Gabrielle David

sharing personal thoughts & ideas

2Leaf Press is finally live . . .

I’ve been wanting to do 2Leaf Press for over ten years, and now, I’ve finally announced it! Papo is going to be our first author, and check it out, we’re doing a bilingual edition of his work, which is really exciting! What’s even more exciting is that we’re getting interns from Hunter College (NYC) to do the translations. Awesome! Check out the new website and tell me what you think.

Promoting phati’tude

Now that things are winding down, and I am no longer crushed with producing phati’tude Literary Magazine (our next deadline is January 6 for the Latino issue).  I am trying to catch-up with the usual stuff:  filing, combing through and answering emails, bookkeeping and interviewing interns.

I think, rather I know that a lot of people think that the magazine’s operation is huge . . .  that we have offices in New York City and a huge staff to put out the kind of magazine we publish.  I can only wish.  We run on a cloud, dispersed in different parts of the country, by volunteers with a pretty much non-existent budget.  It’s taken me almost a year to find some dedicated editors to work on this in a volunteer basis (Jennifer-Crystal Johnson, Rebecca Kaye and Karen Chau) and a great Art Director (Lorraine Miller Nuzzo, who has been with me for years), and a marketing person (Michelle Aragon), but unfortunately, the bulk of the work falls on me: layout, typesetting, the voluminous paperwork (contracts, galley proofs and keeping in contact with the writers), blah, blah, blah.

Everyone thinks publishing is glamorous, hardly not.  It takes a certain personality, drive and determination to put yourself on the line, emotionally and financially, to produce a publication that many people may not read.  Of course, short of being a fatalist, I believe phati’tude Literary Magazine has a good chance of going mainstream, if given the chance.  So I keep it moving . . .

Check out the magazine on, support phati’tude.

Give the gift of Giving, Give phati’tude.

Stayin on track, turning over a new leaf

These last two months have been harrowing, what with publishing issues on top of each other. I’m now down to the final wire, back-tracking and doing major clean up (answering emails, updating Facebook and LinkedIn, promoting the magazines, catching up with bookkeeping and filing, creating a marketing campaign, fundraising, etc.)

I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog as much as I would like, although my attempts at writing here and there is, I think, rather admirable. But I am turning a new leaf by trying to stay on top of this. First, it helps me with the writing I have yet to tackle, of a more personal nature and second, it kind of puts me out there with the public, in terms of who I am and what I am all about. I think 2012 is going to be the breaking point, with everything. And I hope it’s all good. Stay tuned for more!

I’m in danger of losing my mind . . .

I’m really trying to keep it all together, the summer started out very promising, but when the service provider for the websites threatened to kill our websites or pay out more money (from $99 per year to $200 per month, I think we can call this blackmail!) and then the crashing of the summer issue (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall and had a great fall), the endless emails from writers, the demands of getting the Fall issue out, if not on time, close to it; little to no money, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah . . .

The only thing that gives me peace is the 20 minutes to half hour I give myself every night reading my Kindle. It helps calm my mind, I get to disappear into someone else’s stories (right now I’m reading In My Father’s Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles, by Chris Welles Feder, it’s pretty interesting).

Such is the life of editing. I am frustrated that I am not writing my own stuff, so busy reading everyone’s writing except my own. But as I read these biographies and autobiographies, I get a better sense of how I want to write my memoirs and stories. Hopefully 2012 will be the year I can finally complete them. It’s the writer;s curse.


Look what I’m reading on Kindle!

I am reading quite a bit on my Kindle.  I am actually buying hardcover books that I wouldn’t normally buy, for a fraction of the cost.  Here is what I’ve read in the past month:

The Thirty-first of March: An Intimate Portrait of Lyndon Johnson’s Final Days in Office
Horace Busby
Never heard of this guy but took a stab at this and found this to be a very personal story that is touching and insightful.

Jokes My Father Never Taught Me
Rain Pryor
A very compelling story, comedic, honest, sad and insightful. Great read.

