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It’s always an honor to edit a memoir, especially one as well written Alan North’s manuscript, currently titled Of Love and Stone. Alan (a published author with his Urban Adventure Handbook, Ten Speed Press) has a natural writer’s voice and weaves a narrative taking us from present-day (his return to rock climb full-time in Yosemite) to past (recollections of his relationship and moments that lead up to his divorce). It was pitched to me by a friend as Eat Pray Love for men. Definitely lots of grit, and inspiring to read about the mental aspects of rock climbing. Keep your eye out for this one!

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I’m a month belated getting this post up, but I was one of the copy editors on Get Out of My Crotch!, published by Cherry Bomb Books on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade January 22, 2013. Here’s the back story on the book: “Tired of hearing about legislation based on menstrual cycles, publisher Kim Wyatt sounded a call for essays about women’s rights and reproductive health in 2012. A shocking snapshot emerged of regressive policies, the erosion of basic human rights, and the culture that allows this to happen. Get Out of My Crotch! is an attempt to remind, to remember, and to continue the fight for equal rights.”

The book’s 21 writers (of all classes, professions—medical and non, races, and religions) examine reproductive rights, access to health care, and violence against women through first-person essays. A great, educational read, and I was honored to edit such big names in the writing biz as Roxane Gay, Katha Pollitt, and Sari Botton.

I’ve had a busy and exciting past month. Work-wise, I’ve been using every corner of the old brain: copyediting for Clear Capital; writing ads for Smith + Jones; doing SEO work for Wolfsmith Media, Bona Fide Books, and Balance Bodyworks Tahoe in-home massage; copyediting a short story anthology and a current research book on violence and the media for the Center for Basque Studies; writing and proofreading for Moonshine Ink; proofreading for Tahoe Quarterly; continuing to manage the Tahoe Mountain Sports blog… wow, I’m dizzy just writing all that!

And to top of the madness, I had the privilege of joining the Bona Fide Books crew for the AWP annual publishing conference in Chicago. What a trip! We lived it up, and I plan to soon post a few topic-specific roundups, including my trip to the Art Institute, my Chicago dining recommendations, and of course the lowdown on AWP. I took the stormy Chicago skyline photo above from our hotel room at the Palmer House Hilton.

There’s nothing I love more than working (editing) for someone I admire. I first met Gary Romano of Sierra Valley Farms in 2008, at the Tahoe City farmers market where I snapped his picture for an article in Tahoe Quarterly. I’ve bought his organic spinach for years. As luck would have it, our paths crossed again this month when he hired me to edit his book, Suicide with a Butter Knife. The books tells of his metamorphosis: from a childhood of flower farming and ranching, to a career in Parks and Recreation, and then back to farming. He presents the problems stacked up against small farms (under 200 acres) today, and some solutions to bring us back to the healthy eating and living that comes when we have thriving local farms providing most of our food. Such a great, inspiring read! It’s currently pending publication, but I’ll keep you posted on its progress. In the meantime, check out his video produced by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Thanks for doing what you do, Gary!

It’s here! Love it when a book I work on is finally set in print. This particular one holds a special place among my bookshelf’s spines as it’s the first poetry collection I’ve edited. Such an honor to work on, and I look forward to exploring more poetry editing again soon. Buy Mud Cakes through Bona Fide Books, and support a genuine heart-fed press!

Here are just a few of Mud Cakes‘ early praises:

“In richly detailed poem-stories about a small-town Ohio childhood, Jason Schossler enacts the vertigo of individual experience inside collective memory: Star Wars games, car parts, Anglophilia among the Cocoa Puffs, a mother’s mouth ‘forming the zeros of loss,’ a neighbor whose ‘eyes shone like glass bottles out of the sea’ in his fervor for Jesus. Mud Cakes is alert and detail-rich, charming and estranging in just the right proportion. Reading it, we learn more about what it means to grow up American.”
— Daisy Fried, author of She Didn’t Mean to Do it 

“In these wildly populated poems, Schossler announces himself a master of narrative collage.”
— Daniel Tobin, Guggenheim fellow and author of The Narrow