I’m so excited to get into the studio and start recording for powerhouse Audible, home of the largest selection of digital audiobooks! I’ll be playing the part of…me.
Yes, by sending in clips of Tavis Smiley interviewing me on his show and me interviewing Chimamanda Adichie for the L.A. Public Library’s amazing ALOUD series, I successfully auditioned to read my own memoir, the best-title-ever Shebook, THE NIGERIAN NORDIC GIRL’S GUIDE TO LADY PROBLEMS.
Sorry to @thandienewton and all the other lovely biracial African actresses I dreamed would play me!
O: Honorable Punkin! I’m very sleepy. I was up late reading WILD.
Me: Wow, didn’t expect that. Um, remember our agreement about not taking books off my nightstand? I’m freaking out, looking for a book I have to teach, and it’s in your car…or in the liquor cabinet…or wherever you wandered to.
O: But I had to find out what happened to the lady’s mother.
Me: She dies. It’s on the back cover.
O: Not the details. Like the outline of the male nurse’s penis through his pants! Ha, her writing is very cinematic! She should consider making the stuff into a movie.
Me: Uh, someone kinda did. It’s kinda huge. It got nominated for an Oscar.
O: WILD is a movie?! Wow, so they took my advice!
Me: Yes. That is exactly what happened.
Empowering Those Who Empower Others
Rushed through the detritus of last night’s Nigerian party to make my Skype consult with a new writing client who’s doing amazing work in West Africa. “You get it!” she cried, and I was equally inspired. It’s such a joy helping folks telling important stories find their structure and voice!
Only 9 days left to register for Your Personal Odyssey: Explore & Tell Your Story with Faith Adiele (1/28-3/11)!
Do your friends always say you should write about your life? Do you have family stories or travel journals you’d like to tackle? Does your writing project need a shot in the arm? My generative exercises are a low-pressure way to keep that New Year’s resolution to make more time for your writing. Only 2 more weeks to register for Your Personal Odyssey: Explore & Tell Your Story, a 6-week workshop at the San Francisco Writers Grotto.
My policy is that if someone asks me to do something (professionally) that I’ve never done, like say, get on stage and tell a story live that lasts exactly 10 minutes, meaning that it’s rehearsed but sounds like it’s not, SAY YES (and figure out how later)!
So after debuting Thursday at La Peña’s TMI Storytelling hosted by comedienne Gina Gold, and releasing my first e-book through Shebooks, and teaching my first private on-line course this fall, I’m on to my newest new ventures:
(1) I’ll be teaching my popular, generative writing course, Your Personal Odyssey: Explore & Tell Your Story (starting January 28), as part of the always-sold-out, Best of the Bay San Francisco Writers’ Grotto line-up.
(2) This summer I’ll be piloting the first weeklong Travel Writing Workshop for People of Color (applications due March 1, 2014; workshop June 22-28 in Berkeley, CA) as part of VONA/Voices’s exciting new expansion!
And by travel writing, I mean any genre of writing concerned with cultural encounters or physical journeys: moving back and forth between language and culture, roots tales, road trips, moving from working to middle class, immigrant narratives, Gap Years, leaving home, dropping out of college, spiritual quests, the road to recovery, to name a few.
It’s getting to be that time of year! What new thing do you resolve to try in 2014?
So applications for VONA: Summer Workshops for Writers of Color have closed as of yesterday, but this week is the informal deadline for Berkeley’s new 6-week Summer Creative Writing Program!
I’ll be teaching with some of my oldest pals: Sam Chang
(who read countless early drafts of Meeting Faith
), my PBS
co-star Andrew Lam
, grad school buddy Shane Book, and Oaklander sister Camille Dungy
And I’m very excited to get to know the talented Justin Torres, whom I saw read from We the Animals at Writers With Drinks just seconds before he became huge. And director T Geronimo Johnson, who was just nominated for a PEN Faulkner!
The (paid) program is open to everyone and has everything: Morning workshops, master classes, readings, panels, portfolio prep, novel sessions – you name it! Check out the brochure
. Applications due ASAP.
Working on a mixed or 1st-generation memoir? Monday is the deadline to apply to work with Faith Adiele and Stacyann Chin this summer at VONA!
I will be giving 2 free, public multimedia readings this week in San Francisco:
Friday November 14 is my debut at my new employer, California College of the Arts. I will be giving a multimedia overview of my projects and approach to memoir as the final WRITERS SERIES/FRIDAY SEMINAR:
3:30 – 5:00 PM
The Writers Studio
195 De Haro at 15th Street
Thursday November 15 is a project near and dear to my heart: a benefit reading/video on the legacy of the Nigerian civil war called LOOKING : BIAFRA.
Join EMERGENCY USA for Listen for Peace, an evening of literature and music to raise awareness about the realities of war, potential for peace, and the impact of war on civilian lives. Writers include Faith Adiele, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Genny Lim, Julie Thi Underhill, and editors of an anthology of Afghan women.
The event is free and open to the public, though there will be opportunities to donate to EMERGENCY USA to help contribute toward the funding of free medical facilities in war torn areas.
5:30 – 7:30 PM
San Francisco Public Library
Main Library (near Civic Center BART)
100 Larkin St
Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room B
Embarrassing – can you believe I forgot the password to my updated website and blog so haven’t been able to post?! (Not that I’m all that conscientious to start with – especially when tons of things are happening of the multiculti sort. Which sort of defeats the purpose. Ah well.)
Anyway, for the first time I’m championing a crowdfunding cause (1) because it supports publication of a book I’ve long been wanting to compile / read / teach and (2) because funders get a bar of gourmet chocolate! I don’t know any of the folks involved, so I’m not getting any chocolate kickbacks.
Click here to find out about African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographies. Cool, huh?
The first book of its kind
As far as I know, no one has ever before published an anthology that brings
together a collection of African authors — men and women of all ethnic groups,
born and raised on the continent — telling the stories of their own lives in
their own words.