I play guitar, have done so off and on since I was a teenager. I’ve started writing some originals, and decided to share this instrumental.
I was at Cafe del Soul the other day and loved their new signs, and wanted to share them. I find the photo of the staff and their families quite moving.
If you like organic food and want to support honest businesses, stop on by. They’re at 247 Shoreline Highway Mill Valley, CA 94941.
We will re-open tomorrow after being closed for the weekend to treat and monitor our premises to ensure that there is no roach activity and that the space we operate in presents a safe environment to run a food facility.
After meeting with all involved parties we feel we can offer that but will continue to monitor the situation closely and will let you know if anything changes.
Now we need to re-build. We are a small business and this elective closure almost cost us the business and 26 employees their jobs. And we are still very close to having to close our doors for good. We have received so much support from our customers and have been asked what they can do to help.
It’s a simple question to answer..
Eat here tomorrow and everyday after that and invite your friends to do the same!!
Other than that, please feel free ask questions, we are happy to answer your questions honestly and transparently. Speak to our manager Sandro or our Assistant Managers Aldo or Eliseo, or email us at email@example.com
And please visit our facebook page and for more updates and to post comments..
From the Staff and Supporters of Café del Soul
Cafe del Soul, an organic cafe in Marin, might go out of business because they are honest. They have a problem with German cockroaches (which are small but still gross), and rather than hide the problem they are talking about it.
Last week they wrote an open letter to customers detailing the problem and everything they had done and were doing to fight it. The whole building, it turns out, is infested, so however many times they treat their space, they still have problems. Cafe del Soul reported themselves to the health department, which closed them for treatment and inspection. When the health department later gave them the all clear, they reopened, only to find more bugs. So they voluntarily closed themselves. They’ve been closed all weekend.
Restaurants run on a tight margin. Labor and food are expensive, and there just isn’t room in the budget to be closed for days on end. This is a small, family-owned business, with no reserves. Twenty six families depend on it.
I go to Cafe del Soul sometimes to write. I like their organic juices and wraps and salads. I like the people who work there, I’m getting to know them more, and I admire the way they are handling this problem, with total integrity and honesty.
Tomorrow I will drive by and see if they are open. If they are I will buy something. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and like organic fresh food, I hope you will too.
For more information, including information on when they will be open, see the Cafe del Soul Facebook page.
I gave a three hour writing workshop recently for the City of Rockingham, called “Need a Little Inspiration?” I had about 40 participants, both published and unpublished, people who wanted to publish and people who just wanted to write for fun or to record their family histories. I tried hard to balance between encouraging them and giving them a bit of reality about the publishing industry and how much work goes into a writing career, so that they could make realistic goals about their writing and, hopefully, have a better chance of achieving their goals. Most of the feedback was good to enthusiastic, and I feel quite pleased with how it went.
I got an email from one of the participants today saying she’s been thinking a lot about the workshop, and she notices things more: when she meets people she has the urge to sketch them and tell their stories. Ordinary events for her are now story fodder, which was my hope and the goal of the writing exercises I’d made up for the workshop participants. She is thinking like a writer now, and enjoying it.
She said that she could accept what I’d said, that most of the people attending the workshop probably would not have careers as writers (most, I said, probably wouldn’t want to if they knew what it was really like), but she rather thought I could have been a bit more encouraging about that. Perhaps I didn’t really need to tell these people that most of them probably wouldn’t succeed beyond getting a few things published locally or in small venues. In my defense, I agonized about how to balance between being encouraging and being realistic. I told these writers that I agonized about what to tell them, and I told them I hoped that they would beat the odds.
I believe that there is a vast gray space between the urge to write and the reality of publication. There are dragons in that space, and one of those dragons is the dream of being a published writer. The dream alone might make a writer happy, but it’s made of mist. I wanted to help those who want to publish professionally to have a sense of how to do it, and to help those who just write to be happy to actually be happy about their writing. What I fear is that people will spend their whole lives haunted by dragons: feeling guilty about not writing, feeling unsure about how to get published, feeling discouraged from rejection letters, being taken advantage of by self publication deals that lead writers to believe they can make a career from self publishing as an unknown author (sure a few will, but that is the exception). People can suffocate from a lack of information.
Perhaps the real issue I am trying to reconcile myself with is the responsibility inherent in being an authority figure: even just saying that makes me feel like my head is too big. Writing requires hope and faith in yourself, but it also requires hard work and knowledge. I will be encouraging and flattering when I see talent and potential, but if I am not tempering that encouragement with the reality I’ve picked up from my ten years in the industry, I am not sure how much I am helping people. Some of the people who came to my workshop might be happier walking away from the word processor and picking up the tuba. But from the email I got, I know that at least one person is thinking more like a writer, and that I find encouraging.
