Friday, June 08, 2012

Start Spreading the News...

Melinda in Manhattan

 New York City. When I heard that my book was a finalist for the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 14th International Latino Book Awards 2012 at the Instituto Cervantes, I immediately thought the trip would be a fun excuse to visit the Big Apple. Winning would be nice, but sightseeing and meeting gente in our literary community would be better. I happened on all three. My book, Ocotillo Dreams, won First Place in the Mariposa Award and I had the wonderful opportunity of attending a Comadrazo at La Casa Azul Bookstore where I met Aurora Anaya-Cerda, her mother who was in town for the opening, Nora Comstock, la mera comadre, and all many of the NY comadres.  
Nora Comstock announced Ocotillo Dreams as  the Mariposa Award winner for Best First Book 2012.

Toni Margarita Plummer and Melinda Palacio
I had a special lunch at Pio Pio with Lyn di Lorio and Toni Margarita Plummer on Monday (the day before the awards). Toni received an honorable mention in the Mariposa Award and Lyn, along with La Bloga’s Daniel Olivas, received honorable mention in the Popular Fiction category. Toni Margarita Plummer received an honorable mention in the Mariposa Award and Lyn Di Lorio also received an honorable mention in Popular Fiction.; here’s a complete list of the winners.

Toni Margarita Plummer, Lyn Di Lorio, Melinda Palacio
My friends Donna and Sherman and Toni’s friend Jessica kept the celebration going on Tuesday into the wee hours.  I’m looking forward to hosting Toni when she comes to Santa Barbara for the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 9-14; we are both on the first book panel and she is meeting with several students for the editors’ day and panel.

I had the pleasure of also meeting up with Eduardo Coral, Sergio Troncoso and Rigoberto González.
I wore out my phone battery by relishing the many congratulatory messages. I am blessed with so much support, especially from my La Bloga familia and friends who cheered me on when my book was nominated for the Mariposa Award. Thank you to everyone who sent a message cheering me on.
Melinda and Rigoberto Gonzalez in front of Central Park.

Yesterday, I crowned the week with a book signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem. What a blessing to read to an illustrious audience. Thank you for making my book signing extra special. I appreciate everyone who showed support and made me feel doubly blessed. I’ve caught the Big Apple bug and can’t wait to return. I've promised Aurora that I will be back to sign copies of my poetry book, How Fire Is A Story, Waiting (Tia Chucha Press 2012). The new bookstore is beautiful and has a gorgeous reading space and back patio. What an incredible week! Gracias Latino Literacy Now, Las Comadres Para Las Americas, and La Casa Azul Bookstore
Reading and book signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem, June 7 at 6pm, 2012.

The wonderful audience at La Casa Azul Bookstore (left to right front, Patricia Spears Jones, Karin de la Penha, Barbara Jane Reyes, Oscar Bermeo, Sergio Troncoso, Rich Villar and book store owner extraordinaire Aurora Anaya-Cerda.


Daniel A. Olivas said...

We're all so proud of you, Melinda! You've written a beautiful novel and it deserves the honors.

Concepcion said...

Enhorabuena, Melinda! How wonderful that your first novel is selected for this recognition! Hooray for you!

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Unknown said...

Very nice photo journal. Thanks for taking us on a ride with you. Congratulations!

leslie dinaberg said...

Congratulations, Melinda. What a wonderful and well-deserved honor!

Melinda Palacio said...

Thank you for these great comments.

Daniel, thank you for publishing my first short story in Latinos in Lotusland and for inspiring me from the start.

Gracias to my La Bloga familia.

Thelma T. Reyna said...

Melinda, not surprising at all that you've received all these well-deserved honors! May many more follow you in coming years! Looking forward to your new poetry book, too. Congratulations to you.