Thank you, Jessica Ceballos, for passing the baton in my direction!
I've been so impressed by Jessica's artistic dedication, from her Bluebird Reading Series at Avenue 50 Studio to her impressive organizational abilities and vision involved in the care and feeding of that tremendous project, #90for90 Literary Events in downtown Los Angeles.
What are you working on? How does your work differ from others of its genre? Why do you write what you do? How does your writing process work?
Right now my writing life is a giddy jumble. I am working as hard as I can to a) promote my recently published novel, b) begin the academic year at Oxy c) write new words!
Writing new words right now is looking more like revising the words I already have. I've been working on another Inez Leon (my Latina PI with a tortilla chip on her shoulder) for too long, now. I really should simply nail my feet to the floor, unable to leave my writing area until I can at last type "The End."
The recently published novel is family drama, and the work-in-progress is a mystery. I feel my cast of characters reflects the diversity of the world I live in, and that alone is enough to differentiate my work from 90% of all forms of media right there. Most importantly, to me, my writing includes nuanced portrayals of complex Latina/os.
I write in order to shred the cloak of invisibility that has been thrust upon me and others like me.
I really search for an emotional landscape that engages me. I mentally feel out its shape and contours, because I need a road map, I need to know where I am going. My issues of control and organization are good, up to a point. I've taken Rebecca Solnit's words to heart: "Be open to mysteries, the nature of which are unknown to you." I'm working on doing that with my writing, as well as my life. With some of the contours in mind, (oops, and a tentative outline) I'm off to Anne Lamott's "shitty first draft." Words on the page, words on the page are all so much better than a wasteland of emptiness. The writing itself helps sort out ideas, directions, impromptu scenes.
And now, I pass the quill/fountain pen/touch screen to three writers I enjoy and respect: Melanie Page who already knows a thing or two about blog tours, the impressive poet/writer/badass Rachel McKibbens
and that goddess of all things eclectic, Margaret Finnegan.
Hope to see your posts in a week!
The road to writing is a circuitous one, and I chat about it here.
Have you ever annotated your own writing? I enjoyed it--see it here.
Come visit me today, over at [Pank] although I must confess, I'm not sure if I'm cool
enough for that uber cool publication!