Women’s Writer’s Camp

Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA Invites you to a Women’s Writer’s Camp

in Windsor, California

March 19 –through 22, 2020

Together is better than alone and more fun. Come write, collaborate and support one another across generations, definitions, abilities and backgrounds. 

Writer’s Camp in Windsor, California is designed to facilitate intensive writing, enable direct immediate feedback, and encourage wellness. Our time together will include private writing time, group learning and discussion, and shared meals each day. Don’t forget the pool and hot tub!

Capacity is ten (10) participants. Last day to enroll: March 2, 2020

Writer’s Camp Fee and Lodging for Three Night (3) $425.00 Single Occupancy – $325.00. Double Occupancy

Reserve your space with a $200.00 deposit by February 24, 2020 and receive a 20% discount. Pay Here

Location & Accommodations: Writer’s Camp at World Mark, 1251 Shiloh Road, Windsor, California, 95492, Approximately 75 mi. North of California just above Santa Rosa. Fully equipped kitchen, w/d, patio w/grill, outdoor pool, hot tub etc. Coffee, tea, and healthy snacks will be available all day and evening. Writers responsible for own food. Bring food to prepare, order in or eat out in the Windsor Community.

Andrea Canaan holds MFAs in fiction and nonfiction. She is a retired therapist and writer specializing supporting creative work and wellness. Andrea Canaan will be your writing camp leader.  Contact: Andrea Canaan–phone 415-515-5943– email: andreaccanaan@gmail.com website: https://andreacanaan.blog https://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/                                                                               

Master Class In Fiction

A Writer’s Life Presents 

Catherine Brady Teaching 

a Master Class in Fiction 

At Verve Wellness Studio

Saturday, April 25, Saturday May 2, & Saturday May 9, 2020

10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Catherine (Kate) Brady

Professor Emerita

MFA In Writing Program 

University of San Francisco.

Author of Curled in the Bed of LoveStory

Logic and the Craft of Fiction, & 

The Mechanics of Falling

The Master Class will focus on Staging Dynamic Dialogue. Class participants will look at literary examples as models, consider effective strategies for writing dialogue rich with tension, and learn how to exploit setting and scene details to underscore the emotion of the moment. Participants will work consistently on a five-to-six page excerpt from their own fiction or creative nonfiction narrative to practice these techniques. 

Master Class Capacity: Twelve (12) participants.

Class Fee: $375.00. Reserve your space with a $150 deposit by March 14, 2020 and receive a 20% discount.Pay Here

Last day to enroll: April 11, 2020.

Location: Verve Wellness Studio 1231 Cortland Ave, S. F., Ca 94110 (at the corner of Cortland Ave. and Nevada St. in the Bernal Heights Neighborhood. Accessible by 24th and Mission BART to SFMTA #67 Bernal Heights to Cortland Ave. and Nevada St. From Bay Bridge: 101 to Cesar Chavez to Bayshore Blvd. to Cortland Ave.) 

Contact: Andrea Canaan–phone 415-515-5943– email: andreaccanaan@gmail.com web site: https://andreacanaan.blog or Facebook

Jump Start Your 2020 Writing Year

Come write with us at A Writer’s Life

Writing Group a Verve Wellness Studio

Sunday, January 12, 2020

10:30 am-Noon

An engine of the soul?

A core of divine being?

A gathering of her-mind-soul-body-spirit fuel?

A furling – unfurling strength and courage?

A guide?

A gorgeous image?

Write into what you taste-see-hear-feel-think-sense-remember-and or know.

Envision your writer’s life this coming year.

Andrea R Canaan, MSW,MFA
A Writer’s Life 
Verve Wellness Studio
1231 Cortland Avenue
S.F., Ca 94110


Before the Solstice

On Solstice morning

 A Sunday School was singing in my mind

Count your blessings

Count them one by one

Count your many blessings

See what God has done. 

My awakened mind paused at the word, God

I thought of all the God  and Goddesses words that were not included in my Sunday school lessons:

Adi Buddha-Yeshua-Yaheweh-Allah-Baha-Parmatma-Shakti-Jehovah-Yeshiva-Yemoja-Oya-Oshun-Ayida-Weddo-Quan Yin

I sing a verse with each holy name within it

I stumbled on the unfamiliar fit

As I sang until

The rhythms to fit  

Another song came

I woke up this morning with my mind on freedom

I woke up this morning with my mind on freedom

I woke up this morning with my mind on freedom

Hallelu, Hallelu ,Halleujah 

My guide on this morning 

On the cusp of the 

Shortest day 

Longest night I

Count my blessings 

Keep my mind on freedom 

Let go

Give up 

Into the night



I lean on


Love, honor, joining, creating, giving, receiving 

I depend on moving toward the light

In bask and revive in 


Andrea R. Canaan

December 20, 2019

Atlanta, Georgia

San Francisco Writer’s Camp October 11th through 13th, 2019

Photo by Justin Aiken

Charlene Allen & Andrea Canaan Invite you to a Writer’s Camp for Women in San Francisco

Charlene Allenand Andrea Canaandeveloped Writer’s Campto enable direct immediate critical feedback, encourage wellness, and enrich our vital writing relationship as women writers. 

