Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Napa News!

Get your keyboard running. Get out on the Interwebs. I'm looking for some writing ... so send it on its waaaay!...(apologies to Steppenwolf and to those who don't recognize the reference and who therefore think I'm losing the few marbles I still have.)

Anyway - Applications for the Napa Valley Writers Conference open March 1st, day after tomorrow ~ yessiree-bob!

I've lubed-up my eyeballs, cleared a space in my office for submissions and given the cat notice not to bug me; now I'm just waiting for apps to be lobbed over the transom. Well, can't lob over transom too well anymore, guess it's more like clicked through cyberspace.

Be that as it may: bring it on! 10 to 15 pages of fiction, your choice of author to work with....all the devine details to be found on the  Napa website. I'm awaiting and the cat is getting buggy.

Napa News!

A two'fer for Napa alumni:

Conference attendee (2009) Michael David Lukas' debut novel "The Oracle of Stamboul" was published this February by Harper Collins. Yahoooiee! Michael brought his first chapter to workshop; I'm sure those of us who had the privilege of reading it remember the opening scene: white and purple hoopoes flying over the town square as invading Russian troops gather for their assault on Constanta, a father racing to his wife's side as their daughter is born. A wonderful interweaving of plots and characters, of rising tension and a future unfolding.  Reviewers have called it "a gem of a first novel," "a delight," "enchanting."   This one is getting fast-tracked to the top of my reading-stack.

Plus, Reese Kwon, a Napa attenedee from that same summer, wrote a lively interview with Michael David Lukas that was published on The Rumpus.

Read and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Imperfectly Perfect

The day began grey and thick with rain, a downpour so dense folks were actually driving slowly this morning, unable to see even with the windshield wipers going double-time. The ditches ran wild, water poured off the drowned campus lawn and over sidewalks in sheets. Now the storm has moved off to drench the inland valley, and the 99.9% full moon rides high and fuzzy in a cold silvery sky.

I've returned all jazzed and snazzy from a talk given by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter at the Writers Forum here in Petaluma about her book, "Imperfect Endings." An accomplished writer and journalist with an important and timely story to tell, she urged us to stick to our voice and honor our story. And cut, cut, cut all unnecessary digressions, anything that doesn't relate directly to the story we want to tell. Check out  her blog  and this story from the Washinton Post for all the details of her story.

It's a perfect ending, though to this ragged day, inspiration at its finest.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Heart on a Tart
Today, just for a lark, I went down to Copperfield's, our local indie-bookstore, to participate in their First Ever Pie-Ku Contest.  ¥es, indeedy, haiku about pie. Copperfield's had teamed up with the Petaluma Pie Company for this pre-Valentine's Day event. Prizes and and refreshments (pie, of course) were promised.

Well, it wasn't just a lark. Haven't been writing much lately. Felt like I had forgotten how.  So, I figured I'd at least go hang out with some writers who are writing, see if that wouldn't prime the pump. Not to mention the prospect of free pie. Excellent pie, too. The Petaluma Pie Company knows pie. Everyone in a 50-mile radius should be planning their pie-pilgrimage right now. Oh, heck, within 500 miles.

It was a nice gathering in the bookstore, some youngsters but mostly oldsters, maybe twenty folks in all. Maybe five and twenty. But we weren't baked in a pie. Just writing about pie. We scribbled for about half an hour on 3 x 5 cards, groaning and chortling over our work, some of us collaborating. I finished about 6 or so pie-kus.

One of them was just plain silly:

Pies will be square when
pigs fly, cows jump over moons,
my spoon becomes your dish.

another was goofy:

Rolling the elastic crust
Layering apples, butter
Dark mood skedaddles.

and this one took the, err, pie. That is, it was deemed Most Romantic.

One cold afternoon
kitchen steamy, the aftermath
of sweet love, pie, you.

So there's my pie-kudo for the week. I'd love to see your pie-kus!  Just post as a comment on Bacon Bits below.