This morning I was privy to a conversation where people were sharing electronic copies of books and music. Files were being transfered between computers, and the conversation went along the lines of, “My mum would like that book, and I’ll send that one to Keyron, and…”
As a writer and a reader, I feel really conflicted about piracy. My feelings stem from a desire to pay people for their work and a desire to be paid for my work, but I also very much want my work to be noticed and paid attention to, even if I am not getting paid in this instance. Perhaps, in the above example, Mum or Keyron would go on to buy a copy of the book, or something else by that writer, or they would recommend the writer’s work to a friend who would then buy it, and so the content creators benefit from that good energy and the possibility of money down the line. But I wish there was a system by which I could pay a bit of money to the content creator, because I don’t feel right about owning e-books unless I have paid for them or they were given to me by their creators.
So I wanted to propose a system in the hopes that someone might already be doing this, or be willing to do it. Something like Flattr, but set up for writers. I will limit it to books although perhaps a similar system could be put in place for music and other content.
There’s already been lots of talk about voluntary micropayments — see Are Voluntary Micropayments A Solution for Digital Content? for a recap of the story so far. As I have seen it in practice, individual authors can put themselves out there to take Paypal donations, but there is no real solution to the fact that people are sharing electronic files and feeling guilty about that, or not sharing electronic files because they would feel too guilty. The cat’s out of the bag as far as file sharing goes, and any attempts to coax or force it back in, or to put another bag around it (DRM, etc.), are not really working, as well as completely failing to take into account the power of word of mouth to build audiences.
What if there was an organization where readers could make micropayments that would be held for authors? Is there one and I just haven’t found it? It would take a critical mass of payees and money and authors, and watertight legal protection, but it could work. Perhaps it wouldn’t make a huge amount of money for anyone, especially at the beginning, but any payments that weren’t claimed could be donated to charity.
One immediate problem is that this solution rewards the content creator and not the many invisible people (the editor, publisher, copyeditor, cover artist, publicist) along the way that made the book a success in the first place. But those people got paid for their work when they did it, and I say this as a working freelance editor.
Another problem is that the market is upside down: why would anyone want to pay for something if they didn’t have to? I believe that people don’t prefer to steal, and that we feel at least a little bit bad about it, no matter how many other people are sharing files. I think that a system that allowed people to pay authors for pirated books would supplement traditional publishing, not threaten it.
The pay after use culture is in place in other realms, in software development, for example. It’s not new. There was a trend in science fiction fanzines in the middle of the 20th century, of PAR or Pay After Reading, meaning you would mail someone a quarter if you thought their ‘zine was good.
Could this work? Anyone wanna have a go?
I just read the line, “‘Is he going to survive, Doctor?’” said a voice.*
And I wanted to know who he was, if he was going to survive, and who the voice was.
My reaction explained something to me that may sound odd because it’s so basic. I have fallen behind in my fiction reading (when though is that not actually the case?) but am reading more again, and enjoying it. But I got to thinking, why do we do this? Why do we spend time in the heads and hearts of imaginary people? Why do we care?
Because it’s the natural human response to be curious. We want to know who these people are and if they’re going to survive. We like seeing them have problems that are probably worse than our own, and I reckon we learn from and empathize with their life experiences. We want to know what will happen next: that’s how I feel about my own writing, I want to see if I can get these poor bleeders out of this mess they’re in.
*from Chapter 8 of Fear of the Fathers: The Reiki Man Trilogy, by Dominic C. James (book 2 in a series)
So it’s been about a year since I posted here. In that time I split up with my husband, quit my job at Locus after realizing I’d hit the glass ceiling and wanted to do other things, and moved to the UK for a while, then to Australia. I’m writing and doing freelance editing. I got my health back after a dodgy time of many headaches. My divorce was finalized and my ex emailed me saying, “High five?” I cut off my dreadlocks and have not regretted it. I picked the guitar back up (I’ve played it off and on since I was a teenager) and I found some mates to jam with, mates who are really good and say I am also really good. I turned 30 and thought, thank fuck I am done with my 20s. People have told me that the 40s are even better. And the 50s.
