What's Happening This Week in San Diego?

What’s Happening in San Diego (February 27 – March 4, 2015)

Friday, 2/27

  • 5pm: Kick off the Bicycle Film Festival San Diego at Tiger!Tiger! (3025 El Cajon Blvd) with Automatic Brewing’s BFF CPA beer release. Then move on down the street to Coffee & Tea Collective for “Breakless” a photo exhibit.

Saturday, 2/28

  • 4-10pm: Bicycle Film Festival will be screening several films and short films at the Museum of Photographic Art (1649 El Prado at Balboa Park), The Way I Roll, Cinematic Shorts, and Urban Bike Shorts.
  • 7-10pm: Low Gallery celebrates their move to their new location at 1878 Main Street with take two of the opening reception of the art show Castles in the Sky.

Sunday, 2/29

  • 6:30-11pm: Open mic at Java Joe’s (3536 Adams Ave)

Monday, 3/1

  • 7pm: Words Alive (5111 Santa Fe St. #219) hosts So Say We All’s Greenroom Writing workshop, a free creative writing workshop providing a kind, supportive, and challenging community. This meeting’s topic is “The Quiet Ones.”

Tuesday, 3/2

  • 6:30-11pm: Open mic night at Java Joe’s (3536 Adams Ave)

Wednesday, 3/3

  • 6:30-9pm: San Diego Herb Guild presents the Herbal Marketplace taking place at Casa Del Prado in Balboa Park. Buy locally made zines, herbal products, live plants, and more! Look for it in Room 101.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Freelance Writer in Your Life

I’m sick of reading gift guides for writers that tell you to buy us our “favorite pen” or “more notebooks.” No. Fuck that. If you know me, you know I have a shelf full of empty notebooks that I’ve impulsively and compulsively bought. I have boxes and boxes of pens because I love buying pens. I don’t need you to buy me those things.

Who am I kidding? I love getting more notebooks. But if you want to help a writer friend or family member out, consider these following items instead. Some of the following are especially useful for a new freelancer, but I think all freelance writers can benefit from these.

Are you a freelance writer? What do YOU want from this holiday season? Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(I’ve included Amazon Associates links when possible. That means if you buy through these links, you’ll be helping me buy myself a meal! Thanks.)

The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed ($12)

The Money Book for FreelancersI’m listing this book first because IT SAVED ME. And if you know a struggling freelancer, it will save them too! I wish I had read this before I quit my full-time job so I was fully prepared for what was to come.

It is so, so important for freelancers and self-employed peeps to get their finances in order. Freelancers don’t have a steady paycheck so they HAVE to strategize their savings. This book is a great resource that talks about how to save, where to save, and why. We don’t have employers holding our hands and contributing to our 401(k)s anymore. We have to do it ourselves! And we can’t put ourselves into debt doing so.

This book will kick your freelancer friend in the ass and tell them to get their shit together. I would pair this with a good bottle of craft beer or wine because if they’re like me, they probably can’t afford good bottles of craft beer or wine.

Ulysses (Mac $45) or Scrivener (Windows $40, Mac $45)

Good writing software is a must, and these two are on the top of the list. Pick one of these depending on the type of writer your friend is.

Scrivener has a TON of features that mimics how a pen-and-paper novelist might have brainstormed back in the day: corkboard with movable elements, storyboards, outlines, project organization, and more. The novel (or research paper or feature article or whatever) can be broken up into smaller parts (like chapters) and be edited together or separately, and you can include all of your research into the app as well. Scrivener also allows you to prepare your finished manuscript for printing — whether to send off to an agent or for self-publishing.

Ulysses, my personal favorite, has less features than Scrivener, but that’s why I like it. There’s no storyboarding or outlines, but damn, what it does offer, it does well. It’s perfect for writers who self-publish. Formatting is super easy with Markup and you can easily export to ePub, PDF, HTML, or even plaintext. And if you do publish to PDF or ePub, you can guarantee it’s going to look pretty. Ulysses, like Scrivener, also allows for project organization — so you can have different chapters or scenes glued together. Markup also makes it easy to annotate, link, and structure your work as well.

AP Stylebook (Print $21, Online subscription $26/year)

Have you seen this Onion article on the ongoing dispute between Chicago style and AP style?

Join in on the warfare, and get your writer friend an online subscription to the AP Stylebook. In the U.S., it’s considered one of the standards for style, spelling, and grammar usage in the news-writing world, but its the basis for so much more writing than news. Major blogs and magazines use the AP Stylebook, and even press release writers and web content writers should have this resource handy to help develop a consistent style.

