Friday, December 02, 2016

Party Like It's 2010

Melinda Palacio

Happy 12th Birthday La Bloga

After a brief bout of depression over our presidential election, I went into complete denial and celebrated my birthday and feasted like it was 2010 and Obama had just been elected POTUS. Maybe POTUS didn't mean much to the Twitter sphere. Was I even twittering or twerking in presidential glee? I'm not sure. It was six years ago, after all, when I began another landmark milestone in my literary life, that of Bloguera, writing about my writing life or life in general for La Bloga. I am proud to mention this nice segue since while I was partying up a storm last week, I completely ignored fellow Bloguera, Xanath Caraza's call for some celebratory words on being part of La Bloga.
Before La Bloga, I was like this Denver bear looking into the literary world.

La Bloga has always been a special place for me. It's where I first started reading about the Chicano Literary scene, where I first read short stories by Daniel Olivas and then heard about a new anthology he was editing, Latinos in Lotusland. I pestered Daniel by sending five different submissions until he finally accepted a short piece of fiction for the anthology that launched my writing career over a decade ago. I built an entire portfolio on having one short story accepted in 2005. The anthology wouldn't be published until 2008, but I had one forthcoming story (and I made sure everyone knew it). I also won a contest on La Bloga thanks to Ernest Hogan. Since five of the blogueros, Daniel Olivas, Michael Sedano, René Colato Lainez, lived in Los Angeles and wrote about literary events in town that I often was a part of, La Bloga seemed omnipresent. I realize this is an overstatement that many people from Los Angeles would make. Especially since La Bloga happens nationally with our heartland blogueras Amelia de la luz Montes and Xanath Caraza, and our strong Denver contingent including founder Rudy Garcia, Manuel Ramos, and Lydia Gil, our lone huarache Ernest Hogan in Arizona.

In 2010 at the AWP conference in Denver, I had the chance to meet the mighty three blogueros from Denver and it's at that conference where Manuel Ramos invited me to be part of La Bloga. His father was ill and he needed some time off from the weekly gig. I was honored to step in and the rest is history or herstory as we like to say at UC Santa Cruz, where I took a master's course in feminism taught by Angela Davis.
My first AWP in Denver 2010

When Manuel asked to have his Friday slot back, he and I decided to share the month and we are still alternating Fridays. This twelfth year, we celebrate La Bloga with the continued presence of our newest bloguero, Sam Quiñones and a pause as Lydia Gil has decided to take a brake for much needed time off of reporting on all things in Spanish, and we forever remember Tatiana de la Tierra. Happy 12th birthday La Bloga. Since joining La Bloga, I now have a chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, a poetry book, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting and a novel, Ocotillo Dreams. More books are forthcoming, stay tuned and thank you for reading La Bloga. 

Ocotillo Dreams

How Fire Is a Story, Waiting

No comments: