January Grotto Notes

On January 28, 2013, in Uncategorized, by classes

HOT OFF THE PRESSES FROM THE GROTTO!

Here’s what people have been writing about, as well as what people have been writing about us, for December 2012/January 2013:

Monica Campbell remembers reporting on the U.S.-Mexico border and how easily guns can get into criminal hands. PRI’s The World:

http://www.theworld.org/2012/12/guns-and-the-us-mexico-border-what-atf-agents-see/

Chris Colin considers a lavish Caribbean resort from both sides of its tasteful, socioeconomically insane walls, in the latest issue of Afar:

http://www.afar.com/afar/the-great-escape

Christopher Cook on seniors fighting Wells Fargo home foreclosures:

http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/5302/senior-and-disability-groups-protest-wells-fargo-evictions-shutter-accounts/

Laura Fraser on why you should wash your hands of antibacterial soaps, in OnEarth:

http://www.onearth.org/article/antibacterial-soap-triclosan-fda

Constance Hale stirs up debate on Grammar Girl–about “tuxedo verbs” no less:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/tuxedo-verbs.aspx

Lee Daniel Kravetz writes in the Huffington Post about Dave Eggers’ ScholarMatch program, which closes the scholarship gap for first-gen, low-income college students:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-daniel-kravetz/dave-eggers-scholarmatch_b_2365307.html?utm_hp_ref=san-francisco.

Going to Tahoe? Rachel Levin tells you how to avoid paying $104 for a lift ticket and find fresh snow — plus! where she likes to eat nachos: http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/tahoe-tahoe-buffs

Louise Nayer‚s piece on her pooch was moved from Dec. to  Jan. 2nd in the San Francisco Chronicle in Pet Tales:

http://www.sfgate.com/columns/pettales/

James Nestor uncovers “history’s most insane around-the-world adventure” in the new minibook, Half-Safe. (for Kindle and Atavist app):

https://www.atavist.com/stories/half-safe/

Janis Cooke Newman reacts to the Russian adoption ban in the Daily Beast:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/28/with-u-s-adoption-ban-a-mother-fears-for-russia-s-abandoned-kids.html

Ethel Rohan interviewed at SFWeekly:

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/

Justine Sharrock makes the Daily Beast’s list of best long reads on gun violence:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/15/the-best-longreads-on-gun-violence-and-policy.html

Julia Flynn Siler uncovers a Honolulu where the ghosts of a surfing legend, a tobacco heiress, Charlie Chan and a deposed queen still linger for the weekend WSJ:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323777204578189993668649014.html?mod=WeekendHeader_Rotator#articleTabs%3Darticle

Lavinia Spalding’s very short piece “Finding Spells,” appears in Tin House’s Flash Fridays:

http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/20825/finding-spells.html

Bonnie Tsui finds out what naughty things our digital selves are up to, for her feature story in the Jan/Feb issue of Pacific Standard:

http://www.bonnietsui.com/articles/pacific-standard/its-10-p-m-do-you-know-what-your-avatar-is-doing/

Anne Zimmerman interviews New York Times food writers Kim Severson and Julia Moskin to see who really won their Cookfight (the name of their newly released cookbook) and what competition in the kitchen really means:

http://www.culinate.com/articles/features/cookfight_interview

WECOME TO THE NEW GROTTOLITAS A.J. AND CASPER!

This month, Grottoite Lorraine Sanders and her family welcomed daughter A.J. (officially Ada Jeanne-Ann) Grabowski on December 10th. And Grottoite Chris Collin and his wife, Amy welcomed to earth Casper True Wolf Colin, born a little before noon on December 15th.

Huge congratulations to Lorraine and Chris and their families – and welcome to our world, A.J. and Casper!

LAST CHANCE TO APPLY FOR LIT CAMP!

The submission website for Lit Camp closes at midnight on December 31st, so this is your last chance to apply for the Bay Area’s first juried writers conference.

Open to 40 writers of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir, Lit Camp is sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake and will be held at Mayacamas Ranch in the rolling hills near Calistoga.

