Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a number of new stories appear at the LA Weekly and Salon. It’s been exciting. I had a piece come out around the anniversary of MTV at Salon, “How MTV force rock starts to be sexy,” reflecting on the legacy of MTV and their branding. I also had a piece on Lyft and the taxicab drivers that was published at the LA Weekly about the battle over the L.A. Grid. That same week, I wrote a piece on Moby Dick, Colin Hanks, Moby, and other celebrities not normally associated with classic literature. And just today I had a piece come out on Poesia Para La Gente and reading poetry in the L.A. Metro. I’m always excited to hear when people are bringing poetry to people in new ways.
But to me, the most exciting piece I had come out was my recent piece on the declassification of Area 51 at Salon. So far, it has garnered quite a bit of attention…good and bad. A lot of people in the comments hate the piece. They thought it was so obvious that the government was lying about Area 51 that the idea of outrage seemed naive and pointless. However, some people seemed to connect with my message: That the government is controlling what is real with misinformation, and our lack of outrage is frightening. It’s not whether or not we knew they were lying; it’s how we are reacting to it. Let me know what you think about the story.
Over the last few months, I’ve been collecting short essays, blurbs, whatever the hell you want to call them, from L.A. literary figures on their favorite L.A. Novels. I spoke with some fantastic writers — David L. Ulin, Matthew Specktor, Nick Santora, Natashia Deon — and other amazing people surrounding the book world. One of my favorite responses came from Bonnie Nadell, a literary agent in Beverly Hills who represented David Foster Wallace. She recalled working at Simon & Schuster when Less Than Zero came in as a manuscript.
So check out the full list of responses. I was blow away with the answers. Click here: 17 L.A. Literary Figures Pick Their Favorite L.A. Novels. Oh, and by the way, my favorite L.A. novel is Ask the Dust by John Fante. Followed closely by Bukowski’s Post Office and Chandler’s The Long Goodbye.
It’s been an eventful week with a lot of exciting news, and I haven’t even had the opportunity to document all that’s been going on. Last week I had a new piece appear at the LA Weekly on Matthew Specktor’s American Dream Machine. I loved writing this piece, and it seemed to have a connection to the piece I wrote a couple of months ago on trying to rediscover the California dream. I was lucky enough to interview Specktor at Musso and Frank’s in Hollywood. That restaurant is one of the coolest places in the city. I love how it’s dripping with the ghosts of an ancient Hollywood. Now I’m working on a piece on Chiwan Choi. I’ll be interviewing him soon. Looking forward to that.
Another exciting development: As part of Booktalk Nation, I will interview Matthew Specktor on the program. I’m going to have a discussion about his book American Dream Machine. This is going to be a pleasure. I’m so excited about this event, and I really hope you will sign up for the talk. Click on the link above and enter your email. You will receive a phone number and a conference-call code.
And finally, my good buddy, your good buddy, Joe Clifford had his novel, Junkie Love, appear on bookshelves everywhere. Have you picked up your copy? Well, I believe you can buy it here: Amazon. Lol.
Ever since I started working at my new job in public relations, I haven’t published anything new in the LA Weekly or the OC Weekly. In fact, I haven’t published any form of journalism since I was married. Honestly, starting a new job, planning a ceremony, writing a blog and a memoir have all sort of over taken over my life. Though I have been working on a larger piece for the LA Weekly book section, my interview with Amelia Gray was the first piece I had published in a bit.
And it felt great, because I was able to speak to an amazing writer and discuss with someone who is infinitely more successful than me. That’s always inspiring, because it reminds me that they were once where I am. And it’s a struggle; it’s a fight; it’s a ton of hard work to go to a place where Amelia Gray is currently standing: a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. Wow, could you even imagine that? Well, check out the interview to see what it must feel like.
So it’s been a long day, and I’m feeling pretty sick. I swear, every time I turn on the heater in our apartment, it blasts dusts, and all the germs from over a year ago burst into my lungs and brain. It’s Los Angeles, though, so being sick seems pretty absurd. I can understand being cold when it’s freaking 30 degrees outside, and if you leave the house before your hair dries, then your hair will freeze. But catching a cold in L.A.–seriously? By the way, this whole hair freezing thing had happened to me several times back home. And I’m not going to lie right now. I’m so excited that the only snow I see outside is on top of a giant mountain that seems miles way. That’s one thing I love about L.A. in the winter — the snow on the mountains and that it’s so far away from my driveway.
Oh yeah, pumped to share this new piece with you that came out at the LA Weekly. A couple of months ago, I saw Jeremy Radin read at the Sunset Jubilee at the PEN Center Stage. He was incredible. Since I saw him read, I’ve wanted to write a story about him. So I pitched the editor, and she accepted. I’m really happy to see this piece in print, because poets get no love. And poetry is a wonderful thing. Here’s the piece: Jeremy Radin.
Also, I’m thinking about writing a Top ten favorite albums of 2012 — just like the books post. I listen to a lot of music while I write, so this would be fun. Now, I just need to find out where Heron is with my chicken noodle soup! Goodnight everyone.