FIRST OF ALL, A MILLION THANKS TO COMMENTERS LIKE WOODY AND RICHARD LOCIRCERO WHO KEPT THE CONVERSATIONAL BALL ROLLING WHILE I DISAPPEARED.
It’s been a crazy week. In addition to several hardcore work deadlines, the two East LA parents/former gang members, who are the subjects of the new book I’m working on, An American Family, (based on my year long series for the LA Weekly in 2004), just had a very difficult event occur in their lives that will actually end the book.
I’m not going to give it away, but suffice it to say, it was a heartbreaker for all concerned—including me, the pesky writer. So I spent the last several days hanging out with the family—in court and away from it.
(The photo above is of Luis Aguilar, the dad in the family,. I took it the day his brand new son, Xavier Roque, was born early this past January. Ironically, it was the first time Luis had ever been out of prison to see one of his kids’ born.)
Ever the objective journalist, I tend to get very involved in the lives of those I cover. But, as I tell my UC Irvine journalism students, don’t be afraid to allow your stories to leave permanent marks on you. It hurts more in the moment, but your life and your writing will assuredly be richer for it.
In any case, last night when I got home from my Irvine teaching day, and it came to blogging time, I decided I needed a mental health night off (and a full night’s sleep.)
Much cheerier now.
Okay, now back to actual news—murder and mayhem, dreadful school board decisions, heavily armed adolescents and other favorite subjects.