New Workshop, November 2019

If you wondered about the novel in verse, wonder no more! I will be teaching a novel in verse course over 4 weeks at Gemini Ink. “Notes to Gilgamesh: Crafting a Novel in Verse” is a wonderful starting point for understanding the form, its history, and its use in modern storytelling. The class will also let you get started on your own novel in verse. Don’t miss this class!

workshop image

What is missing?

It wasn’t until I completed my book that I realized so much of the love story isn’t within its pages.

In writing workshops I mention there are silences we must allow for with poetry. Silence is necessary for a number of reasons: we don’t have the whole story, we are censored, the subject matter is difficult, we are struck by speechlessness, we need a moment, or the act within is profound.

Silences are one way to allow a place for incomplete stories. For me, the idea that a relationship can only truly be understood by those within the relationship meant I had to incorporate silences. They signified moments of distress or joy or learning in the course of a day. They also meant moments of intimacy.

And throughout, the poem that sits in front of the reader, through language and rhythm, alludes to the understanding that these characters are growing and learning. Much like writers, who come to the page with experiences that change us, whether they ever actually show up on the page or not.

 

Michael + Josephine

a novel in verse

Available Now

A Novel In Verse

Michael + Josephine tells the story of an unexpected love between Josephine, a disaster relief worker, and St. Michael, the Archangel, fully realized as a woman. As each solidifies their love for the community at large, they learn to trust their own heart within this blossoming love.

I am amazed by peace

It is this possibility of you

asleep

and breathing in the quiet air

— June Jordan

Published by FlowerSong Press.

Michael + Josephine is $14.00 plus shipping. Copies are available on Amazon or, better yet, directly from the author (with some swag) via PayPal. Include your contact information.

W-I-P Creme performance + Update

*Update**

The folks of W-I-P were so kind throughout my process. They recently sent me a video of my recent performance. You can see it here.

This was challenging for me but, once I got on the stage, I knew I could only rely on my truth. It was the only way to know that – even stumbling – I would know where my story was headed.

= = = = =

It’s been a few years now since I started my Year of No. This was meant as a personal challenge to submit my work in more places, to begin work on my book, and to put my voice out into the world. The idea was that I would get as many Nos as possible. In those responses, however, I hoped I would get a couple of Yeses.

More that the positive responses, I recognized it changed my own expectations. I wanted my work to reach into my own voice and experience more authentically. I wanted to place my art in places I wouldn’t have thought possible otherwise.

I have, over the last few years, seen my work on the stage. With thanks from the Latino theatre community, I was able to write, direct, and see the performance of my first one-person play, Nahual. My good friend San Juanita helped make that possible for me.

Now, over the last year I have seen myself on that stage. That was a challenge for myself I could have never imagined. I submitted a performance for W-I-P, an arts organization that provides a space for artists to present their work in progress and an audience who gives critical response and dialogue.

All this to say: I was invited back to perform my worked-on piece in what they call W-I-P Creme, a gathering of their preferred performances from their season. I’m so honored! This process and the space are so necessary to art. And I’m a lucky recipient.

I hope folks will make it out to the performance, Friday, May 10 at 7pm at Palo Alto College. I can’t wait!

what I’ve learned so far about the birth of a first book

  • you will hustle more than you ever thought. there’s even the quiet hustle that no one sees. all of this is challenging for an introvert like me.
  • the book will never be completely ready. i am having to learn to let it go. it has its own life now.
  • the reasons for creating the book are never more present than once its in print. I wanted to connect to community and I wanted to lift love as a topic worth writing about. i have done that – at least for myself.
  • others look at you as though you have created this impossible thing. I walk around reminding others that it can be done and I’m happy to support.
  • in having written this book I have learned a lot about myself.