“In this lyrical and haunting meditation on the craft of writing, Block… cracks open her psyche and lays it bare in the hopes of inspiring other storytellers-to-be. Wise and inspiring, this is a must-read for artists of all stripes.”~Booklist **starred** review

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For devotees of Bird by Bird and The Artist's Way, a memoir-driven guide to healing through the craft of writing 

A cinematic exploration of the writing life by Francesca Lia Block, the bestselling author of the Weetzie Bat series of magical-realism novels, The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process offers visceral insights and healing exercises for the writer who creates as a way to process pain and adversity. Gently guiding the reader down the write-to-heal path, Block offers guideposts of awareness for writers, such as how to find a muse, channeling agony into art, putting chaos into order, ignoring the inner critic, personal perseverance, and thriving as an artist in a troubled world. The author also addresses the intrinsic value of channeling our experiences into the written word, and provides compassionate support to the reader for his or her own write-to-heal process.

You can order it here.

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Photo credit: Teresa Flowers

I met my friend Jade Chang when she interviewed me for Goodreads. And like everyone who meets her, I was instantly charmed and wanted to be her best friend. A short time later she's taking the literary world by storm with her first novel. Here's what she had to say about it:

Flb: Tell us about The Wangs vs.  the World. What were some of your influences?
Jade Chang: Charles Wang is a Chinese immigrant who came to America and built a cosmetics fortune only to lose it all in the summer of 2008. The Wangs vs the World is about what happens to him and his family after that! There's a roadtrip across America and we delve into many different worlds, including fashion, finance, art, and standup comedy. The book really grew from my desire to write a different kind of immigrant story, that wasn't about immigrants or people of color struggling to fit in or who see themselves as outsiders. Instead, the Wangs see themselves as being absolutely central to both their own story and the story of America!

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Last Saturday, Laura Lee Bahr and I held the "Rock Your Reading" workshop at the Fairy Cottage. Everyone read their work and flb gave notes.

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Then Laura coached on how to present to an audience.

Here are some tips:

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Hi loves,

Come join my lovely co-author Carmen Staton and me at Vroman's bookstore this Friday 22nd at 7 pm. We will be discussing and signing the Weetzie Bat cookbook! Fairies in the Kitchen features Dangerous Angels recipes such as My Secret Angent Lover Man's Guacmole and Duck's fig and berry salad. It will be an evening of recipe-sharing, chatting, food demos and more...

xo

flb

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Join the brilliant Sarah Herrington and me for an afternoon of yoga and writing. We will work to unite the mind and body. Through this conscious focus uncover and learn the narratives you hold within.

For more information on how to register: http://francescaliablock.com/contact

xo

flb

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A shout out to the lovely Linda Oatman High and the LAist. I had so much fun talking with you about my urban muse and writing for both adults and teens. The thought of my stories touching my readers is the true magic of writing...

Here is a snippet from the article:

"For me, love is the ultimate expression of magic and I am fortunate to be surrounded by it. I have also had my share of strange, inexplicable experiences that might be called magic by some, synchronicity by others," she says. "The key to seeing the magic is to stay open and aware."

xo

flb

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I had such a great time reading poetry, hearing the poems of other writers and listening to some music at the Coop in Blue Rooster Art Supplies last Friday.

A very warm thank you to the very lovely Chelsea Bayouth for setting this all up! Not to mention the other very special poets who I had the pleasure of reading alongside. A big shout-out to the enchanting Nikita Liza, Jeremy Radin, Edwin Bodney, Jacqueline Suskin & some more.

So wonderful to be surrounded by this creative energy. It was a truly luminous evening. 

 

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An excerpt from an LA Times article I wrote in the Summer of '92...

Weetzie Bat, the heroine of my first novel, was born full-grown, L.A.-love-goddess-style, but the sea she came out of was a cement road cut through a cool green canyon, an ocean of ruined palaces, overgrown gardens of amaryllis and oleander and legends about rock stars and magicians.

