she’s compiled over the years, addressing topics that resonate on a universal level, like:

  • How we can encourage the brain’s neuroplasticity (its ability to change itself)
  • The roadblocks to self-compassion and how we can overcome them
  • Applying mindfulness to sex, decision-making, the workplace, parenting and eating
  • Mindfulness meditation and practices for greater feelings of calm, joy, and possibility

Dr. Shapiro’s goal is to teach us not only what mindfulness is but how mindfulness can work when used effectively. When it’s oversimplified, it loses its radical transformational power. Because it’s not just about paying attention, it’s how you pay attention—with kindness. What we practice grows stronger.

Shauna Shapiro, PHD, is a clinical psychologist and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness and self-compassion. She is a widely published scholar whose TEDx talk, “The Power of Mindfulness”, has been viewed over one million times. She is a professor at Santa Clara University and a fellow of the Dalai Lama’s Mind and Life Institute. Dr. Shapiro lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit drshaunashapiro.com.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Elena Schwolsky - Waking in Havana (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:00pm

Compelled by her anti-war work with returning Vietnam veterans and her passion for social justice, Elena Schwolsky traveled to the then-forbidden island of Cuba in 1972 with a brigade of youthful volunteers to help build houses for workers and support the still young Cuban Revolution; a decision that would shape her life and ultimately lead her back to Cuba twenty years later—as she shares in her beautifully narrated new book Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba.

Elena returns to the island––a pediatric AIDS nurse weary from the constant loss and sorrow surrounding her work, a grieving widow dealing with the death of her husband—himself a victim of the disease, and a lifelong activist hoping to reconnect with the resilient spirit she felt as a young ‘brigadista’. The author takes readers along through her humorous attempts to navigate this very different culture—into Havana’s controversial AIDS sanatorium and the lives of the generous, opinionated and passionate Cubans who become her family and help her to heal.

Elena Schwolsky, RN, MPH, is a nurse, community health educator, activist, and writer who spent a decade as a pediatric nurse at the height of the AIDS epidemic. She has trained AIDS educators in Cuba and Tanzania and currently teaches community health workers in diverse urban neighborhoods in New York City. Her essays have appeared in The American Journal of Nursing and The Veteran, and her work has been included in the anthologies Storied Dishes: What Our Family Recipes Tell Us About Who We Are and Where We’ve Been and Reflections on Nursing: 80 inspiring stories on the art and science of nursing. A chapter she co-wrote appears in the textbook Children, Families and AIDS: Psychosocial and Therapeutic Issues. Schwolsky is the recipient of a writing award from the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund and is proud to be recognized as the madrina (godmother) of Proyecto Memorias, the Cuban AIDS Quilt project.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Craig Fehrman - Author in Chief (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

In the tradition of The Gatekeepers and The Presidents Club, historian Craig Fehrman offers a surprising new look into both the public and private lives of America’s presidents.

Most Americans are familiar with Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped win him the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book.

In Craig Fehrman’s groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presidential memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to offer insights into the aspirations and inner lives of our nation’s presidents. We see Teddy Roosevelt, known today for his rugged adventures and bulletproof self-confidence, as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Ronald Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, a forgotten memoir in which he sharpened his sunny political image. We see Donald Trump negotiating the deal for Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy—and decades later boosted him again on his way to the White House.

Combining the narrative skill of a journalist with the rigorous scholarship of a historian, Fehrman presents hundreds of new stories, scenes, quotations, and telling details to create an entirely fresh take on our highest leaders. Author in Chief is a feast for history lovers, book lovers, and everybody curious about a behind-the-scenes look at our presidents.

Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Karen Sherman - Brick By Brick (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 6:00pm

Karen Sherman, author of Brick By Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere moved her family from Bethesda, Maryland to Kigali for a year in 2012 after a 25-year career working on women’s issues in developing countries and embattled parts of the world. More than a memoir of that year, the book is a tribute to the women she met, and how their stories profoundly impacted her own life. “In many ways, our time in Rwanda surprised me.” says Sherman, “It deepened my sense of perspective for what it takes to be a woman almost anywhere in the world today, even when that womanhood is threatened or diminished by one’s family, culture or society. There is much that women in the developed and developing worlds can learn from each other, especially in this era of mass shootings and #MeToo.” Sherman and her three sons arrived in Rwanda after a tumultuous year in which her bid to become CEO of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, had failed. She had worked there for close to a decade.

“Like so many people in our modern, success-driven society, the job defined me,” she writes. “But this work was much more than a job. Helping women who had survived war move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency resonated powerfully with me, given my background and experiences. It felt right, like what I was supposed to be doing. This failure felt personal. It was devastating.” So, she took a one-year posting to Rwanda, hoping it would distance her from the crises in her career and marriage and put her back in touch with the work on the ground. Throughout her career, she had heard hundreds of personal stories from women who had endured war. The common thread was that all had managed to survive. "Now that we were living in Rwanda,” she writes, “I thought maybe, if I could sit and talk with some of these women, learn more about their perspectives and choices, it might help to bring me back to myself." For the rest of 2012 and into 2013, Sherman oversaw the completion of a new Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonza and the transitions of leadership in three of the four African countries where Women for Women worked. Each of the five hundred thousand bricks used to construct the Center were hand made by Rwandan women. “The architects of the Center would often talk about the process of building as ‘brick by brick.’ But I always thought of it as woman by woman,” Sherman writes in the book’s prologue. “These women, and so many of the survivors I worked with, each in their own way, had been able to build or rebuild their lives one step, one small change, in some cases, one brick at a time,” she realizes. “They’d held onto their dreams, forged their own paths, taken risks, and led change in their families, communities, and countries. They had fully embraced their choices. In that moment I vowed to fully embrace mine.”

Karen Sherman brings more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, strategist, and executive level manager to her role as President of the Akilah Institute. Throughout her career, Sherman has combined her expertise, passion, and transformative leadership skills to affect lasting change for women in conflict-affected countries and those in transition. She has global and sectoral experience in: Women and girls’ education around the world, Women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, Women in conflict-affected countries. Across her different roles, Sherman has worked with stakeholders at all levels, from community groups to corporate leaders and heads of state, to take programs from concept to scale. Most importantly, her work has resulted in measurable impacts on women’s income, health, decision-making, and social networks. Sherman serves as a thought leader and spokesperson on global women’s issues through the media, public appearances, and diverse social media platforms. She has been featured in multiple publications and was Executive Producer of The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, published by National Geographic.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dr. Christine Carter - The New Adolescence (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 7:00pm

In conversation with Chris Mazzola

Raising teenagers has always been hard. But it is much harder these days.

Today's teenagers and preteens are growing up in an entirely new world, one that is defined by social media and mobile devices. This has huge implications for our parenting. Understandably, many parents are paralyzed by new problems that didn't exist less than a decade ago, like social media and video game obsession, sexting, and vaping.

A highly acclaimed sociologist and coach at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center and the author of Raising Happiness, Dr. Christine Carter melds research—including the latest findings in neuroscience, sociology, and social psychology—with her own real-world experiences as the mother of four teenagers. In The New Adolescence, you'll find realistic ways to help teens and preteens find joy, focus, ease, motivation, fulfillment and engagement, and practical guidance for:

  • Providing the structure teens need while giving them the autonomy they seek
  • Helping them overcome distractions
  • Teaching them the art of "strategic slacking"
  • Protecting them from anxiety, isolation, and depression
  • Fostering the real-world, face-to-face social connections they desperately need
  • Effective conversations about tough subjects--including sex, drugs, and money

The New Adolescence is a realistic and reassuring handbook for parents. It offers road-tested, science-based solutions for raising happy, healthy, and successful teenagers.

Christine Carter, PhD, is the author of The Sweet Spot and Raising Happiness. A sociologist and Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, Carter draws on the latest scientific research in psychology, sociology and neuroscience—and uses her own real-world experiences—to give parenting, productivity, and happiness advice. A sought-after keynote speaker and coach, Dr. Carter also teaches online classes that help people live their most fulfilling lives. She lives with her husband, four teenagers, and dog, Buster, in Marin County, California.

Chris Mazzola is currently the Head of School at the Branson School in Ross. Prior to Branson, Chris spent 25 years working with teenagers in different schools; she was a teacher, coach, and administrator at the Thacher School in Ojai, CA for twenty years and also served for five years as the High School Principal at St. Anne's Belfield School in Charlottesville, VA. Chris loves working with teenagers, and her philosophy of education centers around creating student-centered programs and environments that not only prepare adolescents for college, but also prepare them to make a positive impact in the world by leading lives of integrity, purpose, learning, and joy. Chris holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MAT from Vanderbilt University.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Julia Flynn Siler - The White Devil's Daughters (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 7:00pm

Beginning in 1874, the Occidental Mission Home on the edge of San Francisco's Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Run by a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters. With compassion and an investigative historian's sharp eye, Julia Flynn Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the home defied contemporary convention--even occasionally breaking the law--by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled in--and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. She also shares the moving stories of many of the girls and young women who sought refuge at the mission, and she writes about the lives they went on to lead. The White Devil's Daughters is a remarkable chapter in an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor.

Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book is Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure. Her first book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting. A veteran journalist, Siler is a longtime contributor and former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest commentator on CNBC, CNN, and the BBC. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925