Do you ever have days when nothing could possibly go wrong and then it does? I was peacefully sipping on a vanilla latte at the Julius Meniel Café when suddenly I overhear the waitress say they are closing the café at 7pm to wax the floors. Gulp! As an event organizer (and control freak) this is the last thing I want to hear because we were supposed to be having the writing meet up at this location. Glad accidental Proyecto Latina attendee Claudia Martinez was there to help me laugh my way through this venue snafu!
What to do?
Well, when in doubt, pray to St. D’Augstino patron saint of pizza and beer. Before I knew it, we were across the street surrounded by a basket of fries, laptops and giant TV screens showing the White Sox game. After we settled in, I looked up from my notebook and saw everyone writing in their laptops and notebooks. Maybe it was the blaring music but everyone was diving deep into the cenote of their writing. I watched the waiters give us curious looks as they walked past with people’s orders. There is something very powerful about coming into a space like D’Augustinos and showing up to the page regardless of what’s going on around you.
So who showed up to write?
Christina Rodriguez ended up writing two blog posts; one on the importance of your teeth and diabetes and the other on Latino identity. Stephanie Diaz Reppen found herself working on a piece that she had been opening, reading, putting away and hadn’t revisited since her Hedgebrook residency. She is also working on a piece about a Guatemalan Saint named San Pascualito Rey.
Maribel Mares came all the way from the Bridgeportzlan neighborhood to move some of her writing forward. Funny lady Ruth Guerra is writing 45 pages of creative writing for a fiction class she is taking at Morton College.
Cristina Correa almost went home upon seeing the venue change. Glad she stayed because she divulged a wonderful writing secret that will be made public soon. She began to work on her Axolotl salamander story. Jessica Mondres was working on a story/collage on the theme of women, tapestry and faith. I was excited to see Jazmin Corona (writer, dancer, photographer) come out and work on some of her own writing.
What do these women have in common besides being writers? At one point the majority of them have all been Proyecto Latina features and have powerful stories to tell. Afterwards, Ruth shared her pitcher of sangria with us and we dreamed up a Proyecto Latina field trip next year to New Mexico for the Latino Writers Conference and possibly a holiday clothes/jewelry swap.
Lastly, mil gracias to everyone that came out and for being flexible and most of all setting aside time to write. For those that didn’t come out remember whether you are writing with us or on your own carve out the time to write and tell your story.
The next writing meet up will be in Pilsen at Effebinas. Time TBA and in November we will be back on the north side somewhere. If you have any suggestions of places on the north side please let me know.