Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ISWG POST! How Do We Stop Comparing Ourselves?


It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means time to post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's  Support Group.  To check out Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Goup CLICK HERE!!

We had an author event at the bookstore last night for a woman from New York who’s around my age. I don’t feel comfortable dropping her name, because I’m insecure. I will say that she’s done very well for herself and is an awesome person.

Comparing our talent to others is a mortal sin writers pray against. Lusting after thy neighbor’s work distracts from our own creative projects. Like the hammer of GOD  it crushes the self-esteem into unidentifiable bits.

…but, it’s impossible not to.

Artists have to be exposed to other artists’ work in order to grow. It’s impossible not to envy another’s talent, means and/or perspective.

Dialogue from Woody Allen’s, After Midnight In Paris:

Gil: Would you read it?
Ernest Hemingway: Your novel?
Gil: Yeah, it's about 400 pages long, and I'm just looking for an opinion.
Ernest Hemingway: My opinion is I hate it.
Gil: Well you haven't even read it yet.
Ernest Hemingway: If it's bad, I'll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it's good, I'll be envious and hate all the more. You don't want the opinion of another writer.

Tell me if you do or don’t agree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG Post - Time Constraints - Can I really "make time"?


It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means time to post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's  Support Group.  To check out Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Goup CLICK HERE!!

This will horrify those of you I share the road with, but my time constraints have gotten so bad I've taken to getting my writing ideas jotted down in my car, while driving. 

Yes, while in heavy traffic I've actually held a pen to complete an information dump to edit later. I'm info dumping this very blog post in traffic, right now!

At least twice everyday I'm stuck in traffic driving all over the bay to work as a Bookseller, a Social Media administrator, a freelance writer and novelist.

The people I'm stuck in traffic with are entertaining:


Raider's Nation Police!
I'm not gonna lie. I was a little afraid this Raider's Nation cop might kick my ass for staring. I'm half positive the giant hayseed is attached to a dead body in the trunk. Probably a blond girl he caught taking his picture with her iPhone.


Another Fiat on the Bay Bridge

Even though it's not being driven by a panda or unicorn, every time we stop I keep waiting for it to start dancing and fart rainbows.

I've tried using my Pages app on my phone. I've sat in traffic dictating to it for an hour. Once I checked it at the bookstore I discovered that auto-correct had made every sentence incomprehensible, albeit kinda funny. Every fuck was a duck.

Any suggestions?

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Recap: NC Independent Booksellers Association Discovery Show


My co-worker and I at the event, right before the author booths and cocktails.
As a bookseller for Books Inc. I had the pleasure of attending my first Northern California Independent Booksellers Discovery Show.


Art work samples for Miles To Go
Ravina and I met Miles To Go artist, Greg Kerr. Books Inc. already carries some items in our store, but I'm still pushing for clothing. I own the Hunter S. Thompson Las Vegas Skull Visor tote. 

Getting to speak with Greg was fun. He was cool, personable and informal. To my complete non-surprise he's also well read. Check him out at milestogoclothing.com.

Ravina and I making our rounds to the author booths.

Author Jory John
You might remember this guy's zine All My Friends Are Dead. Jory John was a fun guy to meet. If only we could load up a syringe and inject that energy! His new book, Terrible Two hits shelves 1.13.15.


Ravina being served a whisky sour with her a copy of  12 Bottle Bar.
Nick and Andy (Nick's my boss)


Friday, October 24, 2014

Chuck Palahnuik was at the DNA Lounge but I had to work at the bookstore. :(

Chuck Palahnuik was at the DNA lounge in San Francisco and I had to work. Imagine being in a store surrounded by his books knowing he's a short drive away.

My friend, attorney and photographic reporter, Kevin Barrett got to go and scored me this!

 
Arm Signed By Chuck Palahniuk!

 According to Kevin, Chuck has seen fans a year after he'd signed their arm in fat permanent marker and they still had the signature, only now it's a tattoo. This gave him the idea.


 
I heart my dismembered arm!


