San Diego Writing Women: a Tribute
by Susan McBeth
March 31, 2013
Easter Sunday seems like the perfect time for this token non-published member of the San Diego Writing Women to count my blessings and honor each of the eleven talented authors that comprise this elite group.
Kathi Diamant is the dynamo who invited me to attend my first SDWW meeting, and I will forever be grateful. I first met Kathi at a book signing event and was impressed with her energy, intelligence, enthusiasm, and vivacious personality. Fast forward a few months later when I encountered a situation which drew remarkably similar parallels to Kathi ‘s search for Kafka’s “Last Love,” Dora Diamant. I invited Kathi to lunch for advice on how to proceed with my situation, and not only did she offer impeccable advice, but that meeting changed my life when she demonstrated through word and deed the power of a supportive woman.
Marjorie Hart will always hold a special place in my heart and ranks as the dearest author I have ever had the privilege to meet. The words “sweet,” “authentic,” “charming,” and “humble” don’t even begin to describe this talented octogenarian whom I am proud to call a friend. Like everyone who meets her, I fell in love with Marjorie the first time I met her, so much so that I have made it my personal mission to ensure that everybody I know has read her Summer at Tiffany. When I founded Adventures by the Book a little over two years ago, Marjorie honored me by being the first author I ever hosted an event for, and it will forever remain my favorite event.
Laurel Corona is talented and accomplished, of course, but it wasn’t until I really got to know her that I learned about the positive, supportive, and happy woman behind the beauty and brains. I will never forget the moment she was seared into my heart forever. At one of my first SDWW meetings when I was just starting Adventures by the Book, Laurel immediately shared her trust and faith in my new endeavor and asked if I would host an event for her. When I expressed concern that I might not yet be in a position to offer her the event she deserved, without hesitation, her reply “I still choose you!” forever seared her into my heart.
Zohreh Ghahremani stormed onto the book scene in an enormous manner as a One Book One San Diego winner, which is kind of ironic considering she comes in such a petite package. But anyone who knows Zoe quickly learns that her size is the only thing small about her. I marvel how such a tiny package can be filled with such an enormously caring, generous, and thoughtful spirit. I have had the privilege of attending many of Zoe’s events, and it is evident that she has an enormous effect on everybody, and is able to connect with people in a big manner.
Caitlin Rother is the brilliant force behind SDWW and works tirelessly to ensure that this talented group of women remain a united, supportive force. With a successful investigative journalist background, Caitlin often comes under fire for the controversial and difficult stories she writes, but it takes a special person to forge ahead with the passion and energy she possesses in spite of those challenges. For that, I admire her immensely, and hope that I can forge ahead with her courage whenever I have to face my own professional challenges.
I immediately connected with Judy Liu because of our common bond in telling our mother’s stories, but I remain connected with Judy because she really has it all. Brilliant? Check. Successful? Check. Caring? Check. Compassion? Check. Honored daughter? Check. She is a valued daughter, writer, educator, and friend, yet she possesses a special gift that makes you feel the valued one when you are in her presence.
Margaret Dilloway is a wife, a mother, and a bestselling author, and it is clear that her subtle sense of humor is one of the resources she draws upon to succeed in all three roles. I look forward to every interaction with Margaret, whether it is in person, via book, or via social media, because I can be sure that in each instance, I will come away smiling and appreciative of her talents and her humor.
To say that Georgeanne Irvine is the most passionate author I know is a huge statement, because every author I know is passionate about what they do, but I stand by my statement, and I am always recharged by her enthusiasm. Case in point: on a recent San Diego Zoo trip to India, George achieved a lifelong goal to spot a python in the wild, and to hear her tell the story is a treat, so make sure to ask her about it so that you, too, can become ignited by her fire.
Divina Infusino, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, and Caitlin O’Connell are the three members of SDWW whom I haven’t gotten to know very well yet, but how exciting is it that I have that to look forward to?!
San Diego Writing Women – I thank you for your gift of the written word and for your gift of support and friendship.