Thoughts About the Stories Behind the Stories

No matter what, regardless of what form it takes in, we all get a kick out of storytelling. Whether if it means getting lost in the words in a book, or losing yourself in the emotions presented on a silver screen, we’re always looking for stories; in particular the ones that are completely fictional. It’s because the stories we crave are often fabricated that one realizes how it has a foundation, made up of ideas, inspiration and even a little bit of reality. That is why a common question a storyteller receives is: “How did you come up with the idea for the story?” It’s a broad question with a lot of components to it. It also brings up another story, and that is the story behind the story.

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In the Scheme of Full Circles: When “A Moment’s Worth” Meets “The Land of Stories”

In A Moment’s Worth (spoilers up ahead for those who haven’t read it yet), there is a chapter where a couple decides to end their relationship by meeting up at the very cafe they originally first met at five years prior. The reason being is their shared belief and admiration for full circles; about how they’re always at a constant loop, even if in different forms.

That was something that was going through my mind yesterday evening. I always find it funny when one of the themes that I addressed in my debut novel somehow seeps out into my real life, and the occasions have been rare. When life imitates art, it can be dauntingly reassuring that what a creator creates can become real.

As mentioned before, three days ago marked one year since the release of A Moment’s Worth. Along with lots to celebrate this past year, I’ve also evidently encountered many hurdles. I’ve had trouble getting people to check it out. In particular, I’ve had trouble getting people I know to read it. The struggle has been real and I’ve obviously been angry over it. However, yesterday was different when- as mentioned on Wednesday- I gave access to my novel to someone in particular. And that particular someone was Chris Colfer.

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In the Hemisphere of Books on the Streets of Berkeley

As we are fast approaching the end of spring and the genesis of summer, this is normally the time of year where the publishing industry and book world celebrate all that is hot in reading and upcoming works as well.  From BookExpo America to BookCon, these events serve as the Comic Cons for literature; complete with booths, author panels, book signings, and so on.

A lot of these events tend to take place in New York City, which is understandable given the large publishing houses that have established themselves there.  However, as a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve always found it odd that we didn’t have anything like that out here.  Long before the emergence of the tech industry that the world knows the Bay Area for now, this region of the country has also thrived in the literary scene, in more ways than one.  The historic City Lights Bookstore is based in San Francisco, NaNoWriMo was founded here, the Beat Generation had some of its more impacting moments here as they dwelled in on the counterculture movement that was emerging during their time, and more.

As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one wondering the lack of such a celebration for literature here, which was why I was ecstatic to learn a few days ago that this weekend is the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival… and that’s exactly where I got back from a few hours ago.

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From my day at the inaugural #BayAreaBookFestival.

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In Loving Memory

It is with a heavy heart that I write this week’s blog post, not only to inform, but also to remember.  I didn’t think I would find myself doing this less than a year after A Moment’s Worth came out, and yet I must deal with the reality of this.

Cheryl Morris, who served as the editor for both A Moment’s Worth and “The Shadows,” passed away last Friday.  Despite the health issues she had been dealing with since January, her death has been incredibly unexpected for everyone who had known her and loved her. Continue reading “In Loving Memory”

How To Write Diversity

I know, I know, it’s not Saturday yet, but bear with me for a sec.

I felt that this blog post by B.D. Hesse came at a very appropriate time, especially after the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning and in the aftermath of the Golden Globes back on Sunday. It’s true that we can only understand about another individual’s experiences to a certain degree, but the reality of the matter is that we will never know what it’s like to be in their shoes. As obvious of advice it may seem, I think it’s necessary to learn, for it is a skill set writers and other storytellers need to learn to hone in the future to come.

bdhesse

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Diversity is a difficult thing to write about. One of the biggest problems with writing diversity is we only have one set of experiences. We can hear and learn about other peoples’ experiences, but we can’t live them. We can’t really know what those experiences are like. There is also the issue of what is okay and what isn’t. We may want to add gender, sexuality, racial, etc. diversity into our stories, but it is very intimidating to add that diversity when you aren’t a member of a certain group. So how do we add diversity to our stories?

There are a number of ways to add diversity without having lived the experiences and without being offensive. The best way to do so is to talk about people within the group. If you’re a white woman and you want a black man as a character in your story, talk to…

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Behind the Moments: My Influences

In honor of  the three months since A Moment’s Worth came out, for the month of October, I shall be doing a series where I reveal some background history of the novel each week.  I might include some content that may contain spoilers, so be careful when reading if you haven’t already read the book yet.  I hope you enjoy.

I have a style.  I’m very aware of that.  I’m also adept at coming up with original, creative ideas when it comes to storytelling.  I have not doubt about that.  However, like any creative person, I have my share of people whom I look to for inspiration and such; whose ideas I look into consideration and then develop it into something of my own.  For that matter, today I want to discuss who my three influences were when it came to writing A Moment’s Worth. Continue reading “Behind the Moments: My Influences”