Sunday, December 20, 2009


With the angst of the economy, Afghanistan and all the social injustice that surrounds us, if you’re not in the mood to hear about trivial petty problems, do not read any further. Yes, I am going to write about something so petty that some readers won’t be able to stand it. But for those of you in the mood to read about mundane tasks, this one’s for you. I am going to talk about cutting grapefruit. I don’t like to cut grapefruit or any fruit. It’s an inconvenience. I dread it. Hence, this frustration could have an impact on my eating habits of fruit vs. bad sinful cookies for dessert. Does this make me sound lazy? Sure. I won’t deny that. Fruit is good for you, especially a grapefruit at breakfast time, which I will mostly focus on for this blog. I love to be in a cafeteria and collect already precut grapefruit with a maraschino cherry on top. Mmmm! But when I wake up, alone in my apartment, that lone grapefruit in my fridge sitting for days calls to me, feeding into my guilt. If I only had to cut the grapefruit in half, hey, no problem. But this is a fruit that needs elaborate cutting . Cutting it in half in my teeny weenie kitchen, I experience the first aggravation as juice spills out onto the counter. The next step, cutting around the outer edge of the pulp. In order to spoon the wedges, you must cut around each triangle of pulp. This is the nastiest part. I am no fan of handling sharp knives. I had to cut a persimmon once and had an accident. It’s real dangerous holding those little pieces that the knife slit across my finger. Right then, I vowed that I would do whatever it takes to find someone to cut my fruit for me. If I never had to cut fruit again, I’d be eating it five times as much as I do now. Not all grocery stores have pre-cut grapefruit and if so, it costs more money. The labor of cutting makes a difference. After my knife accident with the persimmon I said to myself, “If I ever get rich, I will hire a maid to cut all my fruit. Especially grapefruit. And I always want that jolly rewarding maraschino cherry on top!” For the time being, let Mommy do it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Photo taken Dec. 1, Richmond, California

This photo reminds me of the times when I used to go trick or treating. I would kick up all the leaves that had fallen on the ground just like you see in this picture. Most of the leaves make it to the ground by the end of October. In the Northeast, that is. However, in the San Francisco Bay Area it is a different story. Aside from its other unique features such as micro-climates and geeks galore, is its unique fall season. We are not exactly like Southern California where the trees stay green all year round. In Northern California not all the deciduous trees bare during the winter like they do in the Northeastern United States. The Bay Area, in addition to other parts of central and northern California has half and half. Half of the leaves stay on the trees (such as citrus) and the other half change. They don't really turn color until the month of November. And by December, half of the leaves are on the ground. It's December 13th and colored leaves are still hanging on the trees, but are falling every minute. I know that because some of them like to creep into my apartment through the door, especially on rainy days making my entryway all messy. Of course, people living in the real cold states reading this would like to wring my neck. I can feel for them since I grew up in such harsh winter conditions in New York. Now that I look at our long late California autumn, I no longer get a weird feeling about it. I was so intrigued by it in the past because California winter is really like a very long autumn. After 12 years living in California it's a scene like any other season that becomes normal to my eyes. It no longer phases me. I adjusted to it as the norm. I have reached that stage when seeing palm trees also. It took a long time, but now, the sight of them is normal to me. When I visit family in New York, it feels weird when I don't see palm trees. It's definitely a habitat thing. I'd like to know how all of you from the North would feel seeing a late autumn? Or green leaves remaining on the trees all through January?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


When I graduated from my four year college in 1996, I was getting over my ex-boyfriend and the crush on a guy I had in class hadn't showed interest in me. So what was I to do over the summer? I wrote my first romance novel. It was about a young landscaper working hard, barely making ends meet who finally gives in to become a male stripper. He forms a close relationship with one of his old classmates. But she is outraged when she finds out her ex-best friend working at a male strip club recruits him. I had painted the book cover, did another painting on the back. I went to the office store to buy plastic binders in a set holding 50 pages and binding about eight copies to give to my family and friends. The title was "Bare Asset". I was 23 years old. Following that year I moved to California, one of my dreams that came true. Although not the city, since I wanted to be in Southern California in Hollywood but winded up in Silicon Valley. I had written three short erotica stories into 1998. I got interested in sex positive feminism. I read books on feminism and the sex industry could collaborate together as a team, or as oppose creating great schism between the women activists. I joined a young feminist leadership club that met in Palo Alto, but none of them were that into learning about feminism within the adult entertainment industry. I stopped writing and wasn't sure what I wanted to do next. So I fell into a depression. I had insomnia for three months due to the moving away from my roots in New York had finally caught up with me. I didn't have many friends because it was hard to meet people. I didn't go to college in California. But slowly joining groups I developed some friendships. I began dating again and had put off writing to try to hunt for a better job in a bigger company. No success at that so I was in a career pit. Until one day right before 9/11 something significant happened that eventually put my writing career back on track. And in full force.

