Time tripping to Andy Warhol:Revisited

Had so much fun this past weekend at the Santa Monica VIP opening of Revolver Gallery’s “Andy Warhol: Revisited,” which is honoring the artist on the 30th anniversary of his passing.
Viewing Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup cans, Marilyn Monroe portrait and other great works had some personal significance for me as it took me back to May 15, 1994 when I covered the grand opening of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, his home town.
What a blast. The museum formally opened its doors at midnight and stayed open for 24 hours, drawing thousands of Warhol fans and several luminaries from the art and film world. It was one of the first star-studded events I was assigned to cover for Reuters and best of all, I got to sit with the Warhol family at the evening reception because my last name began with Z. Hilarious! I had a great time as the Reuters bureau chief in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s!
Getting back to the present, Angelenos should really try to drop in to the new Revolver Gallery location in Bergamot Station, curated by gallery founder Ron Rivlin, an avid collector of Warhol’s work.
“Andy Warhol:Revisited” is a wall-to-wall, salon-style exhibition featuring over 200 artworks by Warhol spanning from the 60s through 80s, including many of Andy’s iconic works. The exhibition will feature interactive installations, themed rooms, and guest speakers.
“Revisited encapsulates the artist’s fascination with glamour, fame, money, celebrity and tragedy through his artistic creations,” said Ron Rivlin in a statement announcing the exhibit.
Visitors can take a break and take a selfie on Andy’s blood-orange Factory sofa as well as the re-created wall of Campbell Soup cans!

For more info check out: http://revolverwarholgallery.com/

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Happy 2015

Hello blogosphere. After a very LONG hiatus I’m back. After spending the past six months focusing on writing book 3, playing piano and other matters of the heart, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with some school visits in coming months. Nice way to start off 2015.
First stop is Huntington Beach Author Festival on January 27. Others to follow
I’ve enjoyed the months of introspection and found a wonderful writing critique partner with the help of Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. Have also kept busy mentoring pregnant teens and teens who are moms with Writegirl.
Happy and healthy New Year!

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – School’s out!!

Wishing everyone the best summer ever in 2014!!  It’s been a very busy past few days, driving my kid around LA to various end-of-school beach parties, movies, sleepovers, theme parks  and all sorts of shenanigans. Good times! Congrats to all the LA Unified Students who completed the 2013/14 year!

I wish I could be on hand to honor another group of students that I hold dear, but I’m sorry to say  I will have to miss a very special event tomorrow, June 11,  when http://www.WriteGirl.org will hold it’s In-Schools Season-End Celebration.

 So I’ll take this opportunity to give a shout out to the male and female students at La Vida West. These kids, who are already parents or are expecting kids, are working hard to graduate high school. They also work hard to hone their writing skills with WriteGirl mentors. I’ve had the honor to be among these mentors this past year and have posted several blogs about it.

The In-Schools Program is an important component of WriteGirl, and the mentors also work with students at  Azusa Cal-Safe, Destiny Girls Academy, and Road to Success Academy throughout the school year. 

Each year, WriteGirl celebrates the literary achievements  of these kids who face some of the toughest roadblocks that teens can face. The organization encourages a big crowd of supporters to ensure they feel heard and accomplished. Tomorrow, the students will be reading pieces they have worked on throughout the season, as well as debuting their newly published works from WriteGirls’ latest In-Schools Anthology, This is My World.

This event will take place at Maker City LA. I can’t wait to hear about it and wish all the wonderful students that I’ve met the very best of luck!


In other news… I think I’ve got my first piano gig in years coming up… September 7.. stay tuned!

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Santa Fe to Chino

Crazy fun past few days. Went to the fabulous Santa Fe Art Colony walk http://santafeartcolony.org/ on Saturday, where visitors mingled with artists in their living/work spaces in this beautiful enclave in downtown LA. painttable
Met so many interesting artists like Stu Needman http://stuneedman.com/, who creates incredible sculptures out of salvage. Here’s one of his pieces called Fox News! fox .
Also met Deity, artist a singer/songwriter visual artist http://www.reverbnation.com/alivingdeity. Altogether, there were about 46 open artist studios and I’d recommend the art walk to anyone who loves art or just wants to experience something new and relaxing in a beautiful setting, with complimentary drinks and munchies!

My next adventure took me to Chino and Chino Hills, where I had two author school visits in one day! The first visit was at Chino High School poster and the second was at Ruben S. Ayala High School. The kids were awesome and I love the fact that the whole day was the brainchild of a very special 10th grader named Mrunal. group We met a few weeks ago at the LA Times Festival of Books and then she got her school librarian, the wonderful Nancy Shomo, to schedule my visit at Ayala and at Chino! Gotta love those librarians!! And I’m so thrilled a student powered these visits. It was a really fun day and a great way to wrap up the 2013/2014 school year for my author visits — although I will be back in the classroom tomorrow at LA Vida High School as a mentor for WriteGirl.org!

