Eat, Play, Love: Cooking and Writing from the Heart in the Lowcountry with Linda Watanabe McFerrin and the Southern Sampler Artists Colony, April 17-24, 2012 The 2012 workshop will fill up quickly, so if you if you have any interest you should let the organizers know! Welcome home! The rocking chairs beckon. Can you smell the salt air? Stir, fry, mix, mold, blend, stew, bake, roast, whip, sprinkle, dip, fold—embrace old and new friends, celebrate community, and create shared stories to be embellished in time. Event Highlights: “Marsh-to-Plate”: Cast your net with Captain Anton. Oysters, clams, crabs, redfish and flounder anyone? Dinner will feature the catch of the day. Anton will help in the preparation, and read from the book he is writing. The Dark and Light Side of Chocolate: Discover the magic of chocolate making with renown chocolatier, David Vagasky. Certified Organic Produce, Fresh and Local: A personal tour of the Joseph Fields Farm, located on Johns Island, wouldn’t be complete without supper on the banks of the nearby Stono River. Alluette, owner of Alluette’s Café, will be in charge. And don’t forget live jazz and poetry under a starry sky. Lawn Party: Brush up on your croquet game, concoct a Southern drink for the occasion, and devil some eggs. Charleston friends will join in the fun. The Spice of Life: From delicate to tangy and sweet, Sea Island Savory Herbs, located on Johns Island, has it all. A private tour will feature innovative use of heirloom herbs in the art of cooking. Stirring the Creative Juices with Cathleen O’Brien Create your very own Altered Book. Contribute to a Collective Workshop Cookbook Learn how to make fish prints with artist, Sue Wallace. Writing Workshop with Linda Watanabe McFerrin Workshop 1: Starters Workshop 2: Word Salad Workshop 3: Comfort Food Workshop 4: Toasts, Boasts, and Roasts Workshop 5: Lovely Desserts Cost of Colony Experience: Cost is $1,800 ($1,950 if paid after December 15, 2011) for a private room, and $1,600 ($1,750 if paid after December 15, 2011) for a shared room. The choice of private and separate rooms depends upon availability at time of registration. In order to assure workshop placement please send a $500 check deposit (fully refundable before October 10th) made out to Southern Sampler Artists Colony with private or shared room preference to: Mary Brent Cantarutti, 233 Santa Margarita Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901.There will be ten workshop participants; placement will be finalized in order of receipt of deposits. The company is everything! Charleston here we come! Mary Brent & Martha
LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Adrienne Amundsen, Author of Cassandras Falling Saturday, September 10, 2011 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com Please join us for a celebration and a good amount of revelation as poet Adrienne Amundsen shares her poetic observations on politics, the environment and our humanity. You’ll find a great deal to cheer in this first collection by a talented poet. Her poems are a call to action! We’ll provide
LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON: Spud Hilton, San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Tuesday, September 6, 2011 || 7pm Book Passage || Corte Madera 51 Tamal Vista Drive, Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com Back from those summer travels? Maybe it’s time to write about them. And what better way to find out how than during a relaxing evening with Spud Hilton. Spud Hilton is the travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, where in the past 10 years he has written about, reported on and been hopelessly lost in destinations on five continents. His attempts to divine, describe and defy the expectations of places — from Havana’s back alleys to Genoa’s churches to the floor of a hippie bus in Modesto — have earned five Lowell Thomas Awards, and have appeared in more than 60 newspapers in North America, several of which are still publishing. Spud also writes the Bad Latitude travel blog at SFGate.com, and is working on a book. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Ann, and he plays cornet in an early New Orleans traditional jazz band. Our Tuesday night salon (Monday is Labor Day) will be a super intro to this talented writer and editor. Writers who want to spend more time with Spud can sign up for an evening with him at Book Passage in the Ferry Plaza where they will learn how to “chart their story’s course.”
Reflections from a Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference Newbie ©2011 by Diane Susan Petty I used to be wealthy and successful—number one in my industry. Now I sit on a bench contemplating a “No Barking” sign, the “P” graffitied over with a “B”. I observe the cars are indeed parked in front and the dogs are quiet. I notice a sign saying an 18-pound male cat named PhiPhi has run away and wonder if it was because the other kitties were teasing him about his name. I recently became an unemployed, broke mortgage banker. After announcing my desire to make a major life change and become an unemployed, broke travel writer, a mutual friend introduced me to travel writing guru, Don George. Don’s advice? “Come to the Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference. Meet Spud. It’ll be life changing.” Down to our last $1000, my husband suggested we might want to use that money for groceries; why not wait and go next year? Groceries be damned; I could drop a few pounds anyway. I’m going to the conference. One minute I’m excited and hopeful for the future; the former confident me has returned. The next I’m petrified about attending, convinced I’m grasping at straws out of pure desperation. What do I know about travel writing?
