An up-and-coming Chicana writer read stories on topics ranging from failed appearances on The Price is Right to grocery store mayhem to a full MultiCultural Center Theater in a light-hearted lecture Tuesday.

Michele Serros read pieces from both of her books, 1998’s Chicana Falsa: And Other Stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard, and 2000’s How to Be a Chicana Role Model. She often drew laughter from the crowd of about 150 with personal stories on her progression as a self-publishing writer to writing for a major publishing house and from poet to network sitcom writer.

Serros dedicated her first story to recently-deceased “The Price is Right” announcer Rod Roddy. The narrator of the story watches her sister appear on the show, with the first item up for bid being a new washing machine.

“She bid a thousand dollars because my mama always said as she carried the load up the steps to the laundromat, ‘God, I’d give a thousand bucks for a washing machine right now,” Serros said. When her sister received a consolation prize of a Beta video player, she said, “We felt wonderful knowing that Betamax would be around for a long time.”

The Oxnard-born Serros commented on the title of her first book and why the name of her hometown appeared in the subtitle.

“When I put this together I was 25 … I remember when I would meet people and they found out I was going to UCLA, that I lived on the west side [of Los Angeles], that I had a white boyfriend they would think that I wasn’t Chicana enough,” Serros said. “Especially the part about going to UCLA. That I maybe should have picked another school. Maybe Brown University or something.”

“I had to put Oxnard because I felt I owed Oxnard an apology,” Serros said. “When I would meet people I would hate to say, ‘I’m from Oxnard.’ It sounds like you’re coughing up phlegm or something. So I’d say ‘I live between Malibu and Santa Barbara.'”

Serros began her second story, “Attention Shoppers,” by saying its reading was inspired by the current supermarket employee strike. The story’s protagonist incites a mini-revolution by integrating bags of “Malibu-style” and “Latino-style” frozen vegetables.

“The Latino-style vegetables, they have them cut up all small. Like, what’s that supposed to be?” Serros read. “Like little food for little people? Little minds? Little significance?”

Serros wore a T-shirt with the words “medium brown girl” printed on the front. The phrase refers to the title of her upcoming book, Notes from a Medium Brown Girl. The book, which Serros described as a “young adult novel,” is currently on hold and has an uncertain completion date.

She worked as a staff writer last season for ABC’s “George Lopez Show.”

“You have to learn to be humble as a TV writer,” Serros said. She talked about how the show’s writers would gather around a table and throw out ideas, then one writer would write the actual script. “You are basically handing your ideas over to someone else.”

Serros recalled how she fought for wider distribution for Chicana Falsa after its first print run, which she partially funded herself, before major publisher Penguin-Putnam picked up the book.

“I went into bookstores asking them to carry it,” she said. “Then I would call the stores and disguise my voice and request the book.”

Serros held a Q-and-A session when she asked questions about the stories she read and gave away copies of her books and T-shirts.

“She makes it more exciting than just a lecture,” MCC Programmer Luniya Msuku said. “We knew she was popular with students, in particular Latinos, but she’s also accessible for a lot of people who aren’t Latinos. As you saw, she is very charismatic.”

Dozens lined up after the lecture to purchase copies of Serros’ books and T-shirts. Serros signed each copy and posed for pictures.

The lecture was sponsored by the MultiCultural Center and the Center for Chicano Studies’ “Stranger No More” series.