Friday, December 30, 2005

Literary Photo: Part 2

I'm still trying to decide on an author photo.

Maybe this one?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Literary Pageant

A few years ago, I wrote a performance piece called "Master of the (Miss) Universe," a show examining beauty, culture, heritage. I wrote that The Philippines is obsessed with pageants. The last two Filipino women who won the Miss Universe title were put on stamps! I also wrote that Filipinos love a good pageant, recalling Miss America 2000 when a Filipina from Hawaii won the crown, becoming the pageant's first winner of Asian descent.

Recently, Miss America, an instituion in the pageant world, was in danger of going off the air. No television station wanted it due to poor ratings. Country Music Television (CMT) saved Miss America from near death. I read about it in the New York Times. I busted up laughing. True to form, look who is saving the Miss America pageant from going under.

From the NYT:
"No one within CMT lobbied more forcefully to get Miss America than Paul Villadolid, an MTV alumnus who is vice president of programming and development at CMT. Like the country channel itself, Mr. Villadolid would seem to be an unlikely suitor for Miss America: the son of Filipino immigrants...."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Literary Heaven

I watched Barbara Walter's interview with the Dalai Lama (pictured), a show dedicated to what "Heaven" is all about. I've been thinking about the role of Heaven in books. In my next novel, the concept of life-after-death is explored.
(I purposely did not read "Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold so I wouldn't be influenced.)

I'm wondering if there is a trend in literature where more discussion about God, Heaven, and spirituality will be seen more and more in books.

Uh, as Baby Boomers age, I'm sure more questions about what happens to us when we die will become more frequent.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Literary Move to the Screen

I saw the movie Narnia, based on work by CS Lewis. It's the third book to movie experience I'd had recently. ("Harry Potter" and "Memoirs of a Geisha" being the others) The book has been around for quite some time, but it wasn't until recently that we had the technology to carry off the kind of effects needed to tell this story. The movie was spectacular.

I was thrilled to see Tilda Swinton's (pictured) name flash across the screen. I'd been a fan of hers for such a long time. I first saw her in "Orlando" and was awed by a fashion spread she did in Vanity Fair. She's one of the few actresses who not only looks aristocratic but IS aristocratic (her father is a knight).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Literari Wondering: Bad speller = bad writer?

Are writers supposed to be good spellers? I'm not a good speller. Sometimes when I critique work, writing comments in the margins, I think I missspel words. Then I think I'm dum-dum. Then I think: How can you take kriticism from someone who can't spel?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Literary versus Cinematic

I went to see "Memoirs of a Geisha" with my mother. She said she HAD to go see this. I read the novel when it first came out and fell into the pages of this book. I would think that Hollywood would be able to capture the grandeur and breadth of this story. Surprisingly, it did not. The movie was certainly entertaining, but the book left me with the most vivid pictures in my mind. Any man made efforts to replace them simply failed.

The descriptions of the kimonos in the novel, for example, created the most incredible designs in my head. The ones in the movie, albeit lovely, appeared to be embroidered napkins compared to the fantasy I'd created.

Arundhati Roy refused to have her international bestseller "The God of Small Things" turned into a movie. She said that millions of people had already created movies in their heads and she didn't want to spoil it.

The one thing that DID go well beyond my expectations is Gong Li (pictured) as the antagonist Hatsumomo. The novel portrayed the geishas with such incredible beauty that no human would be able to compete. Gong Li is a woman of exceptional beauty. I must confess that I've always thought of Gong Li as one of the screen's most ravishing women--right up there with Elizabeth Taylor. Seeing Gong Li was a major factor in spending money on this movie. (Check out Gong Li's performance in Raise the Red Lantern--that opening scene with tears running down her face stained my soul.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Literary Cause: Freedom to Write

I write letters to Turkey, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka. Why? Because there are writers who are suffering. Their government finds their work offensive or unfit for public consumption.

They're arrested, beaten up, thrown in jail--for a poem or a short story. I wrote a letter to China today because a writer told the story of a bird who wanted to fly freely, but was caged by humans. The bird chose to commit suicide than have freedom denied. The story ruffled some communist feathers and the writer was jailed, sentenced to serve ten years!

