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!

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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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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What Is Marriage?

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!

Pub day post! And an open letter/response to “controversy”

The Marriage Act is officially out, and it has been an interesting day. While life continues on as normal in happy little beach town–attempting to housebreak a potbellied pig, having a creative meeting over coffee with a friend, biking home in the sun, eating a Mediterranean Veggie Wrap from a deli–there’s been a whole lot of simultaneous online stuff brewing about the book…from where I sit, it feels like something happening over in a parallel dimension. I muse over the label of “controversy,” as an article in the New York Post–the cover story for the Pulse section puts it. They used the headline (in the print edition) “I was in a sham marriage,” which is what I want to address. I know what the headline writers are going for, but if you read the book, it is actually about revealing all the ways it was NOT a “sham” at all. (And I hate the word sham.) The article itself gets at the more nuanced notions of love, commitment, humor, and keeping someone you love with you, which are main ideas in the book. Calling it a sham may sell newspapers, but what I want to retort here is that I myself never used that word. Never would. Because it simply wasn’t. Which brings me back to the book’s original question: “who gets to decide what is real?” What kinds of love are “valid” or “invalid”–can there be such determining factors? The article spawned a few others, here and here, which pilfered photos from my Facebook page. My intent isn’t a complaint; I’m not easily offended or put off and was amused to see the random Facebook photos there–I prefer a healthy engagement (no pun intended) with difficult, complex subject matter–but what does interest me in looking at this is the nature of the times we’re living in. Everyone has a forum, or at least a (blogging) platform. We have online profiles carefully tailored to convey crafted personas of ideal selves. Everyone has the potential to be connected to everyone else. All material is fair game, public property, part of the commons. And once an author puts a story out there, there is very little she can control about interpretation and reaction. That’s part of what is so beautiful, frightening, and frighteningly beautiful about creating–and releasing–your art, and the ideas that matter most to you in the world.
What do you think? I welcome email and comments, even from the crazy basement people, with your thoughts on the book, the topic of love and marriage and how we define it today.
If you read the book (and I hope you will!) I hope you enjoy it and find some food for thought in there….

Fall 2014: Come on a Retreat With Me! Writing and Yoga.

Information about location and sign-up coming soon!

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things lately

are quite exciting on the Marriage Act front – the first two reviews are in, and they are good!

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See You (and See Me) at AWP

I have loved and gleaned so much from this conference for the past few years. This year, with The Marriage Act forthcoming and a lot to think about re. what’s next, the changing publishing industry, etc, I’m excited to be a part of the conversation. If you’re heading to AWP in Boston, come check out one of my panels and let’s go to some of the fun social events too.

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The Profiler screenplay

Don’t things always come full circle? In college, when I knew I wanted to become a writer, I was double-majoring in film and creative writing, planning to pursue a career in screenwriting (as always, if I could figure out how). When I moved to New York after two years in L.A., though, I landed a job in publishing, and started writing the beginnings of the novel that became Mexican High. I figured I would make my way back to screenwriting eventually, somehow, but that it would probably happen on its own when the time was right.
When Alex Garinger, fellow former intern at City magazine got in touch with me after the Profiler essay came out in the Times, with news that his production company wanted to option the story for a romantic comedy (he and I hadn’t been in touch for about six years!) it was one of those right-thing-at-the-right-time situations. Five All in the Fifth and their article on The Profiler.