More About Christy Karras

Colin Trevorrow, director of “Safety Not Guaranteed”, gives props to his Seattle crew.

 

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YouTube DirektColin Trevorrow, director of "Safety Not Guaranteed", gives props to his Seattle crew.

January 23, 2012   No Comments

It’s that time of year…

…when I get back to posting on the blog. Really, one of my resolutions is to be better. I always have so much more to talk about than fits in my published stories.

It’s time for Sundance and Outdoor Retailers, two of my favorite events. I went and said hello to some of my outdoor industry peeps yesterday. Planning to write more about the cool stuff I saw in upcoming blog posts…

But you all want to know about Sundance. Mom dropped me off at my conveniently located condo last night (she’s a champ!), and I’ve been taking care of some business this morning.

As usual, I’m writing for the Seattle Times. Here’s a link to my preview story for them, which ran in last Sunday’s paper.

Seattle’s been in the throes of “Snowmageddon” this week – which I flew out early to avoid. Those who tried to leave yesterday were not so lucky. But when their flight didn’t happen, intrepid Seattle filmmakers do what they do best: They made do, renting a big van and driving all the way to Park City just in time for the Q&A for “Your Sister’s Sister” this morning. Kudos!

I’ll be seeing “Your Sister’s Sister” tonight.

I’m planning to add something here daily during the festival (and regularly, I promise, after that).

See you in the snow!

Sundance started early, on Thursday, with a visit to Outdoor Retailer. One of the hat makers at OR (Deluxe Knitwits) made this one-of-a-kind hat, which they wouldn't sell to me.

January 20, 2012   No Comments

Busy! Working!

That’s where I’ve been. It’s pretty easy to keep up with my doings, though, as most of them have been for the Seattle Times. In case you missed ‘em, here are the highlights:

My recent favorite is a travel story I wrote about hiking and hot springs in Oregon’s Cascades. I just found out today that it’s had twice the number of web hits a Times travel story usually gets. I’m going to pat myself on the back and say it’s because it was a great story, but more likely it was this photo, which ran with it:

(A bunch of young adults relax in volunteer-maintained tubs at Bagby Hot Springs in Oregon.)

You may notice that prominent in this photo is a young woman in a skimpy bikini. She got a lot of positive comments online.

Here’s the photo I wanted to run with the story:

(A couple relaxes in the McKenzie River, Oregon.)

How much do you want to bet that the page was designed by a man?

Another of my favorite recent stories was about why country music is so popular. It is, even in Seattle. I was surprised by the number of people who emailed me and admitted they’re country fans. I hope that makes those folks fans of mine. I need all I can get.

Finally, one of my favorite stories ever was a recent one about a tattoo artist who creates tattoos for the chests of women who’ve had reconstructive surgery after breast cancer. It started out as a “Hey, would you like to write a preview story of this upcoming tattoo festival?” and became something much more. These are the stories that make me like what I do, ridiculous pay and lack of job security be damned.

September 13, 2011   1 Comment

Film Festival Madness

In the midst of the Seattle International Film Festival here. They call it the nation’s largest for a reason: 450 or so film of all stripes…whew!

Here are some links to my coverage for Moving Pictures Network:

My festival preview: http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28057/siff-2011-preview/

My Ewan McGregor tribute story (no, I didn’t get to talk to him. Yes, I slipped his publicist a copy of my motorcyle touring book. And the most surprising thing about him? He’s a hairy dude (in a masculine, sexy way, of course). http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28057/siff-2011-preview/

I’m reviewing as many world premieres as possible. Here are the first couple:

A Lot Like You:  http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28425/lot-like-you-documentary-review/

Do You see Colors When You Close Your Eyes?: http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28561/do-you-see-colors-review/

I’m so happy to be back to reviewing. Look for more reviews of film and other things in upcoming posts…

(Ewan McGregor, right, reacts to a mention of his hairstyle in the period film "Emma.")

 

 

June 7, 2011   No Comments

What I’ve been up to

Not so good about blogging lately…because I’ve been too busy writing for other people!

First, and update on the road trip: I had a great time talking to Kerry Bringhurst on Utah Public Radio’s Access Utah show. If you missed it, here’s a link to streaming audio. And yes, I discuss the time I met the Queen.

