Born in Italy, rina alcalay grew up in Argentina and Chile. At 26 she came to the United States and earned her M.A. in Education and Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford. She taught at UCLA and UC Davis, specializing in cross-cultural and international health communication and publishing widely in this area. Rina lives in Berkeley with her husband and two children. She loves classical and folk music, reading, writing, walking, the ocean, swimming, and being with her friends.

susan antolin spent three years in Japan, where she fell in love with modern Japanese poetry. She is a nonpracticing attorney and mother of three young children living in Walnut Creek, where she writes in grocery store parking lots, at red lights, and in the occasional quiet of her kitchen.

Born and raised in Mankato, MN, june anne baker earned a sociology degree from Arizona State, a Master's in Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma, and a law degree from UC Berkeley. In 1970 she moved to San Francisco, and was a founding member of Bay Area Women Planners. June turned to writing in her forties, and was a charter member of this workshop. She died of cancer in 1996, at 54.

wendy scott bertrand considers herself a Californian with one foot on French soil, where she started her architectural career and travels often. She joined the Fall 2002 Writing Workshop to launch the memoir of her three-decade voyage as an architect and manager in Federal Service. She writes in Del Norte County (near the Oregon border) and in San Francisco.

jenna buffaloe never did get a job. Instead, she moved to Oakland, met a wild cowboy who didn't mind supporting her, and settled down to write her memoirs.

ronnie caplane is a reformed lawyer turned freelance writer. She has a weekly column in the Piedmonter and Montclarion, and is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. Her articles have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Denver Post, San Francisco Recorder, and various Jewish newspapers throughout the country.

A psychologist with a string of academic publications on children and family issues, charli depner planned to spend some of her maternity leave knocking off a book about adopting her daughters from Russia. The writing workshop inspired her to pursue "writing from the heart." Her life has been blessed by the gift of this workshop and the warm, creative, and inspiring women she met there.

Former social worker nancy deutsch has taught journal writing, poetry, and oral history for the last 12 years. She's currently a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence directing intergenerational writing programs in the public schools and low-income housing. Nancy is the author/editor of Voices of Our Own -- Mothers, Daughters, and Elders of the Tenderloin Tell Their Stories (2002). Visit for more information.

diana divecha is a developmental psychologist and former chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development at Sonoma State University. After many years of teaching students about child development, she stepped out of academia to enjoy her own daughters, now 11 and 14.

bonnie epstein is an eleven-year uterine and ovarian cancer survivor. Her choice to use acupuncture as a healing tool has enriched her life in ways never imagined. Her acupuncturist is her life-teacher. Bonnie now embraces impermanence, lives in the moment, and laughs a lot. She is a retired psychotherapist who devotes her time to writing, gardening, and animal rescue.

kathleen faraday has lived in the Philippines, Australia, Korea, and Hong Kong and all across the U.S. from Winnemucca, Nevada and Boise, Idaho to New York and Alabama. Piano and golf lessons, hiking, biking, skiing, and cooking are squeezed in between her job as an account manager at Nichols Institute Diagnostics, time with her grandchildren, and writing a column, "Double Talk," for the Contra Costa Sun.

elizabeth fishel is the author of four books -- Sisters, The Men in Our Lives, I Swore I'd Never Do That, and Reunion. She has also written widely for magazines including Vogue, Oprah's O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, The New York Times Book Review, and was a Contributing Editor at Child. In addition to her Wednesday Writers' Workshop, she has taught writing at UC Berkeley Extension for many years. She lives in Oakland with her husband and two sons.

Born in Pueblo, CO, dian gillmar worked as a corporate librarian while rearing two daughters. When the younger went off to college, she became development director for Brown University's West Coast office, where she worked for ten years. Dian has kept a daily journal for 20 years, and since her retirement has been writing poetry. She is an attentive grandmother to two boys and two girls.

linda goldfarb is a paralegal/writer turned vintner. She and her husband Steve own Anomaly Vineyards, a small cabernet-producing winery in California's Napa Valley. In addition to the winery, Linda is also involved with the local animal shelter and has three dogs that keep her quite busy. Linda's son, Chris, attends UC Davis, and her daughter, Emilie, is an actress in Los Angeles.

michelle wells grant, a native Californian of 43 years, currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Mike and daughter Elizabeth. Michelle can't get enough of the creative life and enjoys writing, sewing, jewelry-making, and drawing. Her first children's picture book, entitled Patches, will be published in the fall of 2003 by Eakin Press.

ellen hauptli crafts simple, elegant, fun clothing for women of all ages and sizes in Berkeley, California. Her very supportive family -- husband, daughter, and son -- also lets her play a lot of softball there.

