Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “trout”

Summer’s Over – A Personal Post

It’s been a roller coaster of a summer and today, the last day of August, it seems a good time to catch up and look forward.

The high point was my family camping trip. My boys caught some tasty trout, completed their first serious bike ride (five hours) on bike paths around Lake Siskiyou and we enjoyed some wonderful quality family time that is invaluable in our stressful and packed world.

The low point, as I blogged last week, was the sad passing away of my dear friend Rebecca. Judaism has many beautiful rituals surrounding death. I participated in Shmirat Hagoof (guarding the body) whereby friends took turns to sit with the body for the time between passing and burial. I spent two hours sitting and talking with her, and it was very meaningful. The funeral and the shiva (visiting the mourners in their house) were both fitting tributes to a wonderful woman. Many, many family and friends bonded and shared inspiring memories and humorous stories. While mourning her death, we celebrated her life, as she wanted.

In my writing life, I completed the manuscript for the sequel to Unwanted Heroes (due 01/2012) and a sequel to my fantasy novel together with my oldest son, and Left Coast Voices was nominated as one of San Francisco’s Most Valuable Blogs.

Also, The Accidental Activist is now in The Berkeley Public Library system after the California Writer’s Club donated a number of their authors’ books.

Author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth makes the presentation on behalf of the California Writer's Club

Looking forward to the next few months and there are three exciting landmarks coming up.

1. A Gardener’s Tale will be released on kindle. It is being professionally edited at the moment.

2. Three Clover Press is sending me on a national 10-15 stop book tour in November – without me having to leave home. They have signed a deal with a company that specializes in this. I will keep you informed as I learn more.

3. Unwanted Heroes is planned for a January release. We will begin looking for a cover artist and the rest of the exciting process.

Finally, for a limited time, The Accidental Activist is available on Kindle at $2.99 – less than the last cappuccino I bought (though the book doesn’t come with chocolate powder).

Have a great September,

Alon

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

Writing With My Sons

My annual family camping expedition is always exciting for me. It is an opportunity to spend intensive time with my sons and wife without the interruption of screens, play dates, or work.

We have seen orcas in the ocean, bald eagles in the sky, caught our first trout each, biked in the redwoods, driven boats on lakes, and much more. This year we had an experience that was particularly special.

My eldest son is 11 and loves reading fantasy. Give him swords, a quest and some dragons, and he can disappear for hours even as he sits in our living room. About six months ago, we began writing a fantasy novel, just a few pages and then forgot it in the humdrum of regular life.

During this vacation, we reread what we had written and began writing again. Our younger son (7) joined in. And now we have 12,000 words on the page (well, word document).

The book might come to nothing, but sitting under the stars, gas light on a picnic table, my sons either side of me as we rode the creative waves of writing together was truly exhilarating. We might not be an immediate threat to the masters: Tolkien, Donaldson, Brooks et al, but I will treasure what we wrote and especially the experience of creating together.

Good Writing,
Alon

ALON SHALEV
Oilspill dotcom – in paperback & currently on Kindle for $4.99

July 15th A Time to Chill Pt. 2 – Failed!

July 15th – Posted a week later…

A hippie café with a mean latte in hand, sipped in the shadow of the snow-capped Mount Shasta. Truly a ‘Garden of Eden’. The boys are swimming in the deep blue lake, the trout are biting, and my partner and I are drinking wine in the evening by the campfire. Vacation – a time to chill, to relax, to reconnect with close ones and nature.

The mistake. I should never have put an Internet option on my cell phone. An email. An interview with a deadline…one that has passed. The sympathetic reporter has sent questions via email since she has not been able to find me.

A rescheduling of tomorrow’s vacation day incorporates a mad dash to a wireless café. Once again I am pounding the keys of my laptop. In truth, the questions are thought-provoking and an hour shoots past as I immerse myself back into the dream – to become a recognized author of transformational fiction.

Whether it is the caffeine coursing through my veins, the deadline, or the dream, I’m not sure, but I suddenly feel pleasantly wired again. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t been so relaxed, fishing pole in hand, watching an osprey compete for food.

The osprey might have the upper hand on the lake, but I feel good fishing for another dream.

Alon
http://www.alonshalev.com/

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