This past week’s writing and creative activities have certainly felt in the spirit of the season — a series of outstanding Christmas stocking stuffers. All of them remind me of why it is so wonderful to be a writer, an editor, and blessed with a lifestyle in which we get to meet and work with some of the most fascinating people in the world.
Without further adieu …
Workshop and Conference Teaching Schedule Announced in January
Next month, we’ll announce most of the 2011 Word Journeys conference and workshop teaching schedule. We’re going to expand from 2010, with confirmed appearances at February’s Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego, March’s Tucson Festival of Books, and a May workshop at New York’s Open Center preceding the Book Expo America convention. We’re also planning workshop series in North San Diego County, Tucson and more. Stay tuned!
Memories with PT
The other day, I met with old friend Peter Townend, professional surfing’s first world champion and co-star of the epic surf films Free Ride and Big Wednesday. He had just come from lunch with Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton and others involved with the Legends project that features a group of great sports champions. We sat down to talk about a series of books on which we’ll be working together, including Memories in Pink, a memoir presented in a much different format than usual. During our meeting, PT pulled out a notebook of old typewritten manuscripts dating back to 1974. (While winning the world title in 1976, when pro surfing had no money, he made his living as a surf journalist, working for Rupert Murdoch’s Sydney Daily Mirror and United Press International, among others.) In the notebook was the manuscript of an article on Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, that I assigned him 30 years ago while I was the original editor of Breakout Magazine. In a moment of shared history, he handed me the manuscript and I looked down at my handwritten edit marks … that was cool. Much more coming from PT through the company I co-own, Millennium Media Masters, as we move into 2011 and beyond.
A Poetry Read Worth Remembering
I’ve become thoroughly convinced that San Diego County is one of the most underrated parts of the country when it comes to poetry. San Francisco and New York get the ink, but every time I turn up for a reading in San Diego County, something or someone else blows me away. Which is good, because if you blow me away, you’re likely to get published in the literary journal I edit, The Hummingbird Review.
The other night, I attended the Magee Park Poets reading in Carlsbad — the third of three fantastic readings in the past six weeks. The others were our Hummingbird Review Poetry Revue and a group reading by students of Solana Beach master poetry teacher Harry Griswold. Poets read their works that were selected for the annual Magee Poets Anthology, and many were quite outstanding.
One poet, however, took my breath away: D.N. Sutton. She’s been in this blog before, three years ago. Now she’s 90, and this elegant Southern belle walked up to the stage and brought the house down with her meticulously read poem, “Question Mark (at age 90).” It’s about going into the twilight, but not before living her life to the fullest. You’ll see it in the next issue of The Hummingbird Review, which releases in mid-February.
Fascinating Interview with A Longtime Friend
Last week, I took my sister and brother-in-law to see Wild Child, the Doors tribute band, at the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood. This was special because, despite my four-decade love affair with the Doors, I’d never been to the Whisky, where they broke on through in 1966. And Wild Child is easily the best tribute band. The show was fabulous — 2 1/2 hours during which they played side one of my favorite Doors album, Morrison Hotel. A few days later, my lifelong friend and former cross-country and track teammate at Carlsbad (CA) High School, the screenwriter, director, teacher and artist Randall Jahnson, was profiled in Examiner.com. It’s been almost 20 years since the movie Randall principally wrote, The Doors, was released. He’s done many more things since then — and his newest projects are awesome, as you’ll read in the interview — but just goes to show how long our books, films and other works can remain relevant if we work on our material until it can be improved no more. Check out this interview.
The Dandy Warhols Concert
Normally, I don’t mix music and writing. Well, yes I do — all the time. What a special treat to see one of my favorite bands, The Dandy Warhols, in top form the other night. It was one of the finest concerts I’ve ever seen. The Dandy Warhols have produced some of the most original music of the past 20 years — but for some strange reason, they are much more popular in Europe, Canada and Australia, even though they come from Portland, Ore. Maybe it’s because they weren’t on American Idol! Whenever rock critics and pundits give you five or six genre labels, well, you’re both multi-faceted and truly original. It was a treat to hear them play songs spanning all 17 years of their history, to hear their often poetic lyrics, and to see the truly artistic interplay between singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor, guitarist Peter Holmstrom, drummer Brent de Boer and keyboardist-bassist Zia McCabe. It’s like watching rock music paint an intricate design. While at the concert, I ran into an old friend, Ken Leighton, who used to manage the early 1980s band that should have made it to the big time out of North San Diego County — Incognito. Ken had them in prime position, but the band self-destructed.
Check Out Millennium Media Masters
We’ve spent the past three months building the foundation for a true 21st century Knowledge Economy media and publishing powerhouse. Now, as 2011 arrives, we’ll be fully rolling out the combination of more than 100 years of writing, editing, publishing, marketing, photographic, graphic design and online media experience — Millennium Media Masters.
We’ve assembled an incredible team to serve authors, publishers, agents, entrepreneurs, business executives, content providers and online media aspirants with the highest quality work available in the market — in all genres. Besides myself, our core team consists of business partner John Josepho, who has 30 years of media, photography, marketing and business consulting experience; director of operations Lisa Maine, with 20 years of graphic design and writing background; web designer Laura Brown, one of the true up-and-coming forces in the yoga and health markets; web designer and social media expert Brian Wilkes, whose 40 years of experience covers all aspects of print, broadcast and online media; and our “young guns,” the graphic design and production team of Chitra Sudhakaran, Jamie Dawick and Anna Preston.
See what we’re up to by visiting our website.