Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, things are shaping up for April, dates for the Bay Area will be up shortly on my website.

In the meantime, I wanted to revisit Sable Lit Mag's new issue. I have a story in there, La Ciguapa, for which I wanted to thank some people. I always think it's interesting the whole notion of thanking, and I do it because I truly believe in and experience writing as a collective process which culminates in a story filtered through one individual lens - the author's lens as mediated by revisions and feedback. For some folks, workshopping is about getting assurance about one's own voice. For other's, workshopping work can give a writer great perspective on how well a scene/idea/dialogue is communicated. After saying all of that...

...I send a big shout out to all the wonderful peeps I had the honor of working with at the Our Word workshops at Columbia University a couple of years back. The feedback I received from Jenny, Marinieves, Qiana, Robert, Orlando, and A.J. really strengthened my overall writing in significant ways. For example, the notion of using the rules of the world as a fundamental guiding point in scene development. Or of communicating time and space within the limits of short story. And, their feedback strengthened the story, La Ciguapa. Very cool. Thank you.

Short story fiction writing is particularly challenging for me, even though I love the form. I'll never forget the first time I read a collection of Tennessee Williams' short fiction One Arm and Other Stories. I was 12 and I swallowed the book almost whole (I left a few scraps of the book cover when I was done). I loved how he was able to attain a cinematic quality within a few short pages. And how I would tense up as I fell into the characters' mangled lives. As an adult, I am especially drawn to the short stories of Ama Ata Aidoo, Ben Okri, ZZ Packer, Pedro Antonio Valdez (whose flash fiction I find particularly intriguing), Jorge Luis Borges, Octavia Butler and Sherman Alexie (who just came out with a new young adult novel: Flight). And I read as much as I can in literary journals. Always.

Speaking of...I must get on. The Austin Salon's second gathering is happening this Saturday and I'm really excited.


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