When I talk about my father and when I write stories about him, I chose my words carefully. His is a story of redemption. The success of that redemption depends on who you ask. My dad was Osiris Fernández y Ferrer. That was his full name according to his Cuban passport. I say that … Continue reading How redemption continues even after death
Dear Reader, The weeks after Harvey has been, let’s say, a crash course in patience. Patience in and with FEMA. Patience in myself and my own healing. Patience in the new normal. Patience. So much of it. And then, without warning, or maybe with some warning, my sister in Cuba dies. She dies after the … Continue reading The Act of Patience in the New Normal
Dear Reader, I wasn't going to write, not anymore. I promised myself that this week. I was prepared to end my love affair with the writing life, not out of frustration but of trauma. My words, they failed me and the energy wasn't there to pursue them. Since Harvey sucker punched Houston, I wasn't interested in … Continue reading The rain, the flood, the trauma
Dear Reader, Someone recently posed a question to me. When you think about teaching creative writing, what does that mean? The answer was easy and came to me quickly. This is all about empowerment. Writing, especially creatively, is about being empowered and empowering others. This is why I love teaching writers. In my career, I've … Continue reading Why do I love teaching writing?
Dear Reader, I've been thinking a lot about bravery recently, what it actually means and what it takes to be brave. This bravery thing seems like a simple thing to figure out but I'm not quite so sure. I've been called brave once. About a year ago. See, I did something that most people wish … Continue reading Don’t call me brave. Call me chingona
Dear Reader, This is a website about writing. And the writing life. It is about dispelling those myths about what the writing life actually is. It takes courage to live this life. It takes more courage to live this life as a writer of color. Today is one of those days where writing is my … Continue reading Being a writer in the age of Alton and Philando
Dear Reader, One of the very first things I heard during my VONA experience was this: “You are allowed to take up space.” The words weren’t foreign to me but how they were put together were. Space? I nodded thinking that I knew what that phrase meant. All through my week, I kept hearing that … Continue reading Stop apologizing: What independence really means
Listen, my black speaks Spanish. And I love learning about African American History. Love it. But I want to know about my history. Who are the people who fought in wars and made discoveries? Whose names are all but forgotten? What are the issues they have confronted and overcome?
Dear Reader, Something dropped in my inbox this week, an unexpected summons that there was a new blog post of a blog I had subscribed to. This blog was actually part of a former life of mine. I had once blogged at this site as part of my duties. I had forgotten I was still … Continue reading What happens when you stop asking for permission
Dear Reader, This week was the first week of classes and I started teaching on a new campus, my old college. It has been a beyond surreal experience. The first day was filled with so many memories. The classroom I teach in is the same classroom I learned in. I ran into my first creative … Continue reading You can go home again