Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FronteraFest 2010: Thursday January 14th - Hyde Park Theatre - Hyde Park Theatre - NowPlayingAustin.com http://ping.fm/WFEgg

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reading Challenge 2010

Smart idea from bookworm & blogger at http://kayespenguinposts.blogspot.com/2009/12/clear-off-your-shelves-challenge-2010.html

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nice issue of Austin Woman Magazine

And I'm not just saying that because I'm included! The cover story is about the women of the Austin Theater scene and JoAnn Carreon Reyes of Teatro Vivo is among those profiled. Finally, JoAnn gets some attention after all these years of working behind the scenes.

My thanks to Claudia Álarcon for the lovely write up about DAMAS in Austin Woman Magazine. If you click here, you will be taken straight to the piece, which was published as a web extra to the magazine. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Artivists unite!

Below is an important message from a good friend in Mexico City. It is one of many events being created to commemorate the long, ongoing violence against women in Juarez. The plight of the women of Juarez has been largely overlooked, first, due to inefficiency and corruption. Now, due to the ever rising drug war on the border which seems to be considered more sexy and salacious than the lives of missing women. It is a subject that disturbs me, as it should all people who seek truth and justice.

Read the call for "artivists" below and see if you can help. If not, please help spread the word.

The message follows:

Dear Friends,

In March 2010, there will be a series of events in Mexico City, Mexico, Los Angeles, California, and other cities, meant to be a ritual of ritual of mourning for the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua: Art as a pathway of opposition and resistance to violence.

I invite you to be part of this initiative of Artivism, for which I am sending the link to our blog, where you will find the Call for Entries. This invitation is open to all citizens, organizations and artists.

The events in March will include awareness raising creative workshops, intervention actions, plays and performances and the exhibition of the art work received through the call for entries and the resulting work form the workshops.

For those who do not live in Mexico City or Los Angeles metropolitan areas, we invite you to organize your own community activity during the same month of March, 2010. It could be an Art Exhibit, a book discussion, a movie screening, a poetry reading, etc. We ask you to include the original title of this event A Prayer for Juarez, and to send us your schedule, and later on, photos and documentation, to be included in the blog.

To include your event, or for any kind of issue related, please write to us:


Thank you,

Friday, November 20, 2009

De Robertis book is an Oprah Pick!

Man, I love it when good things happen to great people!

Carolina De Robertis's The Invisible Mountain was recently selected as one of "10 Terrific Reads in 2009" by O, The Oprah Magazine. ¡Orale!

I met Carolina at this year's Texas Book Festival, seeking her out at the suggestion of my fellow Macondistas and writing allies, Liliana Valenzuela and Vicente Lozano. Unlike me, they had the pleasure of meeting Carolina at Macondo (I didn't go this year), but I caught up with her at the cocktail party Nora Comstock of Las Comadres organized for Latin@ writers during the TBF (see photos at my FaceBook fansite). As promised, Carolina was as gracious and lovely as Lili and Chente said she would be. The next day, The Invisible Mountain was among my book festival purchases and I added it to the teetering pile of books to devour over the holiday break.

I am delighted for Carolina and I hope she's enjoying this boost. As I've said elsewhere, it couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Felicidades Carolina!

Cover for the second book in the Quinceañera Club series

I stumbled upon it while on Amazon.com. I'm still not fond of the title but I like the image of the blanket fluttering in the breeze.

What do you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scenes from the Texas Book Festival, 2009

Although I met many awesome writers (Lucha Corpi, Carolina De Robertis, C.M. Mayo, y el mero, mero, Luis Alberto Urrea) and had the pleasure of sitting in on a dynamic panel, the highlight of the Texas Book Festival for me was meeting these chicanitas from South Texas.

