The 7th LitFest Pasadena is being held this weekend in the Playhouse District. One of the most provocatively titled events on the schedule was “Politicians That Read: The Books that Motivate”. Obviously, with a title like that Trump was not invited to join the panel which included Congressman Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and, as a last minute addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu. There were, however, quite a few Trump jokes!
Schiff revealed that he was inspired to go to law school after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”. His young dreams were to be another Atticus Finch. He also mentioned that he reads biographies and science fiction. No books about impeachment, he added.
State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who represents Glendale, confessed to a love of science fiction. She especially recommended the works of China Mieville.
Mayor Tornek brought a rucksack filled with books and his own brand of humor about reading them. He categorized them as books he would never read, books other people thought he should read, books he reads for professional reasons, and–lastly–books he has read for pleasure. He told the audience at Vroman’s bookstore that he was taking the books in the rucksack to the donation box at the Pasadena Public Library after this event.
Congresswoman Judy Chu talked mostly about politics and discrimination. If I remember correctly she mentioned “Farewell to Manzanar”, the book about the Japanese-American internment camp during WWII. She said she puts all her books on a Kindle so she can carry them with her wherever she goes.
Now for all you booklovers out there, especially those who spend time thinking about the future of the world, I recommend “A Sea of Rust” by C, Robert Cargill. He writes of the world where humans no longer exist and robots are discovering unpleasant truths. Great book!
Today is the day my newest novel, ‘L.A. Ladies’, goes live on Kindle, Nook and Kobo. I worked on this story for almost a year, off-and-on, and the book already received outstanding reception among lovely Goodreads readers.
In this novel Robin, who has lived a privileged life in Los Angeles, begins anew after the unexpected death of her husband and finds herself in situations she never dreamed she would encounter. Love and danger seem to be turning her new life upside down. And the collie on the cover? Her name is Pretty Girl and she plays an important role at two turning points in the book.
The first of several months’ of heavy El Nino storms blew into Southern California this last week and the Los Angeles River went from being a trickle in an almost-dry concrete channel to being a flood sweeping into the ocean. (These photos were taken after the flood had passed.)
Because the river paths, in particular at the Glendale Narrows and in Studio City, are the settings of key scenes in my new novel, ‘L.A. Ladies’, I decided to take a few photos in winter when the area is anything but the pretty pictures of the area in summer. (‘L.A. Ladies’ will be published on Kindle on February 18, 2016.)
I’m going to include some Summer vs. Winter photos here as well as some sights away from the river.
Here is what I saw on a walk along the Los Angeles River in January 2016:
As I wrote some time ago, the purely arts festivals in and around Los Angeles are having a hard time of it in recent years. Low attendance, few sales, disheartened artists and craftspeople. The city of Burbank, however, put together three festivals this last weekend on San Fernando Road that turned into one very dynamic event.
The Earthday part of this festival was an ode to plastic and cilantro. Sponsored by the Burbank Public Works Dept., there was a long tent covered with plastic bags–the bags that are now banned in many cities in California.
(As an aside: the plastic bag ban is turning into a nice source of revenue for cities. If a shopper wants to buy a paper bag to carry groceries home, it costs ten cents–which is paid to the city. City council people all across California, no doubt, feel really good about this: cleaning up the environment and sneakily raising taxes, too!) But I digress…inside the Earthday plastic bag tent children were given small terracotta pots to paint and then cilantro seeds to plant in the pots. It will be time for salsa in about a month!
The Burbank Arts and Crafts Festival which spread along three blocks has been around for years and years.
The CTN Animation Expo is a relative new-comer, but added an interesting group of people to the mix that wandered along San Fernando Road — much younger and much hipper than the typical arts fair attendees. There are several animation studios in Burbank and nearby which makes this the ideal location for the event.
Rather than tell you more about all this, I’ll show you some of what there was to see.