Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
In this photo: screenwriter MIGUEL ALVAREZ, novelist CRISTINA GARCIA, and singer/songwriter DAVID GARZA.
Cristina was sweet to message me on FaceBook to say how much fun she had. I responded: We should do it again, in another city--perhaps at AWP? Too soon to pull it together for February's conference, but maybe the next?
The Austin Chronicle on Thanksgiving (the article should be posted on our website Nov. 25 or 26, 2010). She read from her newest novel, The Lady Matador's Hotel, but did you know that she's also released a new book of poetry this year titled, The Lesser Tragedy of Death? In a word, it's stunning. Deeply personal, heartbreaking, and beautiful, the poems talk about growing up with her troubled brother. Read more about this remarkable book and her other work in my Chronicle piece. I hope I did her justice.
García has been teaching at the writing program I graduated from at the University of Texas at Austin this semester. If you're in Austin December 2, come hear her read, live and in person! Click here for more information.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
As a writer, reading and literacy is one of my causes. So, I was thrilled when Dulce Bread and Bookshop owner Teresa Carbajal Ravet asked me to help her assemble a last minute addition to the Big Read line up. And thanks to our fellow comadre Myrna Cabello (who, regrettably, will not be able to join us this time around), I think we've assembled a fabulous event: Uniendo Talentos: A Latino Writers Creative Circle. This unusual event will feature a round table discussion with writers from several disciplines. I serve as the moderator, engaging this astonishing group of writers to talk about their work: Novelist Cristina Garcia, Austin-based singer-songwriter David Garza, and up and coming filmmaker, Miguel Alvarez. What will be unusual about this event is that the artists are invited to ask each other questions about their work:
How is a poem like a song?
What is the language of film?
How do we hear words?
Besides the talk, each participant will share a bit of their work. So, all five senses will be covered: the aroma of fresh coffee and the taste of goodies from the host venue, the music of spoken word by Garcia and myself, the sound of music by David Garza, and a short visual treat from Miguel. I'm excited! I hope you are too!
Uniendo Talentos takes place at Dominican Joe's Coffee Shop, a cozy coffee shop at the corner of Riverside and Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. Click here for the details. Hope you can make it.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
here to shop Dulce online.
Next on the calendar: working with Teresa on a Big Read event scheduled November 12. We've organized a "creative circle," where several writers from various disciplines talk about how they approach their work. Musician David Garza, filmmaker Miguel Alvarez, novelist Cristina Garcia, and I will be on hand to chat, sing, read, and show our work. It will be lovely, lively event. More details as they are firmed up.
Right now, I'm tired but glad to be back home.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Chola pose with Edward James Olmos. Not really. I was trying to tell him something when the person taking the picture decided to shoot. Olmos lends his name to the festival, several of which occur around the country. I would really like to get one going in Austin. Heard there's some movement in San Antonio—and it makes sense to have it there. But I think an Austin version would be awesome. On the other hand, I don't need any more distractions from writing. It's a constant battle.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
|The party's just getting started.|
|The sign in table. I was told these were the last of the books pre-ordered for book club!|
Friday, July 30, 2010
Note the yummy cupcakes at my elbow. Thanks to all who came out, bought books, and celebrated with me. Mi amiga Myrna Cabello, who sang between reading selections, promises a video clip of the reading. I'll post when it comes in. Oh, and thanks to Perla Cavasos for letting me borrow this pic.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I have a couple of other reader reviews to post, too. Forgive me. I'm still catching up after the knee surgery. Today, I discovered an entire page of emails I hadn't even opened the last week of June! Which just proves what I've always suspected: I do pretty well with pain, but anesthesia and painkillers—forget it! They make me completely, and utterly useless!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Soooo happy that the lovely and talented Myrna Cabello is joining me on my inaugural reading of Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over. I've known Myrna for years. We lost touch, then (thankfully) found each other again, just as her singing/songwriting career was taking off. I always knew she could sing. I didn't know what a talented songwriter she was. I'm so thrilled she found a song that would work well as an interlude piece during the reading. Short, simple, and lovely. I got goosebumps as I listened to the MP3 she sent me, later asking me, "Is this all right?"
All right? It's amazing!
If you're in Austin, join us at BookPeople as I read a little, Myrna sings a little, and we enjoy amazing cupcakes from Four Pink Dragonflies.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
If you are in the Austin area I hope you will come to the SISTERS reading at BookPeople, July 23 at 7pm.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The 12th Annual International Latino Book Awards were awarded May 25, 2010, and Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz was a winner! Damas received the Mariposa Prize, the award given for Best First Book (English), at this year's awards ceremony held during the BookExpo of America convention in New York City.
The kind wishes and congratulations received from fellow writers across the nation has been lovely. But the best thing of all is that the award came from Latino Literacy Now, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy and literary excellence within the Latino community. They created the Latino Book Awards in 1999. In addition, they are behind several Latino Book Festivals that take place in Latino-rich communities across the nation. The next one is in Houston this September.
I wasn’t the only celebrated writer. Colleagues and writers I’ve long admired were also recognized for their work, including: Carmen Tafolla, René Colato Laiñez, Oscar Hijuelos, Marjorie Agosín, Josefina López, Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, Carolina de Robertis, Lucha Corpi, and many others were recognized in over 50 categories.
Congratulations to all the award-winners!
Friday, May 7, 2010
After some old-fashioned rabble-rousing, followed by a few days of diplomacy (and flak-catching), I will appear with John Phillip Santos, Barbara Renaud, and Emilio Zamora on a panel featuring Tejano Writers at this event on Saturday, May 8, in Austin, Texas. Long story. I promise to tell the tale when it's over.
