Book Trailer for Luz

One of the givens of small press publication is that most of the book marketing stuff you do yourself (and, from what I’ve observed of the press side, production is largely a DIY hustle as well). Once I got past several months of extreme overwhelm, I’ve actually found this kind of fun, in the way most DIY stuff is. Years spent working at various nonprofits have taught me a number of skills I never knew I was acquiring at the time (graphic design, press releases, website maintenance, social media stuff, and more recently media production), all of which have come in handy.

Like, for instance, did you know that YouTube has a function where you can set an uploaded video to premiere at a certain day/time? I did not. I’ve had a YT account for like 15 yrs and have pretty much used it only for making wacky playlists (“Music to Poop To“) and writing short stories in response to Bette Midler videos. Only the other day did it occur to me that it’s a sort of an artistic medium in its own right, or at least a medium for sharing artistic stuff. But then, the idea that you might actually want other people to look at artistic stuff you did occurred to me only very recently as well.

So. Here is the book trailer I produced with Greg, who has a natural knack for the audio/visual. You can’t watch it now–it premieres Sunday, January 3 at 4pm CST. YouTube says to tell you that you can click on the little bell icon to get a reminder just before it airs.

don, put on your gay apparel

Image: Netflix

This morning my 13-year-old woke up at 6am to make me a pot of tea, because for weeks we’ve been obsessed with The Crown and drooling especially over all those silver Victorian tea sets, their tall shining kettles with swan neck spouts flanked by stiff-lipped creamers and stout sugar bowls. Just imagine the delicious tea that must be inside! I waaaaaaaaant it, we wail.

I’d already spent all night fighting panic because the toddler promptly puked the bed last night just after he went down–most likely the result of spicy homemade ginger ale followed by the overstimulation of chaotic Christmas Eve family Zoom, everyone talking at once–and I have a lifelong phobia of vomiting. So I stayed up half the night in a state of hypervigilance, fighting sleep by watching The Crown in the toddler’s bed, a little crib mattress tucked into the corner of the room. Finally, around 1, I let go and let Xanax, only to wake at 6am to the sound of the teenager banging and rumbling around in the kitchen.

Despite my medicated stupor, I got up and stumbled into the kitchen. What’re you doing?

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“Amor y La Muerte en Tiempos de Pandemia” Reading Sat, Nov 14 @ 2pm

This Saturday, November 14, I’ll be reading in support of Davíd Zamora Casas’s exuberant, beautiful, heartbreaking Dia de los Muertos exhibit (click here to take the 3-D tour). I’ll be reading from Luz but also from cat stories, pandemic poetry (everybody’s got some), and election incantations. Would love to see you there. Click below on the image to RSVP and access the Zoom link:

imma read at this event this saturday, oct 24 @ 3:30pm

Excited to read from Luz at Midnight at this event, a community conversation on what just climate/COVID recovery looks like. I wrote Luz based on my deep involvement over the years in environmental justice struggles in San Antonio, and one particular springboard for the story was the tendency of local powers-that-be to imagine they can address problems like climate change in a purely technological way, swapping out dirty fuels for cleaner tech without addressing its underlying political/economic logics. The book’s political backdrop presents a not-so-distant and very imaginable future in which the necessity of a rapid transition away from fossil fuels launches a new mining boom for the rare earth minerals that will be required to produce all those solar panels and wind turbine strong magnets and electric car batteries–and thus looks a lot like the old world we’re trying to leave behind, with wildcatters and mancamps popping up all over everyone’s watersheds as startups extract and excrete and sleep around with all the city people.

This is the first time I’ll be reading primarily to the folks I’m writing about in the book, so I’m nervous but also excited. I think I picked the right passages.

I’ll be reading at 3:30pm CST but stick around for the rest of the conversation too, which is vital and critical. City people will be speaking, but schedule also features radical and visionary thinker-activists on climate/food/energy justice and regenerative economy, as well as poets and musicians.

To attend, you’ll want to RSVP: sc.org/SAjustrecovery

Another Upcoming Reading 10/17: Roca en el Rio @ “Hot Pursuit” Exhibit Closing

On Saturday, October 17, I’m excited to be participating in TWO readings (see post below for info on the first!). Here’s the second one, which starts at 2pm–an online reading by members of Stone in the Stream/Roca en el Rio environmental writers collective for the closing of Sabra Booth’s “Hot Pursuit: A Visual Commentary on Climate Change.”

Click below for details on how to attend:

The Best of YouTube Parawriting

I’ve gotten really terrible at Facebook and Twitter and Instagram—out of anxiety I overthink things and as a result end up posting like once a month—but YouTube remains one place I do post with total abandon and nary a flying fart for what people might think.

A couple months ago I said something about this in my monthly Facebook post, about how much interesting writing I do, and also read,  in the comments section of YouTube. It’s a kind of marginalia, I wrote. Or even a kind of latrinalia—a writing on the bathroom wall that no one will ever read—and, at the same time, which everyone will read. Weird.

Probably the cleverest thing I ever posted to YouTube was a parody of “Here I Dreamed I Was an Architect” by The Decemberists: Continue reading

Luz At Midnight Out Soon

Cover art by Davíd Zamora Casas

UPDATE: Luz at Midnight now available for pre-order HERE

Learned the week before last that Luz at Midnight, my novel manuscript, was accepted for publication by the amazing FlowerSong Press! I can’t even tell you how excited I am. I can tell you that when I saw the email in my inbox from editor Edward Vidaurre–Poet Laureate of the Rio Grande Valley–I literally cried tears of joy. At the time I was on a work call with the NEA, taking notes on why our grant application from last year wasn’t funded (“The panel noted that they really appreciated the mission and the intention behind the work samples,” I typed, “but noted that they thought the execution of them did not demonstrate the highest artistic excellence”). About five minutes of notes from the end of this call went missing as I silently screamed and danced around the room.

For those of you interested in the internal process of writing, submitting and publishing, here are some stats: Continue reading