“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
Thousands of revelers stepped back to the future at the rollicking Fifth Annual Rivertown Revival, a benefit for the David Yearsley River Heritage Center at Steamer Landing Park on the McNear Peninsula in the heart of historic West Petaluma, July 19th. This increasingly popular, steam-punkish party raises significant funds for staffing and innovative programs of the Friends of the Petaluma River.
Anything-goes, quasi-Victorian and other outlandish outfits, the best of local craft ale, more of the best of local craft ale, music and food-truck refreshments being the order of the day, this one-of-a-kind event pulls in Petalumans and rivertown fans of all ages.
My favorite thing at RR being people watching - the garb gets better each year.
Berkeleyside proudly announces the initial program and speaker line-up for Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014.
This October 24th -25th, 2014, Uncharted brings you together with some of the world’s great thinkers for two thrilling days of discussion, debate, and workshops designed to engage and inspire. Much more than a series of lectures, Uncharted is a festival of ideas.
Join in the dynamic exchange between prominent thinkers representing technology, science, culture, politics, education, food, business, the environment, and other vital areas that dominate our lives. We’re planning a tremendous program, and you won’t believe the speaker line-up so far -- with more to come!
Held in Berkeley’s thriving Arts District and highlighted by a hilltop party, Uncharted promises to be even more stimulating, surprising, and fun than last year.
Uncharted is offered to you at a fraction of the cost of other “ideas festivals.” Best of all, right now, you save $100 over 2013 prices. Who doesn’t think that’s a brilliant idea?
So don’t miss out – secure your savings and reserve your space now for Uncharted 2014!
Explore What’s Next
UNCHARTED: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas
News that British actor Emma Watson has signed up with Warner Brothers to play the part of Sonoma County debut author Erika Johansen's fantasy adventure heroine, Kelsea, in the movie version of her brand new book, has catapulted The Queen Of The Tearling into the publishing stratosphere.
Who, in their wildest dreams, pens the first of a planned trilogy (with more to follow), a fledgling author's early work, igniting the passions of top publishing houses and is snapped up by a major movie production company before the first hardback edition hits bookstores?
Quiet, private, delightfully unassuming Erika Johansen, that's who. "It's a fairy tale in itself," she said. I'd say that with all her (mighty) ducks in a row, the trilogy is bound to be a massive, international smash hit, hot on the heels of Twilight and the likes. Though, much more appealing to readers over voting age. And Erika insists: "It's no Twilight."
Don't be looking for the sort of sappy romance that hits you a mile a minute at the start , or any part of the book. Kelsea, a decidedly plain, clever, chubby heroine, with guts and courage and conviction galore, is not a robotic 19-year-old, but doesn't (and, according to the author, won't) let a love interest take center stage and rule her story.
And if you missed the author's first official bookstore reading and signing in her hometown Copperfield's Bookstore, in Petaluma, CA, then don't be surprised if you have to wait in line around the block when the second and consecutive book comes out.
I love a success story. Especially in publishing. It's even more fantastic when the author is so entirely ego-free and not at all interested in the rally call of marketing hype.
Erika attended Swarthmore College, a small, private liberal arts college outside of Philadelphia, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, went on to become an attorney, but switched back to following her heart in fiction writing.
She spoke about the 'beauty cult' in the U.S. "Parents tell their daughters that they are beautiful, no matter what," she said. "I disagree. Tell them that they might be pretty, they might not be, but they have far more strengths and gifts to focus on and offer the world."
Still, publishers asked if Kelsea could be made: "a little prettier?" Erika held her ground with a solid "No".
"I think there's a huge market for a heroine like Kelsea," she said. "No one has been brave enough."
She does not plan to attend the red carpet screening when the movie releases. She won't even watch it. "The book is pure and perfect and can never be changed," she said. "I won't let the movie version mess with my conception of the world."
Of course, Emma Watson is hardly a plain Jane. But considering alternatives, Erika is thankful that Kelsea is in good hands with the star who rose to fame as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter trilogy. Emma, herself, recently graduated from Brown University with a Bachelors Degree in English Literature. Emma, aged 24 has recently been named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
As I haven't read it yet, here's the book blurb for The Queen of the Tearling from Harper Collins, the publishing house that won out a bidding war for the author's slam-dunk, fantasy-adventure trilogy.
"Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive."
