Almost nobody would publish my funny little ditty, Never Kill A Dog Or Cat In Your Novel, because they found it a tad too disturbing. Cue Slackjaw, a humor journal that specializes in over-the-top weirdness. Thank you, Slackjaw, because without you I’d be forced to conform, and I just don’t know how. You can check out this devilish little 4-minute read…here.
A story can mean different things at different times. In 2019, I first told this one, Cara Lopez Lee Gets A Reporting Job (a.k.a. The Boss of Last Resort) for Daniel David Shapiro’s podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. It’s the story of the most racist, sexist, intolerant tyrant I ever worked for, back in the 90’s. I share it now as a small underline to America’s cry for change in 2020. I previously shared the podcast, but below is the video of me telling the story to our live audience. It was one of the two true stories in the show.
I have not lived an African American experience, though I carry African DNA from my ancestors. And this story does not directly address the recent murder of George Floyd, or police brutality against people of color, though I am outraged by such injustices. Neither is this story about the Black Lives Matter movement, though BLM gave me impetus to share it now. Still, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate: Black Lives Matter. Maybe if we say it enough, and back it up with meaningful action, we’ll begin to create change.
At The Moth StorySlam in L.A., at Busby’s East on December 11, 2019, I told a true personal story I’ve long hoped to tell, on a theme that means a lot to me: Family. It marked one of my most treasured moments connecting with an audience. I was proud to come in third place with my tale, Lost In L.A., neck and neck with a couple of terrific fellow storytellers. Thank you for listening, and for supporting stories!
Lost In L.A. (courtesy of The Moth) from Cara Lopez Lee on Vimeo
After wrapping up another Lighthouse Young Writers workshop in Denver, I’m again struck by how much the young generation understands about the meanings, intentions, and motivations that lie under the surface of our lives. Maybe you wonder whether teens really get it when adults tell them that choices have consequences. If the short stories I see in my classes are any indication, they do. Choice and consequence are what their stories are all about, whatever walk of life or level of academic achievement they come from.
The stories by my recent group from Denver Online High School seem to weave two primary threads: love and violence.
I was looking for any excuse to get out of town. It was election time in Cambodia. This year marks the first time since the Khmer Rouge that the opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, has had significant support. The campaign season was crazy, with huge rallies for both sides anywhere you looked.
While it was common knowledge that the ruling party would try to rig the election, suddenly it became more of an issue. In the weeks leading to the vote, the embattled leader of the CNRP, Sam Rainsy, who had been in self-exile (that or face a long prison term in Cambodia for phantom charges), was granted a royal pardon by Hun Sen himself, and returned to the country.
Eager to avoid Phnom Penh’s election madness, we headed south to Koh Rong Island.
With my flat-mate itching for a vacation and both of us eager to avoid Phnom Penh’s election madness, we hopped in a taxi and headed south to Koh Rong Island.