Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meeting minutes for Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Association convened at the top floor of Borders on this evening to meet, welcome and listen to Gary Byrne and Lance Mason, authors of Seven Paths to Poverty, speak on the topic of Financial Literacy for Writers.

General announcements were made prior to the presentation as follows:

There will be no formal meeting of the Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara in the month of December.

Screenwriters Association will regroup for the January 13, 2011 meeting at Borders with guest speaker Gayle Lynds, a suspense novel writer. Her latest book is titled The Book of Spies.

Attendees were invited to offer suggestions for possible February speakers. Please contact Rashi Bahri, SASB President, with ideas.

Dues of $25 will be up in January of 2011. These dues keep the group running. Dues can be given to Chuck Kent, SASB Treasurer.

Information on two other local groups was shared:
  • Indie Coop – focusing on independent production. Meets the second Tuesday of every month at Silvergreens restaurant on Chapala Street.
  • The Table – run by one of our previous speaker, Joe Palladino, will be meeting next Wednesday, November 17 at 6:30 pm at UCSB. The group will be reading a screenplay by Michael Reeves and a discussion with the writer will follow.
Proceeding the announcements, the floor was turned over to the featured speakers of the evening.

First up was Gary Byrne Ph.D., co-author of Seven Paths to Poverty. At the age of twenty-five, while in the Foreign Service, he learned the valuable lesson of knowing WHO you’re writing for. President Lyndon Johnson was in need of a speech to welcome the German chancellor. The others submitting speeches seemed to be writing speeches on what THEY might have said. Gary wrote a speech that he felt reflected President’s Johnson’s perspective and this was the speech that was ultimately chosen.

The idea of ‘Capitalized Value’ intrigued Gary at a young age; the idea of taking the money that you’re spending on one thing in your life and saving it.

The authors explained that Seven Paths to Poverty is a book about saving money. The duo hopes to write a follow up book about how, then, to invest that money saved.

The book is made up of essentially nine segments and was written as a map to a journey, one that makes the reader think about if what they’re doing financially will affect their goals and one that gives the reader the power by taking responsibility of their own finances.

Lance Mason, D.D.S. spoke about the challenges and advantages of self-publishing (which is how this book was published) and admitted that “You never learn anything as well as when you teach it.” The teaching of the concept of the book really affected the outcome of the content of the book, in this case, he reported.

The overview of the book spelled out by the authors included:

Chapter One – Introduction: goals, goal setting, values and goals tied to personal values instead of artificial goals.
Chapter Two – Guidebook: concept, origins, traditions, power and retraining the power to direct the reader’s life the way they want to go, not what others want. “Self-knowledge is the most important knowledge to have.”

The book goes on to veer down seven various paths that are some of the ways people lose financial control of their lives (i.e. internet, credit cards). The authors feel there is now a disconnect between the merchant and the customer, as opposed to relationships of the past when the merchant would possibly have to take responsibility if the customer didn’t pay their bill, tab, etc.

The authors pointed out that there are plenty of get-rich-quick books in the market today. The very title of their book, they pointed out, was a point of contention several times along the way in getting the book made. But they stuck to their title because they feel there are a lot more people afraid of poverty than people who believe that they are going to get rich.

Copies of the book were for sale for $14.95 at the discussion’s conclusion. The attendees departed the meeting in pursuit of their own paths, most likely a little more financially-savvy than when they arrived, thanks to the information imparted by the speakers of this evening.