After our panel, "Mama Dramas," my colleagues and I went to the Author's Tent to greet our adoring fans. Okay, our lines weren't as long as they were for Richard Russo across the tent from us, but it was a lovely morning, and we were surrounded by books and readers! As our time was up, we began to say our goodbyes when this group of chicanitas came up. The leader of the group, Yanellie (pictured holding the book) stepped forward and asked sweetly, "Excuse me Miss. Do you know where we can find Belinda Acosta?" When I responded that I was she, her eyes widened. She had read Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz and loved it. She had checked it out from her high school library (librarians rule!) and was looking forward to getting her own autographed copy at the festival. She seemed crestfallen that my autograph time was up. So, what else was there to do but walk with Yanellie and the girls to the booksellers tent so she could get her book? After which, I signed it and we took this picture. The girls were delightful, eager young women, and readers! I wish you could see their T-shirts which read: "I [heart] reading." Eso!

Pictured from left to right: Nohemi, me, Yanellie, and Melissa from Palm View High in Palm View, Texas.

For more photos from this year's Texas Book Festival, please visit my FaceBook Fan page.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DAMAS y SELENIDAD, sitting pretty at BookWoman

Here's a copy of DAMAS next to SELENIDAD (Duke University Press), a new book by my friend, Deborah Paredez, sitting pretty together at Austin's only feminist bookstore, BookWoman. Paredez is a professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of Texas, here in Austin. I've only read the introduction, but already I'm engrossed with how she talks about the "performance" of memory. Using Selena Quintanilla as the foundation of her discussion is very wise and as if that weren't enough, Deborah is a great writer! SELENIDAD is an academic publication, but don't let that stop you from checking it out. It's totally accessible to the non-academic reader and a must read for anyone interested in the Selena phenomena and for those who are curious about Paredez's larger thesis.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Posting on the fly...

...while testing ping.fm.

Just got requests for interviews on Univison and local PBS affiliate KLRU. I'll post, if they let me!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Book, The Movie!

I love this idea by fellow blogger Marshal Zeringue — to dream of who you'd cast in a movie of your book — and so appreciate his invitation to participate. Click here to read his recent posting. Enjoy!

The photo to the left is a detail from a tiara vendor's goodies at the last Quince Expo I attended. Gotta love the tiara! I have a new appreciation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Interview with Vince Lozano at Macondo

My dear friend Vince Lozano posted a lovely interview with me at the Macondo Website. Like Vince, the interview is full of that wry affection so many of us adore in him. He is one of the writers I most admire—doing the work even when it's hard, even when it's not fun, even when it hurts. He and I have talked a lot about the need for the general public to hear the romantic notion of what it means to be a writer. I hate to break it to you, but there is nothing romantic about it. It's work. It's hard work. It has it's rewards from time to time, but ultimately, there is nothing glamorous about it. Another reason why, if you say you want to be a writer, my response is always: "Well, then go do it." People who should be writers are those people who are not much good at anything else. I don't wake up every morning and turn over to talk sweet nothings with my muse. Most of the time, I'm growling for my coffee, trying to keep all the little figments of what's left to be done from overcrowding my head.

Sorry to be so snarky. I am getting ready for presentations to several classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (thanks to my good friend y comadre, Amelia Montes--another Macondista and a professor at UNL). The questions are generally the same: How do I get an agent? How fast did you get published? Where should I send my work? My response to those questions is: Is your work done? (Nine times out of ten, the answer is "no.") At which case I snarl: Go do the work. All your attention should be on the work. The rest, while necessary, is not important (to publishers, publicists, agents, to those who want to be famous--it's very important). Writers have—or should have—other things occupying their minds. And if you're a writer—a real writer—I don't have to tell you what that is.

Okay....enough of this bad mood. I'm in a lovely coffee house in Lincoln. The weather is divine and the coffee is piping hot. Getting ready for a small pachanga at my aunt's house. Looking forward to that, mainly because although my aunt is only a few years older than me, whenever she sees me, her hands fly into the air as she exclaims, "My baby!" It makes me cringe and laugh at the same time. Ah, familia!

Friday, September 4, 2009

DAMAS at the Texas Book Festival

The Texas Book Festival just posted their 2009 author's list. I'm thrilled to be included with the likes of Carmen Tafolla, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Oscar Casares. And the description of Damas is just lovely. I'm really honored. For those of you who've written saying you wished you lived in Austin, now's a good excuse to come for a visit! It's the same weekend as Dia de los Muertos, one of my favorite events of the entire year (Austin's Mexic-Arte Museum hosts the biggest, baddest Dia de los Muertos events in town).

