A few people of late (hi mom!) have asked me why my dumb bloggie thing doesn't whisper a thing about my work as an editor and development pariah at the non-profit publishing company, Heyday Books. I suppose I was subconsciously separating my daytime book life from my OTHER nighttime book life, hence the psychosubversive division of personality.
For the past eight years (count 'em, eight!) I've worked diligently behind the stacks at Heyday, a true gem of a publisher based in good ol' Bezerkley, California. Heyday occupies a unique niche in the publishing world, specializing in books that encourage a deeper understanding of California's literary, historical, cultural, natural and social resources. It's a dream job, really, reading manuscripts all day about the era of prospecting miners and hard tack. Some of my favorite projects over the years have been the gorgeous photography and art books, the shepherding in a tiny poetry collection that went on to win big awards, and acquiring our fine list of books on Japanese American history. Seeing that I have unlimited work energy, I not only raised tons of money for our annual $1 million plus budget, launched a Central Valley writers' conference, published forgotten internment artists, helped a nature illustrator paint every living thing the Sierra Nevadas, culled photos from the California State Library's collection of snapshots of family photo albums, and mentored young book interns in our office, I also co-edited three books that were published in house.
The first, Only What We Could Carry, is an anthology of literature from and about the Japanese American internment experience. I shared the helm with Oregon's poet laureate, Lawson Fusao Inada, who is not so secretly also a Fresnan with a literary bent.
A year later, I researched and edited a collection of one of my favorite author's short stories, novellas, and letters: Toshio Mori.
And coming soon (by this summer) I will have a third research/editor title under my belt, when Heyday publishes the revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California's Central Valley. My lovely co-editors on this are Stan Yogi (the original editor of Highway 99) and Gayle Mak.
If you're dying to know more about my writing, editing, and publishing experience with the aim of hiring me for your fabulous new magazine or chapbook, just give me a ring. I've got more book covers stuffed under my shirt.