Author

Susan Hayden at A.G. Geiger in Chinatown

Susan Hayden is the Creator/Producer & Curator of the monthly, mixed-genre literary series, Library Girl, now in its 9thyear at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, CA. In 2015, she was presented with the Bruria Finkel/Artist In The Community Award by the Santa Monica Arts Commission for her “significant contributions to the energetic discourse within Santa Monica’s arts community.” Susan’s proudest achievement has been raising her son, singer-songwriter Mason Summit.  READ MORE

Branches by Rhiannon McGavin

Rhiannon McGavin is Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles (2016), and a current English major at UCLA. Her first collection of poetry, Branches, was published in 2017 with Penmanship Books. She has performed her original poetry from the Hollywood Bowl to the Library of Congress, and makes creative writing more accessible through her online work. READ MORE

Honey Suckle Kisses by Synthia SAINT JAMES

You were so stunningly radiant
magically majestic
yet so very real
when I first laid eyes on you
The soft light in the dimly lit room
highlighted and tenderly
embraced your face
like in an exquisite oil painting
from another period
time and place
The essence of the Renaissance
mixed with a touch
of the French Impressionist …
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Susan Hayden, Library Girl

“Around 1966, I was bitten after hours by a standard poodle named Coco. My pediatrician had to make a house call to give me a tetanus shot. I wanted to marry Dr Sokoloff and faked sick all the time so he would have to examine me. I was three. He was James Coburn’s double. I’d seen “Ride Lonesome”; I already knew my future husband would be like a steak at The Palm, a Prime Porterhouse; rough-hewn on the outside, tender underneath.” READ MORE

Susan Hayden at A.G. Geiger in Chinatown

Susan Hayden is the Creator/Producer & Curator of the monthly, mixed-genre literary series, Library Girl, now in its 9thyear at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, CA. In 2015, she was presented with the Bruria Finkel/Artist In The Community Award by the Santa Monica Arts Commission for her “significant contributions to the energetic discourse within Santa Monica’s arts community.” Susan’s proudest achievement has been raising her son, singer-songwriter Mason Summit.  READ MORE

Marc Sotkin

Editor’s note: Marc Sotkin is one of the funniest guys I know! He is writer and producer of more than 350 episodes of various situation comedies, including Laverne & Shirley, The Golden Girls, and the Garry Shandling specials for Showtime. Here’s a situation that happened one day when Marc thought he was getting a little “Eye Contact.” More about Marc Sotkin’s latest projects coming soon. I had a little accident this week. I was walking down the street and a younger woman, a much younger woman was checking me out. No, really. We actually made eye contact, which distracted me, and I walked into a wall. Very READ MORE

Derek Sivers

Editor’s note: Derek Sivers is an awesome book reviewer. Here are some of our favorite books summarized by him that will help you achieve your goals for 2018. Derek has been a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher, but his biggest fascination is the usable psychology of self-improvement for business, philosophy, and culture. READ MORE

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Pasadena’s Vroman’s Bookstore “Walk of Fame” dedication to Luis Rodriguez by Luis J. Rodriguez In two years, I spoke or read poetry to an estimated 25,000 people in over 200 events, and millions more in English and Spanish language TV, radio, publication, and Internet media. My press, Tia Chucha Press, released the largest poetry anthology of L.A.-area poets called “Coiled Serpents: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles,” edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. One of the poems I wrote for the city, “Love Poem to Los Angeles,” was read on KPPC-FM and published in Rattle READ MORE

Luis Rodriguez at Tia Chua Press

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States is a multi-genre collection of poems, short stories, essays, memoir, novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction. The book showcases writers who render a multiplicity of experiences as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland, or who were born in el norte. READ MORE

Harley and Me by Bernadette Murphy

Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life By Bernadette Murphy Prologue (Previously published May 31, 2017) Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. —T. S. Eliot The day is finally starting to soften with the onset of evening as a storm assembles to the southeast. The sun has been scorching my retinas all day and is just now starting to dim. I’ve been riding my motorcycle more than eight hours today, winding first through the stunning canyons of Utah, veering into Idaho for a bit, and now entering the READ MORE

Bernadette Murphy and Izzy take a break

By deborah granger Feature photo by Adrienne Helitzer/Still productions Author Bernadette Murphy is not only a master of words, having written several well-regarded books, but in busting down the confines of self-imposed comfort zones. Risk is not just a Hasbro board game, for Murphy, it’s a new way to embrace life for post-child bearing women. But, then there is Fear. We all have it in some way shape or form, but not everyone deals successfully with this sometimes-debilitating emotion. For Murphy, the definition of fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. “Fear gets worse as we age,” says Murphy, “My fear does. I have READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, US Poet Laureate

by Natalie Durkin “It’s fantastic to be a poet in L.A., and to be an Angeleno.” That’s right, our country’s chosen wordsmith is one of our city’s own. Amanda Gorman was born near Los Angeles International Airport, fitting considering she has wings rivaling any aircraft’s. Her path to poet laureate began “at the cross-section of diametrically opposed neighborhoods; the economically stable and largely black population of Ladera Heights, the cultural vibrancy of Inglewood, the rich and sprawling Ballona Wetlands and blue Marina lining the sea.” Gorman attended middle school in Malibu and high school in Santa Monica. Trekking up, down, and around the coast cemented READ MORE

The Hill by Davis MacDonald

Miss Annie: Sometimes the Judge does get quite morose. It’s something to do with his Welsh roots. I find it useful to come and sit on his foot. This way it’s difficult for him to ignore me, and he can’t really get up and walk away. He usually gives in and starts to stroke my head. That’s when I know I’ve got him. READ MORE

Harley and Me paperback bookcover

Murphy wrote a book that is riveting, intimate, and a fun read. Learning about our four brain chemicals that determine our personality traits is interesting however, I found Murphy’s personal experience even more intriguing. Not every woman is going to embrace mid-life on a Harley, but living vicariously through Murphy’s travels gives us insight into what it means to embrace mid-life rather than complain about it. Her story and her book is compelling. What a joy it was to spend an afternoon in my easy chair riding on a bike with Bernadette Murphy. READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, U.S. Poet Laureate

“We the People” by Amanda Gorman, The U.S. Youth Poet Laureate We the people live in a less than perfect union That accuses the vulnerable and never the top class and race When children are ‘illegal’ and intolerance bans humans I wonder who ‘we the people’ are in the first place ‘We the people’ meant All Lives Matter, but are white lives living a coincidence When if you’re not male or pale you get destroyed for demonstrating dissidence? When the color of his skin gives a killer assumed innocence? But still we will rise up, advocate and activate, with the peoples’ diligence Let’s speak names READ MORE