Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone After Musings and After Glow

Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone Vineyards was lovely August 13!

Manzanita Writers Press editors want to thank everyone for their great poetry and prose read at Ironstone yesterday for the Moonstruck with Manzanita literary festival. Also, we’d like to thank the public and lovers of literature for coming up and enjoying the event. We had a wonderful time sharing poetry and prose and music with visitors, the public, and other writers up at Ironstone Vineyards yesterday – Sat. Aug. 13.   David Sackman played rhythmic bass loops that throbbed behind the fabric of the spoken word. Jim Lanier  played some great tunes and sang our favorites, and then read a short story from his ebook collection.

The newspapers did a wonderful job of promoting the event and despite getting off to a slow start (writers aren’t usually morning persons, are they?), and waiting a long time to get a bite to eat due to the high numbers of people packed into the lunchroom between noon and one, we had a nice time. 

Manzanita writers

We read, with breaks, from 11:30 until 5 PM. There were fantastic writers from Sacramento, Stockton, Sonora, Yosemite, and Elk Grove – as well as our talented local poets and writers from Amador and Calaveras. One of the Manzanita featured poets came from Santa Monica, trekking all this way to enjoy our beautiful area – Jeannette Clough!  Dan Williams came up from Wawona to read from his upcoming collection of work that reflected his experience as a Yosemite park ranger, and then had to leave to get back and help support fighting the fires up at Yosemite. Anne Molin had to stay up there for support, so we missed her poetry, but Dan read one of her poems, so that helped.  We also missed hearing Ron Pickup, GlenHill Publications, publisher of Monika Rose’s River by the Glass as he was ill and couldn’t make it. We are looking forward to seeing his great river photos that grace the covers and the interior pages of the book, at a future event!  Thanks Red Fox Underground poets represented by Brigit Truex, all the way from Placerville…loved your poetry once again. Can’t get enough. Linda Field, Manzanita Writers Press editor and radio host,  read a poem about the Stock Market, called Dead Cat Bounce. You had to be there, is all I can say. And when Linda read the poem Unwrapped, written by another  anonymous writer in our midst who was too shy to reveal that she was the originator of that lovely, sensuous poem about chocolate and love, it was just luscious.  Again, you had to be there.

Monika Rose and Kathy Boyd Fellure - Manzanita editors

Thanks to more of the poets and writers who shared their work, like our own Manzanita distribution editor Kathy Boyd Fellure, Pam Mundale, Kathie Isaac-Luke, from Sonora, as well as Kevin Arnold, president of the San Jose Poetry Center — who drove hours to get there! and our own Dave Self, Mitz Sackman, Zoe Keithley from Sacramento, John Clewett,  Scott Anderson (our wonderful Lode Star Columnist representing the Lode Star team of writers, editors, and columnists), Donald Anderson and Nikki Quizmondo from Stockton, our own Sande Tresize from Sacramento,  our own Ted Laskin, Jeannette Clough all the way from Santa Monica–love her poetry!, Nan Mahon from Sacramento, Durlyn Anema from Stockton, and more…

The writers had their books displayed beautifully and were there to sign books at breaks.

The lunch was wonderful, once we were able to get it, and Ironstone prepares some great luncheon specials. The wine going with it –? perfect. I had a chardonnay. It went with my Caesar salad with turkey perfectly! I couldn’t eat it all — the portions are huge! 

Dinner at Murphys Hotel

Some of us kept the party going at Murphys Hotel afterwards. If you  want some great prime rib, go up there on Saturday night and enjoy!  A few ordered medium rare and the hotel prepares it on the red side, so when the writers were a bit dismayed at the rarity, Brian quickly remedied their trepidation and whisked the plates back to the kitchen for a further searing, and the laden trays returned like magic, PERFECT! Anyway, they aim to please over there.  Not to mention, dashing service and chivalry.

Monika ordered an appetizer of grilled gator and passed the plate around after cutting it into bite-sized chomps and bits. Surprisingly, most of the pieces clung to the plate when it came back around to her. She and Joy dug in … undeterred by the apparent trepidation. More for them to enjoy!

As Monika was diligently sawing away, a conversation erupted when someone brought up Monika’s poem, Chester and the Bluebird. You know, the one that starts out with Chester near the barbecue, and then his ending up on the barbecue. Anyway, Linda was nonplussed. It’s not her favorite poem and she cringes when it’s read. Monika was not to be put off, giving a few more details from the poem.  Cutting up the alligator, and commenting that it must have had a lot of space to run around (remarking on its texture), reminded Monika about Chester’s propensity to wander off and how tough he was.  She remarked, as she was cutting the gator, that she remembered something her son had said as he was cutting up Chester on the plate.  He had reminisced about chasing that bull calf many an acre after breaking out of fences,  and he addressed the steak, as he hacked  away, “You’re not getting away this time!” 

Groans were heard around the Murphys Hotel restaurant table.  Linda was ready to pick up her knife and hack away at Monika’s arm, next to hers in close proximity–most likely, in retaliation. You have to understand, though. Linda loves animals and abhors abuse or mistreatment of animals.  Monika totally understood the origin of her friend’s distaste for that poem.  She couldn’t stop herself, though. She tried to redeem herself by noting the spirituality in that poem. The bluebird lands on the hand just as she laid that Chester steak down on the grill. The bird takes a look at the meat, sizzling on the grill, looks at her, then takes off. That was the softest sensation she ever felt. Put her at ease.  Monika hoped that part of the story would smooth LInda’s ruffled feathers a bit. She’s still talking to Monika, anyway, so it’s a good sign. Next time a calving is happening, Monika promises to call Linda so she can come on over and watch. Life coming in is far more exciting than the leavings.

On a lighter note, many of us tried the Hatcher Cabernet and had a second glass, it was so good. One fine wine, that. Monika said it was “chasmic,” so go figure–a poet describing red wine should be on call by the winery ad writers. Jeannette said it rolled around the tongue and you could feel the bite all around on all sides. Excellent! You know writers and their literary layering of descriptors.

Anyway, it was a wonderful evening. So much fun to be had with a fun table of writers…Getty had to hold his own with all the women. Not difficult as he is our charming gentleman writer friend. Zoe, Sande, and Shirley trekked from Sacramento and stayed longer to enjoy the meal.  Then Monika was off to the celebration of the full moon with Gary and friends as it rose over the hills, so lovely and elegant. First, cosmic and low, in its largesse, then as it rose higher, put into perspective!  Like a mirror held at arm’s length. Sensible and safe.  Go to it, Moon.

Thanks to everyone for reading to the end.

Signing off!


3 thoughts on “Moonstruck with Manzanita at Ironstone After Musings and After Glow

  1. I must comment on the high level of writing at this event–many different pieces, and among them a recurring and elevated level of inspiration. If this event represents the current life force of poetry in California, and particularly Northern California, all I can say is: Have no fear, the Spirit thrives, endures, and is up to every challenge. Thank you for the memorable day!

  2. Zoe’s novel excerpt reminded me of her high quality of writing and I remember how much I enjoyed reading excerpts of it before. I am anticipating the book in print and want to read it in its entirety. Zoe’s a brilliant researcher and has made the era come alive in this medieval tale.

  3. I heard some truly gifted poets and prose writers speak that morning and afternoon. It was a thrill, so easy to lose yourself in the flow of the words and the music accompanying it. I loved the event and look forward to more in the Gold Country. It was a special treat to see friends, especially Kevin Arnold, who I don’t see often, and Monika, both special poets and writers I’ve worked with. It was a special and awe-inspiring trip for me–my first reading. I have much to learn.

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