Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Baaacccckkkkk.

As you can see, I’ve been quite the busy bee. Buzz.

I’ve been using all my creative powers in other venues, so I can solidify a full project for you. In the month of May, a blitz of opportunity came plummeting towards my email inbox and I’ve had to make some serious/not-so-serious decisions. Anyway, I’ve decided to share them with you, journal entry style, because I know some (if not most) of you are writers and can benefit from the information in the future.
Junot Diaz and Diem Jones co-founded a one-week intensive creative writing workshop that covers all genres in California. The workshops include memoir, ficition, poetry, political content, etc. The workshop teachers included Willie Perdomo, Stacey-Ann Chin, Junot, El Maz, David Mura, Faith Adele, and ZZ Packer. All writers I admire. While these types of classes are usually structure based and BORING, I found VONA (Voices of our Nation’s Art Foundation) to be completely unique.

Throughout a whirlwind of gluten free/vegan meals, the crisp UC Berkeley air smell, eyes tearing during turbulence and a theft of suitcases; I embarked on an amazing journey with my workshop teacher Stacey-Ann Chin and all the other spectacular staff members. Having had seven different workshop/show experiences with her, she still never negates to tell me that “my work ain’t shit” and that I still have got much editing/rewriting to do. Yet and still, I love her.
Always at the top of the alphabetical list, my memoirs were the first to be pulled apart and plummeted with the same comment in variations, “Where are you in this? Isn’t this supposed to be a memoir?”

I’ve shared some of this work with you.

Sweet Sixteens
Evolution of the Crush
Growing Apart

My memoir is a predominately sad one. It’s comprised of heartbreak, lost loves and starting anew. However, I failed to fully introduce myself in the work. I gave full attributes to the male protagonists, who barely deserved the notion, and severed my own emotion/being from the pieces.

Shame on me.

VONA’s dynamic program helped me to get to the heart of the matter. There was no banter of punctuation and formatting. There was no negative criticism and shouting matches. (Okay, maybe one. But I wasn’t involved. I promise!) There was a room filled with women on the same journey as I. Women trying to delve deep into their selves and pull their most silenced tales from a womb that already gives entirely too much.

As I danced through the prose of the ten other woman I shared the room with, I promised myself I wouldn’t break. Tons of others had already, splintering their tears on freshly printed manuscripts. Not I. I’ve always been the tough cookie, the strong shoulder, the designated driver and the friend who always seems to cross your mind when something goes wrong. I’m not allowed to be vulnerable in my world.

During our last session, Stacey-Ann broke me. Perhaps she saw me as some china doll or Barbie, easily shattered or dismembered. She toyed with me and pressed questions into my spine like an anatomical literary buff. Damn her.

It seems as though you think everyone leaves you. Is that it?
Yes, sometimes.
You’re young. Right now it’s only the lovers that leave.
I guess.
Perhaps this is why you can’t be vulnerable in your work. This is probably why you can’t share yourself with your readers. Who are you vulnerable with?
My journals.
Not a lover, a friend, a relative? Just your journal?
Because journals can’t leave you. They can’t lie, steal, betray or hurt you. They’re here to stay.
But they can’t hold you. They can’t keep you warm. They can’t….


Shatter me, she did. I’d never felt so happy to be broken.

My life did a complete 180 in the last few weeks. I’ve started a new and promising job, I am head over heels with the Yin to my Yang, looking at my work from an entirely different spectrum and gained security in ways I never thought possible.

I will admit, I’m a tad bit behind on my freelancing and catch myself unproductively daydreaming quite often. However, these are small sacrifices I’ll stomach in order to keep this upward curve on my lips.

Currently, I’m crafting blog entries for the week. I’ve put crazy glue on my fingers and pressed my eyes to the screen indefinitely. Wait…that might have not been the best idea.

Sakjjaslkdj skksdlpwm ksdmfkmdsf. WTF?!

Never mind, I fixed it.

Well, I’m glad to see you haven’t given up on me, because I’ve got so much more to give to you. Flaws, vulnerability and all.




Unknown said...

I've kept my eyes peeled for when I'd see your update on my feed:) LORD that workshop you attended sounds amazing! Ridiculously! Feeling fresh after time like that, new job, other cool things, glad for ya.


Demetra said...

Glad to see you're back on your blog. And from what I've just read, it seems there is a lot more to look forward to!!!