I write letters through the Freedom to Write campaign out of the PEN Center USA West--a remarkable organization. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Literary Encounter: Luis Rodriguez

Luis Rodriguez came by Skylight a little while ago. The audience asked him intense questions about politics, gang life, the prison system.

I asked him: "What makes you laugh your head off?"

"When smart people do something stupid," he said. "Or when stupid people do something smart. It would make me laugh if Bush or Schwarzenegger actually said something with substance. I'd laugh my head off. Or if the Dalai Lama, ambling solemnly in his orange robes, all of a sudden did an Irish jig. I'd crack up then. The funniest things are the broken mirror images of our so-serious realities. It's sad if we can't see the illusion. It's funny if we see them for what they are. Laugh. Dance. Cry. Just know the differences."

You gotta check this guy out:

Monday, December 05, 2005

Literary First

I am so close to a first draft of my third novel. Once a first draft is done, there's no going back.

Close. So close.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Literary Loss: World AIDS Day

At work, we observed World AIDS Day. December 1st is a day chosen by the World Health Organization to recognize those who are affected/infected with HIV/AIDS.

I think of all the artists, especially writers, who passed. I am sure there are plenty of storied untold because of their deaths. Paul Monette and Harold Brodkey come to mind.

"First Love and Other Sorrows" by Brodkey and "Becoming a Man" by Monette made me a better human being.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Literary Memoir

Okay, so I'm reading memoirs these days. I'm thinking: my life is a hell of a lot more interesting than what some of these people are experiencing. I never thought of writing one because everyone and his mother is writing a memoir. Hell, Clay Aiken (left) from American Idol has a memoir.

I believed I was too young to write such a thing. Then I thought: I am pushing the big four-oh. Maybe I have a little life to write about. One thing for sure--what I experienced before I was fifteen was a lot more exciting than what some memoirists are writing about.

The only problem with a memoir is that everyone will know your business. I mean, do I really want my mother to know what I was doing before I was fifteen?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Literary Salmon

I started a short story yesterday. I started a personal essay this morning. I've been thinking about ways of starting a new novel. I looked through some of my old files and saw a number of stories that I'd started and have yet to finish. These stories seem like salmon: many begin the trek to spawn, but only a few actually complete the journey.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Literary Repitition: The Barong

I started a piece this morning. It was a story that I'd been thinking about for a year. It was inspired from a trip to The Philippines I took in 2004. (Sheesh, that country so inspires me. I wish I could be there more often.) I'm simply "free-writing" about characters in this story and one of the characters is suddenly wearing a "barong." This item of clothing has appeared many times in several of my stories. I don't know why I have a fascination with this shirt and feel the need bring it into my work so often. Think about it: would a writer constantly bring in the same tuxedo to his work? I admit to owning atleast ten barongs in different styles.

I think somewhere deep down inside, I so associate the history of The Philippines with the Barong. For example, the reason the shirt is transparent is because the Spanish, who ruled the country for 4 hundred years, were afraid that their Filipino servants were carrying weapons. Thus, the making of barong required a sheer look, so knives could be detected. I suppose it was the Spanish version of the metal detector.

On another note, I find them absolutely beautiful. I have pictures of my cousin's wedding. All of the men wore barongs. I didn't think much of it at the time, but in photos, there was something aesthically pleasing about seeing all of these Filipino men huddled together wearing this elegant, pristine looking shirt.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Literary Egypt

What did King Tut read? I wondered this as I caught the midnight tour of the Tut exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (It's the last weekend of the exhibit. They' re holding tours 24 hours a day.) Hierogliphics--is this how it's spelled?-- is so beautiful to look at, I wondered what it was like to read.

Going to this exhibit satisfied a childhood dream. I remember the King Tut exhibit when it first came to LA in the 1970's. I wanted to go so badly, but my family was not the go-to-the-museum type of family. I remember passing LACMA as a kid and watching people go inside. I was so envious.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Literary Head-Up-My-Ass

So, have you ever felt like this? I mean, wondered if you made the right choices?

Maybe because we're nearing the end of the year. Maybe because I have a birthday coming up. But my head is going places it shouldn't be. My head is telling me I should have done more, owned more, learned more.

Then, today, I met several people who made "right" moves: went to good schools, recieved advanced degrees, got well paying jobs. After some conversation, I discovered that what they REALLY
want to do is publish a novel or write a book of poems. They have jobs which demands 60-70 hours a week, time that sucks away any energy for writing.

