I am delighted to announce that my first piece “Hello America…” published by Drunken Boat was read aloud on the radio!!!!! Can you see me smiling?
Life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. Now, I’m not saying that my life is perfect by any means (trust me, it’s far from perfection) or that I am some kind of superstar writer (only in my wildest dreams & stories can I say that) – but I am saying that just when questioning my goals and my ability to be a writer started to be a daily issue for me, I was suddenly swept up in a whirlwind of excitement to keep on trying and to live the dream rather than just dreaming it when I received a message from beyond the clouds.
It all started when I happened to check my Facebook (a feat I rarely remember to do) as I was taking a break from mopping some hardwood floors at my mom’s job – she’s a housekeeper and when I have the free time away from work or school I help her. Either way, just as I was making my way to the living room from the dining room I took a break to laze away on someone else’s couch and check my Facebook updates on my phone ( I know, I know – what a model employee, haha!).
Now here is where the story starts to move from blah blah blah to Holy Smokes!!!!! One of the messages waiting for me was from my former Drunken Boat corresponding nonfiction editor, Erin Wilcox. Her message explained that she was going to be on a radio show promoting the journals partnership with the Librotraficante movement. Have you heard of the Librotraficante movement taking place in AZ and TX and spreading across the country? It’s outstanding and in short, it is a New Latino Renaissance in literature and art born from the negative attitudes towards ethnic studies and the banning of books in certain areas around the country. Here are some links to check out, get acquainted with the movement Librotraficante (PW) and Librotraficante.com.
Together Erin Wilcox and the Drunken Boat team are collaborating with Librotraficante to create a special issue of the journal to help support the movement. Erin wrote me to ask if I wouldn’t mind if she could read my story, “Hello America, Hasta Luego Guatemala! 1969!” on the radio to help indicate the kind of submissions DB would be looking for. EEEK! That came out of left field. I of course said YES!!!!
Erin went on the “Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say” radio show on 90.1 FM KPFT to announce the submission dates and info on the issue as well as to speak to Tony Diaz (founder of “Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say” and leader of Librotraficante). They discussed the urgency behind the creation of the momentous portfolio and what the mission and significance behind the issue is . Erin felt that my piece speaks to what they’re looking for and she read it on the May 28th broadcast. Originally I was asked to be on air to read it, however, work got in the way so Erin just read it for me. Unfortunately, she was only allotted time to read an excerpt of the story, but it was still really AWESOME!!!! It was a very surreal moment to be able to hear it when I later tuned into the podcast. My mom cried listening to it, and to be honest, my eyes were wet too. Erin was really great to have gotten in touch with me about it.
I am very proud and honored and hope that I can keep up this momentum to produce more work that feeds my soul and perhaps the souls of some readers too. It is ironically fitting that my work was chosen to help promote the issue and more importantly the Latino writers voice within our society when I have so often doubted myself and my own writing. Now, all there is to do, is to keep writing!
*** The original broadcast on the radio website has expired, therefore I am trying to see if I can upload the audio file directly onto here. Unfortunately, I am having difficulties with linking and/or adding the audio file to the site since its a podcast (i’m not too tech savy). When I’ve finally figured it out, I will be sure to add it in so that those that are interested can listen to it.