Archive for August, 2013

Update on the Big Bear Retreat 2013

I love when things unfold so naturally.  I could not have asked for a better, more exciting, diverse group of women than those who signed up for the Big Bear Retreat.  We began on Friday afternoon and closed up Monday around 11:00 am.  I loved writing with these women, sharing and just having a great time.  We all left with a whole new group of friends and a broader understanding of writing memoir.  I am just going to include a few pictures for you to enjoy!


I will have to just do one blog post dedicated to the wonderful vegetarian food that our Chef Lori prepared for us each day!  Writing and food go so well together, and a few bottles of wine!


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September 21 Workshop

Workshops will resume at my office on Country Club Drive in October…but until then we have one more of our summer series workshops.  This workshop will focus on three elements: story telling, using your journal and your memoir.  Being a good story teller is a great practice to become a better memoir writer.  Great story tellers are great because they rely on the specifics.  What are the things you remember from a good story teller?  We will discuss story telling specifics and how using specific details will enhance your story.  We will be discussing the aspects of using your journal to polish up your story writing skills as well.


Arrive at 9:30 for pastries and workshop will begin at 10 am.  We will workshop and write until 12:45 and then we will be served a delicious lunch, complete with dessert!

Class size is limited to 12 students so if you would like to join us, email me today at

Cost is $70.00 which includes all material, workshop and lunch!

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Mondays with Melitas – August 26, 2013



Please just say “Oh, darn.” or something similar.  I have to beg and plead for all of you to come back soon.  My poor old back is being nasty and giving me fits, and I simply can’t sit at my laptop and finish typing the end of this thrilling tale of Softball in The Springs.  You won’t want to miss it.  I love you all.  MELITAS


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Mondays with Melitas – August 19, 2013




Where were we?  Oh, I know now.  The first segment of this Desert Classic started on August 5th, then there was “continued” last week on the 12th, so now here we have cont’d. #2.  This will keep you on track, I hope, since there will be another one next week.

Several weeks went by after the first game we played against the men over in Palm Springs, so we were thrilled and excited to get the news that we would be on our way to try to even things out against those men at that bitty stadium.  It had been very dull and boring in our local areas — not much of anything going on — just boring after the excitement we had experienced being Fred’s guests, and playing our game of softball.  Christmas had come and gone, so we had a nice, fresh New Year to try to do ourselves proud.

It was back to the swanky digs of the Desert Inn, where we could languish and rest up for the events as they would enfold.  Friday evening was quiet, off to Claridge’s Grill for a soul-satisfying, wonderful dinner to get our bodies all stoked for the big event on Saturday.  Fred said:  “No Chi Chi tonight, you gals are going to have a very early night of it — and GET YOUR SLEEP!”

While the team is off in dream land, let’s throw in a little history of this era — the late thirties and early forties.  It was a very formative period.  The town was becoming an oasis for the “in” and beautiful people, the movie colony in Las Palmas was being built, Charley Farrell and Ralph Bellamy started  their Tennis Club in the north end. The beautiful and popular El Mirador Hotel  had been built, and the Del Tahquitz Hotel  was another top stopping-off place.  Those gambling joints never did make it into the town.  CathedralCity was home to the three of them.

Saturday morning arrived, we had a leisurely breakfast, then a few leisurely hours, leisurely being leisurely.  I was beginning to wonder if we would miss the “Play Ball” at 2 o’clock being so leisurely; we didn’t though, we came to life the minute we hit that stadium.  We went through all the warm-up routines, so when the plate Umpire called out “Play Ball,” we were more than ready.

Being leadoff batter, there I was in the batter’s box waiting for that first pitch (and probably shaking in my cleats) wondering how it would all end on that day.  The game went along very much like the first one — the pitcher we faced threw right past us – fast and hard.  And Lois was every bit as good, and those men were pretty much psyched out like we were.  The runs for each team were few and far between. Again, there’s no way for me to remember who made the hit(s) to make runs, but when the last out came in the last inning, and the dust had settled — no grass in this stadium! — there we were:  THE WOMEN HAD WON, they had beaten  those nice Palm Springs men!!!!!!!

