Thursday, May 22, 2008

National Latino Writers Conference Thursday Fotos

Michael Sedano

Today I discover how much I've forgotten about being the Compleat Traveler, I must keep commentary short to the accompanying images. I plugged the laptop into an outlet at the NHCC and when I packed up, left the power converter in the wall. Menso me. 

The morning begins with an arresting talk by Don Rudolfo Anaya, with the key message that kept being repeated throughout the day: if you say you're going to be a writer, you already are. Thus, diligence, discipline, trust your characters, enjoy the privilege of writing, and most critically, forget publishing. Get a good editor!
Then comes a major treat, a tour of el torreón, a watchtower Yeats would have loved, made all the more so with the breathtaking mural exectued by Frederico Vigil. The visit, curated by the NHCC's principal fundraiser, Mara Holguin, literally blinded the visitors--no photos allowed, as the center reserves the exclusive control over the process and images. Add this site to El Castillo de Chapultepec and the Reina Sofia in Madrid, who similarly have this strange notion that the public must be restricted in its ability to share what they see.

After the tour, the workshops--the business of the conference begins. With simultaneous workshops running, attenders must pick and choose. I selected prose fiction sessions led by Helen Viramontes, Kathleen Azevedo, and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith. 

Shown with Viramontes are Marge Pettitt, Elaine Soto, and, standing in audience, Sarah Padilla.

Kathleen Azevedo's workshop (click for larger view):

Rolando Hinojosa's workshop (click for larger view):

I'm sure the wonderful chow has a lot to do with my forgetfulness. Great acknowledgement and thanks goes to the unnamed staff who tirelessly see to the details that make a conference like this as wonderful and enjoyable as it can be. Obviously enjoying the variety tan rico are Hinojosa and Espada.

La Bloga welcomes your comments on these images, especially if your name is misspelled or omitted altogether. Click here to send your corrections, or más mejor, click below to leave a comment!



Francisco Aragón said...

Thank for sharing this commentary and photos. I got to spend a few days at this conference last year and found it to be, for the most part, a very enriching experience. The highlight was José Montoya's keynote--and his reading/performance of "El Louie."

norma landa flores said...

Hi Michael, Thanks for the photo of Don Rodolfo Anaya. I hadn't seen him since 1983, when he was on a panel discussing his "Cuentos-Tales from the Hispanic Southwest" book. He autographed it for me, Con Cariño!"

At that time, he offered writers the same advice as he did now. But instead of telling us to forget publishing and to get a good editor, he said we should get a soft cushion to sit on. Because writing was mostly a matter of sitting on your nalgas.

I'm following his advice, past and present, as I work on "Cuca's Conundrums." Tell him I waited all these years to follow his advice on writing, because I had to earn a living teaching speech communication and writing multicultural speech textbooks. Finally, I have time to "enjoy the privilege of writing" for pleasure rather than employment!"

Norma Landa Flores, La SPCHOLA

elaine soto said...

Hi Michael,
It was good meeting you at the conference.
I am Elaine Soto, alias the unknown writer in the Viramontes workshop.
I hope you are well. I am still digesting everything I learned at the conference. They did treat us like "royalty" as a fellow writer noted yesterday. The best to you "camera man". Elaine

msedano said...

Elaine, igualmente. I had a grand time meeting with gente and sharing smiles of recognition. I regret having a bum memory for names, so thank you for helping me update that page by getting your name correctly.