Oh I can’t believe it’s been so long since I blogged, my bad guys. March up until now has been crazy busy. This semester has definitely earned me a much deserved break. In a few weeks I’ll be done with my first year of graduate school and off to spend the next 3 months in Tejas….yes I’m coming home for the summer. What probably will be my last Texas summer for awhile since next year I graduate and will be off to who knows where.
Let’s see what’s happened in the past month, well everything it feels like.
Went to Minneapolis for AWP which is one of the biggest literary conferences held nationally every year and boy that was an adventure. Minneapolis was beautiful, quiet, and there was so much to be learned. We as students basically had 4 days in the conference to attend whatever panels we want and just network with literary magazine, presses, journals, and publishers as we gained insight into the industry. And there was just so much to be discussed, conversed about, and debated about. I was particularly moved by the Race themed panels that discussed diversity, or the lack their of in the literary world and what is/is not being done to further that. Whether it’s bringing more writers of culture to the forefront or characters with more diversity to the mainstream literary world, the white world of writing needs more color. I didn’t even know until I attended these panels how void of minorities the literary world was, it was scary, revealing, and if anything pushed me to learn more about those current writers and hope to make my own mark. Not because I’m a colored writer, but a writer of color.
Minneapolis was a nice vacation, gave me a much needed break from real life. Got to get to know my fellow colleagues better and made some great memories, next year it’s in Los Angeles, cannot wait.
I got the wonderful privilege of assisting with a visiting writer we had coming to Columbia named Danielle Evans, who is my new author crush for the semester. I could rant on and on about her, but here’s a little excerpt from the introduction I had the opportunity to present on her behalf before she spoke. Check out her book “Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.”
As a writer, she continues to provide insight into how having the power to choose is in itself a danger. On a personal note, I’m happy to have found an author who writes characters that I can relate to, characters of color that don’t necessarily fall into the stereotypes represented in today’s society. There are just regular people who happen to be of color. Danielle Evans has had an impact on the literary community that makes me grateful for having found her work.
Let’s see… so much to think, so little time. Oh my book! Well working with Audrey Niffenegger this semester has been the greatest honor and privilege and she has been the captain to my book’s ship and steering me in a new direction. I to date have completed 10 brand new chapters totaling 175 pages for this semester, and I’m pretty proud of that. So while I still have much work left to be done, I’m very happy with my characters and the story I’m telling. It’s gonna be good guys, I even got a blessing from my inspiration I’ve wanted for a long time, so I have a little more peace about where this came from.
I got my first apartment here in Chicago for next year. Thanks to my mom for assisting me with that. I’ll have 3 roommates, which is fine with me. BUT if you decide to come visit me next year, I will not be in the dorms. Back to adult life. Apartment hunting and finding something reasonable, close, and just in a safe neighborhood was a task in itself so I’m looking forward to the new environment next year. I’m blessed to have afforded living in the dorms and having somewhere safe, secure, and close to school, not to mention my awesome roomie Anna. But it’s time to move back into familiar living territory.
What an adventure this semester has been. This year, the sun has been coming out and now I’m getting more Chicago sunshine and it’s been great. I’ve learned so much and had such interesting experiences as I’m learning more about myself and who I am as a writer and what stories I want to share with the world. I’ve been getting assistance incorporating my spanish into my writing, so I’m excited for that as well.
I hope to see you all when I’m back home. It won’t be as crazy as Christmas was since I have 3 months there, but I’m looking forward to tacos, tubing, swimming, and getting a little Texas tan back on my skin. I look forward to the mowing of lawns, driving cars, seeing my KDCHI sisters, and reading the mass of books I keep accumulating.