Pandemonium reigned.  Everyone was jumping up and down, and Fred had a smile from ear to ear, hugging us all.  Even the spectators were excited — they should’ve been crying the blues over the loss by their home team.  (Oops, remember no crying —-)  Now the men’s team must’ve been very chagrined at the outcome of the battle, so before we left, the die was cast, and a date would be forthcoming for one more game to crown a champion.  Fred was happy, even though it was costing him big time, and we gals were delirious.

We finally extricated ourselves from the ball park to get back to the Inn where we’d be singing in the showers with loads of soap to wash away the dust and grime from the fray on the field.  We had to get into our best ensembles to get out there on the town and celebrate to the wee small hours.  After dinner, when we arrived at the Chi Chi, we stayed till closing.  We had watched the entertainment, we had been introduced to the crowd, so I guess you could say we were part of the entertainment.

We slept like babies.  The ball game, the Chi Chi, the cocktails,  all contributed to the nice nap we had.  Sunday came, and off we went to check in for the big brunch at Rogers Stables.  As usual, celebrities were there, but now we were part of the celebrities, and a great time was had by all.  Later, in the afternoon we had to get to a very social engagement.  We had been invited by this very nice couple to come to their new home for cocktails.  Mr. and Mrs. C had just built a beautiful home at the top of Cathedral Canyon Dr. in the area where it ends.  That was a new development of homes where the view of the valley was striking.  Mr. C was a big time furrier on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. So we mingled with the important people who were there, sipping our cocktails, trying the hors d’oeuvres  spread out on a huge dining table, and making small talk.  We were treated royally.

I can’t remember what we did for dinner, or if we hit the town again, or the Chi Chi, and it’s just as well.  I am getting tired already thinking about next weeks continued story.

Back to our life in L.A. or O.C.  Ho hum.  Look for next week for the thrilling finish.  But who knows, do you suppose it could be stretched for another “Continued?”





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Rerun…Mondays with Melitas…

To all the fans of Melitas…Please know that all her blogs stay on the data base.  You can view them at any time.  The calendar to the right can take you back through all her blogs.  They are generally on the Mondays so feel free to peruse the calendars and enjoy Mondays with Melitas anytime you would like it!



The team was up and out early – even the lazy ones – on Saturday morning;  all so excited and looking forward to the game at 2 o’clock.  How could we last that long?  We were treated to scrumptious breakfast with loads of food — Fred saw to it that we had a good foundation for the day.  After breakfast, he and his friends drove us around to get a feeling for “The Springs.”  When we went back to the Desert Inn, we lounged around to “rest,” and conserve all the strength we could muster.  A few of us played some cards — and I remember I was very laid back, so I must’ve won a few bucks.  I can get very uptight when I lose at cards.

After lunch, it was finally time for us to start getting ready to get out to that stadium, so the uniforms went on, and we gathered all the gear that is used — don’t forget your mitt!  Except for Terry whose hands were large enough, and tough enough to not have to bother with a glove.  I had to remember my catcher’s glove, else I’d be dead in the water, as they say. (And just who is this “they” who is always being quoted?)  I also had to remember to bring my breast protector and the shin guards.  Thank goodness, it was much easier in those old days for me to remember things. The coach and the fellas who were our drivers saw to it that all the bags of bats and the bags of practice balls would arrive at the ball park.  Every player had their own favorite bat, and a back-up or two in case the bat was broken in the heat of the battle.

Off to the stadium where we settled into our dugout, then out onto the field for some warm-up.  At this time, the bleachers were beginning to fill up with fans and probably some simply curious about a game with women playing against men.  Also, it could be they didn’t have anything else to do on this particular Sunday afternoon.

