Stories From California

Public Library - Culver City, CA


First there is the call: your books have arrived and are ready for pick up. Then there is the walk towards the library's book shelves looking for my name. Sometimes I have forgotten what I ordered. Most of the times, I am really excited because I know what is waiting for me: a poet I want to discover, a first time female novelist I hope to learn from, a self improvement book to finally teach me how to find my real inner voice. And use it.

Today FOUR books were waiting for me! I picked up one more on the way out....

I remembered that I ordered: "when they call you a terrorist" by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele. "a black lives matter memoir". I hope to interview the owners of Eso Won Books in Leimert Park next week and learned that this is the book most of their customers ask for these days. I am curious. I want to be prepared. 

Then there is a book of international flash fiction. Wouldn't it be great to turn this journal into flash fiction? I am playing with the idea of mixing fact and fiction for a while now. It is super fun to make things up! I used to do that a lot as a child. I discovered the fun of it when I wrote the book about me arriving in Califronia. I had to 'streamline' some facts to make it digestable. I had a lot of fun doing it. I want to do more of it. 

Then there is Laura Lippman. I just read about her in the Los Angeles Times. Bestselling author writing about "myths and stories that shape our families". I am trying to figure out my own stories. The ones I have been told about me, and the ones I am telling myself. About me. One sentence in the first paragraph stops me in my tracks. Yes - I could not help but take a sneak peek ...

The fourth book I ordered is by Ron Carlson. I have no idea why I wanted that one. I really like the cover. 

And then there is the one I grabbed on the way out: James Baldwin: Go Tell It On The Mountain. We do not learn a lot about James Baldwin in Germany. I did not hear his name before I came to the United States. Time to catch up. It also seems to be about stories being told about a person who then has to find out what the real story is. His own story. You would think everybody knows. I don't ...

I think I could be happy even without a lot of money because there is the public library, there is the ocean, and there are the mountains and the sky. I like rice and beans, and if only I have books to read, pen and paper to write and my companion at my side, I will be happy. I know - that is already a lot to wish for. 

For now I will read and learn how others do it - navigate this life.

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