 Kevin described Chuck Palahniuk as alternately down to earth engaging to antagonistic and eccentric. To this event he wore a Hugh Hefner style red silk bathrobe. Fitting, given his new book, Beautiful You, is about marketing possibilities of female pleasure reaching apocalyptic proportions.

When asked what his problem was with women Chuck replied, "Don't you read the internet? I hate women!"

When asked about character development Chuck described how he doesn't focus on sex or race when writing, ever.

So there you have it folks. Chuck Palahniuk despises you all equally, regardless of race, color or creed. He's an equal opportunity hater and I like that.


Chuck Palahniuk's arm in travel section!


 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I'm Late for IWSG Post. Here's why...


I'm late for Alex J. Cavanaugh's http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html. I know I come up with fantastic excuses because I'm talented at fiction, but this is the best one so far.
Grown up Kristi is actually grown up Adrienne! See the swollen glands?
When I was a kid, I thought I was drawing a portrait of my cousin all grown up. Now, I have proof I'm a gifted psychic. I was sketching myself. It all happened last week.

First my face looked like this.

Then this.


End result.


My glands swelled up for a week! You know you look fucked up when the hospital nurse taking your temperature asks if you've been to West Africa recently. 

I'm okay now,

...but I want to give a big F.U. to Kaiser Hospital. I've never had a problem with them before and I'm shocked. I was given the worst care. It took a whole week to get my blood test results back and then I had to have my mom and sister-in-law interpret the graph. 

I don't/didn't have the mumps or mono. So, WTF? I can't even get my doctor on the phone. 

I had a fever and my salivary glands stopped working, giving me a toad throat. My breathing was inhibited. All my doctor could suggest was if my breath got really short and/or I started drooling on myself, to call 911 or go to the ER. 

Any suggestions on what this was? 



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thank you Paulo Coelho for the new book title!

Customer: Do you guys have Adultery?

Me: Yes, we definitely do!

Customer: My wife also wants it. We want to discuss Adultery at the same time.

Me: We have enough Adultery for everyone.

Customer: Can you show me where it is?

Me: Yes, of course. Adultery is right this way!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gah! I'm behind. I need to tell you about James Ellroy at my store and hand out my Asshole of the Month Award.

I've gotten way behind on all my projects and I need a moral boost. Looking through my planner there have been four blog posts that I was excited to write this month that I never got around to. So here they are:

The Asshole of The Month Award goes to: Lady who lives at 2374 Filbert Street in San Francisco Marina district.

You are an ASSHOLE!

This woman finger waved at me when I got out to move her cans. A tall, white woman finger waved like she was some sassy black lady. Lady, you have a garage! If you want to save a spot for your husband move your car out of the garage and put it where these stupid cans are.

To repeat. Lady, I was being nice. I drove on. Not because you weren't in the wrong, but because I chose to let the next person who thinks this is fucked up take care of it.

Our local tech guy getting off a red eye flight from China isn't going to give a fuck about your cans. Even as you finger wave he'll gladly throw them into your driveway to take this spot.


James Ellroy was at my store to talk about his new novel Perfidia : "So there's a lion fucking a zebra. Zebra says, "Oh shit, there's my husband. Quick, pretend you're killing me!"

James did not disappoint!

We were invited to ask questions like, "Why do so many women divorce you?" and "Why do you write in the time period you do?"

He answered, "I'm loyal. I'm never unfaithful, but I isolate," and "I won't write anything beyond 1973. With Hover gone and the start of Watergate, I just don't fucking care."

When asked why he writes James Ellroy said this:

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie a bed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light 
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
from the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Not for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

-Dylan Thomas












Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Remember fun?

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Holy crap, is it September already? I completed my fourth year in a row of entering the 3 Day Novel Contest at midnight on Monday. This means all my projects have been pushed aside. Chosen, the second book of my Rebecca Ashley Mystery Series, is still going through the editing process. My short story Horror Camp is still waiting for me to push the send button to five of my beta readers.

I'm at the bookstore right now. My co-workers step around me with heavy sighs as I type away during a poetry reading we're hosting.