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised on Long Island, terri hinte has lived in the Bay Area since 1973. An avid gardener and a lifelong student of languages and metaphysics, she has worked as a publicist and editor in the music business for nearly 30 years, and is a frequent traveler to Brazil. Her writing has appeared in Travelers' Tales Brazil and Passionfruit magazine.

rebecca kaminsky has a Master of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in women's studies from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She lives and writes in Berkeley. Her main goal as a mom is to instill in her son a healthy appreciation for candy, television, and occasionally organic food.

suzanne laFetra spent her twenties in Mexico, where she developed a taste for altars and folk art. She currently lives in Berkeley and tends a garden filled with persimmons and marigolds. She writes after her husband and two small children have gone to bed.

ann lipson is an immigration lawyer, born in England, who, after raising triplets, now age 29, divides her time, with her husband, between Berkeley and their renovated farmhouse in the Loire valley of France. There they grow fruit and vegetables in the potager, and indulge their passion for all things French.

lorna c. mason edited and published But What, My Dear, Do You Know About Hotels?, a collection of the reminiscences of Flora Gellatly Means, a Colorado rancher's wife and Lorna's maternal grandmother. The book was, Lorna wrote, "an act of love." The mother of a son and a daughter, Lorna was 59 at the time of her death from breast cancer in 1998.

elizabeth a. montgomery, a retired bank marketing executive, writer, wife, mother, and eight-year breast cancer survivor, lives in Berkeley. She is grateful for the support she received from her friends, family, and colleagues after her diagnosis of breast cancer, and thanks everyone who is putting time and money into conquering this disease.

mary-jo murphy, a Connecticut native, is a Health Educator and Registered Nurse. From her father she learned a love of people-watching, from her mother a love of words. These sensibilities allow her to tune into life's dramas, themes, and truths, endless subjects to be shaped into essays, novels, picture books, screenplays, or long, therapeutic journal entries. Her greatest pleasure as a writer is to elicit an emotional response.

linda joy myers (Ph.D., M.F.T.) is the author of Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story. Linda combines her knowledge and experience as a therapist with her writing skills to teach memoir-as-healing classes. "The Music Man" is excerpted from Don't Call Me Mother, a memoir about transcending a pattern of mother-daughter abandonment to find forgiveness and compassion.

kara jane rollins is a Bay Area therapist and writer who grew up in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana and moved to San Francisco in the mid-1960s. Kara likes to write about the West and about life experiences.

lori rosenthal lives in the Oakland hills with her husband David and two daughters, Emma and Rebecca. She thanks all three of them for supplying endless source material and for being willing to see their names and stories in print. Lori urges all readers to make time for annual medical check-ups and recommended tests.

carole sirulnick, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice for almost 30 years. She received a B.A. in journalism at New York University in 1971. Currently at work on a book about a Sherpa from the Himalayas of Nepal, Carole has contributed to Adair Lara's Slowing Down in a Speeded Up World, and to various small Bay Area publications.

martha slavin has spent the last five years living in Japan and France as a trailing spouse, trying to meet the challenges of new languages and cultures while maintaining a stable family environment. She continues her cyclical life as artist, teacher, writer, wife, mother, and community worker, but her experiences as an expat are now the focus of her writing. She's still married to Bill, the working/traveling spouse; their son Ted is 13.

robin slovak practices dermatology in the East Bay. She has traveled around the world and loves her native California all the more for it. Under the nom de plume Robin Lawrence, she wrote a column "Double Talk" for the Contra Costa Times. On her days off she hikes, gardens, and cooks with family and friends. Robin is a docent at the marvelous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. Her bedside table is overflowing with books.

joan stevenson completed her college degree as a single working mother. When she remarried, three more children came with their father, like the Brady Bunch without Alice. Writing provides an outlet amid the joys and chaos of raising six children and caring for an aging parent. When Robin Lawrence retired from writing the column "Double Talk" in the Contra Costa Sun, Joan joined Kathleen Faraday as co-columnist.

ines swaney enjoys writing about her daily encounters and adventures in the field of language, where she works as a Spanish interpreter, translator, and voiceover talent. A native of Venezuela, she has now lived in California longer than anywhere else. She started UC Berkeley at age 16 and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Born and raised in Bombay, shahnaz chinoy taplin works in public interest communications. Specifically, she conducts mass media campaigns for foundations, nonprofits in the Bay Area, and NGO's in India. Her focus is on women's issues, adoption/foster care, environment, and more recently Diaspora philanthropy.

gina waldman lectures widely on college campuses on the issue of terrorism. She is the former director of the Bay Area Council for Rescue and Renewal, an organization dedicated to helping secure freedom for Jews and dissidents in the former Soviet Union. In 1992, Gina was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award for her work on human rights. She is the founder of Jimena (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa,

anne ziebur came to live in the United States in 1959 via her native Denmark, then Belgium and Spain. In addition to homemaking and child-rearing, she has practiced writing and photography for many years. She recently discovered the magic of painting and delights in sharing her newfound joys with her young grandchildren.

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