I don't often think of Orange County as a literary hotspot, but recent (and near future) events are changing my opinion of the place. Last week, I had two great events in Orange County--I spoke at Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's fabulous Pen on Fire Speakers Series last Tuesday, with the amazing writers Jo-Ann Mapson and Seth Greenland, and last Friday, I met with the Seal Beach Leisure World Creative Writing Club, a wonderful, engaged group of older writers (one of whom was over 100!) Just before my talk, I was nabbed by a Leisure World security patrol guy for entering the "exit" lane of a parking lot--it created a good opportunity to talk to the group about how sometimes as writers, we have to break the rules!
On April 6th, I'll be on the roster at Literary Orange, a day full of keynotes and panels on various aspects of craft and genre (my panel is Literary Fiction: Southland Stories, where I'll be joined by my former Antioch mentor and forever source of inspiration, Diane Lefer, plus Aris Janigian and Hector Tobar.) The moderator of our panel will be Andrew Tonkovich, who wrote this lovely profile of my work for the OC Weekly: To Kill a Mockingbird and Save Mr. Lincoln: Gayle Brandeis and the Political Young Adult.
I am grateful for all of the support, Orange County, and look forward to further literary engagement behind the proverbial Orange curtain.
(Speaking of literary oranges of a different nature, be on the lookout for a call for submissions for an anthology of writings about oranges I'm going to compile/edit for the Inlandia Institute...)