I won't say who or how but I formed my latest hero prototype that many wouldn't find in romance novels. Croatian and Bosnian men. They were all over. I met them at the church, in bars, and in restaurants. They had handsome DNA. They were flirtatious. They were confident and comfortable with themselves and they all wore nice clothes. They were tall, masculine, had distinct face shapes, mixed with dark Mediterranean features. And some knew how to be very romantic. The downside was that their views on men and women's roles were still traditional. Which presented a challenge to my feminism. But since I hadn't wound up in a serious relationship or marriage with any of them, it helped to keep painting my romantic fantasies. They were family men, chivalrous and wanted to take care of their ladies. So my second novel was about a Croatian falling in love with an American woman. But he had a secret. He worked for the Russian mob - involved in gas bootlegging scams. The title I came up with wasn't too appealing to many, but it was hard for me to come up with anything else. "Bad Fuel". Fuel, associated with the gas scams. Again, I made a cartoon drawing and reproduced it as a poster.

I fell in love with my characters and fantasized a lot about what they wore. Even my supporting characters. So after completing my first draft, I created paper dolls of them (above).
The next year I aggressively bought the Writers Market book because I finally wanted to get something published. I thought my writing was more suitable for "Bad Fuel" than "Bare Asset". And then I ran across an organization called Romance Writers of America. I attended their Silicon Valley chapter meeting. I joined right away without thinking it through from sitting at the meeting. The next monthly meeting, people submitted their first three pages of their novel to be read aloud. When mine was read, I was a boiling with sweat. And the criticisms flew through the roof. For a whole year, I realized I knew nothing about writing a romance novel. I sat through workshops learning about goal, motivation, conflict. They must have happy endings. If the hero is a bad boy, show that he is really good inside. I attended the RWA conference held in Reno in 2005. In one query workshop, the editor at a publishing company I won't mention, read everyone's query letter out loud. She was blunt and would make fun of some she didn't like. When mine came up, she ripped it to pieces, while tears were running down my cheeks like wild fire. And the "Bad Fuel" title had got to go as she had concluded. I worked another year on improving it, but no such luck as I received low scores from entering in contests. When I became involved in another close relationship, the passion in making the story better fizzled out. I had no other ideas for another book as some members advised me to think about. I was once again, falling into another pit. Not to mention my boyfriend was emotionally abusive towards me with his absurd jokes. Here's a picture of me at an 80's party, about seven months before beginning to write "Living With the Ex". Happy but torn inside.
When I finally broke up with my boyfriend the next year I thought a part of me was lost. I watched all my peers getting hooked up and married while I remained cynical about dating in my mid-thirties. I lost hope in ever finding a decent guy again. So I reverted back to my fantasy guy. Another story had been brewing in my head for the past year and it finally came out on paper or should I say Word. Summer of 2007; In the middle of my sorrows on relationships and a series of friendships gone wrong, I started my next novel that will be "THE ONE". It involved a sexy Bosnian player who made up a story to break up with a feisty chick from Brooklyn.
Two years later, she got her revenge by moving into his townhouse for a new reality show "Living With the Ex". And 2010 will be the year when it all unfolds.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How I Became a Writer Part 2


