Ferry Plaza Book Party: And Then They Were Gone with Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown by Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral

Judy BebelaarMonday, December 10th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

In 1976, Jim Jones enrolled all church teenagers at Opportunity High. Within a year, most had been sent to the Temple’s agricultural mission. The minister had drawn a picture of Jonestown as a tropical paradise, where the young people would help create a model society. But by the time most of the Opportunity students had arrived, Jonestown was a jungle prison camp with hard labor and harsh punishments.

 On November 18, 1978, 918 people—one third of them under eighteen, half in their twenties or younger—perished in the murder/suicides.           

 Part I introduces the 15 Temple students the teachers knew best: those in Cabral’s classes and on the Cobras baseball team, made possible by Temple athletes; and in classes Bebelaar taught, including Creative Writing. Student writing appears throughout the book, including stories by Stephan, Jones’s son, who describes vividly his experiences in his family and in Jonestown.

Part II follows the students to Guyana and draws from research and interviews (many stories told for the first time). Specific incidents illustrate the young people’s resilience and their ability to resist Jonestown’s cruel strictures. The book ends with the final days—both in Jonestown and in Georgetown, Guyana, where the basketball team (including members of the Cobras) plays in a tournament with the Guyanese National Team. Excerpts from the recording of the final night are followed by excerpts of student poems appearing in the first chapters. “Aftermath” describes, much of the telling in their own words, the effect of the tragedy on survivors.

Judy Bebelaar taught English and creative writing in San Francisco public high schools for 37 years. She has received national recognition for her success in helping students find joy in writing their lives. Her poetry has been published widely. Her chapbook, Walking Across the Pacific, was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Her poems appear in three anthologies: Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down (Scarlet Tanager Press, 2012); The Widows’ Handbook (Kent State U. Press 2014); and in River of Earth and Sky (Blue Light Press, 2015). And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown, is available on Amazon.

Ron Cabral entered teaching in the San Francisco Unified School District in1965 and became a Middle School principal in 1992. He retired in 2002. He and Judy Bebelaar met at Opportunity High, where they came to know the teenagers of Peoples Temple. His book about his friendship with rock star Joe McDonald, Country Joe and Me, was published in 2003 by AuthorHouse and is available on Amazon

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Book Launch: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond. 

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Wanderland Writers introduces WANDERING IN CUBA: Revolution and Beyond … the 6th anthology in the prize-winning Wandering series …

Once again workshop leaders Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar take Wanderland Writers and head south to explore—this time to Cuba, an island country that has paid a high price for self-determination:  revolution, isolation and hardship. But somehow this nation and its amazing people continue to reinvent themselves and fascinate visitors with their marvelous creativity and vitality.

Contributors include Tania Romanov Amochaev, Adrienne Amundsen, Christine Berardo, Joanna Biggar, Sandra Bracken, Cyndi, Goddard, Douglas Hale, Thomas Harrell, Donna Hemmila, Linda Jue, Carol J. Kelly, Laurie McAndish King, Robert Markowitz, Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Mary Jean Pramik, Anne Sigmon, Jonathan A. Taylor and Anne Woods.

Wander with the contributors from city to countryside, enjoying the history, the rhythms, the tastes, the sights, and the soul of this intriguing island nation. Everywhere, of course, they encountered its Revolution and recorded their understanding of its triumphs and failures. They met and wrote about traditional Cuba: its heroes—José Martí, Fidel, Che, Hemingway—and its enduring culture as found in food, music and its African-based religion, Santería. But they also experienced Cuba in its present reality, beyond the Revolution. They found poets, artists, filmmakers and a whole generation of young people who embrace and are shaping Cuba’s future.

“I hope that, as you read the stories in this collection, a sense of that infinite potential inspires you to make that very short flight to our very misunderstood neighbor. You’ll find nothing intimidating (except, maybe, some of the salsa dancers) and much that is pure magic.

