Hagridden’s birthday and the Burning River West Coast Tour

A few days ago, Hagridden turned 1 year old. It’s walking around and eating solid food and everything. (More tomorrow on Hagridden at one year old!) To celebrate, I took the novel on the road, joining Hagridden‘s older, smaller half-sibling, Box Cutters, and my sunnyoutside pressmate Christopher Bowen on his Burning River Prose and Poetry Tour up the West Coast.

Chris started in LA with Chella Courington and Jane Rosenberg LaForge, then he and Jane drove up to San Francisco and I took the train down to meet them and fiction writer Linda Lenhoff for a reading at Alley Cat Books in the Mission District. The next day, Chris and I drove back up to Portland for a reading here, at the American Legion Post 134.

Below are a handful of photos from the readings I was at, in San Francisco and Portland, as well as as a few shots while on the rails/road. After the pics, look for links to books by all these authors!

The readings

The trip to San Francisco

The authors and their books

Christopher Allen, We Were Giants (sunnyoutside press)

Chella Courington, Southern Girl Gone Wrong (FootHills Publishing)

Jane Rosenberg LaForge, An Unsuitable Princess (Jaded Ibis), The Navigation of Loss (Red Ochre Press), Half-Life (Big Table Publishing), After Voices (Burning River)

Linda LenhoffLatte Lessons, Life a la Mode (Amazon)

John Carr Walker, Repairable Men (sunnyoutside press)

Gayle Towell, Blood Gravity and Broken Parts (Blue Skirt Press)

Samuel Snoek-Brown, Box Cutters (sunnyoutside press) and Hagridden (Columbus Press)

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2 thoughts on “Hagridden’s birthday and the Burning River West Coast Tour

  1. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like
    to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to
    writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts
    in getting my thoughts out there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
    Many thanks!

    1. Well, as a practicing Buddhist, I find that meditation is always a good fallback. And my writer friend Todd MacNamee has some good advice in terms of blending a sitting meditation with a writing practice: https://snoekbrown.com/2013/08/09/interview-with-todd-mcnamee-author-of-drifting/

      But I also don’t think there’s anything wasteful about taking some time to get your writing brain spun up and ready to work. I think about Hemingway’s famous passage from A Moveable Feast: “But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”

      I think about those orange peels, and I take them as permission to spend some time mulling, to give yourself the space to let the brain spin up. Because pinching those orange peels? That’s writing too. And it’s not time wasted.

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