Michelle Richmond

Author, Speaker, Small Press Publisher

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by Michelle Richmond

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by Michelle Richmond

 

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About Michelle

Michelle Richmond was born and raised in Alabama and has made her home for more than a decade in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and young son. She is the author of the award-winning story collection The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress (2001), the novels Dream of the Blue Room (2003) and No One
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Creative fidgeting

  An article by Roland Rotz, Ph.D., in ADDitude Magazine this month claims you shouldn’t fight the fidget, especially when it comes to children with ADHD: Doing two things at once, it turns out, can actually help focus the ADHD brain on a primary task. Experts believe that engaging in an activity that uses a
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Great books to read in 2012

Under the tree on Christmas morning, a swell stash of books that my personal Santa picked up from Green Apple Books on Clement Street in San Francisco The Jokers, by Albert Cossery I know nothing about this book, which is precisely why I love Green Apple: Santa will always find something he didn’t know he
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Just in time for Nanowrimo

Make the most of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo)! Story Starters, A Workbook for Writers will banish writer’s block, spark your imagination, and provide endless opportunities to make fiction out of thin air. Whether you want to punch up your dialogue, explore dramatic tension, mine your life for material, or write a compelling opening chapter,
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HERE IS the truth, this is what I know: we were walking on Ocean Beach, hand in hand. It was a summer morning, cold, July in San Francisco. The fog lay white and dense over the sand and ocean–an enveloping mist so thick I could see only a few feet in front of me. Emma
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The Year of Fog

“A mesmerizing novel of loss and grief, hope and redemption, and the endurance of love.” Library Journal, starred review Purchase from Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, others ABOUT THE BOOK: Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco mist. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a stranger’s van, or
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Remembering the morning of September 11

At 6:21 a.m., the telephone rings. My mother, two time zones away in Mobile, Alabama, says, “Do you know?” “Know what?” “You better turn on the TV.” The pictures do not register. Something is burning, something familiar. But it isn’t possible; surely the burning building isn’t what I think it is. Then the voice-over confirms,
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Interviews with Michelle Richmond

In Print: Anneli Rufus for the East Bay Express Leslie Katz for the San Francisco Examiner. Read the interview here. Jeff VanderMeer for Omnivoracious, the Amazon editors’ blog. Profile by Meredith Maran in Family Circle. Interviewed by Samantha Schoech for Marin Magazine. April 2007 issue. Profile by Jennifer Haddock in Garden & Gun, issue 2,
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Jaycee Dugard Pinecone Jewelry & the JAYC Foundation

    A pinecone was the last thing Jaycee Dugard touched before she was dragged into the Garridos’ car two decades ago. It is “a symbol of hope and new beginnings,” she told Diane Sawyer in an interview for Prime Time Life. “There is life after something tragic.” Purchase pinecone jewelry to support the foundation
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Merci!

French booksellers and librarians have been wonderful to L’annee brouillard, the French translation (by Sophie Aslanides) of The Year of Fog. My latest thanks goes out to the library Villeurbanne, for naming L’annee brouillard as one of their favorite books.
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the little seahorse

Today at Daily Snapshot, Juliann Wetz has a lovely post about the seahorse-shaped hippocampus and its role in memory making. Check out her blog for a cool picture of seahorses at the Georgia Aquarium.
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Three Gorges Dam

In 1998, while working in Beijing, I became fascinated by the Three Gorges Dam, a massive project to dam up Asia’s longest river. Envisioned by Sun Yat-Sen in 1919 as a symbol of Chinese power and finally completed nearly a century later, the dam that was heralded by the Chinese government not only as a
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What happened to the McStay family?

[fbshare url=”http://michellerichmond.com/2011/05/31/what-happened-to-the-mcstay-family/” type=”button”] The McStay family went missing from their home in Falbrook, CA, in February of 2010. Joseph McStay, 40, and his wife Summer, 43, apparently left home in their Isuzu Trooper on the night of February 4 with their two children–Gianni, 4, and Joseph, Jr., 3. Aside from a call Joseph made to
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Fear, trembling, & tribulation: notes from a raptured childhood

Before I was a San Franciscan, I was a Southerner, and every reformed Southerner knows a thing or two about the Rapture. As a child in a strict Southern Baptist household in Alabama, fed a steady Sunday diet of Revelations, I lived in fear of the day Jesus would return, the graves would open up,
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Jaycee Dugard Memoir – A Stolen Life

“In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.” Simon and Schuster has released A Stolen Life, a memoir by Jaycee Dugard.  There is also an ebook and an
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Gadgetry: Taking the Fitbit for a Spin

While looking for a pedometer, I came across the Fitbit. More sophisticated than your typical pedometer, the Fitbit, which you even wear while sleeping, is designed to measure your daily physical activity as well as the length and quality of your sleep. Does the Fitbit wireless trainer live up to the manufacturer’s claims? Below, you’ll
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Three Gorges Dam: On Culture and Forgetting

