Talk Like a Teen

February 23, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized

Whoa. Hella. Yeah. Whatever. Spending time with my teens makes me talk like that. Bad habit, yeah. Still, it’s what happens. Whatever.

Back from a coupla days at the San Fran Writers Con, which was more fun than beatin’ deadline. I have much to say about that, and will return to the topic momentarily. Hard on its heels, though, was the nastiest of colds, achoo, and then two sickie kids, yuk, and then all the stuff I couldn’t do while hob-nobbing on Nob Hill and being ill.

This is starting to sound like performance poetry. I’ll try to contain myself.

I have three events on Saturday for which I am ill-prepared, har har, but a couple of days of running around should cure that. My PR workshop is 1-3 at the Frank Bette Center, my coffee for interested women-folk is 4-5:30-ish, and after that Mr. and I are off to Hangar One for some wodka and musika to help Hurricane Katrina vics. I’ll be taking pix (there it goes again!) and writing it up for the mag. Yep, I’ve fallen into a 1940s noir comic strip.

Mia Mia is doing well but hasn’t sent any interesting email in many many weeks. She got a nasty viral infection and then recuperated. She is bugging me to go over and see her, and I guess I must comply (who could resist that invitation?). Her landlady is a bit batty, it seems. Mia left a load of wash going (there is no clothes dryer there). When she returned, helpful lady had taken out all of Mia’s clothes and spread them around the house to dry. It was mostly a load of underwear. So Mia comes in and sees her underwear strewn around the house, across radiators and the backs of armchairs. Ahem. Thanks!

Music Scene deadline beating down upon me, RHR so far behind that it’s no longer the Winter issue, it’s SPRING! Ack, ack, double-triple ack. O Muse, where art thou? We got some editors in place at the Sun so I am done there for a while, which helps a lot with time management, and I have a number of freelance projects in the works, one of which is a sweet piece about Oakland and its literature. I have a few CDs to review like, um, yesterday but other than that and everything else I gotta do, that’s what’s on my to-do for now.

Now…the SFWC was cool. A lot cooler than I expected, because I have been to writers’ cons before and they are usually full of nerds and wannabes. There were some of those there, which is fine, but the sessions were all pretty sharp and intriguing, and I met some very savvy people, made some connections, etc. There was a lot of talk about the JT LeRoy and James Frey scandals (google them if you’re out of the loop) and what’s happening with memoir these days vs fiction. Neither genre is dead yet, but I think my novel is. (Gotta move on to the next thingie, I guess.) I sat in on some sessions that rekindled that writer passion in me and made me think of my manuscript with new clarity of vision — what can I do with this character, what can I do to bring it around, how can I up the ante, etc. So I’m warming up to revamp it, and also to get the proposal ready to ship to the many agents and editors I met there.

The first night of the event there was a gala cocktail reception and lots of people mixing and mingling. I met a couple of writers and agents there, and also a bunch of aspiring novelists and poets. Everyone had book ideas and hoped to score with an agent. It was fun to feel the energy. Saturday I gave my session on freelancing with SF Examiner columnist Kathleen Antrim. We introduced each other and jumped right in. It was a lot of fun to share tips and pass the baton back and forth. Afterward I ran into my longtime friend and writer Jill James and we had time to catch up on what’s been going on. I sat in on a great conversation between the Rev. Alan Jones of Grace Cathedral and Jonathan Kirsch, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Harlot by the Side of the Road. Also enjoyed the keynote speaker, Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River (an Oprah book), and meeting up with other writers.

Oops, more to come, but duty elsewhere calls. Yeeps!

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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


    March 8, 2006

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    Dear Julia, is your cold worse? Are you ever going to blog again? It’s been two weeks. How are you? How’s Mia Mia? I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to and enjoyed your words. More, I need more. Okay, I’ll be patient and generous of spirit and let you regain your health. Then maybe you’ll come back!

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