I’m on the Tube…

Last month, Dr. Manuel Almeida,  author and professor at Universidad del Este (who also directs a bunch of  other projects) invited me to Utopística to record me talking about my writing and subVERSE.

He’s had writers I look up to as guests on this web show as well, I’m honored to be among them now.

You might want to see it (it’s in Spanish, just in case): CLICK!


Some nights ago one of my best friends, Susana, had told me she was writing for an online magazine (Hedy Mag) and needed to interview an interesting woman. Because she illustrated a great number of stories in Sparks, she thought she would interview Zuleyka (the author), but as it sometimes happens with writers, she chose me because she’s known me since we were sisters and friends in past lives, making it easier to write up specific questions. NO PROBLEM.

Here’s the fun part – Susana and I, along with a third friend, Teresa (the first to publish any kinds of comments about my first book and whose journal entry is still linked on the right, if it’s still there – hopefully, yes), have never met in person. We first bonded by reading each other’s livejournals over ten years ago, have lost and regained contact over the years, and now speak every whenever because now we have smartphones and social media.  We’ve even spoken to one another recently, a luxury in the decade of dialup and long-distance calls. When we were younger, the three of us would chat on MSN Live Messenger and send each other gifts and letters in the mail, learning about each others’ lives, but mostly, keeping each other company in a way that transcends time and space.

Susana tried to make this interview about my writing and said some very nice and flattering things, but these disembodied memories of one of my most important friendships is the subtext in both her questions and my responses.

Click below to see the whole magazine, it’s lovely and smart and all the things you love if “nonconformist women” sounds good to you.

HEDY

I took a cell phone pic of my computer screen (below) because the layout is gorgeous and I couldn’t capture that on my cell phone.

Sweet mother of WiFi.


I know it’s a daring move, but I also screencapped (further below) the first page of Susana’s interview with me and pasted it below to share it here.
Do go see the whole issue, though!

Continue reading

There’s more to it than *that* – an interview with Susana

Lineup for what’s left of 2015

The wait for Zuleyka’s book of short stories, Sparks, is finally OVER. Editing this book was my main (to not say only) activity during July, so I appreciate everyone who put up with my cranky scowls, and understood my declining what seemed like really fun invitations. This is the first book I edit that is not one of my own (secrets just keep on popping up, don’t they?), but I treated the project with the same obsessive drive that I would have one of my own, if not more so. (For sure I did, actually.) Our artist friends joined in and provided us with varied, unique styles that make this book absolutely loveable.

Are you interested?

Illustration is one of many by Pamela Katerina

Illustration is one of many by Pamela Katerina

 

You can now purchase it from the subVERSE site directly by clicking here.

It’s only about $15 including shipping (give or take, US and PR).

I am also hosting a giveaway at Goodreads that anyone can enter, as long as you’re a member.

It will be available at bookstores, eventually, as we gather more funds for printing costs. We need to give copies to our illustrators, which is why those pre-orders meant SO MUCH (thanks again). And regular orders do, too! With one purchase, you allow us to print yours and 1.5 more.

A book presentation is due, I’ll be announcing it everywhere as soon as it’s scheduled.

 

 

Anthology of Puerto Rican Sci Fi

This is what’s next.

You may remember a call for submissions we hosted a few months back.

David Caleb Acevedo, José Román and myself made our selections, now David Caleb and Pabsi Livmar are helping me out with editing the texts. This is a project I really look forward to completing, because it’s yet another kind of collaboration I’ll be taking part in for the very first time.

And also, THE TEXTS. There are poems, short stories, novel fragments, essays and comics from authors we know, ones we just discovered, were fans of, are new fans of, are our talented friends (or all of the above).

For my English-only followers (that I fantasize about having… are you out there?), the anthology is Spanish only. We hope to maybe not do this for the next. And it’s exclusive to Puerto Rican authors because, well, we thought it was necessary.

We are pushing to release this in about a month… I hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown in the process, since I’ll be teaching meanwhile. I might.

We would like to be somehow involved in this:

There’s more info out there, Google it if you’re curious or if you’d like the specifics.

I attended to all the conferences I humanly could at the UPR last year, it was such a success. I got to meet science fiction authors from Puerto Rico, elsewhere in the Caribbean, and Latin America. I’m sure you can relate, authors are some of the best quality, fulfilling people to know and talk to. Usually.

I left with arm-fulls of books and a head full of memories.

If I can manage to push out Ciencia Fricción by then, which I think is possible, we will most probably be involved.

If not, I will have been killed by the co-editors, but the book will be on the margins anyway.

You’ll see.

 

 

 

Friends have asked me about what I’m working on myself. I always have ideas that run on their own, and suddenly grow claws and scales and wings, and they twitch and scratch from inside my skull until I have to process and mold them into something tangible. But nothing tangible for the moment, only intangible.

 

Alice Through the AgesThere’s news that are either spectacular or tragic, only right now, I don’t know which it is – but will find out in two weeks or less.

Close friends know about it, most people don’t, but Lacan Read Through the Looking Glass (my MA thesis directed by Michael Sharp) was accepted to the event on the image you can appreciate on the right.

If all goes well, I’ll be presenting and representing at Cambridge.

Because I’m working class, on an adjunct professor’s salary, you might understand what I’m getting at…

… needing to say no more… if you catch my drift…

In the meantime, I’m adapting a lengthy text (that somehow, friends and mentors have actually enjoyed reading, bless your hearts) into something fun, a pretty Power Point presentation with pictures (alliteration accidental).

What I’m waiting on is for money to… well, fall from the sky, to put it simply (but not after having offered up blood sacrifices, offerings, chants and prayers to the corresponding gods – and it hurts).

If it doesn’t happen, well… I might cry in my room. For days, maybe weeks. And patiently wait for the next lifetime when Lewis Carroll’s Alice turns 250 or 300, when the economy or transportation as we know it has drastically changed for the better, or when I am born elsewhere (and somehow managed to write a thesis on the same books… getting carried away, maybe, but no, not really).

Fingers crossed.

… and there was subVERSE

subvThe infamous Mergoat has been making rounds since WELIF came out stamped as a subVERSE publication, hospital but no questions were asked and nothing was revealed. Yes, mycoplasmosis this is my doing. All of it, epidemic including the logo design, though it was vastly improved by graphic designer Yellowfiv3 (Daniel Hornbek), without whom this goat would look like a chunky, fluffy little nerd (yes, I mean my original drawing). The website and facebook page  have been around for a while as well, but only recently have I started plugging it, for two reasons:

1 – Ciencia Fricción. A friend of mine (let’s call him Joss Erdbrards) suggested myself and Elijah Snow team up and publish a Science Fiction anthology featuring only Puerto Rican authors. Of course, we didn’t even think about it. subVERSE was my still my little secret, with a pending project left in perpetual hiatus because of my overwhelming amount of work (as in employment), but I obviously took it. subVERSE took it. Hence, Ciencia Fricción will be coming out much later this year as an index of our coolest authors around.

2 – Sparks. IMG_1968.JPGSparks has been a project pending for a little over a year now. THE aforementioned. My friend, Zuleyka Robles-Avilés has written a beautiful collection of micro-stories that I am honored to put together in the form of a book. She came to me with the idea of combining it with illustrations by artist friends. (Ok, we’re all friends, but this buddy system has been extremely productive…) I didn’t have to think about that either. We’ve been adding illustrations by volunteer artists who keep on surprising us with their interpretations. We’re estimating this book to be published around Summer of this year. I’m not revealing names of artists – YET – because the list is rather long, but you will hear all about it soon. Some you may already know (everyone is in this book! Well, not everyone, but the artist nearest and dearest to myself and Zuleyka).

As soon as March!

Festival Tintero  We will be at Festival Tintero with all the artists who make it. Our artists will be exhibiting their artwork and selling their goodies. We will also have proof copies of Sparks that you can flip through and special guest authors and artists that are subVERSE allies and family.

I am excited about all this and spending sleepless nights plotting, scheming, stitching, sketching and work, work, working.

The only downside is I’ve had to pause the plans I had for my own projects and publications, but only for the moment.

This is going to be delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured on Naelle Devannah’s blog!

Naelle Devannah is a long time friend whom I met about a decade ago on deviantART. (Well, here she found me.)

She an all-around loveable person, anyone can confirm it. But we became friends immediately because of our mutual admiration. This is how I first started getting to know her, her visual art. I felt a kinship with her because of our similar circumstances (isolated goth girls from “the country,” creatures of the web) and our love for the aesthetic contrast of darkness and bold, bold color. (A tropical symptom, I suppose).

Visit her site, there’s lots to love that will keep your eyes busy for days.

I asked for her feedback on Stars Like Fish (which is printed on the back of the book) because I knew she would understand. Our imaginations are neighboring lands.

We plug each other often, but yet, I was beyond flattered to have a space in her blog (which is quote popular!)

This is part of her series “Getting to Know…” – where she asks personalized questions to artists of all kinds, giving an in-depth look into their intentions, motivations and personality.

READ IT HERE!

Photo by Naelle Devannah.

She also took some really fabulous photos of the insides of my books.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

You work with a combination of painterly words, photography and illustration. What’s your perception of the term visual art? What can you foresee in future creative generations?

Maybe my “painterly words” are my frustration… I know my writing is very visual. When I discovered photo editing, I got the same satisfaction as I did describing scenes. Illustration, you flatter me so, but yes, I like to doodle.
My perception of visual art is something arcane and academic that I am only vaguely familiar with and learn about through people like you and observing what they do… perhaps it shouldn’t be, but having spent so many years in academia can make you a little insecure before talking about something without a theoretical background. However, and this is a total contradiction, visual art is, at the same time, something so accessible to absolutely anyone with properly functioning eyes… we can interpret images as signs, in a manner that they should say something, or ask us something, but then again, we can also just enjoy something beautiful or ugly for what it is. So I guess I shift from one starting point to the other, depending on what’s comfortable at the moment. You can either have a long conversation about a piece of art, or write a long paper about it, or just like it. And I guess the same goes for the creation of visual art… you might transmit, transgress, transcend, or just make something.

 

Stars Like Fish – literally!

A follow-up of sorts to my last post… I need to show this off one more time.

This watercolor is by a student from the course I was invited to:

I didn’t get to ask her questions about it because we had so little time (only an hour!) but it’s perfect in every way. Even with the bleeding rings around the planets – this is plain white paper! So it’s understandable. I can only assume she was inspired by the title, obesity and though the astronauts and mermaids in my book are only implicit, this site it is fitting. So you might understand my excitement.

I was invited by this lovely lady, professor Carmen Torres:

office

She wrote a nice review at the Library Committee’s blog summing it all up.

I was so excited to see that students had brought in pieces of art! It was a surprise, since I was expecting reading only. Prof. Torres has poets, story writers, painters, photographers, performance and visual artists in her literature class. It had to end just when it was getting good! But we’ve got some more cooking up, probably soon.

There’s a few more photos at le facebook.