Travel
Thank you Brooklyn and Philadelphia

Thank you Brooklyn and Philadelphia

Thank you to Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn for hosting the Red Hen Press reading earlier this month — with a wine reception, no less! This gorgeous neighborhood bookstore was such a fun place to read — and it was an honor to get to read with two of my fellow Red Hen authors, Ellen Meeropol and Amy Hassinger. We had a mini Vermont Studio Center reunion at the bookstore. So great to see you Christina, Celeste, and Kiley (left to right)! Sara, whom I met at Tin House Winter Writing Workshop, was also there, as was my writing buddy Beth, who abandoned L.A. for Brooklyn a few months ago. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge the next morning — Then I got to visit my agent Peter Steinberg at the Foundry Literary + Media offices in NYC. He bikes in to work every day from Brooklyn! The reading with Celeste Gainey at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia was small and sweet. Thanks for hosting us at this cozy place! I stopped in New Jersey to see one more friend from Tin House, Ananda Lima, plus Alison, my college roommate! Then I flew to Toronto to visit another writing friend, Marilyn […]

Taste New York in L.A.: 5 new restaurants

Taste New York in L.A.: 5 new restaurants

I’ve declared June New York month because I’m in New York right now on my east coast book tour! I’ve been so excited about this trip that before flying out, I actually prepped by checking out New York restaurants that recently opened in Los Angeles. Apparently the west coast is the place to be if you’re a chef, because a whole bunch of new yummy spots have sprung up. Here’s how my pre-NYC tasting tour went: by chloe. 2520 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake. I’d put by chloe on my list of places to visit in New York after reading a review in The New Yorker last month — then googled it to find out L.A. already has its own location, right next door to a 365 by Whole Foods. The review recommended veggie burgers and fries with the house made beet ketchup, but all that sounded heavy because I’m more of a salad for lunch girl. So I got the Spicy Thai Salad — which with quinoa, edamame, almonds, and a very sweet-and-sticky apricot-sriracha glazed tempeh ended up being really filling. I’m glad I asked for no wontons and peanut dressing on the side because all that with the tempeh […]

Thank you west coast! And more Cake Time in LA

Thank you west coast! And more Cake Time in LA

Thank you to everyone who came to my readings in Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Bellingham, and Seattle last week! Thanks especially to Brad Johnson at Diesel Oakland, Charlie Jane Anders of Writers With Drinks, Kevin Sampsell at Powell’s Books, Kelly Magee at  Western Washington University, the good people at Village Books, and Christine Texeira at Hugo House — as well as Book Soup and Stories in Los Angeles, where I read over the weekend — And more thanks to everyone who read with me: Angela Palm, Brynn Saito, Andrew Lam, Corinne Manning (above right), Tara Atkinson (above left), Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, Elizabeth Powell, Meredith Alling, Miranda Tsang. Couldn’t make it to any of those readings? Then I really hope I’ll see you at one of the events coming up this week in the LA area! If you’re a morning person, come to the Writes of Spring Festival in Whittier: Writes of Spring Festival Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8 am Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, Calif. — or come by that night to also hear Antonia Crane, Paula Priamos, Peg Alford Pursell, and Rob Roberge: Why There Are Words Los Angeles (Facebook event page) Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7pm 1614 […]

Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

This post comes with a caveat: I’ve only been to Portland twice, and between both visits, spent like five days in the city. That said, I did a lot of wandering around — and discovered that there’s a cute indie coffee shop or two on pretty much every block. These coffee shops generally come with all the amenities a writer desires — fantastic coffee, pretty latte art, yummy nibbles, kind baristas, open tables, and usually, free wifi. My theory as to why Portland has such a great cafe culture: People need places to duck in to escape the rain, which falls really, really often up there. These are the eleven places that I ducked into — and loved. The Clearing Cafe. If you are in Portland visiting Tin House — and have an hour to write — walk over to this cafe, which was recommended to me by Tin House’s Lance Cleland. Nice lattes, and filling bowls that the other customers raved about. 2772 NW Thurman Street. Coffee Time. While I was at this spacious coffee shop, a woman walked in wearing pink rain boots and holding pink bike basket after tying up her bike on which was perched a […]

Disquiet International Literary Program: Two-week adventure in Lisbon, Portugal

Disquiet International Literary Program: Two-week adventure in Lisbon, Portugal

Love literature and love travel — but don’t want to do all the plotting and planning to make an international literary adventure happen on your own? Try the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. I went two summers ago, and loved it. I mean, this was the view from my Airbnb. Plus I got to meet fantastic authors, workshop with acclaimed writers, go on excursions to castles and beaches, and explore the pretty streets. I went to readings and receptions at gorgeous, historical places all over Lisbon. Oh, and I got to meet my literary hero, Mary Gaitskill!!!! But first some basic info: Disquiet International Literary Program is a two-week program in the city of Pessoa, author of The Book of Disquiet. Here’s me holding hands with Pessoa — It all kicked off on a Sunday with a reception at the official residence of the U.S. Embassy — with drinks and appetizers! Then we got into a rhythm. In the mornings, participants went to writing workshops. Each person had two different workshops! A “core” genre workshop met on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — I was in one of the fiction ones with Noy Holland. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays were […]

My writing residency at Vermont Studio Center

My writing residency at Vermont Studio Center

Earlier this winter, I left sunny SoCal for snowy Vermont — where I meditated, yoga’d, read, and drew. No, I wasn’t in rehab — or at a wellness retreat, for that matter. I was at a writing residency! For two weeks, I got to live at Vermont Studio Center, a residency program that brings together 50 artists and writers each month to form a temporary community in a tiny town called Johnson. And I’m so glad I did. I loved this place — and already have hopes to go back for a full month soon, though perhaps in warmer weather. In case you’re not familiar with them, writing residencies are basically like getaways with a literary goal. That goal would be to write — in a peaceful place with uninterrupted time, away from the pressures and responsibilities of normal life. Each residency is a bit different. The one I did at The Anderson Center last summer hosted just five people at a time and was fully funded, covering room, studio, and board for all residents — so it had a very different feel than Vermont Studio Center with more structure and more amenities for the 50 people there, many of […]