The Wild Air and Jazz Music

February 27, 2012

Before I take off on vacation to Europe here is the last blog post until the end of March.

This weekend was especially rewarding or even stressful  but  the beauty of suspense and new adventures  once again took over and it turned out to be a very nice Sunday.

Yesterday I began the day with packing my bike in the morning to meet up with a film crew to shoot a music video. This is a whole story in itself and I don’t really want to talk about it just yet but it will be part of the program at my book reading/signing event Birgit Soyka at the Bay Area Moto Shop April 14 2012  Be there!

Here are some pictures of the day. It is a pleasure to breathe the crisp air of the Bay Area on a beautiful Sunday morning after a stressful week.

In the late afternoon I switched the bike for the car to visit a house concert to listen to the John Stowell and Michael Zilber Quartet. Jazz to its finest.  I went to the concert by invitation. How did I get this invitation?

It was a beautiful day in September of 2011. It was a regular office day and I might have had several squawking birds in the Hotel. I receive a Facebook message from someone I don’t know. Turns out my book was an accessory in the guestroom of an ex-colleague of mine now living back in Germany. A guest has arrived at their house and in the room and read “ To Drink the Wild Air” and liked it and sent me a message.  Turns out the guest was John Stowell and is a famous Jazz guitarist.

Of course I accepted the invite and went to the small house concert listening to the Quartet yesterday afternoon to unwind from a day on the bike in the wild sunshine and raging wind.

Here is a little taste of the music. Enjoy the sample!

This is it for a while. I will be in Europe attending family business. Once I am back on March 18 I will prepare the book/bike fest on April 14 and hope to meet more people from the Bay Area motorcycle community.


19th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

February 20, 2012

Last week was the perfect week to receive a nice Certificate and a long letter from Writer’s Digest to whom I sent my book for the Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award around 8 month ago.  Why I am saying it was the perfect week is because I volunteered at the San Francisco Writers Conference over the weekend from Feb.16 to Feb 19 2012 which is the event to visit in the quest to be a (successful) author. This was the first time I have participated in such a conference and it was impressive from the first to the last minute. The amount of useful information and endless Network opportunities every participant took home is nothing short but overwhelming. It will take weeks to digest every detail learned in the panel discussions or classroom sessions, but I guess this is the name of the game to grow into a shining star within the endless galaxy of unique talent and aspiring authors. The whole weekend was a great experience and I will do it again next year if I get the opportunity. Of course the Hotel already was an experience in itself with its glamour and comfort – inside as well as outside.

Back to the Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Award. Needless to say I didn’t receive the first price but I got a review and that itself made me already happy.

Judge’s commentary:

To Drink the Wild Air is purely and simply, a good read. The author has led a full and rich life, one that in many respects is out of the common path. In this book, she writes of it with “the final goal of entertaining and enlightening the reader,” a goal that she achieves. Her story progresses from her childhood in Germany to the present and is interspersed at key points with brief chapters titled “ Alaskan Journal”, written years later, at a time when she was reflecting on the experiences she has just chronicled or is about to cover.  A strong quality of this book is that you don’t have to be someone who especially likes motorcycle racing or who shares her other enthusiasms to enjoy it and to develop a good degree of respect and admiration for the writer. It’s also a pleasure to read so generous an autobiography, one that is not in a hurry to get from point to point but that explores in depth the writer’s experiences. Ms. Soyka writes candidly and she is also a person who reflects deeply about her life. All these qualities make To Drink the Wild Air a book that can be recommended to anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a good story. 

Press release – To Drink the Wild Air at Moto Shop

February 12, 2012

One of the First Female Motorcycle Racers Reads from Her Memoir April 14 in South San Francisco at Moto Shop

Motorcycles, Race DVD’s, Book Reading, Book signing, music, party 

On April 14, 2012, the author of the memoir To Drink the Wild Air:  One Woman’s Quest to Touch the Horizon and one of the first female motorcycle racers in her time, Birgit Soyka, will read from her book at Moto Shop in South San Francisco. From Female Road Warrior to Spreadsheet Jockey, To Drink the Wild Air chronicles one woman’s journey of adventure, freedom, and motorcycle racing to becoming a survivor of a subsequent corporate career burn out. The program is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a social hour starting at 5pm. Moto Shop address: 325 South Maple Avenue #20 in South San Francisco.

San Francisco, CA, United States, February 13, 2012 – (PressReleasePoint) On April 14, 2012, the author of the memoir To Drink the Wild Air:  One Woman’s Quest to Touch the Horizon and one of the first female motorcycle racers in her time, Birgit Soyka, will read from her book at Moto Shop in South San Francisco.  From Female Road Warrior to Spreadsheet Jockey, To Drink the Wild Air chronicles one woman’s journey of adventure, freedom, and motorcycle racing to becoming a survivor of a subsequent corporate career burn out.

