Kartika and Sulu

1) The latest issue of Kartika Review features a special section called “Meditations of Home,” and you can read my own personal view on this subject.  Fine writers such as Alexander Chee, Don Lee, Min Jin Lee, Yiyun Li, and Ed Lin also participated in the project, so it’s really an issue worth reading.  You can get the journal  in PDF, or better yet, you can have Lulu crank out a paper copy.

2) Speaking of Ed, I had an absolute blast at the The Sulu Series last night!  We were there to celebrate his latest novel Snakes Can’t Run, and there was poetry and fiction and songs, too, and even a short film at the end.  I’m not used to being out in the city so late on a school night, but wow, was it ever worth it.

Matt Blesse

Cynthia Lin

Catzie Vilayphonh

Ed Lin

Ed Lin

Many more pictures here.  I read from a short story titled “Faith,” something I had completed a week ago.  I’m not entirely happy with the story as it stands, so most likely it’ll change, but for those who want to know how it ends (at least for now), you can read it here (now published here);  search for “END OF SULU READING” to find the exact spot where I stopped reading.

By the way, I should mention that I was inspired to write this story after reading Rhian Ellis‘ novel After Life; in fact, the premise is identical.  I can only dream of writing with Ellis’ prosaic precision, so there is no comparison — everyone should read her fabulous novel.

Favorite Songs of 2009

Here’s a list of my top twenty songs for this year, in alphabetical order by artist.  These are not necessarily from 2009; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

“Sometime After Midnight,” by The Airborne Toxic Event on The Airborne Toxic Event
“Dreams,” by Brandi Carlile on Give Up the Ghost
“My Life Would Suck Without You,” by Kelly Clarkson on All I Ever Wanted
“Blow Away,” by A Fine Frenzy on Bomb in a Birdcage
“¡Viva La Gloria!” by Green Day on 21st Century Breakdown
“Half Life,” by Imogen Heap on Ellipse
“Dangerous and Sweet,” by Lenka on Lenka
“Sick Muse,” by Metric on Fantasies
“Everybody,” by Ingrid Michaelson on Everybody
“Rain,” by Mika on The Boy Who Knew Too Much
“Lucky Boy,” by Matt Nathanson on Beneath These Fireworks
“Shattered [Turn the Car Around],” by O.A.R. on All Sides
“Have to Drive,” by Amanda Palmer on Who Killed Amanda Palmer
“Just Breathe,” by Pearl Jam on Backspacer
“Eet,” by Regina Spektor on Far
“Two Tongues,” by The Swell Season on Strict Joy
“Tokyo,” by Telekinesis on Telekinesis!
“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You to) I Want You to,” by Weezer on Raditude
“Robocop,” by Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak
“VCR,” by XX on XX

If I had to pick one song as my favorite, it would be XX’s “VCR.”  Mysterious lyrics, an atypical duet, and clocking in at under three minutes: the perfect tune.