All the News

October 23, 2005|Posted in: Uncategorized

…that’s fit to blog.

Catching up in between massive to-do lists, the reality is that Alameda Literati is just two weeks away (less, now) and I still have so much to do. Still sending how-to emails to the vendors, participants, panelists and authors. Speakers drop out, others agree and pop into the schedule. It’s a regular musical chairs going on — and publicity keeps going out the door. I’m behind on a number of key assignments for Al-Lit because you see, I have this day job that requires actual work from 8:30 to 5-ish and that makes my weekends and evenings a veritable Death March of Literati PR and other kinds of fun. I’m not complaining (much), just sharing the facts of life in Lit season.

The fun part is right around the corner: Nov. 5, 9 a.m. when authors start arriving. Yesterday I picked up the entries for the youth writing contest (which closed Friday at 5 p.m., sorry!) and may I just say that some of the entries are spectacular. Very moving work from some young writers who are so obviously in love with words. I love that punch-drunk word-high I’m getting from these young ones. It’s very, very inspiring. Most of the posters and flyers are out in the world (that’s 100 posters and 4,000 flyers). Street banners should go up this week on Webster Street. I’m still polishing up the city proclamation (late!). Still waiting for confirmation from a last few participants, and getting details like table placards, tablecloths, nametags, etc. in order. Also waiting to see the Al-Lit T-shirts and pins I ordered last week. We must be something if we have a T-shirt, right?

New news: I gave notice at the magazine. As of sometime in November (mid or late) I will be freelancing at various and sundry publications, with additional PR sidework and other freelance projects. I’m jump-starting my old PR business, back from when I used to do the publicity for Woodminster Amphitheater, the California Conservatory Theatre and various non-profits. New name is Park Place PR. I’ll be helping to promote writers, musicians, actors and theater projects, as well as some small businesses (cafes, self-employed folks, etc.). It will be fun and will also give me a chance to spend the afternoons with my kids, so that they’re not roaming the streets kicking old ladies and knocking over pooches. I’m all for family time, and over the past few years my girls and I have had precious little quality time as I worked my fingers down to nubs with work. I’m hoping, as we move into a better, more family-stable position here, that it will continue the good base the girls had when I was a stay-at-home mom. I’m all about the cookie-baking. Nothing a freshly baked snickerdoodle can’t solve. Or two.

And: I believe I mentioned the Harry Potter class — join us if you like HP. The Alameda Adult School’s winter catalogue should be online soon. Thursdays, 10 weeks, 7-9 p.m., two weeks off in the middle for holidays.

And: The evening of spiritual readings takes place Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7-9 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Alameda. Still more details to follow but put it on your must-see list. The Oct. 18 RHR reading with Dan Brodnitz was spectacular: there were some 45-plus people at C’era Una Volta to enjoy free appetizers (very kindly proffered by owners Rudy and Cheryl), delicious wines by the glass, cool jazzy tunes by John Wright, some very fine work from Andy Crockett and Dan B himself, and a delicious red dress on yours truly.

Note for future reference: If it’s a Red Hills Review event, wear red. It’s that simple.

However, speaking of RHR: Winter issue will be delayed. I got some wonderful subs but can’t do them justice before Nov. 5, and I need a couple of weeks to read, accept/reject, edit, layout and print. Then plan readings and mail it out, etc. So please forgive the delay; I had really hoped to have it available at Literati but something’s gotta give, and rather than it be my fingers and my vision and what’s left of my ability to think coherently, I’d rather sit on it and put out a clean product. Thanks for your patience, friends.

I could go on — lots of other stuff coming down the pike. Mia (my eldest) is starring in Anything Goes at Santa Rosa Jr. College opening Nov. 18 — starring! As in, lead role. If you’re in the North Bay, check her out. Simone is cheering on the varsity squad for Encinal High School; her picture was on the front of the Alameda Times-Star last week before Homecoming, during a spirit rally. Ana’s photography is just getting better all the time; we’re talking to some friends with a gallery about maybe doing a showing of her work. Patrick’s softball team is in first place as they head into the playoffs. Cal won against Washington last night (P is very happy about that). We saw Jimmy Buffett at the Fillmore in SF Thursday night and it was an amazing show — freezing outside, warm as toast inside. Couldn’t have been better: saw The Man from 20 feet away, in a hall with several hundred fans vs. tens of thousands. And we were helping with Hurricane Katrina aid at the same time. How much better does it get?

Enough for now: I may be silent as we head into Literati, but it will definitely get better after that, as my new schedule becomes a reality.

Advice for Aspiring Writers: If you want to write, arrange your world so you can write. Or, as another writer once told me, give yourself what you need to write (time, space, the right kind of fountain pen…).

Amen to that.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.

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