 I'm not as hard on myself since I've been working here.

I understand more about the traditionally published author's editing process. I am one of the thousands of beta readers that get advanced unedited proof copies of traditionally published books.

It's just me, my editor, and a handful of beta readers going through my work.My eyes twitch and shoulder muscles throb when things can't move faster. Am I the only one that feels this way? How does one live in the moment and just enjoy the process? I can't remember how I did it before.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Last lap

Almost done


I see the finish line and I'm barely going to make the page count to be in the running for the contest. It's impossible for me to know if my writing is good or bad while I'm writing. One minute I'm a creative genius, the next a waste of space, ink and paper. 

Two hours and forty minutes to go.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day Two of the Three Day Novel Contest

Day Two

I'm past the half way mark. I just woke up from a nap in a panic. I figured I needed a drink. Made it to the kitchen. Realized I'm scared to have one....and I'm scared to drink more coffee...and I'm scared to eat too much and get sleepy. Then realized I'd been staring at the fridge for eight minutes.

I just got a voicemail from my dad. My grandfather was just taken off dialysis and is on a plane to Seattle. He's in my thoughts.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day One of the Three Day Novel Contest

What my story board looked like this morning.
I just completed day one of the 3 Day Novel Contest. This is my fourth year participating. For me it's a sure shot at getting a new manuscript to work on. It took all I had to put aside my other projects but after last year, my third year in a row of typing out a first draft in three days, it's a tradition. At this point  it will jinx my writing not to enter the contest.

What my story board looked like early this evening.

Just like the year before, I'll be blogging about my progress. 

I was going through the metaphysics section at the bookstore doing a 'cleanup' and noticed we have more than a few tarot decks missing. I mentioned this to our manager and he told me a story.

He was looking for a tarot deck for a woman who wanted it for a gift and couldn't find any, but according to our inventory system we should have had five. The woman then explained it to him. 

According to a few beliefs tarot can either be given as a gift, like she plans to do, or must be stolen. 

This gave me an idea for a story.

It seems most of our funny stories involve the metaphysics section. Because our store houses and can order some esoteric stuff we get odd requests. I had to hunt down four out-of-print fairy decks for a coven one time. Talk about a pain in the ass.

"These cards are expensive," says one of the women.

"They weren't easy to find," I say.

"Do I need a book to read these cards?" asks the woman.

"That depends. Are you psychic?" I ask.

She turns walks away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's IWSG post! Here is the link: IWSG - Check it baby!

Hang on. It will be a bumpy ride.

My knuckles turn white around my red pen when I edit old work. 

Holy adverbs Batman!

It's an easy fix. 

"That's right," she said nervously.

     becomes:

"That's right," she said. She fidgeted with her pen and bit her lower lip.

Editing my new work is more fun now that my voice is clear. There's no cheating. My editor calls me on my shit every time. I'll use the end of Chapter 17 in Chosen as an example:

"M. M's dead." <---- Really? REALLY?
I'm assuming you didn't have much time to work with this chapter, because it doesn't make much sense and I have no idea what's going on. And seriously, you kill M off right after she has a break through? WTF? You can't just spring that shit on the reader after that last scene with her. Seriously, I'm pissed off right now....

 After a few more potty words:

You need to fix the M character arch in order for this to not piss off the reader.... When I say piss off, I don't mean from the kind of mind-fuck plot twist writers would actually want. I mean the reaction to a horrible, illogical, un-foreshadowed plot twist that is so bad it makes the reader close the book in disgust...

While some of you might think this is over the top and mean, he's right. I tried to fake the funk by tossing in a plot twist that wasn't in the outline and got caught. With a complicated mystery you can't fake the funk!

My editor's diatribes I can handle. But re-reading:

," she said nervously

Ow, adverbs hurt. I'm cloaked in failure. Get it off me. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm meeting with the Desert Island Book Club on the 24th at 7pm to discuss my mystery series.

Desert Island Book Club will be meeting July, 24th 7pm at Books Inc. to discuss Twist.


