Sunday, February 21, 2016

Write to Heal Series

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

The more involved I get with the writing community, the more I realize that we are all writers because we are trying to heal wounds. Physical ones, spiritual ones, societal and political ones, personal and emotional ones, historical ones etc. etc. etc. We write to tell stories, because telling those stories is what helps us deal with and heal from the trauma we and others have incurred. It is the reason I started this blog 5 years ago, it is the reason I began writing at age 13, to cope. To try and understand and make sense of what was happening to me and the world around me. Writing is now a significant part of everything I do and I wouldn't be me without it. For these reasons, I am starting this Write to Heal series, whereby on a regular basis I will share with you updates on my current writing projects, performances and publications. Writing is part of my healing process, just as important as my meds and doctor's visits, or eating right and meditating. Writing is what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning and keeps me sane when nothing else will. I wish to celebrate all that writing has given me and hope to inspire others to use writing to help them heal as well. 

So, what have I been up to writing wise? And what's coming up? Well...

1. CRJ Poetry Night- had an amazing time reading and performing new and old work at Lupe's school on Friday night to a crowd of teens and their parents. It was a fun night with good energy and lots of love. I sold three copies of Island of Dreams and received an open invitation from the Dean of Students to return to teach there whenever I wanted. 
2. NACCS Tejas Foco- following the night of fun and inspiration, I spent Saturday morning at Lone Star Kingwood presenting poetry and conducting a short writing workshop for attendees.
My focus was on the idea of words and culture getting lost in translation and how that impacts identity and my writing. It was really a great experience for me since I'd never conducted a workshop like that for a conference and I even sold 4 more copies of Island and received many compliments from people whose work I respect and that was really awesome.

3. Hanging w/Writers- The rest of Saturday was spent in great company chatting, laughing, eating and drinking with poet laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero, UTEP professor Tim Z Hernandez, and Lupe. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a VERY long time. It was rejuvenating and refreshing to talk shop with seasoned professional writers who are very down to earth and so so kind.
4. Semi-Finalist- Recently I found out that my essay collection Revelations was selected as a semi-finalist for the Rose Metal Press Flash Creative Non-Fiction Chapbook prize! The winner, UTEP professor Lex Williford will have his collection published (which I'm so excited about) and at least I get bragging rights to say that my collection was considered (There were 4 finalists and 7 semi-finalists out of 120 submissions, so that's not half bad!) This definitely keeps me motivated to keep working on it and making it better so I can submit it somewhere again before the end of the year. 
5. Frijocheulas Publication- My poem Frijochuelas was recently published by La Galeria Magazine online! Woo hoo! It's already been shared over 140 times! Please spread the word and share with your friends!
6. Landing Theatre Company- this past Monday night (Feb 13) the hubs and I inaugurated the new performance space of the Landing Theatre Company with some of our work. It was tons of fun, a different kind of crowd and received a warm welcome. Being in that space made me want to return to theatre...and who knows...I just might. 

1. Speak!Poet- coming up on March 5th at 2pm I will be reading old and new works and selling copies of my book at Brazos Bookstore. I'm looking forward to it as Brazos is a well-known independent bookstore here in town where all the awesome writers I've known have shared their work. It's free so please come out and support!

2. American Literature Association- Next weekend (Feb 27-28) the hubs and I will be in San Antonio reading and performing our work for the American Literature Association. The focus is on crossing borders in literature and in life and we are going to do a joint piece. Power Couple Fun!

3. AWP- Last but not least, I will be attending AWP this year for the first time. We get to go to LA and spend four days hanging out with all our writer friends, so it will be like what we did this past Saturday night times 12! Can't wait to physically meet so many writers who inspire me everyday (I know many of them through FB and social media but have never met them in person). I am looking forward to being inspired once again and coming away with an even stronger network of writer friends, colleagues and family. 

That's really it for now but I think that's enough! I know writing and investing time and energy into my writing career is healing because I feel less pain and have less fatigue when I'm doing what I love and am surrounded by people who support and understand what it is I do. So..on with the writing!

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