A single candle-light on Normal avenue following another fatal shooting in East Hollywood, the fifth in the area this year

Today, Put Your Sunscreen On And Get Ready for Another Walk, Los Angeles

(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 83)

During a time of so much change, one is not unreasonable to ask themselves: what can I change? There is much work to do at home. Many lines to dial up, different items lying around needing to be stored in better places, handfuls of books to finish reading, and more.

But even when we see each of these tasks through, almost at the same time we close the cover on one set of interests, ideas, and responsibilities, we acquire new ones. Before we know it, we find ourselves swept by another cycle of work, traffic, and the need to slow down before it’s too late again.

Maybe that’s the single reason why death is so inconceivable: life as it moves seems like it can never be complete, even if sometimes it feels like it’s just a breath away from closing the covers on us for good.

In my own life, I believe I’ve walked through the same streets that too many young people have not had enough time to see as more than just more concrete they’re confined to.

I believe I owe it to each of them, and so many more lives that have come and gone, to continue putting together the pieces for serious visions of a better Los Angeles, one step and one breath at a time.

Here is to continue working for it, but first, to walk some more for it. The light is calling, Los Angeles.

J.T.

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Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 39

The week ahead will once again move quickly. Just this Monday morning I’ve got two more masks to deliver to another buyer, bringing my total to 30 masks sold for the first week with the accessories.

I’ll head out to the San Gabriel Valley for the delivery, where maybe I can pick up some dumplings afterwards, if not some milk-tea with boba, it feeling like ages since I enjoyed either. Afterwards, I’ll make my way back across to downtown Los Angeles, where I’ll pick up more plain masks from Zenon, the Oaxacan fellow whose work has supplied this whole journey with the goods.

The day from there should transpire, as it usually does, like salt in the palm of my hands. After downtown, I’ll have to decide whether or not to traverse out to Compton, to see Aaron, the brilliant screen-printer whose expertise has given our masks their rightful names; we have also discussed stickers, which it’d be wonderful to get started on.

It’s just that apart from more for Los Cuentos, I’ve also got the 16th episode of J.T. The L.A. Storyteller Podcast to edit for. The good news is that the episode has already been recorded via phone, but the other news is that for some odd reason my voice sounds completely muffled throughout, meaning I’ve got to re-record my parts so I don’t sound like I’m in a bubble.

If all goes according to schedule
, I should have the 16th episode by mid-week, keeping consistent with my two-week intervals between publication.

I’m working on making all of it more stabilized, Los Angeles, but I’ve learned that consistency is the work of miracles coming together. I’ve also learned that if I’m really going to improve on such things as schedules, it helps tremendously to learn from and collaborate with others.

To that end, it’s my pleasure to announce that I’ve been accepted to a publishing workshop this summer with none other than the Los Angeles Review of Books.

It’s been ages since I attended a summer workshop, nearly five years, to be precise, but I’ve realized that if all of my work is not just going to continue, but blossom all over the city like the Spring sunflowers, tulips and daisies prevailing over it now, then I’m going to need to learn from other professionals in the field. I’d say connecting with a group of professional publishers at LARB is an ample step in that direction then, wouldn’t you?

But now we’ve got to hit the road once again Los Angeles; the cuento continues.

J.T.

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Join Who Is Your Neighborhood at LACC this Saturday, October 12, 2019

That’s right! Los Angeles City College is celebrating the College’s 90th Anniversary in East Hollywood with quite the event: a Community Resource Day this Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM on the College Campus.

Naturally, the team behind Back 2 School and I have got to be a part of the special day. So we’ll be staffing a table at the event, where we’ll be talking with visitors about our annual Back 2 School Party, our local Neighborhood Survey, and more ways to get involved with our ongoing efforts to uplift this side of Los Angeles. We’ll also be debuting our brand new banner, courtesy of The Think Farm. Come enjoy the festivities with us!

J.T.