There are a group of readers who want to meet at Books Inc. to discuss my mystery novel Twist. I still need to mentally prepare. Maybe it's a cruel joke. Then it wont matter.

I've been MIA on all things online and it has given me anxiety. I hope it's worth it. A close writer friend assured me that my progress has slowed. If I don't cut out all extracurriculars the new editor that has magically appeared to flush out Twist's sequel Chosen won't help me.

My schedule has its boot on my neck and dictates as it squeezes down, "If you want to write books and short stories you must do nothing else."

I have to work for food, clothes and stuff. 

I have to do intense cardio everyday to keep the noise down in my head and focus. After my morning/afternoon work out I can sit still.

When I take time off from exercise I have access energy. I can't sit still. I start to drink, then get into trouble. Like, going to jail trouble. I can't write in there. The lights are too bright.

Chosen is finished and still in the editing process. I learned many lessons with Twist. Sales are great at the bookstore. My advice to Indie pubs out there is to just go for it. When there are no barriers between you and your readers you learn about your style and your audience. 

Most of the criticism I've received for Twist has been invaluable. Becca's voice in Chosen is so much clearer. Thank you to all my new and old beta readers for your input. I couldn't have finished Chosen without you.

Once the final edits are done for Chosen, my illustrator, graphic designer and I will put together the interior and exterior files. Play time!






Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

Clockwise: The greatest DJ that ever lived Tom LG, my Books Inc. boss Nick,   Drama Instructor, Thespian and Poet Gene, and of course me (I'm the one wearing the dress) 

"Alas poor booksellers. I knew them well Horatio!" - Dr. Beth

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fetishizing The Process

Many writer's fetishize their writing process. Maybe the insanity it takes to treat it with fetishism makes it more enjoyable. It does for me... at times.

The anthology How I Write, The Secret Lives of Authors details this in an almost heroic fashion. We had this book on sale at the store and I managed to begin a short discussion. It was short because I napalmed the discussion before it had a chance to begin.

I'm what others describe as a heart on their sleeve kind of person. When I have conversations I like to start with the disturbing stuff. Just get it out of the way.

In the middle of my sharing I start with how it feels to have my creativity rushed due to deadlines, lack of time and what have you. 

"It's like digging for a splinter that I have to split skin and spill blood for. I dig and dig and dig and it hurts and sometimes I can't find the damn thing. But I know it's there! I can feel it. Shit hurts."

"What the shit are you talking about Adrienne?"

-napalm launched-

Best overheard chat at the store:

Grandma: "You don't know what Texas Toast is? I raised your daddy on it back in Austin. Your daddy had it at least once a week. I can't believe my grandson doesn't know what Texas Toast is!"

Grandson: "I want Texas Toast!"

Grandma: "No, It's actually pretty disgusting."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group



Time for an IWSG confession. To view more of Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child Click Here! I'm a day late with this post. I've been taking a break from vlogs and posts to work on my books. 

Chosen is getting good feedback and I'm having fun tying the two novels together with Borderland. Of course I should be focusing one hundred percent on the third and final book of the Rebecca Ashley series but I, being the most impatient person in the world as well as the Queen of Hyperbole, am not. 

The agent I had previously mentioned in New York is interested in my next series. While he solicited a full manuscript of Twist he said while there's a lot to appreciate there he would like me to pitch my next project. 

Now I'm simultaneously working on Borderland and the first novel of my Lia Parker series The Academy. I love my unlikely sleuths and Lia is even more unlikely than Becca to muscle through a mystery. 

Lia Parker is a failed ballerina. San Francisco native, she was working with The SF Ballet when she fell off due to an eating disorder. Her father was killed in a car crash leaving her family their city home and not much else. A professional partier, Lia gets by Gogo dancing, doing burlesque shows and picks up the occasional topless shift at the Gentleman's club on Broadway.

