Results for Category: update

Quick update

I got a book deal for the nonfiction story collection I’ve been working on for the past few years. Don’t want to go into too much detail now (a few things are still being finalized), but it looks like the book will be published in the fall. More details to follow – hopefully soon.

Also, the Shine a Light outreach continues to have success. In a year or so of work in the tunnels, HELP of Southern Nevada has housed about 40 people and helped turn around their lives. (I don’t recognize some of my old friends … out here in the light, back to their normal weight, all cleaned up and decked out in ironed clothes.) Special thanks to Rich Penksa, Macheo Willis and Louis Lacey of HELP, who’ve been fixtures in the tunnels since the outreach launched.

Finally, Beneath the Neon continues to have some life. The first quarter of 2010 was its best-selling quarter to date. (The book’s been out three years). Thanks to everyone who bought the book and helped spread the word.

Flood follow-up

As forecasted by the National Weather Service, Las Vegas got bombed by rain this week – but as far as I know, no one in the tunnels was killed or seriously hurt. However, a lot of people lost their camps (beds, blankets, clothing, toiletries, photos of loved ones, etc.). They’ve been calling and texting me and Rich of HELP of Southern Nevada for assistance. Last I heard, HELP had placed two people in housing and was in process of assisting others.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Jan. 22 coverage of the flooding included some info about the outreach and the people living in the underground channels:

Story collection update

As some of you know, I’ve been working on a literary journalism (or creative nonfiction) collection for a year and a half or so. Just wanted to update you all on that. I recently finished a 3,800-word story about the Diplomat, a historic apartment complex in the shadow of the Strip – and my home for the last four years. Now I’m working on a story about the Blue Angel, a weekly motel on East Fremont Street – and my home for seven days in late May.

The Blue Angel story, tentatively titled “My Week at the Blue Angel,” will be about 15,000 words and, I assume, the centerpiece of the collection. I have some solid material to work with: poetic color, conversations with the tenants, an interview with Betty Willis (who designed the Blue Angel sign and sculpture). I’m really excited about this story.

Anyway, I hope to finish the story and collection in the next few months. Then I’ll continue to shop it around.

I’ll keep you all updated.

Quick update

Not a whole lot going on right now. Just continuing to work on the story collection – I’ve finished seven stories and have three to go – and enjoy my free time. Reading, playing some basketball, traveling occasionally. Doing some freelance writing and editing to keep some money coming in.

Hopefully, I’ll have more to report in September.

Update on the second book

I’ve finished six of the nonfiction stories I’m working on for my second book. A theme has materialized: off-the-beaten-path Vegas. The stories are about strippers, prostitutes, social workers, ex-cons and transients and they’re set under Caesars Palace, in prisons, trailer parks, weekly motels and sewage plants.

I’ve written a 10-page proposal that includes a working title, synopsis, outline and bio info and I’ve sent it to a few agents and publishing-company editors. I also sent them a few of the stories.

If you know an agent or editor who may be interested in reading the proposal and some of the stories, please let me know.

Cats found a home

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed with suggestions for Billy and his cats. They’ve all found homes. Billy is living in public housing and volunteering at the Las Vegas zoo. The Cat Sanctuary took in three or four of his cats and a local no-kill shelter took in the others.

Activist Linda Lera-Randle El and her crew helped make all this happen. They’ve been amazing.

Quick update

It’s been three weeks since my last day at CityLife, and things are going pretty well. I’ve written an essay for a photo book on Las Vegas (more details later), I’ve finished five stories of a 10-to-12-story collection set in Vegas and I’ve done some freelance writing and editing. I’ve also traveled. (Lake Tahoe is gorgeous this time of year.)

But the coolest thing I’ve done is ride around on my mountain bike. I’ve been riding it (somewhat clumsily) to the gym and coffee shop, and marveling at the simplicity of it. Two sprockets, two pedals, and a chain – da Vinci (if he really did design it) was brilliant! I’ve convinced myself the bike is one of the greatest inventions ever.

Anyway, I should have some news to report in the next two or three weeks. Please check back occasionally.