I recommend getting the online subscription because your friend will receive updated styles and tips throughout the year. Or you can buy them the print version that comes out annually. You can find the 2013 version cheap on Amazon or buy the 2014 version directly from the AP Stylebook website. But if you’re going to go there anyway, you may as well get them the online subscription.

Writer’s Market ($23, $34 for Deluxe Edition, $40 for annual online subscription)

2015 Writer's Market

The Writer’s Market is a behemoth that lists nearly every single paying publication that your writer friend can submit to. And it’s not just for fiction writers too, which is what makes this such a great resource. A lot of freelancers have their hands in many different pots. One week they’re writing an article about cars, the next week they’re working on a short story they’d like to get published.

The print edition of Writer’s Market updates every year, but the online version updates throughout the year. And it includes listings from all the other print editions as well like the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.

My recommendation? Get the Deluxe Edition of the Writer’s Market. It INCLUDES a one-year online subscription. Print + online subscription = $36… or online subscription only = $40. What’s the better choice?

150 Screenwriting Challenges (Kindle $5)

150 Screenwriting Challenges by Eric Heisserer

Yes, I know this says screenwriting challenges, but these challenges are great for all kinds of narrative writers. And for $5, it’s kind of like a digital stocking stuffer and totally worth it. Eric Heisserer has been writing for nearly two decades, so he knows how to get his juices flowing. I highly recommend following him on Twitter for his whiskey-fueled writer rants as well, which are both informative and entertaining.

And that’s it!

Thanks for reading the guide. And take care of your writer friends!

What’s Happening This Week in San Diego? (November 28 – December 4, 2014)

I hope you guys are having a great Thanksgiving!

Hopefully you’re lucky enough to still be relaxing with family. Or if you need to get out of the house for a bit, there are some great family-friendly events happening this weekend you can take them to.

Friday, 11/28

  • 11-5pm: Pop up shops from Maria Baker, Primrose Plum, and Boygirlparty will be at Low Gallery (3778 30th St) to kick off your shopping season.
  • 8pm: Black Friday bumming you out? Join Finest City Improv for their weekly “The World According To…” Every week, they invite a San Diego person — or in this case… a whole family! — to share their story, and then their house improv team uses those stories “to go crazy hilarious places.” Buy tickets here.

Saturday, 11/29

  • 10am-2pm: Family Farm Fun Day at Wild Willow Farm. Hands-on activities for every age, including cheesemaking, soapmaking, seed planting, and a nature scavenger hunt.
  • 11am-5pm: Art Bazaar and Trunk Show at Visual Shop (3776 30th Street)
  • 1-5pm: Wild Willow Farm is hosting a Schools for Chiapas Workshop that features vendors, short films and music about the Mayan communities in Chiapas, Mexico and zapatista movement. Learn about corn, the agricultural system, how to make tortillas and tamales.

Monday, 12/1

  • 7-8:30pm: Dedicate some writing time at the Greenroom Writing Workshop hosted at Words Alive (5111 Santa Fe St. 92109). Greenroom Writing Workshops are free and open to writers of all experience levels. “All Greenrooms are structured around a topic and include periods for discussion, generative free-writing, and opportunities to share aloud.”

A run down of my life and projects 2014

I thought it might be a good idea to mention some of my other projects. I have three main things going on right now: my writing (poetry, prose, and freelance), music, and my shop.

Main Thing #1: Obviously, reading my blog, you’ve read some of my creative nonfiction (Thoughts while sitting in Caffe Calabria and A memory from Valley Center). I also like writing about music, which you can see with these short song and album reviews (listen category). I have a couple of ongoing sites I blog for, including Creative Edge Music and Villains Records. In addition to weekly blog posts, I also write the web content — band biographies, mostly — for Villains.  Did you know that I also freelance?  I would like to start writing more and more music content for up-and-coming musicians and artists.

That leads me to Main Thing #2: my music. I play in a band called Mariel. You can read a little bit about us on the Villains site. I play synth/keyboards and sing. We’re going on a miniature tour with another Villains band, Sullen Ray, this coming Valentine’s Day weekend, in celebration of the annual Villaintine’s compilation release. I also have a solo project called Raymond the Sparrow that I started as an homage to sci-fi but has turned more personal as the months have passed. My friend/roommate Will recently recorded me, and that song will be released on this year’s Villaintine’s record!

