Apr 18, 2009

Italian Article - Viaggiare senza soldi

The story (Top 10 vacations for the Newly Unemployed) that got published in Travel & Leisure and picked up by Reuters and then hit a load of Canadian publications (Ottawa Citizen, The Gazette (Montreal), Edmonton Journal, The Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and more) has now appeared in Italy.

Its version of Expedia (so google says), Viaggi, which is part of Libero News (a national Right-wing newspaper published in Milan, according to Wikipedia) published the story, making our web hosting people tell us we need more memory for our website because over 4,500 people hit our site in one day alone. Classic. So, if you understand Italian then you'll understand this bit about us from their article "Viaggiare senza soldi", perhaps:

"Hai un mezzo romanzo in fondo al cassetto? Finisci di scriverlo in un villaggio medievale francese. Trova ispirazione al ritiro La Muse a Labastide-Esparbairenque, nel cuore del Cathar, zona Languedoc. In questo villaggio medievale tranquillo e isolato non ci sono distrazioni oltre al cibo rustico, ai mercatini dei contadini del posto, alle vicine vinerie e alla compagnia di altri scrittori."

Apr 16, 2009

Book Swap - new books

Every retreat the La Muse library grows thanks to all of the wonderful books that our attendees bring along. The result is a real artists' and writers' library - a selection of quirky favorites, instructive volumes, and classics (old and new) built by Musers for Musers.

This month's additions to the Library range from 'how to' to pop-surrealism and we thought it'd be a fun thing to share the titles. Hopefully we can do this for every retreat, as it lets people know who's here, where they come from and what they're into...

Dave Beazley, (the guy with the blue headgear below) is an artist from New Zealand. He brought A Land of Two Halves by Joe Bennet about New Zealand and Vitamin P - New Perspectives in Painting by Barry Schwabsky. Dave describes the latter as the essential resource for the contemporary painter, or anyone with an interest in keeping their finger on the pulse of contemporary art.
The lady smiling beside Dave is Cindy Willis. Her two books, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and Song of the Crow by Layne Maheu are both novels where the narrators are from the perspective of animals. Both Garth and Layne are friends of Cindy's and the three of them are in the same writers group in Seattle.

Marg Hammond, a writer from the sandy shores of Bermuda, made us all jealous of the picturesque vistas of her homeland with A Scope to Bermuda by Ian MacDonald-Smith. Marg also brought with her The Autobiography Handbook, edited by Jennifer Traig, to help all future Muser's attempting to put their past on paper.

Francesca Piredda (below) the very talented Italian author who lives in Canada, who donated her novel Bambina to the library last time she was here, this time chose to bring some great books by Mavis Gallant ( From the Fifteenth District) and John Metcalf (An Aesthetic Underground: A Literary Memoir).
Sue Brown from Australia, currently living and studying in England, in reflection of her temporary home in England brought Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski and The Oxford Book of Short Stories, compiled by V.S. Pritchett.

Andrea Simper, a jewelry designer from New Zealand, donated Unclasped by Derren Gilhooley and Thrift to Fantasy by Rosemary McLeod, both of which have inspired her beautiful work at various stages in her career. The blue headgear the other attendees are wearing are works Andrea is working on for a burlesque show (Miss Polly Ray and the Hurly Burly Girlies) that was on Broadway. It's now showing in London at the Leicester Square Theater .

Kerry and John also took books of the shelves by previous attendees to share with the new arrivals, as well as instructive books they thought might help with the various artists' projects.

Kerry chose Francesca's great novel Bambini, the short story collection Runaway, by Alice Monroe, Nola and Turning Life into Fiction by Robin Hemley, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Cape Clear by Ted Deppe, Cronopios and famas by Julio Cortazar, The Language of Flowers by Marina Heilmeyer and Floral Ornament by Clara Schmidt and Helen Franchi.

John chose Stephen Adly Guirgis' Our Lady of 21st Street, Jesus hopped the 'A' Train, In Arabia we'd be Kings, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Chinatown by Robert Towne, Stranger than Fiction by Zach Helm, The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton, Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, Aspects of the Novel, by E.M. Forster, On Writing by Steven King and The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck.

Apr 8, 2009

And Here's the Kicker - Mike Sacks

Our friend Mike Sacks is coming out with a great book, And Here's the Kicker, in July 2009 from F+W Press.

The book will have interviews with no less than twenty-one famous humor writers: Buck Henry, Stephan Merchant, Todd Hanson (The Onion), Merrill Markoe, Dick Cavett, Larry Wilmore (Daily Show), Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks), Irving Breche (the Marx Brothers), Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel, Dan Mazer (Ali G and Borat), Bruce jay Bruce Jay Friedman, Daniel Clowes, Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Manhattan), David Sedaris, George Meyer (The Simpsons), Al Jaffee (MAD), Allison Silverman (The Colbert Report), Harold Ramis, Larry Gelbart (Caesar’s Hour, M*A*S*H), Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Jack Handey, Dave Barry, Daniel Handler, Roz Chast.

And if that's not enough to whet one's appetite then perhaps the advice from the likes of Susan Morrison, editor of The New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs and editors at The Believer, Esquire, The Onion, Playboy, Radar and Vanity Fair, as well as writers such as Ken Levine, (Cheers, Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond) and others from Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live will!

Mike has worked at The Washington Post and currently works on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair magazine. He has written humor and non-fiction for The Believer, Esquire, GQ, Maxim, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, Premiere, Radar, Salon, Time, Time Out, Vanity Fair, and Women's Health.