It's the Roe v. Wade Anniversary, and Damn that Man

It's the Roe v. Wade Anniversary, and Damn that Man
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

 

Thank goodness we cremated Mother and Father—I don’t have to worry about them, turning over in their graves every time that man in the White House tweets.

This is the thought I awoke to this morning, despite a weekend filled with the exuberant hope of Women’s Marches around the globe, repeating the passions we performed the day after that man’s inauguration in 2017.

It’s a grumpy way to greet the sun, although grump fodder has been plentiful the last twelve months.

I kick off the tussled comforter, gird my loins, swing my legs to the chill tile floor, and dash to the bathroom, determined not to dribble a trail. Eh, the dog’ll lick it up if I do.



I make it to...

Writers Read Presents

Writers Read Presents
Liska Jacobs Reading and discussing her debut novel Catalina Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, February 13, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

Catalina, a magnetic, provocative debut novel

Elsa Fisher is headed for rock bottom. At least, that’s her plan. She has just been fired from MoMA on the heels of an affair with her married boss, and she retreats to Los Angeles to blow her severance package on whatever it takes to numb the pain. Her crew of college friends receive her with open arms, and plan to celebrate their reunion on a booze-soaked sailing trip to Catalina Island.

But Elsa doesn’t want to celebrate. She is lost, lonely, and full of rage, and only wants to...

A Triangulated Dialectic

A Triangulated Dialectic
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Published by Ducts magazine and excerpted here.
 

My daughter texts me.

She is in love, a deep and sharp love she has nurtured for three-and-a-half years. It is a love I imagine adorns her library of journals, the older ones bursting with the marks of a high school girl: felt-tip word art, genital-red lips clipped from magazines and strategically placed, angst-riddled poetry, youthful infatuation with adulthood, the secrets of this love’s emergence.

Standing in her abandoned room, I suspect her new journals are filled with the musings of a lyrical college student, bold declarations of fickle intent, brilliant moments of insight, the spatter of salty sorrow. But the old ones, they are...

Ho, ho, ho!

Ho, ho, ho!
Love, K-B

Writers Read Presents: Not My President

Writers Read Presents: Not My President
January 9, 2018 Not My President: The Anthology of Dissent Contributors to the collection will read and discuss their works  

Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, January 9, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook Selected from thousands of pages of submissions from around the world, Not My President is a snapshot of this important moment in history, a 300-page collection of voices from high school students to famous authors, poets, artists, songwriters, essayists and storytellers.

Immigrants submitted work under pen names for fear of being deported.

Contributors commented on every aspect of the Presidential Election and our current political climate, from healthcare to immigration, xenophobia, racism, violence, DT himself, and the pervasive sense of dread that keeps people glued to the...

Writers Read Presents Deanne Stillman

Writers Read Presents Deanne Stillman
On November 14, 2017 Deanne Stillman will discuss her new book Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill  

Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, November 14, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

Deanne Stillman is returning to Writers Read with her new book, Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill. The book explores the unlikely friendship the two men formed during the four months that Sitting Bull traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show.

Deanne Stillman is a widely published, critically acclaimed writer, and her plays have won prizes in various festivals. Her books include: Desert Reckoning, based on a Rolling Stone piece, winner of the Spur and...

Sexual Harassment and Power

Sexual Harassment and Power
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Note: This has been updated from a 2009 version.

  My high school English teacher was an expansive man, ensnared by the vagaries of a congenital defect. The first class that watched him thrash across the room, dragging his clubfoot behind him, dubbed him “The Galloping Guinea,” effectively vilifying his ethnicity and his physique in one cruel gesture. But in the privacy of his office, he claimed the intimacy he could not find in the unforgiving mass of the classroom. Each year, amid stacks of classic tomes and contemporary teenage drivel, he introduced one favored student to private instruction. I was one of the lucky ones. Seated tentatively before his literate desk, I felt him standing behind me. He put his hands...

Book Review: 'One of These Things First' by Steven Gaines

Book Review: 'One of These Things First' by Steven Gaines
Reviewed by Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Previously published by Gay San Diego

 

Bestselling author and journalist Steven Gaines is prolific. With 13 published books, nine of them in the realm of biography, Gaines has made an art of getting into other people’s heads — and letting them into his. He has written or co-written insightful portrayals of such luminaries as The Beatles, Alice Cooper, The Beach Boys, and fashion designers Halston and Calvin Klein. But a year ago, Gaines took a literary leap into a new realm, memoir, and he landed well.

