Everybody is getting in on the act! Following in the success of MillValleyLit’s Book Club for the Rest of Us, Stephen Colbert, on May 9th launched cOlbert’s Book Club with The Great Gatsby, and an interview with Jenifer Egan. As reported by Aly Semigran reports on “Filling in the void of Oprah's Book Club, The Colbert Report host kicked off his inaugural cOlbert book club with the beloved novel. (First rule of cOlbert's book club? "Don't read Fight Club!"). The only problem is that, like pretty much everyone who has ever joined any book club, Colbert wound up sipping chardonnay and not reading the book at all. 
While he certainly looked the part (watch out, Leo, Stephen makes a pretty great Gatsby himself) he still had no idea what the book was about, rendering him unable to discuss it with his guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan (A Visit From the Goon Squad).”
His next biggie was an interview with Dan Brown on May 14.

C-SPAN2 has BOOK TV “After Words” with interviews with nonfiction authors, some set at Stanford University and an online book club. In Depth is Book TV's monthly interview/call-in program with an author featuring his or her body of work.  It's LIVE on the first Sunday of every month. 

BBC World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. This monthly programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.
BBC Radio4 Bookclub Led by James Naughtie, a group of readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best known novels. BBC with iPlayer radio. What is iPlayer Radio? iPlayer Radio is a one-stop-shop for listening to live and on demand radio from the BBC. This is just the first step in improvements that will bring all BBC Radio together in one place on mobiles, tablets, desktop computers, digital radio and digital TV.



to Local Resources and Writer Tips

Mill Valley Depot Bookstore & Cafe - the book department has downsized, but remains a favorite place to meet

Book Passage - all anyone needs in a bookstore and more, with an extensive used section

Mill Valley Library "Naked Truth" storytelling

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series - Studio 333 Sausalito every 2nd Th each month $5. (not poetry)

Mill Valley Library Book Club - as described

California Writers Club - Marin Branch - check it out

O'Hanlon Center for the Arts - a secret place?

Mill Valley Library Local Author Series

West Marin Review Pt. Reyes Yearly Literary and Visual Arts Journal

Marin Poetry Center - ah, poetry

Redwood Writers Group : "writers helping writers"

in S.F.

LITQUAKE-SF's Literary Festival


- never been but sounds good to us

Lib at Large - Paul Liberatore column

Marin Independent Journal Literary Calendar appears each Sunday

The Daily Beat – Daniel Yaryan


Healsdberg Literary Guild

Interesting website for book lovers:

Writer Tips:

Nail Your Novel - as described

Writers Guild of America, West - Good tips and register to protect your writing. Not just for screenplays and members. Register here. Then hope your work is actually good enough for someone to rip off. : )

What they call “The best online guide to independent & university book publishers” :


A kindred French literary site:

Also has texts in English here and there. Take a look and perhaps post some of your work on it.

WRITER'S DIGEST:a go-to source for almost almost 100 years for tips and contests













































































































































# 5 on June's Marin Fiction list
















































































GALLERY & The STACKS - Back Issues



Great Gatsby -- The first edition of The Great Gatsby published in 1925 by Scribner's, with dust jacket illustrated by Francis Cugat.* A version of the cover art (note the naked irises) is seen as a bilboard in the new remake movie. We found the movie strangley unable to evoke emotion or empathy. Stick with his books.

Mill Valley Library Event

Surprisingly, no one went naked at Naked Truth. But then, this is not San Francisco. Yet.

Emcee Josh

NAKED TRUTH - REAL STORIES LIVE 2013's 2nd event on June 7th was a hit with over 300 attendees (or the max cap local fire codes permits.) Not poetry, not stand-up, not reading, but old fashioned story telling. MC'ed by veteran performer Josh Healy* (above), he promptly roused a normally demure library crowd, who were soon regaled and titillated by tales of seniors with anatomicaly incorrect "hard feelings," strip-teasing gone wrong, false Messiahs, and Communist candy plots. The kind of stories one might hear, or tell, over a few drinks- perfect, considering the amount of donated wine which was flowing. Featuring S.F. and Oakland's Joe Klock, Andrea Carla Michaels, Caitlan Myer, and Mosa Maxwell-Smith in 10 minute story-telling.

