Amy Potts, pinch-hitting for Marty Fishman today, called the meeting to order.
Introductions and inspiration
Hal Rosen, back from the mountains, led the pledge and welcomed guests:
  • Brian Allen - retired from the Rotary Club of San Jose.
  • Russell Couch - guest of Jack Chevlen; but while still a guest, already donated to The Rotary Foundation!
Erika Buck provided the inspiration. A sweet poem/prayer for a fulfilling October for all.
Lots of club business and announcements:
Andrea Lee announced the Rotarians with October Birthdays: Steve Rice, Mike Norcia, Doug Brent, Dick Konrad, Myron Smith, Gregg Butterfield, Tina Orsi-Hartigan, Jack Chevlen, Julian Rodriguez and Charles Goss.  Happy Birthday Rotarians! And happy wedding anniversaries to Edward and Margaret Graziani (25), Tom and Shelly Dodge (43), Art and Gladie Rabitz (53) and Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and Gerry Gassman (17).
The nominating committee formally brought the candidacy of Andrew Stearns as president for the July 2020/June 2021 Rotary year forward to the club. After motions and seconds, there was unanimous approval and approbation of Andrew as the new president elect. (There was one voice in the back of the room that sounded like Andrew who may have expressed some doubt ;-)
We still have two weeks to donate towels or cash to Uplift Family Services. Please contact Patti van der Burg for a cash donation, or bring your new or very lightly used towels to the meeting next week.
Put Crabfest 2020 on your calendar for January 25! The current focus is to meet and beat our sponsorship donation from last year. The entire event brought in $63,000 for out philanthropic grants. This might be appropriate for some of our Rotarian’s businesses to jump on. The deadline for sponsorship is December 15. Also, collection of auction items will begin soon.
The District is sponsoring the Rotary Business Expo this Saturday at the Ohlone College of Newark, from noon to 5. In addition to the networking opportunities, there are two interesting sessions: at 1PM, Social Media 101. And, at 3PM William Santana Li will talk about how he started his company, Knightscope, and how robotics are securing America. Tina would love to see some turnout from our club, and it looks like an interesting day.
The Rotary Foundation Drive continues. Our club is currently at 68% participation, and we are at $29K of our minimum target of $35K. Our goal is that all Los Gatos Rotary members participate at some level. Please give from your hearts...and wallets.
Online registration has closed for the October 19 Rebuilding Together event, but you can still participate. It is in Los Gatos from 8AM to 5PM (probably will end earlier). Please contact Doug Brent or Suzanne Boxer-Gassman and they will handle your registration.
October 24 is World Polio Day. Amy Potts is putting together a social media campaign to raise awareness of polio eradication. Over a ten day period, she will highlight how polio and polio prevention has impacted ten members of our club. Avis LaGrone used this opportunity to remind Rotarians that we can participate in international polio eradication projects and experience the joy of this project first hand. Contact Avis for details. 
Avis LaGrone presented Hal Rosen his Paul Harris pin. Congratulations and thank you Hal. 
First Thursday is this Thursday at the clubhouse of Rinconada Hills.  BYOB and light appetizers. Should be a great setting and lots of fun.
Henry Vitkovich  met with Red Badgers and prospective club members at the end of the meeting to provide them with some next steps. Please contact Henry directly if you weren’t able to attend.
Speaker for next week will be John Markoff. John is a notable journalist with a focus on technology and the impact on society. He will be talking about robotics: Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground between Humans and Robots. (And, even in absentia, Marty had one of his patented videos on machines that...ah...weren’t so graceful.
We had a rousing session of 20-for-$20, and people had some fun with it.
  • Wes Sadumiano was volunteering in the Philippines while some new and unexpected Polio cases surfaced recently. He worked with a Rotary club there on a polio fundraising drive. He donated $20 for the general fund and plans another donation to the polio fund.
  • Randy Cobb’s mother turned 90 just recently. She had a great deal of involvement in Rotary and our Los Gatos club. She handled registration from early days of the Great Race, was an inner wheel member, and much more. $20.
