I’ll be selling books, talking about works in progress (the Kiminee Dream, book cover featured on this page), and discussing the craft of writing with fairgoers at the 2018 Sonoma County Fair. This is a project of Redwood Writers and the second year members of the group will be greeting the public during the twelve-day fair taking place at the county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.
The Redwood Writers booth will be in the E.C. Kraft Building, which is near the Brookwood entrance and attached to the Garrett Building. Multiple authors representing a range of genres will be manning our booth. I’ll be there Sunday, Aug. 5 and Saturday, Aug. 11.
I hope to see you at the fun-packed Sonoma County Fair!
I recently attended the birthday party for the Sitting Room, a unique library housing works by women writers from around the world. The event also doubled as the launch party for The Sitting Room’s 2018 anthology, which features original takes on myths, fairytales and folklore. The stories and poems in the booklet are delightfully diverse.
It was a beautifully sunny day in the Sitting Room’s backyard, where many of us read the stories and poems we contributed to the anthology. I felt privileged to read my work to such a receptive audience, as well as delighted to be part of that audience when other writers read their work.
I also enjoyed seeing my friend Mona Mechling again, and made a new friend, too: Tina Deason. Here we are enjoying each other’s company. Tina is on the left, I’m in the middle and Mona’s on the right.
A wide-ranging interview
Charlene Jones of Soul Sciences interviewed Laura McHale Holland on her evolution as a memoirist and novelist.
Laura talks about the differences between recounting a child’s experience and that of a teenager, the joy of participating in a program that focused on each student’s creative process, the power of live storytelling, and more.
Here’s the link: https://soundcloud.com/cloudgirl-1/laura-mchale-holland-interview-soulscience?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
I’ve just joined Bublish. It’s a place where authors can showcase excerpts from their work in a pleasing format and share their thoughts about them. I’ve posted two excerpts from Resilient Ruin, my National Indie Excellent Awards winning memoir. You can find my latest “bubble” at https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/15836.
Some authors also share works in progress at Bublish, which I just may do with my novel in progress when I begin work on the second draft. The idea is a little scary, though.
Here’s the link to “her last day,” a new poem written by Laura McHale Holland in response to the murder of three women in Napa County yesterday by a military vet with PTSD. He barged into their place of work, took them hostage and wound up killing them and himself.
Photo titled “Inside Glass of Tea” by Ali Almazawi
Good news! The two poems I submitted for publication in the Redwood Writers 2018 poetry anthology were just accepted. One of them, to go on, is posted on my personal blog. Click here if you want to read it right now. I wrote a first draft of the other one, my grandmother’s flat, during a presentation by Albert Flynn DeSilver at a Redwood Writer’s conference a couple of years ago. He lives in Marin County, and his presentation was on poetry for prose writers. I highly recommend him as an inspiring workshop leader.
I don’t know yet when the club’s 2018 poetry anthology will be published. The theme is alluring: Out of silence … and then … The editors are whipping the manuscript into shape right now, and that always takes time. This may inspire me to write more poems. Maybe I’ll prepare a chapbook to share with people at the Bay Area Book Festival coming up in April. When you go to book festivals, what types of books are you drawn to? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author and publisher Suzanne Sherman asked me (Laura, the owner of Wordforest) to share a table with her at the Fourth Annual Bay Area Book Festival the week of April 28 and 29, 2018. It’s in Berkeley, Calif., and packed with events and exhibitors.
Here’s some of what’s on the festival’s About page:
“The Bay Area is teeming with readers, writers, creators, and thinkers. We have harnessed the power of this community to create one of the premier literary festivals in the world. The Festival is a two-day event complete with literary sessions presenting top authors from this region, the nation, and the world, along with an outdoor fair with hundreds of literary exhibitors. We also offer art installations, events for kids, and writing contests. We even have a mini film festival — a series of ten films on literature — with BAMPFA. We transform vibrant Downtown Berkeley into a literary utopia where readers of all ages and interests can find kindred spirits.
“The Festival kicked off in 2015 with the mission to create a free, inclusive, world-class literary event in the Bay Area. Since then, the Festival has welcomed more than 800 authors and is approaching 100,000 attendees.”
I haven’t exhibited at this event previously and I’m thinking about how to make the most of it. If you have ideas, please email me at laura [at] word forest [dot] com.
Note: The photo is of me with my sisters, who are central characters in my memoirs, Reversible Skirt and Resilient Ruin. From left to right, we are Laura, Kathy and Mary Ruth. (On the Reversible Skirt book cover, the order is Mary Ruth, Laura and Kathy.)
I just posted a poem in progress evoked by the devastating firestorms that swept through Sonoma County and other parts of San Francisco’s North Bay in October.
Please check it out at http://www.lauramchaleholland.com/poetry-2/3479/
and let me know your thoughts.
Several months ago, I wrote a guest post for Kathy Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey blog. She posts weekly on Mondays and mixes her own posts with those of other writers she invites to share their views with her readers. The post I contributed is titled “One reason not to publish a memoir” and located right here: https://krpooler.com/?s=Laura+McHale+Holland
I want to have more conversations with readers and writers, particularly those interested in memoirs, healing and literary fiction. If you’d like me to contribute to your blog or podcast, or if you’d just like to share some thoughts with me, get in touch using this website’s contact form.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I joined three other authors for a lively evening of readings at Copperfield’s Books in Santa Rosa. We all read from our recently published memoirs. The four authors seated left to right are Patty Somlo, Nathaniel Winters, me (Laura McHale Holland) and Alicia Schooler-Hugg.
I read a slightly adapted excerpt (I had to trim and condense a bit to fit the time allotted) of a winter’s day in high school when a good friend and I cut school and drove along slush-filled streets while smoking Old Gold filters and listening to WLS AM radio. Where did we end up? You’ll have to read Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed an reclaimed to find out.