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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Local Literary Lights

Before I moved here I didn't know many published authors. But in Pasadena you can practically see at night by the literary lights.

First I'll tell you about Roberta Martinez so you can immediately mark your calendar for an event at Vroman's Bookstore tomorrow evening. Roberta and her friend Patrick Conyers will present and sign their books. Roberta's book, Latinos in Pasadena, "chronicles the legacies of Mexican Americans and other Latino men and women who lived and worked in Pasadena. The Latino community has been an integral part of the San Gabriel Valley, and here is a book that gives it its rich due."

Full disclosure: I've met and enjoyed a lively email exchange with Roberta Martinez. I haven't read her book (yet), but with over 200 vintage photos it's just my thing and it's on my Christmas wish list. Roberta's got about six brains. And I know and she knows and you know that Latinos in Pasadena are people whose time has come.

I don't know Roberta's co-presenter Patrick Conyers, nor have I read his book, Pasadena 1940-2008. However he co-authored the book with Cedar Phillips, who wrote Early Pasadena. (Gotta love Arcadia Publishing for going with a good idea.) John gave me Early Pasadena for my birthday this year and I devoured it. (That's a figure of speech. I didn't actually eat it. I read it voraciously.) I'm a happy reader when you give me archival photos and accompany them with historical information.

And if you do those things with style you might just be Michele Zack, who recently published Southern California Story: Seeking the Better Life in Sierra Madre. Disclosure again: I know Michele. I haven't read her latest book (yet) but I read her previous one, Altadena: Between Wilderness and City (published by the Altadena Historical Society). I loved that one, too. Michele has a knack for digging up juicy little (or big) secrets a town might want to forget but really, really, ought to remember.

I think I could feature a local author every week and never repeat myself. Pasadena's crawling with 'em. Someday I'll even feature myself.
...

Hey, why not today? Full disclosure: here comes a plug! My story, Belinda's Birthday, is in the running to be Story of the Year at the Rose City Sisters Flash Fiction blog. The story with the most unique page views wins, so go take a look. In fact, three other local bloggers--Susan Carrier, Desiree Zamorano and Margaret Finnegan--have published wonderful stories at Rose City Sisters. All are bright literary lights with whom I'm proud to share a similar flash fiction url.

Leave a comment if you've got something to say. And thanks for supporting your local literati.

20 comments:

Chuck Pefley said...

Good luck with your story competition! I'll give my click in your favor -:)

Shell Sherree said...

Oh, all the best for the competition, Petrea! I don't think my click tonight helped, as I'd visited {and was very moved by} your Belinda's Birthday when you posted it. But I was glad to read it again!

I hope you score Roberta's book for Christmas. It does sound like your thing, and perfume is clearly not an option. :)

Katie said...

Very cool photo. I like good signage, especially against a nice sky. How fun to have such a lively writing community in Pasadena, and to be part of it! I very much enjoyed your story and hope it does well in the competition. (I'm a little curious "most unique page views" means though.)

Desiree said...

Great post-didn't see where you were headed, nice promo!

Cafe Pasadena said...

PDP, I'm sure you'll devour your competition on your, Road to Victory in The Story of the Year!

I mean, looking at your list of "competitors" - they all look to be only bakers, chefs, and eaters. This should be a piece of cake for you, P!

Lemme bee de 1st 2 congratulate you as you head toward claiming your the fabulous prize!

Petrea said...

Thanks, Chuck!

Thanks, Shell. You know, J thinks I'm a "super-smeller." Maybe. Some scents overwhelm me. But I like the smell of books!

It's one of the signs at Vroman's bookstore, Katie. "Unique page views" means the software can detect if I click on my story over and over again. Those are not unique page views. But each new viewer (you, me, Shell, Chuck) is unique and that would be four views.

Desiree, until I got there I didn't realize where I was going. That's what happens when I work without an outline!

I don't think so, Cafe. They're all professional writers with more publishing credits than I have.

Honestly, though, the contest is about getting clicks for the Rose City Sisters Blog, which is a good cause. So go click on any story. You can't miss. (And Desiree's latest is spine-chillingly good).

J+P said...

All page-viewers click unique, but some click more uniquely than others.

chrout!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I think I'll be taking a trip down AMAZON soon. Roberta's a peach

Petrea said...

Chrout indeed.

PA, if you care to buy locally but don't want to go downtown, I believe some of these books are available at the Pasadena Museum of History's bookstore (Latinos in Pasadena for sure). I wouldn't be surprised if Zack's books were available at Webster's or spots in Sierra Madre, too. And I've seen many of the Arcadia titles at places like Walgreen's.

Bellis said...

A few days ago, I tried to buy Michelle's book at Vroman's. Had to ask for it at the Information Desk and got handed a copy from the back. All very furtive - I felt I was in a spy movie. But I suspect they were simply down to their last few copies. I hope it's already heading for a reprint. That, plus the two Arcadia books I'm also getting for Xmas, should keep me happy for several months.

Katie said...

Petrea now I get it -"unique page views" mean "unique visitors to the page". I was thinking more along the lines of "Wow, this page was viewed from someone in Papua New Guinea who heard about it from someone in the Canary Islands! That's unique!"

Ms M said...

Congrats on your story! It's well done. Fingers crossed...
You're blessed to have so many writers/artists in the area. It makes life so culturally rich.

JM said...

You composed this really well, Petrea!

Petrea said...

Bellis, it makes sense it would sell like hotcakes. We love our local history.

Ha ha, Katie, you're plenty unique! But it's an excellent description.

We are indeed blessed, Ms. M. I think anyone who does a daily blog about their town loves it, don't you agree?

Thanks, JM.

altadenahiker said...

I already voted for the four of you wonderfully talented people.

AmyR said...

Best of luck in the competition; it's a really lovely piece!

Petrea said...

Karin, I'm just glad you don't write fiction or I'd have to quit.

Thanks, Amy. With all the literary lights in this town I'm a dim bulb. But every day I spend typing my little fingers to the bone I gain wattage.

Shell Sherree said...

LOL, Katie!!!

Cafe Pasadena said...

P, but KB does write fiction. At least that's how I read it!!

Petrea said...

Yes, Cafe, except her fiction is too true!