Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Liteary Plagiarism

So, I belong to these listserves that give me the skinny on what's going on in communities I'm interested in. One post that has got some people wondering is whether a big company like Carl's Junior ripped off a Filipino American sketch comedy group. Hmmmm. What do you think? The writing seems rather similar, no?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Literary Chopsticks

I heard a piece on the radio on how the Chinese are encouraging people to bring their own chopsticks. The wooden chopsticks found in restaurants were leading to massive deforestation. I got to thinking and these sentences came out of me. Beginnig of a short story, no?

"Cesar Wong was a pretentious fuck. He carried his own chopsticks to use in whatever restaurant he ate in. The chopsticks were bone white. He said they belonged to Genghis Khan and were made from the femurs of an enemy killed in battle."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Literary Exhibit

I just went to a press preview of the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS exhibition. It is a stunning display of art. I firmly believe EVERYONE needs to see this exhibit with work from South Africa, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. I'd been doing AIDS work for 18 years and I was not prepared to see what I saw. It is startling, thought-provoking, even humorous.

Yes, there is writing involved, but that alone doesn't make the exhibit literary. It's the questions that are posed, the ideas that are raised. I wondered what am I doing as an artist to ends AIDS, to make the world more bearable for those with less previlege?

The exhibit opens this weekend and has portraits, interactive media, sculptures and more. If you can come to the opening night, it will be fabulous.

2.23.08 MAKE ART/STOP AIDS exhibition opening party, 8-11 pm, free
Fowler Museum at UCLA

DJ music by Jeremy Sole’s Musaics, Puppetry, Give-Aways, Dessert, and Cash Bar. No Cover.
RSVP: 310.206.7001 or e-mail: fowlermembership@arts.ucla.edu

2.24.08 MAKE ART/STOP AIDS opening day, 12-5 pm
Flesh & Blood, 1 pm, $6, Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater
Tickets: 310.825.2101, www.tickets.ucla.edu or pay at the door
Hourly guided exhibition tours starting at 2 pm, free

All events first-come, first-served. Reservations strongly recommended. Event parking is $8 per day. Park in Lot 4 at the Westwood Plaza and Sunset Entrance.
Presented by Art | Global Health Center at UCLA and the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Literary Bauby

I just came from seeing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It is brilliant. Any writer worth a darn should see this movie about Jean-Dominique Bauby, a magazine editor, who experiences a stroke, suffers from "locked-in" syndrome, and can only communicate with the use of his one good eye. It is a masterpiece.

I came across this book back in the 1990's. I didn't have it in me to read this tragic story. I worried about whether I could see it on screen. I was afraid of experiencing this story because I knew it would change me. For better or worse, I didn't know. All I could say is that I am a better person after seeing it. When the very paralyzed Mr. Bauby affirms that his imagination and memory were undamamged, I wanted to throw myself into the aisle and weep.

I am a more determined writer after seeing him literally blink a whole book to life. I was reminded of the power of words, the overwhelming Voice, and the strength of the human spirit. Mr. Bauby touched me. I hope he touches you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

LIterary Anais

I went to a reading coordinated by a literary friend, Stephen Reigns. It was called Anais at 105, a celebration of the writer Anais Nin who would have been 105 this year. The reading was at the Hammer Museum in Westwood and friends of Ms. Nin talked about her life. Deena Metzger was one of the friends and reminded us of a time that we had forgotten. Anais Nin actually had a hard time getting published. She published her own work because no one else would publish a woman with a certain intellect.

Of course I knew of Anais Nin, but I wouldn't say I sought out her work. Now, I will. Did you know she had two husbands! One lived in Los Angeles and the other lived in New York. She flew back and forth without telling the other. An added bonus is discovering that Anais Nin lived in my Silverlake Neighborhood.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Literary Texas

I recently read a fantabulous book called Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux. My review is here.

I'd highly recommend this book, which takes place in Texas. It's funny, funny, funny. Robert was in town doing a reading at A Different Light Bookstore. That's Robert and his mother, a major character in the story. I went and listened to Robert talk about Texas. This guy made Texas a place ripe with stories.

I love going to literary events, but I fall over when it's more literary than I expected. In the front row was author Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. She wrote an amazing epistolary novel called A Woman of Independant Means. I read it as a source of inspiration to write Letters to Montgomery Clift. Here she is...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Literary February 13th

The First Promising Reading of the Year Will Take Place
On February 13 at A Different Light Bookstore

(Los Angeles) The Promising Series is the only reading series in Los Angeles that exclusively features Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender writers. A goal for the series is to celebrate established writers and introduce the next generation of writers that will explore the GLBT experience. The next reading will be held on Wednesday, February 13th 2008 at 7:30pm.

“I’m glad that we’re kicking off another year of Promising,” said series coordinator Noël Alumit. “It’s another year of featuring fierce and exciting work.”

The February 13th reading will feature:

Frederick Smith is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and Loyola University Chicago. A finalist for the 2004 PEN Center Emerging Voices Fellowship, and a member of the 2004 VONA (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation at the University of San Francisco) novel seminar, Fred is an advocate for social justice and equality issues. He lives in Los Angeles. His first novel, Down for Whatever, was published in 2005. His second novel Right Side of the Wrong Bed was recently published. Readers can contact him at http://www.fredericksmith.net/

Hilary Goldberg began her professional filmmaking career in 1997 while attending film school. Working until its release in 2002, she co-directed and co-edited the feature documentary Render: Spanning time with Ani DiFranco alongside the folksinger. Hilary toured the country as a Spoken Word Artist performing at venues ranging from small coffeehouses to large festivals like Seattle’s Bumpershoot. She released a collection of poetry Giraffe Medicine in 2003. Her latest film, “in the Spotlight” features writers Michelle Tea, Clint Catalyst, and Guinevere Turner in a film noir tale about a literary hoax.

Peter Varvel leads a contented life, despite his former involvement in ex-gay ministry. He postponed Real Life for two decades by dancing for Disneyland and cruise lines before eventually earning his Bachelor's at USC, in Gender Studies. He hopes to emulate the empathetic style of Young Adult novels.

Margaux Permutt is a songwriter, poet, and activist. Her poetry connects the personal to the political to the metaphysical. She draws inspiration from nature, relationships, and current issues. She hopes that through her words she may help others navigate parts of themselves and their world they may not be familiar or comfortable with.

The Promising Series will take place on Wednesday, February 13th at 7:30pm. A Different Light Bookstore, 8853 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069, (310) 854-6601.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Literary Vote

Who you gonna vote for? Who you gonna vote for? That's all people keep asking me. I told them, I don't know yet! When I get into the polling booth, I will be inspired to choose. Hil or Bar?

People are concerned with the candidates perspectives--which they should! I'm happy to say these Clinton and Obama are writers, having published books. George W. was the only president in our history to have never written a book--no wonder free speech was hindered in his presidency.

Regardless of who I vote for, I've decided to keep my decision a secret. It is my inalieable right not to tell anyone who I voted for. I'm choosing to exercise this right.

What thrills me is this: I am a part of making history. I don't think anyone should take that lightly.