Saturday, April 29, 2006

Literary Travel

I'm a big fan of travel writing. This one was written by one of my favorite writers, Edward Albee. It's on Easter Island.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Literary Speakeasy

Smartgals is a terrific arts org. run by Christine Louise Berry. Smartgals does lots of fun stuff--I'd participated in many. This Sunday, April 30th, I'll be part of there Speakeasy, a secret literary event that requires a pass code to get it. Check it out.

I'll be reading poems of the late great Gwendolyn Brooks!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Literary Grasping

I've been saving up for a new computer, a laptop. My old computer, a fossil from the last century, is giving me problems. I'd been looking at computers for months, but I'm shy of buying. You see, I have this little problem: I hate letting go--of anything! I hate letting go of money and my old computer. I hate to say that I'm stingy or cheap. I just have so much attachment to these things (There's a reason why Buddhists believe grasping is the root of suffering.) I ate cheaply, went to less movies, stayed home most Friday and Saturday nights to save up for a computer. It took several months of effort. Now, I don't want to let that money go, because I worked so hard to get it. The same with my old computer. I've written two novels on it, countless stories and essays. The keyboard is dirty from my greasy fingers pounding on it. I know money and a computer are just objects, but I attached memories, meaning to these things. It makes it hard to let go.

My last hold out is my car. I've kept it alive for 16 years. My car, Buster, has outlasted relationships. Buster has helped me move props to theatres, furniture to different apartments, driven me to writing classes, helped me take dates to dinner. I've made love in that car! (Okay, maybe that was too much information.) You get the gist. I can't see myself giving Buster up. I got it when I graduated college. My best friend Adele said Buster is almost college age himself and I need to let go of it.

Oy, I need to meditate on this.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Literary Waistline: Jollibee

I'm worried. Jollibee is a Filipino fast food chain. I've eaten at Jollibee in The Philippines and Filipino neighborhoods in California. Thus far I've always had to drive long distances to find one. Now, they'd just opened a Jollibee near me, on Beverly and Vermont. (I guess someone thought it would be a good idea to open this Filipino phenomenon near Filipinotown).

I told some of my friends that a Jollibee was opening up and they said, "Are you SERIOUS?!?!?"

I ate there this week. I almost cried. Where else can I get delicious fried chicken along with Palabok, a scrumptious noodle dish. I almost cried because Jollibee is pure comfort food. I almost cried because I know that when the writing isn't going so well, I'll be making plenty o' trips to Jollibee. I almost cried because I wanted to shed some pounds before my book comes out...and this will make my goal a little harder to reach.

Damn you, Jollibee! Damn you! (picture me falling over, beating the floor with my fists)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Literary Encounter: Chris Abani

After the rousing energy of James Ellroy, it was interesting experiencing the calm, steady force of Nigerian writer Chris Abani. He came around for his new book Becoming Abigail. Chris Abani began his time at the podium by discussing the problems of sex trafficing around the world. Without raising his voice, he had us transfixed.

It was good seeing Mr. Ellroy and Mr. Abani back to back. It just goes to show that there are different types of writers for different kinds of people.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Literary Encounter: James Ellroy

James Ellroy, author of The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential, packed the store. He's politically conservative and proclaimed himself as "the white Knight of the far right." He opens his reading by calling his audience "panty sniffers and pederasts." He's almost a complete opposite of who I am. So, why do I find him intriguing?

Maybe because I'd read his memoir My Dark Places, chronicling his rough life beginning with the horrific murder of his mother. He's a real character, an eccentric writer. I don't think he'd be allowed to behave this way if it weren't a novelist. Novelists are given a kind of permission to be weird, I believe.

I'd read that his day job was as a caddy. He lugged around gold clubs at country clubs to pay bills. He'd told he'd remained a caddy until his sixth book! I admire that kind of dilligence.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Literary Easter

With Easter coming, I'd been reading stuff on how Christian books are making it onto the shelves--and onto the bestseller lists. Christian books are all the rage.

Someday I hope to write the great Buddhist novel--well, a book using Buddhistic themes like impermanence, reincarnation, and karma. I'm already taking notes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Literary Musing

You know, sometimes I wonder if I'll run out of things to write about--a scary thought! Then I came across this quote by Willa Cather (below):

"Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Literary Pregnancy

In preparing to market my novel, my publisher sent me six pages of questions to answer this week. My answers will help you, the reader, understand where my book is coming from. Some of those questions were about plot, my intentions in writing the novel, which media outlets should get an announcement about my book. My favorite question: Are there any questions or topics about you, your book, and your life that you would like us (i.e. the media) to stay away from?

My response: Please don't ask about the years I had a perm.

It was exciting to get movement on my novel. I realized that 2007 is only nine months away. Next year, I would have given birth to a book! This questionnaire signals my first trimester.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Literary Jokes

I teach writing classes for UCLA Extension. There's always someone in my class who will ignore tense. Being a dork, I will say, "Your tense makes me tense." Hahaha. I'll get blank stares while I'm laughing my ass off. I came across this little cartoon that made me laugh. I'm sure most of you will be looking blankly at the screen.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Literary Photo: Part 3

I think I'll use this photo of myself safari hunting on the jacket of my book. What do you think?

April Fools!

Ha! That's not me. That's Ernest Hemingway. Gotcha!