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8.11.2010

Notes from Los Angeles, Day 3

Workshops began today. I'm not up at first up, so I watch as others get ripped apart by the incomparable Nicola. Not that she's mean. But I imagine it hard to have your baby ripped up into shreds, so much that you see the insides of it: its blood and bone and that infected middle part that doesn't go anywhere. But that's what we're here for. Writers are masochists that way.

Among other things, my quote of the day is: "If you don't write everyday, God kills a panda."

Which I think is true. Look at the number of pandas in the wild and tell me it ain't true. It was a response to Carla Trujillo's lecture last night about not writing everday. She said she wrote only during the weekends, and around the room you could hear sighs of relief. I surely don't write everyday, but this retreat is helping. I am working on many things and the room mate ask: you're not working on your stories are you? No, of course not; I'm working on this blog post...

Felice Picano lectured today. I looked forward to it because--really, who wouldn't? Picano is a giant in the world queer lit, and while I felt the lecture focus a lot on his own work (and ignores my personal belief that all history and nonfiction is at the end of the day fiction [because memory is always flawed no matter how good you say it is]), the talk was informative and inspiring. He ended telling us that our histories are being erased and we must do everything as writers to perserve it, that is: make sure it is heard. He says, "Rethink the coming out story and dive into our queer past--make that [the past] art.

But I'm always one to play devil's advocate. For example: does queerness enough to define a community? is queerness making us drift apart more as we define ourselves more as individuals and less as a community? While we can tell our history, we must remember that history is in itself intrepretations: Picano said history is not always written by those who win, but by those who last longer: what does it matter if we can say something, but when we are gone, it can be nulled and void?

I didn't ask any questions but I thought the questions were dumb, and you don't act dumb in front of Felice Picano. He'll write about you...

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