In 1998, while working in Beijing, I became fascinated by the Three Gorges Dam, a massive project to dam up Asia’s longest river. Envisioned by Sun Yat-Sen in 1919 as a symbol of Chinese power and finally completed nearly a century later, the dam that was heralded by the Chinese government not only as a
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Green Apple’s Book vs. Kindle

The Green Apple Guys take on Kindle contracts, pacemaker problems, electric shock, bathtub readiness, and other burning issues in their awesomely fantastic youtube series, Book vs. Kindle. Round 2 features No One You Know.
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The Persistence of Memory

According to an article by Roger L. Clem and Richard L. Huganir published recently in Science Magazine, it is possible to erase fear memories. When I saw the headline about “Fear Memory Erasure,” my interest was immediately piqued. The things that one obsesses over in private invariably make it into one’s books…which is to say,
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Tuscaloosa

It’s difficult to believe the destruction in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The place holds special meaning for me, as it was my home for four years while I was a student at the University of Alabama. The mile-wide tornado apparently picked up just in front of Bryant Denny stadium (see video of the tornado passing behind the
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Pretty House, Quirky House

I’m loving the new design book by Christian Lemieux, Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design. I’ve always sort of hated the term “decorate,” which brings to mind stuffy lamps and knick-knacks chosen by someone who’s being paid by home decor stores to talk clients into overstuffing their space with impersonal items. Having passed out of
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The Untimely Death of Manning Marable

What if you spent 20 years writing your magnum opus, only to pass away the day before its publication? That’s what happened to Columbia professor Manning Marable, remembered here in the New York Times. “For two decades, the Columbia University professor Manning Marable focused on the task he considered his life’s work: redefining the legacy
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What Makes You Cry?

There’s a wonderful scene in Broadcast News in which Jane Craig, played by Holly Hunter, unplugs the phone in her hotel room, sits down on the bed, and starts weeping and wailing. She cries passionately for several minutes before pulling herself together and confidently going about her business. Later, one realizes that crying is part
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My Year of Questions

As the mother of a six-year-old boy, my days, more often than not, begin with questions. Our son has a habit of bounding into our bed around six each morning and awakening us with something like this: “Who would win in a fight–Batman or the Incredible Hulk? Which is beautifuler–a sunset or a rainbow?” (see
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What would you choose?

I recently came across an interesting exercise, in which you are asked to read a paragraph about two very different sorts of lives, and choose which one you would prefer to live. Choice one: the world adores you and bows to you, and all is beautiful, comfortable, and glorious…with a catch. In the other, you
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The News from Japan

The Japan Times is an excellent English-language new source for up-to-the minute information on the crisis in Japan, reported from within the country. NPR has a blog dedicated to the crisis. Updates appear every half hour. While the nuclear crisis escalates, The New Scientist offers an encouraging perspective on why this won’t be “another Chernobyl.”
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Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls

Erika Meitner is one kick-ass poet. Imagine my excitement at discovering that she has a new book out! It’s called Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls , and here’s what Daisy Fried has to say: These cool, hot poems about women and girls in danger and on the prowl, coming of age and being of age,
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Slightly to the right: totally unscientific brain test

The extraordinary blog Synthesthete turned me on to this fun right brain, left brain test. You can take it too! My results? Very curious, passionate, understanding, and intellectual (ha!) Not so stable, traditional, reserved, or conscientious (wait a minute!) On a different scale, my results were right brain dominance 10, left brain dominance 7. Because
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Favorite Things

Clean Your Floor like the Jetsons: I finally gave in and invested in the Neato XV-11 All Floor Robotic Vacuum System. I’ve had it for three weeks. It’s amazing. Aside from the obvious joy of having a ROBOT at your house, it actually does a good job of cleaning a room while you’re not looking.
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Year of Fog Author Talk (Video)

Thanks to Carol O’Hare, the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library, and the Association of American University Women for hosting this Silicon Valley Reads event at Morgan Hill Public Library. Thanks to Marty Cheek for videotaping the event. This video includes a discussion of The Year of Fog, along with a Q&A.
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Where Stories Begin

A story has no beginning and no end. Arbitrarily one chooses the moment from which to look back or from which to look ahead
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Michelle Richmond onstage at Heritage Theatre, Jan. 26

Join Michelle Richmond on January 26 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, California to kick off Silicon Valley Reads 2011. She will be interviewed by San Jose Mercury columnist Mike Cassidy. Music by the Leigh High School Jazz Ensemble. Co-sponsored by Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley Doors open 6:45 p.m. – First come, first seated Program
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Cupertino Library’s Year of Fog essay & photo contest

Today in the San Jose Mercury news, an article about the essay contest and photo contest the Cupertino Library Foundation is running in conjunction with Silicon Valley Reads 2011. Two grand prizes of $500 each and two prizes of $300 each will be given to the winners of the essay contest, and four prizes of
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On Accidentally Finding Your Way

