Friday, December 29, 2006

Literary Ride

After sixteen memorable years, Buster, my poor jeep, needed to be set out to pasture. It was giving me waaay too much trouble and costing waaaay too much money to maintain. My family and friends were giving me grief for not letting Buster go years ago. "But Buster and I have gone through so much!" I whined. It has outlasted relationships, apartments, hairstyles. Unfortunately, it became a daily worry wondering if my car will get me to work or not. Alas, I had to let Buster go.

In 2007, with a new book coming out, I need to make sure that I could get around. I'd been shopping for weeks, looking for an affordable car. I settled on a used Chrysler. It's a wagon, so I thought of the boxes of "Talking to the Moon" I could haul to different readings and sell in the parking lot.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Literary Inward

Pick up the Winter Fiction issue of the New Yorker and read the Nobel Lecture by Orhan Pamuk. It's amazing. A sampling:

"When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and, alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man--or this woman--may use a typewriter, or profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I do. As he writes, he may drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time, he may rise from his table to look out the window at children playing in the street, or, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or even at a black wall. He may write poems, or plays, or novels, as I do. But all these differences arise only after the crucial task is compete--after he has sat down at the table and patiently turned inward. To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinancy, and joy."

These words just did it for me. I kept thinking: yes, yes, YES! It also is a piece about his father. This is the third holiday season without my dad. I still miss him.

(Oh, I was caught by the New Yorker cover. It's quite striking. Notice the lesbian kiss on the lower left.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Literary Scoring

I teach "Introduction to Fiction Writing" for UCLA Extension. Every class, I get evaluated by my students. I taught the Fall quarter. Scores came in. The highest possible score is a 9. My overall score for the class is 8.8. My score as an instructor is 8.9.

It felt good to see these scores. I want to make the learning experience as fun as possible. It also reinforces that I'm making the right choices in my life.
It felt good, really good.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Literary Blogging

So, I've switched to this Beta Blogging--and I'm so confused! I e-mailed the new Blogging under Google because the comments section is all funny. I go through the Help section and find no help. Am I the only one?

I feel like my lips are moving but nothing comes out.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Literary Third

While my second book gets ready to be born, my third novel haunts me.

It's about a boy who bleeds...alot.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Literary Nothing

Earlier this year, I sent out a story for a contest. I didn't think I'd win. But I thought I'd get an "honorable mention." Yes! The winner was announced, along with a list of honorable mentions. I didn't make the list. Nothing!

I felt disappointment for a moment, just a moment. Life goes on. Looking back, I think I'd gotten more Nothing!'s than Yes!'s. I think that's why so many artist's will go on and on about piece that was published 15 years ago in the school newspaper. One Yes! covers all the Nothing!'s.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Literary Branding

I call this blog, "The Last Noel" because all my life I've been called the First Noel. If someone sings that darned Christmas song one more time, so help me....Well, I can't get away from the Firsts of my name as I was involved with two Firsts recently. I ran the First Los Angeles Half Marathon today--and it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Ur, the route went right by apartment, so I took a little break (went to the bathroom, changed running gear, and checked phone messages) before completing the remaining six miles.

The first issue of a new online journal made its debut not too long ago. It's called Subterraneans.
It is a "journal of lesbian and gay writing." And, yup, I'm in the first issue.

It's edited by Angela Brown, former Executive Editor at Alyson Books. They were kind enough to give new life to an old short story. It's called "Tito Abalez on the Brink of Manhood" and was published in the Asian Pacific American Journal several years ago.