Some Literary Inspritation: A Quote

December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Show up: at your desk, on the page. Show up often, show up with an open heart, show up all hardcore and ready to work. But when you don’t show up, when it’s been days and weeks and months and you haven’t shown up, take a bath. By which I mean: be kind, be gentle. Whatever you do, don’t be an asshole to yourself. Screaming at yourself will—at best—carry you through an hour, a day of work. Ultimately, artistic journeys are about truth and self-discovery, and we can’t be truthful or discover ourselves when someone is yelling at us, even if (or especially if) the yelling is taking place inside our own heads. But here’s the thing: We all live with an inner asshole and he isn’t going anywhere. Which means, we kind of have to learn how to become best friends. Take your inner asshole out on a date. Go to your favorite gallery, spend two hours at a coffee shop with a book, visit a spa—whichever act of kindness can shock your system. When the date is over, ask, Hey, what do you need? Say, I’m trying to write this story, this essay, this novel; is there anything I can do that would make it possible to work tomorrow morning? Ask, how can we do this together? When we’re truly kind, something shifts in us.

Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

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Book Reviews + Blogging

September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Quick life update: I will soon be a book reviewer.

A few weeks ago I applied to be a guest book reviewer for Underground Book Reviews and have been accepted, so on October 13 and December 1, I will be reviewing two indie/self-published titles. Check back for links to those reviews.

Additionally, I recently signed up on Blogging for Books, a website run by Penguin Random House that sends bloggers free books in exchange for honest reviews. Their books range from fiction to self-help to cooking. I love the concept and appreciate that it helps both parties: bloggers get free books; the publisher gets honest feedback about its products. My first book was shipped yesterday, so I will post a review of it in the next few weeks and I am very excited.

National Poetry Month is over…and so is my undergraduate education

May 1, 2014 § 1 Comment

Yesterday was the last day of National Poetry Month, for which I posted a different poem every single day as my Facebook status. The reception of this project from friends, family, and random acquaintances greatly surpassed any and all of my expectations. It was fascinating to see which poems resounded with which people, and in what ways. I received quite a few Facebook messages from people sharing their own favorite poems with me, and was approached by multiple individuals who used the poems as a conversation starter, asking me about my favorites and telling me about theirs. And from these conversations, friendships blossomed.

Over the course of the last month I posted a poem every day on Facebook, was invited to take part in a poetry reading at the LA Times Festival of Books, had a couple poems accepted to literary journals and magazines (check back over the course of the next month for links when they’re published!), and finished a literary internship that helped confirm my originally unsure idea of pursuing a career path in publishing.

Today marks the last day of classes for my undergraduate career and it’s pretty surreal.

For any who were wondering, here is the comprehensive list of poems I posted during the month of April (in chronological order of posting date):

1. WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein
2. SLEEPING WITH THE DICTIONARY by Harryette Mullen
3. LAST WORDS OF THE DYING I by Diana Arterian
4. somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e. e. cummings
5. WE AT WAR BABY by Gaith Adhami
6. THE OUTSIDER by Shole Wolpé
7. THE RIVAL by Sylvia Plath
8. DINNER GUEST: ME by Langston Hughes
9. TELEVISION by Roald Dahl
10. MIRROR, MIRROR by Spike Milligan
11. SONG OF MYSELF LII (an excerpt) by Walt Whitman
12. SHAKE THE DUST by Anis Mojgani
13. BRAVE NEW VOICES CHICAGO SPOKEN WORD
14. ANY LIT by Harryette Mullen
15. THE TRUTH STANDS BEFORE ME… by Rumi
16. HOW TO MEDITATE by Jack Kerouac
17. HOMEWORK by Allen Ginsberg
18. HER FACE by Arthur Gorges
19. FRIEND ZONE by Dylan Garity
20. THE CLOD AND THE PEBBLE by William Blake
21. sisters by Lucille Clifton
22. WHAT THE DOCTOR SAID by Raymond Carver
23. BELONGING by Eileen Carney Hulme
24. i went fishing with my family when i was five by Tao Lin
25. MIMESIS by Fady Joudah
26. BELLA IN THE WYCH ELM by Stacy Gnall
27. IF I SHOULD HAVE A DAUGHTER by Sarah Kay
28. ASKING TOO MUCH by Andrea Gibson
29. THE QUIET WORLD by Jeffrey McDaniel
30. WHATIF by Shel Silverstein

a thought on Saturday evening

March 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

The integrity of one culture can be determined by how effortlessly and seamlessly its people can coalesce with those of another seemingly disparate culture.

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