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Find summer solace in one of my writing workshops...http://www.francescaliablock.com/blog/entry/summer-in-the-city ...held not too far from this sunlit skyline on Sunset Strip ~ For more information, please contact me at: http://www.francescaliablock.com/contact

xo

flb

 

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To all my dangerous angels,
Near or far…this weetzie tote bag is wrapped and ready to be sent out! Want one for yourself? They are now available for purchase on my website: http://www.francescaliablock.com/store#!/Tote-bags-*NEW*/c/13863005/offset=0&sort=normal
xo
flb
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Hi loves,
If you're reading a story and need a bookmark or just want one for yourself, a couple of bookstores now have mine. Check out the Book Soup on Sunset strip & Mystic Journey on Abbott Kinney 

Coming to more stores in Los Angeles soon. Have a favorite bookstore? Send me the name to find some there too ✨ http://francescaliablock.com/contact xo

 

 

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Hi Friends:
Just finished the Antioch MFA residency and I'm looking forward to working with a lot of students, online and in person, privately and through Antioch, this summer! Could one of them be you? If not, you can still come to some fun events!

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By: Francesca Lia Block 

Region: Los Angeles

Categories: Secrets, Writers

There's secret magic you just have to know where to look. 

LA's Dangerous Angels propels you through a city of punk rock faeries, mythological creatures and the secret magic found in even the most familiar places. Travel along with author Francesca Lia Block as she introduces you to the best hidden magic in her city. Seen through her eyes, and the eyes of her most well- known and beloved characters, Los Angeles opens before you like a storybook. Canyons, beaches, gardens, museums, restaurants, shops and landmarks where Francesca and her characters have danced and just like LA, this guide has it all.

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Listening to Patti on this grey Los Angeles afternoon.

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Hi lovely ladies & gentlemen 

Summer is a wonderful time to relax and reload; filled with sea salt swims and bites of ripened berries & nectarines. If you're looking to mingle these moments of calm with some writing, come join me in Culver City on your Tuesday afternoons. I'm offering an in-person class starting July 5th (Tuesdays 11:30-2:30) for ten weeks. This is an opportunity for all to nourish those mental seeds of inspiration and spark them into existence. 

Bring your short stories, your memoirs, poetry, and plays! Students may submit up to 10 pages of work per week. We will read and critique in class. Space is limited, so contact us now! www.francescaliablock.com/contact

Tuesdays don't work? For more information: 

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When editing the stories for Rough Magick, what did you look for?

The most important thing to me was the potential of a story. If it had a strong hook, even if that hook was buried or needed some more finessing to make the story really come alive, the author had me. I wanted stories that felt alive and brought the reader into the story’s universe. It was especially important that each story could not only stand on its own but connect, in some way, to the other stories in the anthology. My goal was to keep the reader invested in these stories individually but also in the anthology as a whole, and I think that we really accomplished that.

What tips do you have for writers about how to create a powerful short story?

When I write a story, it’s usually because I have something on my mind that won’t go away. A feeling, or a particular image, a snippet of a dream. I’m a worrier, a ruminator, and I will replay that little bit of information in my head over and over again. Writing gives me the space to explore these feelings and ideas. I’d tell writers to begin there, with that passion. The power of that feeling will carry throughout your story, even if it’s not immediately clear in the first draft. Also, with short stories, there is a particular urgency that needs to be addressed. You have very little time to grab the reader and get them acclimated to the world you are creating, so it’s important to do that right away.

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Hi Loves

Happy Easter! Eat a flower!

My new classes start the first week of April and I want to help you finish your book! Although the two in person classes are full (with possibly one space available for the Sunday class) there is a lot of room in my online class starting April 4 for ten weeks. We will cover 12 Questions To Help Structure Your Novel (or short story/poetry cycle/memoir) and you'll be able to workshop fifty pages of your work and receive detailed notes from me and fellow classmates. The cost is normally $500 but I am offering a 20% discount making it $400 plus minor Paypal Fees. I have seen amazing improvement in my students who utilize this 12-Question Method with me! You can contact me at www.francescaliablock.com/contact for more information on how to pay.

My UCLA Extension Class, Writing The Young Adult Novel, starts 4/13 for ten weeks in the beautiful 1010 Westwood art building. We will also visit the 12 Questions in this class.

Remember to stop by Booth 1660 at AWP next weekend! If you are not signed up already, you can get a one day Saturday pass for $45 onsite on that day. (The info on that pass is on the bottom of the linked page).

Here are a few more reminders about AWP and more:

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We had a last minute change  of venue this weekend and held our Fairies party at the Fairy Cottage.

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The beautiful Augusta Gail with Fairies in The Kitchen.

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Carmen and I with our book. The cover models remind me of young versions of us.

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