—Jeff Greenwald, Author of The Size of the World and Snake Lake

Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar have floated down the Canal du Midi in France, danced in the sunlight of southern Greece, toasted the best of times in Ireland, devoured the culture and countryside of southern (more…)

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Literary Salon: Year-end Celebration with Wanderland Writers đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON: Year-End Holiday Party with Wanderland Writers

Monday, December 3, 2018 || 7pm
Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr.
www.bookpassage.com

Please join us for a fantastic evening of food, drink, announcements, gifts, and guests at our year-end holiday party and celebration of the 6th anthology in the prize-winning Wandering series: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond.

We welcome your guests … just send us an e-mail (leftcoastwriters@gmail.com) to let us know who you are bringing.

The evening will include announcements about literary opportunities and upcoming trips and events, information about the new and improved Path to Publishing program at Book Passage, an LCW year in review, what’s up ahead, and a quick visit to Cuba complete with special bebidas and aperitivos and maybe even some live music!

Find out more about Wanderland Writers’ next anthologies and how to become a contributor, as well as author Jeff Greenwald’s upcoming trip to Cuba, then tell us about what you have planned for 2019.

About Wandering in Cuba:

Wander with the contributors from city to countryside, enjoying the history, the rhythms, the tastes, the sights, and the soul of this intriguing island nation. Everywhere, of course, they encountered its Revolution and recorded their understanding of its triumphs and failures. They met and wrote about traditional Cuba: its heroes—José Martí, Fidel, Che, Hemingway—and its enduring culture as found in food, music and its African-based religion, Santería. But they also experienced Cuba in its present reality, beyond the Revolution.

Contributors include Tania Romanov Amochaev, Adrienne Amundsen, Christine Berardo, Joanna Biggar*, Sandra Bracken, Cyndi, Goddard*, Douglas Hale*, Thomas Harrell, Donna Hemmila, Linda Jue*, Carol J. Kelly*, Laurie McAndish King*, Robert Markowitz, Linda Watanabe McFerrin*, Mary Jean Pramik*, Anne Sigmon*, Jonathan A. Taylor and Anne Woods*.

“I hope that, as you read the stories in this collection, a sense of that infinite potential inspires you to make that very short flight to our very misunderstood neighbor. You’ll find nothing intimidating (except, maybe, some of the salsa dancers) and much that is pure magic.

—Jeff Greenwald, Author of The Size of the World and Snake Lake

 Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar have floated down the Canal du Midi in France, danced in the sunlight of southern Greece, toasted the best of times in Ireland, devoured the culture and countryside of southern Italy, wandered through landscapes lost and found in Costa Rica, investigated the myths and magic of Cornwall, uncovered the soul of Andalusia, partied in Paris, and explored the Indonesian island that is known as an earthly Paradise in their award-winning series.

In each destination, they eat and drink, laugh and get lost, explore and expound with their merry band of travel writers. And they always return with a varied collection of tales, some mystical, some inspiring, some funny, some terrifying—each told in a different, highly personal voice.

*Contributors participating in this event.

For more information about Wanderland Writers go to www.wanderlandwriters.com

 

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Left Coast Writers® Live: Wandering in Cuba on LIlycat on Stuff 🗓

Lilycat

On Sunday, November 18th from 12-2pm, join Left Coast Writers®  Live on FCCFREE RADIO’s popular show, Lilycat on Stuff. Lilycat’s guests on Sunday will be Wanderland Writers anthology contributors Cyndi Goddard, Linda Jue and Anne Sigmon talking about the newest title in the collection:  Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond.

Cyndi Goddard grew up under the pale sky of Florida’s west coast. She studied creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans, and Spanish art and literature in Madrid. After college, Cyndi spent six months exploring Paris and writing her first novel. After alighting briefly in Austin, then Los Angeles, Cyndi made her home in San Francisco’s Mission District, where she composed lyrics for a punk band, and poetry and short fiction for small literary magazines such as Sail, Cruising World, Sailing, Latitude 38 and regional sailing publications. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Left Coast Writers. Her current writing projects are a mystery novel that takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area and the first volume of a near-future science fiction series.

