One of the coolest things about being a writer is the people you get to meet because of your work. For me, one of those people is Emillio Mesa, a writer and hospitality expert from New York City who is a semi-recent San Francisco transplant. He profiled me and The Marriage Act in famed writer and editor Kevin Sessums’ magazine FOUR TWO NINE, a gorgeous new San Francisco-based glossy. Because Emillio is resourceful and always up for adventure, we decided to make the trip down to LA for the magazine’s launch party on the roof of the W Hotel, where we jointly introduced ourselves as “PAGE 26.” Here are a couple pictures from the event, and Emillio’s original unedited Q&A!
Two relationships experts interviewed me about The Marriage Act, what marriage is and should be, and what Emir and I learned from our unconventional union. Check out the podcast here
This week, I interviewed “Penny” and “Emir” about their thoughts on being portrayed in a non-fiction book, whether my marriage to Emir was legal, illegal, or a gray area, and what they like and dislike about the book — and me.
“a tender, true exploration of human relationships.”
Written with wit and wisdom, Monroy captures the mysterious essence of what tugs at our hearts, what makes certain human relationships love affairs, friendships, partnerships. The lines that divide us, the rings that bring us together, and how to find hope when it all falls apart.
Read the full interview here
It’s been over a week since #AWP14 but it feels like two days–I wonder if this feeling is a result of getting older, but I get more of a “hangover” from things, like AWP in Seattle was so much fun, being in the Freerange Reading, moderating “Strange Families: Domestic Stories Illuminating Social Issues,” and seeing all kinds of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances at the bookfair and offsite events (even getting The Profiler to join me in my reading since she’s based there now)–but afterwards I was SO TIRED. Like I needed to hibernate for a week, recharge and get my energy back. This is a strange and foreign feeling so I wonder if it’s the mid-thirties creeping up on me…I kept joking that I was “old” — and I know I’m not, and that age is just a state of mind and attitude anyway — but it really felt different. I need more downtime to recover from intensely social activities. I’m not even caught up on my email yet!
But anyway, the purpose of this post was to share my annual post-AWP roundup of things seen, heard, and learned. This year’s is a simplified version, “The Best Things You Can’t Put In The Tote Bag.”
-Nick Flynn in the passenger seat of my grandmother’s old Toyota, my mom giving him a ride back to the convention center and him asking to stop for pizza first
-Quasi-acrobatic dancing with Antonia Crane and Stephen Elliott after the VIDA reading
-Panel on Post-publication promotion–your book being published is only the beginning, not the end, of its life. Fresh Air had one author on 11 months after her book came out; New York Magazine reviewed a book three months after it came out and “everything changed.” (*reassurance)
-Chuck Palahniuk reading William S. Burroughs for the centennial of his (Burroughs’ birth
-Poet Matthew Dickman at the Copywriting panel: “What does the darkness and the shadow have to do with my anti-lock breaks?” (on being a poet doing copywriting for money). He also said something hilarious about someone telling him a writer should “work with his hands” as his day job, to which Matthew responded, “I’m not going to clean a butcher shop for the rest of my life because you think it’s fucking romantic.” Aside from being amazing and hilarious, he has written Superbowl spots and won awards for his poems.
-Having my mom, The Profiler, speak briefly at the panel about her experience being portrayed in my memoir.
-I am sure there are more, but I forgot.
My mother was a career immigration expert who busted fraud. I was in love with my best friend (just not in the sex-having way) and wanted to marry him so he could stay in the country — with me.
We lived together, shared everything (apartment, bank accounts, grocery shopping, everyday activities and adventures), and I never would believe our marriage anything but legitimate. Mom had more stringent definitions. In this country, when laws are unjust, unfair, and wrong, we change them. Having the power to change laws and ideas that the culture has evolved beyond is part of what makes the U.S. so great.
Here, my mom and I discuss our diverging views on TV. Check us out and chime in with your own perspective in the comments!
My mother says I’m not as clever as I could be.
“Why didn’t you just tell the INS officer you were a virgin before you married Emir?” she asked about the scene in The Marriage Act where an INS officer asks me if Emir is circumcised or not and I don’t know the answer because, well. “Why wouldn’t you just say, ‘I haven’t seen any other penises?’”
Good point, Mom.
Check us out jointly reading a scene together at Seattle’s awesome Elliott Bay Book Company! Great job, Profiler Mom! We will also jointly be on TV in Portland, Oregon on Monday – if KCRW’s Profiler segment was any indication, it should garner some laughs and potentially awkward moments. I’ll post it here when it airs.
Launch for the book was on Thursday at Book Soup, my favorite independent bookstore in LA. We all went down to The Abbey for the after-party, where there were go-go dancers, a bachelor party, and throwback cocktails from the book (ie, Cosmopolitans). I met my amazing editor, Dan Smetanka, for the first time, and had a blast spending the evening with him and a group of LA friends old and new. Dan snapped the picture of me with the go-go dancer (Marriage Act in his bikini bottoms!) and called it “a Soft Skull kind of book party.” Such a good time. I hope Hollywood calls for the book so I can go back…Hey, film execs! READ THIS
I am also on the cover of the Santa Cruz Weekly this week, which is my lovely beach town’s version of the Village Voice. Tomorrow, San Francisco! At BOOKS INC, Castro Location.