Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Editing Your Stories


How many stories do you have in your heart, waiting to be told?

What keeps you from telling them?

Sometimes you start to write and it gets too complicated and the characters don't do what you want them to do and the locations aren't clear and the timelines won't fit and you begin to lose track and you give up, because you can't onto the page what you see in your mind.

Sometimes you get that right. It's all in order and the characters behave. But there's something missing, a spark, a voice.

Sometimes you've got it all: a great story and a clear voice. But you don't know where the hell all that punctuation is supposed to go.

Every author needs an editor. I know this because I'm an editor. And a proofreader. And a story editor. I've edited two books and proofread countless other works. And I would never publish without the help of a professional who is not me. (Okay, maybe I'd publish a blog post.) But when I speak about getting an extra pair of eyes to look at my work, I'm speaking about professional eyes in someone else's head. Extra eyes on my own head would look too odd even for me.

So I've teamed up with my favorite editor and writing teacher, John Sandel, to provide editing services, from proofreading to structure to story editing. John is also signing up students for Script Kitchen, a class to help you structure and finish your full-length story, like a novel or screenplay. You can take Script Kitchen online or in person.

Take a look at our new Editing Services page and tell us what you think. What should we call it, for example? And if you've got a story in you that needs to come out, let us know how we can help you find your voice.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ideas


It may feel like inspiration comes from nowhere. But I think we create it ourselves.

My father-in-law says "preparation, incubation, inspiration, implementation." To me this means research, thought, the aha moment and the jotting down.

Lately I've been doing the preparation and incubation part: I research a possibility, think about it, look it up in another place or think some other maybe-kind-of thought, come up against the wall that is my insecurity or my taste or perhaps my own good sense, then throw it all away and start over again at that nowhere place from which inspiration does not come. One is told to trust the process. Ha.

This morning I was visiting with friends and one of them said something that gave me that light bulb, that inspiration, that aha!

Now I know inspiration comes from my girlfriends.


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Come by the Buena Vista library in Burbank Saturday, 10/18 from 1-4 pm. Sign up to win a free copy of "Camelot & Vine" and say hi to 50 local authors. The information is here.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 18th in Altadena

Big doings in Altadena this weekend! What to do, what to do? Here are a couple of things not to miss. I'd say go to the rally first, then head off to Eliot School because:

Altadenish must vote Yes on Measure A November 4th—that is, if the Altadena Libraries are to survive. This Saturday there will be a rally at 9am. The rally will last about 20 minutes and from there volunteers are encouraged to go door-to-door in the neighborhoods around the Branch. I wish I had this on my ballot, but Pasadenamanians do not get to vote on this one.
More info at www.AltadenaAlliance.org.


An equally worthy cause needs your attention on the same day!
Pasadena Rotary's "Done In A Day" Move-In for Room 13 at Eliot School begins at 9am Saturday, too. Room 13 has outgrown its original studio and is moving to the south side of the campus. Enter the parking loto on Boston Street and lend a hand.

Eliot School's first Room 13

Volunteers are needed:
For cleaning, we need help sweeping and mopping floors, washing windows, (there is one wall which is basically all windows), and everything needs a good wipe-down. 
For building, we need people with carpentry skills to help build shelving and tables. Also to paint the furniture, gesso canvases, put up organizers and wall hooks, curtains.  
For sorting and setting up, we need lots of help organizing supplies into their various centers (painting, drawing, clay, fiber, printmaking, library, photo and digital arts), and furniture put into place. 

Not handy? How about some in-kind donations?
Room 13 needs fabrics, digital cameras, clay, paint, sketchbooks, beads, sewing machines, t-squares, turpentine, canvases new or used, oils, watercolors, acrylics, dressmaker forms, pins and needles, yarn, thread—anything you can make art with.

Please call Patricia Hurley to let us know how you can help. Share this with your company, family or friends. Phone (626) 590-1134 with questions or just show up. Thank you!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Art Night II

Art Night Pasadena brings happy crowds to Pasadena's many art venues and last night that included the Central Library. It was a family-friendly event with local authors, artists, dancers and musicians and it was a huge success.

How often does my book get its picture taken with celebrities?

The Reiyukai Creative Recycling display was particularly striking. Their table was busy all evening, with kids making beautiful boxes and decorations out of milk cartons. They teach workshops! Contact them here.

Throughout the evening Terry Bailey was creating interactive books on her iPod with art and music along with the words. When Terry comes to your book group she brings her iPod and plays the book's music for you.