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Sand between my ears

Been so warm out here in LA, I think I’ve caught a bad case of a “sand between my ears” !

Seriously, all I feel like doing is playing piano and hanging on the beach… and writing my book, Healing Rhapsody!

 No complaints. It’s hard to believe life can be somewhat serene for us in this part of the world, while horrible things like the kidnapping of 300 schoolgirls are happening across the globe in Nigeria. I hope this story ends well.

In the meantime, this week I also got to play undercover mom and attended WANGO TANGO!! Image

Such a blast from Maroon 5, to Shakira to Ariana Grande to Paramore to … the list goes on and on and on! Fun day in the Sun Day.

Mother’s Day was also sweet and this past weekend and I am now looking forward to visiting the open studio of the Santa Fe Art Colony in downtown LA http://www.santafeartcolony.org/
You should drop by if you’re up for some great art, wine, food or to just take in the cool, relaxed creative atmosphere!

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Pop Awards and RIP Deb Sherman

Attended the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and PUblishers) 31st annual Pop Music Awards last night at the Loews in Hollywood, where the organization honored rocker Tom Petty, composer of countless hits like “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Refugee,” with the prestigious Founders Award..

   Petty was introduced to the audience by fellow songman Jackson Browne. “If you want to spend an evening noticed by no females go out with Jackson Browne,” quipped Petty has he took to the stage.

 “My life is one long recording session and for that I’m grateful,” said Petty in receiving the award, who referred to himself as just a “sh**kicker” from Gainesville.
The band, fun, was also honored  and picked up the ASCAP Vanguard Award, while Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” won its writers, including Thicke, Clifford T.I Harris and Pharrell Williams, best song of the year.

The awards reception was a nice way to brighten an otherwise very sad day following the passing of Reuters correspondent Debra Sherman on Tuesday morning, who was oh so lovely and taken way too soon from us. RIP Deb. http://blogs.reuters.com/cancer-in-context/

Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Cherry Blossom, Asian art, Hawaiian workshops!

Just had a great time celebrating Easter and Passover and Asian traditions in San Francisco! On Easter Sunday, we caught the early part of the Cherry Blossom Parade in Japantown, San Fran where folks get to dress up as their favorite anime characters!


ALso went to the Asian Art Museum there and saw a fabulous exhibit on the history of Yoga. And while we’re on the subject of Asian Art, my friend, the fabulous Hollywood Actress and voice over extraordinaire Yumi Iwama, just alerted me to a cool thing she is doing this summer with fellow thesps Amy Hill, Brian Mulligan (also Yumi’s husband). The idea for the workshops was hatched through their affiliation with the renowned Los Angeles theater, East West Players http://www.eastwestplayers.org. The three actors will be teaching acting workshops for Pacific New Media at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Oahu actors can take advantage of a rare opportunity to get top-notch coaching and career tips from busy Hollywood professionals.
The three classes offered are “Cold Reading, “Acting for the Camera,” and “The Business of
Acting.” The classes are for beginning actors as well as seasoned professionals, and everyone in between and will be held on July 12 and 13, 2014, as part of the Pacific New Media Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Registration link: http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/pnm/
Amy Hill is well known for her many television and film roles, including Enlightened,The Office, Seinfeld, Friends, and her groundbreaking role as Grandma in All American Girl. Brian Mulligan is an award winning director and actor whose credits include Scandal, True Blood, Criminal Minds, Hart of Dixie, and Vegas. He received his MFA with honors in Drama and Teaching from California State University at Long Beach, where he is currently a faculty member. As a teacher and coach for the past 20 years, he has helped launch careers for hundreds of students, including Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, and Simon Helberg.
Yumi Iwama is a TV, voiceover and commercial actress and has appeared on Kickin’ It, Diagnosis Murder, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and recently co-starred in the world premiere of Tea with Music at the East West Players theater.
Iwama learned from Marilyn Tokuda, Arts Education Director of East West Players, that there was a need for actorsʼ resources in Oahu. Tokuda had hosted a successful actors’ event for Oahu actors in 2013 through East West Players. Around the same time, Hill approached Iwama and asked if she and Brian would be interested in teaching in Hawaii. Hill and Iwama originally met through the East West Players. The team hope to make the workshops a yearly event and plan to expand to Maui in 2015.