Thursday, March 30, 2006


I have been thinking about posting this for at least 3 days, but this week has flown by. Let me begin by saying that I don't watch a lot of music videos that often. I do have 900+ channels at home, but I don't find myself sitting down and watching them like I did in the 80's. I did get sucked back into 1985 on Sunday. All I did for several hours was watch music videos. And not on an ipod either. On my television. There's this song that I hear a lot on the radio by Natasha Bedingfield called Unwritten. I tend to like songs for their lyrics before I like them for the melody--I guess both are necessary for a good song. Anyhow, aside from some of the cliches in the lyrics of this song, I really love it. And I happened to catch the video on the VH1 countdown. One of the lyrics reads: "Live your life with arms wide open--Today is where your book begins--The rest is still unwritten." While I like the idea of this it got me thinking actually about really doing my own writing. Not metaphorically speaking. I really do find myself hesitating to tackle things with my writing that I know I can, but being a perfectionist, I've gotten into a rut of being afraid to put things on paper unless they land on the page perfectly. While my brain knows this idea is ridiculous, I think at the same time, in some small way I actually fear the revision. Which, once I have the blue print of my story--the hard part truly is over. I've actually forgotten that for me, revision is fun. Making it better. But I'm trying like mad to figure out why on this subconscious level, I'm avoiding it.

And I've pondered and thought about my writing and only recently did I sit down to actually work on something that's been in my head for almost 1 year. I can hardly believe I let it linger there for so long. Now that it's out there, I'm so relieved. I can do something with it--craft it, mold it into something good. Something, dare I say--publishable???

So folks, all this thought-provoking stuff was brought upon by lyrics to a catchy song. I wonder how many of us are really influenced on a conscious or even subconscious level by other artforms when it comes to doing what we do best (whatever that may be). I'm just curious. More than anything, the title of Bedingfield's song is almost taunting me--giving me proper grief for keeping the good stuff rolling around in my head-unwritten.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Now That's Devotion

Last night I went to Dutton's Beverly Hills where author Carolyn See introduced Stephen Cooper, the author of John Fante's biography, Full of Life. Although I'm aware of the long journey travelled to finally produce this biography, I'm still amazed at the devotion it took to write it. There are months, years even to do a thorough job, but it seems in this case, Cooper was as impressed with Fante's work 30 some years ago when he read Ask the Dust as he still is today. So much so that his work lingered in Cooper's mind for years. This is one example of the power of the written word and the effect it can have on us if we let it. While Charles Bukowski was one of the first people to declare his love of Fante, Cooper does more than that. This biography gives an honest account of John Fante's life, work and Cooper has no qualms about giving an truthful account of the kind of man he was--at home and as a writer. And lovers of Bukowski (there are many of you) should love Fante just as much, if not more for the influence he's had over so many successful writers. And for all of those writers trying to make a living at writing especially in Los Angeles, I think you'll find Fante's work to be of interest to you. If there are any newbies to the world of Fante, please do yourself a favor and read any one of his books. Better yet, begin with the John Fante Reader so you can get a taste of what he's all about. You can still catch Carolyn See (who's also a wonderful author in her own right) with Stephen Cooper at Skylight Books, April 1st. No April Fools jokes involved. I promise.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bonaduce Lovers, Unite!

Last season on VH1, Danny Bonaduce's reality show, "Breaking Bonaduce" premiered. I didn't think I'd be an avid fan, but yes, it's true, I was. I am. And he's back this year for a second season. And if you live here in LA, you can come to a taping of the show. Details, you ask? Well, first let me begin by saying that in addition to a live show with Gretchen Bonaduce's band, The lead singer from Berlin, Terri Nunn will be there as well as Jaclyn Bradley . If you don't have plans this Friday night, come out to the Hard Rock Cafe at the Beverly Center. And if we're lucky, Danny will like OSGOODS music and it may be heard this upcoming season on the show as well. Here are some details you might wanna write down. Are you writing it down?

Hard Rock Cafe at the Beverly Center
8600 Beverly Blvd.
Friday, March 24th @8pm.

Cover $5 (proceeds go to VH1 Save the Music)
Be early--seating is limited.

The Evil that is Bed, Bath & Beyond

Yesterday, I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get one thing. A spice rack. Yes, in my attempt to be more domestic, I decided to purchase an item. This turned into several items to help me in the kitchen. I left with 4 items for the kitchen and the rest, well . . . they had nothing to do with the kitchen, but caught my eye. And it is this evilness that wreaks havoc on my funds. I try, really I try to use restraint, but I have come to one conclusion and that is--this is Anthony's fault. If we were engaged, we could register for all of the things I keep buying and I wouldn't be sucked in to the evilness that is Bed, Bath & Beyond. So, all in all I can't be held accountable for anything that takes place in businesses like: Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma or Bed, Bath & Beyond because the way I see it--a wedding registry might just cure these tendencies I have to spend time in stores that promise domestic bliss after purchasing their products. (okay, I use the term "bliss" lightly) but you know what I mean.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Best Kept Secret in Southern California