I'm constantly amazed by the high quality and sheer number of programs offered by our library system. Adults, kids, teens, Shakespeare lovers, manga lovers, you name it. I highly recommend you subscribe to their monthly newsletter and enjoy the free amazingness our libraries have to offer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Art Night

Topiaries, by Christie Beniston, is part of Pasadena's Rotating Art Exhibition program
I took this photo in February of 2012. 
Bellis reports that the art is still there at the corner of Walnut and Catalina.


Do your Friday night plans include Art Night Pasadena? If not, you must cancel whatever you've got going on and get yourself some free art!

Have you ever wondered what they're doing up in them thar hills at the Art Center College of Design? Maybe you'd like to catch a dance performance, or a nostalgic video about the Robinson brothers, Jackie and Mack. How often do you get to go to the Norton Simon for free, or see beneath the foundations of Room 13? Or maybe you'd like to check out a newer gallery like the Off-Ramp.

Music, theater, dance, art, more and more. You can't possibly see it all but you can try, with the help of free shuttles between venues.

One stop I hope you'll make is at the Pasadena Central Library, where I'll be meeting and greeting visitors along with other authors, artists and well-known storybook characters as we celebrate 130 years of reading in Pasadena. There are so many great Art Night activities for kids and the library is one of them, with family fun activities; musical performances, craft making, comics creators and more.

If you're not too worn out, don't forget the Art Walk on Saturday, when you can stop by Vroman's and see Debbi Swanson Patrick's Telling Images in Art on the Stairwell, with a reception from 1-3 pm.

While you're at it, Altadena has an important vote coming up on November 4th. Please vote yes on Measure A and keep the Altadena Libraries going!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Freebies

Blog friends have been my online support through thick and thin. I think you've all read Camelot & Vine by now. You've certainly heard enough about it. But as the publication of Act As If approaches, I want to give you some chances to read Camelot & Vine or share it with a friend for free. I want you to take a chance on the book so you can find out you love it, because you will. And then you'll buy Act As If.

Through October 30th, Camelot & Vine is available exclusively through these Amazon channels:

Kindle Unlimited: This is Amazon's ebook service where you pay $9.99 a month and they give you access to over 700,000 titles, including Camelot & Vine. Kindle Unlimited is great for voracious readers who read more than one book a month. Members read all they want for a monthly fee. You also get to keep the book on your Kindle as long as you keep your subscription going.

Amazon Prime Lending Library: Members of Amazon Prime can borrow one free ebook every month. Camelot & Vine is available this way as well.

Kindle Owners Lending Library: Essentially the same as Amazon Prime Lending Library when it comes to ebooks. Either way you need a Kindle.

Camelot & Vine is also part of the Amazon Matchbook Program, where you buy the paperback and get the ebook for 99cents, and you don't have to be a member of anything. And remember, the holidays are coming! Books make excellent gifts!

I don't know if you can see the spine: my publishing company is called Boz Books.

I don't know why it seems fitting that my book should be next to the works of Burgess. It's not fitting at all, really.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Be You

Two favorite quotes I've been trying to live by lately:

"I'd rather be respected than liked." - Gale Ann Hurd

and

"Better to be an asshole than a chicken-shit." - Sheldon Patinkin

Like many women of my generation, I was brought up to be "nice." It has taken me too many decades to realize that "nice" gets you nowhere. But "nice" can be an unconscious reaction.

There's nothing wrong with being kind, but there's a fine line between being nice and allowing one's self to be walked on. And this is a hard thing to learn. I've slammed the lid on my own Pandora's box of thoughts, words and needs so many times that people who know me often say, "What do you want, really? You have a right to say," while they try to drag it out of me.

To say "No thank you" is not the same as the more definitive "No," which in turn differs from "No way, you jerk," if the situation warrants.

Learning to say any variation of No is a process for me. Or Yes, for that matter. And I'm not the only one.

I like these old sidewalk stamps in Pasadena. I suppose they're only in the pre-WWII neighborhoods but don't quote me on that.


This one's post-war. You can quote me.

The hardest thing to be is yourself. At least that's true for me. And yourself changes, with breakthrough after breakthrough, throughout your life. "Breakthrough" sounds kind of glorious, but sometimes it's just plain hard work.

Being my best self is easy at home with my loved ones (none of whom are jerks, by the way). But out in the world, being myself means being honest as well as politic, and being glad of my achievements as well as my weaknesses. It means not hiding behind "nice."

Damn. I guess that means I'm a person.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week

Well, this is pathetic. I was so pleased with myself because Banned Books Week is here and I'm a big fan of banned books. But this pile of innocents is all I could find on my shelves. We still have boxes in the garage so there's hope for me yet.

