Sunday, April 27, 2008

Literary Prizes V

The food was the biggest literary highlight. I'd never seen this dessert spread before. It was one huge chocolate fondue station. I felt like I had sinned by partaking in the sweets.

Literary Prizes IV

This is Maret, who programs the festival, and freelance editor Dan. This is BEFORE she has to execute the upcoming festival of books. I'm sure that smile faded.

This is memoirist Heather King and her friend Julia. Heather wrote about getting sober. She said that despite what this photo looks like, she's not drunk.

Winner of for the first fiction prize was Dinaw Mengetsu. He was cute. told me not to show this picture or else it would frighten people away. He has the kind of sweet humility that an emerging author can have.

The night attracted NPR writer Jo Greise. I suggested that she do an NPR story about me. Silence.

Literary Prizes III

On the left is me and Jenoyne Addams. She and I met as Emerging Voices fellows ten years ago. Now, she's an author AND and agent. On the right is Doug Dutton of Dutton's Brentwood, which is closing. He got a special certificate for his work in the LA literary community.

Literary Prizes II

The LA Times Book Prizes do bring out the literati in a big way.

Here's Susan Straight and her daughter.

Johnny and Joanne from Akashic, one of the best Indie Presses around.

Agents Bonnie Nadell and Betsy Amster.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Literary Prizes

This is Sandra Zane. We met at the LA Times Book Festival eons ago. She was beginning her career as an agent and I was an unpublished writer. We look at the festival as our anniversary. Now, she's a full-fledged agent and I have two novels under my belt.

We went to the LA Times Book Prize show. We didn't plan on wearing velvet blazers. When we met, we just laughed at the coincidence. Great minds...

At the award show, Maxine Hong Kingston received the lifetime achievement award. At the reception, I rush and told her that I have a career today because of the foundation that she laid.

Poet Mark Doty was also there. I'd been meaning to meet him for ages.

Michael York as there...

It was most fun.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Literary Forum

What was amazing about the Gay Mens Forum was the commitment from the men in the room to be the best men possible, strive for the best of society. I sat on a panel dealing with the gay spirit and creativity. That's Leo Garcia, Artistic Director of Highways Performance Space, me, Performance Artist Ian MacKINNON, Hywel Sims, Executive Director of the Gay Mens Chorus, and Moderator and performer Michael Kearns.

It was quite refreshing to see men more in this vein, instead of the the bar hopping, Macys shopping set. Despite the media images that America prefers to see of us (faaabulous men who design), it was wonderful to see activists and artists together working toward the betterment of our community. There were a few hundred men there. It was pointed out, however, that there were probably more men who attended the White Party on the same weekend.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Literary Chopsticks II

Here's a continuation of Literary Chopsticks from this post:

Cesar's best friend was Arthur Figueroa. Arthur wasn't as pretentious as Cesar. Although he was Mexican, he didn't lay claim to being related to Montezuma--Moctezuma, Arthur corrected--or any of the Aztecs. Arthur was a little more subtle about his heritage. He never mentioned that he came from an old California family, with a family tomb in the Missions. He didn't mention that he was a descendant of Jose Figueroa, Governor of California in the 1800's. He simply took a quiet pride in driving down Figueroa Blvd in downtown Los Angeles, smiling knowing that this street sported his name. Indeed, he smiled driving down other streets of Los Angeles like Alvarado, Pico, Sepulveda. He was related to them all. He was raised not to brag about his lineage and Arthur never did. Inside, however, he wanted to tell people in his office that his family basically created this fine state.

That's why he enjoyed Cesar Wong's company. Arthur never mentioned his family bacground, but Cesar sure did.

"Did you know Figgy is one of THE Figueroas," he'd say to a friend. Arthur knew that Cesar was doing it to elevate Cesar, impress everyone by saying he knew a Figueroa. It was quite pathetic really. He saw Cesar's brows rise whenever he met some poor cretin named Kennedy. "Are you related to one of THE Kennedy's?" The answer was always, No.

"He's just A Kennedy," Cesar said, "not a THE."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Literary Chapter: Newness

Some of you inquired about my last post. I'm okay. Really good, actually. I've been enjoying my new job. The writing is so-so, but I'm loving what I'm doing. I'm doing AIDS and Art--it feels right in my bones.

I'm wondering--dare I say it--that at 40 I feel like I'm starting a new chapter in my life! I mean, I'm doing things I thought I wouldn't do. I started yoga. I actually danced some African dance at a gathering. It really does feel like I'm starting a new life.

Some highlights:

I had the pleasure of presenting for some aspiring librarians and archivists at UCLA. Imani Tolliver (left) presented on poetry, Chris Freeman presented on a book on West Hollywood, the legendary Felice Picano presented on early gay press, and I presented on AIDS literature. Afterward, we went to see the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS exhibition.

My boss David Gere, my co-worker Cathryn, Richard Gere (my boss David's brother), and me. David brought his brother over to say, HI. I was a bit star struck, I admit. I've always been impressed with Richard Gere's work with Tibet.

Come back for future posts about me sitting on a panel in West Hollywood discussing the wellness of gay men (this Saturday), hosting the Dead Poets Slam with Smart Gals Productions, and attending the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, including private reception.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Literary Pardon

I've been in a weird space. Pardon for not posting as much. It's nothing bad. Just an interesting space.