Just up on the Glimmer Train website, my piece about research and the novel. I should mention hear that Linda Swanson-Davies and Susan Burmeister-Brown are my favorite editors of any literary magazine, anywhere. Back in 1999, they called a completely unknown writer and made her day by telling her that they would be publishing the
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Now available: The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress

The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress, originally published in 2001 by the University of Massachusetts Press and winner of the AWP Award for Short Fiction, is now available for Nook, Kindle, and other ereaders. “The stories in Michelle Richmond’s first collection spin artfully off the life of a single character…smart and adept…” The New York
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Love in a Ten-Year Key

Has it really been ten years since I walked down the aisle at the little chapel in Yosemite, tripped on my dress, married that boy I met in Arkansas, went a bit too far with the tequila, and spent all night in our room at the Wawona Hotel searching for ghosts in the closet? It
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San Francisco’s Wordslinging Women

Thanks to Mia Lipman for this nice write-up in San Francisco Magazine! In the magazine’s cover story, “A Year in Preview,” Lipman writes that the San Francisco “lit scene gets much of its oomph from wordslinging women, including a trio of established authors with distinctly local voices and new books out in 2011. All three
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Day 49: The Missing Final Chapter of The Year of Fog

Now available as an ebook: the never-before-published original ending of THE YEAR OF FOG. (ISBN 978-1-4524-9639-9) Spoiler alert: Do not sample this ebook unless you have already read THE YEAR OF FOG! A note from Michelle: A few weeks before THE YEAR OF FOG went to press, I found myself agonizing over the ending .
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Oooh, Tannenbaum! An Ode to the Hunky Christmas Tree Guy

For one blissful month, I see them everywhere — in dreary parking lots beneath optimistically striped tents, on sweetly scented tree farms sidling up to two-lane roads north of the city. I even see them slouching curbside at the big discount chain stores. Truth be told, I could probably do without the tree, which is
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Best books of 2010,
London style

London’s News of the World has just published its list of the best books of the year for 2010. The list includes nine fiction titles, a memoir, and three children’s books. I’m delighted that THE YEAR OF FOG, published this year by Ebury Press, made the cut. You need a subscription to view the page,
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Missing girl found across the street from Ocean Beach

Every now and then, the real-life story of a missing child ends with the child’s safe recovery. But the story of Brittany Mae Smith really caught my attention, even more than all the others, due to the fact that Smith, reported missing four days ago from Salem, VA, was spotted on Friday at the Safeway
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Table Manners

Everything you ever wanted to know about dining in, dining out, tipping, tablecloths, hosting, guesting, napkins, etc. is covered in Helena Eichlin’s delightful column, Table Manners, over at Chow.com. Helena in person is smart, charming, and ever-so-graceful, all of which comes through splendidly in her fun, informative column. So if you want to know how
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Still Missing: Melinda McGhee

31-year-old Melinda Wall McGhee, the mother of two small children, went missing from her rural home in Atmore, Alabama, on March 4, 2003. There was blood in the home, and signs of a struggle. Her husband, family, and friends are still seeking answers about what happened to her. Read about Melinda’s case here. Anyone with
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West Side Stories in San Francisco, 11/20

Join me and several other Bay Area authors for West Side Stories on Saturday, November 20, from 1:00 to 3:00 at the Sunset Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, featuring readings of San-Francisco based novels and nonfiction, followed by live music and book signings. All the juicy details are here. And here’s the full
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Get Amber alerts by text

Please go to wirelessamberalerts.org and sign up for wireless Amber alerts. It takes about five seconds, and it could save a child’s life. The Amber alert is one of the most effective tools law enforcement has to track down children in the hours after abduction. According to Amberalert.gov, “AMBER Alert programs have helped save the
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To the Students at Bishop McGuinness

A big shout-out to my old friend Kim Shirley’s journalism students at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City. I saw your comments and am delighted that you’re checking out my work. Best of luck to all of you with your writing, and say hello to Kim for me. She was my absolute best friend
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Sleeping in Bookstores

There’s a great piece up on Green Apple Core, the blog of San Francisco’s wonderful Green Apple Books, about book stores, of the real and browsable variety, crotchety proprietors, dusty shelves, and all; and about a certain revered Parisian bookstore where you might find yourself spending the night, in exchange for a few hours shelving
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Foggy up yonder

I heart the Mounties and their reading cousins. The Year of Fog is the November Book of the Month for Walmart stores across Canada. This brings me back to my (exceedingly brief) Arkansas days, when a good-looking fellow from San Francisco and I taught creative writing to kids in rural schools through a program called Writers
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Silicon Valley Reads
The Year of Fog

Each year, Silicon Valley Reads brings together libraries, schools, and community organizations in 15 Bay Area cities to read a single book. I’m honored and delighted to announce that The Year of Fog is the 2011 selection, following on the heels of 2010’s In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan. 2011 programming will kick off
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