In 1994 author Elaine Bierbaurer moved to Santa Maria, CA. Among the things she left behind was an active writers group. Needing one for her creative outlet, she set out to form one in her new home town.
She and a fellow resident of Casa Grande Mobile Estates, Sylva Mularcyk, sought out fellow authors, and what would become The Santa Maria California Word Wizards came into being.
The first meeting of Word Wizards happened at Café Monet with five core members. Three of the five are still part of the group.
At first, Word Wizards met on Tuesday evenings. And they still do, but a year ago a daytime group started; and again, fifteen years later, the meetings are held at Café Monet.
Word Wizards has grown to sixteen core members, all talented authors.
Around the same time as the day group formed, one of the authors, Barbara M. Hodges, who attends both the day and the night meetings, suggested an idea. “Why not do a Word Wizards anthology? We’ll choose a theme, and write stories and poetry containing the theme. I suggest Valentine’s Day.”
Valentine’s Day as a theme wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm.
Responses came: “I don’t write romance.” “It’s too much of a hearts-and-flowers day.”
That’s when Barbara presented the challenge. “We can do it differently. There’s much more to love then hearts and flowers. Write something different. The only have-to-be is a mention of Valentine’s Day.”
There was still much skepticism until Aubry Johnson brought in his story, Baby Bottles. In his story of a young Viet Nam pilot, the others saw how Valentine’s Day could be the theme of stories beyond the traditional.
Thirteen authors said “I can do that.” And they did. Now it was time to find a title that did justice to the stories and Sylva Mularcyk suggested Scattered Hearts. The group approved. It said it all; the stories involve the heart and are scattered across many states and times.
Ann Schafer, one of the authors, also took on the job of editing the stories.
In one of Barbara’s online writing groups, she heard of Desert Breeze Publishing. After conducting research, she felt they would be a good publisher for Scattered Hearts, she sent a cover letter and query. The full manuscript was requested, and the Word Wizards were offered a contract for Scattered Hearts.
The Santa Maria California Word Wizards are proud to say that Scattered Hearts will be out in 2010 in time for Valentine’s Day. We know you will enjoy a different look at the day dedicated to love.