October Grotto Notes

HOT OFF THE PRESSES FROM THE GROTTO!

E.B. Boyd takes a second look at Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy: http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-mother-of-all-misconceptions

Monica Campbell reports on Oakland International High School for PRI’s The World:

http://www.theworld.org/2012/09/back-to-school-at-oaklands-international-high

Christopher Cook interviews a Romney extremist in Virginia: http://www.progressive.org/meet-romney-extremist-in-virginia?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+progressivefeed+%28The+Progressive+Main+Feed%29

Laura Fraser writes about taking time to grieve, in Whole Living: http://www.wholeliving.com/185568/long-goodbye

Constance Hale explains her crush on the English verb:

http://sinandsyntax.com/blog/my-crush-on-verbs/

Rachel Levin writes about the future of pastrami-on-rye, as discussed at the inaugural Deli Summit:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2012/09/deli_summit_notes_from_the_first_ever_gathering_of_the_new_guard_of_jewish_food_.html

Mac McClelland conducts an important investigation about how French people think you suck in bed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mcclelland/french-people-think-you-suck-in-bed

Zahra Noorbakhsh will be joining a panel of comedic writers at Verbal Calisthenics: An Evening with Four Funny Women (Oct. 6th at 8pm) as part of this year’s Litquake:

http://litquake.org/calendar-of-events/verbal-calisthenics-an-evenings-with-four-funny-women

Bridget Quinn writes about brothers and brokenness in Narrative Magazine: http://www.narrativemagazine.com/issues/fall-2012/smokehouse

Ethel Rohan published her short-short story “I Love You!” at Hobart: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/i-love-you

Julia Flynn Siler profiles master surfboard shaper Dick Brewer for the Wall Street Journal: http://ow.ly/e5esn (or full link is http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358804578018810843152512.html)

Lavinia Spalding learns from Chez Panisse and Zuni Cafe chefs how to make the perfect salad:

http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/3154

Bonnie Tsui swims as fast as she can to an Italian island monastery on a bet, and writes of victory in the New York Times:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/travel/the-secret-little-sister-of-the-italian-lakes.html?ref=travel

Meghan Ward asks the $64,000 question: Does Social Media Sell Books?:

http://meghanward.com/blog/2012/09/25/does-social-media-sell-books/

Anne Zimmerman writes about restaurants in San Francisco’s hip and hungry Mission neighborhood for Portland, Oregon’s MIX Magazine: http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.ssf/best-restaurants-outside-portland/dining_in_san_francisco_the_mission_district_draws.html

JD Beltran’s son, 9-year-old photographer Sebastien, featured in the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/9-year-old-wins-PUC-photo-contest-3883974.php#photo-3484306

CELEBRATE CONNIE’S NEW BOOK, “VEX, HEX, SMASH, SMOOCH,” STARTING WITH A WORKSHOP THIS THURSDAY OCTOBER 4

Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch débuts Oct. 15! In her latest book on the mysteries of great writing, Connie Hale marches through linguistic and literary history to paint a layered picture of language—from, as she puts it, The Swamp to Squidoo. She draws from Shakespeare and Susan Orlean, Joan Didion and Junot Díaz, but she also culls from snappy tweets, advertising slogans, and Facebook status updates. “Hale is a razor-sharp prose stylist and a top-notch writing teacher,” writes language maven Charles Harrington Elster, the author of The Accidents of Style. Bay Area readings and workshops include the Book Passage on Thursday, Oct 4, 7 pm: Book Passage/51 Tamal Vista Boulevard/Corte Madera … Oct 29, 7:30 pm/The Booksmith/1644 Haight Street, SF … Nov 15, 6 pm/Mechanics Institute Library & Chess Room/57 Post Street, SF. A complete list of readings on West Coast and the East is available athttp://sinandsyntax.com/book-related-events/.Congratulations to Connie!

JULIA’S NEW RADIO DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS ON THE BBC WORLD SERVICE!