Be sure to check out the entire list of authors and events at the Texas Book Festival. The full schedule is not posted yet, so check back often.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Look Who's reading DAMAS, DRAMAS, AND ANA RUIZ

It's been a hectic two weeks. Just now catching my breath! I did a heap of laundry today after many, many, many weeks of delay. This book release business is exhausting, but it's been great to meet so many excited readers and fans new to the Quinceañera Club series.

I'm starting something new here on the blog: if anyone can send me the most unusual pic of Damas—either in an unusual setting, or with a copy of the book in the hands of a famous/near famous person—and the photo makes me laugh, sigh, or go "wow," I'll send you a FREE book. Yes, that's right: a free book, right to your mailbox!

Send your photos to me at nuevob@gmail.com. Please, nothing "blue" or off-color.

My selections are totally subjective but may be selected based on the quality of the photo in addition to the content. So, your blurry photos won't fly and your super-high-res-photos will not upload. Use "web quality" on your camera, if possible. I'll pick a winner each week. In the meantime, I'm going to upload photos from my friends and colleagues collected since Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz came out.

This photo: creatures in Cuernevaca, Mexico courtesy of Liliana Valenzuela: translator, poet, wife, mother, Macondista, y mi comadre buena.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Indie Live Austin Interview with Elliot Jackson

Elliot did the interview, but the remarkable Johnny Ramirez is the savant behind this wonderful series that goes to look for what's new and exciting in Austin's Latino music and culture scene. Interspersed with the musical performances are interviews with artists. I am honored that Johnny and his crew decided to include me in their series. My interview (posted below) should air sometime in September. But you can always find Indie Live Austin clips on YouTube and Vimeo.

Belinda Acosta-Book Release Party from Johnny Ramirez on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DAMAS Book Release party was DA BOMB!!!!!

Oh, my goodness! The book release party was even more fabulous than I hoped it would be! Yes, there are more photos to come. Many friends brought their cameras and I'm in the process of gathering their media files and will upload a photo album asap. In the meantime, check out Mr. Michael Barnes's "Out & About" column posted this afternoon (he's the Austin American-Statesman's Social Critic). He's got some great photos, including some of the lovely quinces who graced us with their loveliness (yeah, I had on the tiara, but they charmed the crowd—and me. They were adorable).

My feet are sore and my apartment is a disaster area (did I mention that they are re-plumbing my unit, starting the week of the release party? Don't ask). But no time to whine. Must move on to the next thing on my long list of things to do. Boring things like laundry and important things like planning for my first San Antonio readings on Aug. 29 (check the events calendar elsewhere on this site).

Oh, just in case you were wondering: I have no idea why my mouth is open. Thankfully, the lovely Racheal Torres takes the attention off my goofy expression. Racheal is "la madre de Las Comadres Book Club." She's in charge of managing all the details of the bookclubs Las Comadres has—a great woman, a new friend, and best of all, a reader! What writer wouldn't love her?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Virtual ink from UT-Austin

A little online ink from my alma mater. I'm not so fond of my "official" publicity photo, so I'm including this candid shot with me and mi hermanito Paul Saucido. See post below for the fabulous interview he did with me last week.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Paul Saucido, the host of Sonido Boombox, which originates here in Austin, Texas, was kind enough to include me on his show. If you live in Austin, you can catch new episodes on Fridays at 8pm on cable channel 15.

A clip of our interview is below. FYI....Paul is one of my handsome bailadores for the book release party on August 18. ¡Ajua!

Belinda Acosta Interview from SaucidoSlant on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

DAMAS hits bookstores Aug. 11!

Can you believe it? It's still not real to me—I'll believe it when I walk into my favorite bookstore on August 11, and see it there in living color.