Linda Jue was inspired by Watergate to become an investigative reporter more than forty years ago. Since then, she has uncovered international political intrigue behind a local murder, exposed the politics of homelessness in San Francisco, documented the trends of Asian organized crime, tracked down the fates of fleeing dissidents after Tiananmen Square. Currently, Linda is an editor-at-large for 100Reporters, a national investigative reporting news site based in Washington, D.C. She is past president of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a former associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting and a former editor at San Francisco Focus magazine/KQED. Her work has appeared in San Francisco Focus, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, GEO, Consumer Health Interactive, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Toronto Globe and Mail, the former MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, PBS’ Frontline, and other outlets.

Anne Sigmon flunked jump rope in seventh grade and washed out of college P.E. After college, she headed for San Francisco and a career in public relations. Exotic travel was the stuff of dreams until, at thirty-eight, she married Jack, took tea with erstwhile headhunters in Borneo and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at forty-three. Five years later, she was zapped by a career-ending stroke caused by an obscure autoimmune disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). 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.

The ongoing spot on Lilycat on Stuff is scheduled for the third Sunday of every month. Left Coast Writers® are (more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: Porcelain Travels by Matthew FĂ©lix đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: Porcelain Travels by Matthew Félix

Matthew Felix

Monday, November 12th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Please join us for an uproarious and sometimes rather farfetched evening with Matthew FĂ©lix as he debuts his latest book, Porcelain Travels.
Matthew Félix is not a luxury traveler. But even traveling on a budget fails to explain why he has so many unforgettable experiences on the toilet, in the tub, or under the shower.From Matthew’s unorthodox bathing practices in Paris and Istanbul to his nightmare while squatting in Morocco to the Dead Sea shower incident that led to an arrest, Porcelain Travels is sometimes hilarious, occasionally shocking, and always entertaining.
Matthew FĂ©lix is an author, podcast producer and host, and traveler.
Adventure, humor, and spirituality infuse his work, which often draws on his time living in Spain, France, and Turkey, as well as travels in over fifty countries. Matthew’s debut novel, A Voice Beyond Reason, is the story of how a young Spaniard’s awakening to his intuition gets him out of his head, so he can follow his heart. Matthew’s travel-story collection, With Open Arms, recounts his humorous and harrowing experiences on two trips to Morocco. His video podcast, Matthew FĂ©lix On Air, features guests discussing writing, travel, culture, and more. Matthew has also produced three podcasts based on his books.

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Book Launch: Cathy Zane in Conversation with Linda Watanabe McFerrin đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Cathy Zane, Author of Better Than This, in Conversation with Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Cathy Zane

Saturday, November 10th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Sometimes the most enviable life is really a private hell.

On the surface, Sarah Jenkins appears to have it all: a handsome, wealthy and successful husband, a precocious five-year-old daughter, and a beautiful home in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Her quirky best friend and fellow high school teacher, Maggie, marvels at her luck―and envies her happiness.

But Sarah is far from happy. She feels empty and on edge, harangued by a critical inner voice―and as the truth about her marriage and details of her past emerge, her “perfect” life begins to crumble. But just when it seems all is lost, a long forgotten, unopened letter changes everything, and with the support of friends, Sarah begins to rebuild her life. Can she quiet the critical voice in her head and learn to value herself instead?

“A heartfelt journey of a woman truly coming into her own and discovering who she really is and what she’s worth.”
―Mia March, author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club and Finding Colin Firth.

Cathy Zane is a writer, psychotherapist, and former nurse who draws on her many years of working with women and families to create narratives of growth and empowerment. As a lifelong reader, she believes in the power of (more…)

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Literary Salon: Rebecca Foust, Marin County Poet Laureate đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON: Rebecca Foust, Marin County Poet Laureate on Why Community Matters in Writing

Monday, November 5, 2018 || 7pm
Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr.
www.bookpassage.com

Why Community Matters in Writing:  Notes from the Current Marin County Poet Laureate Ending her Term

Current Marin County Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust reflects on her 2016-18 term, discussing her project “Poetry as Sanctuary” and what she learned about how being an engaged literary citizen can have positive and practical impacts on a writer’s work and career. Writing can be a solitary occupation, so the chance to have positive impact on the community can be personally (and, hopefully, socially) rewarding. It can also offer unexpected opportunities to reach new audiences, make worthwhile connections, and find subjects to explore in new writing. Foust will talk briefly about these issues and then read a few poems written during her tenure.