You can google Banned Books and find list after list of them. It's shocking, I tell you! However, I'm coming clean. Even though I don't dare keep them on my shelves, I have read many of the books on this list:

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I am the only person who doesn't like this book. I just read it again, and I don't care about anyone in it.

2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
I am the only person who hasn't read this book. I want to.

3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
I've read this. I'm sure I have. Or I saw the movie.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
I just read this for the first time! I wish I could do that again. To read a book like this for the first time is like floating down a river and enjoying the scenery while a wise and powerful guide does the rowing.

5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
I read this when it first came out. Loved it. Saw the movie and loved it, too.

6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
Nobody has read this book. Everyone says they have. My father might have read it. He had a well-worn copy.

7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Loved it.

8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
This one kind of freaked me out.

9. 1984, by George Orwell
This was already quaint when I read it in high school. At least I thought so at the time.

11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
Now we're seeing the first one on the list that perhaps should be kept out of the hands of children and pedophiles. If you don't fit into either of these categories, I suggest you sit back and let Nabokov row your boat.

12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
What a gorgeous book. The play, when done well, is a thing of heartbreaking beauty. The last time I saw it was at Deaf West Theater and they were brilliant.

15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
I'm putting this on my list with Catcher in the Rye. Haven't read it. Want to.

etc.

16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

You see I could go on. I'm sure you could, too. Do you have favorites here? Are there books you'd like to ban? Should certain books be banned or not? Why or why not?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Boz, One Year Gone


I've been thinking of today as a milestone, the day I'd stop grieving for Boz. I'm incorrect about this, of course. You don't just hit the one year mark and say, "OK! Done! Whew!"

In some ways I don't want to stop missing Boz. I'd feel guilty. Call me silly. And guilt is only part of it. I don't think I'm going to stop missing him no matter what.

Boz's all-time favorite thing was to run in water. It even beat treats and belly rubs. We took him to Hahamongna several times a week and he'd run up and down in the rivulets, biting the water and getting as muddy as he could.

The times we took him to the beach were just as joyous--more so for him, because the ocean stinks more than fresh run-off from mountain rain.

Boz wasn't always old.

We thought of walking at Hahamongna today and sprinkling some of Boz's ashes in the water to commemorate his time with us. But it's too hot to be outdoors, and anyway, there's no water there now. Maybe we'll take his ashes there in the spring. Only a little bit of them. Neither of us can part with the whole batch, the whole dog.

I don't know if we'll ever be able to let Wilma off her leash to run in the water. Wilma would love it and so would I; there's nothing like seeing a domestic animal running free. But her safety comes first.

John and I are dog people. We love dogs, love to be around them. I was eager to adopt Wilma and she's wonderful. But Boz will always be my sweetie. I wonder if all pet people are this way. Are you? You love them all, but there's that one, that special one, who will always be your love.

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Remember, the Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walk is September 28th. You can sign up to walk or donate money at the PHS site, or do the same with my friend Paula Johnson's Rose City Sisters team (a.k.a. pack).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wilma's First Three Months

Today marks 3 months since Wilma came to live with us. Together, we've:

graduated from the Reactive Rover class at the Pasadena Humane Society
 where we acquired evasion tactics for avoiding malicious fluff-dogs;
learned to walk politely on the leash (mostly);
not killed any squirrels;
and
begun to sort of ignore cats.

I don't know if Wilma will ever feel safe with other dogs or if she'll ever gain self-control around the squirrel concept. But isn't it amazing that a dog can learn self-control at all? She's come a long way.

In the house Wilma is more able to focus, and we're learning each others' language. Except see that blue toy in the picture? She ate it. We knew she had done so when one evening we were sipping our non-alcoholic beer by candlelight, and Wilma was gnawing away at her blue toy, and we were feeling all domestic and rosy. And we looked over and the toy had disappeared. Speaking of self-control.

The adjustments you must make to a new family member are real. Wilma requires more attention and training than Boz did because she's Wilma. Boz was an exceptionally easy dog because he was Boz. It's unfair to compare them, though difficult not to.

I was relieved when Wilma upchucked that little pile of blue cloth a couple of days ago. I imagine she was, too.


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Remember, the Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walk is September 28th. You can sign up to walk or donate money at the PHS site, or do the same with my friend Paula Johnson's Rose City Sisters team (a.k.a. pack).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wiggle Waggle Walk

photo by John Sandel

Every year, the Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walk unites families and dogs to raise funds in support of dogs that don't have families. There will be a fashion show and a look-alike contest.