It is my opinion that Los Angeles is a literary city as much as New York and even Chicago. (I know I'm going out on a limb making such a bold statement and all, but I can't help it.) One of the best journals to come out of Southern California emerged from Cal Arts. Black Clock debuted with a long list of renowned authors and great fiction. People like Joanna Scott, Aimee Bender, David Foster Wallace and Heidi Julavits all contributed. This journal is produced bi-annually and if you're a writer, they now accept submissions. The work in Black Clock is always thoughtful, edgy and impressive. And anything that Steve Erikson is behind, I'm all for. Please stop over to the website and order a copy now!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Calling all Bender Fans

Most of us who read good books know who Aimee Bender is. She is the queen of surreal, fairy-tale-esque short-stories and one hell of a writer. She plays with form and her stories are what made me realize that writing challenging and interesting material doesn't need to be predictable. And I think there are other authors that have followed suit due to her contributions in the literary world.

And if you like her as much as I do, you'll want to see her next Sunday, March 26th (at Wordtheatre.) For those of you who are virgins with the Wordtheatre experience, do not fret. This event will be one thing that requires nothing more than your presence. WordTheatre is this great thing that was created by Cedering Fox and provides you, the fan, the reader, the literai with food and entertainment. Here are the details:

Brunch with Aimee Bender and Her Stories
11 AM Readings at Noon
Aphrodisiac (a beautiful, new restaurant in the space formerly inhabited by
10351 Santa Monica Boulevard (Just East of Beverly Glen, free parking in the building)
Readers will include:
Jessica Capshaw (The Practice) reads What You Left in The Ditch The Girl in
the Flammable Skirt
David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) reads Loser from The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Mark Moses (Desperate Housewives) reads The Meeting from Willful Creatures

Jon Tenney (The Closer) reads Motherfucker from Willful Creatures

Aimee Bender reads a selection of her choosing.

Tickets are $40 and include a lovely buffet brunch. Please purchase your tickets early at for our special WordTheatre friends discount. Tickets are just $30 if purchased prior to Tuesday, March 21st at noon. The first ten full time students, people under twenty-two, or any card carrying union members (SAG, AFTRA, WGA, DGA, teachers union. etc.) who call the box office at 310-398-9999 may purchase tickets for just $25. Aimee Bender's books and WordTheatre CDs from Harper Collins Audio will be available for sale.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More Moore!

In my search to see what, where or when we can see more work from Lorrie Moore, I came across a great interview from October of 2005 in the Believer. Sadly, It won't let me link to a back-issue. But here Moore discusses writing how she decides what form to use when she sits down to write:

BLVR: In the introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2004, you discuss some of the differences between short stories and novels: “the novel arrives to reader and writer alike, baggy, ad hoc, bitter with ambition, already half ruined,” but a story’s “very shortness ensures its largeness of accomplishment, its selfhood and purity… a story lies less. It sings and informs and blurts. It has nothing to lose.” Do you always know which form you’re working with at the outset?

LM: I do know ahead of time. It would be strange to me to find a surprise novel suddenly at my desk. The nature of the idea determines which form or genre it will be in, the novel having time as both medium and subject, and dealing with something that requires perhaps multiple points of view or technique or a larger social canvas generally. For me stories are responses to little disturbances that rattle the windows, or to creatures that suddenly enter the house. Then I take to my desk with my little notes and “what-ifs” and attempt a narrative object.

If you haven't read Lorrie Moore, you must--go, now and read her. Birds of America is one of her best collections or better yet read her first collection of short-stories entitled, "Self-Help." She has others too. I urge you to hurry, quick run so you'll be all caught up and prepared for whatever she does next. Check out the Believer "Past Issue" section for the full October 2005 interview. Enjoy.

The Bat Segundo Show

Okay Kids--As you all know, I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Ames and therefore this blatant love and promotion of his upcoming event should come as no surprise. Edward Champion tells us what we can expect to hear Ames discuss on the Bat Segundo Show:

The controversial cover of I Love You More Than You Know, self-promotional footnotes, rules for writing, writing originating from unexpected requests, “tossed off” essays, depression and writing, essays which involve the penis, the somber and introspective feel of Ames’ latest collection, Ames’ lengthy self-asseessment of his book, George Plimpton, Glenn Gould, honesty, “throwaway pieces,” graphic novels, fiction, making a living as a writer, Graham Greene, Dean Haspiel and The Alcoholic, comic book scripting, Neil Gaiman, The Extra Man screenplay, upcoming pieces in GQ and Spin, on Ames letting down his guard, comedy vs. tragedy, the audience response to “Midlife Assessment,” Tim O’Brien, an odd and paranoid use of coffee, Ames’ place as a writer, the financial realities of being a writer, Moby, on getting distracted, the burden of email, writing discpline, chicken soup, San Francisco restaurants, Anthony Trollope, Jonathan Lethem, writers named Jonathan, Jonathan Franzen, living life to write about it later, on Ames bringing pleasure to himself (not the way you’re thinking), what Ames has been collecting from hotel rooms, and a hairy call.

