Anyone interested in attending the retreat should contact Jill Klajic-Ryan on 209-743-8097. I am speaking at a lunch at the Columbia House Restaurant (recently The Black Bart Skillet) on Main Street in Columbia on Sunday September 30, from 12:30-2:30pm.
WATCH this brilliant and hilarious SIMPSONS VOTING VIDEO - and also fight to ensure that everyone is actually allowed to vote, even if they
don't have ID...or are black...or poor...or students...or yellow cartoon characters.
There is an absolutely fascinating article about a lost chapter of Los Angeles history on KCET's website, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. KCET is the Los Angeles-based community television station for southern and central California.
Chavez Ravine, now known best as the hillside above which Dodger Stadium perches, was once the site of a thriving Mexican-American community, dating back as far as 1844, when Julian Chavez acquired 83 acres encompassing a narrow valley northwest of the city center.
Chavez was a native of New Mexico who had arrived in Los Angeles in the 1830s, and who promptly became a leading political figure.
The story of how the community developed (actually as three distinct neighborhoods: Bishop, La Loma and Palo Verde), with goats grazing on hillsides and residents raising domesticated animals from pigs to peacocks, is vividly told on the KCET website.
Sadly, due to various attempts to redevelop the land (at the expense of the local community), by 1957 only 20 f…
The retreat includes a ghost walk on Friday, open mic sessions with poems, stories, music and a Native American poetry and drum circle on the Saturday, and "Author's Row" on the Sunday. Guests include Blanche Abrams and Charity Maness.
I will be speaking during the lunch about my career as a writer and my experiences both as a novelist, non-fiction writer and children's author, and as a screenwriter for the major Hollywood studios and independents.
For more information about my career, please visit the Biography page of this blog.
Advance registration is required for the workshops and meals. The registration fee is $145, with a 20% discount for students.
The image below of a woman taking cocaine is, I
believe, from the 1910s and is one of the many research pictures I've
amassed for my noir novel - a love story and thriller set in 1919 - Chinatown Nights.
Although drugs do not play a huge role in the plot, several of the characters in the novel are involved in the world of illegal drugs, illicit drinking clubs and other rather suspect activities - including arms dealing.
Brilliant Chang, a notable Chinese figure in London in the 1910s and
1920s, who is fictionalized as a character in Chinatown Nights, was
alleged to be one of London's primary cocaine dealers (cocaine was a
popular drug, then as now) and was the subject of a great deal of police
Chang was charged in 1924 with possession of a
single packet of cocaine (a surprisingly small amount for one of the
supposed "drug kingpins" of London - probably planted by the police),
was jailed and was eventually deported from Britain.
I was thrilled that the Kickstarter campaign for Chinatown Nights ended yesterday, meeting not only its initial target of $2,000, but the new unofficial target I set of $2,500, thanks to a very generous donation yesterday afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed. My full thanks, and more details of both the novel and the campaign, are on the Chinatown Nights Facebook Page. Please "Like" it if you visit it! Thank you.
Originally known as Rancho del Matadero, and founded by Mission Santa Cruz in 1791, the Wilder family later acquired the land and operated a very successful dairy on the property - which includes an extraordinary stretch of coastland, with spectacular cliffs and coves.
Many of the coves of what is now a state historic park are preserved for the benefit of marine wildlife - snowy plovers, pelicans, seagulls, seals and dolphins.
You can walk along the cliffs and enjoy the spectacular vistas, but only a couple of the beaches are accessible for swimming - but they are well worth the hike to get there.
Our entire family, including Hudson, who's eight, and Paradise, who's three, enjoyed climbing out along the rocks to view an outcrop of rocks where seals and pelicans were basking in the sun.
You might also want to check out the Hyperbole And A Half Store, which has many goodies such as this wonderful Bird T-shirt. Other designs can be applied to whole variety of products, such as T-shirts, mugs and iPhone cases (please note that not all designs are available for every product).
I love the Bird T-shirt because it makes me think of our much adored lovebird, Miso, who I'm certain spends a great deal of his life squawking these words in a language we can't comprehend because we're too stupid:
Please visit Hyperbole And A Half for a little (in)sanity. You'll be glad you did. Or maybe you won't - maybe you really are …
Thanks to a generous contribution from Emma Dowson (my longtime and very wonderful book publicist), my Kickstarter campaign for Chinatown Nights has now reached and exceeded its $2,000 target - and Emma is the winner of a unique
Anna May Wong Kickstarter T-shirt. (Anna May Wong is one of the major inspirations for the central female protagonist of the novel, Lady Shao.)