Left My Soul in Europe

I am so jetlegged. I’ve heard it’s because my soul hasn’t caught up with my physical body. Might be that I took a 2.9 year old with me to Italy/France. I was there in Italy to take part in a conference put on by an Italian magazine called Internationale. They paid for me to go and put me up in a hotel, and paid for all my food. Yum. Still dreaming of this slipper like pasta filled with the local winter squash, Violina, I think was the variety. Forgot to take seeds home with me. (Good thing, I was searched at customs and for once didn’t have any contraband cheese on my person).

Also got to hang with my sister, flew over to Toulouse and stayed at their awesome house/farmstead.
It was quality sister time: we went mushroom picking, gardened together, and she fed me obscene amounts of food.

Glad to be back home, doing my thing, though. Which, btw, will involve a reading with LitQuake Thursday, Oct 16, at the Lake Chalet in Oakland 6-8pm.
And October 17th I’ll be at the Oakland Museum of California, at 7pm in the Natural history display of a Tule Elk. Here’s the link for that event.
Finally, October 18, I’ll be in Hayward for this:
California Reads: A visit with bestselling author Novella Carpenter, discussing her new memoir Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild – Saturday, October 18, 2:00 pm @ Hayward Main Library. Find complete California Reads schedule at: http://hayward-ca.gov/veterans

Ciao!!

Unplugged

I swore I would do it, and I did: got rid of my iphone! GOT RID OF MY IPHONE!

Got a flip phone. It’s a little like living in the early 00’s. I like it. But it’s also like part of my brain is gone. For instance: I routinely left the house in the first new days of my iphone-less-ness and quickly realized I had no idea where I was going. I couldn’t look up directions. So I’ve been talking on the phone a lot more now. It’s nice. I used to hate phones but now I’m thinking they are way more efficient than sending mulitiple messages over a course of many days in order to make a coffee date. Just pick up the phone and seal the deal.

On that note, here are some more dates where I’ll be appearing, live in person or live on the radio (I’m writing this, looking at an actual physical day book):

September 10: Pollinate (East Oakland) 6:30pm; buy tickets here.

September 16: KQED interview with Michael Krasny! Call in! (not yet sure if it’s 10 or 11am)

September 17: Booksmith (San Francisco); 7:30pm, more details here.

September 18: Oakland Public Library, main branch, 6pm

September 20: Green Arcade Books (San Francisco); 5pm

September 27: Biofuel Oasis Harvest Fest (Berkeley); 2pm

October 16: Lit Quake at Lake Merritt 6pm-8pm in the Lake Chalet

October 17: Oakland Museum of California (More details soon)

October 18: Hayward Reads (More details soon)

October 25: California Book Fest (Sacramento)

Whew, good night.

 

There and Back Again

I’m feeling like Bilbo Baggins, home from the road, feeling tired but satisfied, glad to get back into life in our shire. We had a most wonderful roadtrip/book tour. Here’s a shot from Bookpeople’s window in Moscow, ID.
bookpeople

My sister and her daughter, Amaya, came with me and Frannie for the ride up to Seattle, then over to Idaho and down through Nevada. We had so many hilarious and awful things happen, it’s hard to remember everything. The first night in the tent, Frannie projectile vomited everywhere; at one Seattle reading only 3 people showed up (and I knew two of them–hi Joan and Kate!); one night the kids ate ice cream sandwiches for dinner. Riana was the best co-pilot ever, she dutifully climbed in the back to fill up Franster’s milk jar and kept the kids entertained while I drove. Amaya and Frannie were best cousins, immediately squabbling followed by hugging. Thanks to everyone we met, old friends we got to see again, meals cooked in our honor, and for all those beds we crashed on–couldn’t have done it without you!

I didn’t blog from the road, but my sister did at her flickr site.

Stay tuned for events and happenings in September, when Gone Feral will rise again.

Into the Wild

novellagoneferal
Thank you to all that came to my readings in the Bay Area. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to look out at familiar faces while reading from my new book, Gone Feral. And I’ve gotten to meet some new friends, too, including a woman who dated my dad in the late 1970s. She told me she had been thinking about her old boyfriend George Carpenter and so she googled his name. My reading came up in her search. Of course she lives in Berkeley, right where I was having a reading. Priceless.

I’ve been learning about myself too. One woman at the SF reading at Omnivore Books told me she was so surprised at the difference between me reading from Farm City and me reading from Gone Feral. “You were so…strident last time I saw you read,” she said, “Now you seem so vulnerable, so soft.” It’s true, I was a little weepy that night. The two books are very different, I’m not so heroic in this latest one. It feels good to admit that I’ve had a tough life, that I’ve made mistakes and that I’m just human.

