Erwin Magbanua is a twenty-first century librarian. He’s the Programming and Special Events Coordinator for San Diego Public Library. The man is in charge of events for almost forty branches. He organizes everything from author events to movie nights to corporate trainings to weddings.

Yes, people actually want to get married at San Diego’s new Central Library. And they want to hold receptions on the ninth floor rooftop, with booze and bands and a diving board designed by the building’s architect.

But that’s not why my readers will care about Erwin. I understand what makes you people swoon.

He knows the best t-shirt vendors at ComicCon by name, because he’s San Diego Public Library’s ComicCon coordinator. When the Star Wars crew visited ComicCon, he was there to greet them. Erwin shared energy with Harrison Ford.


And I shared a Monday morning with Erwin, so maybe that means Harrison Ford’s atomic matter rubbed off on me?? (A girl can dream, right??)

But seriously, it was an honor to Make a Memory with Erwin. Monday, September 21, Erwin and I spent several hours wandering around San Diego. We met at a suspension bridge near Balboa Park, and we trekked through several canyons to the San Diego Museum of Man.


Built for the Panama-California Exposition, the Museum of Man is one of the only remaining structures from the grand party that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal in 1915. Spanish (or MTM would say self-conscious) in style, the domed building and its tower lord over the San Diego skyline. If a visitor is hearty, he or she can even climb the California Tower to a perch near the top.

Erwin and I were lucky enough to make the noon tour. We were on the lookout when the clock chimed, and we enjoyed “It’s a Small World” by bell chime. (I requested “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads for a future session. We’ll see………..)


If the California Tower looks familiar, don’t question your sanity. It was featured in the movie Citizen Kane. The building flanks San Diego’s replica of the Old Globe Theater and is steps from the San Diego Zoo. Definitely worth a visit when in San Diego.

I’m grateful to Erwin for spending part of a day showing me places I wouldn’t have found without him. I’ll never think of San Diego without reliving our time tottering on a suspension bridge and huffing up stairs and leaving my memoir in a free library box and chatting up everyone we met.

san diego public library

Share my event with anyone you know in San Diego by clicking HERE.


Was the seminal library in Alexandria? Or was it a certain Parisian building, one decried by Victor Hugo in his famous “this will kill that” chapter from The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

san diego public library

I stood in an open space, nine floors below a rooftop view, and

I wondered whether
San Diego Public Library’s Central Library
outpaced them all.

Designed by San Diego architect Rob Quigley, San Diego’s new Central Library is the FUTURE of libraries. Repository for books, both new and rare? CHECK. Art gallery? CHECK. Rooftop reading room? CHECK. Coffee shop and snack spaces? CHECK and CHECK. Multi-purpose event spaces? CHECK. A charter high school? CHECK.

People even line up to play chess in the lobby.

Oh, and anyone heard of Comic-Con? As an official venue for 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, the San Diego Public Library’s Central Library hosted the likes of Harrison Ford and the Star Wars team. (And yours truly wandered every hallway touching everything Han Solo may have touched……….)

san diego public library

Look who’s in the SDPL entrance!!

As America’s 8th largest city, San Diego invests millions in reading, in learning and in the advancement of its people.

And for two days,
the city of San Diego has invested
in bringing YOURS TRULY to the people.

Check out my Facebook author page, personal profile, Twitter stream, Periscope and Instagram today, September 21, for a very special Make a Memory event with Erwin Magbanua, Programming and Special Events Coordinator for San Diego Public Library.

san diego public library

Know anyone in the greater San Diego area? Invite them to the official kick-off of SDPL’s Discover You program, featuring ME!!!!!! Make a Memory at SDPL’s Central Library. Thursday. September 24, 2015. 7PM. (Invite your friends HERE.)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I kick a ton of doors. Sometimes, one opens. As an author, an invitation to the San Diego Public Library is like winning an Oscar. It’s validation. When I’m in a morass of self-doubt, I look at this invitation and realize I’m going someplace. I’m further up the hill than I think I am. Maybe not where I want to be, but I’m making progress. PLEASE share this post with your friends. You never know who may know someone in San Diego who needs to Make a Memory!

Get Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace.

Nominated for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction, the Sarton Memoir Award and the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Autobiography and Memoir. Click the book cover in the upper right-hand corner of this post and be inspired to Make a Memory.

When I was growing up with 1970s parents, I noted two things about my father: 1. He commandeered the telephone late into the night, shouting about his plant’s wood supply; and 2. He spent every other second in his recliner.

A recliner spewed from his butt.
A permanent appendage.
His lost tail.

He refused to budge from his recliner for anything except another phone call.

When he needed a snack? Hey, Linda! LINDA! Get me some ice cream!

When he desired a different television channel before the advent of the remote control? Andra! A-N-D-R-A! Get off that pot and come change the channel RIGHT NOW!

When he wanted a closer look at anything? Hey, you! Bring me that thing! Right there!

Marketers divined an exact image of my father
when they coined the La-Z-Boy brand.

My ex-husband despised my incessant refusal to admit a lounging contraption in our house. But I didn’t marry my father! I don’t want to smell your farts as you zone out in front of the television every night! I was kind of sad about that proclamation when the ex left, because I didn’t have a crummy chair to throw at him.

MTM, my architect-man, possessed more cultured (read OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE) tastes. Every time we visited the home of a fellow architect, he lowered himself into the lap of his furniture fantasy: a Le Corbusier chaise lounge.


(Note: Le Corbusier is another word for “sadomasochistic torture device.”)

I looked at MTM, zoned out in the Corb with sports blaring, and I vowed such an object would NEVER grace our built environment. If he wanted to relax, he could be a slug in bed.

Something shifted when I started to write full-time. I spent hours crunching my spine against our headboard, because the only way I can create is with my feet up. Yielding neck pain. Multiple visits to the chiropractor. Frequent headaches.

My writing habits had to change.

I tried creating at my desk. Upright, like normal people.


I practiced sitting up straight in bed, my entire spine fully against the headboard. As soon as I lost myself inside a character’s head, I migrated downward. I came to in the same smashed-up position, my neck on fire.


In despair, I visited Design Within Reach, thinking I could find an architect-approved sectional sofa with a priced-for-poor-people IKEA knock-off. I fell into MTM’s beloved Corb recliner instead. No neck kink. Adjustable foot height for the perfect creative angle. Easy-to-clean black leather. The Corb chair had one minuscule drawback:

It’s UGLY.

I locked myself in the car and tried to forget Monsieur Corbusier. Here’s how THAT turned out.


I am my father. A Corb recliner sprouts from my ass. I only leave it to use the toilet or go to bed.