Wednesday, November 07, 2012
It was incredible conversation. However, what intrigued me most was the ways a writer can interact with his readership. There I was asleep, then an hour later, I'm on the phone talking to students across the coutnry. Sweet. Something tells me this is the new wave of book promotion.
Monday, November 05, 2012
|Civil Rights Activist and Zen Nun Angela Oh, Senator Carol Liu and me|
Assemblymembers Warren Furutani, Mike Eng, State Senators Ted Lieu and Carol Liu, Mayors Ed Lee, Jean Quan, Evan Low are among those those who favor Prop. 30.
The LA Times, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle also favor Prop 30.
More on Prop 30 here.
Friday, November 02, 2012
What a greater joy it was to sit next to Sumi Haru, a woman who recently released a memoir about her life. I'd greatly admired this woman for a long time. Back in the 1990's I went to an event that the Screen Actors Guild was sponsoring for actors of color in Hollywood. Sumi was one of their panelists. She had been on SAG's board since the 1970's and did amazing work to push for equal opportunities for minority actors in entertainment.
Now, in her 70's, Ms. Haru continues to grow and change. Author is her latest title.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
You see if I went this direction, I would have to justify it somehow. This would mean going back and rewriting sections to make it work. Dang it--I didn't want to do that.
So, I'm wading through it, trying it, tossing it around, seeing if it works. More later.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
I'd been reading lots of nonfiction, particulary about writers writing about their own lives or providing their own spin on things (pop culture, politics, etc.) In the past six months, I've read Jeanette Winterson, David Sedaris, Augustin Burroughs, William Styron and Anne Lamotte. It's great reading about how writers have lead their lives, leading them to the books they write today.
I'm finishing up Joan Didion's After Henry, a book of essays that was published in the early 1990's. Most of what she writes about is Los Angeles in the 1980's. I consider the 1980's an important time in my life. I went through junior high, high school and college in that decade, all of that time in Los Angeles. Our view of our city at that time is drastically different.
Joan Didion was (is) a mature, astute artist, writing about environment, politics, history. I was, well, an adolescent growing into young adulthood--my head was in a totally different space. Reading After Henry, gave me an alternate reality of someone else living in the same city at the same time. It was truly illuminating, and I loved it.
What is also did was reinforce my own Voice as a writer, because I'm contributing something else. In these pages, Joan Didion doesn't write about AIDS, that horrible disease that came to light in the 1980's that was an iconic marker in gay history. Nor does she write about the fall of the Marcos regime, one that influenced the lives of Filipinos all over the world. Both of these events had influenced me, shaping my world view.
I read that Toni Morrison wanted to write stories that wouldn't have been written if it weren't for her. Me, too! It was great reading about Joan Didion's Los Angeles. Now, I'm going to write about my Los Angeles. What will you write that no one else is saying?
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 04, 2012
Author Octavia Butler
I hope you all get a chance to check out this reading I'm curating on June 7 at 7:30pm at Skylight Books. It's an awesome line-up of writers. The purpose of the event is to honor gay and lesbians writers who inspired us. More here.
Friday, May 04, 2012
I also went to meet with legislative staff about bills we cared about. We met with the staff of the Assembly Speaker John Perez, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher and Senator Roderick Wright. Among the bills we talked about included content on proper translation servcies, benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender veterans, and better foreclosure practices.
By the end of the two day, I was exhausted. However, what invigorated me was the number of young people there. Seeing all of these young people there made me so very happy. Included in those young 'uns were several gay and Asian upstarts.
Here I'm picgtured with Filipino American gay men Paul Ocampo and Carlo de la Cruz of the Asian Law Caucus and Consultant Andrew Medina.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I enjoyed reading about Jeanette Winterson (see previous post). I really appreciated reading her struggle with fame, that a working class lesbian should be marginalized and misunderstood among the literati in her country. I'm reading David Sedaris who is always a hoot! I needed to read something a little lighter after reading Sytron and Winterson. I enjoyed reading that Sedaris used to clean houses to earn money. I always think of him as being erudite and, well, rather fru-fru. I didn't know he used to vacuum to earn money.
Next is Anne Lamott and her essays on faith. I'll let you know how that goes.
Monday, March 19, 2012
There were two things that she said that really meant something to me:
1. Trust the chaos. Writing can be an emotionally wrenching experience. Sometimes you just don't know which way is up in a story. That's ok.
2. This is your time. She said we can change alot about our selves. We can change where we live, what we look like (including our gender), but there is one thing we can't change: the time we were born. This is the hand we were dealt. We can not change the time we're living in.
This resonated with me, because I do think I was born in a rich, textured time (1968) and currently live in interesting (not necessarily the best) times. My time on earth is what I get to leave behind for others to read.
I'd been writing about the 1980's alot...great! It reinforced that I'm writing about what I need to be writing about.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Oh, that smile
I loved this big guy--he was faaaabulous.
Friday, March 09, 2012
In the 1970's we moved to Los Angeles, and I remember the class divide when "Bussing" came into the fray. Kids from economically depressed neighborhoods (like mine) were bussed to wealthier nieghborhoods (like Bel-Air). I think the goal was to improve race relations and equal out educational opportunities. I'm still not sure.
(With writer Dustin Lance Black)
When I was going to drama school in the 1980's, I couldn't help but notice that my white friends were going out for real roles, roles with names and backgrounds. I was going out for roles like Drug Dealer #1 or Asian #3. I knew I was as talented as my counterparts, but the opportunities were slim. In the 1980's, I also saw how gay people were dying of AIDS and there was a good portion of society who believed that they deserved it.
Recently, I'd been thinking about my work and my life. I'm grateful for the opportunities that came my way and the opportunities that I created. If I have work or get published, I think it's with people who feel along the lines that I do.
I continue to write and I continue to be socially aware. Every once and awhile, it gets glamorous, like when I was asked to represent API Equality-LA , (I serve on the Steering Committee) at a press conference on Prop 8. It was really cool.
However, most of this creative and socially conscious life is usually pretty ordinary. I write as much as I can. I show up to help at work.
(With actor and writer Rob Reiner)
Sometimes, I like to think that I get a sign that I'm on the right path. I do think it was pretty cool meeting "meathead" at the press conference. Rob Reiner played the fiery liberal antagonist to bigot Archie Bunker in "All in the Family." At the press conference, he came off that very same way! Mr. Reiner spoke passionately for gay marriage.
I've become that fiery liberal. I'm Meathead.