I also had fun speaking at libraries, talking about my book More than Petticoats: Remarkable Utah Women. My audiences were fantastic listeners and very keen on the book! Here’s a photo from my Park City Library appearance. This is me and my friend Amber, who drove up with another friend, Margaret Ruth (who took this picture). We went out to grab a drink afterward – what could be better than hitting the town with two flame-haired beauties?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since my return from Utah, I’ve focused mostly on the Seattle International Film Festival. I’ve been covering it for Moving Pictures. Here are links to my stuff:

Festival Preview: http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28057/siff-2011-preview/

Ewan McGregor tribute story: http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28241/siff-2011-ewan-mcgregor-tribute/

“a Lot Like You” review: http://www.movingpicturesnetwork.com/28425/lot-like-you-documentary-review/

…and there’ll be a lot more where that came from. Whew!

May 27, 2011   No Comments

Road trip!

I’ve finalized the details of my upcoming trip to Utah. It’ll be packed with events. Now I’m just hoping things go smoothly – and if you live in Utah, I hope to see you there!

Here are the relevant bits from the associated press release:

WASATCH FRONT CELEBRATES REMARKABLE UTAH WOMEN

Park City, Utah – With Mother’s Day on the horizon, author Christy Karras is hitting the road to celebrate remarkable women from Utah’s history. Karras, author of “More than Petticoats: Remarkable Utah Women,” will be presenting a casual evening of storytelling and discussion at locations along the Wasatch Front next week. They include:

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.

Park City Library Roger Harlan Meeting Room

1255 Park Avenue

Park City, UT 84060

www.parkcitylibrary.org

 

Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m.

Provo City Library Brimhall Room, #302

550 North University Avenue

Provo, UT  84601

www.provolibrary.com/calendars

 

Friday, April 29, 6:30 p.m.

Eccles Community Art Center

2580 Jefferson Ave.

Ogden, UT 4401

www.ogden4arts.org

Christy’s presentations include a brief slide show and lively stories about her most interesting subjects before answering questions and chatting with the audience about their favorite women from the book or from their own lives. All events are free and open to the public.

About the Book

More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Women of Utah, published in 2010 by Globe Pequot Press, is a reader-friendly look at Utah history through short, entertaining biographies of some of its most interesting women. The book tells the stories of twelve strong and determined women who broke through the social, cultural, and political barriers of the day. They include Emmeline B. Wells (1828–1921), suffragist, president of the Relief Society, and editor of the Women’s Exponent; and Reva Beck Bosone (1895–1983), Utah Congresswoman and the state’s first female judge; and the Bassett sisters, who hung around with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in women’s stories or Utah history – or for anyone seeking inspiration from others’ lives.

(The Eccles Community Art Center, where I'll be on April 29. Formerly the home of one of Utah's richest families - isn't she a beauty?)


 

April 20, 2011   No Comments

Writers speak!

My friend Wendy Hinman, who’s polishing her memoir about touring the world on a seven-year sailing adventure, wrote a very thoughtful response to her experience at the Whidbey Writers Conference for the Writing Is My Drink blog. Here’s a link:

Wendy writes about the Whidbey Conference

Wendy Hinman, author

(This is Wendy!)

Everyone I hear from says it’s a great conference. The great (and problematic) thing is that it’s one of many great conferences in the Pacific Northwest. We have an embarrassment of riches.

Speaking of conferences, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion on writing travel guide books. Here’s the link for that:

http://www.travelwritersconference.com/event_schedule.html

There’s still time to register, if you’d like to join me and the likes of the wonderful and talented Amanda Castleman, who lives the travel-writing dream.

It’s going to be a whirlwind of a few weeks: the travel conference is right after my week-long trip to Utah, where I’ll be doing some events relating to my books. I’ll be speaking at the Park City Library on April 26, at the Provo City Library on April 27, and to a book club in Layton on April 28. I’m planning to do a little multimedia discussion about interesting women of Utah history. And I’ll have refreshments!

Check out my website, christykarras.com, for an updated listing of my future events. I would love to see you at any of them (and am not above bribing you with treats if you show up).

April 13, 2011   No Comments

Advice for aspiring filmmakers

I got an email recently from a man in Seattle who’d read a story I wrote in the Seattle Times about the mutually supportive nature of the Seattle film community. He said his son was a budding filmmaker who had already set up a home-grown studio, complete with sound-editing equipment and a green screen, in the family garage. He wondered how he could get in touch with some of these talented and generous filmmakers.