On September 29, the BBC World Service debuted BON VOYAGE, a 23-minute radio documentary by Grottoite Julia Scott. BON VOYAGE brings the listener along on the intimate, emotional journey of a same-sex couple coping with mortality. Paul Perkovic and his husband, Eric Trefelner, have lived in style for 36 years. When they find out that Paul has inoperable pancreatic cancer, they decide he should go out in style, too. Eric plans a lavish, quarter million-dollar “Bon Voyage” party at a fine arts museum in San Francisco. Paul and Eric aren’t just planning a party; they’re trying to choreograph a death. But the couple soon discovers that death has its own agenda. Listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yc3q9

BON VOYAGE is part of Real America, a new series from the BBC World Service that enlisted four American producers to tell stories found only in America. Congratulations to Julia!

LITQUAKE BEGINS THIS SATURDAY!

This year’s festival features 163 events, more than 850 authors — and most of it free! Don’t miss this internationally renowned literary celebration! October 5-13, 2012. More information at http://litquake.org/

THE GROTTO AT LITCRAWL – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 7:15-8:15 AT THE BLUE MACAW

You’re in love. You’ve got shame. Sometimes they’re one in the same. Come hear tales on these themes and more from the lovable, shameful San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Hosted by Rob Baedeker and Janis Cooke Newman. Featuring Peter Orner, Louise Nayer, Ethan Watters, Melanie Gideon, and Jason Roberts. More information athttp://litcrawl.org/sf/events/love-shame/

Peter Orner’s novel Love and Shame and Love is just out in paperback. A new collection Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge will be published in 2013.

Louise Nayer‘s book Burned: A Memoir won the Wisconsin Library Association Award. She’s done readings on NPR and teaches at theGrotto.

Ethan Watters is the author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche among other books. He is co-founder of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Melanie Gideon is the author of the memoir The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, and a novel, Wife 22.

Jason Roberts is the author of the forthcoming Two Shipwrecks, as well as A Sense of the World, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Rob Baedeker is a writer, performer, and founding member of the comedy group Kasper Hauser, and author of three books, including SkyMaul.

Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the novel, Mary, and the memoir, The Russian Word for Snow. She runs the Grotto’s writing class program.

LIZETTE AWARDED A GRANT FROM THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL INNOVATION

Grotto dweller Lizette Wanzer has been named a grantee for a $2,500 Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI). Lizette was awarded in the Literary Arts category. This year, CCI received 388 applications from artists across California, and 29 were selected to receive grants.

“CCI could not be more pleased to support such an outstanding and diverse roster of California artists in this round,” noted CCI President and CEO Cora Mirikitani. “We are excited to be able to recognize these 29 artists and the excellence of their work.” The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) was founded in 2001 as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Its mission is to promote knowledge sharing, networking, and financial independence for individual artists and creative entrepreneurs by providing business training, grants, and incubating innovative projects that create new program knowledge, tools, and practices for artists in the field. Congratulations to Lizette!

HELP PETER AND MATTHEW CELEBRATE THE NEW LOCATION OF PRESS, AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP

Friday, October 5th at 6pm, Grottoites Peter Orner and Matthew Zapruder will be reading (along with Hoa Nguyen, Cedar Sigo and Kim Addonizio) at a celebration for the new location of local independent bookshop Press: Works on Paper. Come by for drinks and food and all the amazing books, paper, bags, notebooks in their beautiful new space at 3108 24th Street (at Folsom). Details athttp://pressworksonpaper.com/blog

JULIA TALKS ABOUT “LOST KINGDOM” THIS SATURDAY AT LITQUAKE’S OPENING WEEKEND PANEL, OCTOBER 6

Grottoite Julia Flynn Siler will be at Litquake’s opening weekend panel, “Round the World On the Page” to talk about her new book, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure, on Saturday, October 6th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Variety Preview Room Theatre, 582 Market Street, First Floor, San Francisco.http://litquake.org/calendar-of-events/around-the-world-on-the-page. On Sunday, October 28th, Julia  will be joined by three colleagues, authors Allison Hoover Bartlett, Katherine Ellison, and Susan Freinkel, from her long-running writing group to discuss Writing Groups: Lessons from North 24th Writers on how to form and run a writing group at the California Writers Club meeting at Book Passage on Sunday, October 28th, 1-3 p.m.,http://bookpassage.com/california-writers-club

