A few years ago, a good friend of mine scolded me for not being on Twitter. She (who is a lawyer, not a writer) told me that all writers should use social media to its fullest, and Twitter was an important (if not necessary) part of that arsenal. I, of course, scoffed. Twitter seemed so alien to me. After all, I had a webpage and I blogged, so what more did I need?
Well, all that changed on March 3, 2013, when I discovered through a Google Alert that one of my short stories was Tweeted by the New Orleans Review. But in order to respond appropriately (to thank the Tweeter), I had to open a Twitter account. This was NOR’s Tweet and my grateful response:
"How to Date a Flying Mexican," short stories and poems by Hispanic American author Daniel Olivas can be found here http://www.danielolivas.com/
7:30 PM - 27 Feb 13 · Details
@NOReview Thank you for linking my story...it eventually became a chapter in my novel, "The Book of Want" (University of Arizona Press)
My world changed forever that day. As anyone who has entered Twitterlandia will attest, one can be self-righteous about Twitter addiction. True, there are those who Tweet freely and often about the delicious cup of coffee they’ve just enjoyed at their favorite café (accompanied by an artfully arranged Instagram pic), and other such quotidian experiences.
Then there are we, the self-righteous Tweeters, who Tweet about literature, art and politics…and that delicious cup of coffee we’ve just enjoyed at their favorite café…but mostly about literature, art and politics.
I currently follow 635 Tweeters including such fine Latin@ writers as Melinda Palacio (@LaMelinda), Gustavo Arellano (@GustavoArellano), Rudy Ch. Garcia (@DiscardedDreams), Linda Rodriguez (@rodriguez_linda), and Reyna Grande (@reynagrande)…to name but a few…who also follow me. Then there are surprise followers of mine, people who have large followings themselves but decided to follow me such as Amy Tan (@AmyTan), Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos), Luis Rodriguez (@luisjrodriguez), and Francisco X. Alarcon (@FrancisXAlarcon).
And who was the first to follow me? Well, it wasn’t a “who” but a what: Libros Schmibros (@LibrosSchmibros) that wonderful lending library and used bookstore founded by critic David Kipen in Boyle Heights.
One of my colleagues at the Attorney General’s Office (my day job) told me that his daughter told him that if you follow more people than are following you, you are a “loser.” His daughter is in college and should know. So, I guess I am a loser since I follow 635 but am followed by a paltry 241. But I cherish my 241 because they are writers and bookstores and publishers and lovers of culture (particularly Chican@ and Latin@ related matters).
So, what have I Tweeted about recently? Yesterday, these were my Tweets:
◙ Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon Victim Who Lost Both Legs, Reunites With Carlos Arredondo. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/26/jeff-bauman-cowboy-hat-hero_n_3164370.html … via @huffingtonpost
◙ A spin through a world where bicycles rule streets by Hector Tobar. http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-pete-jordan-20130428,0,4963566.story …
◙ Recent and Recommended: "New California Writing" (Heyday) edited by Gayle Wattawa & Kirk Glaser, a book I blurbed. http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-recent-and-recommended-20130425,0,7398480.story …
◙ The boy behind Kristallnacht: review of Jonathan Kirsch's new book by David Clay Large. http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-jonathan-kirsch-20130428,0,1478582.story …
◙ A teen's quest for self-discovery in Isabel Allende's 'Maya's Notebook' (review by Reed Johnson) http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-isabel-allende-20130428,0,2409856.story … @rjohnsonlat
◙ The GOP's Latino problem http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-south-latino-troubles-for-the-gop-20130428,0,695279.story …
Those are some damn righteous Tweets, no?
Follow me on Twitter @olivasdan.