©2011 by Debbie Goelz Each and every member of my writing group is the type of world traveler you might see on the cover of Adventure magazine, wrestling alligators in a blizzard atop Aconcaqua in her underwear … or jumping out of rusty, ill-maintained seaplanes into shallow rivers to commune with piranha. At the end of an exhilarating day riding lions bareback, teaching quantum physics to aboriginal children in their native tongue, and riding over Iguazu Falls in a wine barrel, she might roast her alligator (of course the gator lost the wrestling match!) over the caldera of an active volcano. Upon her
The absolutely amazing Book Passage Travel, Food and Photography Conference begins next week, August 11-14, in Corte Madera. Writers from around the world will be converging for four days of workshops, panels, consultations, and outstanding presentations. I am thoroughly thrilled to be kicking off the conference with a presentation about The Life of a Travel Writer with one of my mentors from way back: the Grande Dame of travel writing, Georgia Hesse. I had lunch with Georgia at San Francisco’s Café de la Presse. We talked about travel, then and now, over a salade frisée, a tarte provençale, and a couple of glasses of vin rouge. This prompted a host of questions from me, which Georgia has politely deigned to answer. First, a few words about Georgia and her illustrious career: Georgia I. Hesse claims to have been born on the 28 Ranch on Crazy Woman Creek at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. She was graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and studied political science and white wines as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Strasbourg in France. She is the founding travel editor of the San Francisco Examiner (the original Hearst-owned one, she hastens to say) and then of the joined (on Sundays) Examiner-Chronicle. Georgia has taught travel writing for the 20 years of the Book Passage conference and has lectured at several writers’ gatherings and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. For several years she had a weekly travel-music program at the once and much-missed S.F. radio station KABL. Her articles have appeared in 20 magazines and 38 newspapers and she is the author/co-author of 14 books, several of them guides to France and California. Georgia holds the Ordre National du Mérite from the French government and the Chevalier l’Ordre de la République from Tunisia. She has visited all 50 U.S. states and at most recent tally has crossed the Atlantic 174 times and the Pacific 98 times, by airplane and ship. She believes in Paul Theroux’s dictum, “Every step out the door can be a story. Consider San Francisco’s #30 bus.” Q. Georgia, you were the Travel Editor for the “San Francisco Examiner” and then the”Examiner-Chronicle” at a time when travel was an elegant enterprise; what was your most extravagant journey? A. The most extravagant in traditional terms surely was a trip back to the time of Maria Theresa and the Hapsburgs, in the glorious first half of the 19th century when Vienna replaced Paris as the center of the elegant earth. Through a wrinkle in time equivalent to that in the current movie “Midnight in Paris,” I fell into the Vienna of Biedermeier design, of gold leaf, crystal, fine porcelain and pastries…into the very night of the Opera Ball in the Staatsoper. Pomp and circumstance, glitter and dazzle, medals and uniforms, sobbing violins and the corps de ballet of the Vienna State Opera, even a few diamond tiaras. “Ah,” said an irreverent tenor, “Strauss is so much more delicious than socialism!” It was so transporting that the next year I went back and fell through that wrinkle again. Q. On the flip side, I loved your story in “I Should Have Stayed Home.” Do you have another standout in that category? Can you tell us about it? A. A 12-day rattle and roll across the old Soviet Union on the Trans-Siberian Express was not as dangerous as the North Pole trip but almost as uncomfortable. I had thought the forest of white birches in the David Lean movie of Boris Pasternak ‘s novel “Dr. Zhivago” seemed endless…but in reality that forest goes on for three days. Following Siberia, Finland seemed like “A Thousand and One Nights.” I was fascinated, in an international relations sense, by every day of that trek, but I’m glad I don’t have to make it again. And then there was the long time when I didn’t know where in the world I was and it turned out to be Guadalcanal. And then… . Q. What do you like most about travel today? A. Most places have bathrooms and most of those are clean, unlike a tent of carpets on the Kenya-Tanzania border. Q. What do you like least? A. The crowds and lack of civility at airports and aboard aircraft. Add to that the endless fees and unforeseen add-on charges. I used to feel flying as a great escape. Now it’s an exercise in exhaustion, mental as well as physical. Q. What place is currently at the top of your list of places to visit and why? A. Libya, crazily enough; because I’ve never tramped through Leptis Magna. Q. What advice do you have for travel writers new to the business? A. Learn how to write and then Stop, Look, and Listen to the world as it speaks to you. ####### Good advice from an expert and much more to come. See you at the conference! Don’t forget, there is a special discount for Left Coast Writers®, so be sure to tell them you’re one of us. —Linda Watanabe McFerrin, travel writer and author of Dead Love, (Stone Bridge Press, 2010) Photo courtesy of Georgia Hesse