Friday, May 30, 2008

Interview with Little Clay Pig

And this just in --- a good talk with influential lit blogger Little Clay Pig, right here in San Francisco. Actually, you should read that blog regularly; it's a good one.

Little Clay Pig

By the way, this week I will figure out a way to put in clickable links for my readers. Sorry about that. What can I say? I am a total Luddite. Also, if you happen to be a reader of the Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant and NY Newsday, look for the LA Times review, which is reappearing in various places. Also, I had a really good podcast talk with the author Lisa Haneberg this week. I will include the link to that podcast at some point next week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This just in: Good Times, Santa Cruz

here is the link to the story by Christa Martin. Don't be scared by my huge, staring eyeball in the picture!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Haight Ashbury poultrygeist

Hi everyone. Sorry I've barely blogged lately. The reason is total exhaustion, on account of a very loud, annoying rooster that has been keeping me up at night. A number of months ago, I mentioned the fact that this tin-eared, crazy chicken moved into my Haight Ashbury neighborhood. For months at a time, he was so dead-quiet, I figured his owners got sick of his racket and made capons out of him. No such luck. The rooster is back in action now, and he's driving me batty. All day long he makes the same loud, horrible noises -- "Muck-muck-magooooooooo!'' I hope the chicken calms down soon. Until then, I'll do all my writing down at the Mission Creek Cafe.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Cactus Eaters: Readings and travels

Here is the most updated list. Stop by and say hello. I look forward to meeting all of you.

Date & Time Location

June 4, 2008
7:00 PM
1200 Eleventh Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

June 5, 2008
Ballard Branch
5614 22nd Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107

June 6, 2008
12000 SE 82nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97266

June 9th, 2007
"Cover to Cover”/KPFA-FM
Berkeley, CA
3:00 – 3:30 PM

June 19, 2008
In-studio interview
KFOG-- San Francisco
7:30-8 AM

June 19, 2008
1475 41st Avenue
Capitola, CA 95010

June 26, 2008
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

June 29, 2008
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
"First Author, First Book" panel discussion.
Anaheim Convention Center, Room 203 A
Authors include Kaya McLaren (Church of the Dog, Penguin), Scott Douglas (Quiet, Please, Perseus Books), Mark Sarvas (Harry, Revised, Bloomsbury USA), Daniel White (The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind—and Almost Found Myself—on the Pacific Crest Trail, HarperCollins), Janelle Brown (All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Spiegel & Grau), and Anya Ulinich (Petropolis, Penguin). A book signing will follow.

June 30th, 2008
2-2:30 p.m., book reading and signing.
ALA Convention,
Anaheim Convention Center. Room TBA.

July 1, 2008
2 p.m.
Malaga Cove Library
Palos Verdes Estates, CA.(PV is my hometown. This was my childhood library.)

July 12, 2008
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

July 15, 2008
581 Market ST
San Francisco, CA 94105
*Joint Event with Vincent Carrella, author of "Serpent Box.''

September 24, 2008
730-830 p.m.
2008-2009 Creative Writing Reading Series
Saint Mary’s College of California.
Moraga, CA.

November 2008: date to be announced
reading/reception at San Jose State University

The Kerouac pigeons

Do you ever have one of those days that is luminous and wonderful one moment and grim (and rather disgusting) the next? Just the other day, I was in North Beach, and I stopped by City Lights books. They had one rather lonely-looking copy of "Cactus,'' so I signed it, which was fun, considering that City Lights is the land of Ferlinghetti and The Beats. The City Lights staff was very nice about it. They put it back on the shelf with a little sticker saying "Signed By The Author.' Moments later, I was walking with Amy down Columbus, and an enormous group of pigeons, straight out of Hitchcock, swooped down and voided themselves all over us -- a tidal wave of voiding, and it covered both of us from head to toe. We tried to run but the pigeons closed in on us and kept bombing away. Wham, wham, wham. Passersby stopped and stared. Amy insists that this incident was "good luck'' and "a very good sign.'' She even joked that it was some kind of ectoplasmic shout-out from beyond the grave by Kerouac himself. I think my dry cleaner will disagree.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Cactus Eaters is now available nationwide

So the doomsday clock on my author's web page has stopped ticking. That can only mean one thing; my book is now in bookstores all over the place. My pal, James, (who happens to be a character in the book) wrote in to let me know that he got "Cactus'' in Minneapolis just the other day. It was pretty surreal to see a nice big bunch of them in my neighborhood bookstore up here in the Upper Haight. Today, I walked into the store and decorated them all with rubber stamps dipped in bright green archival ink. I also signed them. Anyhow, if you run into me at some point, I would really like to sign and stamp your book or books. In fact, I will sign just about anything, except for a blank check. Make sure to specify "lizard, snake, or longhorn steer skull'' before I stamp it. Otherwise, I'll pick the creature for you and you'll have to accept my choice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


This is extremely short notice, I realize, (as a matter of fact, I'm giving you a roughly four and a half minute notice, to be precise) but if you happen to be in the Ventura County/Santa Barbara area, the NPR affiliate is doing an interview with me today at 1:06 p.m.

Back from the backwoods

I had a fantastic time in the Southeast --- I heard my first whipporwil, heard a black bear snort (very close by!), met a bunch of great people, went to a Bourbon tasting and explored some of the greenest, steepest backcountry I've ever seen. On the downside, I got a bit turned around up there in the wilderness. I had a close encounter with some kind of invasive rose-bush-like plant; both of my legs have red, crosshatching scrapes all across them. My next order of business is to beef up my backcountry survival skills. I'm hoping to enroll in an intensive orienteering course this summer as soon as i can find an open patch in my schedule.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Off to the forest

Friends and family --- after I file this, I'm heading out the door and flying out to the Southeastern backwoods, which means that I will be kind of hard to reach for the next three days or so. I'm bringing lots of MREs and a spanking-new seven-dollar nickel-plated compass that I just bought from Robert's Hardware in Haight Ashbury. I'm in good hands. By the way, this is probably my last ramble ever with Big Mofo, my trusty -- and enormous --- backpack dating from the PCT. He's covered with mouse bites and duct tape, the zippers barely function and the hinges are almost rusted out. The time has come for an upgrade.

Someone outbid me on the "cactus-shaped rubber stamp'' listed on Ebay

Mr. Big Bucks, I hope you're happy. I had my sights on that attractive little cactus-shaped rubber stamp on eBay. It was going to be one of my promotional gimmicks, and now it's gone --- all because of you. The bidding war was ferocious. I lay down $4.50. You upped the ante to five bucks. The next thing you know, you jacked up the price to $6.50. Whoever you are, you are shameless.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the footsteps of Daniel Boone

I'm heading off to the Cumberland Gap for a while. I will be going on a journey through a remote forest full of elk, sandstone cliffs and wild ginseng. I'll see you all when I get back. (just so you know, I'm bringing plenty of water this time, and the trail is not that long. Seriously.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Radio Cactus

Here is the link to my radio performance on KQED Writer's Block. I had fun doing this.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In Ruins

A few months back, I mentioned an eventful journey that I took (in a four-wheel-drive vehicle) up a scary dirt road into a remote canyon filled with fascinating Fremont-era ruins in Utah. If you're interested, my article on this subject (with color photos) appears in this month's Backpacker, which is now in bookstores and news stands. Check out the pictures of those spooky petroglyphs -- and, if you have a chance, make your way out to Range Creek and see them for yourself. It's well worth the trip.