Zulema Event Update

Hello all and happy Halloween!

This is a quick update before the beginning of NaNoWriMon.

On thursday November 4th is Zulema’s book release and as such I’ve been helping promote it the best way I can: spamming friends, family, and collegues through facebook, emails, etc.

One less annoying way of advertising Zulema’s book release is simply by blogging about the event and the people surrounding it.

For your informational needs, then, I present to you Fourteen Hills’ blog:


And Now for Something We’d All Enjoy

A list! A list of silly, random declarative humor!

The following list is based on the humorous “You might be a redneck if . . .” jokes made popular by the Blue Collar Comedy Tour Group and based on conversations between myself and my gal pals on facebook.

I present you, for your entertainment pleasure, You Might Be A Douche If . . .

You might be a douche if . . .

  1. You wear your sweater around your shoulders everyday for no reason.
  2. You demand sympathy after breaking up with someone on facebook WHILE publicly planning to go on a hot date with another person just hours after the break up.
  3. You are a member of the Tea Party.
  4. You throw away each ipod/iphone the second a newer version is out.
  5. You were cheering on the Phillys while wearing a Giants T-shirt last week.
  6. You think organic is the same as bare-back (don’t ask).
  7. You claim to love your fellow man but won’t give them directions to BART when asked because “you’re running late.”
  8. You work in the mission district and never feel bad about the food you have in your belly while every other person on the street is starving.
  9. If you dump someone because they are overweight.
  10. If you LIKE, truly fan-dom style LIKE, Twilight and think it is the best movie since Dracula.
  11. If you talked about fight club.
  12. If you only wear name brand clothing and don’t know what a Wal-mart is.
  13. If you have eight children, all of whom you put in disposable diapers and all of whom won’t eat anything but McDonald’s, and you claim to be an “environmentalist.”
  14. If you go to a country that you aren’t from, insist on hanging out with only the locals, and then make fun of the “tourists.”
  15. If you refuse to be emotionally open with your significant other but once you break up act like a weepy little B**tch to everyone in order to gather sympathy points.

Note: This list was compiled in order to make fun of and celebrate all of our flaws and is in no way an attack on any particular person and/or group of human beings. Also, no douches were harmed in the making of this list. Thank you.


Book Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Yet another new type of blog post! **le gasp!**

Yes, I am introducing another feature to Dragon’s Lair, called Book Reviews. From what I understand it, they are little snip-bits of insightful reader responses to various books and/or articles. . . or so my educational instructors would have me believe. . . this may change due to various climate related variables (i.e. if I happen to accidentally read something of the same quality as Twilight AND paid for it, expect to have a rant. I’m just being honest, and honesty is the best policy).

Anyway, without further ado, here is the review!

Alan Bradley’s award-winning debut novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is a story about eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poisons and practicing ways of tormenting her two older sisters (the two roads often cross). The story takes place in 1950, when Flavia discovers a dead man and bird whose unfortunate ends are both equally connected to a single stamp. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life,” so states Flavia after the dead man breathes his final breath by her feet.
If that is not enough to hook any reader to this book, I don’t know what is!
Flavia is a witty, intelligent, funny, and charming character that is reminiscent of other famously precocious eleven-year-olds. Those that come most readily to mind are Matilda, Harriet the Spy, Ann from Green Gables, and little orphan Annie. Yet, she has a flavor unlike any other character. Her emotional development and intellectual curiosity combine to create scenes that are both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. This is particularly true in scenes related to her father and mother: “I gave Father a silent hug to which, although he remained rigid as an oak, he did not seem to object.” Moreover, although in her dealings with death, distance, and danger she behaves with a maturity that surpasses her age group, we are constantly reminded that she is indeed a child. The things she faces are thus real in their potential impact on her. This creates a tension within the narrative that is not necessarily present in other books with child protagonists; a tension that has engaged adults and children ever since World War II. This makes Bradley’s debut novel an instant classic.


Artist in the Spotlight

Hello there Cyber-readers!

This is a new feature for Dragon’s Lair, where we find new, emerging artists and give them free-ad space … **cough** I mean some time in the spotlight.

Today’s guest is Sean Shaefer, a dear friend of mine from high school. Sean is currently a student at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. He is an inspiring animation and visual artist whose hometown is little old Pinole (Pinole is that town on your way to Vallejo with the Trader’s Joe).

For more on Sean and his latest artistic creations, please click here: http://studentsites.expression.edu/~SSchaefer/

Peace, love, and Pancakes!

Local Events in SF Bay Area

Hello all,

This is a quick update (news on how APE 2010 went will come at a later time).

I think I failed to announce that I am currently taking a class called Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine. In all truth, though, this is more like an internship than an actual academic class. I am being schooled daily, through real-life experiences, just what it takes to hold down a full-time day job WHILE being apart of a literary magazine. I may grumble sometimes about the juggling act (as some of my close associates know), but I would not through away this experience for the world. Certain aspects of it, yes, but not the experience.

Beyond personal gain, however, this class/internship allows me to hear about events that are of the literary persuasion. Most take place in or around SF, so if you are in the area, please stop on by.

One event, in particular, is the release of Zulema Summerfield’s debut novel. The following information is directly from Fourteen Hills’ blog. (http://fourteenhills.blogspot.com/2010/10/2010-michael-rubin-book-award-winner.html)

Join us on Nov. 4, 2010, as we celebrate the release of Summerfield’s “revelatory” debut novel. You won’t want to miss seeing this up-and-coming author at the beginning of her career. Stay tuned for our interview with her, as well as more details on the sure-to-be-rocking release party.

Everything Faces All Ways at Once Release Party
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1141 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 377-3325 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (415) 377-3325      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
$12 donation (includes a copy of the book)

Zulema Renee Summerfield is originally from Redlands, CA. Her writing has appeared in Transfer Magazine, Sand Canyon Review, Chaffey Review, We Still Like, and 580 Split. She won the 2008 Clark/Gross Novel-in-Progress Contest as well as honorable mention in the 2009 Zoetrope Allstory Fiction Contest (judged by Yiyun Li). She received her MFA from San Francisco State University, and now lives “all over the place” with her husband, The Incredible Hulk, and their two cats.

As a staff member for this semester I will be there (it is a requirement). So if you can, I greatly encourage everyone to come.

This now concludes this week’s update. Now go to bed, work, school, and/or any of your other responsibilities.

Peace, love, and Pancakes.


Updates, Events and Upcoming News

First off, I  apologize for the lack of updates. I, the semi-fearless leader of Dragon’s Lair, have had more then a little bit of life-changing experiences lately.

Where to begin, where to begin …?

Well, I suppose the best place to begin is with my grand escape back in May. Yep, I have official joined the ranks of other college educated Americans worldwide. With my BA in English from UC Berkeley under my belt,  I dived head first into both graduate school and job applications. In truth, I had already applied for graduate school during my last year of college, but the waiting part, oh the waiting … the anticipation … how it is both thrilling and torturous … well that might as well be included in the application process (for logistical and sanity-related reasons). In a strange twist of fate, I’ve succeed in both endeavors: I now work a full-time job in SF while going to school for my MA part-time at SFSU.

Normally this leads to fan-fare, congratulatory hugs and kisses, and champagne flowing like water from the Russian River. However, this being my life, no such celebratory actions (beyond a close intimate dinner with friends and then with family) took place. Instead the past months have been a whirlwind of moving (found a temporary room in SF), job acclimation (Berkeley is nothing compared to a 40 hour work day), and graduate school work (the training wheels are off). Add my desire to keep my social life in tact (friends) and to do what is right by the ones I love the most (family), I have had little time to update as regularly as I should.

Does this mean the end of Dragon’s Lair? Will the dream end here just to be turned into yet another half-started day dream of an inspiring writer?

Please, if you have to ask that you don’t know this bibliophile/workaholic.

What it means is that for a while the postings will be infrequent at best, but they will happen. All I ask if for your patience.

New poetry, stories, photos and the like will be posted in the (hopefully) near future. Most postings will be about local artistic events, lectures, nonprofits, and such. Notification of these will depend on how soon I learn of them through the grapevine. If you have an event and wish for it to be announced here, please feel free to drop me a line at rtabooker@gmail.com.

Speaking of events, boy is San Francisco chock-full of them! With particular interest to Dragon’s Lair is APE 2010.

APE, the Alternative Press Expo, happens this Saturday and Sunday at the Concourse Exhibition Center. This is a great opportunity to connect with other visual artists, writers, independent publishers, and distributors. There is so much to learn and do during the 2 day event. More info can be found on the APE website: http://www.comic-con.org/ape/

Of course, I will be there but not as one of the tables (just another patron). But with any luck, Dragon’s Lair will be there next year.

In other news, October is half-way through which brings us closer to the all-encompassing month of November. Or as those who sacrifice sleep would know,  NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! **cue mandatory lightening bolts**

November is National Novel Writing Month, a month where, for some bizarre and unfathomable reason, writers everywhere, from all walks of life, attempt to write one first draft of a full-length novel in one month. It is grueling 4 weeks and 3 days of non-stop writing. I will not lie, last year was a total failure. I barely made it to 2, 000 words. But this year is the year!

Why you may ask? How will you, who now works 40 hours a week, has two night classes and commutes home every weekend have time to write a full-length novel in 30 days?

One word: Blogging.

Starting November 1st, I will post the unedited 1st draft as it is being written. Grammar mistakes, spelling errors and a shamble of a plot-line will cover the front pages of Dragon’s Lair for 30 days.

Why demonstrate a terrible first draft to the world?

Why not?

Dragon’s Lair is about art and nothing but art! However, something that most people don’t want to admit is that to create art, you have to get messy. Clay is found in the ground along with feces, death and decay, yet we still use it to create fine china. Proof in point, look at your dishes, and try to find one that is worth something but didn’t come from dirt. Try it. Go on. I’ll wait.

Giants are doing well this year.



No one usually wants to see someone digging out the clay, because it is hard, dirty work (I say usually because of the show Dirty Jobs … for some reason when Mike Rowe is involved everyone wants to watch a man put male turkey semen into a female turkey… go figure).

So, to demonstrate the creative process, encourage younger writers to get off their facebook pages and create, and to foster a sense of community among other NaNoWriMO travelers, I will post my “shame.”

With any luck, some porcelain can be found under all the rubble.

To recap:

updates will happen more often, but still be sporadic


And let the preparations for NaNoWriMo begin!

Peace, love and pancakes


And We Are Back … Sorta

Hello all! Sorry for the delay in posts. As they say: “Life happens, but the show must go on!”

Today’s post is an announcement:

Fourteen Hills & Eleven Eleven
Litcrawl 2010

Fourteen Hills and Eleven Eleven present: Voices that Carry
Highlighting work from recent issues o the San Francisco State University Review and the California College of the Arts Journal.
Come hear them spill their words across the starry night.

October 9
8:30-9:30Pm (Phase 3)
Muddy’s Coffee House
1304 Valencia Street (@24th Street)
San Francisco, CA 94110