Travel
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 […]

AWP 2017: Books, Literaoke, chocolate & Cake Time

AWP 2017: Books, Literaoke, chocolate & Cake Time

AWP 2017 was my favorite AWP conference ever — partly because I got to see the first copies of Cake Time, my first book! And it came with chocolate! AWP, if you’re not familiar with the acronym, stands for Association of Writers & Writing Programs — a professional organization for writers with a focus on college and university writing programs. Each year, AWP has an annual conference that brings many thousands of people together, and this year that happened last week at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. The AWP conference can be an overwhelming four days — but I love going every year. It’s a chance to get great deals on small press books and literary journals, hear from writers whose work I’ve admired from afar, learn about writerly concerns at the many panels, and reconnect with writer friends who are usually scattered all over the country. In fact I ran into writers before I even got on the plane! I got to LAX early Wednesday morning last week to find David Rocklin, host of Roar Shack, who immediately squished me out of my selfie. (Actually, I just misaimed the camera.) Then I boarded the plane to find out crime fiction […]

I'll be at AWP in DC signing and reading from Cake Time

I’ll be at AWP in DC signing and reading from Cake Time

Will you be in Washington DC later this week? If so, let’s catch up! I’ll be signing books — and reading — and singing karaoke — at the AWP conference, and hope to see your friendly face — AWP, for those who don’t know, stands for Association of Writers & Writing Programs — a professional organization for writers with a focus on college and university writing programs. Each year, AWP has an annual conference that brings many thousands of people together, and this year that conference happens February 8 – 11 at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. And I’ll be there! First, about the book signing: Officially, Cake Time isn’t out until April 6, 2017 — but early copies of my novel-in-stories will be available at AWP! Please come by the Red Hen Press booth — # 412/414/416 — to check out a copy and say hello. I’ll be there all three days: * Thurs, Feb. 9, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm * Fri, Feb. 10, 10:30 am – 11:30 am * Sat, Feb. 11, 11 am – noon