Research, Inspiration, Wonder

When in writing, they say to “write what you know.” Personally I don’t always find that to be true, let alone right. To limit yourself to writing a story using only the knowledge you know, no matter how knowledgeable you are, can be a narrow path to travel down. That’s why sometimes, when creating a story, it’s best to step out of your mind and sought out external resources; whether intentionally searched for or not. It’s all about the drive of wonder and the desire to enhance, and it oftentimes leads writers down a journey of a different kind. Continue reading “Research, Inspiration, Wonder”

How NOT to Choose a Pseudonym

With every fiber of my being, I planned for a much more uplifting post for this week, after previously giving reading material and my thoughts about the piece. However, after hearing about a particular schmuck of a poet who, despite his actions, still has work featured in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology, I knew I had to give my input on this subject matter.

This week saw the release of the annual Best American Poetry anthology, and as discovered quickly from a not so subtle reveal in the bio section, it turns out that poet Yi-Fen Chou is not who he says he is. Chou is actually a pseudonym for a man named Michael Derrick Hudson. Regardless of Hudson’s explanation regarding his choice in publishing under the name- which would do you wonders to check out here– as well as the anthology’s editor’s rather lengthy explanation for why his work remained to be included- there is something very wrong with this picture.

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In Celebration of the Magical J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter

Yesterday was July 31st.  While everyone knows it to be simply as the last day of July, for certain others, it also marks a different kind of occasion; one worth celebrating.  July 31st is not only the birthday of one of the most influential authors of the modern era, but it’s also the birthday of her incredibly famous character as well: Harry Potter.

British author J.K. Rowling is celebrating 50 years on the planet, and while the actual day of birth was yesterday, I’m confident that such celebrations are extending out even into the weekend as well.  I can imagine it to be quite a life for her so far, especially in regards to her crazy awesome success with her Harry Potter series.  It’s through these magical books that she’s touched a lot of lives, and I’m definitely no exception to that.

Continue reading “In Celebration of the Magical J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter”

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.

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

Thoughts About Debut Novels

With the one-year anniversary of the release of A Moment’s Worth next Wednesday, I’ve been thinking about debut novels as of lately.  I’ve been thinking about how meaningful they are; how they are the signifier to what one hopes to be the career of a lifetime.  It takes guts to write a novel.  To put one out there on the other hand, that’s practically a whole new level of courage.  It’s like letting the world peer at the activity that’s going on in your mind and make judgments from there.  Not to say that that isn’t the case with every novel one writes, but it’s something that’s very crucial the first time around. Continue reading “Thoughts About Debut Novels”

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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Continue reading “In the Hemisphere of Books on the Streets of Berkeley”

Writing in Cafes

Back over the winter, when I met with a friend of mine who was visiting from LA, I remember him saying something that has stuck with me since then.  It didn’t have an overly deep meaning in it or anything like that.  If anything, it was very casual; both in delivery and context.  He said that he wanted to write something in a cafe; he didn’t know what specifically, he just knew that he wanted to write something, within the setting of brewing coffee and free Wifi.  I forgot what we were discussing that led to him saying that.  Perhaps it was our meeting space within the environment of a Philz Coffee cafe that got to us, or perhaps it was his curiosity over A Moment’s Worth in which had been out in the world for a little over five months then. Continue reading “Writing in Cafes”

Special Tuesday Post: loudlysilent’s “Varsity On Top” Starts Today!

It’s my first off-schedule blog post for the year, and for a good reason.  I figured I take the time to announce the project of a good friend of mine.

There have been times in the past where I would bring up my friend and fellow blogger, loudlysilent.  Well as of today, he is going beyond the path of blog posts and is taking on a grand endeavor into the fiction world.  Starting today, he will release one chapter every Tuesday of his new YA novella, “Varsity On Top.”  Continue reading “Special Tuesday Post: loudlysilent’s “Varsity On Top” Starts Today!”

8 Questions for Gretchen Carvajal

It’s a new day of a new year and to start things off for 2015, I figured I have a voice featured today of someone other than my own.  It’s been a while since I last released an interview on here, so I thought it would be nice to do that again.  As to the person who’s featured this time around, that honor goes to an incredible spoken word artist whom I’ve known since high school: Gretchen Carvajal.

Gretchen is more than just a fellow writer; she is someone whom I’ve always known for never hiding her voice, however that may be.  She expresses her art and her stories through the means of being a writer, artist, emcee, and performer.  She was born in the Philippines before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was very young.  She is currently a student in the First Wave program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has partaken in many spoken word competitions over the years- including the national youth competition, Brave New Voices, when she was 17- and was recently a participant in The Ill List; the signature poetry slam invitational in Modesto, California.  She already has a chapbook under her belt called Daughter of the Sun and plans to write more books in the future to come.  To learn more about her, be sure to check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
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A Contemplative Writing Experience

It technically would have made more sense if I had written about this earlier in the year, when it was in the news.  However, I consider now to be just as good to write about it, not only for the mere fact that it’s been occupying my thoughts as of lately, but because it’s something to consider as I look to the new year and as I proceed forward with writing my second novel. Continue reading “A Contemplative Writing Experience”