Saturday, April 30, 2011

Atria Books Literary Salon With Sister Souljah

As an exclusive blog partner of Atria Books, you can view the fourth installment of the Literary Salon Series LIVE from the LA Times Book Festival at 7:50pm EST/4:50pm PST on Random Musings!

This latest event celebrates the release of New York Times bestselling author Sister Souljah's newest novel, Midnight and the Meaning of Love, a story about young, deep love, the ways in which people across the world express their love, and the lengths that they will go to have it. The interview will be moderated by Jada Pinkett Smith.

The Atria Books Literary Salon can also be viewed on my website!

On Twitter? Tweet @AtriaBooks with questions for Sister Souljah and use the hashtags #sistersouljah #atrialive. Or you can tweet the questions to me @abigailwrites and I'll pass them along. Select questions will be answered live by Sister Souljah.

Click here to order an Autographed Copy of Midnight and the Meaning of Love~

About Atria Salon SeriesThis is the fourth installment of the Atria Literary Salon Series. The previous three celebrated authors were Lauren Weisberger, Nicolle Wallace and Jodi Picoult. Returning to the grand old tradition of places like the Algonquin Hotel where people would gather for stimulating conversation, Judith Curr, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Atria Books, launched the Literary Salon Series to bring together authors, editors and media for an evening of stimulating conversation and literary style. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Darker Side of Lust In Paris

If you haven't heard it, it's news to you...


My art is holding a place for me in Paris.

Copies of my book, The Darker Side of Lust, are available at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France! This was a moment of I wanted something, asked for it and received. I originally contacted the bookstore about hosting a book reading during my (then) planned trip to Paris last November. All their readings were full but they invited me to participate in the open mic they were starting at the time and told me I could drop off copies of my book for sale at their shop...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dating A Nude Model

I was pondering what to blog about last night and within minutes, Raising Hope switched to a scene of Jimmy in an art class where his girlfriend walks in as the nude art model. The moment of truth--could he date a nude model?

I've done nude modeling since 2006. I'm not as active as I used to be because I'm more selective of the photographers I work with and the projects they present to me. You could say I'm semi-retired, but have no qualms being nude in front of a camera or posing for painters/sculptors/artists.

Being single, I don't have to consider anyone's insecurities at the moment. And I won't have any patience for it in the future. So the men I date have to be comfortable with the fact that I've modeled nude in the past and I'll most likely do it again in the future.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Tae Bo Workout With Billy Blanks

Me with Billy Blanks after a great Tae Bo workout

What??? This is amazing! I "grew up" on Billy Blanks!!

That was my reaction when I received an email from Harrison Wise on Wednesday. Billy Blanks would be teaching a kickboxing workout at the dojo Wise attends. A live Tae Bo workout!! Last year, I attended Harrison Wise's Pleasure & Pain Kickboxing Boot Camp class. I'm so grateful he remembered and shared the news with me.

Anyone who's known me for longer than 5 years, knows how much I love Tae Bo and how the workout and Billy Blanks has shaped my outlook on health, fitness and working out. I was a freshman in college when Tae Bo went mainstream. My mother ordered the tapes, but I claimed them for myself. My workouts were comprised of Tae Bo and weights. When the Tae Bo Live! series came out, she ordered the subscription for me -- a new advanced workout every month!

At the same time I was working towards my Sports Sciences degree and Athletic Training certification and was taking courses in Biomechanics & Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Principles of Athletic Training, Adapted Physical Education and Sports Psychology, I was also learning from Tae Bo and was applying the body awareness, willpower and positive visualization from one to the other.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (or More Random Musings on Chimps)

We all gathered around the laptop to watch the trailer. I had viewed it a few days prior and was equally creeped out and impressed. Actually, the fact that I was creeped out is what impressed me. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a movie I'd go to the theaters to watch "for the cinematic value" as a fellow trailer-watcher put it. Sucks I have to wait until August 5.

At the end of the trailer, we all started clamoring to get our two cents in.

One guest at the dinner party said at the end of the trailer, he was expecting the chimp to talk. Yes! Andy Serkis is at it again!

The scene that stuck with me most is of a chimp standing at the foot of a bed while a couple sleeps. What the hell is he going to do? Chimps are so strong. And they have a dark side just like humans. I witnessed this when I watched The Dark Side of Chimps on National Geographic a few years ago. They wage wars and murder just like humans. Could increased brain capacity make them evil masterminds?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lessons For The Socially Awkward

I've had more than one friend tell me I should teach classes or seminars on flirting, or just simply talking to new people. When I envision these classes, I see "hands-on" workshops, with lots of field trips to bars, networking events, the park, supermarket and I'd give my students assignments; collect one phone number, have at least an 6 minute conversation with 3 strangers (3 minute convos for beginners or intermediates), make a date or plans to meet someone, bring up your pet turtle or your last workout, naturally, in conversation et cetera, et cetera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random Musings and Atria Books Literary Salon Series Part Deux

Once again, Random Musings has been selected to be an exclusive blog partner for the Atria Books Literary Salon Series. This month's Salon will feature an interview with Sister Souljah. She will be discussing her new novel, Midnight and the Meaning of Love, which was released on April 12. The interview will be moderated by Jada Pinkett Smith.

Visit Random Musings on Saturday, April 30 to watch the livestream from the LA Times Book Festival. 7:30pm EST/ 4:30pm PST.

