Hey there, Moon Pixie!

Wow! January is gone and half of February is almost over. I settled in my new home in Oceanside, CA at the end of January. It’s so pleasant here. Our family housing community is wonderful to us. It feels so nice to be able to enjoy movie nights, Ladies Potluck Bingo, and other housing events with our neighbors.

I finally am slowly working on reshaping my favorite passion, which is bringing community together. Moon Pixel “Open-Mic” is postponed for awhile.

I am planning on branching out Moon Pixel Collective into something spectacular this 2017 year. Visit the upcoming new site here.  It’ll give you insight on what is to come.

Elmast Kozloyan is running a new open-mic series now at Half Off Books, CA called Inside The Lantern. It is every first Friday of the month. Inside The Lantern is the replacement for Moon Pixel Open-Mic. I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Whittier, CA as a resident again. If it ever does become my residence in the future I wouldn’t mind coming back and hosting for you Pixies.

I started a GoFundMe Campaign to help me flourish the vision I have for Moon Pixel Collective. It might take a while! That’s okay. Regardless of the time it takes I am organizing everything to start community here. If you’d like to see the progress of my campaign, or donate whatever contribution you’d like just click on the link above, or below. I’d appreciate any motivation or financial support.

Seriously, e-mail me from time to time asking how my lesson planning is going, or what my thoughts, and hopes are with this project! I’d love to have someone I can check up with on my progress. Positive reinforcement is a wonderful thing!

I hope you are all doing well. I miss some of you very much. I am thankful that last weekend Sarah Thursday visited me. We had some lovely girl time together. It was great!

Have a blessed weekend.

Sincerely,

Raquel

 

https://www.gofundme.com/moon-pixel-collective-fundraiser

 

 

 

 

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Update: Moon Pixel Open-Mic features for October, Brandon Mayer added!

Hello,

We have added another feature to our line-up Brandon Mayer. We will be featuring Mariano Zaro, Brandon Mayer, and Mike Sonksen for October 30th, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Half Off Books in Whittier, CA. Sign-up sheet goes up no later than 6:30 p.m. we can’t wait to see you all there. We will be having a costume contest for all ages. Winner wins a gift certificate to Half Off Books. The audience decides who wins!

Mariano Zaro is the author of four poetry books: Where From/Desde Donde (Bay Books, Santa Monica), Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosión (Carayan Press, San Francisco), The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim (Carayan Press, San Francisco) and Tres letras/Three Letters (Morsa/Walrus, Barcelona). His poems appear in New Baroque, LA Melange, River’s Voice, Askew, The Seattle Muse, Badlands, Al Aire Nuevo and Luces y Sombras. He has translated American poets Philomene Long, Alicia Vogl Sáenz, Sarah Maclay, Marie Lecrivain and Michelle Mitchel-Foust. As a fiction writer, his short stories have been featured in several literary journals in Spain and the United States: Menos 15, El signo del gorrión, Caracola, The Louisville Review, Poeticdiversity, The Baltimore Review, Pinyon, Magnapoets, Portland Review and The Palo Alto Review. In 2004 he received the Roanoke Review Short Fiction Prize.

Brandon Mayer: Originally from Florida, Brandon Mayer studied music and film at UCLA. After living in Spain and New York, he returned to California and, while working as a schoolteacher, made the beautiful full-length Sea of Stars, which was self-released in the fall of 2000, soon after followed by the EP Palm Tree and Culver. As an ensemble and solo artist, Mayer has toured and performed extensively. Also a composer, he has written music for theater and films that have been broadcasted on television and performed/screened at festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Mayer lives and works in Los Angeles, where he teaches music at Blind Childrens Center and UCLA.

Mike Sonksen also known as Mike the PoeT, is a 3rd-generation Los Angeles native that earned his Bachelors’ Degree at UCLA in 1997. In June 2014, he completed an Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in English and History from the California State University of Los Angeles. Following his graduation from U.C.L.A. in 1997, he has published over 500 essays and poems with publications and websites like KCET, Poets & Writers Magazine, Wax Poetics, Southern California Quarterly, LA Weekly, OC Weekly, The Architect’s Newspaper, LA Alternative Press, Los Angeles Review of Books, Cultural Weekly and many others. For the last three and a half years he has written a column for KCET called “L.A. Letters,” which celebrates bright moments from literary Los Angeles. Sonksen has taught at St. Bernard High School, View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter High School, California State University of Los Angeles, Woodbury University and Southwest College. He has also been a guest speaker at over 70 universities and high schools. Dating back to the late 1990s, Sonksen has presented his poetry over 1,500 times in a wide range of venues including bookstores, museums, college campuses, secondary schools and literary festivals. In 2013, the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center awarded Sonksen for “Distinguished Service to the Los Angeles Poetry Community.” His next book, Poetics of Location is forthcoming from Writ Large Press.

