Monday, November 30, 2009

World AIDS Day

I'm hosting this amaaaazing event at UCLA called 48 Hours to Action. It's on Tuesday, December 1st, World AIDS Day. More here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Short Story Advice

The late Kurt Vonnegut was influential in my adolescence. I just remember connecting with his work when I was a teenage boy. He has advice for those of us attempting the short story form. Click here. Good stuff.

I love tip number 5: Start as close to the end as possible.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

They Shoot Journalists, Don't They?

It breaks my heart when I read that civilians are dying due to political strife in the Philippines. It frustrates me when I read that journalists are also being killed. Read the story here.

Sadly, this is nothing new in the Philppines. The southern region, in particular, has been devasted by violence. The disappearance of a protagonist's father, a journalist in the Philippines, is what incites the action in my novel Letters to Montgomery Clift. Volumes can be written about how writers are targeted in the Philippines.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CNN's Hero of the Year

This guy is Efren Penaflorida. And he's my new hero!
He educates youth in the slums of the Philippines. See his acceptance speech at being named CNN's Hero of the Year. It made me tear up. "Find the hero in you." Click here.

Promise Fulfilled

Thank you all for coming to my Promising reading series. Here are the happy writers: Travers, Myriam, and Ian. Kudos to all!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Precious Gem

There was a lotta hype around this movie. Going into it, I was skeptical. I had read the book and sang its praises years ago. As a matter of fact, I remember thinking that this could never be made into a movie. There's no way Hollywood could make this story. I went to a private screening where Lee Daniels, the director, spoke of making the movie. Yup, Hollywood refused to make it. Fortunately, he found funding elsewhere. Regardless, I was expecting some cheap version of a powerful novel that left a distinct impression on me.

Within the first ten minutes, I knew that this movie would be a fine homage to the novel written by Saphire. Lee Daniels said he stalked the author for eight years, trying to get rights to do the movie. His determination paid off. The movie is the novel, yet it's not. It is two fine, creative mediums telling the same story.

I've seen Precious twice now and would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Book Trailer

More and more, authors are being asked to be more innovative. There's the movie trailer where you sit in a dark theatre and get glimpses of movies to come. Well, now there is the book trailer. This is where modern technology meets writing and authors are asked to put together a clip explaining a book.

Above is a trailer for Tod Davies. She's an author and publisher talking about her work. It's probably a little more sophisticated than other trailers. Her husband is director Alex Carson. You can see me laugh (early in the trailer, 'round .32).

When my next book comes out, I'll probably do one of these.