I go to Burning Man to hang out with my friends and have a good time. It's a playground for adults and there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Santa Cruz | Electrician
Woo hoo. A knife fight and pirate sex in the first chapter! Love it!" This was the very first comment posted on my serial novel-in-progress, “Runaways: A Novel of Jonkanoo,” now going up online, one chapter a week (runaways-jonkanoo.blogspot.com/).
This is the gratifying part of the writing life, feedback from happy readers. It's the part that those of us who toil away just under the radar of traditional publishing crave the most. Yes, the act of writing itself has to be its own reward for so many of us who keep plugging away because we just can't stop ourselves; the stories demand to be told, and we are liable to get pretty snippy about it if they're made to fester too long inside some murky cranial passage or other, waiting to be born. But reader response is both invaluable and irresistible.
Plus Letters to Good Times
Sometimes, during large family gatherings, my Polish aunt would burst out into song—sometimes dance—and croon refrains of Bobby Vinton’s “Melody of Love.” She loved it because parts of the song were actually sung in Polish. She sang it so often during the ’70s that somehow it became embedded into my psyche. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Imagine whistling that at a junior high school dance when all you’re really wanting to do is impress somebody.
I would shut down the military, recall all the troops and spend all the money on education and other good projects.
Santa Cruz | Filmmaker
My original idea was to entitle this column “At last—success of the mainstream media.” How unlikely sounding that was, so it immediately appealed to my sense of finding dignity in unexpected places.
Alas, it’s not to be.
Let’s start at the beginning. Last month, a mainstream media reporter, Dana Priest of the Washington Post and a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, co-authored a major series in the Post called “Top Secret America.”
During this Mercury in Virgo retrograde (Aug. 20-Sept. 12) the Black Rock Arts Festival, Burning Man, the yearly “desert art-piece on the playas,” begins, distilling all facets of community creation, living and sharing.
And so, through the retro, almost at summer’s end (Aug. 30-Sept. 6), the celebration develops, proceeds, burns, cleans up and then disappears without a trace. The theme this year is Metropolis, the Life of Cities. People worldwide are returning to the cities. Tent cities are now in major metropolitan cities everywhere, filled with both the migrating masses and those who have lost their homes.
Plus Letters to Good Times
My Polish mother always used to say that if you make a mess, you have to clean it up. “What—were you born in a barn or something?” she’d crack. All this comes to mind as many of us are reflecting more about cleaning up the trail of environmental messes human beings are leaving behind now. The issue has been especially heightened after the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
No rights for single fathers. My experience is that the women get the full choices without the father being able to speak their pieces. I think it's a one way street when it comes to that. That's my experience.
Santa Cruz | Disabled
Or Who’s That Girl?
A few weeks ago, during a typically foggy, chilly Santa Cruz morning, I decided to take a brisk walk to get the blood moving, revitalize the senses and energize my mental state. It was early in the day and as such I chose to simply hide my comfortable almost-pajamas and disheveled almost-awake self with a black trench coat cinched dramatically at the waist, a pair of extra large sunglasses, and a neatly tied black scarf atop the leftovers of the previous night’s fantastic hairdo. As I headed for the front door, a brief glance in the mirror told me I looked a lot like a movie star in a clichéd disguise, more specifically (and fantastically, in the true sense of the word—the derivative of “fantasy”) I imagined I looked a lot like 1970s era Elizabeth Taylor dodging the public eye. (Need I remind you that it was very early, and I probably had not yet had my reality-inducing first cup of coffee, so humor me.)