What are they going to do? They're quiting their jobs and are starting from scratch. A good number of them are my age or older, much older.

Suddenly, I realized I'd had my head up my ass. I made the right choices and they were good choices. I'm on a path that many people envy. After meeting these people, I became grateful, very, very grateful.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lilterary Return: Boldly Back

For the last several weeks, I'd been preparing for today: a press conference announcing the formation of API Equality-LA, a group to work on the same gender marriage issue in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. George Takei (left), most familiar as Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, and assemblymember Judy Chu were there to announce their support.

I was the point person to bring in media. I'd been losing sleep over this press conference, wondering if any one would come. It is a crappy thing to have a press conference with no press.
It got so bad that I could't write because I was caught up in this event. The only things I was writing were press releases and media advisories.

Well, it's over...and it was a smashing success. They came out, from Asian media like the Singtao Daily to mainstream press like ABC, Channel 7. It's done--atleast until the next event.

I'm hoping to buckle down and get back to my novel. It's amazing how I missed worrying about my novel when I wasn't worrying about it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Literary Oakland

So, I'm here in Oakland, California attending a conference. Most people don't realize how truly literary this place is. Novelist, essayist Jack London (left) is from Oakland. Mr. London died at 40--an age I'm fast approaching. By the time he died, he had published 50 volumes of novels, short stories, and essays! (Okay, I'm feeling inadequate.)

The other famous Oaklander is Gertrude Stein. I don't think Oakland is praising her, however. (Jack London has a square named after him here). Ms. Stein famously insulted the City of Oakland. She said, "There's no there there."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Literary Get Away

I had to leave town for awhile and breathe. I was feeling bitter--more than usual--and tired. I went to Northern California for several days. I drove up and enjoyed the ride up the 5 freeway. Normally, I dread such a trek (it took me 8 hours), but I enjoyed the fact that I was getting away. Even the smell of death didn't bother me as much. (Anyone whose driven up the 5, heading north, will know about passing the bovine slaughter house--Cowshwitz a friend calls it--which stinks to high heaven.)

I had moments to ponder my next novel. I need to change the names of some characters. I'd pulled names out of the air, just to have them. Now, as the story grows, I found that some of the names no longer have the same kind of resonance. Also, I made notes of developing one particular character that's been feeling unwhole.

I took the 101 freeway down--a much longer trip than the 5. It was coming down the 101 that I saw how truly beautiful California is: the lovely Autumn influence on the vineyards of Napa Valley, the charm of San Francisco, the crisp beaches of central California, and eventually the bustle of Los Angeles.

I needed this trip. I gathered myself back together.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Literary Reasons: Icon Magazine

So, many moons ago, I thought why should I come out of the closet? Why should I care about writing about my Filipino background. I mean, it's not like anyone is going to care. Gay Filipinos are such a small part of the world's population. Who would want to listen to anything that I said or did? Recently, Icon, a gay Filipino magazine in The Philippines--and one of the few in Asia, interviewed me. I couldn't believe that a whole magazine is dedicated to this "small part of the world."

I write for many reasons. A big one is to examine the intersection of different lives, countries, time periods, and beliefs. I heard a radio interview with Maya Angelou who said that people read to hear "The Truth." It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, people want "The Truth." Coming out and accepting myself as a gay Filipino man was one of the most truthful things that I ever did. I hope some of that Truth comes out in my work.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Literary Encounter: Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill came around Skylight to talk about her new book Veronica. We sat around and chit-chatted. She told me a horrifying story of wanting an HIV test back in 1985. (I've been dedicated to the fight against HIV for a good fifteen years now, so I'm interested in these things.) And she said that the doctor discouraged her from taking an HIV test because women rarely get it. Well, now that countless women have died from HIV, I bet that doctor is eating his words!

I know that Ms. Gaitskill is a cultural phenomenon and all, but I took to her because she was wearing orange, one of my favorite colors. Not everyone can wear orange, but Ms. Gaitskill pulled it off flawlessly. She had an orange bag, a sweater with orange stripes, champagne colored jeans with orange hues. I told her that orange is the preferred color of the insane. She responded: "I started wearing orange when I became MORE sane. Besides, the insane are right about some things."

