Hawaii Trip

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 12:47 pm on Monday, November 11, 2019

In October, we went to Hawaii! I’d never been before. We went to the Big Island and stayed for a week at a lovely resort. I couldn’t get over the sunsets.

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Nature there doesn’t disappoint. For one thing, there are black sand beaches:

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For another, there are so many animals. We went kayaking and a pod of dolphins were swimming around us. A baby dolphin flipped on its back and showed us his belly, then they all swam under our boat. We also saw manta rays as big as coffee tables, mongooses, tons of birds, and sea turtles:

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Kona coffee is a thing there. It’s overpriced, but tasty. We went for a tour of a coffee plantation and it was interesting to learn how they harvest and process the beans. I’d never seen a coffee tree up close before.

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In general, the food was delicious, especially the fruit. I tried rambutan, passion fruit, dragon fruit, apple bananas, honey cream pineapples, and many others. I’m going to make Hawaiian sweet bread for Thanksgiving.

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The Big Island has five volcanoes, three of them active. We took a helicopter ride over some of the volcanoes, which was very exciting. I’d never been in a helicopter before.

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They took us over the volcanoes so that we could look down into them.

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Of course, last year an enormous volcanic eruption wiped out a large neighborhood on the island. They flew us over the damage and showed us pictures of what the area looked like only two years ago. It was shocking to see.

Before:

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After:

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So add us to the long list of people who love Hawaii. Someday we’ll go again and visit one of the other islands.

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You can see more Hawaii pictures on my Instagram.

Notable Essay In The Best American Essays 2019

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 12:13 pm on Monday, November 11, 2019

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I was delighted to discover that my essay, Bohemian Tragedy: The rise, fall, and afterlife of George Sterling’s California arts colony was a Notable in The Best American Essays 2019.

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The essay originally appeared in the Poetry Foundation. You can read it here.

Joshua Tree National Park

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 10, 2019

Way back in February, we took our RV to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. It’s one of the most surreal places I’ve ever been, like walking inside a Roadrunner cartoon.

At one point we were walking down a canyon and pieces of white fluff started sweeping around us. It took a moment to understand it was snow because the sun was out and the sky above was blue. In the morning, a light dusting of snow covered all the cacti.

Pictures:

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Story On Front Page Of The Washington Post!

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:56 am on Saturday, November 9, 2019

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Last week, the Kincade Fire tore through Sonoma County, where I live, and 200,000 people were evacuated. My town of Petaluma became the first stop for evacuees. I interviewed some of the evacuees for The Washington Post. Hearing their stories was a moving experience, and I’m still in shocked that this keeps happening to my beloved home.

Then the story was on the front page of The Washington Post! Wow! I didn’t expect that at all. Heather Kelly and Scott Wilson also worked on the story.

Here’s the article in full. Give it a read!

Hypatia-in-the-Woods Residency

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 12:09 pm on Friday, October 25, 2019

In September, I had the honor of spending two weeks at a writing residency hosted by Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Washington. During that time, I stayed in a cabin called Holly House and worked on my current novel. Here’s the living room:

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There was a little loft upstairs, and I spent most of my time sitting on the bed with my laptop.

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I got so much done. I’m grateful to Hypatia-in-the-Woods for the opportunity to focus on the work I most want to be doing.

When not writing, I ran into some nature, like this praying mantis:

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And this dome-like spider web:

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And the Mima Mounds National Preserve. No one knows what made these mounds–my favorite theory is prehistoric gophers.

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This being Washington, there was lots of water around:

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All the sea shells on the beach were covered with barnacles. Here I am being horrified about it on Instagram:

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It's fine it's fine nothing disgusting at all about this

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I Was On A Podcast About Jack London

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 11:46 am on Friday, October 25, 2019

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Speaking of Alta, I was also on their podcast talking about my article on Jack London.

Listen here!

(The above picture makes me laugh.)

Article: Drowning of a Town

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 11:41 am on Friday, October 25, 2019

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I got my new copy of Alta and am thrilled with the layout of my article on Dorothea Lange. In the 1950s, Monticello in Napa was turned into a lake and reservoir. Lange, who took iconic photos of the Dust Bowl, documented the human and environmental toll of Drowning A Town.

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It looks like a juicy issue, which book reviews, fiction, poetry, and articles about hummingbirds, professional poker, and a movie museum. Pick up a copy if you get a chance.

Washington Post Article: Summer In Antarctica

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 3:00 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2019

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For The Washington Post’s KidsPost section, I wrote about summer in Antarctica, lost penguins, and mummified seals. Excerpt:

Bergstrom frequently sees mummified seals in the valleys, as the cold, dry atmosphere preserves their bodies. Carbon dating reveals that some of the mummies are thousands of years old.

“They’re all over the place, too,” Bergstrom says. “They’re up on the glaciers, and we don’t know how they got up there or why they got up there.”

Read the rest here.

Humor Piece: Grandpa Explains Why He’s Not Too Old To Drive

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 2:54 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2019

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I wrote a humor piece with Marcia Simmons for The Belladonna.

The other day my grandson made the woman in the GPS British. Do I need some English lady bossing me around? I threw his phone in the harbor, told him which way was West, and left him there. How’s he going to get home, you say? Well, if he could read a map, he would know.

Read the rest here.

Essay: Natural Woman For Poetry Foundation

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 2:48 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2019

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For Poetry Foundation, I wrote about Anne Brigman, one of the first women photographers, probably the first to photograph herself in the nude. A fascinating person whose unique worldview was also captured in her poetry.
Excerpt:

On June 8, 1913, the San Francisco Call asked Brigman—by then a local celebrity—when she would divorce her husband, with whom she hadn’t lived for three years. Her reply was that she saw no need for divorce. She had “absolute freedom” and felt “unhampered now that I have no fear.” She continued:

Fear is the great chain which binds women and prevents their development, and fear is the one apparently big thing which has no real foundation in life. Cast fear out of the lives of women and they can and will take their place […] as the absolute equal of man.

Brigman enjoyed the bohemian life of a “New Woman,” a 19th-century term coined by the English novelist Charles Reade to describe an independent woman. She was a successful artist living by herself in Oakland, with thriving plants, a dozen birds, and a little dog named Rory. An active member of the Bay Area’s burgeoning art scene, Brigman was friends with author Jack London, artist William Keith, and poet Charles Keeler. “To her friends, poets and artists and patrons she keeps open house, and Rory barks welcome,” reported the San Francisco Call.

Read the rest here.

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