Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Brief" Recommendation

I just finished The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier.

This novel delves into the importance of Memory. Think of all of the people you encountered in your entire life, even the nameless ones. They exist in the after-life as long as we remember them. That is the premise of this novel, and a brilliant one at that.

The book packs in a lot in a mere 250 pages. This can easily be read in a weekend and it caused me to ponder. Remembering the Dead. Isn't that why I write? Who will speak for those who couldn't speak before? Millions of people died of AIDS--each of them deserves a book dedicated to their memory.

What I most enjoyed about this book is that it inspired me to write. I write regularly, but reading a book like this stirred my love of stories and characters and plotting. If you can, pick up Brockmeier's novel.

More here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I'm still high from my last weekend. I had a great time performing and reading. After my reading at USC, I taught a quick writing workshop (students above). What was interesting about my reading at USC was how I was able to fill time. I had one hour to present work. Earlier in my career, I would have wondered how the hell do I fill up that amount of time. I read from two novels, presented work from two plays, three short stories and one essay. The time went by quickly. I had some friends read excerpts from short stories (Thanks John, Giovanni, and Rebecca). That way I didn't have to bore everyone with the sound of my voice.

Last weekend, I also did a reading from an anthology I was in and performed for Smartgals. All went well and I was truly grateful to be a part of the festivities.