I love that song by the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. It's the best way to get the summer started right. And what a summer it will be--I just found out that my dad's taking the whole family on a trip to Hawaii in August before my sister returns to Berkeley!!!!

Woooo!!!! Thank you, sagging economy. Apparently, there are so many great travel deals that the middle class who are still lucky enough to be working can afford a trip or two. Wooo!!!!

So that means I've got numerous things to look forward to this summer:

1.) ArtWalk this Saturday with [personal profile] stinglikeabee and [personal profile] parlance
2.) Spending time in L.A. with my friend and award-nominated (soon to be winning, I'm sure!) sci-fi writer, Gord Sellar
3.) Tori Amos concert at the Greek (I'm buying my ticket tomorrow during the pre-sale!!!)
4.) The movies Moon and District 9
5.) HAWAII!!!!!!!

Life is good.
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scififanatic: (Default)
( May. 27th, 2009 12:55 pm)
My friend Gord Sellar wrote the most amazing post and it speaks to me in numerous ways.

He's brave. I can't wait to see him this summer to give him the biggest hug EVAR!

His words, weaving in celestial images (always a favorite for me and strangely much like my YA novel) were uplifting and if you're in need of inspiration, I know his words will touch you too.
So I'm awake but I should be sleeping. There are a few things that have me way too excited to sleep:

#1. I found out that Tori Amos will be at the Greek Theatre on Friday, July 17. August 1, 2003 was the last time I saw Tori perform at the Greek Theatre. (If you live in SoCal but you haven't been to the Greek--you're missing out on one of L.A.'s greatest pleasures.) Music + summer nights + stars = Bliss.

#2. I also found out that I'll get to meet my friend Gord Sellar this summer!!!! I'm insanely excited about this! Given that he's a sci-fi writer up for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, I'll be rolling out the red carpet treatment for my buddy. That means that I've got to take him to see the Avenue of the Stars in Hollywood (because he's a star) and we'll likely dine at uWink (because it's the food of geeks...I mean gods). C'mon, admit it--you miss Atari computers!

#3. I had a late-night conversation with a grad school classmate from Mills College. We talked about writing scenes, plots (and holes), trilogies and inadequacies.

It's this last topic that has me awake late at night writing this post when I should be sleeping. All writers, at some point, feel inadequate. Yet I'm always amused by this quote from William Faulkner:

Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.

As artists, we feel this sense of competition and yet what we truly contend with is ourselves. Each writer knows that she is not writing to her greatest potential. There's a sense of dissatisfaction about everything she writes and I think that this discontent is helpful because:

#1. Only a fool believes she's clever. Now I can't take credit for this one. I've been on an acid ear-trip lately with music by Queens of the Stone Age (I wanna have Josh's babies--please!!!). In other words, you should feel inadequate because there's always someone smarter than you and this person will make you feel like a moron. Rightfully so. This humbles you.

#2. Sometimes we aren't ready to tell the story. A writer wants each novel or short story to be perfect and sometimes your imaginings are intellectually out of reach. This means you need to write a bunch of crappy stories before you're ready to tackle your genius.

#3. Yes, you're a genius. So many people TALK about being a writer but very few are ready to transition that adjective into a verb. If you write, you've answered the higher call. You've acknowledged that you are an imperfect being who desires to transmit the language of the unknown as perfectly as you can, as clearly as you can, as forcefully as you can.

This void that every writer seeks to fill is called The Hollow. If you're feeling inadequate, it's because that emptiness you seek to fill is yours and yours alone to complete. No one can tell your story but YOU. Creation is your skill and it is a talent that only you can fill. You are the key master, the gatekeeper, the god of your own design.

You are a genius and those doubts floating through your mind are simply apparitions in the wind. Stay rooted. Everything else will disappear and you will fill that silence, fill that void with your imaginings only like you can.

Because you are an artist, a genius.
scififanatic: (dadelions)
( Apr. 2nd, 2009 11:00 pm)
Hell yeah! I just graded the last mid term exam. I'm all packed for Virginia. I can't wait to see my friend Lori. I miss her! She has all kinds of adventures planned: driving to Philly, touring Monticello, dancing, attending a Bach music festival, fun fun fun.

Friends + me = happy

The only drawback--waking up early for the plane tomorrow.

Zzzz
scififanatic: (Me Headshot)
( Apr. 16th, 2008 10:13 am)
I heart the Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators! This was my first conference and I'm so glad I was there because my friend Marie won an honorable mention for her YA novel/work in progress. My conference notes are behind the cut.

Read More )

Congrats, Marie! Can't wait to see that novel of hers on bookstore shelves and in reader's hands!
scififanatic: (Heart)
( Feb. 16th, 2008 05:35 pm)
I had a conversation not long ago with my best friend, Charyl. What we were talking about, I can't exactly remember but I remember saying something like, "...because average women like us..." and that's where the conversation took a weird turn.

I've known Charyl since high school so there's not much I can't say to her, which is why the words came out with such ease. It wasn't an insult. In fact, I don't even think I gave what I was saying much thought (another thing you can do with a best friend--speak before thinking).

Before I could make my point, she abruptly interrupted me and said, "I'm not average. There's nothing average about me."

Her tone was the first clue. I had insulted her or hurt her feelings unintentionally.

"I didn't mean it that way," I sort of backpedaled. The weird thing is I had used that phrase before when referring to she and I or our entire circle of friends but at some point, Charyl had decided that she was not average and didn't want to be referred to in such general terms.

Since that conversation, I've thought about the word and how distasteful it really is. So many times, women think of themselves as not looking good enough as the models in magazines. We say things like, "the average women doesn't look like that!" without thinking that what we really mean is "stars/models/etc. look beautiful and the rest of us are just ordinary...average!"

This label isn't solely reserved for women. There's the Average Joe, the average person, the average size, the average salary, the average height, etc.

It seems to me that average is the place where so many people want to be, in a place of a middle where the expected happens. I guess it's not that different from people who say things like "normal." While I do think that there's nothing wrong with being normal in the sense that a person should strive for balance in life--peace, love, helpfulness, honesty, etc., I tend to take up my best friend's perspective. I don't want to be average. I'm not average and its taken me some time to learn that there's nothing wrong with that.
scififanatic: (butterfly)
( Feb. 8th, 2008 11:26 pm)
My friends Oscar and Janae took me out for dinner, book shopping, and dessert. I feel so lucky to have O&J as friends. It's so crazy to think that our paths crossed just last year! Anyway, they made the night so much fun. Who could ask for anything more?!

We ate at Mandarin Noodle House (the flower soup was yummy). We walked through Downtown L.A., stopping for a small drink at the Library Bar, then heading over to Los Feliz for some Pinkberry. I ordered a size small with fresh strawberries because there's 5 GRAMS OF SUGAR in only 1 OUNCE of their nonfat frozen yogurt. That's way too much sugar for such an amount. Don't be fooled by labels like "nonfat" or "low calorie" because it just may be packed with sugar and that's a no-no for people with insulin resistance, like me.

I got two YA books and one non fiction book about the life of Thelonious Monk from the independent bookstore but I won't get to them just yet because I'm currently reading a great YA book called Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. (Thanks [livejournal.com profile] edithspage!)

The night has definitely been inspirational and I still feel like I'm floating on air...
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