I met Laura when we did readings together. She instantly charmed me with her radiant smile and amazing talent.  We've since become good friends and she will have a story in Jessa Marie Mendez and my upcoming anthology Rough Magick.

FLB:Tell us about your novel, Haunt.

LLB: Haunt is a modern, fractured Los Angeles noir; much of it is told in second person, Choose-Your-Own Adventure style but one where you read straight through and see what the results of your seemingly inconsequential choices.  Your apartment is haunted, and the spirit of the woman who died of mysterious causes is trying to influence what you will do.   

FLB: I think you mentioned it was translatede into  Spanish?

LLB: Yes, it was recently translated and published in Spain (June 2015) under the title Fantasma, through Orciny Press. (orcinypress.com) The translation is wonderful, and I couldn't be more happy with how it turned out. Also, I was fortunate enough to get to travel there and do some book events.  I loved it so much it would be difficult for me to overstate.  Any excuse I can have to return...

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Interview With Amanda Yates Garcia, The Oracle Of Los  Angeles

FLB: What exactly is an oracle?


AYG: Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi, was probably the most famous oracle. Named after the dragon slain by the God Apollo, the Pythia were priestesses who would go into a trance and communicate with the God of Light, letting his will be known to humankind. But before Apollo erected his temple, Delphi was sacred to Gaia, goddess of the earth. The snake (dragon) was her symbol. Her priestesses would dance and swoon and fall into ecstasies triggered by vapors emitted through a chasm below the altar. Oracles speak to the spirits and to the gods, which anyone can do. What’s most important though is to get information that is relevant and helpful. Anyone can be an oracle, but to be a great oracle you have to be part performer, part poet, part sage, part python. The Delphic Oracle once warned the Athenians against the Persians thus:“Now your statues are standing and pouring sweat. They shiver with dread. The black blood drips from the highest rooftops. They have seen the necessity of evil. Get out, get out of my sanctum and drown your spirits in woe.”I try to be a bit more upbeat in my prophecies, in keeping with the spirit of the new millennium.

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Love and Los Angeles

 

When I wrote that book

Love shimmered in the air around me

Just out of reach

All the time

As I scaled those Berkeley hills

With my English books

In my peach silk slip dress and cowboy boots

As I hid in my room in the white

house with the roses

And the horrible kitchen filled with dirty dishes

Love was Los Angeles

Far away but real

Something I would have eventually

It was pink and  gold

It smelled like jasmine

It revved like a baby blue convertible Thrunderbird

down the highway among the lights

While music played

imprinting itself on my mind with the powerof something heard while the brain is still developing

Consuming every melancholy morsel fo beauty and promise

Now almost thirty years later

It lives in my house in the form of two teenagers

It visits me in the form of my friends

With lentils and rice

It makes me smoothies and juices

and sits with me to talk

Looking exactly like my ex husband

 

I'm not writing a book about it

To make girls cut and bleach

their hair and move to Los Angeles

Dripping with glitter

and stars

 

Love's no longer glamourous or out of reach

but it always leaves

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So, thank you all for your patience. And in advance for more patience! Above is the cover of the lookbook Elgin James made for Fox Searchlight when we met with them about Weetzie. (No, that's not Marilyn Monroe; its Scarlett Johanssen but she's not going to be in the movie). Elgin is now rewriting the script and hopefully we will go back and meet with Fox again soon!

I met Elgin when I sent him a tweet of appreciaton for his film, Little Birds, the story of two girls who run away from their dying town on the shores of The Salton Sea to join a gang of skaters in Los Angeles.

Elgin and I did an event at The Last Bookstore. 

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For Blue

 

The rivers run, yellow with sludge

streets red with blood

skies burn orange

The lawns are drought-colored

and the carcass of the lion looks like a browning, eerie toy

beneath the gloats of men

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You and I don't see

each other often

never say all the words we need to say

and never touch

 

Sometimes I'm that poisoned river, that burning sky

the bleeding streets, the thirsty lawn, the dying animal

 

But you're the pool we drove to in that city in the South

We never swam

the summer twilight

but photographed each other

while friends laughed and drank

and talked of books and squirrels

 

You're the water I gulped today, to keep from passing out when the world went briefly black

 

You're the sky I glimpse

through the portal

of your eyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When I started out in publishing, I was fortunate enough to have the support of a strong publishing house behind me.  They took big risks and stuck with me me as I experimented with different projects and ideas. I got to be totally myself--a sad, weird, romantic ex-punk rock poet with a love for Los Angeles. I still have a supportive publisher but things have really changed in the industry. It makes me wonder, if I had come up today, would Weetzie Bat ever even been published? Would it have been published then if I hadn't found the one editor who was willing to take a risk on me? If it wasn't published, what would I have done? If I came up today, I would independently publish Weetzie and promote it myself on social media. In thelast few years, some of my favorite events to participate in have been independent ones, like when I read with the awesome-rad LGBTQ-positive feminist collective Sister Spit (2013-2015) or joined a panel of Long Beach punk rock writers at Zinefest Long Beach.

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Oki Dog on Pico isn't the one where Weetzie  and her friends hung out. That was the now defunct Santa Monica Blvd. location. But this will do if anyone wants to shoot  the movie here.

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Fifi's Cottage - Santa Monica Version

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My children were born in April and May, so that's what my catchy title is about.  I love August.

What's In Weetzie's Bag?

Lara Bennett, Kat Ryan and I are pleased to announce the new Weetzie tote bag illustrated by Emmakisstina. The totes are available for pre-sale here. Photo shoot coming soon!

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A Blog Post About Weetzie by Alexandrina Jordan of Asphalt and Glitter

Here's a beautiful post about Weetzie Bat by Alexandrina Jordan.Daily Blogs

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My Antioch class and I read Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. I haven't read it for years but it was a big influence on my writing.  Didion captures the essence of Los Angeles, especially in her passages about the heat and the freeways. My class and I discussed the nihilistic aspects of the book but agreed that ultimately, after much turmoil and tragedy, Maria Wyeth, the actress protagonist, finds meaning in her relationship with her hospitalized daughter, Kate. 

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I was curious to see how Play It As It Lays related to my 12 Questions. Here are my thoughts. Do you agree?:

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On Sunday, I saw Diary of A Teenage Girl at the WGA Theater. What do you guys think of it?  I liked some of the animation early in the film, I liked the acting and I loved the final message and image but I felt disconnected somehow. Which is strange because it's about the daughter of a single mom growing up in San Francisco in the 70's.  She even jumps on her bed to an Iggy Pop song and makes out with a poster of him! The film deals with her sexuality quite frankly and there are some beautiful moments, like when her room seems to float in a sea of stars.

After, I came home and the lovely and amazing Maria Andreotti shot the talented and extremely handsome Hunter Garner in my living room for a secret project. Maria and I have worked together before. She did the covers for Love Magick and Lay Me Out Softly, as well as some of my head shots.

See another shot of Hunter here:

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