Tuesday, October 6th

Hello,

On October 6th, 2015 I will be reading in the Student Union with my talented Creative Writing Club peers. This poetry reading will be led by Mariano Zaro at Rio Hondo College. We will be celebrating Latino Heritage month. Please, come and join us.  I am super excited for the reading and the food. Flyer below for more information and details.

FLYER LATINO VOICES

Moon Pixel Open-Mic Septemeber Photos

Daniel E. Moon Pixel Open-Mic
Daniel E. Moon Pixel Open-Mic photo taken by Michael Knight
Elmast Kozloyan Moon Pixel Open-Mic photo taken by Michael Knight
Elmast Kozloyan Moon Pixel Open-Mic photo taken by Michael Knight
Andrew Carol & Nancy L. Woo at Moon Pixel Open-Mic photo taken by Michael Knight
Andrew Carroll and Nancy L. Woo at Moon Pixel Open-Mic photo taken by Michael Knight

I would like to give a special thanks to Michael who took these photos. Michael has a podcast on Sound Cloud so give him and Andrew Carroll a listen here.

Get to Know Moon Pixel’s New Co-Host Elmast Kozloyan

As I announced last month Elmast Kozloyan will be helping me with Moon Pixel Open-Mic by being my co-host for September, October, November, and December. We both will be hosting each month, unless I can’t attend because I am sick. She will be taking over the entire night if that were to happen. I asked her a few questions and she answered. This is so you all can know Elmast a little bit better.

What significance has the moon played in your personal and artistic life?

Elmast: “I felt I’ve always had a deep connection with the moon. A few years back I was going through a difficult time emotionally and there were very few stable things in my life. I would go for days without much sleep and most nights I would go outside to just stare at the moon. Although its shape changed every night it was always there and became the one constant thing I could hold onto.  It is my literal and figurative rock. Right now in my artistic life the moon will play a heavy role in my next book of poetry Luna Seas. The center focus is the idea of insanity taking inspiration from mythology/folktales and the power of nature, particularly the relationship between the moon and ocean. ”

Has having a healthy artistic community helped you evolve and grow as a writer? How?

Elmast: “Absolutely! I don’t know where I would be today without my community. Surrounding yourself with creative people is an essential component for growth as an artist. I have been very blessed to have an amazing supportive community of writers whom I’ve come to consider a second family, as well as having community with those outside of the literary arts. All artists are storytellers and we have all been given a gift that we are compelled to share with the world, and I find it inspirational to watch others grow in their craft and tell their story. It pushes me to challenge myself and try new things and the feedback I get from other writers and artist are so valuable.”

In the next six months how do you see your writing improving, or growing? How do you want to challenge yourself?

Elmast: “I very honestly couldn’t tell you, if I knew where my art was going to be I think I would already be there. Although I always have goals of where I would like to improve. I find myself changing in ways I never expected. You just have to ride the wave and see where it takes you. Trying to force your own way may cause you to drown. The goal on my horizon is to experiment with new forms and subject matter. Poetry has been my main focus and I would like to try storytelling in a new medium. ”

Elmast has a feature coming up September 14, 2015 at Gatsby Books, Long Beach. For more information  go to Cadence Collective.

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Elmast Kozloyan: is a poet trapped in limbo between magic and reality (though seldom chooses the latter). At the age of fifteen won a silver medal for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and since then has been mentoring youth poets, is an editor of CSULA’s Statement Magazine and published in places such as Cadence Collective, Poetry in Motion, Pacific Review,  East Jasmine Review, and the Los Angeles Times. She also has a chapbook called Doe Eyed Venus.

Moon Pixel’s Features for September

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Eric Morago: is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who believes performance carries as much importance on the page, as it does off. He is the author of What We Ache For (Moon Tide Press, 2010) and Here for the Friction (Orange Ocean Press, 2012). Currently he teaches for Red Hen Press’ Writing in the Schools Program, is an associate reviewer for Poetix, and serves as a poetry editor for FreezeRay. Eric has an M.F.A in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach, and lives in Los Angeles.

ericmorago.com or facebook.com/EricMoragoPoetry

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remSleep: is an indierock/folk two piece band straight outta Los Angeles CA. With influences such as Bright Eyes, The Vaccines, and 80’s dance punk music the duo create dancy, uplifting, storytelling music. Tranquil sounds to a poppy catchy tune is what you hear from this local band, followed by sweeping bass riffs suttle to the ear all done by (Andrew Parra), outstanding structured lyric format in which Ish Guerrero(singer/guitar) composes and writes. Ish says he loves word meaning much more than anything else and really focuses on what he speaks rather than just making normal generic tune

remSleep Facebook

This event is FREE and open to all ages. Come on and join us for another month of Moon Pixel on September 25, 2015. We welcome everyone to sign-up and perform…poets, musicians (acoustic only), story-tellers, magicians, or comedians. Sign up sheet goes up no later than 6:30 P.M. We start the magic at 7:00 – 7:15 P.M.

Letters for Eternity

We write as to believe
that God himself will read
our words out loud
to his angel legions.
Command them to memorize
our sonnets, odes, and prose.

