Thanks to Places and People in 2013

It was a fun year for me. I saw old friends and met new ones. I learned new things. I got older and, if not wiser, maybe more reflective. Here are my thanks to some of the people and places that made the year memorable.

San Francisco – April

Thanks to Heyday Books for including my essay, first published in Kartika Review in 2012, in New California Writing, Kartika Review 2013. It gave me a reason to visit San Francisco to participate in the book launch reading at the California Historical Society. I had the pleasure of spending some time with writer and activist Elaine Elinson before the reading. After the reading, I had Thai food with the marvelous Marianne Villanueva. She’s funny and smart, and conversations with her will make your head spin, so adroit is her mind. I also got to see my friend, the innovative writer Anne Germanacos, whose second book Tribute comes out next spring. We walked the Presidio and then ate at a Turkish restaurant. Yes, delicious food—Turkish, Thai, and organic and locally grown California cuisine at The Plant—was one of the highlights of my trip. Here’s a post about that trip.

Indianola, Washington – May

Thanks to the book group in Indianola who read my novel and invited me to speak at their meeting on a beautiful May afternoon—a gorgeous day for a ferry ride and a drive on roads bounded by woods. I enjoyed these smart, lovely readers ranging in age from 66 to 92, each with her own wonderful story to tell. I wrote about my trip to Indianola here.

Whidbey Island – May, June, and August

I visited beautiful Whidbey Island several times this year thanks to Hedgebrook-related events. In late May, I attended Vortext, the annual weekend salon for women writers, and wrote about those three days of inspiration, camaraderie, and creativity here.

In June I read at Anchor Books with Hedgebook sister Allison Green who writes killer essays, including those on her blog.

Thanks to a Hedgebrook alumna residency in August, I added a couple of new chapters to the draft of my new novel. And a week later at the Hedgebrook reunion, I reveled in the company of Hedgebrook alumnae from over the past twenty-five years, including newfound friend Thelma de Castro, founder of San Diego Playwrights. I wrote about the Hedgebrook reunion and all of its radical wonder here.

Phinney Neighborhood Center – June

It was a gorgeous summer in Seattle, and I turned sixty at the beginning of it on June 21. I had a party with entertainment by marvelous magician (and writer) Maritess Zurbano and passionate singer/activist Jacqui Larrainzar. We danced, we hula hooped, we laughed. Thanks to all who celebrated with me.

Taos – July

Thanks to the Taos Summer Writers Conference for a great week of workshops, readings and excursions. In the mornings after yoga or a run, I boarded a conference shuttle to see the local sights such as Taos Pueblo, the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, and the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. Afternoons were spent in a workshop led by the wonderful Robert Boswell. For a week that nicely balances the serious pursuit of writing and an appreciation of the local history and landscape, go to this conference. Here’s more about that trip.

San Diego – October

Thanks to Jennifer Derilo and Henry Aronson who invited me to read and be part of a panel at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, CA and also to read and teach a workshop at the San Diego FilAmFest. It was such a pleasure and honor to read with Lysley Tenorio (whose book Monstress I loved), the exquisite M. Evelina Galang, and two very cool writers from Sacramento, Jen Palmares Meadows and Bridget Crenshaw Mabunga. And thanks to my family in National City for always taking care of me so well when I’m in town. Here’s a post about that trip.

Port Townsend – November

Thanks to Bill Mawhinney for inviting me and Jennifer D. Munro to read at the Northwind Art Gallery in beautiful Port Townsend in November. We had the best room with the best view at the Waterstreet Hotel. We had dinner with the charming Erica Bauermeister. We browsed and bought at the three bookstores in town and were especially delighted with The Writer’s Workshoppe and owner Anna Quinn. Go there!

And, finally, thanks to my husband, James Cameron, for being so supportive year-round and devoting such an incredible amount of time to our family and especially our daughters day in and day out so that I can devote my time to writing. He deserves a great vacation!

Best wishes to all for a wonderful new year.