Literary Photo?

So, my friend Ericson Herbas took some author photos of me. This is my favorite. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Literary Distraction: Friendster

So, during those times in my writing life, when the writing is pure hell, I distract myself. One of the ways I do this is is by sending messages, making friends, checking out bios on Friendster. Yes, Friendster! I bet if the internet existed at the time of Charles Dickens, he would be on Friendster, too. It's a great way of keeping in contact with buds and meeting new ones. It's terrrific for a writer who yearns for company, yet wants to be alone. If you're on friendster, look me up and send me a "smile."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Literary Reading

Over the weekend, I did a reading at Michael Kearn's Space in Silverlake. It was a blast. I hadn't done a reading in quite some time, so spitting my words out was a welcomed experience. The writing has been slow (sh*t), so doing this reading made me feel like a writer of some kind.

I must confess that I thought the highlight of the evening wasn't me, but when Sister Buffy (pictured), of the performance troupe the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, did a little talk on Evangelist Sister Aimee Semple Mcpherson. Trust me when I say it was a hoot!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Literary Substitute

The Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany is currently taking place. Frankfurt attracts publishers, agents, writers from all over the world. The book deals and the martinis must be flying.

I don't have the resources to galavant to Germany. So, in honor of the book fair, I commit to watching Liza Minneli in Cabaret.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Literary Skids

Whatever creative progress I'd been feeling toward my third novel has come to a crashing, ear-splitting halt. I hadn't looked at that mess of a book for days. I can't even look in the direction of my computer! I've had it! This novel writing thing is a pain in the ubot. (You can guess the English translation.)

With that said, I'll try to write tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Literary Memories: Monty's Birthday

Today is Montgomery Clift's birthday. I credit him for inspiring my first novel. I hope he is happy wherever he is.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Literary Winner: Nobel goes to Pinter!

Okay, every year people place bets on who'll win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Feathers get ruffled, usually when it's some "unknown master". This year, playwright Harold Pinter won. I'm elated, considering that I'd studied theatre waaaaay before I got into writing novels. Pinter is certainly not unknown. I'm sure drama geeks are giving standing ovations the world over.

Check it out:

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Literary Prize: Booker Award

Britain's Man Booker prize was recently announced. Congrats are in order to John Banville for his novel "The Sea." There is always some controversy that comes with such prizes. Below is a link about a Booker judge and why he chose "The Sea."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Literary Encounter: Susan Straight

With my new novel, comes a new author photo. I asked author Susan Straight--one of the coolest people you'd ever want to meet--what she thought of author photos. She replied, "People told me don't smile, you'll look sexy. Or Smile, you'll look friendly. I wondered, What does any of this have to do with my book?"

Indeed, I know readers want to know what the author looks like, but shouldn't the writing itself be the ultimate attraction? Has writing gone the way of the music industry? It's not enough to just have a great voice, you have to be photogenic and be willing to dance.

Ms. Straight manages to have a sense of humor above all else. When I asked her if I should smile in my picture, she suggested that I try "the smoldering stare."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Literary Encounter: Rick Moody

I've been curious about how music affects other writers. Rick Moody came into Skylight Books to read from his latest novel "The Diviners." Mr. Moody said he "thinks about music all the time" and he'll "listen to anything." The only type of music he doesn't like is "smooth jazz." I asked him if he were a musical instrument what would he be and why. He said he would be a tambora because it has beuatiful overtones. He said, "It's not flashy, but a bedrock on which other things are made."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Literary Music: KD Lang

Like many others, I turn to music for respite, entertainment, inspiration. Last year, KD Lang's CD "Hymns of the 49th Parallel" carried me through a difficult time. Those songs of longing, yearning--themes I often explore--helped me deal with my father's death and rewrite my forthcoming novel "Talking to the Moon."

I saw her at the Hollywood Bowl and she won me over for life. She was funny, personable, and, most importantly, entertaining. I ran to buy other stuff by her like her album "Drag." What a voice.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Literary Death: August Wilson

Playwright August Wilson (pictured) recently passed. What remarkable contributions he made to the world of Letters. As I rise into my middle years, I hope to write some good stuff. I don't know how many books I have in me. At this time, I'm thinking maybe four, maybe five? I hope I have enough time on this earth to get all those stories out of me.