I was born in suburban Detroit, Michigan. If you look at a globe, you’d find that where I live now, Perth, Australia, is very nearly the exact opposite end of the world. Like, I am upside down compared to my folks. I could have spent my whole life in Michigan. I am glad I did not.
It would be a bummer if the zombies came and nobody noticed.
To make sure this won’t happen, May has been declared Zombie Awareness Month. Wear a gray ribbon.
And if you just can’t wait for the zombies to come to you, check out John Skipp’s Rose.
Know how Snoop Dogg does his hair in braids like a four-year-old girl? When I was in the sixth grade I read a book where the girls styled their hair in side ponytails. It seemed cool, so one day I did my hair in a side ponytail. The kids in my math class made fun of me, saying I was missing a pigtail. It didn’t occur to me to re-do my hair. I just withered, and swore off being different. Not that I’d figured out conformity, either, but that trying to be different was just too risky.
Snoop, though. You don’t see anyone making fun of his hair. And if they did — shit-talking is part of the genre — I don’t think it would seriously change the way he felt about himself.
I’ve done a bit of growing since the sixth grade. But I still have that same capacity to be awkward and uncomfortable, unwilling to relax into being different. I’ve always been introverted. I read a lot as a kid. Like, my mother would tell me that seven hours of reading in one day is enough, and it was time to go outside and play. The thing about reading is that it exposes you to more ways of being than you can glean from the hawkish way that you watch the popular kids. (One time in high school, two girls, I’ll call them K and L, ate a rotten orange from a trash can because they thought it might get them drunk.) There are all sorts of examples of how to live.
When I was 12, I didn’t have a good sense of who I was. What’s more, I had a rather nonexistent sense of it being OK to be whatever I was. That sense, call it self-confidence, doesn’t come from supportive parents, or understanding teachers, although I had both. Well, some of the teachers were understanding.
The thing about now is that I’m not 12 anymore. At 28, I still don’t have a good sense of who I am, but I’m starting to let go of that fear of being different. And if you’d told my 12-year-old self that I’d have bleached-blond dreadlocks, I’d have thought you were high. (Actually I probably wouldn’t have understood what “high” was, although I would have pretended I did.)
Snoop Dogg, for the record, is almost 40. Check out his video “Kush” for the hairstyle if nothing else.
If Chuck Palahniuk and Christopher Moore had a zombie love child, it would look like THE LOVING DEAD, a darkly comic debut novel.
Read the first four chapters of THE LOVING DEAD, gratis. Zombies, flirting, drugs, and sex: it's all there.
What people are saying:
"THE LOVING DEAD is funny, profane, and more than a little bit squicky, a worthwhile and perceptive addition to a pop culture fad that won't seem to lie down and stay dead." -- Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle
"In Beamer's world, Eros and Thanatos are a lot more than just Facebook buddies. And that raises some difficult relationship issues." -- Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post
"From start to finish, this novel is a true page-turner." --Fangoria
"This story is one of the best 'Patient Zero' -- damn close to it -- tales since NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Before you get your panties in a bunch, I'm not saying Ms. Beamer has unseated Romero.... I urge even the staunchest traditionalist (of which I tend to lean towards) to pick up this book. -- T.W. Brown, Buyzombie.com
"THE LOVING DEAD is about learning who you truly care about in a broken world." -- Fred Cleaver, The Denver Post
"Beamer's version of zombiehood is still about eating brains -- and just about any other portion of the human anatomy -- but she foregrounds what has, until now, mostly been the erotic subtext of the genre.... Beamer's zombies hunger for us -- and we lust for them. It's the perfect symbiotic relationship." -- Paul Witcover, Realms of Fantasy
"Looking for an original zombie novel with some real literary weight? Seek out and read Amelia Beamer's debut novel. You'll never look at the undead the same way again." -- Paul Goat Allen, BN.com
"Blood, guts, and sex intermingle in this stylish debut... an entertaining and original take on the zombie apocalypse." -- Publishers Weekly
"THE LOVING DEAD is really kind of hot, in a very creepy way. Read it. You know you'd love you some sweet zombie sumpin' sumpin'. Buy it, bitches! Ride this zombie Zeppelin of love like there's no tomorrow." -- Christopher Moore, author of LAMB and A DIRTY JOB
"In THE LOVING DEAD, Amelia Beamer gives us a zombie novel like none other. Crisp, smooth and stylish, it zips along from scene to scene, accumulating tension, humor and insight as it accelerates. It is also comic and sexy, a combination I find irresistible." -- Peter Straub, author of A DARK MATTER
"Zombies are all over the place right now, but trust me, you've NEVER read a zombie novel like this! Amelia Beamer's THE LOVING DEAD is about zombies, all right, but it's zombies with Xanax, zeppelins, Trader Joe's, iPhone apps, sex, humor, adventure, NPR, IKEA, and Indiana Jones! It's a rollercoaster ride of a read and a true original!" -- Connie Willis, author of BLACKOUT.
