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.