I’m Better Out Loud!

My entry, Letters From Heaven, was selected for San Diego Writers, Ink Audio Anthology : Year 3.

Whew. After all the rejection I was feeling like maybe I am not a writer. But maybe, just maybe I am better out loud than on the page.

The coolest part is that we get to re-record our submission at the KPBS (public radio) station.

If you want a sneak peek, check out the September Stories over at the First Friday Prose website. If you want to hear me live and in person, come to the Third Anniversary Party for First Fridays on December 7th.

LA Bloggers Live ReCap and Podcast

Longtime blogger and husband to Leahpeah, Joe Crawford of artlung.com kicked off the first ever L.A. Bloggers Live! event, reading a few posts from way back, I’ll title it “Onward.”

Next up, Deezee from Confessional Highway, reminiscing about the LA Forum… she must be one of the coolest moms on the the planet!

Next up, Neil of Citizen of the Month. If you think he’s funny in writing, just wait until you hear him live with this post, My Russian Bride. We even got to meet Sophia:

I had to follow Neil. It was tough. He rocked it. I gave it my best shot, representin’ for the San Diego Bloggers…. a little Barbie rant and a little poetry:

Abigail from My Life According to Me shared a couple of “Letter to a travelling lover” posts– she thought it would be easier to read heart felt posts about an old boyfriend!

Wildbell Will shared a great post about the perils of biking in LA. (you couldn’t pay me to do that even if I were in great shape! I don’t even like to drive around LA!)

Peter from The Buddah Diaries, shared a post called The Aging Suit, a poetic musing about, well, aging… delivered in a lovely British accent!

LA Daddy, Tim shared with us a post about A Boy (Tim) and his bike and 300 Spartans…

Leah finally took the stage as a blogger and not just as a hostess with the mostess, and read her post, about (bump-step) running away (bump step)….

and with a suprise, last minute entry into the LA Bloggers Live event, turns out the hostess of the Tangier Lounge is also a blogger… So with a little extra time left, Marissa of the Engle Angle joined us.

I’m not the next NPR star


Well, thanks everyone for your votes. The voting has closed. The judging is over. And I did not make the list of top 100 vote getters at the public radio talent quest… nor did I make the list of entries nominated by more than one judge.

I only listened to 200 entries. A few stinkers, a lot of really good entries and a couple of Wows. There is an amazing group of talented people over there at the public radio talent quest. I’d like to think that I made it to the list of 200 entries that were passed on the judges. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I learned a lot in pursuing this.

First and foremost, why not me? In this case I don’t know. Many of the entries were prepared by real live radio professionals. I’m not saying that in a sour grapes kind of way, it’s an honest appraisal. I think I held my own. I learned a lot about putting together a small piece. I got a little more practice using my recording equipment, and using a sound editing program. Although my idea about Creativity Is has been percolating for a while… this project forced me to distill it, formulate the words, and articulate what I was trying to say. What I can still say.

And I know for sure that I would not have won if I had not entered. Ya gotta play to win, right? This is big for me… to actually put stuff out there. To give it a shot. I have to say I am really proud of myself for trying, giving it my best shot.

And you know the adage, “Be careful what you wish for you just might get it….” In this case, it probably is a good thing I did not win. How demanding will Round 2 of the contest be? Round 3? I have a job. A good paying job that I enjoy very much. And I am writing a book. And there are still only 24 hours in a day last time I checked. 6-8 hours for sleeping. 8 hours for work, and 8 hours for friends, family, eating, hanging out, writing, recording, movies, reading, etc.

So, I’ll continue noodling around with audio, working with my friend Rich to produce his short story, work on something audio of my own, or with other fellow writers… maybe I’ll make more sound sculptures, layers of words and music, pieces that wouldn’t really fit into a public radio show format, like this piece called “F_ck, Pause.” https://akajesais.com/soundprints/f_ck.mp3
it may be offensive (I warned you) I was in a weird mood.

Maybe I’ll go ahead and produce a show, Creativity Is, and podcast it, or submit it to public radio via the Public Radio Exchange. Or not.
Oh the ideas they are a flowing….

Best Night Ever!

Well, maybe not the best night ever, but right up there! I had SO much fun last night I thought I’d share.

First off, my very bestest friend Julie came down from L.A. (she moved there for L.O.V.E a couple years ago) ANYWAY, Julie was down because she had a business meeting in the early a.m. on Monday.

Julie and I always have so much fun together. We can laugh together and cry together, and talk about really serious stuff, and stuff you would never ever ever talk to anyone else about. And sometimes we just get really silly. She brought her harmonica and her juice harp, and we noodled around on my guitar, and made our own radio show. Even though I am not doing a radio show.

So we add to the mix my friend Rich coming over so we could finish working on the audio production of Lil Soldier, a short story in his collection of stories, Julie In Mittens.

And Judy G joined us… another of my very talented writer friends from my Read and Critique group (led by Judy Reeves). (we’ll be recording Judy G’s story next!!)

We each got to read dialog parts from Rich’s story. I was Mrs. Cartwright the teacher, but couldn’t really get the exasperated-over-worked- under-appreciated- pissed-off-teacher tone so I needed a LOT of direction. Julie was the oh so sweet Miss Mindy, and Judy G nailed it as Davy’s mom. (Rich was Davy, the 10 year old narrator with a very deep voice)

My favorite part was when I decided that the scene under the wheel barrow would sound better if it were spoken under a giant soup pot for the echo-effect. I especially liked the part where I made Rich wear it on his head for full effect even though he didn’t really need to do that. But he looked really funny and I should have had my camera but I did not. oh well. next time.

I wish I could have creative fun like that every night. Writing can be such a solitary and sometimes somber (I love alliteration) experience.

Last night, bringing Rich’s words to life, speaking them out loud, fumbling over them, working together, laughing…. it is what I imagine being in a band is like– getting together to jam and make great music together.

Grab a Hanky…

So, last April I attended the First Friday at The Grove, an open mic event for prose writers hosted by San Diego Writers Ink, and fellow San Diego writer James Spring was recording with the hopes of creating another story for This American Life (his first story aired in February, “Cat and Mouse”). So of course I said Yes you can record me. And James generously sent me this clip of me reading one of my essays, Me and Billy Crystal. Enjoy. Hopefully you’ll hear bits of the essay, and perhaps conversation with me and Holly Fleming and James on some future TAL show, but for now, I hope you enjoy this. And thanks to James for allowing me to use this, especially since I have since lost the draft of this essay that was edited down to three minutes. Did you catch that? It’s 3 minutes long, so get comfy.