Friday, March 26, 2010

Political Erotica

Guess who wrote sex scenes. I thought this was hilarious. I actually warmed to these people. Writing sex scenes is hard. Read this in Huffington.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New York, New York

I'd been reflecting on the last several days. I went to New York for the purpose of dropping off my manuscript and reconnecting with my agent, Al Zuckerman, a man I hadn't seen in five years. He's the founder of Writers House, a literary agency. We talked about work, which seems to be going well for Writers House, a place that saw the wild success of two of their authors: Stephanie Meyer (The Twilight Series) and Michael Lewis (The Blind Side).

Then the conversation turned to me and my collection of short stories, which even Al had to admit would be a hard sell. Yikes. I'd been through this process before and know the dance. This dance might be a little harder to move to. The publshing industry has been hit hard by the economy and they're more picky about who to place into print. I know finer writers who didn't get their books published in the last two years and, well, that's just the reality.

My book will be read by my agent, then returned to me. I revise, then back to my agent. He reads it again, and more revisions. This process could take a year. Maybe by then the economy would have improved. We'll see.

Regardless, I had a blast in the Big Apple: sight seeing, catching a play on Broadway, hanging out with my friend Stephen (who was kind enough to host me--Thanks, Sir!). I hadn't been to New York in several years and was blown away at how Times Square has turned into Las Vegas. It was rather overwhelming. Hence, my expression in the photo.

Something tells me I'll be back in that town sooner than later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lammy Noms Are In!

(Above, Lambda Lit. Executive Dirctor Tony Valenzuela)

Congrats to the Lambda Literary Award Noms! Click here. The Lammy's is one of my faves when it comes to award season. It basically mentions some of the best LGBT work that came along in the last year. I'm always amazed at how many books I didn't know about. That, in itself, is why such awards exist: to give publicity to books that so desperately need it.

I was happy to see that a few of the books that I realy enjoyed were nominated (Blue Boy, Salvation Army, Silverlake). I judged one year and know how hard it is to come up with finalists. There was obvious junk in the pile of books I was asked to read, but there were some really great stuff. I was given 22 books to read in my category. Of those 22, there were 8 or 9 books that were really great. Unfortunately, there were only five slots. My peers went back and forth, back and forth and settled on five titles we seemed to agree on.

It's a hard job, but I guess that's why it's called "judging."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Buy Beads

Halie Kampman, a young entrepreneur, started this really cool company: Beads for Development. It's cool because it helps a community in Africa become more self-sufficient.

Here's their Mission Statement:

The mission of Beads for Development is to help women play a role in the development of Saint Jean. Through the sales of traditional West African beads, Beads for Development aims to increase global awareness and cultural exchange.

More here.

Friday, March 12, 2010


One week from today I'm going to be giving a draft of my short story collection to my agent. This book, tentatively titled "Laconic Messages of Love and Other Stories," will have eleven pieces that I'd been working on for years. About four of them are published, but most have never seen the light of day.

Of course, there is always that one story that won't allow itself to be finished. It feels like I'm nearly done. But I've been saying that for weeks.

I won't let myself even think about how hard it is to sell a short story collection, particularly now in this publishing climate. All I can worry about is getting this mother done!

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Power of Art

Live Art Petition to stop human rights violations in the Philippines
FREE the 43 health workers! Never Again to Martial Law!

barrier – a structure that prevents or hinders movement or action

We would like to invite you to share your images, movement, rhythm, and voices to break beyond the barriers and take action to stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

In an ongoing assault on human rights by the Philippine government, 43 health workers were illegally arrested and detained on February 6, 2010 in Morong, Rizal, Philippines. They are still illegally being held at the Philippine Military Camp Capinpin and have endured three weeks of continuous ill treatment and torture in the military camp. This situation is critical. Each day that the 43 health workers are not released, it is one more day they have to endure pain, fear, and torture.

Please join us in the movement to demand freedom through art by participating in this Live Art Petition to demand the immediate release of the 43 health workers, Stop human rights violations, and to say Never Again to Martial Law in the Philippines.

The first Art Beyond Barriers Live Petition will be held after the convening of the “Never Again to Martial Law in the Philippines” Coalition for Southern California.

Saturday, March 6, 2010
Southern California Never Again to Martial Law Convention, 3:00 pm
Live Art Petition will begin at 5:30 pm

Fernando’s Hideaway
519 S Spring St (between 5th St and 6th St)
Los Angeles, CA 90013

This project will tour North America. More information will be forthcoming about other cities and countries where the Art Beyond Barriers Petition will tour.

About Art Beyond Barriers Live Art Petition:

A coming together of concerned artists, communities, and human rights supporters to create a movement for change through music, voice, dance, images, and words created during the Art Beyond Barriers collaboration.

You don’t need to be an artist to participate and all ages are welcome.

Participation in the Live Art Petition means you support the movement to stop human rights violations in the Philippines, support the call to Free the 43 health workers, and to say Never Again to Martial Law in the Philippines.

Support of this movement is in support of a global movement to uphold and defend human rights.

What to bring with you:

A passion for making art in all forms whether it be through music, song, dance, spoken word, written word, images, and collaborating with other artists and non-artist to create a movement for change.

Art materials, instruments of all kinds (you can be creative and bring found objects; anything that can make a rhythm), movement, voice, poems, and anything you would like to share with others in this experience.

This project is in collaboration with Melissa Roxas, poet, human rights activist, and survivor of abduction and torture in the Philippines; and Habi Arts, an artist collective that promotes political and artistic empowerment to inspire and mobilize people for progressive social change (