1. Voices de la Luna’s special Earth Day 50th anniversary issue, “Earth in Praise / Earth in Peril” is out! Co-editors Mobi Warren and Jim and Lucia LaVilla-Havelin did a freakin’ gorgeous job, and they were kind enough to make space for a chapter of my novel manuscript Luz at Midnight.
2. A story of mine, “Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” just came out in a new anthology called Runaway: An Anthology, published by Madville Publishing up in North Texas. This is the first time I’ve really written about running away from home at the age of 15, and I have some anxiety about it, but when I saw the call for submissions the story just fell out of me.
3. Greg and I just collaborated on a story for Vice, which has an environmental justice series called Tipping Point. The story’s about the efforts of the Esto’k Gna, a tribe indigenous to South Texas/Northern Mexico, to revive ancestral villages along the Rio Grande in opposition both to Trump’s border wall and to extraction activity throughout the region. I’ve long thought this is some of the most important resistance work happening at the border right now, for the way it connects the dots between the violation of Native lands, the dehumanization and internment of largely Indigenous migrants, and climate change. When an opportunity came our way to pitch to Vice, I knew this was the story that needed to be amplified.
It was my first foray into freelancing and also more journalistic writing, and it was a little different from other kinds of writing I’ve done. When you’re writing academically, you’re always looking to say something new–you have to show you’ve digested everyone else’s stuff so that you can counterpose your own argument against it. Greg had to keep reassuring me that it didn’t matter if other outlets had already covered the story, because Vice wanted the story told. That the point wasn’t to say something new but to reach new and wider readerships.
Because we only had maybe 2000 words to work with, I also had to shed my attachment to conceptual and formal complexity. When I read it, I feel this nagging anxiety that the story is far too simple to capture what the Esto’k Gna are actually doing. And yet that short piece underwent much more rigorous developmental editing than much longer academic and creative writing I’ve done.
In the end, I’m proud of it.