President's Letter
  February 2012

James D. McFarlin

February 1, 2012

 Dear Guild Members,

 When the flashbulb pops will you be ready for your Kodak Moment?

 Kodak experienced its own Moment in 1975 when its engineers presented a prototype for an electronic camera, and with it, a bold new business opportunity.  “Cute,” the executives reportedly responded, “but it’s not for us.”  After all, Kodak was the worldwide king of film, and film was gushing profits.  So why get distracted by some digital gadget, a toy? 

 Why?  The answer thundered home on January 19, 2012 when Kodak, which at one time accounted for 85% of camera sales in America but missed the transformative shift to electronic images, filed for bankruptcy.

 There’s a lesson here for our writing journeys.  See it?

 All right -- I’ll save you some time and suspense.  Here’s the lesson: 


That’s it.  You’re done.  You can go back to Dancing with the Stars now.  No, wait – stay with me!

 Do you ever feel so comfortable attending your critique group, hitting a few writing workshops, and checking out some of the monthly meetings that you’re certain you’re doing all you need to do to create success in your writing journey?  Beginning to feel like a Kodak executive yet?

 The Guild offers a vast range of opportunities to help you keep your writing energy vibrant and alive.  The new mentoring groups.  Monthly writing challenges.  The Annual Short Story contest.  The chance to flex your creative muscles in April’s poetry contest.  Professionals to review your manuscript or help you become published.  The opportunity to polish your pitch at the Desert Writers EXPO until the eyes of passers-by begin to sparkle.

 What are your personal recipes to fight complacency and maintain vibrancy, actions you practice both inside and outside the guild?  I’d like to hear them.  Drop me a note at with your prescription.  I’ll share some of the most interesting at an upcoming meeting.  The most creative submission will win an Amazon $30 gift certificate.  

 As songwriter-choreographer Stephen Sondheim astutely observed, “Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”  Your Moment will arrive.

 When it does, don’t be a Kodak.  Be ready. 


James D. McFarlin


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