Sunday, December 12, 2010

Year End Review

The window for advance sales for transparencies of light is closing today. However, that doesn't mean you still can't order a copy; only that it doesn't count towards my print run. For those of you who have ordered it, bless you for supporting my endeavers to be a voice for women who are silenced by their cultures, their families or their own inhibitions. under new releases

Now with the intensive promoting behind me, I am preparing for spring readings.

Check my website. Each reading will feature different poets reading with me or musicians or dancers. This is still in process and not finalized. If you would like me to join your book club or writer's group to share my poems, my writing discipline and practice, my experience with publication and marketing, please contact me for setting something up after March 1st.
Of course, I am still reading selections from Ceremonies of the Spirit as well. What a joy that book has been for me!!!

I am also available for blog touring...if you have a blog and set up a date for me to be interviewed or post and be available for comments from your guests, that can also be arranged.

In the meanwhile, we are headed towards the cold, dark part of the year. Here in Minnesota we got over a foot of snow. The streets are silent and the only people who are out have to be. It is quiet in my home. I have lit a candle for La Virgin de Guadalupe, as it is Her Day, in honor of the Feminine Divine. I have been catching up with my blogs and my emails and next, maybe I will be couragous enough to tackle that box of notebooks full of scribbles from various writing sessions: the Mid-town Writers Group, the class at Face to Face, the women's retreats. And get back to scanning my memoirs, written on a word processor. (It seemed like the latest at the time, who knew that in a few years, those disks would be useless?) With the gift of a laptop from my good friend Chicago poet Ned Haggard, life is much easier and will be during recuperation from hip replacement this January.

I want to reflect back over my year, what I have accomplished and what has sustained me and urged me on. All writers know there are rejections and I am persistently rejected by some of my favorite publishers and literary journals, still I get off my knees, dust myself off, find another avenue. I want to acknowledge two amazing community efforts that did accept my work: Poets for Living Waters at and Saint Paul Almanac. Also Mississippi Crow, edited by my good friend Nadia Giordana who never stops coming up with new ways to promote not only her own work but others, especially women. Her blogtalkradio interview with me can be heard on my website: on the interviews page.
And Finishing Line Press accepted my manuscript for transparencies, for a spring birth.

I didn't do as many performances this year but Heal the Earth was my way of honoring and celebrating with a deep sense of gratitude our Mother Earth. It was amazing to work with 12 other women to make these events happen, to feel the energy shift as we created sacred space and shared our passion for the natural world.

The readings with Saint Paul Almanac were fun, I got to meet other writers and poets whom I had heard of and had never met. Especially Julia Klatt Singer, whom I knew from I have always admired her poetry and she will be part of my book launch in March, along with Joan Calof, story teller extraordinaire.

My biggest accomplishment was installing In the Shelter of Words, a multi-media art installation created by at risk youth from a writing workshop I taught. It showcased a CD of their words and was installed at Altered Esthetics Gallery, as part of Night On the Street and at Mid-town Global Market. Passers-by could catch a glimpse of what it means to be a teen who may not have a home, may be parenting and going to school, may be struggling to overcome choices made in the past. The sukkah is now in my garage, and someday it will be brought to another community venue with more poems added.

For the first time I read a poem while Sarah Arneson did an interpretive, intuitive dance. That was amazing, to see my words come to life and I want to do more.

This year has also had its troubles: my sister passed away form pancreatic cancer, my friend Wayne Crawford was also diagnosed with it, and the first anniversary of my husband Alejandro's death reminded me of how much I miss his vitality and being with him in Mexico. But I did take a Spanish class with the intention of interweaving more Spanish into my poems and gave a presentation at The Works: a Writer's Salon on Versos de Calaveras.

The poetry salon at All About the Journey was a great opportunity to speak with writers and share my insights. Guess what I told them? Discipline! If you want to break out from writing to publishing, you have to be disciplined about submitting, editing, being critiqued, and blogging or keeping up your social networks. We are all in this together, my friends! Writing is a way to connect, to build bridges between us, to create understanding and awareness where there was once judgement or distance. We all have a story---but the stories are sort of the same story--overcoming adversity, appreciating how precious beauty is, wanting love and validation, wanting to give of ourselves deeply and with honor, peace and justice, truth and magic.
Don't you?

The year 2011 is approaching fast and I want to fling confetti this new year's eve. I have lived through my own story of deaths and loss and rejections and yes, self-doubt. But I am here, and I have a story to tell. Listen.

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