This is called the Writing Process Tour. I have no idea who/where/when it came from, BUT IT'S RAD. Thanks to the very awesome Traci Kato-Kiriyama for inviting me!
A Los Angeles-based literary character who I happen to respect a great deal once [affectionately] scolded at me, "You're not writing? Well you're not a writer!" Not that I care to "call myself a writer" entirely, but one thing I have learned, in the relatively short time I've been taking this kinda seriously, is that it's not until you own what you must do that you start caring about getting better at it, better at the craft of writing. I'm honored to be included in this wonderful little project, because as a literary program coordinator working with so many different writers and artists, I have very little time to work on my own material and so I often question...well...all kinds of things - which ultimately allows me to deny myself the opportunity to know myself. I'm a poet, I write to better understand myself - the past, present and my dreams. I write to better understand others, and to draw maps that explain that how they love me is different than how I love them - and writing helps me understand that that's okay. I write to fill the gaps in my memory, of lost time and of people and places that go missing - I write to make it easier for me to say goodbye. Although I don't believe that all of this will makes "sense" of my thoughts, this writing is something I have to do. But I'm so good at forgetting, so thank you Traci, for inviting me into this project - and for reminding me...of why I need to write. (HA! No wonder I've been feeling so frazzled!)
So, here are the questions I'm suppose to answer. Aside from my answers I'm also suppose to nominate three authors, who will be doing the same. My nominations are at the bottom of this post.
What are you working on?
2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
C) Why do you write what you do?
IV) How does your writing process work?
So what exactly am I working on?
About a year ago I finished a novel that I had been writing over a span of about 15 years. I'm assuming that if I were to read it in its entirety it would reflect the insanity that has been my life up until the point of finishing it. I'd like to look over it at some point before making any major steps, that's something I'm trying to work on. But more importantly, I'd like to have my first collection of prose/poetry available by early 2015. I'm very very slowly compiling those now. Not RIGHT now, but you know - nowISH. And I just locked my first ever interview assignment for an online culture magazine.
Genre? What's that? Not sure that that my work differs from others, except for where it derives. Our experiences are unique, and the way we choose to share them are unique. I'm pretty ADD and tire of certain things pretty easily so I like to challenge myself with experimentation, in terms of form and structure of the prose. I also like to work a lot with photography and music. I have all kinds of ideas for how I'll arrange and ultimately release the collection of poetry, but still...there will always be someone with something similar out there.
C. Why do I write what I write?
I suppose I answered this in the opening statement. I write this stuff because I have to - to keep track of mileage, to let go and move forward. To say goodbye.
I'm dependent on Mac notes. My mode of transportation is bike, bus and train so I'm only an Iphone, or shutter release away from being inspired. I take photos of anything that I find interesting and let the image trigger a memory, or a story. I'll write something and post it to facebook, before committing it to this notations section of my website, where I'll look it over again to expand on it, edit etc. For anything that I write in length, for projects to be published or whatever, I first determine how it's going to be experienced. The voice, is it internal or external? For external, I create a character and that character usually has a particular musical taste that sets the mood - of everything. The music sets up what I'll write next.
And I go from there.
And I nominate Désirée Zamorano, Iris De Anda and Rebecca Gonzalez to have their process made public - by no later than next Thursday! GO!
Désirée Zamorano is the director of Occidental's Community Literacy Center where for a decade she has used diverse literature to connect with adults and kids. Désirée Zamorano writes in order to shred the cloak of invisibility thrust upon Latinas. Her latest novel, THE AMADO WOMEN, Cinco Puntos Press, is about four women linked by birth, separated by the secrets of sex, money and death. desireezamorano.com
Iris De Anda is a writer, activist, and practitioner of the healing arts. A womyn of color of Mexican and Salvadorean descent. A native of Los Angeles she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams.She self published her debut collection of poetry, CODESWITCH: FIRES FROM MI CORAZON, and it's available now, on her website…irisdeanda.com
Cultivated by the sun and moon peeking past the shoes dangling from the phone lines, Rebecca Gonzales was raised and resides “one block East of El Pino.” in East La. Rebecca collects the energy of the streets with the passion of poetry and sweetness of her son’s laughter to find positivity and optimism for the future. As a mother she is humbled as a poet she is obedient, and as a woman she is unapologetic. You can Rebecca’ s work at ladydrug.wordpress.com
The mat that covered the bathroom floor, slightly dulling the echo, is gone. And it's also colder in here, not because it's empty, but because the few items that have stayed in my life have decided to move in an opposite direction, in angst of my directionless. And if before I move to where it's warm you should decide to close this door, with me on the side of the uncovered bathroom floor, I'll have nothing left but my echo - louder than what has left me behind.
It's as if the universe had turned upside down, and it's harsh winters had burnt over. I prayed for this day to happen. I prayed with my arms wide open, for happy to stumble into my life and turn it right side up, to burn the letters off these pages to leave this skin blemish free. But it takes more than prayer. And as it turns out, the letters where the dim candlelight on the road here. Happy prefers to stumble onto blemish filled white bones molded into books of us, in a universe turned wrong side up. And it's better that way, because happy is temporary and means nothing without the truest of us; pages filled with crooked words and dog-eared blank paper scattered throughout time. The real us. No one ever prays for an accidental stumble with truth, though we should. Wrong makes the right of us happy sometimes, and stumbling into the unknown is the sum of all of this beautiful catastrophe called life.
Part One. Victory Blvd
(hint: read between the lines)
It was hot, the dog-days-of-summer-in-the-Valley kind of hot. These two lovebirds were eager to find a peaceful shade at any nearest tree, a tree this side of a place the she lovebird had never been, but had always wanted to "experience." Thanks to the internet, she quickly found a perfectly shady place!
"Where's Victory Blvd?", she asked while thinking she might already know, because everyone kinda knows where Victory is. Of course, he was all, "A few blocks up from Vanowen. Duh." And she's like, "Where's Vanowen?" And he's like, "Ah Fuck it! We're getting out of the Valley." She was all smiles.
And they lived happily ever after.
(For a friend)
Every year my distant memory reminds me that I should wear the summer like a wedding dress, made of blue-colored strings played in variations of C Major. And so by July I collect the summer sun in a basket full of strings, and let summer happen. And you should too, despite a desire of being held captive by yesterdays spring, and being pulled by autumn into your tomorrow. A memory needs space to grow, so that you can be reminded to wear your today, to listen to the symphony it drapes over and under your skin. Let the summer chords settle in your pores. Let the settling happen, while you wear this celebration, of you.