DAVID AND THE GROTTO HOST “THE SALON ABOUT FOREVER” AT THE GROTTOON OCTOBER 10

David and the Grotto are hosting the first ever Litquake Festival event at the Grotto on October 10 at 6 pm: “The Salon About Forever: Eternity, Death, and the Science of Radical Life Extension”. David (author of the new “When I’m 164″) is moderating a panel that includes futurist Paul Saffo and author Sonia Arrison. Humans may soon be able to radically extend lifespan through genetics, stem cells, and bionics. Drawing on art, lit, and tech, the panel asks: what happens if this succeeds? Location: The Grotto, 490 Second Street, Second Floor, San Francisco, CA. For more info (the event is free), seehttp://www.facebook.com/events/471587442873338/

CONNIE AND ZOE AT THE “FIRST PERSON PLURAL: CRAFTING STORIES FROM OUR LIVES” WORKSHOP IN VERMONT ON OCTOBER 9-10

In this intimate workshop in the Northeast Kingdom, held October 9 and 10, writers will work under the guidance of Grottoites Zoe FitzGerald Carter and Constance Hale, who have published memoirs and first-person essays in Vogue, Health, Honolulu, The Atlantic, and O. The workshop begins Tuesday night, at The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, where Connie will talk about her new book (Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch) and share insights about what makes writing come alive on the page. After breakfast at the Carter’s lakeside cabin, Zoe and Connie will spend Wednesday working with writers on their pieces, in a mix of guided writing, critique sessions, coaching, and private writing time. The day will close with a dinner at Claire’s restaurant in Hardwick, and a reading by all participants at the Galaxy. The workshop fee is $100, and lodging is available for an additional fee.http://www.sinandsyntax.com/greensboro-writers-retreat/

LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR A FALL WRITING CLASS

Many of our fall classes are full or have already begun, but there are still a few opportunities left to take a Grotto writing class. Our new Sunday Afternoon Advanced Writers Workshop which begins at the end of October has a couple of spots left, as does the Mechanics of Voice class, beginning October 11, and the Dark Art of Pitching, beginning October 17.

A few of the weekend half-day classes still have space, including Writing the Book Review, Short Story Bootcamp, Writing the Personal Essay, and our popular Yoga 4 Writers with Mark Morford.

But visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster soon. This has been a big fall for Grotto classes!

ELIZABETH, JANIS, AND JANE GANAHL HONOR THE FEMALE AUTHOR ON OCTOBER 12

As George Bernard Shaw aptly suggested, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” For better or for worse, family themes find their way into many books every year. Step inside for some revealing readings by some remarkable women authors. Emceed by Litquake co-founder Jane Ganahl and Grottoite Elizabeth Bernstein, with ten great readers including Grottoite Janis Cooke Newman. At the Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa Street, Friday, October 12, 6-8 pm. Tickets at: http://tinyurl.com/994xqxl

JOIN ZOE AT CREATIVITY EXPLORED AT THE LITCRAWL ON OCTOBER 13

Grottoite Zoe FitzGerald Carter will be joining a panel of musician/writers at Creativity Explored on October 13th (7:15-8:15) as part of this year’s Lit Crawl. For more information, see

http://litcrawl.org/sf/events/writebeat-musicians-who-write-writers-who-play/

HAVE MATTHEW TEST YOUR WITS AT VIRACOCHA, ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

On Saturday, October 13th, as part of Litcrawl, Grottoite Matthew Zapruder will be reading at Viracocha (998 Valencia @ 21st) along with Amelia Gray. The reading, hosted by Daniel Handler and presented by McSweeney’s, will include “games to test the wits of the audience.” More information athttp://litcrawl.org/sf/events/matthew-zapruder-amelia-gray-and-daniel-handler/

ANNOUNCING THE GROTTO’S ‘HAIR OF THE DOG’ WORKSHOPS – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14

This is the perfect way to wrap-up Litquake. If 8 day’s worth of exposure to some of the world’s best fiction and nonfiction prose has inspired you to get started on some of your own, hop out of bed the Sunday morning after Lit Crawl and come on down to the Grotto for one of 4 different writing workshops.

You’ll start with bagels and coffee at 10:30 am. Then head off into one of these 3-hour classes:

A Pang in Your Heart: Writing the Short Story with Peter Orner

Getting Your Nonfiction Published: The Basics with Ethan Watters

How to Start a Novel (and not stop half-way through) with Janis Cooke Newman

It’s (Not) All About Me: Personal Essay and Memoir with Laura Fraser

Afterward, we’ll all gather for mingling and Bloody Marys.

We’re calling it Bagels & Bloodies. $75 with a portion of the proceeds going to fund Litquake.

Advance tickets required – we expect this to sell out! To get your ticket, visithttp://litquake.org/2012-festival-schedule

PETER’S WORK IN THE PARIS REVIEW – DON’T MISS HIS READING, WITH DANIEL ALARCON, AT TOSCA ON OCTOBER 18

Peter Orner has a new story in the current issue of Paris Review. You can read it at

http://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/6173/foleys-pond-peter-orner

Also, on October 18th, City Lights Booksellers in conjunction with Tosca Cafe, The Paris Review, and Picador Books are pleased to present: The Paris Review@Tosca Cafe, Moderated by Paris Review Editor Lorin Stein with readings by Daniel Alarcón and Peter Orner. Opening words from Peter Maravelis (City Lights). The Paris Review visits Tosca Cafe, Thursday, October 18, 2012, 7:00 P.M., Tosca Cafe, 242 Columbus Ave. SF, CA 94133. More information athttp://www.citylights.com/info/?fa=event&event_id=1601

DON’T MISS DIANA’S SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE PIECE ON THE “IT GIRL”

Grottoite Diana Kapp’s SF Magazine piece on the wannabe “It Girl” of the tech blogosphere Sarah Lacy prompted a lengthy response — big surprise from a blogger. Read what Lacy had to say about Kapp’s analysis of her new blog Pando Daily, including that “It’s probably the most accurate thing I’ve read about myself. It captures all the reasons people hate me as well as the reasons some people like me.” Lacy response here: http://pandodaily.com/2012/09/13/well-at-least-they-called-me-queen/

LIT CAMP ADDS AND AGENT & A COCKTAIL

Here’s the latest on Lit Camp, the writers conference sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake. NY literary agent, Amy Williams of the McCormick Williams Agency has just been added to the Lit Camp faculty, joining Adam Johnson (The Orphan Masters Son) and Ethan Nosowsky (Editorial Director at McSweeney’s) among others.

And, famed Brooklyn bartender, Jon DeRosa, has agreed to create the Official 2013 Lit Camp Cocktail. Naming rights for DeRosa’s cocktail will go to the highest bidder on the first night of Lit Camp, with all proceeds going to the educational programs of 826 Valencia.

Join us April 4-7, 2013 at Mayacamas Ranch near Calistoga for Lit Camp. Applications are now being accepted. Application deadline is December 31, 2012.

For more information and to apply visitwww.litcampwriters.org
Follow Lit Camp on FBhttp://www.facebook.com/litcampwriters  or Twitter https://twitter.com/litcampwriters

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JD’s Art Picks for October 2012

“MAN RAY/LEE MILLER: PARTNERS IN SURREALISM” AT THE LEGION OF HONOR
One of my all-time favorite artists and a pioneer in photographic processes, Man Ray revolutionized photography with his blending of the surrealistic aesthetic with the darkroom black and white photograph. Don’t miss this gorgeous show, which includes his iconic images, as well as the equally compelling works of his artistic contemporary and muse Lee Miller. Through October 14. More athttp://www.legionofhonor.org