Lit Camp main faculty includes Adam Johnson (author of The Orphan Masters Son), Ethan Nosowsky (Editorial Director, McSweeney‚s Publishing), Amy Williams (Literary Agent at McCormick & Williams), T.J. Stiles (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner for The First Tycoon), Oscar Villalon (Editorial Director, ZYZZYVA), and Janis Cooke Newman (LA Times Book Prize Finalist for Mary). Adjunct faculty includes Isaac Fitzgerald (The Rumpus), Andi Mudd (The Believer), and Nicole Dewey (Little Brown & Company).

Lit Camp conference dates: April 4 – 7, 2013
Submission deadline: December 31, 2012
Details and application information at http://www.litcampwriters.org.  Follow us on FB http://www.facebook.com/litcampwriters

REGISTER NOW FOR THE GROTTO’S WINTER WRITING CLASSES

Our winter writing classes being the week of January 21 – but several classes have already filled.

This winter we’ve got lots of new offerings – including weekly Sunday afternoon and evening classes, a master class in nonfiction, the art of the profile, political writing, as well as classes in the novel, short story, memoir, flash fiction, and the return of our popular finding the story workshop. But don’t delay, these classes are filling fast.

Visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster for full descriptions and to register – and find out more about our partnership with Dave Eggers’ Scholar Match.

CONNIE GIVES A BIG “SMOOCH” TO VERBS

Grottoite Connie Hale crisscrossed the country on her tour for Vex, Hex, Smash Smooch, talking about how Hawaiian Creole shaped her views on language, how “experts” battle over who owns English, and how verbs enliven even the most demure sentence. In New York City, she taught invited teenagers at TEDYouth to act out Hamlet’s action words. In Seattle, she played Grammar Speed Dating at Elliott Bay Book Company. At SF’s Mechanics Institute, she mused on the five questions that led her to write a book on the heartbeat of the sentence. Reviews of the book have appeared in Library Journal (“a romp for the language obsessed”), the Louisville Journal-Sentinel (“Hale‚s passion is the book‚s charm”), and Copyediting (“you don’t need a PhD in linguistics”). In-depth interviews ran on KERA’s “Think” in Dallas, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Veronica Rueckert Show” and Nieman Storyboard. A profile in The Writer magazine cut the deepest, exploring the writing life as well as the life of words. Links to these articles and interviews: http://sinandsyntax.com/news-reviews-and-interviews/

JAMES’ NEWEST, “HALF-SAFE,” JUST RELEASED ON ATAVIST

Grottoite James Nestor celebrates the release of his new book/feature/minibook/story or whatever they call these things nowadays by Atavist! It’s a tragic, very sad, and freakish tale — in other words, perfect for the holidays.

Half-Safe: A Story of Love, Obsession, and History’s Most Insane Around-the-world Adventure: In 1948, an Australian miner, Ben Carlin, set out across the Atlantic in a reject U.S. Army amphibious jeep, determined to be the first person to circumnavigate the world by land and sea in the same vehicle. (Yeah, he tries to “drive” across the ocean in a car.) The freakish, heart-wrenching, insane [insert your favorite adjective here] story of what happens next has been lost for 60 years. In November 2011, I went to Perth, Australia to find out what I could about Carlin. . .and got a lot more than I ever bargained for. The iPad/iPhone/Web version contains photos, video, free audiobook, maps, and more. Read more at The Atavist at https://www.atavist.com/stories/half-safe/

JULIA’S “LOST KINGDOM” NOW OUT IN PAPERBACK!

The paperback of Julia Flynn Siler‚s Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure (Grove Press) will be published in January. A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and winner of the 2013 Ella Dickey Literacy Award, Library Journal’s starred review called it “A sweeping tale of tragedy, greed, betrayal and imperialism…”

Julia will be speaking at the University Club of New York on Tuesday, January 15th about Lost Kingdom at a book talk followed by a dinner. She will also be speaking at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Sunday, January 28th, starting at 7:00 p.m. with a reception to follow, and again at Book Passage on Monday, January 29th, for a “Meet the Author” event. For more information, please visit: http://www.juliaflynnsiler.com/events.

CHRIS COMPLETES HIS LATEST, “POSTCARDS FOR KEROUAC”

Christopher Cook is now shopping his new book, Postcards for Kerouac — a literary and philosophical road adventure — with agents and publishers. (Any referrals welcome!) Chris is teaching political writing at the Grotto this winter (http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster/political-writing-getting-your-opinions-published-with-chris-cook-917-108). He is also continuing his political and communications consulting after an against-the-odds victory against Berkeley’s sit-lie Measure S. Check out his consulting site: http://www.theprogressivemessage.org/

THE GROTTO PARTNERS WITH DAVE EGGERS’ SCHOLAR MATCH

The Grotto is proud to announce our partnership with Scholar Match, an organization which uses crowd-funding to help send underprivileged high school students to college. (Here’s a link to the HuffPo story about it:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-daniel-kravetz/dave-eggers-scholarmatch_b_2365307.htm). The Grotto has chosen Nicolas Soto, a senior at Leadership High School in SF, to be our Grotto Scholar. Nicolas wants to be an English teacher, and says in his essay “Writing is everything to me.”

The Grotto is committed to raising $5000 to help Nicolas go to college next year. We are encouraging all of our Grotto Notes subscribers to donate to Nicolas’ fund.  If you haven’t done your charitable giving for 2012 yet, this is a perfect time to donate to our Grotto Scholar.

If you’d like to help, it’s easy. Go to  https://scholarmatch.org/donate/ . Answer the question ’I would like my tax-deductible donation to support:’ by choosing Student Scholarship. Then type ‘Grotto Scholar’ in the box that asks you to provide guidelines about the type of student you’d like to support.

You’ll even get credit for your donation. Within a day or so of donating, your name will appear on the Scholar Match website on the Grotto Sponsor page http://scholarmatch.org/the-grotto-scholar/ .

FIND INSPIRATION AT AN APRIL WRITERS RETREAT IN HAWAII

Grottoites Connie Hale and Laura Fraser will be joined by UH writing professor Steven Goldsberry at the Mokule’ia Writers Retreat, April 7 through 12. The faculty also includes musician/composer Aaron Mahi and Hawaiian-language poet Puakea Nogelmeier. Writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoir to are invited to find creative sanctuary over days and nights at the 30-acre Camp Mokule’ia on O’ahu’s North Shore. The program includes daily workshops, private writing time, and one-on-one meetings with faculty. Optional activities – available to family and companions staying at the camp – include yoga, snorkeling, kayaking, and beachcombing. Other highlights are a lu’au, a hike to a sacred spot at Ka’ena Point, and a visit to Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple.

Registration begins January 7. Information and updates: http://sinandsyntax.com/mokuleia-writers-retreat/.

RECOMMENDED BY JANIS: DISCOUNT TICKETS FOR TRACY KIDDER AT THE JCCSF

The SF JCC is offering $15 tickets to the January 23 appearance of Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains. He will be discussing his latest book, ‘Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction,’ in which he shares the secrets of his writing success and provides insight for aspiring writers. Be sure to ask for the student price.

More information at https://www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/lectures/literary/tracy-kidder/

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JD’s Art Picks for January 2013

THE THIRD WAVE AT GARDEN GATE CREATIVITY CENTER, BERKELEY

Check out some truly amazing and novel artworks created by IPhone art applications, of all things, in the exhibition “The Third Wave,” at the Garden Gate Creativity Center in Berkeley. Artists include DIY types and professional photographers, and contributors have made images from fantastic animals to painterly landscapes to provocative nudes. Garden Gate Creativity Center, 2911 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley. Through January 30. More info at http://www.pixelsatanexhibition.com

JAY DEFEO AT THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
“Even the earliest and slightest works in ‘Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective,’ exude a fearlessness characteristic of her sensibility,” writes art critic Kenneth Baker about this influential and gifted Bay Area artist. Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective: Paintings, sculpture, photographs and collage. Through Feb. 3. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., S.F. (415) 357-4000. http://www.sfmoma.org.

“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. By advance appointment only. More information at http://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html

Guilty Pleasures: New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Enough said.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein

Happy New Year!

 

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