February Grotto Notes

On February 4, 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 January/February 2013:

Elizabeth Bernstein has a strange little story in Tin House online: http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/21575/the-bear.html

Monica Campbell profiles San Francisco’s new archbishop, aka the “Godfather of Proposition 8.” http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-archbishop-of-no

Christopher Cook reviews new food book in The Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Foodopoly-by-Wenonah-Hauter-4158193.php

Laura Fraser on the kindness of strangers while traveling, Writer-in-Residence, Victoria magazine: Jan/Feb issue on the newsstands.

Vanessa Hua’s excerpt from her novel set during the Cultural Revolution, B O D Y Literature:

http://bodyliterature.com/2013/01/08/vanessa-hua/

Lee Daniel Kravetz considers Lance Armstrong and the trappings of hero worship in Psychology Today:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/supersurvivors/201301/zero-worship-did-surviving-cancer-make-armstrong-hero

Mac McClelland explores how PTSD can be contagious in the latest issue of Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/ptsd-epidemic-military-vets-families

Peter Orner confesses in the New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/writing-about-what-haunts-us/

Caroline Paul advises on when to use email, skype, text, or even the phone: http://techpageone.com/uncategorized/contemplating-friday-communication-101/#.UQaus45Gp_A

At New York Journal of Books, Ethel Rohan reviews Martha Long’s memoir: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/review/ma-he-sold-me-few-cigarettes-memoir-dublin-1950s

Julia Flynn Siler profiles third-generation beekeeper Hector Alvarez for the Wall Street Journal: www.juliaflynnsiler.com/articles/

Bonnie Tsui finds solace in surfing after a life-altering event, in an essay for the February issue of O the Oprah Magazine.

Ethan Watters on exporting depression to Japan: http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/01/exporting-depression/

JD Beltran and collaborator Scott Minneman’s Cinema Snowglobe project at the Workshop Residence was featured in the January issue of Sunset Magazine.

Louise Nayer writes about a superman vet saving her pooch, Penny, in the San Francisco Chronicle in Pet Tales:  http://www.sfgate.com/pets/pettales/article/Superman-vet-saves-Penny-with-surgery-4160041.php

PO’S NEWEST – TOP DOG:  THE SCIENCE OF WINNING AND LOSING – DEBUTS THIS MONTH!

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, the new book from Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, hits stores Feb 19th. Look for an adapted excerpt in the Sunday New York Times Magazine on February 10th. Integrating wisdom from politics, the arts, genetics, military training, sports, economics, and education, Top Dog offers counterintuitive insights into the nature of competition. Po’s tour starts on the East Coast; his first event in the Bay Area is on Thursday Feb 28th at the Commonwealth Club’s SF location.

For more information on Top Dog, see http://topdogbook.com/

Details about the Commonwealth Club’s SF event are at:

http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2013-02-28/po-bronson-science-winning-and-losing

STILL A FEW SPOTS IN LAURA’S WRITING ADVENTURE IN UMBRIA, ITALY

La bella vita: There is still room in Laura Fraser’s writing workshop and culinary adventure in Umbria, Italy, May 4-11. Special discount if you are share a room with a friend or two. Intimate setting, fabulous meals, cooking classes, 16th-century villa in the rolling countryside for hikes. http://www.eat-write-travel.com/umbria.html

THERE’S STILL TIME TO CATCH MID-WINTER WRITING CLASSES AT THE GROTTO

If you hurry, you can catch these mid-winter classes – The First 10 Pages (Nonfiction) and Writing and Publishing the Travel Essay – both beginning Feb. 7.

Later in the month, join us for 642 Things to Write About: How to Jumpstart Your Writing and Truth, Likes & Storytelling: A Users Guide to Memoir. Also Flash Fiction: Little Stories with a Big Kick.

And don’t forget our mid-winter one-day workshops: The Art of the Profile and How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal, Short Story Bootcamp. Also How to Get an Agent – taught by a NY agent.

For full class descriptions and information on how to register, visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

To subscribe to Grotto Class Notes, our monthly e-newsletter which includes the latest class listings plus writing tips from our teachers, visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/contact

MAC, LAVINIA AND PETER READ ALONG WITH MARY ROACH AT THE KICKOFF OF STORYFARM ON FEBRUARY 9

Join Grottoites Mac McClelland, Peter Orner, and Lavinia Spalding along with NYT best-seller Mary Roach and Tamim Ansary, at the kickoff of StoryFarm, a new literary arts nonprofit in San Francisco.  Saturday, February 9, at Intersection for the Arts. You can buy tickets online here: http://www.storyfarmsf.org or, for $5 extra, at the door.

ZOE ON WRITING MEMOIRS AT THE SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE

Grottoite Zoe FitzGerald Carter will be talking about the do’s and don’t’s of writing memoir on February 15th at the10th annual San Francisco Writers Conference.

https://sfwriters.org

ZAHRA SAVES HER MOM FROM HELL AT A STORYTELLING EVENT IN THE MISSION ON FEBRUARY 24

Grotto dweller Zahra Noorbakhsh tries to save her mother from hell in “Hijab & Hammerpants,” at Solo Sundays – a storytelling event in the Mission. Stage Werx Theater, Feb 24th at 7pm. Zahra@ZahraComedy.comfor tix.

BREADLOAF ON THE BEACH WITH CONNIE IN HAWAII, APRIL 7 – 12

Grottoite Connie Hale is leading a writers retreat on Oahu, joined by Laura Fraser, University of Hawaii Creative Writing instructors, and Native Hawaiian poets, composers, and musicians. Writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays are invited to the 30-acre Camp Mokule‘ia. The high-level program comes at a low-level cost: between $500 and $1000 for six days and five nights on the beach, including lodging, meals, workshops, evening programs, and extra activities like yoga, snorkeling, kayaking, beachcombing, a lu’au, a hike to a sacred rock, and a visit to an ancient Hawaiian temple. Families and companions welcome. Contact connie@sinandsyntax.com for info or if you’d like to contribute in some way. Registration and information: http://campmokuleia.com/specialevents.html

RACHEL’S WRITES ABOUT THE “WE” OF SINGLE MOTHERHOOD IN THE RUMPUS

Rachel Lehmann-Haupt has a piece in the Rumpus called The “We” of Single Motherhood (http://therumpus.net/2012/11/the-we-of-single-motherhood/). The piece is about the conception and birth of her son Alexander in July, 2012, and how surprised she was that her community of friends rallied around her with so much enthusiasm.  She was never quite satisfied with the anti-climatic ending of her 2009 memoir In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in finding Love, Commitment and Motherhood (Basic Books) This piece is the ending she wishes it had. It’s not a fairytale ending in which she is rescued by a prince husband, but instead she chooses to become a mother independent from a man.  But rather than having a dark lonely experience on her own, she is overjoyed by the intense love and support she receives  from her community of friends and family.

LIT CAMP UPDATE!

When we closed the Lit Camp submission site at midnight on December 31st, we had 205 applications for the 40 opens spots at our April writers conference. Our jury has spent the past month reading, and we’re very impressed with all the fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir that’s been submitted.

We’re still deep in the reading process. We’ll be getting in touch with everyone who submitted by February 11.

CONNIE TACKLES ACADEMESE AT TUFTS

On a very chilly January 30, Connie Hale lead an all-day seminar with professors at grad students at Tufts University, bringing ideas about great writing to the academy. Abstractions we banished included “industry-specific public goods” and “mereological essentialists.” We also focused on how to define readers and speak to them on the page—whether peers, students, or the public. And we explored how every writer should work simultaneously on two parallel tracks: improving the professional writing we must do and building our muscles for writing we dream of doing.

OUR FRIENDS AT 826 VALENCIA ANNOUNCE THE NIGHT WRITER SOCIETY

The good people at 826 Valencia have just launched the Night Writer Society – a group of proud literary arts enthusiasts (and aspiring writers) – who will gather once a month at convivial literary workshops & soirees.

While most of these gatherings will be held on Friday evenings, the inaugural event will be on Tuesday, February 5th at 7:30 with Six Word Memoir Maven Larry Smith.  Tickets are $30, with proceeds going to fund 826’s educations programs. For more info visit http://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=1767&EID=14115

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT BOOKSMITH ON HAIGHT STREET – SOME MUST-SEE EVENTS

Tuesday, February 7 — Boing Boing’s CORY DOCTOROW delivers the sequel to Little Brother, HOMELAND, co-hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/cory-doctorow-homeland

Wednesday, February 13 — DAVID SHIELDS on How Literature Saved My Life, co-sponsored by The Believer
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/david-shields-how-literature-saved-my-life

Tuesday, February 19 — KRIS SAKNUSSEMM with Sea Monkeys: A Memory Book
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/kris-saknussemm-sea-monkeys-memory-book

Thursday, February 21 — Launch Party for KEVIN SMOKLER’s Practical Classics
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/kevin-smokler-practical-classics-launch-party

Wednesday, February 27 — Launch Party for ANDREW LAM’s Birds of Paradise Lost
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/andrew-lam-birds-paradise-lost-launch-party

Thursday, February 28 — A John Cage Retrospective with Salon97
Read more: http://www.booksmith.com/event/john-cage-retrospective-salon97

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JD’s Art Picks for February 2013

LAST CHANCE FOR “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

A WHIMSICAL ART SCAVENGER HUNT FOR NUDES AT THE LEGION OF HONOR

This month, acclaimed scavenger hunt organizers Watson Adventures (as in “Elementary, my dear …”) host a romp through the Legion of Honor in search of blushing bathing beauties, unclad warriors, and Venus and Aphrodite au naturel at the Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt. Search for nudes through the centuries while sleuthing out clues like San Francisco’s own Sam Spade or a nouveau Nick and Nora Charles. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day date for the art-loving or mystery-solving couple in search of a new adventure in a familiar place. Once you see the museum through the eyes of a detective, the art will never look the same again. No previous experience with art of nudity is required.  Whom to expect: Art lovers, amateur gumshoes, museum regulars and irregulars. No word on whether the infamous Castro nudists will be making an appearance.  Details: 2-4:30 p.m. Feb. 9, and Feb. 16. $20 per person (does not include museum admission), Legion of Honor Museum, 100 34th Ave., San Francisco. Advance payment is required for all hunts online at http://www.watsonadventures.com or via OvationTix at (866) 811-4111.

GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING AT THE DEYOUNG MUSEUM

Don’t miss a rare showing of one of the most beloved paintings in the world.  “The heavily anticipated “Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis,” which opens Saturday at the de Young Museum, does not disappoint. It will remind visitors how great artworks can unstring our sense of time.” (Kenneth Baker)  An intimate show that’s sure to be popular, you should get your tickets soon!  Through June 2. De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. (415) 750-3600. http://www.deyoungmuseum.org.

Guilty Pleasures: The nostalgic candy selection at the Bristol Farms Grocery store in the San Francisco Center:  Big Hunk, Bit-O-Honey, Abba-Zaba, and Chocolate Flicks!   Will Ferrell in “Blades of Glory” or “Talledega Nights.”  Egg Egg Noodles at Mission Chinese.  A hilarious Facebook prank at http://www.sadanduseless.com/2012/11/fb-troll-king/

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
Mark Twain

 

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