And as all of you know, I decided I would try ... literally. My art, writing/filmmaking/photography, has been my way to change the world. Then there is this adventure. The great compact car travel across America to meet with at-risk youth and discuss themes in my third novel FAT ANGIE.
This you all know.
What I do want to tell you is this: Lives are changing.
New Orleans, LA, I met with a group of mostly homeless youth with
author Michelle Embree. I had been so melted from the travel but
mustered the energy to pull out humor and meaning to the connect.
It was ... fantastic!
that melted thing. I actually forgot my copy of FAT ANGIE in the car
but had brought in a case of PRIZEFIGHTER EN MI CASA (first novel) to
give-away to the kids. When they asked me to read, following Michelle's
new fantasy W.I.P, I was like, "uh, no. I don't want to follow that."
You know the obvious. I did.
read the Prologue and jumped into Chapter 1. So there I go, reading
with all that is the world and heart of Chula and her family and a
hulking stranger called El Jefe. Still feeling insecure about following
up behind Michelle's reading, I went on for a bit longer then stopped.
Then it happened.
In an almost unison, they all leaned forward. Even the librarian leaned in.
THEY WERE HOOKED !
Whoot ! And more of that !
asked with a fantastic enthusiasm for me to continue reading, and I did. And can I tell you what a
feeling it was to remember that PRIZEFIGHTER is where the voice and
truth and heart of all this novel writing came from. From the darkest moment of my life, came one standout story about a girl named Chula (Spanish for beautiful) who felt like anything but.
I don't know that
it was accident or serendipity that I forgot FAT ANGIE in the car.
I do know is that we talked about the themes of FAT ANGIE and heard the
story of PRIZEFIGHTER EN MI CASA and that moment was a win.
A win because I showed up. Being my best with what I had.
(Event: New Orleans Public Library - Teen Zone)