#CelebrateLU- June 10, 2016

11 Jun
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating my #PrideChallenge.

Last week I shared some of my goals for the month. I feel a weekly check-in would be a good thing to do to track my progress.

A couple of my cousins from San Francisco visited me. They came all the way to Portland to specifically spend time with me. I was and still am so grateful that they would do that. I have nothing but love for all the people in my life who go out of their way to make me feel special even when they don’t know that’s what they’re doing. I’m a lucky guy.

Their visit was also a great reminder that no matter how much you plan, life will happen. Fortunately, this was a good derailment off course. Paraphrasing a Suze Orman quote, “People first.” None of these self-improvement goals are any good if they don’t ultimately help others in the long run.

I still managed to work on some of my goals which was good. I had to remind myself not to be too harsh on myself because the time I would have spent on my goals were being spent creating moments with family.

On Rereading

“I love it when the books I’m reading seem to be the right ones for me to be reading at the time. The words become as important as the air I breathe.” –Shared on Facebook


I recently reread a couple of books that made me feel like that. I listened to the audiobook version of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. (I hadn’t planned on doing so but it was narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I don’t know if it’s even called a coincidence but Alexander Hamilton was mentioned in the story.) I loved it when I first read it a couple of years ago. I may love it even more now.

(Read my original review of the book here.)

The fact it’s regarded as a great LGBT YA novel- with award stickers on its cover- may actually deter readers from it. Ultimately, it’s a coming of age story about two Mexican-American boys on the brink of manhood who become friends over one summer. It’s also a look into their family lives, of secrets and expectations.

The words are absolutely beautiful. There was a moment toward the beginning of my rereading that I panicked. I had the irrational fear that the story I knew was going to change on me.

I found myself taking longer walks because I wanted to listen more to the story. I fell in love all over again with all the characters- not just the titular characters but their parents as well.

I wish I had read a book like this when I was a teenager. I’m glad this book is now part of my life.

I was beyond thrilled to discover there would be a sequel to be published within the next two years. I can’t wait!


I was feeling a little down a few weeks ago. I asked for- and received- some great book recommendations to cheer me up. I knew it was time for my annual reread of Letters to a Young Poet.

(Read another review here.)

This was my longest time getting through it- not because it wasn’t working but because every word seemed to be even more meaningful to me. There will always be certain passages that jump out at me but others were clamoring for my attention as well. I savored the words. And already I want to reread it again!

On Writing

One of the best things I’ve definitely done recently for my writing is to take time to flesh out my story ideas. “What If?” is a writer’s best friend. It’s been interesting to see where certain stories have led to. Sometimes the new scenarios may lead to dead-ends but even those don’t seem like a waste because I’ve put in my time in that world.

All the World’s a Stage


Tucked at the back of a coffeehouse, Defunkt Theatre is a small intimate space with odd chairs. (You wouldn’t think the metal-framed chairs should recline but they do. I thought it was commentary on my weight.) I watched the Portland premiere of David Zellnik’s The Udmurts about a gay college student who ends up boarding with an eccentric older woman from a dying culture. Disowned by his parents, he falls in with a couple of pickpockets and one of them manages to steal his heart. A crazy scene before intermission leads the play into a finale that didn’t really work to me. Despite that I would still recommend this dark comedy play about identity, history, and finding one’s own tribe.

What are you celebrating this week?


5 responses to “#CelebrateLU- June 10, 2016

  1. carriegelson

    June 11, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    A sequel? Can’t wait. Really enjoyed reading about your celebrations and thinking Earl!

  2. Ramona

    June 12, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I’m impressed with what you managed to fit in this past week with guests in town. I’ve never read Letters to a Young Poet. And you read it annually? Hmm, maybe I should add it to the tower of books I want to read.

  3. elsie

    June 12, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Family first, always a good strategy to follow. 🙂 I am not usually a rereader of books, but perhaps you have convinced me that there is more to learn and relish on the reread.

  4. jarhartz

    June 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    What if? Love that you are entertaining this question in your writing. Great celebration. Thank you for al the links to your reviews.

  5. Crystal

    June 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I too love Aristotle and Dante and am excited for a sequel. Yay for spending time with family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: