Nerd Prom

Authors’ kids took over the green room this weekend at the LA Times Festival of Books. Here’s T-Bone with Claire Bidwell Smith’s Vera and Samantha Dunn’s Ben. They’re starting a band, which is way more sensible than a literary journal.

There was a party on Saturday night at the Main Library downtown. Scott and I made a date night out of it and went for oysters at The Water Grill on the way. In front of the Biltmore Hotel, we passed a bunch of kids on the way to their prom. The girls swished by us in sequined mermaid skirts, teetering on their heels and hanging on the arms of rented tuxes. It occurred to me that the Book Festival is like a grown-up nerd prom, with less slow dancing and more panel discussions.

It’s kind of nice of the world to give me a second chance at this prom thing. I’m doing much better this time around. Here I am at the awards ceremony with Rachel Resnick, Janet Fitch, Elissa Schappell and Carolyn Kellog.

It’s heartening for an author to spend a couple of days in this swirl of enthusiasm for books. I felt grateful for the chance to mingle with readers and colleagues.

And for the last dance of the nerd prom, I got to see Amanda Fletcher, my mentee from the PEN Center Emerging Voices fellowship, kick so much ass at her reading at the Hotel Cafe that I got a little tear of pride in my eye. Watch out for her. She’s about to conquer the world. Or at least make homecoming queen.

A Site Named After My Own Heart

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An excerpt from Some Girls is up at The Nervous Breakdown today. There’s also a self-interview. I didn’t realize how awesome the idea of a self-interview was until I had done my umpteenth interview in which the questions didn’t go much further than what the girls in Prince Jefri’s harem ate for breakfast and if I still have all of those Armani gowns.

Also, I did my first signing yesterday, at the LA Times Festival of Books. The biggest thrill for me was signing books to people who didn’t know me at all, people who had wandered by and thought the book looked interesting. Another thrill was finally meeting fellow Plume author Julie Klausner. Her memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band, is hysterical. That’s us in the above picture, along with Rachel Kramer Bussel.

I’ll be schlepping back across town today to catch the “Writing about Sex” panel with Rachel Resnick, Stephen Elliott, Rachel Kramer Bussel and John Freeman. Rachel Kramer Bussel is a Renaissance gal who not only writes about sex, she also writes about cupcakes. I’ll be bringing her some red velvets from my local fave breakfast spot, Auntie Em’s, in an attempt to convince her that they’re the best cupcakes in LA.

And for all you Glendale Galleria-goers…yes, that’s a Bumpit in my hair.

Nina Loves Me, This I Know

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There are Hollywood nights in which Jesus lets you down and a porn star lifts your spirits. It’s just that kind of town.

Last night I went to Hustler Hollywood for Stan Kent’s Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll series. Rachel Resnick read from her amazing memoir Love Junkie and legendary porn star Nina Hartley co-hosted. Ricky Berger (think snow angels, fuzzy bunnies, mmmmm warm brownies) provided the music and the innocence in an otherwise bawdy evening. I went with Stephen Elliott, Michele Matheson and Shira Tarrant, fabulously talented all.

I’m honored to say that both Nina and Rachel gave me blurbs for my memoir. I signed my very first book last night and I signed it to Nina Hartley. Whenever I have a minor panic attack considering the fact that this book of mine, this sheltered baby, this enormously intimate endeavor, is about to be available to every creep who ever tortured me in junior high, it’s the uncompromising honesty of people like Nina, Rachel and Stephen that fortifies me. At least I’m not alone up here on the pillory with my skirt up over my head.

Jesus came to the reading, too (pictured above with Ricky Berger and me). I’m not sure if he was just wandering by or if he’s a regular. I talked to him afterwards. Call me sentimental, but when I’m talking to a bearded man dressed as Jesus, even if he’s bonkers I still want him to be Jesus-y. I want him to talk love and selflessness. I want him to say, “God bless you,” at the very least. This Jesus just wanted to tell me how lame he thought it was that I had to conceal people’s identities in my memoir when bloggers were free to bandy real identities about at will.

So Jesus wanted to bitch about bloggers, while Nina wanted to hug me and support my writing. And that’s a Hustler Hollywood holiday. I’m thinking of designing a greeting card around it.

Junkies, Tramps and Cheese

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I attended Rachel Resnick’s release party for the paperback of her book Love Junkie, a memoir about her journey through sex and love addiction. It was held at Frank Pictures Gallery at Bergamot Station and included a staged reading of selections from the book. Lush paintings and photographs by Emma Ferriera provided the backdrop.

Rachel is a friend, so I know that she is a profoundly generous person, but what struck me upon hearing the reading was her no holds barred generosity as an artist. This is a woman who really opens a vein when she sits down to write. Judging by the outpouring of love for her at the party, she seems no poorer for it.

So what does a love junkie do with all that love, anyway? Is it like being a dope fiend in a poppy field?

Also- I’m putting this one to a vote…

My really, really high-waisted Grey Ant pants (bought on sale because huge bell bottoms are so last season- whatever- skinny jeans are a calculated assault against women with big asses)…

A. Bold fashion move that brings to mind Farrah Fawcett in her finest hour
B. Unfortunate fashion blunder involving a potential CT

Thoughts?