August Grotto Notes

 

The Best Women's Travel Writing, Vol 9, Edited by Lavinia Spalding
THIS MONTH, we have Connie’s Re-Issued Sin and Syntax, Lavinia’s Travel Anthology, Bonnie’s Shark-Fin Soup and lots more! Read all about it below…
Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for July-August 2013:

Jenny Bitner’s short story appears in the Red Bridge Press anthology, Writing that Risks: New Work from Beyond the Mainstream:
http://www.redbridgepress.com/books.html

Christopher Cook examines tech-driven dispute resolution trends in California Lawyer: http://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=929527&wteid=929527_Taking_Mediation_Online

Constance Hale writes about a trove of 19th-century newspapers that are changing our grasp of Hawaiian history and language:
http://bit.ly/12Tqkex

Rachel Howard is back reviewing Bay Area dance with a report on Bandaloop’s “Harboring” in the SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Harboring-review-Bandaloop-ties-into-nautical-4675034.php

Vanessa Hua writes about Harry Kingman, Yankee ball player turned missionary and activist who battled for free speech and civil rights, in Pomona magazine: http://magazine.pomona.edu/2013/summer/four-games/

Diana Kapp chronicles her toughie 10-year-old daughter’s ascent of Mt. Whitney in the Wall Street Journal:
http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-281375/

Rachel Levin road trips like a rock star with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers:
http://www.sunset.com/travel/backroads-road-trip-00418000083699/

In ‘Ramadan Redux,’ Susanne Pari writes about how how fasting brought her closer to her father in Medium:
https://medium.com/nostalgia-tales/f18549b73a5c

Lorraine Sanders looks at telepsychiatry’s potential for combatting patient drop-off onFastCompany.com:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3013991/tech-forecast/telepsychiatry-aims-to-combat-patient-drop-off

Julia Scott explains how outfitting tiny honeybees with even tinier radio transmitters could help solve colony collapse disorder, in Nautilus Magazine: 
http://nautil.us/issue/3/in-transit/tracking-honeybees-to-save-them

Lavinia Spalding covers travel – from carbon offsets to hotel chains that include yoga amenities to travel tips from yoga teachers – in the latest issue of Yoga Journal, on newsstands now.

Ethan Watters considers what the new diagnostic manual for psychiatry says about the future of mental health care:http://www.psmag.com/health/real-problem-with-dsm-study-mental-illness-58843/

TONIGHT, ANNE DISCUSSES SCENT, LOVE, FOOD, AND PLEASURE WITH ALYSSA HARAD AT GREEN APPLE BOOKS

ON August 1 (that’s TONIGHT!) at 7PM, Grottoite Anne Zimmerman will be in conversation with memoirist Alyssa Harad at Green Apple Books: Grottoite Anne Zimmerman, author of An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher will discuss scent, love, food, and pleasure with Austin-based memoirist Alyssa Harad, author of Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride:
http://www.greenapplebooks.com/event/author-reading-alyssa-harad

More info here: http://ht.ly/nt3JO

LAVINIA’S NEWEST TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY, FEATURING LAURA, NATALIE, KIMBERLY, AND RACHEL IS OUT THIS MONTH! COME TO THEAUGUST 19 LAUNCH

Grottoite Lavinia Spalding’s new book, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 9, is out this month! This year’s anthology includes outstanding essays by several grotto members: Laura Fraser, Natalie Baszile, Kimberley Lovato, and Rachel Levin. Read more about it here:

http://laviniaspalding.com/book/the_best_womens_travel_writing_volume_9

Mark your calendars for the book’s first event: Monday, August 19th at Weekday Wanderlust, the monthly travel reading series held at Hotel Rex. More info and RSVP here:
http://www.facebook.com/events/393235270777117/

CONNIE’S SIN AND SYNTAX RE-RELEASED THIS MONTH

For writers who want more spunk than Strunk:

After 15 years and more than 90,000 copies sold, Grotto dweller Connie Hale’s Sin and Syntax is launching anew on August 13. The updated second edition features a new subtitle (“How to Craft Wicked Good Prose”), innovative exercises and prompts (“catechisms”), and potshots at Lectric Shave commercials and Sarah Palin’s syntax. It‚s been called “the hippest grammar guide ever written,” but Connie Hale just wants to encourage writers make a little mischief in their sentences. Updates and chances to win the book at http://www.sinandsyntax.com.

