Friday, January 06, 2012

Three Kings, King Cake, King Resolutions

by Melinda Palacio

El dia de los Reyes Magos. Pan de Rosca and King Cake: YES!

I’m in New Orleans and today, the day of the Three Kings marks the beginning of Mardi Gras much consuming of King cake. Actually, King cakes have been available since New Year’s Eve. I’ve had the first bite of king cake for the year and my piece included the king cake crown or baby. Most of the cakes come with a little plastic baby. I had a traditional French cake with a ceramic crown baked inside. The plastic babies are less harsh on your teeth if you happen to crunch into the prize. In New Orleans, getting the baby means I throw the next party. Here’s to 2013! If you are still in doubt 2013 will happen, read Ernesto's post on La Bloga.

Resolution and reinvention? (Maybe later...)
I've spent too many years trying to reinvent myself as a poet and author to change anything now. Before my novel, Ocotillo Dreams, was published (2011), I used to sidestep question, 'So You're a Writer? What have you written?' Although I told myself, and others, that writing was more important than seeing my name in print, I secretly wished to see my name on a book jacket. Once I let go of that desire, and truly stopped caring about being published, the inevitable happened. In 2009, my poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won the Kulupi Press Sense of Place cash prize and publication award. I had a poetry chapbook to add to my smattering of short stories and poems published in obscure literary journals. Last year, Bilingual Review Press published my first novel. For a first book from a small university press (Bilingual Review Press is housed at Arizona State University), I saw my book make the top 100 Hispanic Fiction Book list on Amazon, the best books of 2011 on La Bloga, and's 2012 top ten Latino authors.

This year, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, my first full-length poetry collection will be published by Tia Chucha Press. How Fire Is a Story, Waiting encompasses poems that I've written over the past decade. I'm excited to say that most of the poems in the collection have been published.
The process of reinvention has been a slow sculpting myself as an author. I've had the pleasure of sharing the details of the writing life with readers and students across the country from San Francisco to New Orleans. The difference in how I approach the writing life is I'm more in tuned and opened to the idea of meeting readers and writers over the internet. I spend more time updating my website and connecting with readers online by checking in to social sites such facebook and twitter. My romanticized view of a writer who works in isolation from the world is gone. However, it's nice to connect with faraway readers with a few keystrokes.

Las Comadres conversations: Yes!
Join the conversation, Monday, January 9 at 7pm Central Time:
Las Comadres teleconference with Melinda Palacio, Julia Amante and Lyn di Lorio, sign up today and join the conversation on Tuesday.
Also, later this month Las Comadres features a telenconference with Luis Alberto Urrea.

Speaking of Louies…
The Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD series features Luis J. Rodriguez and Father Greg Boyle, January 17 at 7pm.

Saturday, January 21 at 2pm, PALABRA presents bonafide rojas at the Redcat Lounge, in the Disney Center, downtown Los Angeles.

This weekend in New Orleans at the New Orleans Public Library Latter Branch, Poetry Buffet presents a special all-male poetry reading featuring Jonathan Kline Geoff Munsterman, Jerry Ward, Dave Brinks, and Steve Beisner, Saturday January 7 at 2pm.

Also tomorrow, worldwide on La Bloga, editor Marcela Landres answers readers' questions. Don't forget to check in on Saturday.


Sojourner The Poet said...

Melinda, I love this piece. Your story is both intriguing and inspiring. I admire your insistence and perseverance. You have made your way through the high grass to success and shared your journey every step of the way. In doing so, you have shown anyone who payed attention that it could be done and how to do it. You started with your talent and your ebullient personality then gained many friends and allies along the way. I admire and salute you. Perhaps I'll finally make it to Nola for that party in 2013. A sister traveler, Sojourner

Mona Lisa Saloy said...

Hail Hail Poeta Malinda! You are smoking now girl; I'm so proud of you. You blew into this Crescent City like a lovely warm wind and fan us deeply. Thank you! Heartfelt congratulations on all your success, and may this new year bring you even more! Red Beans & Ricely Your Sista in the Word, Mona Lisa Saloy, Author, Folklorist;

Karin Finell said...

Melinda, the two prior authors have said it all. I can't add anything to their praise, but join them. Your star is rising, rising...and the bit of crown in the king cake will mean more good luck; just don't break off a peace of your gorgeous teeth.
Rooting for you all the way, your old amiga alemana, con su corazon de Mexico.

Karen said...

Congrats on your upcoming Fire - you are indeed smokin'!