Category Archives: Fotoz

Merry and Bright!

I must have been extra nice this year, because Santa hooked me up with some amazing end-of-year goodies:

A rave review of PANORAMA CITY in the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW by the inimitable Adam Ross!*

I’ll be interviewed on Michael Silverblatt’s BOOKWORM on January 3rd (2:30 pm on KCRW and elsewhere) and in perpetuity on the podcast. (I’ve been a fan of this radio show for 20 years and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my encounter with Silverblatt reoriented something inside me for the better. It was straight up therapeutic. More on that in another post.)

The lovely folks at the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE included PANORAMA CITY in their 100 Best Books of 2012.

*Remember: Don’t be fooled by the author photo.

unretouched author photo

The Dark Magic of Author Photos

I have a confession to make about my author photo: It’s a lie.

Heavily retouched, populated with “reader-friendly” elements, what you see to the right is a complete fabrication.

I don’t own a dog. (I accumulate cats.)

I don’t ride old-school, vintage, soulful longboards. (I ride short boards, newish ones, and I’m an aggro frothing spazz.)

I’ve usually got a beard or mustache going. The last time I was that clean-shaven was for my wedding, in 2003.

I’m smiling, not because I’m happy or friendly, but because I have no idea where I am. My vision is that bad.

I wear glasses. Cliche “author guy glasses.”

And yet, like the extended lie that is a novel, I feel the picture speaks to a higher truth about who I am.

Plus it was my last chance to look young.

(These novels take a damn long time to write. Maybe I’ll use the same picture for the next few books. Won’t be the first time that’s happened, right?)

Below, the original image, before it was retouched by the lovely and talented Ward Robinson.

a 40 oz for 40 yo

40oz by dontoine
40oz, a photo by dontoine on Flickr.

I’m turning 40 on Friday.

And so naturally I just spent a few days scouring the web for a good image of someone pouring out a 40 oz of malt liquor, as a sort of memento mori.

Or, I should say, as a variation on the old school pouring of libations in memory of the dead, a tradition that goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece. You might remember it from 1990s rap videos.

I was shocked (shocked, people!) at the dearth of images. And so I made my own. Feel free to borrow it, if you like.

One for me, one for my homies…

Blammo! New Tab!

I’ve added a tab over there on the right (“NEIGHBORS’) to spruce things up around here.

Now Starring…

  • The temporary home of poet G.M. Quinte, currently residing in his cousin’s guesthouse and on my server. Stunningly opaque free verse.
  • The Slow Paparazzo. His motto: “Right Place + Wrong Time = 100% Fame.”
  • Jean-Jacques Arsenault’s inspirational self-published coffee table book, Shopping Carts of Panorama City
  • As Told To

    Lookie what I found in my inbox!

    Veronique du Turenne was down Mexico way recently for the Guadalajara International Book Fair, where she snapped this significant shot of a massive electronic wall celebrating L.A. authors.

    This year’s “Guest of Honor” was Los Angeles–the first time a city (as opposed to a country) has received that distinction.

    I didn’t recognize the quotation at first. The sentiment, yes, the image, yes, but not the words.

    Some Googling revealed that it came from an LAist interview I did when The Interloper came out.

    Here’s the thing about interviews. Most of the ones I’ve done have been via e-mail, which means that I have control over my own responses, i.e., I can’t really misquote myself. This particular interview, though, was done old-school style, as a conversation over fish tacos, with a tape recorder on the table. Which means that Callie Miller had to take our wandering, digressive, spontaneous chat and make it look like a series of Qs and As.

    I don’t know how much tweaking went on to render my everyday speech (rambling, stumbling, surfy) into the written word, but I suspect it wasn’t easy.

    For the record, I was happy with the result.

    Maybe the author wall should have said:
    *as told to Callie Miller

    See more of Veronique’s Guadalajara photos on her photostream.

    OMG it’s a baby blog

    Okay, not totally a baby blog.

    I very much enjoyed David Ulin’s LA Times piece on reading in the 21st century. Maybe you will, too.

    It inspired me to shut down the Facebook, Scrabble, Twitter, email, etc., and pick up the latest issue of A Public Space. I was blown away by a strange story called “Saint Andrews Hotel” by Sara Majka.

    I don’t know who she is, but it looks like she’s headed to Provincetown for the winter thanks to Salvatore and Amity, among others. It sure is a trip to see my so-called peers on the judging committee over there. It makes me feel old, a little bit.

    I guess I did start grad school more than a decade ago, now that I think of it.

    We had such promise then.

    Or maybe it’s just that my birthday’s tomorrow.

    If you’re going to spend time offline, I highly recommend doing it with your nose in a copy of A Public Space, and not just because I’m a contributing editor. If you insist on staying “plugged-in,” check out the website. It’s getting more robustical by the day…

    [update: it looks like the charming Sam Leader is also on that Provincetown list! They're going to have so much fun...]