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Melinda Ann Palacio

Journalist, Actress, Dancer, Writer (fiction), Guitarist... Melinda does a little of everything.

Melinda Palacio's talents are diverse. You may have seen her on stage at the Lobero Theatre reading for Speaking of Stories or performing in local theater. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, she received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and her MA in the same field from UC Santa Cruz. She is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow. Her poems and short stories have been publsihed in a variety of books and journals, including BorderSenses, Buffalo Carp, Black Renaissance Noire, the Maple Leaf Rag III, and Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature. She is the co-publisher and editor of Ink Byte.

Articles by Melinda Palacio

Lagniappe: A Little Something Extra June 11, 2012 (Melinda Palacio) In the past two months, I've had the pleasure of visiting Cal State University Fresno, El Paso Community College, and Cal State University Channel Islands. Most of campuses have invited me to discuss my novel, Ocotillo Dreams. However, I always start off with something I learned to offer in Louisiana, "lagniappe," meaning a little something extra. In my presentations, it means I introduce readers to my poetry and talking about my journey as a writer. (complete article...)

My Turn: How I got my start at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference June 21, 2011 (Melinda Palacio) The rebirth of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference begins next week, June 18-23, under the new ownership of Monte Schulz and Nicole Starczak. The conference has been on hold for two years. For many local Santa Barbara authors, the conference is where we got our start. (complete article...)

He'd Do It Again April 23, 2011 (Melinda Palacio) I sat down with poet Martín Espada at the recent Border Book Festival in Mesilla, New Mexico. Among other things, we discussed Espada's new book, The Trouble Ball, Norton 2011. (complete article...)

Is the Santa Barbara Literary Scene Dead? April 19, 2011 (By Melinda Palacio) Gone are the downtown bookstores. We grumbled when two big Box bookstores moved to State and Carrillo. Barnes and Noble, then Borders, squeezed out the Earthling and forced the independent store out of business. The town took years to warm up to Borders, but we took advantage of the space with poetry open mics, book signings, musical and literary performances, and a meeting place for residents and writers. Apparently, these stores were big enough to fail. Soon, talk of bankruptcy replaced book talk. (complete article...)

Reading Gabriela Mistral January 12, 2011 (By Melinda Palacio) At last month's First Thursday Santa Barbara, I had the privilege to read poems in Spanish by Gabriela Mistral. Every now and then I get to prove I'm no pocha as I twirl and roll rs in my best Los Angelina accent. I can say this with a wink because my cousins in Chihuahua always made fun of me when I spoke. (Reprint from La Bloga). (complete article...)

A Bookfair to Remember October 8, 2010 (Melinda Palacio) The largest gathering of Latino authors in U.S. History happens this weekend, October 9 and 10, at Cal State University, Los Angeles, Greenlee Plaza, thanks to Reyna Grande's diligent efforts with the Latino Book and Family Festival, 11 am to 6pm. (complete article...)

Flor y Canto: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow August 24, 2010 (Melinda Palacio) What started 37 years ago as a photography assignment for the Daily Trojan has turned into a reunion and second conference for the Flor y Canto Festival of Poetry. (complete article...)

Slow Summer? (I Hope So!) June 3, 2010 (Melinda Palacio) Last year I experienced a publishing double header. My poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown won Kulupi Press's 2009 sense of Place competition and publication prize, while my novel manuscript, Ocotillo Dreams was accepted for publication this Fall by Arizona State University Bilingual Review Press. I spent the earlier months of Spring engrossed in a national book tour for Folsom Lockdown. Does this mean, I actually get a summer break? (complete article...)

Taking the High Road for Poetry January 31, 2010 (Melinda Palacio) Last week, I was surprised, though I shouldn't have been, by a conversation I had with a literary agent who gave me some "free advice" and suggested I give up poetry and devote all of my creative energy to writing novels. As someone approaching the writing life from solely a monetary perspective, the literary agent just didn't seem to get it. I'm very proud of my poetry publications and could not imagine a literary life without poetry. True, I'm building a literary career without the assistance of an agent and I write what I want, be it fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Sometimes working with a small press is just the right therapy for a poetry-fearing world. (complete article...)

Funny, Music Man Tackles the Craft of Writing and Being Famous December 20, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Billy Goodnick hasn't used up his nine lives yet, but he is on his third iteration of being. He's managed to make a name for himself as a musician, a green garden design architect, and most recently, he's putting it all together by blogging, the Garden Wise Guy, and freelancing and working on his new book, which he hopes will translate to a national speaking tour. (complete article...)

Social Networking and the Internet Take Over the Old Fashioned Book Tour October 18, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Catherine Ryan Hyde has stepped up her production line. She had been accustomed to churning out one and a half adult books a year in the US. Her recent popularity in the UK has resulted in her productivity being contracted to one adult and one young adult book each year until 2012. These are the modern woes and joys of a working writer supporting herself by her pen. The extra responsibility means she must limit social visits. However, her revamped website and updates on social networking sites, such as twitter, facebook, and myspace, keep her in touch with fans, friends, and family. (complete article...)

Poet and Photographer Carol DeCanio Finds Companionship in Her Craft September 29, 2009 (Melinda Palacio and Carol DeCanio) Carol DeCanio says if she were stranded on a desert island, she would still write poetry- it being her natural response to our world. Her first memory of writing poetry was when she was 9 years old and showing a many stanza poem to her interested, if not concerned, father that included the words, "finding love in the bushes of sin". It's a leap like that, she says, that is possible, when something springs out in your writing that is very distant from what you are aware of. (complete article...)

Junot Diaz Wows Students at Tulane with Oscar Wao Required Reading September 13, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Junot Díaz spoke to a group of eager first-year Tulane students. The event was open to the public and to high school students in a packed auditorium at Tulane University in New Orleans. Díaz set the tone by asking of his latest novel, "Is this required shit?" His intro allowed him to slip easily from his Hip Hop, potty-mouth speak, to a more academic tone. He spoke candidly and thoughtfully on a variety of subjects and managed to answer every question from the long line of anxious students in the center of the auditorium. From Colorism to the Platano Index, to unreliable and manipulative narrators, the Dominican-American author kept his message "real" as he explained his intention for his complex novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. (complete article...)

Ernie Witham Pulls Off a How To Memoir on Writing, Being Funny, and Earning a Living August 9, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Funny man Ernie Witham follows his debut book Ernie's World the Book with the more complex, A Year in the Life of a "Working" Writer. While Ernie's World the Book represents a large sampling of the author's collected humor columns from the Montecito Journal, Witham's second book is much more than a collection of columns. Imagine stalking Witham for a year, finding out what makes his funny bone tick, and how he goes about writing his humor columns and you'll get an idea of what his memoir is all about. (complete article...)

Monte Schulz On Writing the Great American Novel July 8, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Monte Schulz has emerged from the shadow of his father, Charles Schulz of the famed Peanuts comic strip. He's proud of his latest novel, This Side of Jordan, a crime thriller and part of a literary epic that spans two other books, Fields of Eden and The Big Town which will be released in 2010 and 2011 by Fantagraphics, also publishers of The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. The ten-year journey that has landed Monte Schulz a five book deal represents the decade that was his forties. The result, says Schulz, is a book similar to Steinbeck's, set in the time of his parents's youth. His big American book and dream of writing the great American novel has been split into three different books. For readers who are doing the math, the 2nd book is a true crime novel, Naughty and the fifth book is the collection of This Side of Jordan, Fields of Eden, and The Big Town. (complete article...)

The Webs We Weave: the Close-Knit Community of the Santa Barbara Poetry Scene June 11, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) It's no wonder there is a return to poetry after the Jesusita fire forced the evacuation of a third of Santa Barbara's population. Even our Poet Laureate, David Starkey, who himself housed a few fire evacuees, moved family and house guests for one day of evacuation. Thanks to the vibrant poetry scene of our town, there's no lack in readings, workshop, and book signings. The poetry community in Santa Barbara is tight-knit and hardworking. For example, Poet-in-Schools Chryss Yost was evacuated, but she was ready to brave the fire to travel to Goleta's Hollister School to give her weekly lesson. (complete article...)

Sage Trail Publisher Suzanne Frost Is Passionate for Poetry. April 2, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Last February Suzanne Frost reached her year anniversary for publishing Sage Trail Poetry Magazine. For Frost, the road to publishing a poetry magazine began ten years ago in Taos, New Mexicio with the models of two poetry journals: Cathy McCracken's Willow Street and Dale Harris's Central Avenue. Sage Trail is a rebirth of the two magazines and is currently produced in Santa Barbara, California. Frost releases a new issue of Sage Trail at the Poetry Zone, every second Saturday of the month, held at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 West Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara, from 2 to 4pm. (complete article...)

Writer's Work Speaks for Itself at Santa Barbara's Speaking of Stories February 21, 2009 (Melinda Palacio) Santa Barbara writer Susan Chiavelli has had an incredible winning streak with her short stories. She's won three first place prizes for her fiction and non fiction work. In February Speaking of Stories will feature her essay, "Death, Another Country," winner of the Chattahoochee Review's Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction in 2008. She's more than thrilled her story will be performed on stage, alongside works by Tobias Wolff, David Sedaris, and Tennessee Williams. "It's an incredible honor," says Chiavelli, "but also surreal to see my name next to authors I have admired for so long." (complete article...)

Blue-Collar Ethics Make a Book Happen September 6, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) When it comes to writing, David Starkey is the jack of all genres. He's published over 400 poems, written a text-book, a how-to poetry manual, essays, short stories, plays, and his latest work, a memoir. His ability to zero in on a project, focus, and get the job done stems from his blue-collar upbringing. Starkey is one of those rare writers who can multi-task, keep his family happy, and finish his book projects. (complete article...)

Mac Daddy: My Love Affair with Apple. July 9, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) I've owned an Apple computer all of my adult life. Frankly, I don't care to remember life before my Mac. I expect our relationship to last an eternity. We continue to grow together in ways I've never imagined. (complete article...)

The Power of the Sword: Poet Martín Espada April 23, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) Martín Espada says he knows the back way, but for this Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican poet, back doors are no longer necessary. He has solved the paradox of political poetry, and the world is ready to listen to his poems about the disenfranchised and those who normally are not the subject of poetry. (complete article...)

Santa Barbara's Perie Longo Talks about Being a City's Poet Laureate April 11, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) Santa Barbara's Poet Laureate Perie Longo has prepared for several decades for the challenging task of being a city's special poet. The citizens and literary community nominated her for her untiring comittment to Poetry in the Schools and Poetry Therapy. Longo succeeds Poet Laureate Emeritus Barry Spacks as the city's second Poet Laureate. Longo also inherits the Poetry Matters column, started by Spacks, in the Santa Barbara Independent. (complete article...)

Write from the Start: Comeuppances and Email. March 17, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) If it weren't for email, my stories and poems would have remained stashed between the pages of the Comeback Chronicles, diary entries where I wrote great comeback lines to the taunts and dumb questions mean kids at school often asked. (complete article...)

The Shape of Story: Trends in the Narrative. March 2, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) Last week, at Arizona State University's Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, poet Richard Siken and fiction author Antonya Nelson took on the question of shape, proof that the current trend in narrative is shunning plot and favoring shape. (complete article...)

Her Funny Bones Travel January 11, 2008 (Melinda Palacio) Rachel S. Thurston was born with wanderlust and a gift for being both funny and entertaining. She's managed to market her unique voice under her various roles as a travel writer, outdoor and river guide, humor writer, photographer, and rock star. Her fans know her as the lead singer of King Bee, a retro rock n roll band. Although her forte is writing about exotic places around the world, her latest book venture is about the communities in her own backyard, The Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. (complete article...)

Paint Me A Story: Working Writer Jim Alexander December 9, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) In this series on working writers, Ink Byte features writers who keep their day jobs. House Painter Jim Alexander says that being a painter is the perfect gig for a writer. His 40-hour per week work load means he doesn't have time for some of the luxuries afforded to an author who has "made it." However, he writes everyday and works hard at his craft, and his hard work is starting to pay off. (complete article...)

Why Y/A? Malín Alegría's Publishing Journey December 3, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) Malín Alegría exchanged her beloved Mission District haunts in San Francisco for New York. She left with dreams of becoming the next Junot Diaz, but didn't tell anyone about her secret to become a writer. In the Big Apple, most people knew her as a teacher and stand up comic. She had no idea that fate would land her a two-book, Young Adult, deal with Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint. (complete article...)

So You Want to Write a Novel? September 21, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) Had I known what I know now, writing my first novel would have been much easier. I'm happy to report I've moved onto a second novel, to new stories, poems, and, more important, new characters. This week's column focuses on alibi, telling your story and sticking to it. (complete article...)

Jack of All Trades: Luis J. Rodriguez May 26, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) Luis J. Rodriguez has had many careers in his life. His current passion is Tia Chucha's Cafe Cultural Center, a bookstore, a small press, a hang out for students of Aztec culture, guitar, and the latino community. Rodriguez, however, is best known for his books, especially his memoir, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.. (complete article...)

