Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Writers Retreat

Here's something writing related (esp. for you, J.)...

I'll be the featured author at this overnight retreat on the weekend following election week. It sounds like a gorgeous setting and a fun, inspiring time. The organizers tell me there's still a couple of openings. Here you go:

The Write Coast Read and Critique is hosting its 8th fiction writer's retreat -- this time with critiques, discourse and instruction led by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, whose writing and teaching career includes publication of the well-received "Pen on Fire" and her weekly radio broadcast of "Writers on Writing."

The venue -- a ranch home on 11-acres in North San Diego County -- lends itself to immersing yourself in creativity and craft along with other writers. Up to 12 participants shed their day jobs and share and learn with others devoted to writing.

Barbara has graciously agreed to conduct a read and critique (everyone will read up to 6 pages of any work of their choice) and to provide a lecture on specific topics. Topics under consideration include "How and Why to Select a Point of View," "How and Why to Select Present or Past Tense."

Novelists, memoirists and short story writers welcome. Two (possibly three) openings remain, and we love having new participants.

The nonrefundable $110 fee for the retreat (commencing Friday, 11/7/08 at 4:00 p.m. and ending Saturday, 11/8/08 at 5:00 p.m.) includes meals and drinks and an overnight stay on Friday. You need not stay overnight, but the fee remains the same. The Friday night three-hour workshop begins after dinner at around 7:00 p.m. Those who stay overnight often continue sharing writing experiences and questions into the wee hours, if they so choose. The first of two three-hour work shops on Satruday starts at 9:00 a.m.

Sending the fee to Laurie Richards, 28104 No. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92069, reserves your place. Laurie will then contact you with specific details for directions and anything you should bring with you. To speak or e-mail with Laurie: ljrichards@wintonlarson.com; (760) 727-1758 (evening) or (951) 308-1555 (daytime).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Al Qaeda endorses McCain

You don't hear McCain talking about this endorsement.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wednesday's "Writers on Writing" KUCI-FM

It was suggested that I should start posting upcoming shows (thanks, Luke). I've meant to, but it always just slips my mind since I send out a weekly e-list to about 400 - 500 people on my list.

So here goes:

Peter Ferry, author of Travel Writing, Heather King, author of Redeemed, and Anne Roiphe, author of Epilogue.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Speaking of photos....

I love these photos of Obama on the campaign trail for the last two years. So moving.

And these are fun and moving too.

What you see

Observational skills are a big deal for a writer--for anyone, actually, but especially for artists who need to see and to translate what they see into words. For me, photographs help me see what's there. Here are a few from last night (my newly carved pumpkin) on through to this morning, just minutes ago. What do you see from where you sit, or when you get up and walk around your surroundings?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Visiting with your writing

I've posted this link before (I think), but here it is again, Walter Mosley on why you need to visit with your writing daily.

Also, here's a link to a poem that one devoted blog reader, J., thinks is perhaps the greatest thing he ever read.

If you have any links to writings you want us to read, please post!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Annie Proulx in the Times

An article on the reclusive Proulx.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here's what I walked out to find at 5:30 this morning. Thanks so much, relatives, friends and acquaintances, for all of your sweet birthday wishes. What am I doing on my special day? Well, I do want to watch the debate....it's true. Wonder where there's a restaurant in these parts with it on and the sound turned on, too, with people eating and yelling (or moaning). That may be where we end up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Authors for Obama

An event you might be interested in.

And a video.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Recuperating ...

... after the Angels' momentous loss. Still reading the Sports page first thing, before any other section of the newspaper. And still getting used to the fact that I'm a fan of baseball, and specifically, the Angels. As for football, no thanks, and boxing, as Sonia brought up the other day, Yuck. If anyone loves boxing, please, tell me why, and what it does for you. I want to understand...I do.

I have the best students in the world. As well as being and great people to know and wonderful writers, they know how to throw a party and make their teacher happy. A total surprise! I loved it. This is one of three cakes
they brought last night for a surprise birthday fest (which is actually next week, a dark night for the class, the night of the debate. What will my family be doing on my birthday? Watching the debate from a restaurant or home! Better order something easily digestible...).

Speaking of which ... I'm trying not to veer into politics, trying not to put down Palin too terrilby much or repeat too often how McCain's voice and the phrases he uses ("my friends" ERGH) bug me, so I won't.

I'll close now, and go work on my novel and The ASJA Monthly.

What's new with y'all? Tell me something!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Angels sense overload

Friday night Travis and I went to an Angels-Red Sox playoff game. They gave out the thundersticks at the entrance. Fortunately the guys behind us clapped them above our heads and not beside our ears. A few seats down, though, a fan kept us going with cheers. I've never cheered so much in my life or stood at a game so much. Every so often I checked in with my subconscious: Remember this, I telegraphed. Remember the volume of sound, remember the color red, the green of the playing field, the way the players look so white and pristine.

Later, at home, where it was quiet, my ears were ringing, the way it sounds after you go to hear a band that is LOUD.

The Angels sadly lost this second playoff game and last night they played the Red Sox in Boston. Everyone was giving them up for gone. I was worried and nervous and said to Brian, I'm going to be very upset when they lose.

When? he said. When!? No, you have to say 'I'm going to be very happy when they win. When they win!'

I Googled the patron saint of baseball and found the name St. Rita. So all night we remembered St. Rita. Brian played the Rita Meter Maid song and substituted lyrics. I called out to St. Rita. After all, what could be more natural for a saint than to cheer on an Angel?

And when the Angels came back, I thanked St. Rita.

What a game. As my cousin John would say, What a fricken game!

In the LA Times Travel section yesterday, I loved the article about the Dominican Republic. I want to go there. Streets named after baseball players, baseball on ESPN in eateries. Such an addict! It could be worse; it could be much worse, this addiction of mine. It could be cocaine or shopping.

Tonight I teach at UCI so there will be no baseball for me. It's their fourth playoff game, which they have to win, or they're out of the running. I will be thinking of the game, though, and the players, and be reminding St. Rita, silently, to help our guys out.

I want to write about baseball; I just don't know what about yet.

But my sense overload of the other night isn't apt to go away anytime soon. Remembering is a good thing for writing.

It can be a very good thing, indeed.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Celebrate California Writers Week

Next Saturday, the 11th, I'll be in Orange at what sounds like a fun event. Check it out by clicking here.