John, John, wherever did you go?

I was eating Indian food with Kyle Van Zant yesterday, a good friend and former student, trying to talk to him about how to blog. I don't know a lot, but I know some, and I realized how many of my own rules I've been violating lately.

Kyle Van Sant (Here's Kyle)

Then I read Marta Chausee's latest posts, and she's admitted to the same fault. She had a funeral among other things to attend to.

My most serious fault? I haven't been posting on other people's blogs. I have kept up with posting on my own blog, and I recorded a silly (very silly) future video blog for this blog site.

I've also let a lot of emails go unanswered. Sorry about that everyone.

That doesn't mean that I haven't been promoting and pushing and getting future readers together for my novels. It means that I've had to triage. And what have I been doing?

Raising money, raising money, raising money.

I direct Mt. San Antonio College's creative writing program, and until yesterday I didn't know if was going to be funded at all. If you know what's happening with the State of California, you know that financially, our colleges are in trouble.

Cover Photo
(Here's 26D 3411, where most of the creative writing stuff happens.)

But I've been working on our conference and readings and clubs and magazines for a decade now. They represent my career. Someone told me (with a great deal of smugness I might add) that I should just let my little program go.

"Screw you," I said in my head while maintaining a diplomatic smile. I reminded that person of the number of people who have walked away from our community college with book contracts and magazine publication and more importantly a renewed sense of self.

She said something to the effect of "Pff" and rolled her eyes.

"Screw you," I said in my head once more. Actually, that's the PG version.

Let's assume she's jealous of all the great students I have.

Anyway, I've been bouncing all over campus and beyond smiling and cursing in my head until I have been funded. We do have a program this year.

And then I've been raising money for the SGV lit fest which is coming up soon.

About the Festival

Project number one: I've been teaching poetry classes and donating the money. I used to dislike teaching poetry. It was the one part of my writing career I kept to myself. Not true any longer. The students are great and they're getting something from it. If you're in the LA area by the way and want to write poetry and have some money, contact me.

Project number two: We have a dinner fundraiser coming up and that takes work as well. It's early November if you're close by. Special guest stars. My young friend Daniel is making broadsides to sell there as well.

All of this helps my programs, but it helps me as well. Every time I meet someone and talk to them, I'm making a new contact who gets a new business card for one of the 4 new books I have out.

My next alternative marketing ploy? I'm thinking about getting a tattoo on the back of my leg with the call number for my first book, East of Los Angeles. It was just put in my local library, and I'm all atwitter with excitement.

Okay, so I'm sorry I didn't post on your blogs or return your email or give you a call, but I will. Here it comes. You'll be hearing from me in the next day or so.