Now my sister and niece are coming to America to go on a great roadtrip/book tour. We’ll be camping in the redwoods, staying at Pholia Farm up in Ashland (Nigerian goat farm and cheese making paradise), before doing a few readings up in the PacNW. Like I said in my last post, I’ll be reading in Portland (Powell’s) June 30, Seattle (Town Hall) July 1, Olympia (Main public library) July 8, Moscow, ID (Bookpeople) July 10, and Eagle, ID (Public library) July 15. We are also going to go visit my dad and our birthplace of Orofino, ID. When my sister and I get together, strange magic tends to happen so I’m thinking this is going to be epic.

If you missed me in the Bay, there are future readings in the making for the months of September and October, so stay tuned. Until then, see you out in the wild.

My New Book, Gone Feral: June 12

It’s been a long time coming, but my new memoir, Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild, will be released on June 12. The book is very personal–about my hippie parents, my feral father, and my journey to become a parent myself. “There is much to be learned here for all daughters — about acceptance, about redemption, about the distances we must go at times to find our own deepest familial truths,” wrote the author Elizabeth Gilbert about Gone Feral.

Gone_Feral_cover

I’ll be doing several events in the Bay Area, hope you can come to one of these:
BAY AREA READINGS
-June 13 at Pegasus Books on Shattuck, Berkeley, 7:30
-June 14 at the Temescal Public Library, Oakland, 12pm
-June 16 at Omnivore Books, SF, 6:30pm
-June 17 at Books Inc, Alameda, 7pm
-June 18 at Book Passage, Corte Madera, 7pm
-June 19 at Copperfield’s Sebastopol, 7pm

Then I head to the Pacific Northwest, via roadtrip with my daughter, my sister, and her daughter! Should be epic.
-June 30 at Powell’s (main store), Portland, 7pm
-July 1 at Town Hall in Seattle, 7:30
-July 2 at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, 7pm
-July 8 at the Olympia Public Library, 6:30pm
-July 10 at BookPeople in Moscow, ID 6:30pm
-July 15 at Eagle Public Library in Eagle, ID, 7pm
-July 18 at Carson City Public Library in Nevada

VERY IMPORTANT: If you can’t come to one of these events (I know, it’s wedding season), consider pre-ordering a copy of Gone Feral through Amazon or Powell’s. You can pre-order on Amazon here. Amazon chose it as one of their favorite books for the month of June! Or at Powell’s here or find your closest bookstore that sells Gone Feral thru Indiebound.

The reviews have been trickling in, here are a few of them:
“Like the offspring of so many of the hippie back-to-the-landers of the 1970s, Carpenter, herself an urban farmer (Farm City, 2009), and her sister received only minimal parental attention, which was further diminished when their parents split over the strain of free love and a lax work ethic. When her mother took the girls to Washington, leaving their father behind on a sprawling Idaho homestead, they never thought he would disappear from their lives. The phone call that comes nearly 30 years later saying that George, their
now 73-year-old father, really has gone missing motivates Carpenter to try to find the man, literally and figuratively, whom her father became. Spurred on by a desire to raise a family of her own and decipher the genetic code for either survival or destruction that she might be passing on, Carpenter performs a wild pas de deux with the cantankerous George, approaching him as one would a wild animal with no trust in humanity. Carpenter chronicles her daring quest for understanding and familial continuity in this sincere and remarkably uninhibited memoir.”
–Carol Haggas, Booklist

“Oakland author Novella Carpenter clearly remembers the day her dad went missing — it was Oct. 17, 2009, when he vanished from his Idaho town. In this engaging memoir, Carpenter realizes that George — a free-spirited 73-year-old homesteader — had been missing in action for most of her life. Carpenter writes with humor and honesty about searching for him — and what the experience taught her about being a daughter and a mother.”
–San Jose Mercury News

See you at a local bookstore soon!

Urban Farm Tour, June 7

I’m humbled and honored to be part of the Institute of Urban Homesteading‘s annual Urban Farm Tour this year. Every year, Ruby connects urban farms (and their farmers) with people who are interested in learning more about urban farming in the East Bay. Here’s the description of the event:

Come see what established home-scale urban farmers are up to and what is possible on a small. medium, large, or extra large urban lot.

You will see fruit & vegetable gardens, composting systems, rabbits, goats, bees, greywater and more, plus you will get to sample some of what these urban farmers are producing..

How it Works
Join our mailing list at iuhoakland.com and we’ll send you details the week before the event. Once you have the locations, plan your itinerary and bike, drive or walk yourself there. Visit as many of the sites as you have time or interest for.

Guided tours with tasting and Q & A are lead by the farmers once per hour on the hour . Each tour lasts about 45 minutes.

10am-4pm, last tour at 3pm

It’s going to be a blast. You can either buy advanced tickets or pay as you go at each site (it’s $5/site).

Advanced Tickets can be bought here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/628998

I think I’ll be doing a homemade sauerkraut demo, and will have carrots and honey to taste. Tell yer friends–it’s going to be really fun.