And finally, Main Thing #3 is my online shop. I like to make jewelry and knit and embroider cards and the list goes on and on. My 2014 for SHOP.jlowatari is to get at least one brick-and-mortar to carry my earrings. I wrote about my latest jewelry project on the blog. To succeed, I have to get more earrings made, take professional-looking photos, and start contacting shop owners around San Diego and outside. My friend Jonnie Estes has been so nice and helpful, giving me advice! She and my friend Becca of Little Otto Shop inspire me to continue with what I’m doing, despite all the self-doubt I have about my skills and creativity. I hope they know how much I appreciate their help!

Happening This Week (March 21-27, 2011)

Been really busy lately, so I apologize for the lack of a content post this last week. But here are some events, aggregated right here for your easy perusal!

  • Tuesday, 3/22, 7-9pm: Crafty Conspiracy at Velvet Klaw Studio. Join the North Park Craft Mafia for their monthly crafty get together. RSVP for the event by emailing craftnight@sandiegonorthparkcraftmafia.com.
  • Wednesday, 3/23, 7-10pm: El Take It Easy will be hosting another quiz night, this time to benefit foster children.  There is a suggested $10 donation at the door.
  • Friday, 3/25: Alchemy will be celebrating their 2 year anniversary for a week, starting today. Green Flash brewer will be choosing all the taps all week, and new cocktails will be introduced every night.
  • Saturday, 3/26, 6-10pm: Time to celebrate spring by walking around the South Park neighborhood. The Spring Walkabout is here! Lots of stores open late serving drinks and food. Check out the wares.
  • Saturday, 3/26, 5-8pm: MIHO at Whistle Stop for a second night this week.
  • Saturday, 3/26, 6-9pm: As part of the Walkabout, home ec. studio will have a “Stuffed Animal Hospital”, where kids can bring in their stuffed animals in need of repair and the Plush Doctors (kids from the home ec. studio after school program) can fix them up, for $2 a toy.  All proceeds will go to tsunami and earthquake relief.
  • Sunday, 3/27, 3-5pm: A free event at the Art Center Lofts as part of “One Book, One San Diego”. Local writers and poets will perform work on the themes of cultural identity, clashing identities, and discovering “home”.
  • Sunday, 3/27, 6-9pm: Chef Jenn’s Vegan Cooking Class. $60/person to learn how to cook a full-course vegan feast. Price includes instruction, ingredients to cook at the class, a glass of wine, and tax.

Other notes:

Happening This Week (March 7-13, 2011)

Mardi Gras this week! Anybody going to festivities?

During the rest of the week:

  • Wednesday, 3/9, 7:30-10pm: Free writers’ workshop put on by The Greenroom. This month’s theme is “obsession”. Facebook event page here.
  • Wednesday, 3/9, 5pm: Vegetarian Tasting Menu at Alchemy. Three course, vegetarian menu at $25.
  • Thursday, 3/10, 7-10pm: Visual art, musical guests, and MIHO Gastrotruck will be at MCASD Downtown at the Jacobs Building for Thursday Night Thing.  $10 general, $7 student, $0 members.
  • Saturday, 3/12, 12:30-3:30pm: Fruit Tree Pruning class at Wild Willow Farm & Education Center. Sign up soon because there are only 15 spots! The class is $20 for Friends of the Farm and $25 for the general public.
  • Saturday, 3/12, 6pm: Stick ‘Em Up! Sticker swap and graffiti art show at Visual Art Supply.
  • Saturday, 3/12, 6-10pm: Edison Manufacturing Co. Trunk Show at Pigment. Music, food, and beverages. David McKinney from Edison will be showing his new items and handing out limited edition posters.

Happening This Week (February 7-13, 2011)

  • Wednesday, 2/9, 7:30-10pm: Free writer workshop with the theme of “Too Much Information” (to fit March’s VAMP theme).
  • Wednesday, 2/9, 9pm: Queer Dance Party at U-31 on University Ave. A safe space, dancing, Rubber Rose gear, zines, and a kissing booth.
  • Thursday, 2/10, 6-10pm: North Park Craft Mafia will be holding a craft bazaar at El Take It Easy. There will be free Tosti-Locos and happy hour all night. Here’s the vendor list.
  • Saturday, 2/12, 2pm: El Take It Easy will be showing a food-related movie as part of their free series of movies, shown every Saturday at ETIE. To get an idea what they mean by “food-related”, the first movie was the Charlton Heston movie Soylent Green. UPDATE: This week’s movies will be: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe and Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers.
  • Sunday, 2/13, 1-4pm: Bikes Del Pueblo needs volunteers to help them build bicycles, in conjunction with the International Rescue Mission.

Other tidbits: