RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM COVER REVEAL

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 1:09 pm on Monday, November 9, 2020

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The book cover of RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM is here!

You can read Chapter 2 from the novel here.

PREORDER:

AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, AUDIBLE

Summary:

If misfortune hadn’t gotten in the way, Sandra Sanborn would be where she belongs—among the rich and the privileged instead of standing outside a Hollywood studio wearing a sandwich board in hopes of someone discovering her. It’s tough breaking into movies during the Great Depression, but Sandra knows that she’s destined for greatness. After all, her grandmother Vira crossed the country during the Gold Rush and established the Sanborns as one of San Francisco’s prominent families, and her mother Mabel grew up in a lavish mansion and married a wealthy rancher. Success, Sandra feels, is in her blood. All she needs is a chance to prove it.

In between failed auditions, Sandra receives a letter from a man claiming to be her real father, which calls into question everything she believes about her family history—and herself. As she tries to climb the social ladder, family secrets lurk in the background, pulling her back down. Until Sandra confronts the truth about how Vira and Mabel gained and lost their fortunes, she’ll always end up right back where she started from.

Right Back Where We Started From is a sweeping, multigenerational work of fiction that explores the lust for ambition that entered into the American consciousness during the Gold Rush and how it affected our nation’s ideas of success, failure, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a meticulously layered saga—at once historically rich, romantic, and suspenseful—about three determined and completely unforgettable women.

Article: Greedy Women In LitHub

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:05 pm on Monday, November 9, 2020

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I have a new article on LitHub, On the 19th-Century Food Writer Who Embraced Gluttony As a Virtue.

It’s about how I read The Diary of a Greedy Woman by Elizabeth Robins Pennell, which I loved… until I didn’t.

Notable In Best American Essays 2020

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 12:58 pm on Monday, November 9, 2020

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Hey! I have a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2020.

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Read The First and Last Lives of Jack London.

Article: Searching for Mary Austin in Alta

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 12:35 pm on Monday, November 9, 2020

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I have a new article in Alta on Mary Austin, the author of The Land of Little Rain, published in 1903. I went to the Owen’s Valley to trace Austin’s route through the area and found out some juicy things–a hidden child, unhappy marriage, hallucinations of angels helping her writer her work. She was a fascinating lady.

What’s The Story? Radio/Podcast!

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:52 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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I’m now hosting a radio show on 95.9 The Krush called What’s the Story?

Every Tuesday at 9 a.m. I’ll be recommending a new book to read.

And if you miss it, there’s also a podcast.

What?! Yes! Click the link to listen.

Article: Humboldt Grown

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:46 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

For Alta, I wrote about growing up in Humboldt County, and the changing nature of the marijuana industry. Excerpt:

In 2019, my hometown, Arcata, in Humboldt County, California, removed the statue of President William McKinley that had stood in the central plaza since 1906. Arcata has long been an ultraliberal hippie haven, and the eight-and-a-half-foot bronze sculpture had presided over many a drum circle. I’ve seen bras hanging from McKinley’s hand and traffic cones on his head like a dunce cap. More than once, he has been covered by political banners demanding justice.

The vote to take down the statue was part of a nationwide trend to dismantle monuments of controversial figures. It was sent to Canton, Ohio, where the president is buried.

McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901, ran on a campaign to establish U.S. colonies, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and parts of Hawaii. Today his expansionist policies are viewed as racist toward indigenous people. I agree with that, but the removal of the statue doesn’t have the same symbolic power as, say, taking down monuments to Confederate soldiers in the South. McKinley never even visited Arcata. The statue was a sentimental tribute to a recently murdered president. As the years passed, its presence spoke more to Humboldt’s unique nature, as there’s a slight absurdity to an almost-forgotten president standing in the middle of a town full of bead stores and cannabis startups. The statue’s removal felt like losing part of Arcata’s personality, and I wasn’t sure what would be replacing it. It seemed like a tipping point of change that had been building since I left 20 years ago and was now showing itself in concrete ways. I wanted to know what that looked like.

Last summer, I went to Arcata to see the plaza without the statue.

Read it here.

Short Story: The More You Know

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:43 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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I have a short story in Raritan. It’s called The More You Know, and it’s about a ghost who’s also a valley girl. Excerpt:

Being a ghost is so bogus. Like, what is a ghost even able to do, you know? So I can flicker a light bulb. So what? So can, like, a loose wire. Most of the time when I do that, people think, “Whoa, something is wrong with the lamp.” Mega lame. Like, the major thing I can do cor-porally is the same as some wires.

Read it here!

Short Story: Breaking In

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:11 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020

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I have a short story in the Winter/Spring 2020 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review. It’s called Breaking In. Excerpt:

The ghost horses run at night. They’ve reverted to roaming the earth in troops, their gallop a rumble preceding trains and domestication. I heard them in the charred hills behind us, a cacophony fading to something primal, like ancient drum circles. It has been happening off and on throughout winter. They appear on barren, frosty evenings where in years past it would have rained.

Short Story: The Pigeon Carrier

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:02 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020

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I have a short story at the Atticus Review. It’s called The Pigeon Carrier. Excerpt:

The man wore a holey tee-shirt and a trucker hat over greasy hair. In one hand, he was talking on a cell phone the size of a child’s shoe. In the other, he was carrying a pigeon.

Short Story: Hand To Mouth

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:21 am on Friday, January 24, 2020

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I have a creepy little story up at Flash Fiction Magazine. Someone once told me this story permanently changed how they saw gloves. Read Hand To Mouth.

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