I'm so sorry I had made everyone wait for more than a month for the part 2 of How I Became a Writer. I was so busy feeling my way around all these sites, learning the tricks and trades of adding friends to designing Myspace backgrounds.
So we left off around the summer of 1989 when I was sixteen years old. That was twenty years ago to be exact minus 40 pounds off my body then.
When I thought writing about my imaginary boyfriend "Brad" was exciting, I couldn't imagine my first real experience with my first love a month after without putting it down on paper! It was called "The Summer Dude". I never typed it, never saved it on a computer but I made one copy from my spiral notebook. It was when I had my first kiss and my parents didn't like him because he wouldn't take me out on a real date. The second boyfriend I had was six months later when starting to
write about how I met him, began dating him, etc. I never finished it, but here's me around the time after we broke up, but we we're seeing each other on and off.
It wasn't until the turn of 1991 when I snuck off to see him at his house on my bike
. He already was out of high school and I was a senior. I wrote about the thrill of sneaking out to see him because he was kind of "bad". I had the TV Show Twin Peaks musical theme playing in my mind. Later in the spring I jumped back into comics. I wrote about real kids I knew in high school who were a group that got picked on. They would leech onto someone more popular and depicted him as a leader. He was actually a punk skateboarder who turned reborn Christian. Imagine how funny that got! Never bothered to publish it because I used real names and would get sued.

High School Graduation, June 1991. Hopewell Jct., NY

My parents were so worried about me with boys. They didn't see nothing yet once I went away to college. When I began going out I was introduced to the term "hooking up." Everyone was using it! And everyone was doing it! And I was the "follow the in-crowd" type of girl. Not taking it to extremes like spoiled girls from Rockland County or Long Island doing multiple guys in one night. So my first semester I wrote about the two guys I had hooked up with. Again with a spiral notebook and never bothered to type or publish that one either. The next four years of college was a big time out for me on writing stories. But what I did do was the what is called today, "blogging". On a spiral notebook. I'd write about my political views on feminism, dating, and the unfairness of double standards between men and women. This was an area where I felt most passionate about. I thought then I would become an activist and wanted to advocate freedom of experession for women, expression of all kinds. Above: November 1991, in a bar in small college town Delhi, upstate New York Further Down: June 1994, Vahalla, NY. Notice beeper (pre-historic cell)Note: old pictures get scratchy!

1995: College Senior
By the time my last boyfriend of my life in New York State left me burned out and broken-hearted I developed a crush on one of my classmates. Even though we never went out, his cute face and cocky behavior turned me on. Which lead to the next era in my writing life . . . coming next!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Okay, so you're wondering who is this Nona Sebastian? What's she about?
What's her book about?

It's time I unfold a little of my background and how I became a writer. It all started with my gift of creativity that people discovered in me between preschool and first grade with drawing bunny cartoons and repeatedly drawing candy canes on the blackboard.
With a learning disability in language and speech, it didn't stop me from creating my first official book. A bunny book done in markers representing me and some of my classmates with a friendship matters theme. Followed by another bunny book, a love story between me and one of my classmates. In second grade, I technically published an 8 page story about an evil cat who captured a bird to cook in the oven. Her friend, the courageous mouse rescued her. He chopped the oven open with an ax- pretty realistic right? I made a few copies in what was back then, purple print.

Reading comics around the age of eight inspired me to do about four editions on four composition books, done in pencil, pen and crayon. It consisted a collection of comics of my mischievous toddler cousin and cleaning stinky houses. I even did a magazine and drawing the cleaning product and diet ads.

Then when fourth grade rolled around, it was smurfs, smurfs and smurfs. My sister and I were intrigued with Hefty Smurf being romantic with Smurfette. I made up some stories on another blank composition book with more paragraphs and pictures done in crayon. They were teenagers in high school. Reading Beverley Cleary's Otis Spofford and Ellen Tebbits was an inspiration. I was drawn to reading about boys causing mischief in class and competition and fights between best friends.

Becoming a tween, I got myself involved with pop music, thanks to the roller derby. Then getting into more genres like the 60's and heavy metal which took me away from writing a bit. It wasn't until being a full fledged teenager I began writing again. This time about significant days in my life that were special to me. One in particular was going to my first rock concert. Then my days of ninth grade in high school was about popularity and friendship, followed, a mini story about a guy I had a crush on and then another rock concert the year after. Then it was boys. At sixteen, I invented an imaginary boyfriend shortly before dating for the first time. He was a long haired metal dude named "Brad". So I figured, with all these imaginations of what our relationship would be like, hell write a story about it. This was when I wrote my first love scene, with a pen and spiral notebook on a hot summer day.

By the way, I wasn't much of a reader. I think it stemmed from being chastised too much by teachers about my poor reading Comprehension skills. I was only drawn to metal magazine articles about my favorite "hair bands" and the Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High series.

Curious to hear about what's next? Stay tuned for my next blog - coming soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


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