I don't much resemble Wilma except in lounging posture, and neither of us is ready to be in such a big crowd. However, you can see by the photo above that Wilma wags in support of this cause. What you can't see is how her whole body wiggles when she wags. I've started wiggling and wagging right back at her. I think she gets it.

My friend Paula Johnson is heading up the Rose City Sisters team (a.k.a. pack) for the Walk. Here's what Paula says about the event:

I am thrilled to help support the animals at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA by participating in the 16th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk on Sunday, September 28, 2014 in Brookside Park in Pasadena. Your donation will help provide nourishing food, safe shelter and medical care to over 12,000 animals this year! Your contribution will also help fund the low cost spay/neuter program, the adoption program, wildlife services, humane education programs and more. Help the animals by making a gift today.

If you're looking for a team, you can join Paula's. If you can't make it on the 28th you can still donate money via her team, or anyone else's.

We have always had shelter dogs. They require dedication, just like any relationship, and like any relationship, the dedication is worth it. I suggest you don't make physical resemblance to you a requirement when adopting, but there's something for everyone.

Here are some photos from the 2013 Wiggle Waggle Walk. And check out this video, made by a favorite local celebrity in 2012.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Rain

Well, that was nice. For some of us.

A certain person named Wilma charged bravely out the back door to secure the perimeter against rain-crazed squirrels. Then she came in and crashed from the stress, curling up in her bed and moaning with disgust. Either that or she was snoring.

It's a good day to curl up, preferably with a book, but for some people that's not an option.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Poetry in a Train Station Bar

 
Ann Erdman asked me to follow up on Selfies, an event I attended September 3rd at Union Station's Traxx Bar

The best thing about it: we met some bright, smart people. The worst thing about it: a bar is not a great venue for literary readings. Some slob near us kept ignoring the readers and chatting away in full voice. A man at the bar took a phone call, with obvious concern that the person at the other end wouldn't hear him unless he shouted. (This was a fine moment, as poet Neil McCarthy took the microphone and wandered over to the bar, making the man's phone call even more difficult while the man was none the wiser. Catch Neil in a reading if you can. He is one hell of a poet, and his speaking was worth the whole evening.)

So, it had its moments. We authors were our own small but enthusiastic audience.

Just now I looked at Ann's blog to get her link. She posts a listing of all the great free things to do in Pasadena every week. (You should follow her blog.) The first thing on this week's list is a program at the library through October 9th called Dust, Drought and Dreams Gone By. It's about the Dust Bowl disaster of the 1930's.

You would think this would remind me of the drought we're having in California, but it reminded me more of my father.


He was born in 1916. In 1932 at the age of 16, he was the teacher at the local one-room schoolhouse, Fargo Dist. No 1. Everybody was poor where he came from in western Kansas.

As a boy he endured the Great Depression. As a young man he found work as a cowboy during those Dust Bowl years. In his late twenties he went off to World War II. It doesn't seem like he ever got to live for himself. He was always working for his family, or his country, or his kids. But he never talked to me of hardships.

He was a poet and a drinker, and he certainly would have appreciated a fine Irish poet holding forth in a drinking establishment. Maybe he worked so hard so I could enjoy such things for him.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Selfies

I have your instructions:

Hop on the train this Wednesday evening, September 3 at around 7 or 7:30 depending on where you're coming from. You can get on just about anywhere in the LA area, and your train will take you to Union Station. Join us there at 8pm at Traxx Bar for SELFIES, a showcase of self-published LA authors. Find out what the self-publishing craze is all about.

Or you can just ask me, but can you trust me?

This free event is put on by Writ Large Press and DTLAB as part of their #90for90 series. That's 90 days of writing events
every
single
evening
for 90 days straight.

Just #2for2 would exhaust me. These people are amazing.

I read an essay from Act As If for one of their events about ten days ago. This time I'll be reading from the pages of Camelot & Vine.

I guess that means I'll be #2for2 by the time it's over, which means Thursday, I'll be exhausted.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Boz Books Biz

This just in: I'll be reading from "Camelot & Vine" Wednesday, September 3rd at 8pm in Selfies, a showcase of self-published LA authors, at Traxx bar in Union Station. This is a fun, casual venue and it's easy to get there. Everyone will read a few minutes of their work. Come find out why best-selling authors are leaving their publishers to hop on the self-publishing bandwagon.
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Did I ever tell you that Boz Books is an actual publishing company? Yup. The company pays taxes and everything. And it's about to publish its second book.

Woohoo!


