Interview with Jordan Bernal

d-jordan-bernalJordan Bernal is president of The California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Writers Chapter. She has won awards for her recently published novel, The Keepers of Eire, and has several stories and poems in various publications.

In my anthology, Written Across the Genres, Jordan has an essay titled “Reflections”, a poem called “Dreams”,  and a novel excerpt from The Keepers of Eire. An interview with her is below.

Julaina:  Who is your favorite author and genre?

Jordan: I love Anne McCaffrey. Her Dragonriders of Pern series encouraged me to use my imagination. I was able to delve into the world of dragons and become a dragonrider—how fantastic is that?

Julaina:  Why do you write?

Jordan: When I read I want to immerse myself in another world, another life, not the ordinary. My writing is a way to share my love of dragons and imagination with others.

Julaina:  Where do you like to write?

Jordan: I write in various places: the Danville library or Peet’s Coffee are the most prevalent. I like to put in my ear buds and crank up the music in my iPod shuffle, so once I’m in the zone, the location doesn’t really register with me. I just need a place where I’m not interrupted.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Jordan: Book 2 of my Keepers series, The Keepers of Caledonia.

Julaina: Looking forward to Books 2 and 3. Thanks, Jordan.

re

Quote about Choices by Brodi Ashton

Brodi Ashton in Everneath said “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”

I’m editing submissions I have received for my new anthology, Choices.

The entries to my poetry contest about choices are with my poet/friend judges. Winners will be announced in early August.

Interview with Poet Fred Norman

If you missed my previous post, I recommended Fred Norman’s book, A Hill of Poems which has the Crosses of Lafayette on the cover. Here I will do an interview with him. His poem, “Top Loading Washing Machine” is in my anthology, Written Across the Genres (available on Amazon). At bookstore readings, people tell me they enjoy his poem even more when they hear him read it.

Julaina: Who is your favorite author?

Fred: Lately my favorite author seems to be the writer of the last good book I’ve read. For fiction that would be Chang-Rae Lee, the book is On Such a Full Sea. This is a book for writers as well as readers. It can be read for pleasure, an educational comment on our society with waves of tenseness and an ending that keeps the story fresh in memory for weeks after reading the last word. For the writer, it can be studied to learn how to do successfully what writers often are taught not to do, very long sentences, for instance and relatively little dialogue.

For non-fiction that would be Glenn Greenwald, the book is No Place to Hide. It has to do with Edward Snowden. It reads like a well-written novel, it’s difficult to put down, it stimulates the emotions. You can read this book and learn unpleasant truths or you can ignore this book and live in ignorance, happily, perhaps, but only happy for a while.

In poetry I long ago was hypnotized for life by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”. Oh, that vision of a dream. That Xanadu. Whenever I need a push to write, be it prose or poetry, or sometimes just to dream, I reread this poem.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Fred: I prefer writing at home, in my house, in a small room with windows to let in sunlight on a sunny day and to see out into darkness at night, quiet, and absolutely undisturbed by human contact.

Julaina: What are you working on now?

Fred: As you know, I committed myself to using whatever writing skill I have to oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. To that I’ve added drones and whatever other illegal and immoral acts our government and military insist on doing. The list is endless. I’m set for life as far as reasons for writing are concerned.

Poetry works well in this endeavor, but as you also know, nobody reads poetry, especially my kind of poetry, so I’m not accomplishing what I set out to do. There are other genres I need to explore. For some of my ideas, the pamphlet is ideal, and there are publishers who specialize in pamphlets. That’s what I’m working on now. Look for the word “Occupy”. Blogging. My website is Crazydove.com. Short stories and essays. They’re next. I should be able to stay busy for a while.

Julaina: Thanks, Fred, for taking time for this interview. And good luck with your projects.

Oakland Anthology Book Launch and Reception for WORD MOVERS

Oakland Anthology Book Launch and Reception for WORD MOVERS

Jennifer D. King is the Director of the Downtown Oakland Senior Center. The book launch for this year’s anthology called WORD MOVERS took place on June 27th. The annual anthologies are a project of the Creative Writing Classes of the Downtown Oakland Senior Center and West Oakland Senior Center with contributions from the Senior Writing Community across the country. Jennifer and Jean Mundy edited WORD MOVERS, the seventh volume in this project. It’s 276 pages has poems, short stories, and memoir essays.

In addition to her work as the center director, Jennifer teaches their Poetry Workshop. She also teaches English and Public Speaking at the College of Alameda and the Allen Temple Leadership Institute in Oakland. She earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Mills College in Oakland.

In 2007 Jennifer’s published TURNING MY FACE TO THE SUN, a compilation of her poetry and short stories. A second collection of her work was published in 2013 under the title FIRST I CRIED.

I was pleased to accept her request to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s event. Thirty-four writers read from their published entries to a full house with standing room only available by the start of the program. Attendees were welcomed by Amy Blasenhaim, Vice Chair of the Oakland Senior Center Advisory Council. Other speakers in the program were Dorothy Poston, West Oakland Senior Center Director, Scott Means City of Oakland Services Manager, Gerry Garzon, Oakland Public Library Director, Annalee Allen, a weekly columnist for the Oakland Tribune and an Oakland Historian. Laura Courtney, the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator spoke about the Creative Writing Project.

Gerry Garzon, as Director of Library Services, oversees one of the Bay Area’s largest public library systems. The Oakland Public Library is second in size only to San Francisco and San Jose. He manages 118 branches and a roving bookmobile. Friday he announced that WORD MOVERS will be available to check out at the City of Oakland’s Library.

WORD MOVERS can be purchased on Amazon soon.

Oakland Anthology Book Launch

I’ve been asked to serve as Mistress of Ceremony at the Oakland Senior Center’s Book Launch and Reception this month. I enjoyed doing it two years ago and I’m honored to do it again. The title of the anthology this year is WORD MOVER. Several writers from my writing classes will have stories in it including me.

Quote and Submissions Request for CHOICES, An Anthology

“Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction.”   Unknown

This quote was on Facebook by my friend, Frances Caballo.  I’m posting it because I like it but also as a reminder to those of you who would like to submit to my next anthology with the theme Choices. Short stories and essays maximum word count is 2500. Poems about 20 lines or less. Due by August 1st this year.

On the menu of this blog there is a poetry contest page. I’m taking submissions for the contest until the end of the month, June.

I hope to publish the book by the end of 2014. I need time to put it all together unlike my recently published anthology, WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES which my amazing friend, Linda Todd, and I completed in about 3 months. That short time frame was too stressful. Please enter as soon as you can. The email to submit for the book is julainakatsbcglobaldotnet. I put the at and dot words to protect against spam. Substitute the symbols.

Paranormal Novel

Now that WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES is published and my next anthology with the theme Choices isn’t ready yet, I wondered which novel to finish. HADA’S FOG needs a seventh draft but I need to let it sit a while longer. I want to write something new. I pulled out my paranormal draft that I wrote with NANOWRIMO a few years ago.

It was easy to become enthused about it again. It’s more exciting than HADA’S FOG or LILLI at this point. As my friend, Ann Winfred said, Hada and Lilli will just have to keep each other company this year so I can go off into other worlds. I completed 8 pages yesterday so it’s on its way. Working title for now is NORMAN IN THE PICTURE.

BTW:  WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES is now available on Kindle besides in print with Amazon.