Saturday, February 1, 2020

February! Where Did Last Month Go?

Well, January went to a lot of literary activity. That's where it went! I had a book signing at Time Tested Books for Deadly Vintage. It was a small crowd (it was the Super Bowl playoff Sunday, and also a lot of worthy programs were going on to celebrate Dr. King's inspiring life), but those who attended were attentive, and after the reading, we had time to interact more personally than usual: One couple said the excerpt and my lead-up convinced them that their next trip has to be to Portugal!

The gentleman with the camera and the woman next to him
are the couple who now want to go to Portugal.
Here are a few pictures:

Me, reading.

Neighbors, writing partners, and a few total strangers!
Writing-group friends.

Also, this morning, Kings River Life Magazine, a California online magazine full of great information about books, writing, events, news, etc., highlighted a nice review of Deadly Vintage. Here is the link to the magazine.   And Here is the link to the review. Check it out. They are also featuring a giveaway for the book for those who live in the U.S.

Then I firmed up an order for copies of my poetry chapbook, Saudade, Thirty Poems of Longing, which is being released February 14th from Finishing Line Press. ("Saudade" is a special sentiment or emotion that is typically Portuguese.) This is the first print run, and you can order a copy directly from them here: You can also read some nice blurbs about the chapbook by other poets. 

At the same time, I firmed up two school visits to read from my story collection, Carnival of the Animals, at a school where I used to teach. I will be speaking to an assembly on February 28th, and then reading excerpts to individual classrooms on March 2nd. (For those who want to know more about Carnival, you can go to my interview with Craig Briggs, here and order the book here.)

Aside that, I've been going to writing groups and poetry workshops, and beta-reading a friend's book. I've also been reading a tone of good books, some mystery, some historical novels, some poetry. Pretty soon more book reviews will be coming.

And last, but not least, last night I went to an even called Stories on Stage, here in Sacramento, where Pam Houston was one of two featured authors. The event is structured so that the author is present, but a person with good stage history and background reads the excerpt and dramatizes it as they read.  Houston's book, Deep Creek, is a memoir. Her other books were for sale, and at the break, I bought Cowboys Are My Weakness, the book that launched her so to speak. I had never read it, and the wonderful writing that showed through the reading made me realize I needed to read more of her terrific writing. So far I've read two of the stories, and, frankly, her writing just grabs me, even if the lifestyle doesn't. 

Speaking of reading good books, what books have you been reading this month? Any good mysteries you want to share? Any poets? Story collections? I mostly read books recommended to me these days, so . . . any recommendations?