Here's a link about Mr. Wilson's passing:

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Literary Panels

I just left the West Hollywood Book Fair where I sat on my fourth--and last-- literary panel of the year. I forget how many people are hungry to hear how to write and how to get published.

I used to be that person who voraciously read through the LA Times and LA Weekly looking for announcements for "How To" panels: How to write better fiction; how to get published; how to promote your work. Now, I'm sitting on the other side of the table.

I do hope I say and do something useful when I "panelize." The best part of the day is running into people I haven't seen in awhile or meeting earnest young writers hoping to be the next best thing.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Literary Advice

“Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on.”

John Steinbeck

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Literary Elephant

So, maybe I'm not the fastest writer in the world, but I do get words down. Lately, the writing sessions that I've set up for myself have been pretty productive. Though I'm no where near completing my third novel, I'm writing scenes that I think are part of The End.

Literary Elephant: Not too fast, but big and full of things to say.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Literary Nurturing

Every once and awhile, someone will like something I wrote. The kind Patrick Ryan at Lodestar Quarterly ( picked up a short story of mine. I nurtured "Guest List Girls" on and off for two years. It's nice to give birth. You can read the story specifically at:

This issue features poet Marilyn Hacker (right)

Monday, September 26, 2005

literary strides

For the past several days, I've been dealing with a cold. I hadn't felt this bad in a long time. However, I still managed to get my ass to the computer and write. I pounded the keyboard, expecting to write useless junk, the same kind of crap I'd been writing for days, the kind of stuff that I knew I would cast off later. Then, suddenly, I managed to find a bit of conciousness for one of my characters. Suddenly, it became clear what she was about. For months, this female character was inconsequential. Now, she has a soul.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Literary Encounter: Barbara Ehrenreich

For this blog, I'd hoped to have deep, insightful interviews with famous authors who came to Skylight, the bookstore where I host events. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickle and Dimed," came to read. I had prepared several questions for her, asking about her writing process and her motivations for writing her latest "Bait and Switch," a book I enjoyed. The store was packed, including two cameramen filming her. Everyone and her mother wanted to talk to Ms. Ehrenreich. I couldn't get a word in. She was also on a tight schedule. I only had the opportunity to ask her one question before she dashed out the door. My question: What would you be doing if you weren't writing? Her answer: "Playing with my grandchildren."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Literary Muse: Monty Clift

Every once and awhile, I'll just think about the fine actor Montgomery Clift. I adore him. It is no coincidence that my first novel "Letters to Montgomery Clift" is about a boy who worhsips this star. On days like this one--when I'm sick like a dawg--my mind wanders. I still hope Monty's spirit is finally happy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Literary Effort: Blithe House Quarterly

Maybe I haven't been writing as much, but I have been doing literary stuff. Recently, I co-edited a litary web zine called "Blithe House Quarterly." Cheryl E. Klein was the other captain. She and I approached a number of writers to submit to the "Fall 2005" issue of Blithe. We got some incredible talent: Pat Alderete, Charlie Anders, Felicia Luna Lemus, Brian Leung, Bronwyn Mauldin, Danton Remoto, Claudia Rodriguez, Sandip Roy, Eduardo Santiago, John Morgan Wilson and Denise Uyehara (left).

Check out the fruits of our labor:

literary kick-in-the-ass

Thanks to all for your positive response to my blog. It's much appreciated.

I got an e-mail from the the writer John Morgan Wilson (right). After reading my blog, he told me to get to work on my next novel and "no more procrastinating." Every once and awhile, I need a literary kick-in-the-ass. Wouldn't you know it, after reading John's e-mail, I spent twenty whole minutes on my novel and tweaked a short story that I'd been throwing around.

Twenty minutes was pretty good. I'm going through a down time with my writing--it happens. I have faith it'll pick up.