Charlene is a creative consultant specializing in adult and children’s fiction. Andrea is a therapist and writer specializing in creative non-fiction and fiction. We find that sharing our work and creative process brings joy, dispels isolation and fear of rejection, and brings our writing to life  We have convened Writer’s Camp in Brooklyn, New York, Granby, Massachusetts, Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California. 

The San Francisco Writer’s Camp will provide a nurturing writing environment grounded in supported writing, building writing and creative community, promoting individual wellness, and publishing and promoting our writing work. Our time together will include individual consultation, writing, revising, workshopping, and a public reading. 

Schedule: Friday, October 11th- 6-9 pm – Saturday, October 12th10am –6 pmSunday October 13th10–6pm (Reading 4-6pm)

Writer’s Camp San Francisco

Location: Verve Wellness Studio
1231 Cortland Avenue  (Corner of Cortland & Nevada, Bernal Heights Neighborhood, BART to 24th Street) 

Writer’s Camp Fee:             $300.00

Contact Us: 

Charlene Allen– phone: 347-512-7574-email: charlenallen29@gmail.comwebsite: www.charleneallen.com

Andrea Canaan–phone 415-515-5943– email: andreaccanaan@gmail.comweb site: https://andreacanaan.bloghttps://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/

Celebrating this 4th of July 2019

This 4th of July thousands of separated children, teens women and men have been dispersed into states, cities and rural locations. They are undocumented children, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers wives, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, friends, husbands. They are undocumented, legal asylum seekers and seeking to immigrate. They have been forced and shuttled into another Colored People’s Diaspora on both sides of the Mexican border.

Photograph by frank mckenna@frankiefotos

Thousands of refugees are crushed inside cages and warehouses, left out in the elements along our southern borders and scattered over Louisiana and Mississippi in private secreted prisons.

An unknown number of children and teens have been separated from their parents, declared unaccompanied minors when, in fact, they were accompanied, and were denied passage to relatives and sponsors who would care for them, feed them, cloth them, provide medical care, recreation, education, human touch, welcoming arms, smiles, and soothing words and deeds for shattered hearts. We don’t know how many. We don’t know all of the places they are being imprisoned or placed in foster care or where or adopted or trafficked for al we know. When mayors and legislators, and others, demand to see them, they are turned away or they are hidden away. Food and hygiene supplies are shown to visitors but not given to the children, women and men.

This 4thof July news reports tell of shocking and heartbreaking atrocities being committed in our names. No access to due process or healthy sustainable food or water or hygiene or medical attention or environments to rest and sleep or  education or recreation or freedom of movement or lawful and humane treatment or lawful oversight.

Women who are already citizens are facing numerous laws that take control of their bodies, force them to carry unwanted pregnancies or submit to abusive invasions before receiving constitutionally protected health care services.

I cannot celebrate America’s freedom and birth when tens of thousands of people are treated inhumanely for the sole purpose of assuring white people in America that white dominance and privilege will remain the intention of the law and the order of our nation, and to secure the second illegitimate election of the current president

I woke up on the 4th this year thinking about what I wanted for the day.  I want freedom, I said to myself. I want to hold my nation’s truths “to be self-evident, that all men, and women, are created equal, that they, we, are endowed by their, our, Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I do and will “continually help to…”  form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare..”

That’s what I want, I said to myself.

Although my heart swells to all of the patriotic songs and hymns of every branch of military service, I, and my peoples, have never experienced the full freedoms of U. S. citizens. And, while I insist, fight, vote, talk, march and write about equality, justice, the pursuit of liberty and happiness, inalienable rights, freedom and justice for all, I still live in fear for all people of color, all immigrants of color, LGBTQ people, all women and all of our children. 

I decided to listen to Nina Simone, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDqmJEWOJRI as she sings out my longing for authentic, non-delayed, non-gerrymandered freedoms for women’s rights to control our own bodies, receive equal pay, receive equal protections from harassers, abusers, and rapists without statutes of limitation, to experience freedom from racial and police profiling, and abuse, free from being murdered by domestic terrorists, given bolder and bolder permissions by the head of our nation, or agents of the state. 

