About me. Okay, my name is Joshua Braff and I'm a writer who lives in California, about twenty minutes from San Francisco in the Oakland hills. My first novel, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, came out in the fall of 2004. The reviews were strong across the boards and I was very excited and pleased by the overall reaction to the story and the characters that drove it. I am currently working on my second novel which will hopefully be out sooner than later. I am deep into the manuscript and unlike the first book, I'm on deadline to turn a first draft in quite soon. No, I will not share the deadline. Okay, it's Tuesday. That's a joke. It's Thursday. That's also a joke. It's just around the bend which means I should be working on it this second. Oh guilt, you bloody wench.
What do I like? I love music. It feeds/fills/gives/ me something I seem to need and can't get from any other source. I listen to it to get in touch with characters and to get in touch with myself and to appreciate a great mood and to help me dig deeper into whatever melancholy happens to be surrounding me at the moment. I love live shows and the Bay area has many incredible venues. Incredible in this case means, intimate with a full bar. Returning to the topic of writing for a second, because of the attention "Jacob Green" received, I was invited to participate in a few different anthologies in the past year or so. This means an editor contacts you and asks if you'd like to write a short story or an essay that addresses whatever topic the book covers. For example, amongst other things, I’ve been asked to write about a failed relationship, a one night stand, being from New Jersey and my take on the holiday of Chanukah. The failed relationship story is already out in a book called, The Encyclopedia of Exes. I don't get any money if you buy it so don't feel like I'm selling you anything. But if you happen to read and like the voice of the narrator in my novel, T.U.T.O.J.G, you might like these shorter pieces as well. I'll let you know when the other stories/essays come out. Oh, that’s right, the one night stand story is out and in a magazine called 7X7 which is published in San Francisco. It's in their annual SEX issue which is the August 06 issue. It says SEX on the cover. That’s right, SEX. Okay, enough about me for now - except for this unusual story I'd like to share. I play for a baseball team called the Barons during the summers here in northern Cal. The Barons are one of two teams that go to the infamous prison known as San Quentin a few times a year to play the inmates. San Quentin is not the type of prison you go to unless you’re staying for awhile. Murderers live there and, let’s just say felons of various degrees. It’s where Scott Peterson happens to reside right now but he’s on death row so he’s not permitted to play on the team. So, I decided, as a writer and all, to have the experience of playing in the “Yard.” The baseball field at SQ sits in the middle of the yard which means there are hundreds of inmates all over the place when you first walk in. Lifting weights, playing basketball, walking, talking, playing chess, hitting a drum over the center field fence, etc. There is nothing protecting you from the inmates in this setting. I play center field and in between innings they would come up to me and ask me where I was from and thank me for coming to play. Many of them were just hanging around the cage behind home plate. Some talkin’ shit, some telling us about the bets they’d made on the game. In truth, they’re lonely so they’re super grateful that you had the balls to walk in the place and interact with them. So, the team is the SQ Giants. All inmates. They were featured on HBO in that Brian Gumble show, Real Sports. Their best pitcher is a guy called Stretch who’s six ten and probably weighs ninety pounds. He once pitched for St. Johns University but I guess one thing lead to another and he decided to stab his wife. The reason his nickname is stretch is not because he’s tall. It’s because his sentence is life and that’s quite a stretch. So, long story short, the Barons are the visiting team, of course, so we’re up first. We get a little rally going to start things off and I’m in the number seven slot in the lineup. Looks like I’m going to get up with the bases loaded. I look at the first pitch, a ball and wait for the next. And yes, my first swing ever in a maximum security prison goes out of the park to right/center. A grand slam. Why you ask, did I share this story in my very first Myspace profile? A) It just happened two weeks ago. B) The story makes me seem cooler than I really am. C) To let you know that freedom is priceless. D)To let you know that interacting with these men was a very rich experience for me because it wasn't about the their crimes and it wasn't about me or who I am - it was about playing a game of baseball with a bunch of men. And when they thanked us over and over for coming into their Yard for the afternoon, I heard it as - thank you for coming in here and treating us like people, like men.
Lastly, I plan to eventually move the blog I write on my website, Joshuabraff.com
, to Myspace. Again, nothing for sale on my website. But if you're an aspiring writer or a reader or you happen to know my work and like the way I write, the blog has writing exercises and book and film recommendations and just a little something for the whole family. Thanks for asking to be my “friend.” Even you webcam chicks. Have a good week.