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Updates: Fun a Day Reseda and The Remainders

Front Cover - The RemaindersFun a Day Reseda will have two weekends of art shows and live performances. If you are in the San Fernando Valley, visit the Reseda Neighborhood Council Community Space at 18118 Sherman Way, Reseda on February 19, 20, 26, and 27 between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. For more information, visit the Fun a Day Reseda Facebook page.

One of the items on display at Fun a Day Reseda is an except from my work-in-progress The Remainders along with my essays about remainders and Reseda. If you can’t make it to Fun a Day, I will make the document available for download after the event.

I completed a draft of the book and started editing. If you’re interested in being a beta reviewer, please fill out the form below. And for updates and daily table topic questions, follow me on Twitter at @maswriter.

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Fun a Day Reseda – The House That Built Me

Fun a Day Reseda - Day 31This may be the end of Fun a Day Reseda, but it’s not the end of my work on The Remainders. I’m working on the last chapter, and I have a lot of editing ahead of me. At least Fun a Day gave me the push to start writing a Reseda book, something I’ve been struggling to do for a while.

In the last week of this month, I also got some valuable lessons about why we need to stay connected to our childhood home.

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Fun a Day Reseda – Writing as therapy

People write for different reasons. One of them is therapy. We like to take out our demons and traumas, have them put on costumes, and make them prance around the stage for our edification and amusement.

This is what The Remainders is for me, a chance to look at issues we’ve been experiencing for a while. But this isn’t a roman à clef where Character A is Person B or even parts of Persons C, D, and E, and what happens to Character F isn’t what I like to see happen to Person G. Writing The Remainders has taken my story and its characters into directions I didn’t expect. As a result, it’s turning into much better therapy and, I hope, better fiction.

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Fun a Day Reseda – When you turn 18

Fun a Day Reseda on Turning 18My son turns 18 today. I’m happy for him. I also recognize that as tough as the past few years have been for him, the ones ahead will be even harder.

I know this because my early adult years were hard. Within a week after my 18th birthday, I got the job at Carl’s Jr. About a month after that, I was robbed and tied up at gunpoint at that Carl’s Jr. And a month after that, my mom had the stroke that left her paralyzed for the rest of her life.

For me, turning 18 was far from the fun-filled romp and joyful celebration of freedom that movies make it out to be. Even under the best of circumstances, becoming an adult is hard. Here’s why and how we can cope with the changes.

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Fun a Day Reseda – What is a remainder and why do you call Reseda one?

Fun a Day Reseda - Day 6After I announced my Fun a Day project, a friend of mine asked what I meant by calling Reseda “a community that has felt ‘thrown away’.” I’ll share with you my answer, but I first want to explain what a remainder is, how communities and people can wind up feeling treated like one, and what to do when we are.

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