Sunday, November 27, 2016


Santa Cruz media icon Christina Waters is a true Renaissance Woman.

A journalist whose newspaper stories on arts and culture have been entertaining readers for decades, she's been nominated for the James Beard Award for her food writing (Spirits, Wine and Beer category).

She's a classically trained musician who sings in the University Choir, an accomplished painter, an educator at UCSC with a PhD in Philosophy, and a world traveler always eager to jet off to Milan or Bayreuth for the opera, or London for the theatre.

Now Christina can add "Author" to her impressive list of credits. Her new book, Inside the Flame: The Joy of Treasuring What You Already Have, is out this month from Parallax Press, in Berkeley. Part memoir, part dispensation of accumulated tribal wisdom, it's a collection of punchy, short pieces that exhort us to live now, in the present moment, in the real world — and offers suggestions on how to make our sensual, intellectual and emotional experiences of life even richer.

Christina and I have known each other since the Late Pleistocene Age; we met in the lobby of the Nickelodeon when we were both reviewing movies for rival papers, and we've been friends ever since. But even I was surprised at the sheer variety of life experiences revealed in Inside the Flame, and the depth of her willingness to share them with her readers.

If you're looking for someone to give you tips on how to live life fully, Christina is the mentor for you!

Her thoughtful, often playful pieces have provocative titles, like "Perfume Tattoos," "Up High and Down Low," "Purposeful Wandering,", and "When the World Touches Back."  In "Freestyle Craftiness," she celebrates "the rule that you don't require rules," in the act of creation.

In praise of the rougher, less genteel surfaces found in nature, she writes, "Texture is the world's way of getting our attention." In the piece, "Swimming In the Rain," she turns a story about diving into a public pool in the middle of a summer thunderstorm into an erotic confession.

In these brief, potent vignettes, Christina Waters celebrates the deeper meanings lurking beneath everyday experience, and through a collection of memories and suggested activities, invites us to reimagine our own lives.

Christina will read from Inside the Flame, sign books, and supply witty answers to your questions Monday night, November 28, at Bookshop Santa Cruz. She's liable to have a pretty big cheering section, so get in line now!

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