NEW STORY: A tale of love and indie rock spanning two decades – “Confessions of the Lovestruck” up at @vol1brooklyn

“Confessions of The Lovestruck”

2001

China launched an unmanned spacecraft named Shenzhou 2. Apple debuted iTunes. And Carrie Kahl auditioned for The Lovestrikes. I remember it better than the day we heard “Blood Hunger” went platinum. She had jet-black hair, blue eyes under thick mascara and eye shadow, and lipstick the color of pork’s blood. She wore denim shorts cut off at the knees and a tank top made out of an XL t-shirt with the sleeves removed so you could see her black bra underneath. Her upper arms were dark with tattoos of knife-wielding skeletons with long hair. Warren, Census, and I had been looking for a lead singer for months. We hadn’t really been looking for a woman, certainly not one as beautiful as Carrie. Even though her makeup made her look like a cross between a vamp and a clown, she couldn’t hide how beautiful she was.

Carrie plugged in her guitar and began strumming an A-minor chord and a C with a scratch rhythm. And then she began to sing. I heard Chrissy Hynde. I heard P.J. Harvey. I heard Courtney Love. I heard my heart in my gullet. I don’t remember what words she sang. But my God, her voice.

Read the rest here.

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ACTUAL GOOD NEWS: My next novel NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN is forthcoming in 2019 from @CRPress

A long (8 year) journey from start to finish has finally reached a destination. C&R Press, the home of an array of accomplished authors including Laura Catherine Brown, Brian Leung, Janet Sarbanes, Chris Campanioni, Ariel Francisco, and many many more, will be the home for my next novel NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN. Super honored to be among the humble craftspeople doing their work, and I’ve loved the work Andrew Sullivan and John Gosslee have done for some time.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BOOK

Meet Sirius Lee, a fictive famous Chinese American comedian. He is a no good, very bad Asian. He is not good at math (or any other subject, really). He has no interest in finding a “good Chinese girlfriend.” And he refuses to put any effort into becoming the CEO/Lawyer/Doctor his parents so desperately want him to be. All he wants to do is making people laugh. A cross between Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Jade Chang’s The Wangs Vs. The World, NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN follows Sirius’s life from his poor, suffocating upbringing in the immigrant enclaves of Los Angeles to the loftiest heights of stardom as he struggles with substance abuse and the prejudice he faces despite his fame. Ultimately, when he becomes a father himself, he must come to terms with who he is, where he came from, and the legacy he’ll leave behind.

More soon, and in the meantime…

Check out C&R Press and buy some of their books!

My dystopic story re: race and gentrification “The Whitener” up @AtticusReview, a journal I quite enjoy

“I have occasional bouts of conscience about my work.”

“People call me a Whitener. It’s just a nickname. I don’t like it much. Inaccurate and reductive. My job is cultural—national, even—civic, perhaps. Definitely not racial.

My official title is Foreignness Engineer of the City Council of Commerce. I inspect newly opened businesses and provide their proprietors Customer Experience Recommendations (CERs) that ensure the correct balance between our citizens’ natural desire for foreignness and an experience native to what we all have come to expect from living in America.

Ever notice that, in The City, the most successful high-end restaurants have white servers and maître d’s even when the cuisine is ethnic? I started that. Ten years ago. There was a Vietnamese noodle shop run by Chinese immigrants, and I recommended that they hire whites to serve their customers and increase prices by eighty percent, and it quickly became one of the most popular restaurants in The City, even winning a Michelin star. Diners want to feel like they’re included in the familiar and dominant culture, and most importantly, they will pay for that feeling. Thanks to my little innovation, the CCC made it a standard CER to issue small fines to restaurateurs failing to hire Caucasians for at least 75% of their staff.

Back before it became an official city function, it was called gentrification.”

Read the rest at Atticus Review.

NEW STORY: “Sated” up at Five 2 One Magazine

A little piece of satire in a magazine I’m a fan of.

“Sated is the hottest new restaurant in The City, currying rave reviews from influential food publications and diners alike, not just for its food, which is personally prepared by internationally renowned chef and television host Juan Maures of the three Michelin-starred Maurade in San Sebastian, but also for its philanthropy. Sated donates one percent of each $2,500 reservation to Bread for Bairns, the UK-based humanitarian organization that dates back to the late-1800s when it was a Rhodesian division of the British South Africa Company. But Sated takes its dining experience even a step further. While eating, the diner can choose to watch his/her/their beneficiary dine live on a tablet.

“I was lucky enough to experience this myself (on The City Times company dime, of course), and for ten courses of Maures’s exquisite signature dishes such as duck confit a la orange, quail eggs that taste like salmon roe, and the sustainable and organic lemur en gelee, I watched Mebane, a seven-year-old boy from Dhaka eat a bowl of rice pudding, which he told me was his first meal of the week and was so plentiful that he almost immediately darted off-screen to use what appeared to be an outhouse.”

Read the rest of “Sated” over at Five 2 One Magazine. 

Talked to writer Jhon Sanchez about LETTERS FROM DINOSAURS at Pressenza

“…it is his keen observations and his characters in odd painful, situations that resembles my life.”

“Last year, Leland Cheuk, one of the editors of Newfound, wrote to me accepting one my short stories for publication. My story is dedicated to the New York Mills Art Cultural Center where I was an artist in residence in 2014. There, Leland was also an artist in residence in 2011. It was merely a beautiful coincidence. I was curious about my editor: I checked his website, read some of his interviews and I saw his picture. Leland lives in Brooklyn so do I. Another coincidence, I thought. Then, after I read Letters from Dinosaurs, his latest book I concluded with certainty, ‘this guy has a lot more in common with me than I thought.’ It was beyond my short story; it was beyond his experience at the NYM Cultural Center. Maybe, it is his keen observations and his characters in odd painful, situations that resembles my life. Sometimes, I feel that the opening story, ‘A Letter from a Dinosaur,’ is signed by my own brother to one of his children, or even worse I’m both the writer and the recipient. Leland, thank you for putting together this collection, and let me tell, you sometimes in the subway I looked around for you and I have probably seen you more than once in all of us.”

Read the rest of the interview here.