5 audience members names were drawn from a hat for a "lightening round" of telling 1 minute stories. "Someone" (tee-hee) Goblet of Fired MillValleyLit Editor Perry King by sneakily submitting her name, and whose name was drawn. As the second lightening round participant, the surprised Perry was obligated to swiftly tell her complex yet bold, with a hint of Irish Mist - "The Shenanigans of Mickey Finnegan the Irish Setter shoe fetish mountain biking Tahoe revenge tail." Or at least 7/8s of it before the dreaded buzzer. Kudos, she rose to the occasion. One man didn't make it past his "set-up," while the last tale-tellers wised-up and used their own phone-timers to end on the nose with a punch. But not violently.

Naked Truth will be back in Oct. We do hope that, ahem, some featured performers will actually be from Marin's large pool of talent next time. For more info on this event see link below.

*Josh Healy was recently seen by MillValleyLit at Sausalito Women's Club "Yeats to Beats" and is noted on our home page.

Need help with your manuscript?


From our friends at SF The Beat Museum's BEAT NEWS:

It’s likely no one would have ever heard of The Beat Generation had it not been for City Lights Booksellers and Publishers. If you’re on this mailing list you’re undoubtedly aware of the role City Lights and Lawrence Ferlinghetti played in the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL and the subsequent 1957 obscenity trial. The history of it is simplicity itself - No City Lights - no Howl trial. No Howl trial - no Beat Generation.

But City Lights' legacy isn't constrained to just the Beats, the Howl Trial, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Over the course of 60 years in business, City Lights has consistently kept a finger on the pulse of avant garde literature all over the world, and has been a stalwart champion in the free exchange of ideas—and it doesn’t look like they're about to slow down any time soon.

So, come to North Beach this Sunday from 2pm – 5pm to join the throng that will undoubtedly spill out into the streets. Click below to see:
- A schedule of City Lights Anniversary Events
- An 8 minute video of Ferlinghetti reading at the 50th Anniversary in 2003
- A 7 minute Public Radio piece on City Lights 60th Anniversary

The Contemporary Jewish Museum has a robust line up of events and programs wrapped around the BEAT MEMORIES exhibition of Allen Ginsberg’s photographs. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we were invited to be a co-sponsor of this magnificent offering and we couldn’t be more proud. I went to the opening night and it was nothing but a class act. Since it opened three weeks ago we have seen hundreds of people stopping into The Beat Museum who were also visiting The Contemporary Jewish Museum that same day.


Take Time for Poetry

No wimpy one page poem, Through Thunder is 65 pages of classic poetry. Two excerpts from the epic poem "Through Thunder"


by Tav Sparks

Hear the orphan chant:
The mists:
My long home I made there,
Home of longing.
I came to know the loss.
Bright mists,
Rainbow fogs,
Who would believe it is not home?
My walls have been these smokey mirrors,
Have spawned a million extra rooms
By my rage that cracks them.
Seen myself seeing myself,
Seeing myself crying.
Bright dance the kaleidoscopes,
The seep of me primeval
Through the veins in this floor,
Echoes off the ceiling,
The painted sky,
Clouds of my dreams,
Sweet vapor making me remember
This is not home.


Go on:
I arise in midnight of morning,
Step out on the porch of my plans.
The wastes of choices hang on me like unused
And this robe of slumbering light.
Long ago nightmares shadow me.
Ah, awake, I begin to feel,
Rise up through this oak tree dawn.
For the millionth time I say yes to this all.
I embrace the mist.
My small candle lights me.
I could die in these hills
And the cosmos roar over me
Like Atlantis going under.

Sparks, Tav. (2005). Through Thunder. Hanford Mead Publishers, Inc
Reprinted with permission.

Tav Sparks is a writer and international workshop leader, and director of Grof Transpersonal Training, a program offering certification in Holotropic Breathwork. For more than 25 years he has worked therapeutically with people in non-ordinary states of consciousness. He is the author of Movie Yoga: How Every Film Can Change Your Life. His writing includes screenplays and poetry. A pioneer in the field of the wellness perspective in addiction, Tav wrote the groundbreaking book, The Wide Open Door: The Twelve Steps, Spiritual Tradition, and the New Psychology. He lives in Mill Valley, California.


Simian scribe by Ari Maslow

Simian scribe
Simian scribe
Out of the jungle
into the tribe.
Simian scribe,
simian scribe
Out of the forest and onto the plains.

Simian scribe
Simian scribe
You are The monkey that ate the mushroom
Yeah, you  ate it all up
You are The monkey that ate the mushroom had a thought
You said who am I
Who am I
What am I
Why am I
Where am I
How am I

Simian scribe, simian scribe,
Out of the jungle
Into the tribe.
Out of the  forest
Off the savannah
Onto the plains
Onto the trail
Onto the path
Onto the road
Into the whimsical journey.

Simian scribe, simian scribe
The road offers you a road back whence you came ,
the road offers discover of ones self ,
the road offer discovery of other selves.
You are The monkey that ate the mushroom
Yeah, you ate it all up
And asked, who am I,
What am I
Why am I
I am me
I am not you
Maybe we are one.

Simian scribe simian scribe
Tell me of your journey on the road of life
Your path
Your trail
Your tail disappearing into a new balance.



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Incensed By Cary Sparks


Micheala looked at several of the simpler websites on meditation, and figured out a few general pointers. The basics were to sit down, close your eyes, and focus on a mantra or your breathing.

She liked that some said it was okay to sit in a chair. That felt more civilized than cross-legged. If you were trying to relax and calm your mind, then why be more uncomfortable than you had to be? She could understand not lying down, because that seemed likely to turn into a nap. But why not a comfortable chair? Maybe meditation had been invented before chairs. Or maybe some people – men, most likely – decided that whoever could overcome the most discomfort while attempting to reach nirvana would be the coolest. Competitive meditation. That was probably it.

Anyway, she had the basics, which would do for now. Later, she could figure out the more complicated stuff. She’d “sit” for a set amount of time, pay attention to one thought or object – they described how to watch her breath going in and out – and observe her mind. It didn’t sound hard. Anybody could do that. What’s the big deal? Good. She was ready to try again. She should be experiencing some great stuff really soon.

This time Michaela settled into the tomato-red armchair, put both feet on the floor and rested her hands on her legs. The incense smell was quite noticeable now. She closed her eyes.

She opened her eyes. She should note the time. She looked at her watch, then took it off and set it down on the mission-style side table beside the chair, where she could note how much time had passed with a quick glance.

Michaela closed her eyes.

There it was. The inside of her head. Dark. Lighter patches matched the shape of the light coming through the windows. Her throat was a little dry. Should she get a glass of water and leave it next to her watch? That was stupid. She rarely drank water. She wasn’t going to sit here that long anyway, just enough to see a little positive result of the meditation. Perhaps just a small, faraway glimpse of enlightenment this time, since she was just starting out.

Okay, no water. What now? Oh, right, her breath. She could visualize it coming in through her nose. She could sort of picture her face from the inside; a dark, face-shaped blob. Her nose. She had never really loved her nose. It was a little too long. She had thought of getting a nose job but hesitated to go through all that. Especially after watching Nip/Tuck. What disgusting things those plastic surgeons did, not to mention the surgery. She thought about one of the characters, the handsome one, Christian. He was screwed up, but had a sweet side underneath. She liked him better then the other one, Sean. Poster child for repressed anger. Now there’s some one who really needed meditation. Oh shit, meditation. She was supposed to be watching her breath. Not thinking about some dumb TV show.

Breath moving in. Breath moving out. Breath moving in. How much time had gone by while she was thinking about Nip/Tuck? Did that count as part of the meditation, or did she have to subtract that from the total time? It was too soon to look at her watch.

She loved her watch. She bought it last year after a nice little win in Vegas. Nearly three thousand. She had made herself walk away from the craps table and had taken a taxi right over to the Forum shops. She found this Ebel Mini-Beluga in stainless steel with diamonds, for only a little more than her winnings. That had been fun. The watch was so pretty.

The watch – the time – damn! She had done it again, drifted off. Well, they said that could happen. And she’d had the good feeling from thinking about winning money, and buying the watch. That should count for something. Probably nothing like nirvana, but it was good, right? But Michaela disliked that she was having such a hard time doing this obviously simple meditation thing. There shouldn’t be that much to it. Watch the damn breath, right?

Breath going in. Breath going out. Breath going in, loaded with incense smoke. The smell was getting intense. In fact, Michaela couldn’t believe she just now noticed. It was really strong, way too strong. It was driving her crazy. How was she supposed to watch her breath when she could hardly breathe at all? She should really get up and put it out. But then she’d lose more time. But she couldn’t stand the smell any more. It was completely distracting. She couldn’t possibly continue meditating. She didn’t know what to do.

Michaela disliked not knowing what to do. In fact she hated it. Now she was getting pissed off. Why was she even doing this? What was she trying to accomplish? Her life was perfect, she’d had everything the way she liked it for years, with only minor difficulties. At least it had been perfect, until the radish just mysteriously disappeared from her kitchen counter, which had started her on this whole mess.

FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!! Fuck that radish. Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.

Michaela’s hands flew high up into the air and came banging down as hard as they could on the arms of the tomato-red chair. Holy shit. She was losing it. This wasn’t supposed to happen! She was getting further from her goals of relaxation, acceptance, and enlightenment. She was going in the wrong direction. She couldn’t even do this stupid little meditation thing. She could barely focus for a single breath. What was wrong with her? She picked up her watch to see how long she had been sitting there.

Seven minutes. Just seven minutes? Unbelievable. Well, if this was what meditation was like, forget it. She could relax some other way.

She put her watch back on, went over to the liquor cabinet against the far wall of the room, and poured a snifterful of Remy Martin. Next she headed for the sofa – no way was she going back to that chair – sat down, and took a long sip. She sighed, leaned sideways, rested her head against the cut velvet pillow on the curved end of the couch, and put her feet up. She held the glass against her stomach. This was better. Michaela closed her eyes, thinking about how emotional she had been just a few minutes before. She still felt annoyed. And she realized that for the past several minutes, although it was still going strong, she had completely forgotten about the incense.



Big weeks for the Marin Literary scene
All these literary events! Two of the top Marin authors, Isabelle Allende and Anne Lamott , appeared a few days apart at the Passage and the Depot.  Anne Lamott discussed  "Some Assembly Required" on April 25; Isabel Allende discussed 'Maya's Notebook' at 7 p.m. April 23 at Dominican University
Sausalito’s Women Club had their annual poetry night, “From Yeats to Beats.” The Larkspur Library hosted its third annual "Real Men Write Poetry" event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 24 in honor of the library's 100th anniversary.
Tales from Two Valley's - Eddy Ancinas gave a book reading 2p.m. Saturday, April 20 at Readers books in Sonoma.
Attended an Engagement Party on Corinthian Island, where we spoke to the mother of the lucky man, who lived in another Valley - Sun -  and knew the Hemingway family. Her son had gone to school with the granddaughters, and as previously mentioned, some of this same Hem clan lived in Mill Valley.
National Poetry Month, Marin Library’s “One Book One Marin” culminated its 3-month celebration with Mary Roach’s appearance at Dominican U April 18 for “Packing for Mars.”  I’m still unclear that with all the great Marin writers, the Marin Library picked an Oakland woman, as lovely and talented as she might be. Perhaps next year they will look longingly at MillValleyLit’s piks and choose one of our own.




Frank Lloyd Wright commemorative stamped envelope from Marin Civic Center Postal Annex


with Anne Lamott Mill Valley connection , dedicated and featured author Don Carpenter, in Bird by Bird

=- Brautigan led Enrico writers group,

Don Carpenter, author of several books including Hard Rain Falling and A Couple of Comedians, which was hailed by Norman Mailer as the best novel ever written about contemporary show business, had completed a novel and submitted it to his agent shortly before his 1995 suicide. His agent died not long afterward and the book disappeared.
The rumored existence of the manuscript, Fridays At Enrico’s, had become a literary mystery, a legendary book that no one had actually seen or read. Until now. Acclaimed editor Jack Shoemaker has uncovered the lost manuscript and Fridays At Enrico’s will be published by Counterpoint Press in spring 2014 with a preface by Jonathan Lethem.


Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson 

What if? Kate Atkinson asks in her kaleidoscopic novel, Life After Life. Page after page, the answer mutates, as the life of Ursula, third-born child of upper-middle-class British parents, unfolds. Born in 1910, the younger daughter of Sylvie, a mildly pretentious homemaker and Hugh, a banker, Ursula lives many lives and dies many deaths during the course of this novel, set against a backdrop of war-torn twentieth-century London and environs, and rendered beautifully alive and realistic by the author.

 Through her many incarnations we become well-acquainted with Ursula and her dreams, aspirations and fears. Atkinson aptly captures both the sacredness and the mundane in Ursula’s life, and by extension, ours.

And, while carefully examining the life of one individual, the author also poses questions of a universal nature. Consider the ripple effect: toss a pebble in a pond and observe the waves that pulse outward. What if Adolf Hitler had been assassinated before he came to power? Of course, the world would look very different today. What would life be like if the script could be rewritten? Atkinson asks us to ponder the meaning of these questions, both personally and globally.

While many-layered and deftly written, this abbreviated family saga and musing on what might have been will challenge the linear-minded. In order to connect with the novel, the reader must suspend disbelief and instead choose to follow Atkinson’s meandering paths, dead ends, and U-turns. Life After Life is a journey, not a destination. Should you decide, however, to travel Kate Atkinson’s road you won’t be disappointed.

