Flight of the Condors Is A Finalist

Filed under: Articles,Awards,Nonfiction — Administrator at 10:14 am on Sunday, August 14, 2022

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My article Flight of the Condors, originally published in Alta Magazine, was a finalist in the 64th Southern California Journalism Awards. Read the full list of winners here.

Alta Article: Tin Can Mailman

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 9:25 am on Sunday, August 14, 2022

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For Alta Magazine, I wrote an ode to my favorite childhood bookstore, Tin Can Mailman in Arcata, California.

I also wrote a round-up of North Coast Bookstores.

Mental Floss: Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, Old Hollywood’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 9:16 am on Sunday, August 14, 2022

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For Mental Floss, I wrote 10 Juicy Facts About Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, Old Hollywood’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal. This scandal was a huge inspiration for my novel, Right Back Where We Started From. Poor Mary Astor was done dirty.

Alta Live: Why Mark Twain Canceled Bret Harte

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 8:11 am on Wednesday, May 4, 2022

I was invited by Alta Magazine to discuss my article When Mark Twain Canceled Bret Harte on Alta Live.

I was joined by Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021.

What started out as an investigation of the 30-year literary feud between Mark Twain and Bret Harte turned into an unfortunately relevant conversation about anti-Asian violence. Click the above video to listen to our discussion.

Article: Make It Rain

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 7:54 am on Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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For Alta Magazine I wrote about cloud seeding. Did you know we already have the ability to increase precipitation in clouds? And that we’ve been doing it since the 1950s? And that the technology was invented by Kurt Vonnegut’s brother? Read it here.

Article: When Mark Twain Canceled Bret Harte

Filed under: Essays,Nonfiction — Administrator at 8:58 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2022

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I have a new article in Alta Magazine! It’s about the 30 year literary feud between Mark Twain and Bret Harte. 30 years! That Mark Twain could really hold a grudge.

Read about it here.

Article: Haunted by Houses

Filed under: Essays,Nonfiction,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 1:15 pm on Friday, December 10, 2021

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Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, I wrote about gothic horror, Shirley Jackson, and California Victorians:

RIGHT BEFORE SHIRLEY JACKSON began working on her 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House, a postcard depicting a California mansion started bothering her. “It was an ugly house,” she wrote. “[A]ll angles and all wrong. It was sick, diseased.” She wrote to her mother, who still lived near San Francisco where Jackson grew up, and asked if she knew anything about it. Her mother replied that her “great-grandfather had built it. She remembered when the people of the town got together one night and burned it down.” Soon, Jackson was at work on the best haunted house novel I’ve read.

More here.

The Curious Reader By Mental Floss

Filed under: Books,Nonfiction — Administrator at 1:41 pm on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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So happy to have contributed to The Curious Reader by Mental Floss!

It’s full of facts about authors and their books, from Jane Austen to JRR Tolkien. From the publisher:

Readers rejoice From Mental Floss, an online destination for more than a billion curious minds since its founding in 2001, comes the ultimate book for lovers of literature. From Americanah to War and Peace, from Chinua Achebe and Jane Austen to Jesamyn Ward and George R.R. Martin, learn surprising facts about the world’s most famous novels and novelists.

Really interesting to peruse and easy to digest. Read more about The Curious Reader here.

USA Today Article: Is It Finally Time To Turn Against Workaholism?

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 11:38 am on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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For USA Today, I wrote an article about the consequences of hustle culture and its roots in the California Gold Rush. Excerpt:

Whether it’s called hustle culture or toxic productivity, workaholism is now mainstream. For the past few years, the idea of “rise and grind 24/7″ has infected American life. People are working extreme schedules, forfeiting weekends, relationships and even sleep to attain success. It’s the newest incarnation of the American dream, the belief that if you hustle now, later you can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and astronomical achievement. You too can become Bill Gates or Oprah, if you just work hard enough.

However, the pandemic ground much of hustle culture to a halt. For many, there was nothing to do for months but look at personal and societal problems that could no longer be covered by a busy schedule.

Read the rest here.

Article: Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, Old Hollywood’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal

Filed under: Articles,Nonfiction — Administrator at 8:44 am on Saturday, April 17, 2021

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For Mental Floss, I wrote about a juicy 1930s Hollywood scandal involving Mary Astor’s Purple Diaries.

It’s one of the first Hollywood sex scandals–plus it inspired part of my novel, Right Back Where We Started From, which starts in 1930s Hollywood and has a Scarlet Diary and a controversial starlet in it.

Check out 10 Juicy Facts About Mary Astor’s Purple Diary, Old Hollywood’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal.

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