One of These Things First was re-released this month in paperback by Delphinium. In the book, Gaines turned his literary talents to himself, revealing his youthful suicide attempt, obsessive compensations for sexual urges he didn’t...

Book review: Notes on a Banana, a memoir by David Leite

Book review: Notes on a Banana, a memoir by David Leite
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Previously published by Gay San Diego

 

Prepare one large stack of index cards, each containing the memory of a significant life event, its date and the author’s age at the time in one corner. Arrange the cards in chronological order. Mix in three themes—food, love and bipolar disorder—and stir gently. Skim off those cards that don’t blend well, and serve with humor, courage and poignant epiphany.

This is the recipe for Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression (Dey Street Books, 2017), by cookbook author David Leite, creator of the website Leite’s Culinaria, and a three-time James Beard Award winner.

“They do not want to read it,” Leite said. “My parents are very, very old fashioned....

October 10, 2017, Fallbrook Writers Read Presents

October 10, 2017, Fallbrook Writers Read Presents
Danielle Mages Amato reading and discussing The Hidden Memory of Objects  

Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, October 10, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

San Diego-based debut author Danielle Mages Amato has created a fascinating mystery with a dash of the paranormal in her novel The Hidden Memory of Objects.

Set in and around contemporary Washington, D.C.—and in flashbacks to the past, including the 1865 assassination of President Lincoln—Amato’s story reveals her gift for creating a scene and giving life to her characters, some of them endearing, some quite deserving of the role of antagonist.

This might be talent she has developed as a dramaturg, the role in which she currently serves at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre....

Lamentations on the OED Word of the Day

Lamentations on the OED Word of the Day
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

 

Dictionaries are comforting. Looking up a word that leads to another and another and another is a meandering, lovely path to escape—and escape is so desirable in these troubled times.

It was in a more innocent time that I discovered the lexical pleasures: the day in elementary school, when a teacher challenged me to look up a word I didn’t know, and I instead wended my way to “smegma.” The word opened a scatological door that would never again be closed, and, because it was unknown to my peers, “smegma” provided a safe epithet I flung with abandon—until they caught up with me in junior high.

On a more recent day, after reading too much trumpocity and, consequently, agitated to...

All Open Mic Night in Fallbrook, September 12

All Open Mic Night in Fallbrook, September 12
Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Come Out of the Closet and Read! Our occasional all open mic night for poetry and prose Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

There's a lot going on in the world today.

Sometimes it feels as though there's more than words can accommodate.

Try anyway, and share your words with a receptive audience.

For more information, contact K-B Gressitt at kbgressitt@gmail.com or 760-522-1064.

 

Our next reading, October 10, will feature San Diego-based debut author Danielle Mages Amato, who has created a fascinating mystery with a dash of the paranormal in her novel The Hidden Memory of Objects.

 

Book Review: 'The Room of White Fire' by T. Jefferson Parker

Book Review: 'The Room of White Fire' by T. Jefferson Parker
Reviewed by Kit-Bacon Gressitt

 

Best-selling novelist and Fallbrook, California resident T. Jefferson Parker had a great run with his six Charlie Hood Border Series thrillers. Now, with the release of The Room of White Fire (Putnam, August 22, 2017), Parker launches a new series with a new protagonist: San Diego private investigator Roland Ford.

Ford is a complex hero—a U.S. Marine war veteran, former sheriff’s deputy, and host to a gaggle of eccentrics in the North County compound they share. He is capable of precision violence when it’s called for, and he’s a bit of a brooder, but with a soft spot for underdogs and the smarts to pick them from a...

Before Women’s Equality Day

Before Women’s Equality Day
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

 

1888 Women's Suffrage, Temperance and the Reps and Dems

Reading 19th century documents about the women’s suffrage debate in the relative comfort of the 21st century is interesting and annoying.