Erika Johansen thanks her lucky stars that she is able to get up every morning and write. She's also partial to Boardwalk Empire reruns and knitting. She's hoping that if spotted with headphones and laptop, intent at work over coffee, we'll leave her be. She has several more books to write after all.
The Kind Self-Healing Book is a 200-page self-esteem boost that contains 35 activities, tools for self-reflection, writing, and insights. Crowd sourcing for indie publishing is something I'm about to try myself, so I'm particularly keen to help a fellow author get word out.
Sometimes bravery means muscle, sometimes it means brain and soul, like in the case of emotional bravery.
Writer Amy Eden knows emotional bravery.
She needs our help to make her book real and she's almost there! Click here to learn more about Amy's publishing campaign on IndieGoGo.
Over the years, readers of Amy's personal growth blog, Guess What Normal Is, have asked: How do I start this work? Where do I start? How do I begin to untangle the ill effects of my less-than-perfect-childhood? How do I help myself? How do I heal myself? Her reply is her first book, The Kind Self-Healing Book.
Amy has 20 years of writing experience, including a MFA in Creative Writing. She has worked in the book publishing industry for 20 years and know what it takes to produce a quality book that serves and delights people.
American writer and literary critic, Alfred Kazin said that the "greatest story Jack London ever wrote was the story he lived.”
A Jack London Book Discussion Group at Jack London State Historic Park, has been designed by and for people who can't get enough of the author's own story. The group is set to highlight a rare selection of writings for its upcoming July 18th and September 19th meetings.
Written shortly after Jack’s death, Charmian London wrote The Book of Jack London Volumes 1 & 2 almost as a love letter to her lost “mate.” These booksare not readily available, but can be purchased as a set from The House of Happy Walls museum at the Park. The English publisher of the book printed for the Park volume 2 of The Book of Jack London, which will be discussed at the Sept. 19 meeting.
The discussion group meetings run from 2-4 pm and will be held in the Terrace Picnic area next to the Cottage, accessed via the Ranch parking lot. Cost, which does not include parking, is $10 for individual sessions or was $45 for all 5 meetings. Parking fee of $10 is payable at the entrance kiosk. Registration for the Book Club discussions is available online. Call (707) 938-5216 for questions or more information.
This book discussion group explores autobiographical novels and biographical books about Jack London’s spectacular life and adventures. The group, meeting March through November is led by two Jack London scholars, Susan Nuernberg, Ph.D. and Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Ph.D. Participants may attend individual sessions or sign up for the series. Books should be available in the museum bookshop.
The final session of the 2014 Book Discussion Group will be November 14th focusing on the recent book:
Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor: London scholar Earle Labor draws from his lifetime of scholarship to meticulously reconstruct Jack London’s stunning life. (I devoured this book when it was newly published and highly recommend it even if you aren't interested in attending the discussion group.)
Susan Nuernberg is professor emerita of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a past president of the Jack London Society, and a former Jack London scholar-in-residence at Sonoma State University. Her publications include “The Critical Response to Jack London” and “The Letters of Russ Kingman.” She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she wrote her dissertation on race in Jack London's fiction. She is a docent at Bouverie Preserve and at the Jack London State Historic Park where she offers docent enrichment workshops.
Iris Jamahl Dunkle's debut poetry collection, “Gold Passage,” won the Trio Award and was published by Trio House Press in 2013. Her chapbooks “Inheritance” and “The Flying Trolley” were published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry, essays and creative non-fiction have been published widely.Dunkle teaches writing and literature at Napa Valley College.She received her B.A. from the George Washington University, her M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University, and her Ph.D. in American Literature from Case Western Reserve University. She is on the staff of the Napa Valley Writers conference and is the managing editor of VOLT.
Once a month through August, the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association (VMNHA) hosts a free entrance day at Jack London State Historic Park when parking admission fees are waived. July 14th is a special day for kids and families featuring a Kids Discovery Walk and an afternoon of storytelling. The guided nature walk, from 11 am to noon will be an easy walk to learn about nature at the Park (walk leaves from House of Happy Walls museum). Jack’s Animal Tales introduces kids, through puppets and storytelling, to many of the exotic and adventurous locations Jack London experienced on his travels around the world. The storytelling and puppet show is presented from noon to 12:30 pm at the House of Happy Walls museum.
Now that the park is open every day, VMNHA wants to ensure that the 1400 acres of this pristine wilderness and over 20 miles of trails are available to as many members of the community as possible. On these Free Entrance Days however, fees to tour Jack London’s Cottage are still in effect.
