Wednesday, March 28, 2018

'The Devil's Pipeline' edging towards completion

   POINT RICHMOND - Pipelines take time to build. So do novels involving pipelines, energy companies, thuggish crime, environmental disasters and the haunting history of the Kent State massacre.
     But today, Draft Vers. 2.0 of The Devil's Pipeline is in the capable custody of one more beta reader in California - accomplished novelist, poet and non-fiction book author, Elizabeth Claman of Atchison Village, who lives just a few miles from where this is being written.
   This draft 2.0 version has already had a thorough sifting and suggestions for changes by my good friend and editor extraordinaire Wrexie Bardaglio.
     Wrexie caught several plot flaws, an embarrassing number of typos and schooled me on some Native American references and facts, all of which makes 2.0 much stronger.
     At some point in the next few weeks - depending on the verdict from Elizabeth (and needed editing is completed) - a Vers. 3.0 will go to the Los Angeles publishing house that asked for a second look at the draft.
     And when that happens, the in-process draft of The Wolverine Rebellion will move back onto the front writing burner, just in time for spring, when wolverines tend to get really active.

Friday, January 12, 2018

'Fracking War' presentations - and video - in Nov.

   SACRAMENTO - November was a busy month with presentations in Sacramento and San Francisco. December was busy, too - for different reasons, which is why it's already 2018 before this report made it out.
   In Sacramento, I gave a talk at the Friends of the Library at California State University, Sacramento, the university where I spent several decades teaching journalism.
   In San Francisco, it was a lively panel discussion with three other writers at the Howard Zinn Book Faire.
   The Sacramento event was a real homecoming for me.
   The library gallery speaking venue was full. The audience included students, former colleagues and even retired CSUS President Donald R. Gerth and his wife Beverly.
   My introduction was given by longtime amigo, retired Journalism Professor Bill Dorman. Bill helped engineer my appearance and shepherded me through the day - a luncheon, the talk and a cocktail/reception at the home of retired Government Professor Jean Torcom.
   In the talk I took a different tack than previous presentations. I stayed away from reciting the horrors of hydrofracking and focused on the novel-writing process. The feedback at the talk and the reception after let me know it was the right move for the university audience.
   A video of the talk is at the bottom of this column.
   Included were references to The Devil's Pipeline (set to go to an LA publisher this week for a second look) and The Wolverine Rebellion, the characters of which are getting extremely restless for my attention to get that plot moving again.
(L-R: Liz Carlisle, Steve Masover, Michael Fitzgerald)
   The San Francisco event was a panel discussion titled "Narrating the Anthropocene: Storytelling to Rouse Communities Grappling with Planetary Crisis," organized and chaired by San Francisco novelist Steve Masover, author of Consequence.
   The other panel members were Liz Carlisle, author of The Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America and Jean Tepperman, author of Warning from My Future Self.
   It was a lively panel discussion, with all of us talking about using fiction to effect social change.
   The panel was less than an hour - the panel-presentation equivalent of speed dating.
   But it was a lot of fun.