A glimpse

I can't say enough good things about Inversion Coffee in Montrose. It was my spot in 2011 during the occasional "let's not study at the library" moment. It was my spot in 2012-2014, when I had to do homework for one or more of my workshops. It was my spot in 2015, where, thanks to having Fridays off, I was able to spend entire days working on my thesis there.

And you know what? It's still looking to be the same case in 2016. Of course, now that my precioussssssss Fridays off are no more, it's more of a reach. But I went there recently, and man, I mean, parts of it are the nostalgia factor but I really love working there. I also really love seeing people study and chat there, as well. When I make it, I'm going to gift them my "people you meet at coffeehouses" poem. Hell, I might just do that this year. Now, on to this entry.

In the last two days: 

  • Finished my first short story this year
  • Finished my first spoken word poem of the year

I'm particularly proud of the poem and the short story. The poem, which I should have a link up here at some point, is an ode to the Valley and a promise to represent. Some people say, okay, aim low, don't be all glory-seeking.

Why? 

And what is aiming low? 

To quote Bubba Shot the Jukebox: "Reckless, hell, I hit just where I was aiming!"

I read from the best, and I've been influenced by the best, I want to write like the best and if I don't set these lofty goals then what's the point? It took nagging knee injuries to dissuade me from my dreams of playing for Club America...and that's at the age of 26. I still haven't given up on my other dreams.

Though I recognize I'm still trying to develop my own path. Chicano literature? Mexican literature? Latino literature? Who knows. I mean, my last two big and ambitious writing assignments, one (my manuscript) has some comparisons to the McOndo movement. The other, my NaNoWriMo project, has comparisons to Macondismo.  But if one doesn't know the terms and reads my fiction, they think dirty realism, they think minimalism, they think...well, God knows what they think. My poetry covers a very wide range of subjects (90 unpublished poems) but my spoken word doesn't stray much from straight-up Chicano activism. 

I'll just write from the heart and let Amazon and the publishers worry about the labels. Shit, when I was writing genre fiction, it was either fantasy or sci-fi. 

But I will say, the short story I wrote? It's the first one where I can actually say, holy shit, magical realism!  Last year I wrote a story, more of a homage, really, to Julio Cortazar's Southern Thruway. Not my favorite piece in the manuscript. So I wrote one between yesterday and today, Dos de tripa. 

And this is where I'll give you a glimpse of how I write my fiction.

Poetry, I'm very methodical. Write poem, let poem sit, type poem up a week later, determine worth. If good, save, if not, cannibalize the good lines for new poem.

Fiction: Reckless Abandon (no wonder why the working title for my manuscript is Reckless Anxiety). I'll find an idea and then write until my eyelids can't stay open much longer. So for this one,  "magical taco truck" was the prompt. Light-hearted, of course. But I just started running with it and saw how it started taking several twist took several twisted turns. At one point writing it, I even made myself nauseous. To me, it's important to feel disgust, to feel horrified, to feel disturbed if the subject matter calls for it. That's why i know that when I'm done editing, it's going to be an even stronger story. I haven't felt this excited since I finished "Chamber Music for a Weekend Out", one of the stories in my manuscript. 

But man, it's emotionally draining. 

And honestly, that's why I prefer my unorganized aapproach to fiction. "Man, what if?" and then going from there, with all the rawness of human emotion. Sometimes it just fizzles, but in times like this, I'm going to start sending this one as soon as it clears its first workshop.

And I think it's fair I now tell you that your names are going to be used at some point in my fiction. Any resemblance to a character is purely coincidental. I'll just make sure names and last names don't match up. Naming everyone 'Juan Smith' gets old, after all  ;)