Seventeen years ago, on June 28th 1997, Upstairs Art Gallery at 306 Center Street, in Healdsburg held its grand opening reception. At the time it was the only gallery in Sonoma County to be run by artists, a business model that has fortuitously caught on all the way from Petaluma in the South County and throughout the many artist-rich communities in our region.
On Saturday, June 28th, 2014, the gallery will be holding an afternoon cake party from 1-4pm to celebrate its success. You are invited to join special guests, who include more than 60 former 'gallery owners', talented county artists who have contributed their time and talents to this business over the years.
A gallery founder, artist Louise Johnson from Cloverdale, is the special guest of honor on the 28th, as she is retiring after 17 years. Louise paints in both watercolor and oils, and served on the Gallery Board of Directors for many years. "My time at the gallery has been a very joyful experience, and I will miss showing customers around the gallery and talking about different kinds of art." says Louise. "The gallery began life as a place for members of Santa Rosa Art Guild to show their work and has just grown from there. Seventeen is clearly a theme, there were 17 original members and many of them are still active in the local art scene today."
Upstairs Art Gallery has added to the richness of thecommunity and economy. Over 200 monthly art receptions have been held there, countless works of art sold, and the gallery regularly participates in Healdsburg Second Saturday Art Walk.
Carolyn Wilson, Gallery Manager adds :"Over the years we have developed special relationships with people, and visitors really like the fact that when they come into our gallery, they are talking with one of the artists. Our job as artists is to bring beauty into the world and share it with others. Over 17 years that adds up to a lot of beauty!"
Miigle, a Los Angeles-based startup that aims to make entrepreneurship more accessible to the world, not just those with connections in Silicon Valley has launched an exciting new platform for innovators.
The brainchild of founders Luc Berlin, Josh Fester, and John Pavlick, Miigle enables entrepreneurs globally to showcase their startups or projects and get help from each other and the general public on any challenges they face, from building their product to acquiring users to raising money.
“Less than 2 percent of startups globally receive help from venture capitalists, angel investors, and accelerator programs combined. Relying primarily on these institutions creates a bottleneck that slows innovation and economic progress while putting at a disadvantage entrepreneurs who aren’t well connected. We can’t all move to Silicon Valley, nor should we. We created Miigle with the belief that collectively, as entrepreneurs, we are the solution to the challenges each one of us faces. We particularly wanted to make it easier for people interested in fostering innovation to get involved,” says Miigle’s CEO, Luc Berlin, a Pepperdine University Global Business MBA graduate who’s spent years working at pioneering Internet companies in Los Angeles such as Shopzilla and LegalZoom.com.
Miigle is re-engineering the complex, offline process of innovation into a collaborative, online ecosystem based on a global human network. The platform’s algorithm helps people easily discover and contribute - knowledge, feedback, talent, money, and even emotional support - to startups worldwide that pique their interest. “From a technology standpoint, we had to find the right formula. Our priority was to build a platform that’s easy to use yet very effective,” asserts Josh Fester, Miigle’s CTO, a Missouri native, and graduate of Missouri State’s CIS & Entrepreneurship programs.
"Being a bootstrapped startup we’ve faced our share of adversities. In many ways it’s helped us build our product because we could relate to the frustrations of other entrepreneurs. For example, when we unveiled Miigle at the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco, a noted Silicon Valley academic told us we would never succeed because we weren’t part of their ‘Boys Club’. That’s the conventional wisdom we’re fighting,” affirms Mr. Fester.
Miigle differentiates itself by its emphasis on social collaboration between startups and the general public. Creating an account takes less than a minute, but is optional. The platform also integrates with popular startup sites like AngelList, Kickstarter and Crunchbase allowing those startups to create their profile on Miigle in just two clicks. “We’re building a community where startups work with each other and the public to overcome their challenges.
On other sites, entrepreneurs struggle to find good connections because it’s difficult to identify how one relates with a stranger. We developed an algorithm to improve the relevancy of connections between our members,” says John Pavlick, who is Miigle’s Chief Software Officer and also a Computer Engineering student at Purdue University. “Our focus is getting great startups worldwide the exposure and help they need, whatever it may be,” concludes Mr. Pavlick. Learn more about Miigle and join their community at www.miigle.com. For current news, follow @miiglers on Twitter.