You can check out this website to listen to the interview:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Some Prose Poetry for Those Who Can

Alright--here's your chance to read something extremely cool. You can either buy the book from Triple Press or you can read my review of Brandon Hobson's, The Levitationist over at Bookslut. Either way you really need to check it out. This is a form I'm growing more and more fond of all the time and Hobson is someone who does it well.


I think this is an appropriate name for a post. All of us (and by us I mean me) are expected to answer these questions that some fellow blogger or email friend sends you. Most guys I know don't participate with the blogger "tag" but I liked this one. The theme of this one should be fairly simple: 4 Things About LA. I decided to post this because, well, it's interesting and I noticed that Elizabeth Crane and Gina Frangello posted theirs, so I'm posting mine. But it's going quite different than all those Chicagoans. Here it is for you all to do the math. A small little equation that = all things Angela.

Four or more jobs you have had in your life:
1. Freelance Writer/reviewer for (best website around!)
2. Legal Assistant (for FOX SPORTS & Sony Pictures)
3. Assistant TV writer
4. Production Assistant & Script reader(worst job ever!)
5. Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
6. Coffee house drink schlepper
7. Retail sales girl at: (insert trendy teen store here, oh and Banana Republic)

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. French Kiss
2. Waiting For Guffman
3. Center Stage (I can't help it)
4. Father of the Bride

Four places you have lived:
1. Sherman Oaks, CA (walking distance to Mel's Drive-in Diner--a staple here in LA)
2. Los Angeles, CA (right by Pink's on LaBrea)
3. Long Beach, CA (moved about 5 times during my 6 years there-love Belmont Shores!)
4. Visalia, CA (The Gateway to the Sequoias--or so they say)

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. The OFFICE (UK/BBC version)
2. Miami Ink
3. Issac on the Style channel
4. American Idol
5. Amazing Race & The Apprentice w/the Donald
6. Deal or No Deal ( my new fav)

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Paris
2. Gotenburg, Sweden
3. London
4. Garmish-Partenkirschen, Austria
5. Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Four places you would like to go in Southern California:
1. Las Brisas in Laguna Beach
2. La Jolla for Fondue
3. Big Bear for some skiing
4. Malibu for some seafood at our favorite little shack.

Four websites I visit daily:
2. The Elegant Variation
4. Author Tod Goldberg’s blog:

Four of my favorite LA Restaurants:
1. Midori Sushi on Ventura Blvd. in the Valley
2. Cafe Bizou (best French-American fusion food ever!)
3. Newsroom Cafe (healtiest breakfast you'll find)
4. El Compadre Mexican Food (on Sunset Blvd.) ties with Casa Vega in the Valley.

Four places in LA I would rather be right now:
1. Santa Monica promenade
2. The Beverly Center
3. concert at Hollywood Bowl
4. Book Soup

Monday, March 06, 2006


Well, this past weekend has been full of surprises. The first one I encountered was at the MAC store in the Beverly Center where I came upon a very lovely face, adorned with all the right makeup, a look I wanted transferred instantly to my eyes, cheeks and lips. This face happened to be a that of man. But, that wasn't so surprising because one comes to expect some of the prettiest faces decorated with MAC makeup are often men. The surprise was that this was a very manly man. Big arms, buf and a bicked head a la Bruce Willis. The shiny head before me made me feel like Harvey from Celebrity Fit Club was standing before me in drag. He sold me a great lipgloss and soon after the shock of the shiny, bald head faded from my memory. 2nd, my future sister-in-law and I spend the weekend trying to pull of a surprise party for my brother. A house full of Italians in the dark, all of whom had consumed copious amounts of alcohol prior to his arrival was enough to scare anyone, but he was definetly stunned and shocked is more accurate. When the lights flashed on and everyone shouted, "SURPRISE!!!" we realized we'd definitely pulled it off. But the surprises didn't end there. OSCAR was full of surprises last night and one that I couldn't be happier about is Phillip Seymour Hoffman winning for his role in Capote. What a great guy. Jon Stewart brought a touch of the Daily Show style to it and we had a good laugh. But the biggest surprise for me was having Crash win "Best Picture." And perhaps one of the best surprises of all, (no, it wasn't the coveted engagement ring I'm so yearning for . . . ) my belated birthday gift from a good friend of mine. Over the weekend, actually at the surprise party, I opened my present, the novel, A History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I was practically jumping up and down because the truth of the matter is, with all the review books I read and books I read to research authors for interviews, I often don't have time to read books for leisure. A word that's been absent from my vocabulary for quite some time.

I'm ready for the workplace to re-institute that Kindergarten rule of "nap-time" because I think we'd all benefit and hey, how fun was it to sleep on your mat after some warm cookies and a glass of milk at 2pm? Let's put this into motion America. Who's with me?