I'm very excited that I was selected to partner with Atria Books again. I read Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever back in college. That, Push by Sapphire and the film Memento were huge influences on a screenplay I wrote in 2002, Ebony, New York.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Show Yourself

Recently there's been some rumbling on my Twitter timeline about anonymous Tweeters--those who hide behind Twitter handles that don't have their real names (or part of their name) and those who don't use a real photo as their avatar or a photo at all (I don't acknowledge eggs).

I agree wholeheartedly that there should be some true representation of yourself in social media. Some people feel putting up a photo of yourself is "too much". Posting your photo doesn't mean you're sharing your SSN, or home address on Twitter (or Facebook). If you're that paranoid, stay off the web.

There's also that anonymous person on social media who hides behind the screen and antagonizes or simply annoys everyone, trolls posts to pick fights but not (hu)man enough to stand behind their words.

When I attend events, I run into people I already know in real life. Sometimes I also meet people who I've had extensive interaction with online. I know this because I recognize them from their avatars. Folks who approach me because they recognize me yet I've never seen their face don't get the same warm reception. That shouldn't surprise them; we gravitate towards people we know, people we are comfortable with. You're starting from scratch if you've remained anonymous despite the comments you've left on someone's FB photos or the fact that you've retweeted them a few times (read: incessantly). There won't be the same bond between two people who know what the other looks like.

It's proven that the more you're exposed to someone's face, the longer you view it, the more you'll view it favorably and even form a bond.

It's social media, it'd be nice to know who I'm socializing with.

*   *   *

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Faces Of The Economy

Faces of the Economy Opening Reception

I've been doing the artist hustle and the freelance shuffle for the past 2 years. I've accomplished a lot since I was laid off in January of 2009. But assignments weren't coming as quickly and the sale of my art wasn't as brisk as before.

A friend and I shared our pathetic financial situations recently over IM. I sat at my computer and laughed till my eyes watered. It was one of those situations where you either laugh or you go insane.

I am a face of the economy.

April 15, 2011, at Art for Change Gallery, the group exhibit, Faces of the Economy opened. It is a great collective of social art commenting on the recession, unemployment, budget cuts, foreclosures, Wall Street. Many more Americans are affected by the recession than the media reports. I'm sure anyone reading this knows someone who has been laid off, is underemployed, behind on rent, on public assistance or considering it...

I marked April 15th on the calendar, and not for tax purposes.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Nue York

This one's for Berman Fenelus

A few weeks ago my interest was piqued when I learned of the exhibit, Nue York: Self Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen. I mentioned it my Raising My Hopes With Bob's Anuses post. Erica Simone took nude self-portraits of herself around NYC. I'm not going to be interested?

With all the press the opening was receiving, the event was very well attended. When I arrived the line to enter the Dash Gallery stretched all the way down Duane St. I almost kicked myself for not showing up at 6pm for the soft opening for press but the line was moving.

Kudos to security at the door. The RSVP list they had to weed through was pages long. It was alphabetical by first name. Easy entry for me.

Open bar was provided by Belvedere. I saw more of the brand than I did of her work for the first few minutes I was there--Belvedere glasses were stacked in all sorts of arrangements along the desk at the entry; the orange of screwdrivers, the reds and pinks of half-consumed vodka-crans and the greens of limes floating in vodka tonics.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Connect The Dots

Keeping in line with my Reboot and priming for travel...

A long-time friend took me out for Korean last week. She took me to one (of two) of her favorite spots. Ok, first, I think that's a great honor when someone takes you their favorite place.

I should also tell you that I'll be all over the place in this post.

So we met at Kunjip and did a lot of catching up over pipping hot stone bowls of bibimbap and steamed eggs, radishes, dried fish, miso soup... I should've taken a photo of the spread, because I can't remember what else was served. I had the camera in my bag, by the way.

The windows of the restaurant were covered with flyers and posters but from where I was sitting, I could see through one of the spaces to the street outside. I did a double take. Is that the Eiffel Tower? Does that say 'Paris'? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kitty Photo Shoot

I'm a dog person.

This past weekend I did something new. I took photos.

Of a cat.

I was cat-sitting and house-sitting for a friend. When she first asked me, I asked a few questions of my own: Is she crazy? Is the cat going to try and sit on my lap?

My friend assured me that everything would be OK, that I wouldn't even see much of the cat throughout the weekend. The first night I was there, I spent it in very light sleep. Thoughts of being clawed to a bloody mess kept me awake. You would think someone locked me in a cage with a Bengal Tiger! (I do like tigers and lions though)

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Date With A Naked Boy

Me with some of the cast of Naked Boys Singing circa 2004 

I found this photo about a month ago. At the time it was taken, I was working at a Sports PT clinic. I was young, taut, virile...  One of the patients at the clinic was a dancer and actor in musical theater.

I started writing my novel, Letters to My Former Self, in 2005. Churned out 20 chapters in 5 - 6 months. One character in the novel is based on the patient/friend who gave me tickets to see him in the play Naked Boys Singing. At the time he may have been the only hetero cast member. I remember watching to see if any penises would perk up. And the eye contact we made. This was the first time we'd seen each other outside of the clinic.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

NYC Pillow Fight!

When given the chance to play, people play.

It's an unbelievable release. I didn't get to activitely participate in the NYC Pillow Fight in Union Square yesterday because I was there covering the event for a piece I was writing for Yet being around people who were having such a good time, the positive energy rubbed off on me. I also think the few thumps I took to the head might've done something to the mood center of my brain.

Now back to the people at play.

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