Act As If: Stumbling Through Hollywood With Headshot in Hand will be out very soon. I learned from experience with Camelot & Vine not to give an exact date until it's absolutely certain. But soon. I hope to have a coming out party this time so watch this space, you'll be invited.

There's also news for Camelot & Vine. It's now part of both the Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited programs, as well as Amazon's Matchbook program where you buy the paperback and get the ebook for 99 cents.


Kindle Unlimited is Amazon's subscription service for readers in the U.S. If you're a member you pay a monthly fee to read as many books as you want from a huge (ebook) library.

Not in the U.S.? Camelot & Vine is also part of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.
All you have to do is go to my links, or go to your account, and join.

Borrow, read, love, let me know...


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photo: The Mystery & Imagination Bookstore in Glendale, CA

Monday, August 25, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, III

In my previous post about the Los Angeles City Archives, I described an "organized room" and a "disorganized room." But that's not accurate. The organized room looks meticulous and tidy, yet it holds vast mysteries. And the disorganized room you see here, the vault, is very much in order in many ways. Yet there's work to be done.

Archivist Michael Holland cannot shelve, check and itemize every day. There are documents to be delivered, boxes to be retrieved, city officials to be informed. The job is immense.

I'd love to give Michael a staff to go through it all. But there's something beautiful about these old books as they are. In a way, I hope there will always be mysteries in the archives.

Then again, organization has its beauties, too.

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You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, II

In my previous post I showed you an impressive room at the Los Angeles Archives. I think of that room as "The Organized Room." It's awesome in the true sense of the word.
Perhaps even more awesome is "The Disorganized Room." This one's a vault. Many of the files are ancient by California standards, some are of more recent memory. Some are in need of repair, some just need to be organized. There are photos, paintings, memorabilia and documents. Michael Holland, the Los Angeles Archivist who gave me a tour, has a big job on his hands. So did the Archivist before him. So will the Archivist to come after. There is so much here it will never be finished. "I'm in danger of learning something new every day that I come to work," said Michael.


Before 1877, all court documents were written in Spanish, by hand. This document is from 1850.

After 1877, legal documents began to be written in, or translated into, English.

 
I offered to take this old library shelving cart off the City's hands if it was taking up too much space. My offer was not accepted.

See that red tank behind the cart? It contains halon gas, a fire retardant used in spaces where a sprinkler system would do too much damage. If there should be a fire, the halon gas comes down from above and suppresses the oxygen in the room to keep the documents from catching fire. If that ever happens, the tanks would not be refilled with halon in the future because halon is now outlawed. LA still has it because it's never been deployed.

If you're working in the depths of the vault, you have 30 seconds to get out before there's no oxygen left. I couldn't forget that the whole time I was there.

More to come. I have a few more pictures to show you from the vault.

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You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Los Angeles Archives, I

In another life, a dream life, I was an archivist. I worked among the dusty files, cataloged and notated maps, learned to preserve the oldest books. I researched the answers to obscure questions. I found letters that had been lost and forgotten, and brought them back to life. I was a curator of the arcane.

This is the life of Los Angeles Archivist Michael Holland, who gave me a tour of the City Archives the other day. First, he showed me this room:

 

Neither words nor photographs can do justice to this space. I gasped quite a bit before pulling myself together to photograph Michael in the presence of 290,000 boxes of files. The shelves on the left securely hold box after box, from floor to ceiling. The shelves on the right are a vestige of those that were used before the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. To say the least, the quake showed the necessity for change.

The contents of boxes are known by the department that generated them, and not necessarily by Michael and his staff. Each box can be located by a bar code.


I love looking down this dark hallway of shelves. A mystery could happen there. An electric current runs through the line on the floor to guide the fork lifts. And a fork lift can raise a person to the highest shelves.

Michael told me many stories. My favorite: through a complicated bureaucratic process, some files become obsolete and are eventually slated for destruction. It's a cycle. Since the Northridge quake, some of those that were set to be destroyed remain undiscovered. They're still in the archives, possibly mis-marked or not marked at all. An intern is working to find them. A quarter of a million boxes is, after all, a lot to go through, and our Archivist does what he can with a small budget. Other things are of more immediate concern.

This is the original deed to Griffith Park. The original.

You can visit the Los Angeles Archives, too. (You even can see some records online.) If you want a tour, just call for an appointment. If you want to see a specific document, you need to call ahead for that, too, so the document can be found and retrieved for you.

Michael can often be heard on KPCC's Off Ramp with John Rabe, Saturdays 12-1pm and Sundays 6-7pm. Thanks to Anne Louise Bannon for setting up the tour and coming with me. There's another room and I took a lot of pictures so there'll be more in a few days.