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?