RE(COLLECTION) – A COLLABORATION WITH LOST AND FOUND: FAMILY PHOTOS SWEPT BY THE 3.11 EAST JAPAN TSUNAMI
After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake hit, a massive tsunami swept away houses, and everything that was inside them. As the search for survivors ended and attention turned to the clean up mission, Self-Defense forces, firemen, and policemen who were in Tohoku to help survivors began to pick up photos they found in the mud, and to store them in an elementary school gymnasium. Two months after the earthquake hit, a group called the “Memory Salvage Project” began to sort out the more than 750,000 photos and prepare them for return to their owners. The images were cleaned and digitized by volunteers who came from Tokyo and other parts of Japan. The photographs you see here are part of photos recovered from the city of Yamomoto. Presented alongside new work by Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Ariel Goldberg, Mayumi Hamanaka, Taro Hattori, Sean McFarland, Kari Orvik and Kelli Yon. Through October 27. More information at http://theintersection.org/2012/07/visual-arts-lost-and-found/

INTERNATIONAL ORANGE AT FORT POINT
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, The For-Site Foundation’s “International Orange” – named in honor of the unique paint color of the span – offers fresh perspectives on an enduring landmark. This exhibition at Fort Point presents new work by contemporary artists responding to the bridge as icon, historic structure, and conceptual inspiration. Contributing artists – Anandamayi Arnold, Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood, Bill Fontana, Andy Freeberg, Doug Hall, Courtney Lain, David Liittschwager, Abelardo Morell, Cornelia Parker, Kate Pocrass, Jeannene Przyblyski, Allison Smith, Stephanie Syjuco, Camille Utterback, and Pae White – approach the bridge with diverse and distinctively individual aesthetics, materials, and points of view. Some investigate the bridge’s history – real or imagined – while others contemplate the natural history of the environment around it, exploring the conditions of water and weather particular to the Golden Gate. Some convey the grandeur of this monumental structure; others document the everyday details that bring it down to human scale. Many works consider a combination of these factors, either directly or metaphorically. Through October 28. More details at http://www.international-orange.org/

BARRY MCGEE AT THE BERKELEY ART MUSEUM
“Throughout his career,” writes Alex Baker in the exhibition catalog, “Barry McGee has continued to surprise and contradict expectations.” Including rarely seen early etchings, letterpress printing trays and liquor bottles painted with his trademark cast of down-and-out urban characters, constellations of vibrant op-art painted panels, animatronic taggers, and an elaborate re-creation of a cacophonous street-corner bodega, along with many new projects, this first midcareer survey of the globally influential San Francisco–based artist showcases the astonishing range of McGee’s compassionate and vivacious work. Through December 9. More information athttp://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/mcgee

“ABOUT FACE” AT PIER 24
“About Face,” an exhibition now showing at the stunning Pier 24 photography gallery, focuses on the tradition of portrait-based photography. On view are nearly one thousand photographs drawn primarily from the Pilara Foundation’s permanent collection. “Revelations” – the Diane Arbus retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – inspired the purchase of the Foundation’s first photograph, a portrait from her challenging and emotive “Untitled” series. The emotional intensity characterizing this photograph has informed subsequent acquisitions for the collection, which are aptly highlighted by the huge, meditative gallery space. “About Face” encompasses wide-ranging approaches to portraiture from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day, from August Sander’s “Face of Our Time” to Richard Avedon’s “The Family,” to Jim Goldberg’s “Rich and Poor” and Larry Sultan’s “SF Society,” all of which consider the socio-economic divide in San Francisco. Through a series of 66 self-portraits by Lee Friedlander from the past 50 years, one encounters many of the themes that have come to characterize his practice. Self-examination is also the focal point in selected works by Cindy Sherman, Gillian Wearing, Yasumasa Morimura, and Tomoko Sawada, in which the artists alter their appearances to challenge traditional notions of identity. Through February 2013. By advance appointment only. More information athttp://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html

Guilty pleasures: Stocking up on tiny Kit Kats and Twix bars to savor long after Halloween is over; falling over laughing while watching “Spinal Tap;” Chocolate pot de cremes at Whole Foods; Two Dogs Dining athttp://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=EVwlMVYqMu4

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

Charles Darwin

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