Lia Parker's sister couldn't be more opposite. A graduate of Stanford she gets accepted to The Academy in Mill Valley. Everything is going for Lia's sister when a research trip to Alaska proves fatal. Lia tries to be there for her mom and is convinced the wrong daughter died. Now Lia is determined to find out what happened to her sister but The Academy, which caters to celebrities and the obscenely wealthy, has a lot to hide.

You only get better at writing by writing. I feel that The Academy will be my strongest writing yet. 

While I'm writing my biggest insecurity is insanity. I'm afraid of everything. I fear failure. I fear rejection. I fear I'm a fraud who's about to be exposed as a liar and a thief. What else? 

That pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Neat Things Store!

Loved To Death
1681 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117


I told my co-workers at the bookstore I'm moving across the bridge to live back in the city and one of them mentioned this! 

Loved to Death is a store that resonates the feel of stepping into a H.P. Lovecraft novel. They have an amazing array of all things macabre. Display cases house antique jewelry, medical instruments, taxidermied heads, animals, deformed skeletons and many more neat things.

Antique Early 1900's Renu Life Violet Ray Ozone Device
In other words: What they used to use torture you before you die.
I'm very excited to be back into the city. It's hard not to feel inspired there as it has interesting happenings and caloborative stores like this scattered all over. In the city of freaks and weirdos it's impossible not to bump into this stuff. 

I thrive on it. It's why I chose the Bay Area as my landing point. I grew up a navy brat and lived all over. But here, there's just no place like it. I don't see myself changing San Francisco as a character and a setting in my stories any time soon.

Searchers for horror haunt strange, far places. -H.P. Lovecraft

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Self publishing is getting easier and it's the best and worst thing to happen to writers.

Working as a bookseller at an independent bookstore you notice even the slightest change in trends. At the click of a button writers are able to make their work available to stores worldwide. It's so easy new authors are putting work out that isn't polished like an unvarnished piece of fine crafted furniture being put on the show room floor. I'm on my third published edition of my debut mystery novel so I speak from experience.

If your book sounds good employees at these stores will read you, and if they like it, sell you. It's the best part of the ever changing publishing industry for writers. It's also the worst. There are no excuses anymore! 

"I can't find an agent!"

"My genre isn't hot anymore!"

"No one will publish me!"

These excuses are no longer valid. It is the best and worst thing to happen to writers. No excuses. Your manuscript isn't published? Sure you eventually want to go the traditional route, but the excuse that no one will touch you if you're a self published author is no longer true. Big name authors who debuted as self-published are now hybrid authors (meaning both traditional and independent). 

No excuses. It's wonderful and it sucks. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tales of San Francisco Cacophony Society


As detailed above we had a reading/book signing March 15th for Tales of San Francisco Cacophony Society.


Ever heard of the San Francisco Cacophony Society? They're the ones who started Burning Man and Santa Con. They apologized profusely for Santa Con and parts of Burning Man. 

Chuck Palahniuk used his experiences with them as a model for Project Mayhem in his book Fight Club. He also wrote the introduction for their book. Winston Smith, an artist who has also worked with Dead Kennedys was there. The other artist couldn't make it because he was in jail.

One woman in the audience asked if there was a point to the collective madness detailed in the book. If you have to ask what the point was to pie wars and getting drunk and blowing shit up then you exist on a different paradigm and will never know the answer. 
The definition of cacophony provided by www.cacophony.org/A randomly gathered network of individuals united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society through subversion, pranks, art and fringe happenings. 

The fact that local artists I've heard of and met in collaboration with other things are highlighted in this book and the brain child of Project Mayhem was based on the society is reason enough for me to own a copy. If you have to ask why that's interesting you'll never know.







Thursday, March 6, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group. Am I dark enough?


It's time for another post to Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. As one of his writing space ninja warriors I think I should be feeling a lot cooler than I have been.

My current favorite show is HBO's True Detective and damn if it doesn't embody the noir genre. The dynamic way they juxtapose Woody Harrelson's character to Matthew McConaughey's creates some tasty tension. The story line is Shakespearean. It makes my Rebecca Ashley Mystery Series seem full of unicorns and rainbows. 

True Detective makes me ask myself, "Am I dark enough?"

