FREE GOLD LIT: Mark Leidner Book Launch

Update: The event went-off, and a good time was had by all. Photos courtesy Stephen F. Trull, Jr., and Hae Min Cho. Scott Feeney won the swag pack full of books with a score ~400k.

Saturday, 7/21, I'm throwing a party for Mark Leidner to celebrate the publication of his collection of short stories, UNDER THE SEA, edited by Giancarlo DiTrapano and published by Tyrant Books. Joining Mark will be the poet Amanda Nadelberg and the sci-fi/dystopian/anthologist writer Nick Mamatas


I've thrown a few events in the past with writers such as Matt Bell, Lisa Ciccarello, Ruth Galm, Tracey Knapp, Matthew Siegel, Michelle Adelman, Alicia Jo Rabins, and Siamak Vossoughi. Typically I've hosted at Alley Cat Books in the Mission, which has a really beautiful space in the back for events. It's always been a good time.

This time, though, I'm bringing it a little closer to home. FREE GOLD WATCH is a pinball arcade and screen printing shop here in the Upper Haight. I've been kicking around the idea of running a periodic series called FREE GOLD LIT. Tonight's the demo run of that idea. Bookstores in SF do a great job of throwing events. Particularly Green Apple Books on the Park and The Booksmith/Bindery, but I wonder if there might be more of an opportunity for writers to connect and form community over, say, large quantities of booze and pinball. (Just a theory.)

There will be some books for sale, and we'll also be giving away a swag pack of books for the high score of the night on the pinball machine FATHOM.

If you're in the Upper Haight on Saturday night, swing through. We'll be there from 7PM until 10PM.




Back from the (Bad Habits) Lab

Through 2015 - 2017 I finished a novel (working title: Golden Gate) which dealt in part with graffiti and street art in the Bay Area. While following a number of artists on Instagram, I happened to catch an invite from Bad Habits Lab to a private warehouse show in SOMA. Inside, a number of O.G. legends in the scene painted original pieces specifically for the event.

Sadly, the show was shut down after one night. Below are some shots from walls:

(The next to last image in the gallery is a "FLOODED" highway sign painted by Eye Spy. I was lucky enough to take that piece home with me.)

In my novel Golden Gate, an alcoholic EMT who loses his job after failing to stop a teenage girl from committing suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge gets busted down to street cleaning. Not long after he begins removing graffiti, someone stencils the face of the doomed girl all over San Francisco. He is both haunted and hunting for the ghost. The novel circles surveillance, apparent and hidden cultures, disparity, and the wondrous, ever-screwing vice anyone who's lived in San Francisco or the Bay Area understands.

If you move on the level of the street, you cannot help but begin to pay attention to the evolution of the living texture. What at first seems visual noise becomes a hidden text. From the vandal's tag to the sanctioned mural, the signs and symbols grow to be companions in otherwise lonely or hostile environments. They stand against every surface being auctioned and monetized.

A little cut from the novel:

“Who knew who had collected their face. One day they would all only be known by their faces. They would never be able to escape them. The graffiti writers understood this from the start. Ninja masks wrapped from t-shirts, respirators, black hats, sunglasses before dawn. The future beyond names was fast approaching. If you hadn’t learned to live in the sixty-first minute of the twenty-fifth hour, you would be branded.”

I hope to have more news to share soon. Gratitude to all the artists who have taken the risks and shared their talent in San Francisco.