Speaking of "living color," check out this pretty palette of dresses in the photo. This was taken at the end of the fashion show at the Quince Expo & Latina Bridal Festival I appeared at last weekend in Austin, Texas. The expo is not your typical "book event," but I had to go when the invite was warmly offered by event planner (and sister las comadres member) Cindy Benavides. If there was any doubt that anyone heard me, those doubts were dashed when en eager bunch of young women and their mothers came up after I read to find out more about the book. Looks like there's a bright future for the Quinceañera Club series. Eso!

If you'd like to read an excerpt of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz, scroll down below or clique aqui.

UPDATE: A local rep from Barnes & Noble here in Austin told me that Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz is in her store now. Also, family in Nebraska reports they got their copies ordered from Amazon in the mail on Friday.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sneak Peek of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz

My home newspaper, the Austin Chronicle, has graciously run a sneak peek of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz! Click here to read the opening prologue.

The book is available for pre-order now online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, as well as your local independent bookstore. Damas, officially goes on sale Aug. 11.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New review from Teresa Carbajal Ravet

Teresa is an Austin-based blogger, a mother, a writer, a translator, a reader, and one of Austin's local coordinators of the Las Comadres Book Club. I've spent many lovely evenings chatting with Teresa and other comadres about books written by Latin@ writers, and I so appreciate her enthusiasm and passion for the written word. Read her generous review of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz here.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My dear friend Michal is one of the "hormigas" making small, Mexican paper flowers for the book release party! Here is his first batch. They look even more lovely in person. You can't see the green stems, but we will be attaching bookmarks from Grand Central Publishing (featuring all their Latino-themed titles) and giving them away as party favors to attendees. Makes you want to come, right?

The book release party for Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz is August 18, from 6pm to 8pm at Cuba Libre in Austin, Texas.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quince or Sweet 16?

Latinitas, the first and only digital magazine by and for Latina girls and youth wants to know: Quince or Sweet 16? They are currently collecting thoughts on the subject here.

I'm so pleased to say that Latinitas was born and raised in Austin, Tejas, by two, very dynamic Latinas, Laura Donnelly (a new mami!) and Alicia Rascon. In a few short years, they have expanded their reach and now have an office in El Paso, where Alicia now lives with her family.

A print version of Latinitas came out earlier this year, with plans to roll out a regular publication later in the year. Click here to read a lovely, first person account of Anna-Alizette Ruiz's quinceañera and what it meant to her. Eso!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who says Latinos aren't connected?

San Antonio's Jo Ann Yolanda Hernández is working it at her blog and website BronzeWord Latino Writers. And her links list is prodigious! Check it out here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Joy Castro reviews DAMAS

Joy Castro is a writer (The Truth Book), a professor, the bloggera behind joycastro.com, and an esteemed colleague through our membership in Macondo, the writers' collective created by Sandra Cisneros. I'm proud to call Joy a home girl—she lives in my home town of Lincoln, Nebraska, where she's a professor of English at the University of Nebraska.

Joy has totally blown me away with her enormously thoughtful critique of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz. Click here to read what she has to say about the book, Latina Letters, and where Damas falls in the spectrum of popular women's literature.

Q&A With LATINIDAD's Marcela Landres now online.

I first met Marcela Landres at a seminar she conducted at San Antonio's Gemini Ink. My goodness—that was at least ten years ago! I'm delighted that Marcela and I were able to reconnect after all these years. Please read the Q & A she so graciously posted in her Latinidad website by clicking here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Posting on the fly

Belinda has sampled cupcakes from Four Pink Dragonflies, the official baker for the book release party August 18. (See Events Calendar post). I don't know how Maritza Lujan, the wizard behind Four Pink Dragonflies does it. All I know is that one bite = heaven.

Love the name of Maritza's business—named for her four daughters. Sweet!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Posting on the fly

Belinda is taste testing the "Quince Cocktail" for the book release party Aug. 18. YUM!

Check the Events Calendar Post for more information on the book release party and upcoming readings.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

EVENTS CALENDAR--check back often

August 25
BookPeople - 6th & Lamar - Austin, Texas

August 29
Brunch with the Author
Viva! Book Store, 8407 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 11am
Barnes & Noble - 321 NW Loop 410 - San Antonio, Texas 3pm

September 16
Classroom appearances, lecture, reading

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska

September 18
Reading & appearance
Nebraska Literary Festival –Omaha, Nebraska

September 20
Reception, reading, and special
Mother + Daughter Workshop (details TBA)
BookWoman Book Store - 5501 N. Lamar Blvd. - Austin, Texas

September 26, 27
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Trade Show
Greenville, South Carolina

*October 16, 17
Myrna Cabello Show Long Performance Center – Austin, Texas

October 31, November 1
Reading & Appearance
Texas Book Festival – Austin, Texas

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Writers' League of Texas Conference

I'm speaking at the Writers' League of Texas Conference in sizzling hot Austin, Texas, today. (At 7am, it was 81 degrees! We've had a heat wave.) Sunblock, purple horn rims, and cowboy boots—check! Actually, I'm wearing my most fabulous sea green blue, sequined, kitten heel slides. Meow!

Will also meet my editor at Grand Central Publishing, Selina McLemore, face-to-face today. Looking forward to it. I think. I'm going to get notes on the second book of the series I turned in on June 1. I always plan for the worse and hope for the best. Worst case: "I love it! Change everything!" Best case: "I love it! Everything is perfect! Look, it's snowing!"

The comments will probably fall somewhere in the middle. :-D

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Viva Las Comadres!

Is there a Las Comadres group in your city? More specifically, is there a Las Comadres Book Club near you?

Thanks to the diligence, faith, and inspiration of Austin-based Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Las Comadres groups have formed all over the nation. The basic purpose of the group is to provide a monthly meeting space for Latinas to network and support each other. Notices about jobs, conferences, events, and other information of special note to Latinas arrives in members' email daily. But Nora has pushed the group beyond a networking organization to include a variety of projects from professional development to gardening (check out the website).

Near to my heart is the Las Comadres Book Clubs. They meet all over the country once a month to read and discuss works by Latin@ writers. The book club I attend meets at Borders in the Westgate Shopping Center here in Austin. I have to say, our discussions are always eye-opening. I've learned a lot about what readers want to see in the books they read for pleasure, and what they expect from Latin@ writers in general. And being around women who are hungry for a good book? As a writer, that thrills me.

When I told Nora some friends and I were planning a book release party for Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz, she immediately launched into "Nora mode," asking: how can Las Comadres help? Before I knew it, she lined up some damas (recent quinces who will be at the release party to direct visitors) and asked the North Austin Las Comadres Book Club to change their regular meeting date and time so they could all attend my book release party! Knowing Las Comadres will be there to celebrate and support me, fills me with enormous—I don't even have the words. Once again, I am touched.

Viva Las Comadres!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Floored, honored, and touched

I have been answering questions from two, enormously talented blog queens: Marcela Landres and Joy Castro. Marcela has an e-zine called Latinidad and Joy—a talented writer and academic hailing from my home state of Nebraska (yes, Nebraska--Latin@s are EVERYWHERE, esa!). But back to La Joy: she writes about Latinas and literature, crossing back and forth over that boundary between popular and literary fiction—just like we Latin@s do as part of everyday life!

The thoughtful questions Marcela and Joy have come up with, the care with which they are assembling their pieces about me and Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz, and ultimately, the corazón each of them brings, not only to my work, but to their everyday practice, working with, reading, devouring, and loving words....it's simply amazing.

I am honored to be included in their work.

I'll share links to their articles when they're posted.

Still collecting quinceañera fotos!!!

Old, new, funny, sweet, funky, elegant. No, you don't have to have been the quince. You don't even have to be in the pic! I'm collecting for a slide show to show prior to readings and book signings. We can even blur out faces, if you want to get technical about it.

Send me what you have: nuevob@gmail. com


Monday, June 22, 2009

Finishing touches

Almost done responding to questions sent by Marcela Landres for her e-zine, LATINIDAD. Will send word when it's posted. Other blog interviews in the works.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The book drops August 11, 2009

Until then, planning a big book release party here in Austin. Getting ready to meet with editor about book two, speaking at the Writers' League of Texas Conference next week.