I promote my work as contemporary noir. My branding - modern outlaw, ancient mystery. I'm worried my work is laughably tame. My knee jerk reaction is to add in a rape scene, a murder suicide and four more drug addicts to the second book in my series Chosen. 

I know it's gratuitous and not cohesive with the story. 

HBO's True Detective is a bad influence. It's so bad it's good.

To check out more of The Insecure Writer's Support Group Click Here!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why you write.

I've had writers come in to the bookstore depressed and upset that they're not achieving their definition of success. As an independent bookstore in the Bay Area we sell self published and traditionally published authors of our buyers choosing. 

When the self published ones come in they're directed to me. I'm not the only published author/ book seller in our store but I'm by far the newest and the only one just getting their first whisper heard in this noisy industry. All my e-books are still uncorrected proofs. I haven't zipped and unzipped the file to switch to the edited version. The third edition of Twist is the only completed version and is the one that will be available in stores. It's a process.

As a bookseller you see patterns. For most novelists it takes their fourth or fifth book for an audience to find them. When I hand out free hard copies of Twist and one person comes back to me saying they either liked or didn't like my book I am deeply honored that they took the time to read my work. Ecstatic if they say they enjoyed it. 

The entire art industry is a rough and tumble place. So why do you write?

I write because I have to get all these ideas I have crowded in my head out and apply them to something or I'll go insane, and drive other's insane with my ranting about random facts and storytelling. 

The novelists who write for fame and fortune are delusional. 

"But look at Hugh Howey, Amanda Hocking and Allie Brosch," they'll insist.

"And every year someone wins the lotto. The statistics are pretty similar," I'll reply and I can see it in their eyes. They don't want to believe me and secretly think I'm jealous of their genius. They want to labor under the dream of exotic cars and investing in real estate. You can't argue with crazy.

I've dedicated my entire life to books because it's my happy place. I do what feels good. The people I work with write and create art because they genuinely can't imagine doing anything else.

My co-worker friend Keri created this great blog and didn't even put a follower button. I broke in a put one on for her. Didn't even have a button! You know why? Because she honestly doesn't give a shit.

I didn't even know she had a blog and it looks better than mine because I'm not a trained visual artist. Check her out Keri Contrary's Blog.

Keri Contrary (Keri Schroeder)
Artist, Bookbinder, Grad Student, Book Seller, Gallery Coordinator

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oakland Swap Meet thumbs down. Oakland Art Scene thumbs up!

I had to work this Saturday but not until four. Deciding to make the most of the day my truck operator designated me navigator as we headed off to explore something new. The Oakland Swap Meet.

I designated my outdated iPhone assistant navigator. Together we failed. My operator and I ended up at a carpet and flooring store which my companion wanted to check out. Once inside we were greeted, then shadowed by a very sweet, overly enthusiastic older sales woman. 

After drifting through wall to wall cheap carpet and vinyl flooring we were told we could get a free leopard and or zebra print hallway runner. After declining the sales woman handed me a basket of clothes pins and sadly walked away.

After zero convincing from my companion I set the basket down and we headed out of the building. The older woman waved at us sadly. The fact that she couldn't even give the store's runners away is not indicative of future sales. 

After a bit of a hassle navigating, and witnessing a Honda get t-boned by a Subaru (come on, you're from the same country) we get to the Swap Meet. 

Girl Scouts were selling last call Girl Scout Cookies. Residence were selling twenty to thirty dollar parking spaces. Once inside we were hit with the musk of dust and the faintest soupcon of dead skin cells. 

The most interesting to me was the book section which my companion immediately grabbed my elbow shaking their head as I attempted to head toward.

"Nu, uh. That's your quicksand. If you enter I'll never see you again."

They were right.

After marching asses to elbows with other swap meet goers loudly belly aching about price, cost and haggling over firm fixes we leave.

I'm bummed. Then, down the road just a tad I spot a shimmer on a purple building which turned out to be this!

