@Spectermagazine Friday Twitter Topic #top10bkmovie

Again, there was a twitter hashtag I had to chime in on and this time it's books made into movies. Here are my top 10. I put 11 on twitter so Henry the V had to go.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird: inspires just with the score and opening credits.

2. Whale Rider: indigenous girl's coming of age story, lovely little book too.

3. Pride and Prejudice: the BBC version with Colin Firth that made me love Mr. Darcy not that ridiculous Keira Knightley one.

4. Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire: didn't think it could be done. A different experience but equally devastating.

5. A Room With a View: Helena Bonham Carter saying, "Freddy, go look for tennis balls!" is my most quoted movie line.

6. Capote: a movie about a book about an author writing a book.

7. The Hours: another movie based on a book about a writer. A modern take on Virginia Wolff?

8. A Single Man: Oh, Colin Firth, you kill me again. And if you haven't read any Christopher Isherwood, the time has come.

9. Malcolm X: Alex Haley + Spike Lee w/ Denzel = <3.

10. Stand By Me: Stephen King meet River Phoenix.

I've forgotten many others. Help remind me.


Really? I'll be happier without kids? No kidding...

Come on, look how happy I am with my niece and nephew.
I was on my way to meet good friends the other day, stuck in LA traffic, and this Freakonomics program was on the radio: "The Economists Guide to Parenting." David and I are getting pretty serious about trying to start a family so I gave it a listen. Hey, even though we're not parents yet, I might as well get a head start.

The show had economists applying rational economic theory to child-rearing and family planning. They talked about the investments parents make in their children (piano lessons, soccer camp, organic produce...) even though they are likely to have very little or no return. A couple economists argued that you should be a more chill parent so you and your kids will be happier. All of it was very interesting, but the part that stuck with me as I crawled along Fairfax was the scientific study stating that married couples without kids were much happier than married couples with kids. Really? David and I are happier than all of our married counterparts with kids? Can someone remind me why I want to have kids?

Anyway, I met up with my friends and their almost-two-year-old son. I thought about how happy I was not having to take care of a kid during lunch. I watched little Keanu's parents take turns walking with him, coaxing him to eat, or drink or nap and though I'm pretty sure his parents still had a nice time, it also looked like a lot of work. And still, as I got back into my car by myself, I knew I agreed with those economists. I know it's irrational to want the craziness of being a parent. I can't explain it, but when I talked with David about the story later that evening, we both knew, without a doubt, starting a family is what we both want. So, look at us now, we're pretty happy, but wish us luck. We hope to be less happy very soon.


Twitter as Blog Topic Generator: #top25books

I've been spending so much time on twitter lately that I almost automatically add # and RT before writing, but it's so worth it. I have met an amazing community of writers and teachers there and today a couple of twitterlits (twitter people who love literature) started a conversation about their top 25 books. If you haven't explored twitter, just search for #top25books and you'll get a glimpse into the way dialogue on twitter can work. Anyway, here is the list I came up with and I'm sure (like the twitter conversation) you'll have lots of titles to add and comment about. Do it. Comments on blogs make them worthy.  And if you join twitter, let me know! I'm writersgrind and these are my #top25books ~in no particular order.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
Billy by Albert French
Blu's Hanging by Lois Ann Yamanaka
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois Ann Yamanaka
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Native Son by Richard Wright
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Push by Sapphire
Drown by Junot Diaz
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery


A Few Through Eyes Like Mine Big Pimpin' Shout Outs

In November I wrote this blog post about pimping my memoir and since then I've been working to get Through Eyes Like Mine into people's hands. I've participated in readings in Bend, Portland and Los Angeles. I've spoken with book clubs, received my first fan mail and had wonderful conversations with people about the book. It hasn't been easy and I haven't done it alone. The support I've gotten from family and friends has been phenomenal. There are so many great people out there getting the word out on the book and I want to honor some of them because it's hard out there for a pimp.

Everyone who reviewed the book on Amazon, Goodreads and Powells and the many others who sent me messages about the book.

Hazel Witham, who wakes up early every school day to write with me, who edits and provides feedback AND generously pimped my book to her many family and friends for the holidays.

Friends in Bend and Portland who supported my first readings at Old St. Francis School and Everyday Wine.

Leah Mackenzie who interviewed me an article in the Examiner. 

Emerson Middle School colleagues who continue to share Through Eyes Like Mine online, (thanks Diane and Caren) who showed up for our book club some of you twice, (thanks Meghan) and Michele and Heather who chose the book for their book club so they've discussed the book ad nauseum.

My Webster Middle School peeps who invited me to their book club (thanks, Alma) and even hung around during their conference periods to talk memoir.

The Rhapsodomancy Reading series, who hosted me at The Good Luck Bar (Thanks, Wendy) and all the Angelenos who came out to the event. 

Jeff who invited me to talk on CSDHTV with his students and is including TELM on his syllabus.

Hippocampus and Specter who published excerpts of my work in their literary magazines.

Jordan, who paired my book with a tasty Pinot Noir on her blog, This Girl Walks Into a Bar.

Katrina at KJP Creations who is making upcoming readings in Portland happen.

My parents: big pimpin'.
My extended family, Ron and Ruth for spreading the word among the Nakadas, and Aunt Bev on the Barry side.

Yukiko, my big sister who is responsible for my wide international following (so many people in China have read my book, and there are a lot of people in China).

Chet, and Mitch for continuing to support the book with friends and family. 

My husband, David who has put up with me working two jobs, handles all shipments and event sales, and has made many teachers at Brentwood Science Magnet buy my book. 

But the biggest pimps of TELM are definitely my parents. They not only allowed me to write all about how they raised me, but then they encouraged people to buy the book! Thanks, Mom and Dad! You are the top pimps! Congrats!