Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Write Girl

In September I became involved with Write Girl, a creative writing and mentoring organization. I wanted to give back to the community, maybe make a difference in a girl's life.

I was paired with a bright and talented young lady and every week we meet at the Lakewood Mall for a writing session.  She is smart, focused and her parents are loving and supportive. I am proud to play a small part of her creative life. This greeted me in the mailbox and it made my day.

Writing & Reading

I've spent the last seven weeks in a non fiction workshop taught by Seth Fischer at Writing Workshops Los Angeles. I love the intimate setting of these workshops. The class is taught in a person's home (either the instructor or one of the students) and its limited to 8 students. Wine, cheese and other snacks are provided. The environment is warm and friendly and everyone brings their A game. There's a lot of reading to enhance the week's lesson. Each person's story gets workshopped every other week. I've done some of my best writing in this class. It's a combination of the small setting, the prompts and I've been doing this for a while so I have to get better.

I learned so much from my memoir class at Santa Monica College. I took the same class with Monona Wali six times. The promps were different each semester and she is a great teacher but the class size was getting too big, most of the writers were new and I needed to advance to the next level.

In January I plan to take Writing the First Novel taught by writer Reyna Grande via UCLA Exention. It's a four day workshop and I want to come out of there with the a draft of the first chapter of the memoir and an outline for the rest of it. I've written a lot of pieces over  the past two years so now it's time to get serious and figure out which ones I'm going to include.

My goal is to have the first draft of the memoir by this time next year.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fun at Broad Humor Film Fest

This weekend Day of the Girl had a FUNtastic screening at the Broad Humor Film Festival. We were programmed with a great batch of shorts. Met a lot of great broads and enjoyed delicious food on Abbot Kinney. 
A bunch of broads + Matt dining at Hal's Bar & Grill after our screening.

Teri Carson of Dizzident Films, me & Morgan

Friday, August 29, 2014

Broad Humor

Day of the Girl will screen on September 6th at the Broad Humor Film Festival held at the Electric Lodge in Venice Beach, CA.

Day of the Girl is playing in the Dark and Darker shorts program because it's you know, dark and gory and bloody aaaaaand funny. We get to screen in the same program as our friends over at Dizzydent Films (Teri and Pepa) who costar in DotG. They have two films screening, Leave the Light On & Crusty (Sunday at 2pm), yes, they are over achievers! Looking forward to watching all the films in our program and the rest of the festival.

This will most likely be the films last public screening before I premiere it online.

4pm - Dark and Darker shorts program•(Spiders) Want My Body 2
•Unfortunately 4
•Dead End 7
•Meet the Ladybugs 4
•Moustache 20
•Leave the Light On 5
•The Roast Cook 8
•Day of the Girl 3
•Anchovies 15
Hope to see you there,


Saturday, August 2, 2014


I am applying to Emerging Voices, a literary fellowship for new writers who lack access. It has been a time consuming endeavor mostly because of the anxiety and stress that kicks in whenever I do something creative.  I attended the final reading of the 2014 fellows on Wednesday and decided to kick self-doubt and anxiety to the curb. I want this so badly I can see myself standing on that stage next year but I also know the odds. It’s an extremely competitive program with applicants who have been at this a lot longer than me.  I have poured my soul answering the questions and hope my desire to be one of the chosen six comes through in my application. I'm working on Take the A Train, a collection of coming of age stories set in Washington Heights, as of now, the pieces are a combination of memoir and creative non-fiction. 

I’ve been in writing mode for a while, haven’t given much thought to filmmaking until yesterday. Matt and I went to First Friday in our neighborhood and one of the businesses, a law office, had a pop up art show. We snapped this picture, being silly and enjoying ourselves when an idea for another microbudget ($300) horror picture gifted itself to me. Creativity fuels creativity, Thank You writing and filmmaking Goddesses.
I'd like to take another class with Judith Weston, probably the director intensive workshop, sneak a short film in, enroll in two writing classes and of course working on my book. I'm really hoping to get into Emerging Voices and if I do, I will dedicate all my creative time to the fellowship so I need to squeeze in as much as possible before the end of the year.

Monday, July 21, 2014

VONA Workshop

In June 2014 I attended VONA Voices, a writing workshop for people of color. I participated in the memoir track taught by Andrew X. Pham.  For the first time in my life, I had the luxury of a week spent reading, writing and workshopping my writing.

We devoted at least two hours to each story; exploring, critiquing, sharing our thoughts and giving suggestions on the work. I got invaluable feedback from Andrew and the team but most of what I learned came from paying attention to the comments given to other people’s writing.  I got a better grasp of constructing a story, creating compelling characters and making scenes pop by studying the work of my colleagues.  

We took turns reading excerpts from our memoirs, pouring our hearts and souls into the room, trusting each other with our deepest fears and darkest moments.  I was humbled by the care and commitment everyone brought with them.

Every day I came prepared to give, engage, listen and write.  I’ve never felt this sense of community with any of my creative endeavors, the experience has been life changing.

Andrew was a marvelous teacher; kind, patient and generous with his time. My classmates were a gifted bunch of storytellers, I am grateful and humbled by the wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting.  

After the workshop, I felt an urgent need to surrender to the calling I’ve never had the courage to pursue.  This time I would not squash my desire to write. 
Since the workshop, I’ve kept myself busy writing and reading. Tomorrow, I start the rewrite of what I worked on at VONA. I wanted to distance myself from the piece so I can work on it with as new a perspective as possible.

I strongly urge anyone who writes to attend a VONA workshop.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

VONA - The Arrival

I arrived in Berkeley via OAK on Sunday afternoon. The day before Matt and I went for a bike ride, met up with friends in Belmont Shores and got home after midnight. I had not packed. I was exhausted, went to bed and set the alarm for 6am. Sunday morning, I freaked, I packed everything and then some.

My suitcase weighed 42 pounds! What happened to the person that could live out of a back pack on a two week trip? Part of this journey was to unload baggage and here I am bringing more with me.

Getting the suitcase off the carousel was so sad, I felt like Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory.  The conveyor belt moved so fast that the suitcase went by me three times before I could safely get it off without hurting my back. Dragging it out of the terminal and walking across to catch my shuttle made me wish I did CrossFit.

When I got to campus, I had two choices, lug the suitcase up the wheelchair ramps or haul it up the stairs. The ramps were longer than the stairs, it felt like I was on a hike with a giant kettle ball.

I checked into my dorm, rested for a bit, freshened up and went to the orientation. I was early, I sat by myself, away from the group, observing.

I was approached by one of the staff members, she was concerned; put her arm around me and asked if I was OK. I appreciated the gesture and told her I was fine, I was taking in the moment. I guess that's the filmmaker in me.

Once inside, I introduced myself to one of the women in my group and then another. I met other women (there are a lot of women at VONA) who were sitting near me.

I'm looking forward to the me after this is over, I feel a transformation is coming.

My swanky dorm room.