After I listened to Nina Simone,I decided I needed to do more to keep myself in authentic black 4thof July celebration spirit. I listened to Alice Walker read Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech at a Women’s Rights Conference, where she asked ‘aint I a woman?’.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDqmJEWOJRI, to James Earl reading Frederick Douglas’s speech, What to the Slave is the 4th of July. https://youtu.be/8tTkHJWxfP0. I was uplifted by the youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, accompanied by The Boston Pops Orchestra https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/07/03/youth-poet-laureate-amanda-gorman-independence-day-poem-boston-pops/

I’m grateful for the relative privileges and full obligations I have as a citizen of the United States of America. I renew my pledge to be an informed, fully participating, fully empowered citizen and to reverse the policies and practices of those who have engineered our beloved nation into a divided states of America. I will remain true to myself and all of the peoples of my native lands. I will act up, sit in, march, resist, campaign, vote, oversee, and hold accountable my nation to grow into a fully functioning equal, just, multicultural, multi-ethnic, democratic republic, and yes, celebrate our every small and large victory.

While food, fireworks, dancing, parades, marching bands, soaring symphonies of patriotic music, grilling, red white and blue bunting and every kind of summer fun is the traditional celebration for most, it remains an elusive dream, sometimes nightmare, for many. As a citizen of this country, I work toward the day when we are truly the land of the free and the home of the brave. I want to celebrate this day with abandon and joy. I want our children’s belonging and freedoms to be secure. I want to celebrate like the child in the Frank McKenna photograph above. Today, sadly, is not that day.

Andrea R. Canaan–July 4, 2019–San Francisco, California

Swimming at Adamsville Rec In Atlanta, Georgia

My daughter,Leslie, dropped me off at Adamsville Rec Center. It is a neighborhood away from her Collier Heights Home of brick ranch style houses of every variety that had steep drive ways in hilly wooded landscapes and lawns that ended at the street. No sidewalks. I go there five days a week, Monday through Friday, on my two-month long visit for an hour and a half of swimming laps in the heated pool. I am greeted in an Atlanta warm–honey urban southern drawl”

“Why hello Mam, how ya doin today?”

I drop my West Coast accent, even though I haven’t lived in the south for twenty–five years.

“Why, hello to you, darlin. I’m doing just fine, thank you. And you?”

I pay two dollars for the swim and make my way to the women’s locker room that is especially clean and has a well designed disability dressing rooms and shower stalls. I walk through the women’s locker room door dressed in my black speedo swim suit, size 24, and black flip flops holding a cane. 

I push the women’s locker room door open and begin to make a hard right turn toward the Olympic size pool and the walk between eight swimming lanes on the right, observer bleachers above, and on the left. I am looking forward to my twenty–five laps to keep my recently replaced knee in good shape, my un–replaced knee with minimal swelling and pain, and in need of prescription pain medication. I’m ready to bask in one of my places of meditation and prayer, and stroke, turn, stroke and turn again, and again. 

As I turned right, I nearly collide into a young man. We are both surprised. He steps back and moves out of my way, while holding the door for me. He is a young black boy. He is ten, maybe eleven-years-old, growing into a young man. He has a wiry muscled and toned swimmers body. Water is beaded on his skin the color of new pecans. He has a close haircut and dark caramel eyes. He was passing the women’s locker room door in route to the men’s locker room holding swimmer’s goggles and other swim gear. Other young men are passing us by after their team swim workout. Each of them say, “Evenin Mam,” Hello Mam” How ya doin Mam,” as they have been taught.

The young man who nearly collided into me, the one with the new pecan colored skin and the caramel colored eyes, did so automatically. Home training, especially for an elder. As he held the door, however, he paused, turned his head to the side, moved his head back a bit, tucked his chin in a little. In this seconds silent exchange, he looked me up and down slowly, like I was a dark milk chocolate ice cream swirl and said, “Well hellooo… there!”  

His voice was a boy’s. His look is pure unrivaled appreciation.

I responded with a friendly, but elder–to–child, “Thank you, son,” (for stopping and letting me pass) “And good evening to you, darlin.”

I passed to his left and walked toward the pool. I didn’t look back. I know he was still looking at me noting the rhythm of my flip-flopping steps, my cane on the tiled pool deck, my wide coffee with a generous pour of milk body, swaying hips, ample buttocks, thighs, legs to the ankles and back up again, to my graying long locks banded into a thick pony tail.

As I walked pass eight lanes of teams of swimmers, their hands stroking and legs kicking, I heard them making the sounds of water falls or high waves rushing to shore. Swim coaches blew whistles and shouted directions and encouragement. I was surprised and delighted as I looked into the face of this growing boy. I saw him. Boys like him whose grand mothers and grandfathes, I had grown up with, our families were neighbors or church members or socialand pleasure club members. The appreciation in his eyes told me that he appreciated my size. He likes big bosomed, big butt women, and so did the boys and men that make up the constellation of his living. In his voice, I hear he had been taught to appreciate and praise power and grace when he found himself in its presence.

I kept my smile small, but allowed beams of pleasure and sweetness to enter my warm liquid sanctuary at the same time I entered the Adamsville Rec’s heated pool.

Atlanta, Georgia

Andrea R. Canaan