I am exhausted and with good reason.
On Wednesday night, I was part of an amazing livestreamed reading. Culture, Love, and Identity: An Afro-Latina Reading.
It was amazing and just knocked my socks off. You know when you work on something for so long and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out but you just can’t stop to think about it. That was that moment.
Wait, it’s all jumbling in my head like a brand new jigsaw puzzle. Let me start where all things start, the beginning.
I had this idea. What if there was a writing retreat for Afro-Latina writers? Like why wasn’t there before? It just seemed to be this was a thing to do.
You have to understand, Dear Reader, that when I thought about this, it was for an award given by a lit journal. It wasn’t really thought out completely. It was half baked on its way to being fully baked, as most ideas are.
But then I won it and all of a sudden I became something more than a writer. I became a person who created space for other writers. I became a person who went from writing in the shadows to asking people to apply to spend a weekend in a Houston in Galveston, Texas. I became a person with a voice and an opportunity to do something different.
Talk about adulting.
And I took it seriously and it was amazing. The five ladies that joined in were just amazing writers and people. It was surprising how close we became in such a short period. So much so that I can’t imagine my writing life without them.
Then we did this reading. This crazy awesome reading of our work and now people are saying they were inspired. I read a section of Jennie Manning, my novel in progress, and now people are asking about my character.
And yet, this feels like my life’s work, something that I should do always and constantly. Something I should explore because there’s an answer there somewhere, I think, though I have no idea what the question is.
And so this reading happens. It happens the same week I grade what feel like a million papers. It happens the same week I get some distressing news from my past. It happens the same week I questions a list of truths I’ve grown up with.
This reading happens just as life happened. As it should.
So here, I give you the reading. I hope you like it. I hope it inspires you. I hope it fuels you.
As always I remain your humble storyteller,