Dog Days

August 23, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized


No dogs allowed (sorry, dog lovers). The only dogs here are my feet, and they’re barking. “Dog days” refers to the Dog Star, Sirius, which rises and sets prominently in August, which of course you already knew, being learned folk…

Busy days: I’ve been moving, sick as a dog (heh), exhausted and not writing anything “good” at all — but busy as can be. In submitting a short essay to a call for entries for an anthology about mothers/daughters and shopping, I inadvertently stumbled across an agent in NY who loves my work. She’s reading my ms now. She said she was very excited. But then the dead silence follows…so who knows what will happen? I occasionally surf Craigslist gigs for places to submit my work. That’ where I saw this gig. Another favorite spot for me is Poetry Flash’s “Some Information,” and Poets & Writers’ calls for subs. I have had 75% success rate or higher with those places because my submissions are targeted exactly to what they want. This works much better, obviously, than the buckshot method of “Hmm, wonder if XYZ magazine wants this story…?” For what it’s worth, I’ll let you know.

I’ve been subbing at the Alameda Sun as associate editor while Ryan has continued to hold the editor’s chair. Dan Abbott left for grad school and I’m filling in for a 6-week stint. You may have seen my education stories on the front page, or photos, etc. Call me silly, but I really love covering school board (as much as I hate it). However, my days at the Sun are numbered because I have (can I say it aloud yet?) taken the co-editor position at The (East Bay) Monthly, one of the chairs that will be empty when Kira moves on.

I’m looking forward to it — a new stage, a new step upward, with a much bigger circulation (80K+ circ). Hoping to do some fun things there. I am looking forward to meeting my new co-editor tomorrow. I’ll start in the position Sept 18. Yikes, I have to leave the Island…

What else? Reading nothing much these days — actually, grabbed an old copy of Seabiscuit and have been rereading that. All my books went into boxes about two months ago and have only recently been unearthed. It was either Seabiscuit (which I enjoyed a lot the first time through) or some Louis L’Amour of Patrick’s. I think of the two horse stories, I chose the more riveting. (Though, given half a chance, I could easily paean on L’Amour…)

I’ve otherwise been busy unpacking everything, setting up kitchen, living room, dining room, family room, our beautiful blue bedroom, helping Patrick get organized in his music room, looking at my disaster of an office (a closet with a window = A Room of Her Own), getting the kids ready for school (stood in line for 3+ hours yesterday — while deathly ill — with Ana to reg for high school — argh!), lots of back-to-school shopping for five kids (ka-ching!), cooking enough food for an army — or a basketball team (everyone keeps having friends over for dinner, especially Simone’s boyfriend who played high school football — ka-ching!), putting in a garden (I’m in love with it — tell you more next time about this), and getting used to being a huge family.

We went from two kids and a single mom in our little apartment/two kids and a single dad in a small house, to a two-parent family of five with assorted hangers-on in a large house with a big yard. Lots of changes for everyone. But we’re loving it. There’s always someone to play with, as the youngest child has joyfully discovered.

We’re having a shindig this weekend with all our family friends and neighbors, so if you didn’t already get an invite to the housewarming, drop me a line and I’ll pass on the particulars. The tiki bar is open! As Jimmy Buffett would say, “Thank God…” Drop in and have a ‘rita or a Cosmo. The tiki torch still shines…

Advice for Aspiring Writers: Target practice works. Ready, aim, fire.
And…it’s always tiki time.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

1 Comment

  1. noreply@blogger.com'

    mamagotcha
    August 31, 2006

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    wow, congratulations on all of it!

    i’m going to be coming through briefly in december, but with a longer visit (copia! french laundry!) in may… i KNOW we will connect on one of those trips!

    garden and house pictures, oh please please please!

    xoxo, katje

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