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Showing posts from October, 2011

Why Do You Want To Write? - UPDATED - Writing Workshop & Webinar, Saturday Nov 19, 2011

On Saturday November 19, 2011, from 10:30am-12 noon (Pacific Standard Time), I will be hosting a 90-minute screenwriting and creative writing workshop and webinar, called Why Do You Want To Write?

This really is the essential question any writer faces each time they sit down at their computer, notebook or typewriter (I think there are still a few typewriter holdouts:)

The location for the workshop is the Meeting Room of the Starbucks at The Junction, 13761 Mono Way, Sonora, CA 95370.

Telephone 310-383-7562 for more details - or email: tranquilbuddha@gmail.com

Tickets for the workshop are $20, or $10 if you're a student. Please email me in advance to reserve seating.

The live webinar costs $10 in the US and £10 in Britain and Europe (all webinar payments via PayPal to Alexander Stuart at tranquilbuddha@gmail.com).

The time of the live webinar obviously varies from place to place:


On the West Coast, it is 10:30am-12 noon PST.


On the East Coast, it is 1:30pm-3pm EST.


In Britain, it is 6…

Beethoven's Ode To Joy - Occupy Madrid, Saturday October 15 2011

I was just blown away by this YouTube video yesterday of thousands of people singing Beethoven's Ode To Joy in Madrid's main square (the Puerta del Sol)  to support the first global day of the Occupy movement (OccupyWall Street, also known as O15 for yesterday's date) - so beautiful, such wonderful music and so many people assembled peacefully together in unity. (Linus would have approved:)

Spain/Madrid is where the Occupy protests actually started several months ago to the day - May 15, 2011 - in sympathy with the Arab Spring and to protest Spain's crumbling economy, ransacked by bankers like everywhere else. 

This video yesterday symbolized to me the first truly global day of the Occupy movement...and the fact that hopefully the whole world of the 99% is waking up, waking from a dream (or nightmare) and realizing that this is the time to take back power, to fundamentally change how our societies function. 

That's idealistic and incredibly hard to accomplish, but Gan…

Life On Mars - New Edition Coming Soon

I am revising and editing Life On Mars, my non-fiction account of life in Miami's South Beach of the 1990s, for a new print and Kindle edition to be published later in 2013.


The book explores South Beach during one of its most exciting periods, as it was transformed from essentially a mix of retirement community and crack neighborhood in the 1980s (think: Pacino's Scarface) into a revitalized and lovingly restored Art Deco community in the 1990s, filled with trendy new bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels. 

It was a fun book to write - and a fun book to live with: people would greet me on the street (usually while I was cycling, my preferred method of transport in SoBe), yelling out because they had recognized me from the author photo inside the book.


We made a two-hour British Channel Four television documentary, inspired by the book, called The End of America. The new edition of Life On Mars will include a brief account of working on the documentary, plus the very generous revie…

Sunset of the Year

Writing about the electrical short in the boat reminded me of this, our favorite sunset of the year, when the whole family was out on the water and for about ten minutes we were enveloped by the most astonishing, radiant pink light as the sun began to set.

(Photograph by Alexander Chow-Stuart)

Simple Electricity

Hudson and Paradise were sick yesterday and home from school, but it was such a beautiful day I decided to take them out on the lake, along with our American Eskimo, Stoli, who enjoys adventures of any kind.

We navigated our way through the weed - which at this time of year is thick and can tangle the propellor quickly if you're not careful - but we made it out onto the water and it was just glorious.

We were appreciating the stillness and silence of the lake, and the sight of many geese and ducks preparing to migrate for the winter (we've also seen heron and heard loons at night lately), when I accidentally dropped my metal drinking bottle onto the boat's battery.

There was a spark, a sharp hiss and I had to react very quickly to knock the water bottle off the battery.

It only made contact for two or three seconds - but it was enough to create a short and burn three small holes through the metal casing of the drinking bottle.

Hudson and Paradise were actually quite e…

VIDEO - Keith Olbermann Reads The Statement Released By Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Keith Olbermann Reads The Statement Released By The Wall Street Protesters - 2011-10-05 
This video is going viral. It was originally shared with me by Pam Levitan on Facebook - to whom, many thanks.

Miso The Magnificent

I came across this picture of our lovebird Miso in a tree at Hudson's last school, Muse, in Topanga Canyon.

Miso has been a much-loved part of the family for four years now.

Occupy Wall Street - Wear A Peter King Mask Today!

I love this statement by Republican congressman (New York's 3rd district) Peter King about the rapidly growing #OccupyWallStreet movement - because everything he says makes me love it all the more and proves him to be such a Dick...Cheney.

As anyone who has seen my Twitter feed would know, I have been following the Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy events across the country (see map below) and think they are the most exciting thing that has happened in US politics in years (although I still think that President Obama being elected was a pretty monumental step in itself).

I think we should all let the Occupy movement grow: give it space to find its feet, make statements, contradict those statements, find leaders, find different leaders, make mistakes, do whatever it takes to make the "I am the 99%" slogan ring out across America.

And to those who say these demonstrators don't want to work (hey, there are so many jobs out there right now!) or that by using iPhones a…

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

I actually wept a tear at the passing today of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and - not to be forgotten - the equally magical Pixar Studios.

It was partly a Gaelic good wish for his passing from a friend on Twitter that brought tears to my eyes, but also the fact that Apple - and in particular Jonathan "Jony" Ive, designer of the iPhone, iPad, iMac and iPod - were inordinately kind to Hudson on his seventh birthday this year, thanks also to the kindness of our wonderful friend, Stephen Fry, who arranged the introduction.

Only yesterday, Hudson, Paradise and I were watching the opening of the original Toy Story (the first computer-animated feature, which revolutionized animation as much as anything Walt Disney ever did) and were reminded of Steve Jobs' credit as executive producer. His faith in Pixar and in the potential of computer animation - which has reached astonishing heights with works of beauty and wonder such as WALL-E - was as radical and farsighted as his origin…