After I wrote my reply, I thought this could be good information to anyone wanting a start in the biz. It applies specifically to Seattle, but some of the general advice would work for any community with even a small film scene:

(Cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke, one of Seattle's most generous and talented filmmakers, shoots a scene from "The Off Hours," directed by the equally talented and generous Megan Griffiths.)

Your son sounds like quite a prodigy! Definitely, most filmmakers get experience by volunteering on sets (and much of the work on these small-budget films is done by volunteers who just want to help out but who also get valuable experience). So he’s on the right track.

The filmmakers I profiled are spending a lot of their time promoting their latest work, taking it around the world through the film-festival circuit, so they aren’t currently filming. They all have some of the same organizations in their backgrounds, though, and I’d look at those places first (those filmmakers are still also closely affiliated with those organizations).

One is the Northwest Film Forum. It offers classes and workshops, but it also does all kinds of other events – screenings, panel discussions – and is always looking for volunteers, who then get discounts on those workshops and such. If he spends even a little time at these events, he’ll eventually run into all the people I’ve written about. Several of them are board members.

http://www.nwfilmforum.org/

Many of the region’s filmmakers went to the Seattle Film Institute, which offers certificate and undergraduate-level courses but which also hosts shorter workshops.

http://www.seattlefilminstitute.com/

Finally, there’s Washington Film Works, the state office for film promotion. It’s geared toward those already in the business, but it includes resources for those just getting in. There’s even a section on the website with advice on how to do that:

http://www.washingtonfilmworks.org/index.php/Locals/BreakingintotheBusiness/

Washington Film Works also keeps track of ongoing productions, both artistic and commercial, in the area.

There’s also a group on Facebook called Seattle Area Filmmakers (under “public figure”) that posts news about events in the film community. My guess is that if your son went there and posted on the wall, indicating that he wanted to volunteer on a set, he’d get some responses.

Many individual filmmakers also have Facebook pages, and although they might be choosy as to whom they brought on as “friends,” they may be willing to answer a message from an enterprising young person.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to your son. It really is a remarkable community here, and those who work in it love what they do.

 

April 6, 2011   No Comments

For the ladies of ECWC…and post-conference announcement!

I promised I would upload the handout from my presentation at the Emerald City Writers Conference, where I had a terrific time with an awesome bunch of writers. I got a bit bogged down writing another book, but I’m back in the world of the living, and here it is. Please feel free to contact me if you have follow-up questions.

Also, you may recall from the conference that my buddy Jim Thomsen (the one single, heterosexual man brave or crazy enough to go to a conference full of suspicious women) and I are going into business together to share our editing and media-relations expertise. It’s called Proof Positive Media, and I’m very excited about it. Call me crazy, but I love editing. And I love helping people with their media relations. Both are so much more fun to do for others than for myself!

We’re launching the business with a post-conference special. You know all those agents who asked you for a partial based on your awesome pitch? And you told them, “Yes, my book is done. I’m just doing a final polish”? And now you’re freaking out a bit because you know you want your final polish to be as perfect as possible, and yet you are so tired of looking at your manuscript that your eyes swim every time you try?

We want to reduce your angst. And we want to spread the word about our new business. So, through the end of 2010, we’re offering a post-conference special: For a mere $150, we will put that final polish on your submission of up to 10,000 words. That will typically consist of a synopsis and three sample chapters. The polish includes editing your writing for spelling, grammar, usage, and sentence structure. We will also give suggestions on things like word choice and continuity issues, while ensuring your unique voice shines through. Combined, we have more than 35 years’ experience (yikes!) in the publishing business, including work on newspapers, magazines, and books.

This is your chance to impress, and we’d like to help ensure you make the most of it by turning in a squeaky-clean submission.

For more information, please contact us at proofpositivemedia@gmail.com. Find out more about me at www.christykarras.com. (The Proof Positive website will be active soon.) And thanks for stopping by!

Click right here for the handout, in PDF form. Let me know if you have any trouble downloading it.

(Here I am, looking pretty dorky during my presentation.)

November 18, 2010   No Comments

Blast from the present

Dear Loyal Readers,

Okay, so there aren’t any of you. I don’t blame you. My bad. I haven’t exactly been the best poster. Can you forgive me? I’ve been busy. I know. Lame excuse. But I did finish four books in 18 months. Oh, and I got married. You should have been there. You got the invite, right? Right?

I hate reading “sorry I haven’t been blogging” posts, so I’ll stop now. But I am sorry. And I’ll try to do better.

Love,

Christy

November 18, 2010   No Comments