Saturday, June 27, 2009

mourning and loving

Sharline Chiang, David Mura, Me, Patricia Engel, Junot Diaz
Sharline, Patricia, Me
The Pan Dulce Writers 
est. 2005

My days in San Francisco are, as usual, flying by.  My two good friends have left but a couple of other friends are arriving tonight so I'm sure the party will continue.  I've been sleeping little but have so much energy that I don't even notice. I've started drinking whiskey again which is strange and wonderful.  I've taken such a long break from whiskey, I forgot how much I love it.  I can drink quite a bit without getting hungover.  Famous last words, most likely.

Thursday was an odd day in the world.  I was sitting in my dorm room with Patricia and Sharline when I glanced at my computer screen and saw that Michael Jackson had just died.   I was the bearer of the news to the students in the lounge and the collective cry of shock was something I'll never forget.  Asha Bandele grabbed my arm and I don't think I will ever forget the look in her eyes when she heard the news.  It was almost as if a light had gone out in all of us.  We all huddled together in disbelief.  Junot Diaz arrived in the lounge.  I had texted him about MJ's death.  He thought I was playing a cruel joke on him.  I wish I had been.  Strange how all of us had lifelong memories of Michael Jackson and how his music had been a soundtrack to all of our lives.  We listened to "Never Can Say Goodbye" and some of us cried. Of course, Pan Dulce immediately got irreverent and we started reenacting the Thriller video moves and being silly.

Being up here around all these serious writers is really good for me. I am totally inspired to see people who are also on the path, struggling and succeeding.  When I arrived I was gifted with the phenomenal news that my very good friend Patricia Engel just received a two-book deal.  Yay Patita!  I've been reading her stories for years and have always known that she would, and will succeed.  I am over the moon happy for her.

Tonight is the VONA Ten year anniversary party.  I look forward dancing my booty off with other writers and celebrating this brilliant conference and how much is has changed my life.  

Never Can Say Goodbye

A couple of days before I came up here Beau and I were listening to this Jackson 5 song and singing along.  *sigh* So sad.

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