Last week I bit the bullet and cut off over 10 inches of hair. Though it’s taking some getting used to (especially when it’s curly and even shorter!), I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. It’s easy to get comfortable, whether with a hairstyle or a lifestyle, and sometimes change is necessary. Long hair is easy to hide behind – and right now, I finally feel like I’m ready to stop hiding and start living. Now, to decide whether or not I want some new piercings…
This week’s project is a cause near and dear to my heart – helping donate money to the brilliant and necessary non-profit We Need Diverse Books. As a Mexican-Peruvian American woman raised in a Jewish household (say that three times fast!), you can imagine how few characters I’ve seen in books and film that come close to resembling me – and by few, I mean none at all. I remember, as a kid, trying to find a Halloween costume and thinking that I couldn’t find anyone I wanted to dress up as – because they were all white, unlike little brown me – and I felt that my costume just wouldn’t be right. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of Halloween? In any case, I was always aware that there weren’t any characters who I could really relate to or that looked like me, and often found myself disappointed. It’s one of the many reasons I want to write – because I want to tell stories that more accurately reflect the world we all live in.
It’s about time that diversity in every way, shape, and form, is present in pop culture. We Need Diverse Books is a huge step towards that goal and I really hope you support them.
From their page:
Reading is the ultimate form of empathy.
Though more than half of schoolchildren are minorities–people of color, LGBTQIA, and/or people with disabilities–the fact remains that too few of these children see reflections of themselves in the books they read. Books are more than mirrors– they’re windows as well. The more kids read, the more they understand not just themselves, but the Story of Us All.We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating and supporting non-majority narratives.
With your donation, WNDB will be able to:
- Diversify our classrooms: Through our Diversity in the Classroom program we will work with An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation, First Book, and the National Education Association to bring diverse books and authors into disadvantaged schools. Diverse authors will also visit other schools to give all children windows into different backgrounds and cultures so they can increase their empathy and understanding.
- Support diverse authors: Through our newly announced Walter Dean Myers Award & Grant program “The Walter” will recognize outstanding diverse contributions by authors in Young Adult and Middle Grade literature, and provide funds to help develop new diverse authors and artists.
- Promote diverse programming: WNDB will continue to have a presence at conferences across the country, aiming to foster positive, honest, and constructive discussions on diversity and show people that a diverse book is just a good book that any child can enjoy.
- Develop educational kits: In conjunction with School Library Journal and the American Booksellers Association, WNDB is creating educational kits to introduce teachers, librarians and booksellers to select diverse books.
- Host WNDB’s inaugural Kidlit Diversity Festival: It will be a celebration of diversity in children’s literature to be held in the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016. The festival will showcase both diverse authors & illustrators, as well as authors who write diversely, with programming geared to promote the importance of our shared life experiences.
This is a cause that I’m passionate about, one that will affect the next generation in an overwhelmingly positive way. I cannot think of any negatives associated with helping them out. I really love that they are transparent about what they want the money for and where it will be going. Additionally, it is tax deductible – so what are you waiting for?!
Please help support We Need Diverse Books today!
- An interview with the always awesome Emma Stone.
- My favorite John Oliver clip thus far: SCOTUS, as played by dogs. It’s BRILLIANT.
- I have shared this with everyone I know but it bears posting: Martha Stewart has a punk rock themed birthday party. It’s so ridiculous I can’t even handle it. Nosh pit, anyone? (PS: make sure you read the comments, they’re amazing.)
- How romantic comedies are actually about money.
- A fantastic analysis of the brilliant movie The Boxtrolls. If you’ve seen the film, you know it takes place in a town called Cheesebridge. Mmm, cheese. Speaking of, check out these 10 cheese-themed trips to take all over the world.
In honor of Halloween, check out the original script for Alien, which I find to be one of the most terrifying movies ever.
What I’m Reading & Watching
Currently not reading much – it’s been a busy week. In my free time, I’ve been watching The Good Wife as well as my weekly shows.
Additionally – not kidding when I say I’m full obsessed with Serial. Anyone want to talk theories with me??
What I’m Writing
Script # 1 re-write! Going strong! Really! Want! To! Finish!!
What Inspires Me Right Now
I’ve been listening to Serial and This American Life and thinking a lot how they tell stories. It’s very much the opposite of screenwriting, which is totally visual, but an interesting exercise in storytelling and engaging an audience.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
I cut my hair last night – over ten inches! – and I’m feeling more like myself than I have in months. That said, I have yet to let it dry curly, so a freak-out might still occur! Also, my buddy Steph brought the most adorable donuts to work and they’re worth
Writing Quote Of The Week
From Paddy Chayefsky:
If I have anything to say to young writers, it’s stop thinking of writing as art. Think of it as work.
The New Pornographers
Sometimes you win free tickets to a concert so you spend your Friday night with your best friend exploring K-town and going to see The New Pornographers instead of staying home, drinking wine, and watching Netflix. At some point in the evening, it will hit you: you’re old, because the last time you saw then you were sixteen and stoked (and also seeing Belle & Sebastian because remember how they were a thing?!) and now you’re twenty-five and you can’t make it to the end of the show because a) it started at 10:15pm b) you’re standing and c) you have a calf injury. Sigh. In any case, when presented with spontaneous and free concert tickets, take ‘em. Why not?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by magic – both fictional (we all know how much I love Harry Potter, but also The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and historical, like Harry Houdini. I think a lot of this comes from my father, who is a history of magic geek, but it has over the years become a personal passion of mine. Getting to visit the Magic Castle various times over the last couple of years was an amazing experience that always left me exhilarated, as did seeing a production of Nothing to Hide. There’s nothing quite like live magic shows – there’s a real element of suspense that fails to translate to film or television, heightened by the knowledge that anything can and might go wrong at any moment.
That said, I was really excited to find Dealt, a documentary-in-the-making about Richard Turner, one of the most legendary card magicians in the history of live magic. His talent is overwhelming and brilliant – and that’s before you realize that he happens to be completely blind. I can’t wait to see this film once it’s completed!
They’re currently raising money to travel and capture some of his shows abroad, as well as to pay the crazy expensive footage licensing fees. Though what they’re asking for seems like a lot, they’re using Indiegogo and get to keep every little bit they raise.
If you want to help contribute to Dealt, check it out here.