It’s annoying because of the lack of progress we’ve made toward women’s equality since such debates were first held in our fledgling Congress. And it’s even more annoying because the attitudes of yore persist today. While the Trump regime is doing what it can to roll back women’s rights, from removing protections against unfair pay and sexual harassment to limiting reproductive healthcare access, troglodytes spew gender bias akin to the recent multipage diatribe by a Google engineer denigrating women’s sensibilities and innate capabilities; all proof that...

Writers Read Hosts Launch of New T. Jefferson Parker Thriller

Writers Read Hosts Launch of New T. Jefferson Parker Thriller
 

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library, a free monthly author series, will host the launch of best-selling author T. Jefferson Parker’s new thriller, The Room of White Fire. The launch is Tuesday, August 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the library’s Community Room.

A return to Parker’s thriller roots, The Room of White Fire introduces a new series with a new hero, poised to rival Parker’s vastly popular Charlie Hood Border collection.

Private investigator Roland Ford is a former cop and Marine, and a loner who nonetheless plays host to a haphazard commune of kindred misfits.

Contracted to locate Clay Hickman, a troubled young veteran escaped from a secured mental health facility, Ford initiates the search in his typical low-key and skeptical way....

Oh Brother

Oh Brother
 

By Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

b. 1918, d. 2007

  Poet's note: Poetry waits for no man, woman or bird in a tree, such as one outside my window now.  

Let him talk, Lottie always says. Talk is cheap as long as he's got breath, and so far, Deke has got plenty of that. He's my own full brother. I reckon he's a lot like me, but his imagination runs high. Me, I don't really have no imagination, When Deke starts spouting that poetic stuff, I get a real stomach ache.

You take last night. He drifted in here when I was almost ready for bed. He was higher than a kite, but he don't drink, never did, wouldn't take drugs if someone shot him.

What he...

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Joan Maloof

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Joan Maloof
reading and discussing Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests  

Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, June 13, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

Joan Maloof, a Fallbrook-based author, scientist and environmentalist, has published her third book about trees and their integral relationship with human life: Nature's Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests (Timber Press, November 2016).

In Nature's Temples, Maloof, founder and director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, explains the unique nature of old-growth forests and delivers a passionate argument for protecting the few that remain.

Nature's Temples will be available for sale and signing.

For more information, contact Kit-Bacon Gressitt at kbgressitt@gmail.com or 760-522-1064.

 

Things My Parents Taught Me

Things My Parents Taught Me
 

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

  Author’s note: Extended family folk gathered in Maryland a couple weeks ago to celebrate an 88th birthday and put my parents ashes in the Bacon plot after some years of their awaiting an efficiency of schedules. The cemetery gathering was cause for reflection on Mother and Father and on a topic I wrote about some years ago, the things my parents taught me, now updated with a bit of sibling input. Some of the lessons might be Bacon Gressitt peculiarities; perhaps some you'll find familiar.   When two people love each other very much, the father plants a seed inside the mother, where a baby grows until it doesn’t fit any more and subsequently requires many diaper changes until she or he acquires...

Author Feature: Danielle Mages Amato

Author Feature: Danielle Mages Amato
Author of The Hidden Memory of Objects By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

 

Danielle Mages Amato by Eric Louie

Behind the hazel eyes and engaging laugh of young adult fiction author Danielle Mages Amato bubbles a bright and imaginative mind. And from that internal kettle, the debut author and North Park resident has percolated a fascinating mystery with a dash of the paranormal, The Hidden Memory of Objects.

Set in and around contemporary Washington, D.C.—and in flashbacks to the past, including the 1865 assassination of President Lincoln—Amato’s story reveals her gift for creating a scene and giving life to her characters, some of them endearing, some quite deserving of the role of antagonist.

This might be talent she has developed as a dramaturg, the...

May 9, 2017, Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents

May 9, 2017, Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents
Wallace Tucker reading and discussing Chandra's Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA's Premier X-Ray Observatory  



Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, May 9, from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

In Chandra's Cosmos, Wallace Tucker, Science Spokesperson for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center, uses an informal narrative along with dramatic color images to describe discoveries made by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the most powerful X-ray telescope ever built.

On July 23, 1999, Chandra, the X-ray equivalent of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia into an elongated orbit that takes it as far as 86,000 miles from Earth. Chandra has given the world a view of the hot, high-energy...