BONNIE WRITES ABOUT WHAT SHARK FIN SOUP MEANS FOR CHINA, AND THE WORLD, IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY REVIEW

“Somebody got married, and slurp — there we were, eating the stringy soup at an elaborate 10-course affair in a private party room in Chinatown… We ate it because everyone else did, and everyone else ate it for the same reason.” Grotto dweller Bonnie Tsui parses evidence of changing shark fin consumption in China, and its implications for every commodity from beef and cars to electricity and water, in the weekend New York TimesSunday Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/opinion/sunday/souring-on-shark-fin-soup.html?_r=1&

JULIA AWARDED AN EXCELLENCE IN RADIO AWARD

Grottoite Julia Scott’s 30-minute radio documentary, BON VOYAGE, has won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s Excellence In Radio Award. BON VOYAGE, which aired on the BBC World Service and across the U.S. last year, tells the story of a gay couple who decide to throw a huge ‘Bon Voyage’ party when one of them is diagnosed with cancer.

Listen to BON VOYAGE here: http://www.prx.org/pieces/85312-bon-voyage

Congratulations to Julia!

MATTHEW IN THE MCSWEENEY POETRY SERIES AT SPUR ON AUGUST 5

Come celebrate our most recent edition to the McSweeney’s Poetry Series: Victoria Chang’s THE BOSS in San Francisco for an intimate reading with Grottoite Matthew Zapruder and Victoria Chang, whose new collection of poetry Publisher’s Weekly calls “linguistic mastery [that] is consistently clever and moving.” There will be drinks and the event is totally free! Come celebrate poetics in the workplace with us!

What: A Celebration of Victoria Chang’s THE BOSS
When: August 5th, 6pm-7pm
Where: SPUR, 654 Mission Street

http://www.facebook.com/events/491460807596748/

PETER TALKS ABOUT HIS LATEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION AT HOTEL REX ON AUGUST 6

Peter Orner will be in conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald for the Epicenter book launch of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, Aug. 6 at 7 PM, Hotel Rex:

http://www.litquake.org/calendar-of-events/peter-orner-isaac-fitzgerald

And the August issue of Harper’s had this to say about Peter’s new book:

“Peter Orner is a true writers’ writer, which is to say a writer writers complain to writers about readers not reading. His novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (a title, one senses, Orner had to fight hard to retain) ranks high among the best works of fiction about Africa ever written by an American, and his collection Esther Stories contains work to rival that of David Means and Tobias Wolff. Orner’s latest collection, LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE (Little, Brown, $25), is bundled into four sections and includes more than fifty pieces of fiction – “stories” is too grand a word for many of them – and yet tops out at a slender 208 pages. In other words, this is one of the oddest, most diffracted story collections to come along in some time. Imagine Brief Interviews with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro.

http://harpers.org/archive/2013/08/new-books-49/

JULIA INTERVIEWED IN GUERNICA MAGAZINE

Guernica interviewed Grotto Dweller Julia Scheeres about racial racial utopias, the mass “suicide” in Jonestown in 1978, and coming of age in an abusive Christian reform school. Check out the interview athttp://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/untold-stories/

JD’S “UNDERNEATH” AT ELECTRONIC PACIFIC AT SOMARTS UNTIL AUGUST 17

KQED writes, “Electronic Pacific succeeds not only as a well-conceived group exhibition, but also in offering audiences a moment to consider what we say, how we say it, and to whom, as globalization propels us toward an uncertain future.” Grotto dweller JD Beltran and collaborator/partner Scott Minneman continue to exhibit their newest interactive work at “Electronic Pacific” at SOMArts this month. “Underneath” is an interactive artwork on Beltran + Minneman’s award-winning Magic Story Table that blends a map of the world, text, animation, sound, film, and video. The result is a fascinating, surprising, curious, and sometimes very funny exploration of what lies beneath the tensions and misunderstandings that occur between cultures. Through August 17th, 2013.http://www.somarts.org/electronicpacific/

LAST BLAST FOR SUMMER CLASSES & A FALL PREVIEW

We’re down to our final month of summer classes, which include the excellent Blogging for Beginners. Our Fall Session will officially begin the week of September 22nd. But if you just can’t wait to get started, we’ve got a special 4-hour/40 buck workshop scheduled forSaturday, September 14 designed to teach you how to craft wicked good prose.

All the details on all the classes can be found at http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

And if you want to hear about the new Fall Session first – and get invaluable writing tips from our teachers – subscribe to Class Notes, our monthly e-newsletter here http://www.sfgrotto.org/contact

BOOKSMITH EVENTS THIS MONTH

Friday, August 2 BOOKSWAP: Summer Blockbuster Edition – Eat, Drink, Talk, (Swap) Books
6:30 – 9:30 PM
Summer is for blockbusters, and August’s Bookswap is getting the Hollywood treatment. Bring a book you love that you think should be a movie (whether it’s already been adapted or not is irrelevant), be ready to tell us all why, and we’ll have a rowdy, white elephant swap. Your $25 ticket gets you dinner, lots of drinks, swag, free books, and a closed bookstore all to yourself (and a few dozen of your new best friends.) Tickets available in the store and at Brown Paper Tickets online. Read more:http://booksmith.com/event/bookswap-summer-blockbuster-edition
Co-sponsored by Litquake

Tuesday, August 6 LAUNCH PARTY!
7:30 PM; S.G. BROWNE
BIG EGOS. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/s-g-browne-big-egos-launch-party

Thursday, August 8 LAUNCH PARTY!
7:30 PM, GARY KAMIYA, COOL GREY CITY OF LOVE: 49 Views of San Francisco
Most of us have periods of romance with the cities where we live. For Gary Kamiya, life-long San Francisco Bay Area resident — and co-founder of Salon — the romance has never died. As a tribute to that romance he‚s penned a kaleidoscopic love letter to the city in Cool Grey City of Love, which combines the deep knowledge of an old-timer with the wide-eyed curiosity of a newcomer. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/gary-kamiya-cool-gray-city-love-launch-party

Thursday, August 15
7:00 PM (note time change) SHIPWRECK: Competitive Erotic Fanfiction. Presented by The Booksmith and Write Club SF! Good theatre for bad literature? Marital aid for book nerds? Competitive erotic fan-fiction at its finest? Shipwreck is all of these things. Six Great Writers will destroy one Great Book (this time, The Wizard of Oz), one Great Character at a time, in service of the transcendent and the profane (and also laughs). Marvel as beloved characters are plucked from their worlds and made to do stuff they were never meant to do in places they were never meant to see. $10, includes drinks. Tickets available in the store and at Brown Paper Tickets online. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/shipwreck-competitive-erotic-fanfiction-literate-perverts-wizard-oz-edition

Tuesday, August 20
7:30 PM, BEN ALAMAR in conversation with OSCAR VILLALON on SPORTS ANALYTICS: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/ben-alamar-talks-oscar-villalon-sports-analtytics

Monday, August 26
7:30 PM, JOYCE MAYNARD, AFTER HER. Read more:http://booksmith.com/event/joyce-maynard-after-her

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JD’s Art Picks for AUGUST 2013

PIER 24’S NEW EXHIBITION

Pier 24 Photography, one of the world’s premier exhibition spaces for photo-base work, presents A Sense of Place, an exploration of how photographs shape the perception of our environments. Together, the exhibited works shift in scale from room size installations to small, quiet photographs, transporting the viewer through a variety of locations, memories, and emotive experiences. Highlights include Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, a series documenting both the everyday and specific eccentricities in the United States from the confines of his car, shifting the viewer to a variety of places from the familiar frame of a car window. Erik Kessels’ installation 24 HRS in Photos creates a cascading room filled – floor to ceiling – with printed versions of every picture uploaded to Flickr during a 24-hour period, allowing the viewer to both visually and physically experience the overwhelming number of photographs shared online. The pictures assembled in A Sense of Place demonstrate what photography does best: engage our attention with the everyday – to what we might otherwise bypass – inspiring us to take another, closer look at the places that surround us. 

Artists include: Robert Adams, Doug Aitken, Uta Barth, Edward Burtynsky, Eric William Carroll, John Chiara, Jan De Cock, Moyra Davey, Thomas Demand, Jose Manuel Fors, Lee Friedlander, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Todd Hido, Rinko Kawauchi, Veronika Kellndorfer, Erik Kessels, Lucia Koch, Richard Learoyd, Richard Misrach, Asako Narahasi, Stephen Shore, Cinthya Soto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall, and selections from the Sack Photographic Trust. Through May 2014. More information at http://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html

SFMOMA PRESENTS MARK DI SUVERO AT CRISSY FIELD

Don’t miss the stunning sculptural installations of internationally renowned sculptor Mark Di Suvero, now at Crissy Field. “Di Suvero’s massive I-beams summon associations to the skeletons of skyscrapers on the downtown San Francisco skyline, and the struts that streak through local interiors after seismic retrofit,” writes Kenneth Baker. Read more athttp://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Mark-di-Suvero-review-Grand-at-any-scale-4539763.php#photo-4663615

ENJOY YOUR FILL OF SHAKESPEARE THIS SUMMER

Shakespeare remains the official playwright of the season, of course, with Bard festivals breaking out everywhere from Santa Cruz to Ashland. Still, the Bay Area theater scene is such a vibrant and eclectic place that this summer’s most highly anticipated shows run the aesthetic gamut from Jon Robin Baitz and Neil LaBute to Harold Pinter and Oscar Wilde.http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_23282673/summer-theater-2013-ian-mckellen-and-patrick-stewart

DON’T MISS IAN MCKELLEN, PATRICK STEWART, AND BILLY CRUDUP IN HAROLD PINTER’S NO MAN’S LAND AT THE BERKELEY REP

Internationally acclaimed for their performances on stage, screen and television, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will star at Berkeley Rep in a revival of Harold Pinter’s celebrated play. In No Man’s Land, we wonder if two writers really know each other. Or are they performing an elaborate charade? The ambiguity — and the comedy — intensify with the arrival of two other men, drawing the audience into a place between the present and time remembered, between reality and fantasy. Since its premiere in 1975 and its acclaimed 2008 London revival, No Man’s Land has been hailed as one of Pinters “indisputable modern classics” (Telegraph). Now these terrific actors take on this towering drama, helmed by award-winning director Sean Mathias, first for Berkeley Rep audiences, and then for Broadway where they will perform the play in rep with Waiting for Godot this fall. Don’t miss this strictly limited engagement. More info athttp://www.berkeleyrep.org/season/1213/7148.asp

THE OAKLAND MUSEUM REOPENS ITS NATURAL SCIENCE GALLERY

In combining artworks, sculpture, and historical artifacts, the new Oakland Museum looks like “a purebred prototype of future cross-disciplinary exhibition practice,” arts writer Kenneth Baker writes. “The redesigned presentation, which includes paintings and photographs, centers on seven ecologically distinct and threatened areas of the state. They range from familiar and famous zones such as Yosemite, Mount Shasta and Oakland to unheralded or little-studied areas such as the Cordell Bank — an underwater mountain off the Central Coast discovered only 30 years ago and now a national marine sanctuary — and the Sutter Buttes of the Central Valley, where state and private land interests contend in ways resonant with larger environmental issues.” As museum director Lori Fogarty remarked, “[W]e place [the work] in a whole new context that shows both California’s biodiversity and the urgent environmental issues, but also shows the relationship between the natural world and the cultural world.” Read more about it here: http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Oakland-Museum-of-Calif-Grand-reopening-4543144.php

Guilty Pleasures: The hysterically funny “This Is The End,” with movie stars playing themselves when the apocalypse approaches. Tacos from the El Tonayense Taco Truck at Harrison and 19th, or anything from the nightly selection of foodtrucks at SOMA StrEATFood Park at 11th and Harrison. (The Lobster Crunch at We2Sushi is to die for). Rock of Ages, enjoyed again on DVD (Tom Cruise practiced his singing 5 hours a day for several months with Axl Rose’s vocal coach.) The retro candy selection near the checkout counter at Bristol Farms in the Westfield Center. The Korean News Station comeback to the infamous KTVU intern fiasco:http://slothed.com/2013/07/23/korean-news-station-pokes-fun-at-ktvu-with-fake-american-pilot-names-after-southwest-airlines-landing-gear-failure/

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.

Joyce Carol Oates

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