Have you ever been afraid of change in your life? I am in a time of immense change.  As I try to finally get the Weetzie Bat movie off the ground with the help of director Elgin James, publish more adult fiction, continue to teach my current students and come up with new class ideas, and build my brand using social media, I often feel overwhelmed. Especially since I'm also a full time mom.  My dream is to build a creative collective in which I teach writing classes, work with my students to publish their writing alongside my own, sponsor social events for writers and other artists, produce  merchandise based on our work and short films and features. When I get afraid that this is too much to take on,  I step outside and look at my garden. This is what I found over the course of a short time:

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Francesca Lia Block, winner of the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award and author of over twenty-five books, has had her novel DANGEROUS ANGELS featured on TIME Magazine's The 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time and NPR’s 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels. She has been teaching privately and at various institutions since 2007.  One of her students raves, "Francesca's novel-writing workshop was an absolute joy. She gently nudged our little half-baked ideas into big delicious possibilities, and guided us through an exciting first-draft and revision process with a keen sense of audience awareness and soul satisfaction. Her insights are spot-on, her critiques generous, her wisdom as big as the world." ~ Tracy DeBrincat, President/DeBrinc Inc / Freelance Creative Consultant and Author, Troglodyte (Elixir Press), Hollywood Buckaroo, (Black Lawrence Press)

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Book Soup! I've been reading there for almost 30 years! Including  the time we did the dramatic reading of the Weetzie Bat screenplay. And the group reading for my Love Magick anthology.  Tonight I will be joined by three amazing women: Molly Bendall author of four collections of poetry and many anthologized poems and a professor at USC, Elizabeth Barker co-editor of Strawberry Fields Whatever , reading from her lyrical debut novel about music, love and loss, and Brandie Coonis of Rebecca Friedman literary agency reading from THE SONGS OF MONSTERS about a girl who moves to a seaside town and discovers secrets about her rock star mother's haunted past. I've known Molly since I was pregnant with my first daughter and her now college age daughter did cartwheels through the living room. I'm a huge fan of her beautiful work. Liz is one of my favorite students and when she workshopped her book everyone fell in love with her characters and their world. Brandie has been assisting me and she is a genius editor as well as writer. I love these women! Please come meet them.Tonight at Book Soup!

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[What follows is a scene from LOVE MONSTER, the screenplay for FLB's haunting new novel BEYOND THE PALE MOTEL, written by C. N. Blakemore and Francesca Lia Block.  - cnb] 
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Catt already looks calmer.

     Thanks. I might. See you tomorrow.

She sets her phone down and sits up in bed.

She thumbs through a magazine, throws it down. Bored.

Clicks through channels on the TV. Bleech.

There's noise from the street, two people yelling angrily. The male voice takes on a threatening tone, though we can't make out any of the words.

A loud, sharp bang. Then silence: a deep, foreboding silence.

A light in her hall flickers, then dies. Catt starts to shiver again.

Picks up the phone, clicks to Recent numbers. Right at the top, after Shana and Bree: Jarell Hardin. After thinking for a second, she punches in a text.


The lights are all extinguished, save for a modest few that contribute to the desired mood. She is draping a floor lamp with a rose-colored scarf when she hears a knock on the door. She hurries to answer.

Jarell is there, leaning on the doorjamb, a half-smile on his face. Catt's relief is palpable.

     Nice place, godmom.

     It just got a whole lot nicer.

     Careful or I'll get the wrong idea.

     Come in and we can get the wrong idea together.

Jarell laughs, a big, rolling laugh from his core.

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