Jingletown
Located: 829 27th Ave., Oakland, CA 94601

Located inside were a number of wonderful spaces. I was informed by the proprietor the evening of March 14th is when all the artist will be in attendance of a new exhibition and to come back then. It's a great use of space to represent talent. If you're in the neighborhood I recommend you swing by. 

A couple, after exiting Jingletown's courtyard, opted to buy a pricey sculpture. It's wonderful to see a talented hard working artist get paid their dues.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"$20 for a new student I.D. because she attached a penis."

My co-worker is currently in graduate school at my alma mater Mills College. She had some interesting news to tell me. First, you need to know that Mills College is a private four year liberal arts school and is the only woman only under graduate school on the west coast. Men can only participate in the graduate programs at Mills.

My friend was standing in line behind a young man currently enrolled in a graduate program. The young man was irate that he had to pay twenty dollars for a new I.D. because his identity had slightly changed. He had gone to Mills for undergrad for shit's sake!

He couldn't have been here for undergrad, thought my friend, men aren't allowed.

If you get married, change your social or state of residency you have to pay twenty bucks for a new I.D.

The man explained refusing to budge on the issue that he wasn't about to pay extra for his added bulge.

Turns out this little change in gender was costing the young man twenty bucks. Maybe he thought his added appendage just wasn't big enough to cause that big a deal. Twenty bucks is twenty bucks.

I find the issue interesting.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group. Mercury Is In Retrograde Through Valentine's Day!


It's the first Wednesday of the month which means it's time to lay down and release my worries and fears to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child, The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Let's see how many pick up what I'm laying down.

I have many reasons as a dreamer not to subscribe heavy meaning to astrological signs and horoscopes. I'm a Capricorn. This means I'm supposed to be grounded and practical. Anyone who knows me snorts with laughter when reading my sign. 

I've had a slew of strange infuriating things happen to me in the last two to three weeks. A blog post got re-posted and re-posted and re-posted so many times that by the time it was brought to my attention I was near cardiac arrest. Social media gives me social anxiety. My internet crashed, took sometime to get fixed, then crashed again. Comcast finally came out again to sort it out. 

I am now a supervisor at my indie bookstore. The best blessing of the New Year as I love going to work. I have a lot more hours and a lot less free time. I'm juggling a myriad of writing projects and I've been caught off guard by these unforeseen distractions.

I confided my 'shit storm' to a co-worker who clued me in that Mercury is in retrograde and now is the time for reflection only. I am to avoid tech, digital, and mechanical decisions. Digital, mechanical and and all things tech are bound to go haywire. My friend is as wise as he is eccentric. Given the contradictory info the stars have given me over the years I remained a 'healthy skeptic'.

Then my car breaks down.

Yes, my car. My family and I have spent all day running around trying to find this obscure part (my brother and SIL's uncle work on cars). If the dealer doesn't have it when we call tomorrow we'll have to order the injection coil with a weird part overseas. This for a model with a history of being one of the most reliable cars. 

People who attribute meaning, negative meaning, to things like planetary alignment self sabotage. But this is ridiculous. Part of me thinks I'm putting the negative energy out there myself. The other part of me wonders, am I cursed? 

There, that's my insecurity of the month. I feel better. ;)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ian Rankin's Book Signing in Corte Madera

Ian Rankin speaks over a pint.

I immensely enjoyed Ian Rankin's book signing Friday night. He was surprising light hearted and funny considering how dark his crime fiction is. 

He was asked many times what he thought about the political climate in Scotland and with each answer the Scotsman remained Switzerland. He did explain why Scotland will always be safe from terrorists with an anecdote from recent events.

Terrorists attempted to bomb one of their airports. The vehicle only made it to the front door when it all went wrong. The men ran out of the vehicle on fire and were kicked to the ground by locals, civilians. 

"Scotland, where they'll kick a burning man. I think we're safe," Rankin laughs.

He signed my copy of his most recent book Saints of the Shadow Bible:
Dear Adrienne,
Good luck with your career. Remember not to do too much research.

This is definitely going on the Do Not Borrow shelf in my library.