Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I e-mailed seven colleagues some questions and asked that, if they have the time, please e-mail me back. Of the seven, five got back to me. They were Benjamin Weissman who conducts the reading series at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Diane Leslie who has been hosting events at Dutton’s Brentwood for over twenty years, and Jawanza Dumisani who runs the reading series at the World Stage in Leimert Park. I also offered anonymity to the respondents, and two asked to remain anonymous.
Your reading begins before your reading.
--A well planned reading should be seamless,” said Jawanza Dumasani. “The reader should know what there reading and the order. They should engage the audience with eye contact as they move through the reading. They might share short comments relative to whats being read. I go through my readings in the mirror several days.”
--Don’t want to work with nervous authors who need to be comforted.
--Another good recipe: Solo reading 40 minutes, duos 25 each, cinco 10 min each, like that. How long should an entire event last, including Q and A? 80 sounds good, more or less.
--Many years ago, writer John Rechy gave me some good advice: tell the audience how long you’ll be reading for. The worst thing to hear at a reading: “My next poem is...”
--Last tip: Several of the coordinator said, WRITE WELL. Your work will be the foundation of your reading so, make sure your work is amazing.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I just left the madness at Skylight Books where they'll be releasing the "last" of the Harry Potter novels. The store was swamped with kids awaiting the big reveal. I got into the spirit and wore a cape (appearing as a Dementor). I've never been a Potter reader, but I got a kick out of young people dying to read.
We had an event earlier in the evening. Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight) read from his new book, a collection of short stories. He said he's had to do a lot in his carreer. Reading before the JK Rowling novel was new to him though. He said, "I can't believe I'm being a fluffer to Harry Potter."
That was the highlight for me!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I'd been dealing with restless nights, waking at 4am. I have a lot on my mind, including work and deadlines.
I have also been tossing and turning over my novels. Oh, I need to promote the published ones, oh, I've got to work on the new one.
My third book has been keeping me wondering. I think one of the reasons I kept starting it over is because I don't know what I am trying to say.
I went running this morning and I think the themes came to me. This book is about faith and disease. When plague comes, one's resolve eithers strengthens or weakens. I think of AIDS and how many people were put to the test, to become better Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Moslems. Many failed (and are still failing). There were those few, however, who gave hope.
This, I think, is what my third novel is about to explore.