Fall comes with much to do, much to harvest

It's been a while since I've been able to post something. I apologize. What's happened is that I'm been working extra hard on a new memoir that I hope will be published in late 2009. I have a major publisher already on board (we've signed a contract). I have until March 2009 to finish the first draft. I've been working diligently on this for a while, but I also had a busy summer with Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore -- two major fundraisers and another Celebrating Words festival, among other things.

I've also been working on a documentary film with my friend Cookie Carosella of Tuff Cookie Productions for about a year now. It's a documentary on solutions to gang violence from former gang members, gang intervention experts, and others with insight on how we can help turn this issue around without relying on prisons and more police. It's not an "anti-gang" film nor will it be exploitative like many current documentaries on gangs. We are presently seeking funds to do more interviews -- we've got amazing interviews already and a poster and some other work done. I truly believe this film -- entitled as "The Long Run: Find Who You Are Meant To Be" -- is what we need at this time.

I'm also honored to announce that I've been selected to receive the 2nd Annual Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award. The presentation is set for this coming Saturday, September 27, 2008 at the Pacific Design Center, Silver Screen Theater, 8687 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. The soiree begins at 7 PM and also includes a staged reading with Adrienne Barbeau, Martin Landau, Liz Torres, and others of "A Marvelous Party with Noel Coward," written by Michael Kearns.

The event is part of the West Hollywood Book Fair that will be held the next day, September 28, at West Hollywood Park. It is also a benefit for PEN IN THE CLASSROOM. And there will be free copies of the Chicano classic "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudy Anaya as part of Big Read West Hollywood. The cost is $20. Please come if you are in the LA area.

Other current projects include talks with producers about a treatment I did, and possible talks with people around two other scripts. I'm also steadily working with others on a new adequate space for Tia Chucha's -- we need one worthy of the many projects, programs, workshops, and events we're capable of organizing. These are all slow going -- we are in hard times. But as I've often said, for writers, artists, activists, and thinkers, times are always hard. We move forward.

Also -- for LA area listeners -- I will return as honorary co-host of the "Front Line" talk show with Dominique Di Prima on KJLH-FM, 102.3 in the wee hours of the morning during the week of October 20 to 24. Please tune in and also try to have your say by calling.


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