Pacific Crest Trail 2011: Free Range Amelia lights out from Santa Cruz

Hoping you will have kind words and perhaps some canned cling peaches with syrup for Free Range Amelia, who is representing for Santa Cruz on the Pacific Crest Trail this year. She’s doing a full-on through hike and should be arriving in Campo soon. My impression is that Free Range Amelia can throw down quite a lot of miles per day so you’ll have to keep up as best you can. She will update this journal regularly. This blog post has been amended to remove the word “GORP.” Gorp is disgusting.

Drown out your annoying neighbors (and get some writing done)

I just found out about this free Web application that lets you blast white noise through your computer or iPhone. By the way, if you’re a Pacific Crest Trail hiker, you’re out there hiking with an iPhone, and you want to drown out your chatty trail companions, you might want to think about this, too. Just put on those headphones and put the volume on full blast.

Living Writers series continues in Santa Cruz … with Aimee Bender and more

O.K. That’s enough about the goose for now. Here’s the rest of the series. I’m staking out my parking spot; don’t swoop me. Scroll down to the bottom for the full schedule. Why didn’t someone tell me there was a typo in here? (pictured: Aimee Bender) May 5Jessica Hagedorn May 12Aimee Bender May 26Neo Benshi, Roxi Power Hamilton, Jen Hofer and Konrad Steiner Here is the full schedule.

Memorial service for iconic goose

I know I have been posting quite a bit about Lucy the iconic goose. Just wanted to mention that there is a memorial service at 6 p.m. today. It would feel kind of weird for me to go to such a funeral, and perhaps hypocritical [I’m eating a glazed roasted chicken for dinner this evening with all the trimmings] but I admired Lucy and will leave some kind of note if there’s a visual memorial.

Rest in peace, Lucy the Goose

I was saddened to hear that Lucy the Goose, a tireless and resilient Santa Cruzan, was killed over the weekend. She was an older goose — well into her teens, which is pretty old in the goose world. She had dirty gray feathers, a baritone voice that could carry for a half mile, and a bright-orange growth, roughly the size and shape of a walnut, over her upper beak. I know that there is a long and embattled history surrounding Lucy, and that some local neighbors were upset about the noise and droppings, etc. Did this sentiment have something to do with her demise? News reports didn’t say. According to one account, she may have been the victim of an animal attack. I suppose that’s possible, though it wouldn’t have been easy for a creature to get her. She was fairly well-protected behind a fence, and often slept and rested…

Helene Wecker: The Golem and the Djinni

Ever read a book that isn’t published just yet but you have a feeling that it will be — and that it’s only a matter of time? That’s what I thought when reading early drafts of Helene Wecker‘s novel-in-progress, The Golem and the Djinni, which has been taking shape in various cafes and BART train rides for the past few years. Helene, an East Bay resident, just found out that her radical (and masterful) reworking of the Golem legend will be coming to a bookstore near you in 2013, from HarperCollins.

Great conference

Another great conference. Met many other dedicated, hard-working authors in and outside of my field. Most importantly, I was able to catch up with family and consume about 700,000 calories worth of food. Stay tuned for more detailed thoughts on this. Seems like people really enjoyed our presentation about travel and voice writing. They asked a lot of great questions. I even shot a YouTube video of sorts, though I recorded it when the coffee and gooey cookies were starting to wear off. Who knows what it is going to look like! When it was over, I went back and forth to panels all over the place, taking in other presentations. My favorite was the nonfiction panel, which was fascinating (a couple of the panelists seemed irritated at one another but that added to the drama). Ron Hansen did a great job with the opening keynote; he talked a lot…