Check out John's website:

Saturday, September 17, 2005

literary slugs

This is what you feel like when the writing process is going slooooooowly.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Literary First: My First Editor

I will always be grateful to Pat Walsh. He was my first editor. He took on "Letters to Montgomery Clift" when other editors rejected it. He has some sage advice about publishing. Check out the link below. Pick up his book.

frustrated news anchor

What do I do when I'm not writing? Well, I work for the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team. I've been there for twelve years. Not too long ago, we had a fundraiser called "Quest." I had hosting duties. I let out my inner Connie Chung.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Query, query, query

On Sunday, September 11, I sat on a panel for UCLA's Writer's Fair. I sat on a panel to discuss publishing. I brought a sample of a query letter (a letter to inquire about representation or to pitch an idea). Unfortunately, there wasn't enough copies for everyone. I promised to place it on this blog for people who didn't get a copy.

Here goes:

July 21, 2000

Jed Mattes
Jed Mattes Agency
2095 Broadway #302
New York NY 10023

Dear Mr. Mattes:

Eight-year-old Bong Bong Luwad prays to a dead movie star. He writes letters to 1950s matinee idol Montgomery Clift, knowing that in America, nothing is worth a damn unless it’s on paper—including prayers. He appeals for his mother’s safe return, begging, “Please. Bring my mama back to me. Safe. With no more bruises.”

Through his letters, Bong tells of his parents’ disappearance during the political bloodbath of 1970s Philippines. He writes of his new home in Los Angeles, where he endures the abuse of his alcoholic aunt. He describes his adoptive family, the Arangans, loving Filipino Americans with a shameful secret. He speaks of maturing, entering adulthood, and loving men (like his idol Montgomery Clift). And he tells of his passion for the film actor’s ghost, dancing, laughing, and even making love with him.

I am approaching various agents, seeking literary representation for my novel Letters to Montgomery Clift. I received a 1998 Emerging Voices fellowship from PEN Center USA West to develop this novel. I was a 1999 Community Access Scholar to UCLA’s Writers’ Program and a 1999 finalist to the Sundance writers’ program. I will have pieces anthologized this year in Take Out (Asian American Writers Workshop, edited by Quang Bao) and Tilting the Continent (New Rivers Press, edited by Shirley Lim and Chua Chen Lok). I have a BFA in drama from the University of Southern California and was a member of the David Henry Hwang Writers’ Institute at East West Players. I have had plays produced and read in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. One critic from the LA Weekly said, “Alumit’s point of view mingles acute intelligence with gently sardonic irony.”

I am currently touring with my critically acclaimed one-man show The Rice Room: Scenes from a Bar, dealing with the lives of gay Asian men. The San Francisco Examiner said of the show, “The charm is as much in Alumit’s deceptively light but intriguingly nuanced writing as in his engagingly skillful performance. Sad, serious, challenging and touching revelations are built into the gentle comedy of his portraits.” My work would cater well to the gay and Asian markets—having had success in those communities—but I see my writing having a greater appeal. As the San Francisco Bay Times puts it, “The gay denizens of the Rice Room may be of Asian origin, but their dreams, ambitions, and late-night sexual drives couldn’t be more universal….highly recommended.”

If I may, I would like to send fifty pages of Letters to Montgomery Clift for your review.


Noel Alumit

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So You Think You Can Write?

I'm supposed to be writing. Instead, I'm watching "So You Think You Can Dance?" Then I'm going to watch "Law and Order." Then I'm going to bed and promise myself to write in the morning.

The first of "The Last Noel"

I started this blog to get stuff out about my writing, namely the frustrations of trying to get a draft done of my third novel. It's tentatively called "Boy with Bleeding Hands." "Boy" is about a child blessed (or cursed) with the stigmata. Does he have this holy condition or does the child have hemophilia, a rare blood disorder. At this point, I don't know what the kcuf is going on with this story.

I have about 50 very rough pages. I don't want to look at the book right now. The only thing I'm writing is nonfiction. I recently wrote an article for Arts and Understanding Magazine, America's AIDS Magazine. The article is about efforts to remember writer Paul Monette, a man whose book "Becoming a Man" ripped me apart. Writers Terry Wolverton, Betty Berzon, and Mark Thompson weighed in on the event.

Last week, Bret Easton Ellis came to the Skylight bookstore. I host literary events there. The store was packed! There wasn't enough room in the store for all his fans. It was a mad house. Bret EE was just the nicest guy. I honestly was surprised. I thought he'd be a prick, but he was the complete opposite. I must confess that I sensed something was sad about him.

I googled Bret EE and discovered that his "friend" died last year at the age of thirty. Maybe that's why he seemed rather melancholy.