BAD BLOOD: Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, and the Tumultuous 1960s
Jeffrey Smith
I always love reading about the relationship between Johnson and Robert Kennedy. The last book I read on this was about ten years ago, and this latest book was just as engrossing.  Smith actually brings to light some issues I was not even aware of, and I’ve read tons of books about the Kennedys and Johnson. Good read.

Mr. S
William Stadiem, George Jacobs
This book was written by Sinatra’s valet, George Jacobs, who worked for Sinatra for many years.  Besides knowing all the ins and outs of Sinatra’s lifes, including his wives and children, Jacobs shares his relationship with Sinatra as well. By the time Sinatra married his last wife, Barbara, things kind of went south and Sinatra fires Jacobs and after many years of dedicated service.  Yet despite this, Jacobs’ book is not vicious, he clearly speaks of Sinata with great warmth and on the whole, the book  is informative,  and a bit melancholy.

My Father’s Daughter
Tina Sinatra, Jeff Coplon
Tina speaks about her dad from the heart. Well written book, correlates closely to George Jacobs’ book.

Ava Gardner: “Love Is Nothing”
Lee Server
I read Ava’s autobiography years ago and was thoroughly entertained, but I feel that Lee Server’s book is more accurate. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank
Barbara Sinatra
Written by Sinatra’s last wife, I found her viewpoint very slanted, in her direction. Sometimes, it’s so obvious, it sounds like an advertising pitch. Not surprisingly, Barbara’s book doesn’t correlate with Sinatra’s valet, George Jacobs and Tina Sinatra’s book.

Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary
Juan Williams
The read in this was okay, not great, but Thurgood’s story was very interesting and I learned what made him tick.

Robert Mitchum: “Baby I Don’t Care”
Lee Server
This book was a hoot! Mitchum was so non-pluss about acting and about life in general, he was the kind of guy who did what he wanted, when he wanted. What a great read!

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
Alison Arngrim
A totally fun book. Alison played “Nellie” in “Little House on the Prairie” and the book is a total hoot. A must read!

Some of It Was Fun: Working with RFK and LBJ
Nicholas deB Katzenbach
I found this book extremely insightful. Katzenbach speaks honestly about the Kennedys, the 1960s, and manages to hold on to his convictions regardless of the politics and red tape he had to deal with.

I’m Over All That
Shirley MacLaine
When MacLaine shares stories and anecdotes about her life, it’s highly entertaining. When she goes into tangents about her past life, not so much, it’s hard to follow. So I ended up reading only portions of the book. Maybe I’ll go back and read her first one, and in that I’ll learn more about her. We’ll see.

Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant
James U. Cross
Cross worked very closely with Johnson. He admired him immensely but he understood the man and his faults and peculiarities. Very insightful, great read.

I Gotta Kindle, I Gotta Kindle!

I finally broke down and bought it. It came ready to go, with my name already on it, my account totally hooked up to it and everything.

I was never anti-reading tablets, just . . . well cautious. I mean, I am a woman that pwns several thousand books, I love books. I love shopping for them, preferably in person than online, but i have mastered the online thing. But I got a kinle for several reasons:

1. Some of my hardcore non-technical friends bought Kindles. Their enthusiasm was kind of scary, I mean I love these people dearly but they are not technophiles, but that in itself is very telling. They loved the simplicity of the device, and the clarity of the screen, the ease of reading, the ability to carry it around and read, was very exciting to me.

2. I could never read on computers. I could never understand how people could read on iPads and other color-lit devices. If I have to read anything at great length on a computer, I print the article out. Too much stress on my eyes. The Kindle is so easy to read, I read even faster using it.

3. Affordable . . . The prices came down making it easier to get. I knew that they were planning to upgrade to a newer device (probably without a keyboard), so this was as good a time as any to buy one.