Poet Billy Collins Shared His Tips on Writing During a Reading at UCSB February 17, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) Billy Collins is our whimsical, twice-appointed United States Poet Laureate. Santa Barbara's own poet laureate, Barry Spacks, introduced Collins to a sold-out crowd at UCSB's Campbell Hall, February 11. Spacks lauded Collins for making the discipline of verse fun and popular again. But the truth behind Collins's playfulness is that he's serious about his craft, even though he makes us believe he's merely having fun, recording the quixotic world around him. (complete article...)

Isabel Allende Marries Discipline with Masterful Storytelling January 12, 2007 (Melinda Palacio) Ink Byte caught up with Isabel Allende. She spoke to a crowded audience at Borders in Northridge. Store Managers must not have been aware that tickets to hear Allende speak at the Skirball the next evening were sold out. Over a hundred fans came to hear Allende and have their books signed. People squatted around the store and snaked up the staircase, about two dozen eager fans found seats. Allende, author of 16 novels charmed the audience and freely answered questions about her books and her writing process. (complete article...)

Living the Writer's Life: Reyna Grande December 8, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Reyna Grande's debut novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, is not the usual immigrant story and Reyna Grande is not the typical immigrant. At age nine, she crossed the border with her father and she has gone on to become a UCSC graduate, a 2003 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices fellow, and a new author. Most would say, she is living the American Dream. However, after the favorable reviews have been cast and her first book tour comes to a close, she is simply a writer, hard-working, talented, and with eyes set on her next books and a film production of her first novel. (complete article...)

Kenyan author NGuGi Wa Thiong'o Talks About the Challenges of African Literature November 17, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) How do you sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history? Ngugi Wa Thiong'o covered the subject in his new book Wizard of the Crow and in his conversation with exiled Nigerian writer Chris Abani at Santa Barbara's Victoria Hall. (complete article...)

Literary Luncheon Series in New Orleans. October 7, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) The Hotel Monteleone in partnership with the New Orleans Public Library and the Garden District Bookstore is offering a literary luncheon series. Judging from the second event, the series promises to be both valuable and entertaining to writers and readers. The decadent four-course menu and white gloved service might seem excessive to the starving writer. However, the opportunity to hear the successes and techniques of authors, combined with the one-on-one time with an editor or literary agent, and the manuscript critique, is worth splurging a little on lunch. A mystery writer at the table said he'd pay the $30 alone just for the chance to pitch his novel to Matthew Gouma, the literary agent assigned to our table of five writers. (complete article...)

Creative Ingredients at Esalen August 15, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Esalen is the institution associated with personal renewal and self- discovery, two important ingredients for sparking creativity. Fariba Enteshari's weekend workshop on August 25-27, My Religion Is Love, explores Mathnawi, the teachings of the 13th-century mystic poet, Jalai al-Din Rumi. The Sufi poet's text is a rich source of self-discovery and personal renewal. (complete article...)

Funny Is Fun for Master of Fiction, Chris Moore. July 7, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Christopher Moore can't help but be funny. The young author, 48, takes his calling seriously and has been writing professionally for 16 years. His irreverent and whimsical novels are impossible to put down. Last week, at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, Moore taught a Master of Fiction class. Over the course of three days, he shared his secrets and tools for producing hilarious and compelling characters and page-turning plots. (complete article...)

Poetry in Motion: Poet Mary Brown Creates Book Arts June 14, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Book Arts add an extra dimension to Mary Brown's poems. After the words have been cast and chosen, her poems sometimes beg for added texture. The fun and freeing art of the handmade book has also become the basis of Mary Brown's MFA field study from Antioch University. (complete article...)

Re-Imagining the Border: Mesilla's 12th Annual Border Book Festival, April 21-26, 2006 April 16, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Politics has pushed the issue of the Border to the forefront with a discourse of divisiveness and fear. In the pueblo of Mesilla, New Mexico, the old town of Las Cruces, the Border Book Festival strives to break barriers and celebrate the diversity and creativity of our border culture. (complete article...)

Discovering Your "Secret Story": a Five-Day Workshop at Esalen. March 31, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Esalen has long been a spiritual haven for those in need of personal renewal or self- discovery. S.L. Stebel takes advantage of Esalen's dreamlike setting to offer a unique workshop for anyone wishing to write or discover that nagging story that creeps up whenever someone says, "you ought to write a book about that." Stebel, seasoned playwright, screenwriter, novelist and writing faculty at USC, shares his tools for harvesting your unique story by accessing your subconscious. (complete article...)

Mardi Gras 2006: What Would Ignatius Think? March 24, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Nothing you read or hear can prepare you for your first Mardi Gras experience. This year's post-Katrina Mardi Gras was my first. I had read books and articles to give me a feel for what I should expect. However, the book that caught my attention was John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, a novel which has nothing to do with Mardi Gras and everything to do with New Orleans life. During the carnival season I kept wondering "What would Ignatius think?" (complete article...)

My Truth, Your Truth, the Poetic Truth at the Maple Leaf Bar February 2, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) At the Maple Leaf Bar in post-Katrina New Orleans, during the weekly Sunday afternoon gathering of poets and writers, Melinda is forced to confront what it means to tell the truth. With photos. (complete article...)

Creole Historian in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana January 6, 2006 (Melinda Palacio) Brian J. Costello dedicates himself to preserving the stories and language of the peoples who settled Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. The small city of New Roads is as old as New Orleans and literary luminaries such as Ernest P. Gaines hail from the little known town on an oxbow lake called False River in the parish. Costello, a historian, local writer, and 11th-generation Pointe Coupeean, has written 16 books on the history of the region, covering subjects as varied as folklore and Mardi Gras to the History of Pointe Coupee Parish to Louisiana's 20th Century Department Stores. (complete article...)

Julia Cameron's Artist's Way: Keeping Yourself Sane During the Holidays December 2, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way: Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity has helped writers, painters and those who do not call themselves artists, find creativity in their daily lives. One of the Cameron's tools towards the artist's way is her "morning pages:" journaling every morning for three pages straight. The idea of journaling may seem intuitive to a writer; however, her book is meant to help people of all walks of life refill their creative fuel tank. (complete article...)

Villaseñor's Healing Words November 20, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) When he's not writing, Victor Villaseñor is speaking about the healing power of story, peacemaking, and accessing your genius. The author of eight books gave the Leonardo Dorantes Memorial Lecture on November 9 at the Santa Barbara's Garvin Theatre. (complete article...)

Walking the Patience Tightrope November 4, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) In this business, writers must be patient. I ask myself, is patience always a virtue? Or is patience sometimes an excuse for complacency and laziness? (complete article...)

Daniel A. Olivas Is in Demand October 23, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) By day he is an attorney with the California Department of Justice where he specializes in environmental enforcement and land use. In the wee hours of the night, when his wife and son are asleep, Daniel A. Olivas writes fiction. The Chicano author calls himself lucky because of his early publication success. However, the talented writer was never a stranger to storytelling. (complete article...)

Chávez Channels Family Stories September 23, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) Denise Chávez sprinkled New Mexican chile powder on the writers in attendance at her workshop Wednesday, September 21 at the Santa Barbara Art Museum. "Writers are always being seasoned and pickled," said the distinguished author from Las Cruces. She's been in Santa Barbara this week sharing her family stories and tricks of the craft. On Saturday, she will receive the 2005 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival. She promised to make the group of writers laugh and cry; and she delivered. (complete article...)

From the typewriter to print on demand:one writer's journey September 20, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) Willard Thompson received a great gift when his wife asked her friend to transcribe his typewritten manuscript onto a compact disc. Obtaining early readership and feedback from a local book club has been an invaluable experience for the recent winner of a John E. Profant scholarship. (complete article...)

Better Writing for Writers September 9, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) Anne Lowenkopf offers free advice to her writing students. Her coyote's bag of tricks includes reading, journaling and rewriting. It's a simple formula that works. Lowenkopf has been teaching free writing classes through Santa Barbara's adult education program for over 15 years. She discusses her three course offerings at adult ed and why she thrives on her generous manuscript editing. (complete article...)

Volunteers Lean Sideways to Help Make Reading a Joy August 25, 2005 ( Melinda Palacio) Audio books are an important tool for people with print dissabilities. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) is changing the lives of people who have trouble seeing or decipher squiggles on a page others can recognize as alphabets and words. (complete article...)

Podcasting: The New Wave for Writers August 20, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) Podcasting is the latest way for authors to reach new audiences. Humor columnist for the Montecito Journal, Ernie Witham has teamed up with Harold Adams of to add his funny bone spin to the site's podcast, or the Santa Barbara Life Online Magazine Radio Show (SBLIFE Radio Show). (complete article...)