In the meantime, click here to get a hint of what happened. It's all good. So far. And if you're in Austin, please come to the Scholtz Garten to get an earful of some hot-damn good writing by some of our best, Tejano writers. In my humble opinion, Santos is brilliant. Barbara Renaud is sublime, and Dr. Zamora is doing that all important work of documenting our history for the future.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over, the second book in the Quinceañera Club series (July 2010) has been included in the Recommended Reading List for this year's Children's Day/Books Day, El día de los niños/El día de los libros, April 30, 2010. My book is among the Young Adult titles. The Association of Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) assembles the list, along with REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking) and the Association of American Publishers Publishing Latino Voices for America Task Force.
While my book was not originally conceived as a Young Adult novel, I'm honored to be recognized by librarians. They were among the most important people in my early reading and writing life, and I still harbor the idea of going back to school to become a librarian. As if this honor weren't enough, I am equally thrilled to be included with authors like Oscar Hijuelos, Pat Mora, and Carlos Ruiz Safron.
Along with this good news, I received the Latino Books Month Recommended Reading List. That list, I'm pleased to say, includes some friends and colleagues: Amelia Montes (who wrote the introduction to Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton's Who Would Have Thought It?), and John Phillip Santos. Amelia, John Phillip and I are members of the Macondo Writers' Collective. Other notable writers on the adult list include: Reyna Grande, Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, and Helen Thorpe. All this news is "hot off the press." When an active link to a website is available, I'll be sure to post so you can read both the Día and the Latino Books Month lists in their entirety.
Recognition for Sisters.... came earlier when Las Comadres selected it for their September 2010 book club read. I will also participate in their teleconference, which should be interesting. This newspaper writer is not used to being interviewed. I guess there's a first time for everything!
Monday, April 19, 2010
In this photo, I'm standing next to Teresa Carbajal Ravet's lovely signage for her new venture, Dulce Bread and Bookshop (which I've written about before). So excited for Teresa!!
To look at more photos, click here.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St., Austin, Texas
Gloria Espitia says this was all my idea. I say it was hers. We agree to disagree. My ultimate goal is to expand the oral histories from women in the Mexican American Archive at the Austin History Center (of which Gloria serves as custodian). Having used those archives, I saw that the history of women could stand to be beefed up a bit. So, when Damas... came out, I thought, what a great way to collect some of those stories, kind of like they do on StoryCorps on NPR.
Gloria has done an outstanding job of training volunteer interviewers, as well as pulling together this event, practically single-handed. I will be reading from Damas, sharing the stage with the esteemed Norma Cantú, who will share her research on the quinceañera and other rituals. I am hoping that Dulce Bread and Bookshop will be there to sell books. If not, I'll give you the skinny on site on how to get your very own copy of Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz.
Here's the program, thanks to the Austin History Center flyer:
• Belinda G. Acosta will read from her book Damas, Drama and Ana Ruiz
• Dr. Norma E. Cantu will speak on La Quinceañera: A Chicana/Latina Coming of Age Ritual.
• Fashion show sponsored by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas
• Panel discussion relating to the differences and similarities of quinceañeras in Latin@ cultures
• Oral history interviews conducted with families who have celebrated quinceañeras.
Event is free and open to the public
For more information: contact Gloria Espitia or call (512) 974-7498.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Who shops at indie bookstores? President Obama does
Posted using ShareThis
Oh, this makes me so very, very happy, especially on a day when I decided I was going to go on a book buying spree at my favorite indie bookstore here in Austin, BookPeople. And the fact that Obama was buying books for young people only makes me happier. Speaking of happy, my cockles were warmed when the Noche de Cuentos event I participated in last week had an info table from the Austin Public Library set up. Among the books on display was a copy of DAMAS... Call me a dork, but seeing that little sticker on the spine gave me such a warm feeling, as did the news from one of the young people who saw the book and asked if she could have it. "Yes," the spokesperson behind the table said. "You can check it out at the library!" It's the little things that make it all worth it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
A lovely review of Damas from A Journey of Books. It came out in August but my Google Reader just found it today. I really like the voice of this blogger (and not just because nice things were written). There's a zeal in the voice that I really appreciate. Hope Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over will get some love from this site as well.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Congrats to Teresa Carbajal! She officially launched Dulce Bread & Bookshop for your reading pleasure. Check out her new sight, be a fan, order a book, and more importantly: read!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Macmillan’s Amazon Beatdown Proves Content Is King
Posted using ShareThis
Friday, January 29, 2010
On another note, I've been getting word that Sisters, Strangers, And Starting Over, the second book in the Quinceañera Club series, is available for pre-sale at various online sources. Check it out!
And lastly, I'll be appearing at the Quince Expo here in Austin at the Travis County Expo Center. Yes, you heard that right: the Expo center, meaning they are expecting a humongous turnout! I'll be hanging out at the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and the Austin History Center booth. They are working together to launch the Quinceañera Oral History Project. I'm their unofficial spokesperson—Gloria Espitia of the History Center insists it was all my idea. I insist it was hers. We've agreed to disagree. What we both agree on is the need to capture the stories of Mexican American women in Austin and beyond. Having accessed the Mexican American archives of the Austin History Center in the past, it's clear that the voice of women is present, but not as strong as it should be. We hope to change that with this and other projects in the future.
If you're in Austin and going to the Quince Expo, please come by and say "hello." I have some goodies to give away....maybe you'll be a lucky recipient?
Monday, January 4, 2010
Check out the entire SLHW list here: http://ping.fm/kIAAl