Let’s talk about books and authors and brain research microscopes


I wasn’t thinking about Oscar Wilde’s quip that, “The great events of the world take place in the brain” when I had my two surgeries on the thinking organ. But I’ve thought a lot about it since. Which is why I’m enthused to announce that I’ll be a featured author at a fund raiser for brain research sponsored by the Brandeis University National Committee.

It will be held April 4, 2019, beginning  at 11:30 a.m. at The Crosby Club, 17102 Bing Crosby Boulevard in Rancho Santa Fe.

Monies raised will help to procure a “next generation, resonant scanning, two photon microscope” to provide Brandeis University’s world-renowned brain researchers with more exquisite information about the structure of the human brain and how it works.

Here are the bios of the three authors in attendance as prepared by event organizers:

Retired San Diego police officer T.B. Smith, also a novelist and Shakespeare expert, created Cop World Press last year to help give those in law enforcement a literary voice. In 1978, after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in literature, a minor in creative writing and a long- lasting love for Shakespeare, he joined the San Diego Police Department. Now based in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Smith is writing his third Luke Jones novel, The Winter of Our Discontent. Smith believes that, in general, cops are great storytellers. But because he knows that doesn’t necessarily mean they are skilled at writing. Cop World Press offers mentoring and careful collaboration. “Most traditional publishing companies say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But we say ‘yes, if you’re willing to work;’ our standards are high.” If an author has talent, we help them bring their writing to our standards and we publish it.

Susan Meissner is the critically-acclaimed author of 20 novels. Her engaging stories feature memorable characters facing unique and complex circumstances, often against a backdrop of historical significance. A multi-award winning author, her books have earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and BookList. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, but spent some of her adult life living in Minnesota as well as in England and Germany, before returning home to southern California in 2007. Prior to her writing career, she was a managing editor of a weekly newspaper in southwestern Minnesota. She enjoys teaching workshops on writing, spending time with her family, reading great books and traveling. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of four adult children.

Allen Wittenborn is the author of two novels: Kokang: A Novel of Southeast Asia and The Defiance of Reiko Murata. He is a retired professor of history and Asian studies, at the Center for Asian & Pacific Studies of San Diego State University, who taught there for 25 years. He has been traveling to Asia ever since he jumped aboard a tramp steamer in 1964. That led to him changing his major to Chinese studies. Eventually, he earned a master’s degree in international relations and a doctorate in history and Asian history studies. Inspired by his fascination for Asian cultures, most especially Japanese, he writes about the role of women in Asian cultures, particularly strong and/or influential women. He has since lived in various Asian countries several times, traveled all over the world, divides his time between San Diego and points west, and he and his wife have lived in Rancho Bernardo since 2007.

While it’s sponsored by Brandeis University’s National Committee, anyone interested in good books, the wonders of the brain or spending quality time with authors of various genres is welcome. Those interested in receiving an invitation can contact Barbara Howard at barbarahoward@gmail.com.

Once again, the event is to be held on April 4, 2019, 11:30 a.m., at the The Crosby Club, 17102 Bing Crosby Boulevard, Rancho Santa Fe. I hope to see you there.

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