4. I also wanted a Kindle so that I can read books that I like. I instituted this rule about a year ago, that is, when I go to bed and read to unwind, instead of reading poetry, essays and other research material as it pertains to the phati’tude Literary Magazine, I’m going take the time to read what I like to read, that has nothing to do with literature, and that means reading biographies and autobiographies.

5. I eventually want to put phati’tude on the Kindle and having one let’s me learn how it works and test issues for publication. Soon. Soon.

So I am really loving this. I got the Kindle 3G so I can download books, and search the web, whenever I want. I am loving it, and if you are thinking about getting a Kindle, I say don’t think, buy it today!

Amtrak is the way to go

Well, I am taking as trip to Georgia to visit some friends.  Ain’t got a pot to piss in, but I need to hit the road.  When I contacted the arilines for a roundtrip ticket to Atalnta, they wanted my first born almost $800!  And then, of course, the drudgery yougotta go through to catch a plane — huffing and puffiung to get the airport 2 hours early, hand over all of your ID, get strip searched — and when you finally get on the plane, worry if the thing will land in one piece.  And so I turned to Amtrak — about $140 bucks each way — and I was sold.  Mind you, it’s a 14 hour ride, but it beats not going at all.

The crew was great, the people were great, and while I was a little uncomfortable asleeping in a seat, I had a really cool time.  I ate in the club car, surfed on my laptop, read books and chatted with people, and really enjoyed not having to to deal with the 3 hour ordeal to get on a plane.

I’m racking up my Amtrak points . . . can’t wait to take another trip on Amtrak . . . you should check it out!


Launching the first African American Festival

Well, we finally launched phati’tude Literary Magazine’s first African American Festival on February 26 at the Langston Hughes Library.  Attendance was not as great as I would have liked it (which would mean thousands of people banging on the door), but it went rather well.  Veronica Caciedo and Vanessa Viera were on hand to videotape and photograph, Felix Leo Campos came to give his support, and of course, the Godmothers were there in all their glory!

Check out the photographs on phati’tude’s website, overall it went pretty well.

Look what I’m reading . . .

I Am Not a Cop!: A NovelI Am Not a Cop!: A Novel by Richard Belzer

Really enjoying this book. Belzer writes in his voice, you can actually hear him talking as you read it. I am reading it slowly, as a way to unwind before I go to bed, and I have to tell you, it’s a great way to get a good laugh or two before going to sleep.

View all my reviews

Hello world! Here I go again!

I’m scratching my head, thinking, “why the hell am I doing this”?  I have four websites to attend to, numerous social networking accounts, I’m a member of a number of blog groups, I’m having such a hard time keeping up with the writing, whhhaaaatttt! am I doing?

Well, I had opened a dot mac account (now known as “mobileme”) and with it you got your own homepage.  So I used it as my “calling card” a place that says something about me, my skills, my bio and resume, etc.  Mine is/was  at  I say “is/was” because when Apple decided to discontinue the service (shortly before dot mac became mobileme), they (that ominous “they,” those people who hide in the clouds) said that while you could no longer edit the account, it would remain intact forever and ever, in perpetuity.

They lied.

Or maybe they weren’t accurate with the “forever” and “perpetuity” thing.

Or maybe it was wishful thinking on my part that they really meant “forever.”

But I digress . . .

My homepage has been dying a slow, painful death.  Links are crumbling and documents are disappearing, so now, I decided at some unGodly hour of the morning to begin shifting/changing/creating something new.  And since one of my websites is a site, doing something simple and cost effective (like free) and easy to do (these past months of suffering is finally paying off) seemed like the smart thing to do.

(I talk with a lot in parentheses.  Bear with me).

So this is it.  This is the new place I am migrating to.

I’m also going to make myself write occasional updates on this thing.  Really.  What I set out to do is create a space about me that describes who I am, where I’ve been and where I’d like to go, but I’m gonna really try my best to live up to occassionally writing and sharing some rants.

Really (lots of “reallys” here to show my sincerity).

Until next time . . .

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