Last Week’s News Tonight!

News? Who, me? None to speak of, or, of which to speak…oh, all right. I’m lying. Everything is news to me.

It’s been a whirlwind since that half-week in Las Vegas. The editor gave notice at the Alameda Sun so from Vegas I placed a Craigslist posting for a new editor, and when I came home, there were about a hundred emails from wanna-be editors. I sorted through those in an A-B-C way, then found out that my features editor wanted the position. However, I had already set up interviews with about eight other candidates, so I spent the next weekend in May — that beautiful Saturday — indoors, in the office, in heels and business clothes interviewing potential editors. As it happens, about three were duds, one a complete waste of skin, two were strong, two were great, and one was perfect.

Perfect, as in, my features editor. From there, I offered the news/sports job to one of the others, who diddled around and didn’t accept the offer while we watched the clock and waited; then I rescinded that offer and went for our second choice, who was only second in line by a milimeter of difference. In fact, in retrospect, he was the obvious choice, as the other one clearly wasn’t interested. That took me through another weekend of fun, stress, worry and misery.

This week my former editor finished the job and left, while features editor took on the new job, but had previous plans for the week out of town, thereby leaving new news editor on his own. But he’s been sick since Tuesday. So we have — count them — how many editors at hand? Zero. And do I work there anymore? No, I do not. I have a full-time job elsewhere, plus a lit-zine to distribute, books in production and promotion, Alameda Literati under construction, two Web sites begging for attention, this blog and — not least, mind you — three children, a sweetheart and two “steps.”

Nevertheless, I am writing about 10 stories this week, including a book review for the religion page (for which I should be reading right now), a couple of front page features, a couple of preview pieces for the arts page, and a handful of box-fos. I will be writing all weekend and planning to camp at the Sun on Monday night when there is NO EDITOR and do all that I can after my regular job at the magazine is finished for the day.

In other words, it’s a bit of stress.

However, all is not lost. It will be a bit crazy but kind of fun, in the way that deadline is kind of fun (if you consider the Spanish Inquisition fun, har har), um, kind of. But besides that, can I just say…

…that the new Red Hills Review is out on the streets and it looks fantastic! I love it! I’m in love with it. I’m gonna marry it. After I marry chocolate and sleeping in, and that first hot cup of coffee and the smell of freesias and the feel of summer sun on my skin. And my girls when they were babies and alseep in my arms, and my cats when they were kittens and asleep on my bed, and the thrill of writing something really cool. Except how can you marry a thrill? Not sure. I’ll get back to you on that one.

But, this is the important part: Red Hills is out there, despite delays and high print costs and the fact that it takes more than $3 each to mail five copies to contributors, dadgummit, and I have a little more mailing to do. We have a reading set for June 29 at Spellbinding Tales in Alameda, and another one to follow in July or August at Books Inc. in Alameda (which will be cool, because they advertise in many large local papers, so we will get good publicity).

Also note: I will be reading prose and poetry at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda June 11, as part of their month-long celebration of the theme, “Our Men.” So I will be reading about…men. (Yum.) From my own works, silly. Yes, I write about men. Sometimes. Anyway, it’s free, so come on down.

I’d like to yak more about Alameda Literati news but nothing new yet to report — just working on my pal Dave E and some other cool writers, including Alice Walker’s biographer, some children’s authors, and more. But still waiting for confirmations. Keep fingers crossed.

And that’s about all for now. Just lots of writing to do this weekend, and then a bunch of fabu writing projects or readings to come. T’will be a gas, I guarantee. Watch this space for more to come.

Advice to Aspiring Writers: Get a planner. Keep it handy.

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