 -Carolyn Adams



Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club presents

~ Literary Tea with Christie Nelson and J. Macon King ~

“Setting as Character" with photo gallery and Dramatic Readings Thursday, Sept 19th

Christie Nelson, author of Dreaming Mill Valley and Woodacre, and John M. King, writer, and Publisher of MillValleyLiterary Review, will discuss the theme and power of using “setting as character” featuring examples from their writing.

Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club| One West Blithedale Ave. | Mill Valley CA 383-2582


As a fitting tie-in to National Library Week and National Poetry Month, the Marin County Free Library is launching a new monthly television series in partnership with the Marin Poetry Center, and in collaboration with Community Media Center of Marin.
Marin Poets Live! Is presented by Marin County Free Library, and features host Neshama Franklin, who works at the Fairfax Branch Library.  The show introduces local Marin poets, and delves into their reasons for writing and the influence that living in Marin has had on their poetry.  Neshama is a devoted and deep reader of poetry, and spends time eliciting background from each poet, as well as offering her insights into the poems that each guest reads aloud.  The first show aired Thursday, April 11 at 7:30pm on public Comcast channel 26 and ATT channel 99.  The monthly show will appear the second Thursday of each month.
“There’s nothing like hearing a poem straight from the poet’s mouth and heart,” says Neshama.   “In person, as viewers will discover, poetry out loud can sing!”

The funding for this project was generated by a benefit poetry reading that Kay Ryan, twice Poet Laureate, generously did for MCFL.  Marin Poets Live! advances MCFL’s goal of promoting local poetry and expanding the visibility of local poets .  Current funding for the project is accomplished in partnership with Marin County Library Foundation.  Archived episodes of the show will be available for viewing at Marin Poets Archive and will include the episode, a biography of the poet, and links to books held in the library’s collection.

Yoko's first poetry book in 50 years

from the Guardian UK : "Poetry in action with participation," is how artist and musician Yoko Ono describes her new book of "instructional poetry" – the first she has published solo in almost 50 years.
Acorn, according to New York-based independent publisher OR Books, is an extension of the "intricate strands" Ono first wove together in Grapefruit, the "book of instructions and drawings" she published in 1964. The book, which comes out in June, is "classic Yoko", said the publisher, "full of intriguing and surreal exercises [which invite] the reader to uncover profound and often complex truths, in words and imagery that are playful and accessible".
"It's something I originally created for the internet," said Ono. "For 100 days, every day, a different instruction was communicated. Now it's being published in book form. I'm riding a time machine that's going back to the old ways! Great! I added my dot drawings to give you further brainwork."
Yoko Ono: 'I'm riding a time machine that's going back to the old ways.' "



GALLERY & The STACKS - Back Issues


* Gatsby book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, Charles Scribner's Sons or the cover artist, Francis Cugat.

Uncredited photos: J. Macon King

© MillValleyLit. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material without permission is strictly prohibited.





See Salon for Audiobook Narrators Interview Simon Vance

and Paul Costanzo Interview - Paul: "To me, phrasing a piece of copy requires the same sensibility as phrasing a line of music. So I think that my musical background as well as my acting training enables me to be sensitive to what’s happening on the page."

Speaking of musical phrasing... Paul went to Julliard with this composer's daughter:

Hidden Memorial Park for Mill Valley Composer Ernest Bloch

Ernst Bloch (not Robert Bloch , author of Psycho)  – bench park - Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until 1930. He taught summer courses at the University of California, Berkeley until 1952. In 1927 Bloch won first prize in a contest sponsored by Musical America with his epic rhapsodic symphony “America,” composed while living in Mill Valley. Block retired in Portland. In 2009 Oregon Governor Kulongoski proclaimed July as Ernest Bloch Awareness Month. The bench hides on the creek behind Mill Valley City Hall.


click here for Submission & Contest info

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Squaw Valley Writer's Workshop 2013 Summer Workshop Dates

Poetry Workshops: June 22 - 29, 2013 (Sat-Sat)

Writers Workshops: July 8 - 15, 2013 (Mon-Mon)

Screenwriting Program: July 8 - 15, 2013 (Mon-Mon)


See MillValleyLit Editor\Author J. Macon King and "Dreaming Mill Valley" author Christie Nelson at Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club Sept. 19 for: "Setting as Character, A Conversation and Reading with Slideshow"



Coming in September - Special San Francisco Fall Issue

Season of the Witch- David Talbot's true thriller of 3 dizzying decades in SF

Going to See the Elephant - Fishburne

A Writer's San Francisco

Telegraph Avenue - yes in Berkeley

The writing of Peter Coyote