Few people live life on the edge the way Birgit has. She seizes life with both hands and eagerly anticipates the next big adventure. From sleeping on the hood of her car watching the stars twinkle across the desert night sky in Arizona to the shocking experience of being kidnapped and robbed in Mexico City, Birgit’s adventures gives readers a glimpse of her life racing along the twisting roads of untamed dreams. Audacious and honest with a healthy dose of humor, Birgit’s story is a reminder to live life to the fullest, to persevere no matter what the obstacles, and to always remain true to yourself.

Inspirational and entertaining, Birgit’s memoir recounts the journey from her wild motorcycle days in her homeland of Germany to the narrowing noose of career burnout in the United States, which left her with the question: Is this all life has to offer? It was also a wakeup call to reclaim the fearless spirit of her youth and to combine it with her sophisticated adult wisdom.

Birgit was the only female breaking into the male dominated sport of motorcycle racing in southern California, showing courage and determination to win a championship against all odds and encountering injuries, destitution, homelessness, and the threat of deportation along the way.

In 2011, 26 years later, Birgit rekindled her love affair with motorcycles when she bought a Honda CBR 600 and now feels the thrill, fascination and passion at a different age. She will compare the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of a female road racer’s psyche. The Moto Shop program is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a social hour starting at 5p. m. at 325 South Maple Avenue #20 in South San Francisco, CA 94080.

Party, Cops and a Locksmith

February 5, 2012

Last week a Facebook message has worked its way to my absorbing eyeballs.

It read “To Drink the Wild Air Chapter 5, Page 90I was enjoying my life to the fullest, and I never, ever rejected an invitation to a good party.  Someone was reading my book and was challenging me.  Hey – it still is a valid statement – and so I spent my Saturday night at a happening, lively, gone viral party which was planned for around 25 people and 100 showed up. I don’t have to elaborate about a roof top party down town San Francisco on a warm winter night,  having drinks in front of an outdoor bonfire and cooling off with a swim in the swimming pool. For me the drinks yes – but swimming –  not my thing anymore.  Techno was blasting, a dance floor was created, free flow of chicken wings, good talks, cool people, the evening was splendid.

As a responsible citizen I decided to go home before 1 AM. The whole city was pumping with Techno music, one party after another, heavy down town traffic jams had to be conquered, especially on Mission Street.  Finally traffic was flowing, it was dark – I saw three dark creatures stepping in front of my car. Cops with a guy in hand cuffs. I slammed my breaks feeling a bright flashlight beam in my face. They had other problems I guessed and kept on going. Already half through the city it hit me like a ton of bricks   “Where is my damn phone “???? Well- it was not with me. I stopped the car- looked for the phone. Fancy people have two phones. Called myself – no ring tone. Phone was gone. Back to the party crossing down town again! Traffic jam, Cops, people in handcuffs and Techno music.

I re-traced all my steps and ended up at  our party again- it was 1. 30 AM. Found the phone under a chair where it slipped out of my pocket. Relieved I left the party a second time. Crossed the city a fourth time, arrived at my house at 2.15 AM. Now it became chili. Too cold for my short sleeves and light jacket. It was a good night  and satisfied with the evening I  put my key into the front door lock– key got stuck , didn’t move and broke !!! The door was closed.  Hmmmm- and now what?

I was sitting on my front steps thinking about Mexico when I forgot my keys one night in the office and had to spend the entire night in my car in front of my apartment building. That was summer in Mexico City and Juan brought some blankets – this is San Francisco in the winter and nobody brought any blankets.

Thank God I found my phone earlier because otherwise my perspectives for that night would have been more than bleak. A Hotel would have been the ultimate solution but preferably I really was interested to get into my own house.  Thanks to Blackberry and the Internet I found a 24 hour locksmith. I was sitting on the front steps for 30 minutes waiting for that guy and freezing my butt off. The moon was shining and the ocean breeze was palpable. 

At  2 AM the sleepy locksmith finally arrived. He put himself to work with a critical look on his face. Only solution was to drill out the lock and put in a new one. This took another 40 minutes. The bill and night service was stiff but it was the inevitable at that moment.  Another lesson for San Francisco. Never leave home  without a sweater !!!!!

Finally at 3 AM I crawled into bed. More than 2 hours after leaving a party only seven  miles from my house…..  So much to another eventful Saturday. It was a great night.