"The stiffest nipples in the history of zombie horror fiction jut defiantly from the pages of THE LOVING DEAD, Amelia Beamer's eye-popping fornicopia of laughs, provocation and mayhem. Yes, it's all fun and games till the emotional hammer comes down. You may walk in with a hard-on, but you won't come out unscathed. Let me state this very clearly: I fucking love this brilliant book. For those of us who care about the burgeoning New Zombie literature, and the powerful cultural metaphors it contains, THE LOVING DEAD is a pivotal work." -- John Skipp, author of THE BRIDGE and THE LONG LAST CALL
"THE LOVING DEAD is a Grand Guignol extravaganza, appallingly vivid and unrelentingly suspenseful. Though definitely not a book for little kids, mature readers won't be able to put it down until they get to the last page." -- Tim Powers, author of DECLARE and THE ANUBIS GATES
"'Zombie' and 'romance' might be the last two words you expect to hear together, but Amelia Beamer's page turner offers just that -- and in addition illustrates how if you're serious about fighting zombies you've got to have the right phone apps. THE LOVING DEAD is a contemporary romp chock-full of bawdy sex and humor." -- Brian Evenson, author of LAST DAYS and FUGUE STATE
"Amelia Beamer's THE LOVING DEAD is strange, sick, sexy and scary. It's also wickedly funny and a damn good read." -- Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author of THE DRAGON FACTORY and PATIENT ZERO
"Promising young writer Amelia Beamer delivers plenty of requisite zombie gore and sex, but adds well-observed characters you get involved with, plus a kink ending that makes you glad she did." -- Cecelia Holland, critically acclaimed historical novelist and author of THE WITCHES' KITCHEN and VARANGER
"If you like raunchy comedy with whips, brains, and zombies, this is the book for you." -- Mario Acevedo, author of WEREWOLF SMACKDOWN
"Dark Fantasy's most audacious new talent answers the question on every reader's mind: What happens when the Undead discover iPhone apps and Trader Joe's?" -- Terry Bisson, critically acclaimed author of THE PICKUP ARTIST
"THE LOVING DEAD is a book that quivers with exquisite contradiction. It is at once sexy and horrific, hilarious and heartbreaking, ruthless and tender. Yes, this is a zombie novel but it is one of the very few I have ever read that has a real ending. If you like your fiction dark as midnight but lit by lightning bolts of emotion, Amelia Beamer awaits your pleasure." -- James Patrick Kelly, Nebula award winning author of BURN
"THE LOVING DEAD is that rare zombie story that manages to remember the human aspect that makes the living dead so terrifying. It's modern, witty, and funny as hell without crossing the line into parody, and it makes the question of 'how will you survive the zombie apocalypse' seem all that more important. Plus, how many zombie stories manage to feature Trader Joe's, iPhone applications, a Zeppelin, Alcatraz, and make it all make sense? Truly an awesomely wild ride." Mira Grant, author of FEED
"Who knew zombies could be so damn sexy? In THE LOVING DEAD, Amelia Beamer crafts a tale that is thrilling, at times raunchy, and all the while thoroughly entertaining. A unique and original take on the shambling, and in Beamer's eyes, bump-and-grinding, dead." Roger Ma, author of THE ZOMBIE COMBAT MANUAL: A GUIDE TO FIGHTING THE LIVING DEAD
"In Amelia Beamer's debut novel, you will quickly find yourself enamored with a variety of things and places and people -- Alcatraz, Trader Joe's, the dead and the living -- that you would have never imagined yourself loving before reading this funny, sexy zombie love story. And what's more, you will discover that the dead love you back. What more can you ask for in a novel? Read it and weep. No, read it and love. Love the loving dead back. They deserve it." -- Christopher Barzak, author of ONE FOR SORROW
Amelia Beamer is a freelance writer and editor. Her first novel The Loving Dead, with zombies and a Zeppelin, came out in 2010 and has made many people laugh and given at least one person nightmares.
She worked for years as an editor, reviewer, and photographer for Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field. She has published short fiction and scholarly work, and spoken at a number of conventions and conferences. She has lived in Michigan, California, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and spent time in Tokyo and Berlin.