La Bloga represents at the International Latino Studies Conference in Chicago this week. Since my plans to join La Bloga's panel and reunion were squashed by my broken leg, Amelia asked me to write a short statement, one paragraph, she could read as mediator of our panel. My short statement turned into a long letter, which I decided to post today. Everyone may read my contribution to La Bloga's panel, even if you are missing out on the conference.
July 18, 2014
First, I'd like to thank Dr. Amelia Montes and my fellow members of La Bloga for this opportunity. This conference, celebrating the past, present, and future of Latino Studies is very important. Had I not broken my leg, I would certainly be amongst you. I was looking forward to connecting with academics from my past and those who have recently hosted me in my present role as author, poet and speaker. Furthermore, in my role as teacher, I've had the privilege to teach Fiction through the online MFA program of theUniversity of Arkansas at Monticello. In my role as author, my novel, Ocotillo Dreams, has been included in a scholarly book by Dr. Cristina Herrera, Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re) Writing theMaternal Script (Cambria Press 2014).
Today, I am honored to discuss my work as a team member of La Bloga. I often cover the writing life. For this year's conference, I chose to present a past blog post from 2010 that documents my process as a "low-tech writer." Even though we, at La Bloga, take advantage of high-tech tools, such as our online web log or La Bloga you are used to reading everyday, some, such as myself, first sit down with pen and paper and draft what will become a dynamic non-fiction article or personal account, complete with links and photos for the world wide web archives. Writing for La Bloga has made keeping up my author website rather easy. I often add photos, events, and blog entries after they have been up on la bloga. In other words, I steal from myself. This open letter to the conference will be up on La Bloga today and later next week, on my author website. All of our La Bloga posts remain in the web archives for future perusal by our readers and study by professionals in the fields related to Chicano and Latino Studies.
In documenting the writing life, I also feature other writers in forms of interviews, Q&As, and guest columns so that my blog posts represent a larger, mostly Latino, but global (or world wide) writing community. However, sometimes, I simply document events from my life, such as taking a stroll through Audubon Park in New Orleans, where I live part-time, or the events of my broken leg and subsequent operation (see my blog post from July 4). Today, if you didn't hear all of this letter, you can read it on La Bloga.
Gracias! I hope to see everyone next time. If you have specific questions for me that this open letter does not answer or if you wish to invite me to speak to your students, please email me. You can also find me on twitter at LaMelinda or on Facebook or on my website.
Thank you, again,
author of the novel Ocotillo Dreams (Bilingual Press) and the poetry collections Folsom Lockdown (Kulupi Press) and How Fire Is a Story, Waiting (Tia Chucha Press).