LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: To Oldly Go, with contributors MJ Pramik and Anne Sigmon
Left Coast Writers will celebrate publication of a lively new anthology with a festive book launch party on Monday evening, February 8, 2016, at Book Passage’s San Francisco Store, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111. Phone: (415) 835-1020.
MJ Pramik and Anne Sigmon are delighted to join distinguished British and international travel writers between the covers of the new travel anthology To Oldly Go, just published by Bradt Guides.
There’ll be wine, international-themed snacks (including chocolate, of course!), prize drawings (could a Cuban cigar be involved?), music, and other surprises. MJ and Anne will read selections from their own stories and those of esteemed writers like Hilary Bradt, Colin Thubron, and Dervla Murphy.
The party is free and open to the public, so come and bring your friends. It’s an easy walk from Embarcadero BART or the parking lot directly across the street (Ace Parking Washington-Embarcadero).
To Oldly Go is a collection of challenging and unusual travel escapades by the over-60s. Some stories are thrilling, some thought-provoking, and some just plain fun, but all celebrate an irrepressible appetite among people who refuse to retire quietly.
While they don’t really think of themselves as “oldlys,” MJ and Anne are proud to be part of this collection of 41 true travel tales from the over-60 crowd: Dervla Murphy travelling in Cuba at the age of 74, Matthew Parris swimming the Thames at 60, and Colin Thubron climbing the last stronghold of the Assassins. They, along with Anne & MJ, are among the writers defying expectations—and the odds—venturing outside their comfort zones onto a less-traveled path.
Mary Jean Pramik, a coalminer’s daughter and a great, great-granddaughter of the Mongolian pain, has hitch-hiked across the United States, tracker May apples in Ohio, chased children through wet mountains of California, fended off bill collectors in tropical San Francisco, and counted sharp-taloned bird carcasses along the Pacific’s Point Reyes sands. Communicating with screeching penguin hoards in Antarctica remains a high point of her sojourn on this planet. MJ earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in biological sciences, and completed an MFA in writing. She moonlights as a medical writer, penning such scientific thrillers as Norenthindrone, The First Three Decades, the fast-paced history of the first birth control pill extracted from a Mexican yam. Winner of the coveted Mary Women Medal and a Travelers’ Tales Solis Award, MJ’s articles and essays have appeared in Nature Biotechnology, Drug Topics, and Cosmetic Surgery News, and mainstream publications such as Good Housekeeping, Odyssey, and the National Enquirer. She has contributed to the “Venturing in” travel series on the Canal du Midi, Southern Greece, Southern Ireland, and Puglia, Italy, and the “Wandering in” series for Costa Rica, Bali, and Cornwall. MJ teaches graduate writing skills in the College of Science and Engineering at San Francisco State University.
Anne Sigmon flunked jump rope in seventh grade and washed out of college PE. After college, she headed for San Francisco and a career in public relations. Exotic travel was the stuff of dreams until, at 38, she married Jack, took tea with erstwhile headhunters in Borneo and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at 43. Five years later, she was zapped by a career-ending stroke caused by an obscure autoimmune disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). She may be stuck with blood thinners and a damaged brain, but she’s still traveling to isolated regions ranging from Botswana to Burma and, most recently, to Syria, Jordan, and a remote rainforest in Costa Rica. Anne’s personal essays and travel stories have appeared in local and national publications including Good Housekeeping and Stroke Connection magazines and the anthologies Wandering in Costa Rica, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness, and Travel Stories from Around the Globe. She is currently working on a memoir about her experience with stroke and autoimmune disease. Anne’s blog www.JunglePants.com offers travel tales and tips about adventure travel off the beaten path. On her author website, www.AnneSigmon.com, she writes about—and offers tips on—living with stroke and autoimmune disease.