Category Archives: Spirit of Adventure

Old Mr. Ma – Cara at The Moth GrandSlam in L.A.


At The Moth GrandSlam on July 24 at L.A.’s historic Regent Theatre, I was honored to share the stage with some of the best storytellers around as we told stories on the night’s theme: Identity Crisis. Please check out this 6-minute video of me performing Old Mr. Ma, the story of my grandma, me, and my search for her father’s Chinese roots.

About The GrandSlam: These events always feature 10 storytellers who have won local StorySlams. Each tells a five-minute story to a live audience in a friendly competition for one of The Moth’s greatest honors: GrandSlam Champ. On our night, 500-plus people listened to us share the most vulnerable, unusual, ridiculous moments we’ve spent seeking answers to the question: who am I? It was a thrilling night of people connecting through the power of story.

About The Moth: “The Moth’s mission is to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.” Put simply, The Moth is: true stories, told live, without notes. If you haven’t yet, I recommend listening to The Moth Radio Hour or The Moth Podcast. Beware: it’s addicting.

 

The Kayak Affair – Cara Tells a Story, Live, at the Two Truths and a Lie Podcast

I’m having a blast in the world of oral storytelling, and you can hear me tell my latest story in the podcast Two Truths & a Lie. In this live storytelling show, three performers share personal stories. The catch? One of us is lying. For this episode, the topic is: Cheats. Can you guess who the liar is?

StorySlam and Stage Fright

BRP2013 GoldToday at The Blood-Red Pencil, I share my recent experience baring my soul before a Los Angeles audience without a book, notes, or any written material in hand. I  thought author readings were nerve-wracking, but those are nothing compared to a StorySlam and Stage Fright.

Tiny Destroyer of Worlds

2301302732_42d9b0c537_b_micro-fireworks-620x414Pangyrus, a Boston-based literary journal, has published my flash nonfiction piece Tiny Destroyer of Worlds. It’s the story of a nine-year-old pyromaniac (that would be me) who discovers the thrilling power to destroy. I’m dedicating it posthumously to my friend and fellow writer, Christy Bailey, a firecracker in her own right, who inspired me to write this essay for her 2014 event, The Denver Heat. If you’re up for a reminder of what it was like to be young and reckless – and to realize you might never change – please stop by Pangyrus for a peek.

Literature in a Razor-Wired Country – Cara’s Guest Post at Words Beyond Bars

3962556_origYou don’t have to travel far to discover other worlds within our world. I met former librarian Karen Levi-Lausa when she coordinated my book party at Denver’s Bookbar, and we got to talking about her program that brings books to prisoners, Words Beyond Bars. Karen invited me to read a couple of the books the prisoners are reading with her, and last week I joined her for a drive to Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility for their book discussion. This week, she posted my essay on that visit at her Words Beyond Bars blog: Literature in a Razor -Wired Country. Please take a quick look and help me spread the word about this invaluable program!

Cara’s Blog Book Tour 2014 – Day 3

Book Cover - Cara Lopez LeeWelcome to Day 3 of my 2014 blog book tour! Please join me through October 15 as I celebrate Conundrum Press releasing the new edition of my memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands: Love, Travel, and the Power of Running Away. Today I visit The Paper Tiger, the blog of one of my favorite authors, Lisa Brackmann.

Lisa writes some of the most intelligent, compelling thrillers you’ll ever read, including Rock Paper Tiger, and Hour of the Rat. Both of those books are set in China, one of the countries I explored on my solo trek around the world, which you can read about in They Only Eat Their Husbands.

I’ve been back to China twice more since then, and in my post at The Paper Tiger today, I talk about my embarrassing efforts to learn to speak Cantonese: Long Time No See.

Here’s where you can find the rest of my online tour:

BLOG BOOK TOUR, October 6-15, 2014
Celebrating the New Edition of Cara Lopez Lee’s Memoir,
They Only Eat Their Husbands:

October 6
Jim Heskett Blog
6 Questions with Author Cara Lopez Lee

October 7
Conundrum Press
Creating Our Lives as Stories

October 7
Travel Dudes
Travel Tip

October 8
The Paper Tiger
Long Time No See

October 9
The Blood Red Pencil
Here’s a Book In Your Eye

October 10
Everyday Underwear
The Wrong Direction

October 15
– Pubslush Blog
Women on Wednesday
– Murder is Everywhere
Long Time No See

Taking Credit

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAAs a writing instructor, I yearn to take credit for the ingenious, creative, perceptive stories my students create. They’re kids, mostly middle-schoolers, and I yearn to point at their work and say, “They know how to do that because I taught them how.” But I believe what makes a good teacher—and I hope I’m good, though I have a long way to grow—is to have the restraint not to show them how. I give them ideas to think about, concepts to get their minds going, but the point is to let them push the discussion, explore their own answers, decide for themselves what each concept means. I seek to show them that there are potentially infinite ways to unveil a story, and then let them come up with their own way. I ask them to experiment, to dream, to use critical thinking, to ponder. But then my most important job is to get out of the way. So the less credit I can take for their work, the happier I am about the possibility that I’m evolving as a teacher.

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