  • Irene Cario-Upson said her mother in Peru is turning 101! Her mother’s longevity advice is to  keep doing something - guitar, piano or exercise.
  • John Pencer went to Redding, then to Fall River mills. He has enjoyed many years of fly fishing with his son, and they had a great time - if not a great number of fish. $20.
  • Mike Norcia made a 40-for-$40. Two great trips in September. Mother-in-law birthday in Colorado. Jennifer and Mike went to New York, and he ran the New York Mile. His good news is that he is not getting a year older, he is moving up in age group this month!
  • Kent Cooper dropped off his son at Oregon State in Corvallis. $100 to the scholarship fund.
  • Dick Konrad just returned from a two week trip in Portugal. He visited the main cities and did a river cruise. Great country and a great time! $20.
  • Tina did an almost-all-adult trip to Disneyland that was a blast. More important, Tina’s son decided he will be getting married at the Disneyland Hotel. $20
  • Meghan Burton, now an empty nester, dropped off her child in Eugene at University of Oregon. The house is pretty quiet now. $20.
  • Avis was with her daughter dropping off her granddaughter at a university in Canada. After driving through the lake country of Oregon, she noted that  Fall is upon us. She donated $100 to scholarship foundation.
Our program had a new format today; it was an interview format with a local author, Rayme Waters, and a local “book sage”, Lloyd Russell. The format worked extremely well with Lloyd asking good questions, and Rayme giving us an unvarnished view of her background and experience as a writer.
Rayme’s notable books include the highly regarded The Angels’ Share, and The Island of Misfit Girls.
Here are a few of the points that Rayme made:
  • She began writing at an early age and carried that through school as an English major. For many years, writing was a side activity for her while she paid the bills and raised a young family. Then, when her child went off to preschool, Rayme took it as an opportunity to begin writing in earnest, first working on short stories. At the same time, she started work on her debut novel. While Rayme had a rough draft of the novel completed within the first year, it took eight years for the full cycle of writing and publication - even with interest from an agent in year four.  The manuscript went through twenty-nine significant rewrites prior to publication. This is a game that favors the persistent!
  • Several short stories Rayme wrote were  published, and some of these won awards. Still selling the novel was a challenge. She noted that ff you’re not getting rejected at least three times a week, you’re not trying hard enough. She also noted that Harry Potter was picked up for publication after eighteen or nineteen publishers rejected it. 
  • Why an agent? Why not go direct? Rayme’s novel was published in 2010, and over the last fifteen years, the whole landscape of writing and publishing books has been very dynamic, and continues to change. It is very difficult to self-publish a literary novel and find an audience. Self-publishing a specific genre can work. Self-publishing tools and approaches and support are much better now than in 2010 when she sold her first novel. But best sellers still go through the agent/publishing house route.
  • Even with a publisher, there were challenges. The publication terms generally favored the publisher, and weren’t negotiable. They also didn’t offer much logistical or marketing support. And, the author only receives about $1 of the $16 book sales price. Still, there is more prestige of selling through a publisher and more market access. 
  • Rayme noted that the standard answer to the writing process was to write some every day, with duration and timing less important.  But for her process, she really likes intensive immersion. During some final re-write sessions, she’d rent a hotel room for a few days, but not get wifi, so she could get into “flow” and really get a lot of quality work done.
  • Rayme said that there are as many writing processes as there are writers. Some with organized outlines, timelines, etc. Rayme’s ideas first start from the perspective of a character. She gets to know the character, then imagines a couple of scenes with that character. Then, adds new characters as demanded by those scenes. It is an organic, character-centric process.
  • Rayme advised that if you want to write, create a writing advisory group of people who have similar reading tastes to you, and fundamentally like what you do. Still, ask for, expect and be ready for tough feedback.
  • Finally, Rayme generously tested our club’s literary knowledge, and three winners were each awarded a prize of one of Rayme’s books. 
After a Q&A session, Amy officially closed the meeting.