We hope that they will sing
our lines for eternity
on cotton kissed clouds,
glancing down upon us
ignoring our existence,
yet making our creations
immortal.

So we move our hands like gypsies,
magicians, clowns,
with the sole purpose to entertain,
and hypnotize our crowd
with desire that by the end of the night
someone will give their soul
to poetry.

Previously Published in River’s Voice 14

Moon Pixel’s Features for August

8/28/2015 Features for Moon Pixel

Jeffrey Graessley: resides in La Puente, CA. His debut collection, Dual Impressions, co-written with John Brantingham was published by Silver Birch Press earlier this year. He is also the author of the chapbooks Cabaret of Remembrance (2013) and The Old Masters (2015). Moreover, his recent discovery of the TV show Drunk History has given his life new meaning.

Robin Axworthy: is a native Californian who wandered off in search of adventure for many years before returning home in 1983. She has been writing since childhood in the interstices among growing up, marriage, child rearing, teaching, dancing, reading, and etc. She is currently writing poetry and fiction – still in the gaps, but more, now that she’s found the local poetry community.

The Red Pears: was founded in July 2014. Join us as they open up Moon Pixel this Friday night. Their genre of music is indie/alternative/elevator music. Band members include Henry Vargas: Vocals/Guitar, Jose Corona:Drums, and Juan Aguilar: Bass. All in all they’re just three dudes from El Monte making some noise. Show them some support and love by following their social media sites and liking their Facebook page @theredpears(Twitter) @the red pears(SoundCloud) @the_red_pears(Instagram)

Join us for another night at Moon Pixel open-mic at Half Off Books Whittier, CA at 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. story-tellers, magicians, poets, comedians, musicians (acoustic only) are welcome! Everyone has 3 minutes to perform on the open-mic list this month. We have three features this month so we’re keeping the time limit tight.

Explore Open-Mics: SHOUT! – Half Off Books Whittier, CA

Every artist struggles with the tension, nerves, and uncertainty one feels when going to a new venue for the first time to perform, but that is common, and it shouldn’t discourage an artist from opening up to the supportive community Uptown, Whittier is.

Half Off Books has created an engaged interest for local talent. Every month they provide a space that allows people to network with each other, but most importantly they have given birth to a safe atmosphere where people can inspire one another. Half Off Books is not only an exceptionally well run independent bookstore, but they are also the foundation that has built a dynamic, and diverse creative scene for local artists in Whittier.

Any artist neighboring in or near Whittier, California can build an audience and get feedback by attending an open-mic regularly. The best one to start off at is SHOUT! hosted by Eric Morago at Half Off Books. The beautiful thing about this venue is that this open-mic has no age discrimination. The local talent here ranges from third grade student to senior citizen. The performers that have performed at Half Off Books have been extraordinarily memorable in their own unique way.

SHOUT! happens every second Wednesday of the month and has been ongoing since 2011. Eric Morago has done a remarkably wonderful job hosting every month for the past four years. Half Off Books alongside Eric Morago have welcomed and supported many local poets, authors, musicians, comedians, story-tellers, and magicians. They are one of the many reasons why Uptown, Whittier is the ideal destination to visit. The key thing to understand is venues that provide a safe space for open-mics, as well as the hosts that run them are important, because they give rise to a healthy artistic community.

A healthy supportive community is crucial for an artist to evolve, which is necessary in order for them to succeed, because change is a big factor to growth. Change happens more easily when an artist feels they are in a safe supportive environment. This gives them the comfort to explore and experiment. An artist must show progress and the stages of improvement they have reached over time. To stay stagnant is not ideal and not an option. Every art form needs constant room for improvement. An artist must grow and keep growing. It’s an essential goal to reach and to always keep in mind. One must work hard over and over again. Practice helps one become the ideal image they feel best represents who they are. Artists change as they adapt and move through different stages of life. This is why in order for them to best represent themselves there is always constant work that needs to be put in. Being an artist isn’t easy and isn’t suited for everyone.

This is why attending open-mics allows an artist to get a good sense of who they want to become and who they are. It gives room for experimentation, for trail and errors, success, more errors, and success again. That is the cycle. It’s a beautiful one that can be very exhausting.

But there is one priceless reward that comes from performing after each and every open-mic. That is the moment that occurs when the artist realizes there is an audience out there meant for them. This happens when a stranger comes up to them and lets them know they connected emotionally to their work. That is a priceless moment.

Artists must understand there is an audience meant for them, let them find you, and look for them. Those who don’t follow and who don’t understand, let them go, keep on creating, and explore your horizons by attending a local open-mic near you.

Geek Nerves

I want to write more than this.

Lines in stanzas that look empty
when really they were written
with invisible ink.

I just can’t tell you the perfect way
about how you make me feel.
I could try even if you won’t understand
what I’m saying.

You make me feel like…
Ryu’s hadouken, Guile’s sonic boom,
and Cammy’s hooligan combination.
Is that good enough
for you to say
yes

when I ask you out
on a date?

Previously published in River’s Voice Volume 15