Local Writers Speak Up about Speaking of Stories August 9, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) On Sunday, July 24 three local female writers discussed their work and the process of writing with moderator David Starkey, host of the tv show The Creative Community. Local writers gleaned new insights on the craft from Catherine Ryan Hyde, Fran Davis and Susan Chiavelli. (complete article...)

Let's Walk: A New Orleans Literary Tour July 29, 2005 ( Melinda Palacio ) On Carolyn Goldsby Kolb's walking tour, I discovered why the city of New Orleans represents an emotional shortcut for writers. The almost 2-hour-walking tour is dizzying with information about writers and famous novels and movies set in New Orleans. (complete article...)

Erik Talkin Is the Book Angel July 8, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) When a writer's life seems housed in a dark and lonely place, the book angel comes to the rescue. Forget about everything writers, agents and publishers say about the book publishing business. Erik Talkin has a new approach to finding writers an agent and, ultimately, a publishing contract. (complete article...)

A week in the life of a writer at the 2005 Santa Barbara Writers Conference. July 1, 2005 (Melinda Palacio) The last day of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference is always bittersweet. I like to linger until the last moment when there's no one left to say goodbye to. (complete article...)

Creative Partnerships: When Your Writing Partner Is Also Your Romantic Partner June 25, 2005 (by Melinda Palacio) Writers Chela Courington and Ted Chiles discuss love, marriage and successful writing collaborations with your lover. The two have been married for 13 years. When Chiles met Courington, he had little interest in writing or communicating with words, said the 51-year-old economist whose main communication device was arithmetic equations. Meeting Courington altered his mode of communication and his career. Chiles is now a writer who sometimes collaborates on writing projects with his wife. Their writing collaboration has led to numerous projects, including a successful one-act play “Tummy Tamers” staged in Santa Barbara. (complete article...)

Take advantage of the SBWC staff year round ("Santa Barbara is a writers' city" -- Shelly Lowenkopf) June 12, 2005 (by Melinda Palacio) Several months after the Santa Barbara Writers Conference ends each year attendees look back with longing to the time there. But SBWC's executive director, Marcia Meier, now brings a taste of the conference year round. Shelly Lowenkopf's weekend intensive on February 5 could have been named, "All the things you already know about writing, but desperately need to hear, again." (complete article...)

Why I Call Myself A Writer June 12, 2005 (by Melinda Palacio) Most days I take on a mundane identity: graduate student, tech support, librarian, actress, reporter.  If I were a better liar, I might hide behind another name. (complete article...)

New Roads for the Santa Barbara Writers Conference,
An Interview With Marcia Meier June 12, 2005
(Melinda Palacio) Marcia Meier’s interest in the Santa Barbara Writers Conference began when she herself was a student of the conference. She beams when discussing the old days when the SBWC was held at the Miramar in Montecito. And she’s even more exciting about becoming the new executive director of the conference. (complete article...)

Tourney pens Shakespearean ‘memoir’ September 16, 2004 (by Melinda Palacio) It would take more than your average poet or novelist to take on the audacious task of penning Shakespeare’s memoirs. One brave writer, Goleta resident Leonard Tourney has taken up the gauntlet. (complete article...)

Capra Press Rolls with Tradition November 2, 2002 (By Melinda Palacio
) Robert Bason beams at the mere mention of Capra Press, the renowned Santa Barbara publishing company he purchased last year. (complete article...)

Where Writing Pays Off: The Legacy of the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference. May 18, 2002 (By Melinda Palacio
) Ever wonder how authors in your favorite bookstore get published? The Santa Barbara Writers' conference has been leading writers onto the right path for 30 years. (complete article...)

Richard Rodgriguez Confronts the Browning of America April 17, 2002 (By Melinda Palacio
) Brown. What's in a color? Richard Rodriguez describes brown as impure and messy, made up of several different colors. (complete article...)

Author Shares His Love for Words  December 6, 2001 (By Melinda Palacio
) Are you a secret writer? One way to multiply your creation of words, sentences, and paragraphs into a finished book or short story is to join a writing group. (complete article...)

Opportunity Knocks: Santa Barbara Reads: A Community Conversation July 31, 2001 (By Melinda Ann Palacio) Are you waiting for a community movement to kick off your summer reading plans? The opportunity has arrived. (complete article...)