Fall is upon us, that bittersweet season where the earth takes a breather, goes fallow, and directs us to look inwards. It invites us to express gratitude for all we have been given. This year I am especially thankful for an unexpected family connection and visit – a gift I’ll cherish forever. On the literary side, I participated in the Bay Area Book Festival and LitQuake, and was a finalist in the 2016 National Indie Excellence Awards for The Coconut Latitudes. I’m delighted to have contributed to two new literary collections coming out in the next few weeks. I’ve also taken the time to read some inspiring books, such as The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
The book starts with the premise that trauma is a fact of life, one that “literally reshapes both body and brain.” As readers of my memoir know, alcoholism played a monumental role in my family, shaping lives and beliefs for decades. I am thankful for Dr. van der Kolk and all of the healers at the front lines in the battle to recover lives shattered by trauma in its many guises. While the subject is difficult, the book is uplifting and full of hope. I highly recommend it.
NEW BOOKS and UPCOMING EVENTS:
From Fear to Freedom: A Memoir’s Journey, an essay I wrote about the (sometimes traumatic) experience of writing The Coconut Latitudes, is included in The Magic of Memoir. A collection of stories by 38 writers of memoir, it was edited by Linda Joy Myers (president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers) and Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press. A “memoirist’s companion for when the going gets tough,” it also includes interviews with high-profile writers (including Mary Karr, Elizabeth Gilbert and Mark Matousek) whose inspiring tales shine their own light on the subject. This is the perfect gift to give anyone thinking of writing a memoir. For details or to pre-order, visit the Amazon book link: http://amzn.to/2c1BlZX . Publish date: November 2016.
Upcoming Book Event for The Magic of Memoir: Friday, November 18 at 7:00p at Laurel Books. 1423 Broadway, Oakland (just steps away from 12th Street BART station). Please join me and the other contributors who will be reading excerpts.
In other new book news, I’m excited to be part of Wanderland Writers’ latest anthology, Wandering in Andalusia: The Soul of Southern Spain. It launches with a celebration on Saturday, December 10, 7:00p.m. at Book Passage , 51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera, CA. The collection includes several pieces I wrote during travel in Spain earlier this year. This new volume in the “Wandering” series is chock-a-block full of tasty reads from a variety of fine writers. The book launch will be a great way to kick off the holiday season with a distinctly Spanish flavor. I have it on good authority there may be some vino, flamenco moves, and castanets. I invite all my Bay Area friends to join the festivities – so be sure to mark your calendars now for some winter “Olé!” (And if you can’t make it that day, we’ll be doing another reading at Book Passage’s San Francisco Bookstore in the Ferry Building on Monday, December 12 at 6:00p.)
I hope this time of year brings you the promise of regrowth, joy, and healing. Heaven knows we can all use some healing after this fraught election process.