The picture shown with this exciting tale (I’m the one in the batter’s box) will show that this “stadium” is not all that commodious.  There seems to be only 5 or 6 rows, and they end at the beginning of the outfield.  So it seems to me there isn’t room for much more than about a thousand fans – if that many.  But just look at the end of the bleachers, and there you’ll spot occupied golf carts  –  much more comfortable on their tokus, while the fans in the stands are ensconced on those hard — which get harder, wooden planks– as the time goes by.  Yes, the golf cart crowd was much more comfortable, and they also could’ve been thinking that if they didn’t like what was going on out on the ball diamond, they could just skip out of there and not have to crawl over a bunch of people while escaping to their golf club.

We took the field for final pre-game warm-up, then the men took their turn. Each team then gathered around their coach for a last minute pep talk.  The Umpires stepped forward onto the field, one stayed at home plate, the other walked down the line to first base.  You can’t get any closer to the start of a softball game than that!

The home plate Ump called out: “Play ball!”  We were the visiting team, and I stepped into the batter’s box since I was the lead-off hitter.

I can say with certainty that I must not have hit a home run, nor did I even get on first base.  Something like that happening would be a memory under a very thin veil – ready to pop out on a moment’s notice. Most of the girls were so out-classed facing a man pitcher because there were only one or two women who could throw as hard as men. But we did have Lois Terry.  She threw that ball really hard, and when she faced men batting she was a terror.  The men couldn’t get too many hits off her, like we couldn’t get to first base very many times off them.

Right here and now I have to admit to something:  I do not recall a play-by-play scenario of this game.  I would be telling some big fat lies if I mentioned a score. I don’t have a clue.  What I remember is the overall picture:  the fans, the celebrities, the thrill of being there.  Also, the game was a very low-scoring tussle, and both teams were frustrated because they couldn’t just walk all over the other and score a whole bunch of runs.  It was a fight to the finish, and the MEN came out on top, but we gals didn’t cry — you must know that old saying: “there is no crying in baseball,?”  Well, there is no crying in Softball either. Period.

Everyone involved was elated with the game itself, it didn’t really matter which team won.  It was a successful endeavor all the way around.  The spectators were enthusiastic.  The players on both sides had a mitt full of fond memories.  And we couldn’t have been happier when our sponsor, Fred, gave us the word that he and the Palm Springs team had agreed to another game in the near future to let the girls have a chance to get even.

Back to the Desert Inn where we had to jump in the shower, get those bodies clean, dry between those toes, then get into our dress duds because we were going out on the town, and I don’t think the Chi-Chi Club would’ve welcomed us in our uniforms and the baseball cleats.  When everyone was smelling all nice and soapy-clean, off to Claridge’s Grill for a leisurely, beautiful dinner, the food was excellent.  Mr. Claridge fawned over us throughout dinner.  His Grill was one of Palm Springs’ finest eateries.  The tables had turned; we were the celebrities of the evening. From there, we went over to the Chi Chi Club for some night life and entertainment. There again we were the celebrities.  The night ended all too soon, and we were worn out anyway with that day crammed with activities.

On Sunday, we were whisked all over the place. Our day started at Rogers Stables up at the north end where it was Brunch, and this was THE place to be for Sunday Brunch.  Everyone who was anyone was there. The property was a real stables for real live horses, and real guys who rode horseback. Toss in a few females, and a whole bunch of kids, while you’re at it.  We spent several hours there chatting with all the people we were introduced to. Later, we would take a little drive to CathedralCity where we rode through some very secretive property overgrown with wild bamboo and other growth, ending at the Whitewater Channel with a gambling joint.  It was my understanding there were a couple other gambling houses somewhere around Palm Springs.  The drive through all that growth was actually scary, but it turned out to be another unforgettable stop in our wanderings around.

Claridge’s Grill for Sunday dinner, back to Desert Inn for much-needed rest, then on Monday back to reality wherever we lived – Orange or Los AngelesCounty.






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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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