April book reviews: Childhood romances and other adventures

April book reviews: Childhood romances and other adventures

Brief reviews of books by contemporary authors I read this month — along with photos of what I ate while reading. The list is ordered by the level my enjoyment: Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here by Angela Palm (Graywolf, 2016) “I was well acquainted with the sensation of...
Thank you -- plus two more Cake Time readings this week!

Thank you — plus two more Cake Time readings this week!

Thank you to Rio Hondo College for having me at the Writes of Spring festival! It was an amazing time — A special thanks to Tom Callinan, who organized this annual two-day event. And thank you also to Why There Are Words — Los Angeles for letting me read from...
Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen...
The Window @A.G. Geiger: A new literary series at a Chinatown art bookstore

The Window @A.G. Geiger: A new literary series at a Chinatown art bookstore

Why host just one literary reading series when you can host two? Susan Hayden, the woman behind the Library Girl reading series in Santa Monica, has teamed up with Alexis Rhone Fancher and started a brand new series across town: The Window @A.G. Geiger. Held at A.G.Geiger Fine Art Books...
Thank you west coast! And more Cake Time in LA

Thank you west coast! And more Cake Time in LA

Thank you to everyone who came to my readings in Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Bellingham, and Seattle last week! Thanks especially to Brad Johnson at Diesel Oakland, Charlie Jane Anders of Writers With Drinks, Kevin Sampsell at Powell’s Books, Kelly Magee at  Western Washington University, the good people at Village Books,...
Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

Top 11 coffee shops for writers in Portland

This post comes with a caveat: I’ve only been to Portland twice, and between both visits, spent like five days in the city. That said, I did a lot of wandering around — and discovered that there’s a cute indie coffee shop or two on pretty much every block. These...
Los Liones Trail: Best place to hike with your state senator

Los Liones Trail: Best place to hike with your state senator

I’d made a vague New Year’s resolution to hike more often — and done nothing about it — when an email popped into my inbox with this subject: Santa Monica Mountains Hike with Senators Allen and Stern! Post-elections, I’d signed up for all my elected officials’ email lists, vowing to...
Five Firsts: Me on voyeurism, desire, identity

Five Firsts: Me on voyeurism, desire, identity

So usually I post a monthly interview with an author I admire whose book I’m giving away. But since I’m giving away my own Cake Time this month to celebrate its publication, I’ll take this opportunity to link to interviews with me in other places and hope that you won’t think...
Renew Juicery: Best juice shop for chilling out

Renew Juicery: Best juice shop for chilling out

When the weather gets warm, I start drinking less latte and more juice. And I’ve found a new favorite green juice for spring: Balanced at Renew Juicery. This cold-pressed drink’s a blend of pineapple, cilantro, cucumber, parsley, chlorophyll, lemon, and ashwagandha. I love that it’s not too sugary but still...
Young Literati: Party with book lovers, support libraries

Young Literati: Party with book lovers, support libraries

Shepard Fairey DJs, Andrew Bird whistles and sings and plays the violin, Chelsea Handler mocks Trump by reading a damning excerpt of his book. Before and after those performances, you get to mingle with fellow book lovers over gourmet hors d’oeuvres next to an open bar. If that sounds like...
April giveaway: Cake Time!

April giveaway: Cake Time!

This month’s giveaway is my own book! After many years of wanting and waiting, I’m beyond excited and grateful that Cake Time is finally coming into the world on April 6, 2017. When people ask what my book is about, I say this: Cake Time is about a smart girl...
Melrose Station: Best speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase

Melrose Station: Best speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase

If you’ve ever looked at your bookcase on a Friday afternoon — and wished the shelves were lined with booze instead of books — I’ve got a bar for you. Melrose Station, a newish speakeasy in the Fairfax area, is a craft cocktail bar and tapas restaurant hidden behind a...
March book reviews: Art, life, and Los Angeles

March book reviews: Art, life, and Los Angeles

Brief reviews of books by contemporary authors I read this month — along with photos of what I ate while reading. The list is ordered by the level my enjoyment: Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz (Knopf, 1977) * “So the artists in Los Angeles just don’t have that...
Disquiet International Literary Program: Two-week adventure in Lisbon, Portugal

Disquiet International Literary Program: Two-week adventure in Lisbon, Portugal

Love literature and love travel — but don’t want to do all the plotting and planning to make an international literary adventure happen on your own? Try the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. I went two summers ago, and loved it. I mean, this was the view from my...
My writing residency at Vermont Studio Center

My writing residency at Vermont Studio Center

Earlier this winter, I left sunny SoCal for snowy Vermont — where I meditated, yoga’d, read, and drew. No, I wasn’t in rehab — or at a wellness retreat, for that matter. I was at a writing residency! For two weeks, I got to live at Vermont Studio Center, a...
Get Your Free eBook: A Guide to Literary Los Angeles

Get Your Free eBook: A Guide to Literary Los Angeles

So you’re lit-curious. Maybe you’re a young writer thinking about signing up for your first poetry workshop. Or maybe you’re already an established novelist planning to visit Southern California. Or maybe you just love reading books, and want to meet other bibliophiles. Or maybe you’re a writer simply looking for...

Hi! I’m Siel, a writer and reader.

Each month I interview an author who inspires me about the pleasures, perils, and practical hows of writing a first book — to help you forge your own creative path.

I also blog about living a literary life in Los Angeles, and give away a book I love each month! Sign up for my monthly newsletter to get entered into the drawing.

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My novel-in-stories Cake Time is available now!

Cake Time by Siel JuIndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book club discussion questions for Cake Time

“A promising start for a brave and unapologetically bold new writer.”

Kirkus (starred review)

Cake Time is a delicious indulgence. Treat yourself to its dark, seductive intimacies and savor the gritty sugar of its unsentimental humor.”

— Jillian Lauren, NY Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and Everything You Ever Wanted

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