Sat May 5, 2012 Book Event in Los Angeles @ Freddy and Eddy 3pm – 5pm

Look at how cute this couple is.

I mean really, don’t you feel like you already know them?


They look like a regular old down-to-earth couple that really loves each other and likes to have fun. Seriously, look at these guys:

This is them working on what eventually became their new store in Marina Del Rey, CA – and this is what it looks like now:

Warm, inviting colors. Lots of happy, smiling faces and fun products – just what an adult store should be! A fun place for adults to explore and learn and find new ways to play together…

I don’t even need to tell you how psyched I am that Ian and Alicia (the owners) have agreed to host my LA area book event. It’s gonna be a total blast, and I can’t wait to meet this amazing couple. Like most people who’ve been in relationships for a long time (and especially after having children), theirs was getting stale – and so they decided to break up the routine and explore what made them happy, and this store (and the accompanying website) were born. Actually, this is the second version of their store (you can read all about their history here), and things seem to be getting better and better for them each passing year. If they are not living examples of the Lindas of the world that I wrote about in “Boy Meets Girl, The End”, I don’t know who is.

If you are in the area – hell, if you are anywhere near Southern California on May 5th – come down and hang out with us. I’ll be reading and laughing and smiling ear to ear and generally acting the fool, and a good time will be had by all. And just think, you’ll be in the perfect place to pick up some new toys or some new ideas for your own entertainment, and you’ll be supporting two of the coolest people in LA. And Venice freaking beach is like 2 blocks away, so you know I’m going to try to get a bunch of us down there afterwards at some point.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Saturday in Southern California…

Rejecting Rejection

I’ve always had a problem with rejection.

I could get all deep with the history – the father that left, the girls that giggled and turned away, the jobs that hired others. I could even just focus on the last year, and every single “Thank you for your interest in so-and-so literary agency” email that I got (they never get easier to read), or didn’t get (nothing like no reply at all to really resolve things). Or I could just tell you about how I was trying to contact a certain establishment (to set up a book reading event) using their online form (which is never more than just typing some words and hitting send, you know), only to be met with a “Server Error” page – and during the follow up phone calls (that weren’t returned) and finally getting through, being greeted with a harsh “We got your emails and voice message!” like I had been stalking the person or something.

I could write all damn day about rejection, because it’s the kind of response that can cancel out a million positive reactions in one fatal swoop – and I know you’d know what I’m talking about. Everyone hates rejection. Does anyone like rejection? I don’t know anyone who does. I hear people say stupid ass shit like “Haters make me stronger” and whatever other ego trip they decide to express, but I’ll say it straight up – rejection sucks, and it hits deep.

And if you are the creative type, or more specifically, the creative type that believes you’ve got something worthwhile to share, you face a 99% chance of either receiving rejection blows straight to the gut or tripping into a 6 foot deep hole of complete and utter lack of response when trying to get your work out beyond your safe little sphere of happiness and joy and sunshine flavored cupcakes.

The only thing that has helped me – and I recognize that this is possibly a sign of mental illness – is to keep on. Keep on keepin’ on. Like all those rejections never happened; like people are actually just waiting to hear from someone like me because they’ve been looking for what I have to offer them. I know, it sounds completely insane, and I’m still getting used to it myself – but it’s the only way I’ve been able to get anything accomplished. And really, when I stop and think about it for a second (which is usually when I first lie down to go to sleep at night), I realize that I’ve come a long way. I mean, just the fact that I didn’t give up when I shared the first chapters I wrote – which took some strong criticism as well – or when no literary agent would touch the finished project, or when some of my good friends told me they couldn’t even read it because of the language. I still finished it, and then edited it, and edited it again, and again, and again…and then the cover, and then the website, and so on and so forth, just to get a decent book together. Then the promotion, and the talking with stores, and the book tour – I look back and realize I’ve done a lot. And I’m still 100% committed – and it’s paying off. Somehow, by continuing on, doing a lot to get a little back in return every day, it’s working out.

I can’t tell you how many people I offered the ebook to for free – several times even – and didn’t hear a word from, who are now coming back to me asking how they can buy the paperback. People in different countries contacting me, people I don’t even know! And not a single step of it would’ve happened had I not been rejecting enough of the rejections so freely given to me…

So that’s it. No great words of wisdom, no real moral to the story. Just good ol’ fashioned stubbornness, in which I am not lacking in the least. I just keep on pushin’ forward – because I’ve got too much left behind that I no longer have time for…

Wed. May 2, 2012 – Book Event in San Francisco

I lived in San Francisco from 2000 – 2005, and absolutely loved my time in the Bay Area. It was a grand departure from my growing up in the Northeast (with it’s cold, harsh winters and fast paced lifestyle), and though it took me a little time to adjust to it (read: I had to tone down my natural inclination for sarcasm), it is now a permanent part of me.

One of the biggest reasons why can be found at the corner of 19th and Mission Street in the Mission District – a Senegalese restaurant/bar/club that was originally called Little Baobab (and is now part of the Bissap Baobab Village owned and operated by Marco Senghor). This is what it looked like a couple of years ago…

Marco has always been one of the most generous people I’ve ever known, and it was because of him that I was lucky enough to become a dj in that musically competitive city (you can read about that here –

And now, he has very generously allowed me to host an event at Bissap, which used to be Bollyhood (and before that a dance studio – ahhh the history!), right next to Little Baobab on 19th Street.

If you live in or near the Bay Area, come on out on May 2nd – enjoy some great Senegalese food and famous Baobab mixed drinks, and I’ll entertain you with excerpts from the book and some of the behind the scenes stories. Books will be available for purchase and I’ll be signing them, and then afterwards the party continues with DJ Walt Digz and Latin music night.