New Book Out October 11

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged. Writing my new book + motherhood + teaching took me away from being online too much this past year, but I anticipate a redesign coming up and spending more time here chatting about books, writing, overbearing mothers, love, surfing, and other subjects.
Meanwhile, my third book and the final installment in my “mother-daughter trilogy” — three books, three genres — is arriving Tuesday, October 11th, 2016. It’s called Seeing As Your Shoes Are Soon To Be On Fire and, if inclined, you should totally order it from your favorite indie bookstore.

TMA on The Advocate’s “Must Read LGBT Books” List

There are so many “year end, best of” lists that it can feel kind of sad if your book is overlooked, so I’m thrilled and honored that The Marriage Act is featured on The Advocate’s 18 Must-Read LGBT Books We Missed Last Year. I always wonder, after the initial rush of publicity dies down a month or two after the pub date, about ways writers can keep their books “alive” if they’re not already famous and bestselling?
The Marriage Act was six years in the making, and I’m confident in its stakes and importance as a look back at what “marriage rights” used to be in the age of DOMA and how marriage was defined then as opposed to now (though still there’s a ways to go), as well as it being the kind of memoir I most like to read: deeply personal, a story about family and the search for love, etc. But how does a book find its right audience when there are not only so many books, but forms of entertainment and distraction? What leads a reader to a book? Maybe because I’m not at AWP this year, I’m getting my fix by pondering these panelish questions…As always, I welcome your thoughts!

Writing news

I want to thank the amazing author Karen Joy Fowler for linking to my Manifestation of Señor Bacon essay on her blog! Here in Santa Cruz a group of women writers (and occasionally one of the guys) meet to write on Friday mornings. It’s inspiring and productive to write as a group–not read or critique, just to gather and feed off the energy of these brilliant women working on books, essays, and stories in a shared space…I’d recommend for any writer to be in a group like that, making a solitary effort more communal. That’s how I met Karen, whose books I have long loved, and found a literary community of wise women in Santa Cruz.
My former student and friend JC Sevcik has his first feature in Seattle’s The Stranger in response to his former MFA adviser Ryan Boudinot’s article that garnered Boudinot some comparison to JK Simmons’ character in Whiplash. JC’s is a great piece and I’m eager to see him spread his wings as a columnist and sell his memoir.

The Manifestation of Señor Bacon in NYT’s Menagerie column

This week, I have an essay about Señor Bacon the potbelly pig at The New York Times’ Menagerie column, which focuses on animal stories. I’d been reading it for a while and loved all the tales of turtles, rabbits, horses, and dogs – and what each essay revealed about its human author and human/animal companionship in general. I searched through the archive certain I must have missed one about a pig. But there hadn’t been one yet, so Señor Bacon it is!
I’ve also added photos to go with the story to my author page on Facebook - viewable here.
Thanks for reading!

Found and LOVE this old article.
”I think writers to some extent consider themselves people who walk through life picking up vibrations of what’s going on around them. I’ve thought of myself that way since I was a little girl.”
–Joan Didion

“…we don’t choose the forms our work takes. We feel the pressure, wait for the explosion, then stand back, stunned and speechless at the shape that emerges.”
Dani Shapiro, “A Memoir Is Not A Status Update” in The New Yorker

O magazine & Marie Claire

Wow, it’s been more than two months since I’ve posted. I’m still here – and still writing – albeit it was so infrequent the last couple of months because of the busy quarter at UCSC, where I taught two sections of the Core class at Kresge College. It’s a powerful class, covering academic essay writing, but also race, immigration, and gender/sexual orientation. With the Ferguson tragedy happening right as we were covering Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, and immigration reforms announced as we read Peter Orner’s wonderful oral history collection Underground America, stories of undocumented immigrants, everything we talked about was timely and high-stakes. So the class had a really urgent, real-world feel rather than “I have to take this intro writing class ugh…” (At least – for the students – I hope!)
It’s hard to make a living as an adjunct, though. I appreciated this article very much today. I’m having a baby in June, and that’s starting to feel really real these days, so I’m thinking a lot about career moves. What I love most, that makes me happier than anything, is seeing my work in print, whether a byline in a magazine or of course that greatest satisfaction of on the cover of a book. This fall, I placed two essays, one in O magazine and the other in Marie Claire, the October and January issues respectively. The O piece was about a love of otters, among other things (for their “love your quirks” essay package), and the Marie Claire essay tells the story of strange coincidences that I, a skeptic, encountered after making a vision board against my will. Two articles was nearly equivalent to ten weeks (+more time for grading/reading/planning) of teacher salary. That makes me want to freelance full-time, especially with impending motherhood, but the question is, is it sustainable? Can you rely on selling two or more articles a month to top markets? I’m not sure, but I know the only way to find out if it’s do-able is to do it…

Special Event! One-Day Writing & Yoga Retreat at Beautiful Land of Medicine Buddha

Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Write your book, finish your screenplay, enhance your poetry, tell your story, get that ‘thing’ done (teacher training manual, dissertation, or whatever you’re feeling stuck on)! Get past saying, “one day” and make that day this day….
I will be leading the writing/workshops portion of a writing and yoga retreat. Open to all writers from aspiring to award-winning. This retreat will be beneficial for experienced writers to the newbie wanting to learn more. New yogis or advanced practitioners are welcome. This will also be great for someone just feeling ‘stuck energy’ in their life and could use the space to do some soul searching, release, and gain renewal and clarity.
More information here and here
Investment: Register by Sept. 15th – $125 (includes all workshops, lunch, access to stunning Land of Medicine Buddha facilities such as hot tub, sauna, and pool) After Sept. 15th the cost will be a sliding scale of $150-$200.
Payment can be made via cash, check, or paypal.
Contact me at liza DOT monroy AT gmail DOT com to register and save your spot – or just click here for a trip to PayPal.

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Joan Didion’s reassuring brilliance

Joan Didion on Telling Stories, the Economy of Words, Starting Out as a Writer, and Facing Rejection

October – San Francisco area writers’ retreat

I will be leading the writing/workshops portion of a writing and yoga retreat. Open to all writers from aspiring to award-winning. And all-levels yoga, even novices.

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