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SLO NightWriters

The premier writing organization on California's Central coast

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SLO NightWriters General Meeting

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2012
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • PG&E Education Center, San Luis Obispo, CA
SLO NightWriters general meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at The PG&E Education Center, 6588 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo, CA, just off Highway 101 at the San Luis Bay Drive exit, 7 - 9 pm. Members and guests are welcome to attend. Our Tuesday, March 14, 2012 Program is described below. We hope that you'll join us.

Memories: The Color Wheel
Painting Our Printed Pages
Guest Speakers:
Tony Piazza
Myla Collier

The following description was written by Program Director Judy Salamacha.

As SLO NightWriters, our life experiences color our settings, develop our characters, push the drama in our stories, and mold the voice we create in our prose or poetry.

For Tony Piazza, one of our own, blending the many lives he lived and shared while working in the film industry with his first love of literature  -- pulp fiction -- determined his genre choice for his first novel. At our March meeting Tony will share some memories and explain how he’s incorporated them into his writing. For example, here’s a short preview – a revised re-print from a blog he wrote for the Turner Classic Movie fan website :"Clint Eastwood and Me":

Clint Eastwood never saw himself as a "star" during the filming of "Dirty Harry." My father worked in his usual capacity on that film, and both he and Eastwood had the same birthday, May 31st. The crew decided to get a cake for my dad. One problem: they forgot it was also Clint Eastwood’s birthday. You can imagine what the results would have been if this happened to another big actor with a matching ego. Clint wished my father a "Happy Birthday" and enjoyed some of his cake.

Tony’s had a lifetime of experiences to draw from. In the 1970s Tony was hired by numerous film and television companies to work on a variety of productions. Mostly "background" assignments, silent-bits, bit acting roles, and "stand-in" jobs. His biggest assignment was "The Streets of San Francisco" (5 years), where he was a stand-in for Michael Douglas and for his replacement, Richard Hatch. Other smaller roles included Clint Eastwood's "Magnum Force." He’s met and worked with Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Mel Brooks, Tony Curtis, and countless other actors and actresses and even done a few car crashes doubling for actors.

Then in the 1980s he returned to school to earn a degree in Biology and spent about thirty years in Medical Research working in the SF Bay area at UOP, UCSF, and UC Berkeley. His specialty was electron microscopy. His last employment in SF was at the Veteran's Hospital working with the Chief Pathologist doing biopsy work.

In 2003 when he and his wife moved to the California Central Coast, he assisted the QA manager at a food tasting lab and started writing. He's the author of mystery novel, Anything Short of Murder and the adventure novel circa World War II 1944 Hawaii, The Curse of the Red Dragon.

But how do you remember all those wonderful good times, interesting characters and thought provoking hard-knocks life lessons?

After the break Myla Collier has developed a prompt -- an exercise -- a memory provocateur -- her Life-Writing exercises to loosen those dormant experiences from deep dark cerebral places.

Myla recalls, "We moved to San Luis in 1992 when our son, Gary, started his freshman year at San Luis Obispo High School and my mother Alma Shisler, 86, moved to the Villages at The Palms Retirement Community, from Cincinnati. It was at that time I realized Gary, who grew up in Orange County, knew little about his grandmother's childhood on a wheat farm in Western Kansas. I needed to do something about that. Mother and I worked together to put together a program of Life-Writing exercises. She gathered a few interested residents to start the first class in 1997. They helped me with what worked and what didn’t. I facilitated classes there until 2001, when the first Emeritus classes began at Cuesta College. Since the Cuesta program's closing, I have been conducting classes in the community. My current class is in Cayucos."

Myla has lived in San Luis Obispo with her husband since 1992. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from California State University, Long Beach. She is also an accomplished weaver.

As well, please be aware that many of our members who have published books will have those books available at the meeting for your reading -- and purchasing -- pleasure!


1. Heading South on 101: Take San Luis Bay Drive exit (#196); turn right at stop sign, then the first left onto Ontario. It’s a quick left, because Ontario is a frontage road, so keep an eye out. As usual in California, signage isn’t as good as it could be. The PG&E Center is on the right about 1/4 mile from the turn.


2. Heading North on 101: Take San Luis Bay Drive exit (#196); turn left at the stop sign and go across the bridge over the highway. Just after bridge ends, after the southbound entrance to the 101, turn left onto Ontario, the frontage road. You’ll find PG&E on the right just a little way down the road. Huge parking lot with lots of lighting.

For questions: email

Mailing Address:
1126 Nipomo Ave
Los Osos, CA 93402

Meeting Address:
11245 Los Osos Valley Rd
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

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