Rebecca Foust’s books include Paradise Drive (2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry), reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Georgia, Harvard, and Hudson Reviews. Recent recognitions include the Cavafy Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Lascaux Prize for Flash Fiction, the American Literary Review Fiction Prize,  the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize, and fellowships from MacDowell, Sewanee, and The Frost Place. Foust is Poet Laureate of Marin County, Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and an Assistant Editor and Team Leader reading fiction for Narrative Magazine.

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Left Coast Writers Book Launch: Body of Knowledge by A.M. Matthews đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH:  A.M. Matthews, Author of Body of Knowledge

A. M. Matthews

A. M. Matthews

Friday, October 26, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

If you’ve missed A.M. Matthews in San Francisco … or even if you haven’t …  join us at Book Passage in Corte Madera for a fascinating evening in the thrilling world of biotech and breakthroughs. This, a winning heroine and quite a bit of intrigue fuel her exciting new mystery novel which reads a lot more like science than science fiction.

After years of working for other biotechnology companies, Susan Glasser has achieved her dream and opened her own research laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area. Following numerous unsuccessful trials, she has finally gotten a positive result from a new biologic she is testing. But before she can assess her discovery, this socially awkward research scientist finds her life upended by a series of unrelated events. Forced to confront and deal with problems well outside her areas of expertise and training, Susan must figure out what is happening and find a way to reclaim her life.

A.M. Matthews lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and the family dog. Born and raised in Miami Beach, she comes from a family of writers. After raising her children and a career in management, (more…)

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Left Coast Writers Book Launch: The Rites of Passage by Jonathan Taylor đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Jonathan Taylor, Author of The Rites of Passage

Jonathan TaylorSaturday, October 13th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

This month we invite you to a launch event for Jonathan Taylor’s debut novel, The Rites of Passage.

Jamie Goldberg suspects his homosexuality at an early age and manages to hide it from his homophobic ’70s Detroit Community; his Jewish political activist parents; and even from himself until his rape, at the hands of a male prostitute, at the age of 15. Profoundly ashamed, he hides in two worlds one is a beautiful cocoon spun from music, art, theater and literature, another is shadowed with his sado-masochistic desire to obliterate his sexuality. His elaborate fantasies are no match for real life or his true affections, which blossom in spite of his constant attempts to thwart them. When his carefully constructed imaginary world begins to crumble, Jamie must face his demons, both real and invented, finding in the end that personal discovery comes at a very high price. Jamie learns too that even the most challenged, when they dare to cast away labels, deserve a moment or two of grace.

Six-time Emmy award-winning writer Patrick Mulcahey said: “The Rites of Passage … is like encountering a gay Portnoy’s Complaint, in its distinctive blend of Jewishness, sex, moral panic and maternal (more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: God Sex and Psychosis by Todd Crawshaw and other Dark Tales đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: God Sex and Psychosis by Todd Crawshaw and other Dark Tales

Todd Crawshaw

Monday, October 8th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

You won’t want to miss this: another entertaining and provocative work by author and artist Todd Crawshaw and other authors of dark tales.

About God, Sex & Psychosis:  When criminal psychologist Mira Skyles is assigned by a court order to evaluate Egon Norwood, a person of interest in a serial murder investigation, she recognizes both a man with a dissociative identity disorder and the boy who once saved her life, with whom she shares a secret history.

God, Sex & Psychosis is divided into three sections. Part One is the thematic overture. It highlights the formative years of Egon and his twin sister, Faye, both traumatized by an abusive father. Part Two illustrates the fragmented points of view of both siblings, now adults, being analyzed by Mira, a court-appointed psychotherapist struggling with her own inner demons. The suspected serial killer assigned to her is mysterious and charming. Against her better judgment, she finds herself falling in love. Part Three is Mira’s story, told as a confessional: how she was gang-raped at age twelve and scarred by her attackers; how her rage manifested into a quest for revenge, which caused two deaths at the college she had attended; and how these incidents are connected to murders taking place in San Francisco.  (more…)

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