29 March 2014

SOUTHWESTING (and tech reviewing and submitting)

On the road.
So, today I am in San Antonio at the ASWM (Association for the Study of Women and Mythology) conference on "Borderlands."  Yesterday, I presented my work on "Stories of Multicultural 'Integrative Solidarity': A Mestiza (Xicana, Filipina, and Euroamerican) Approach to Creative Texts."  It went so well (better than ever), and the discussion after, both yesterday and today, has been amazing. These are conversations on mestiza literature and indigenous epistemologies; moreover, how these topics intersect with our family histories as well as daily and very personal lives.

This conference comes at a perfect time. I feel so affirmed in my study, and this weekend ends up being a reunion and a celebration. We are not only celebrating our presentations; additionally, I am specifically also living it up after completing another revision of my dissertation after receiving my technical review! What a doozy! I must have put 100 hours in this last week, and it feels amazing to mail in the hard copy of this now very clean 341 page manuscript. 

Also received some great news about my creative writing.  March brings the publication of two of my creative works: one in Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets and the other in Mujeres de Maiz. Another great accomplishment in my life is my interaction with VONA (Voices of Our Nation Foundation) this June. 

I applied to VONA, giving my manuscript and writing:
What drew you to the VONA/Voices Workshop?:
I am currently finishing up a dissertation entitled: An Altar to “Integrative Solidarity”: A Mestiza (Xicana, Filipina, and Euroamerican) Approach to Creative Texts. In this study, I delve into issues of internal divisions and new consciousness through a transformative engagement with multiculturalism. I also address how I am read as white in certain contexts, and I speak to my white privilege. I also engage with memories when I have been racially identified and exoticized. In this study, I explore my own creative texts (poetry and prose) using ethnoautobiographical methodologies. It is these creative texts that I hope to bring to the VONA / Voices workshop.
What do you hope to accomplish in the VONA/Voices workshop?:
There are so many nuances to the conversation on being multi ethnic, locational, and cultural. What I hope to accomplish in the VONA/ Voices workshop is to dive into deeper engagement with this discourse, through my creative writing, among other writers of color. The diversity of writers that will be present at VONA/ Voices is inspiring and encouraging as well as challenging to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to apply.
What does VONA/Voices mean to you as a writer of color?:
As a writer of color, VONA/ Voices signifies a place to be nurtured and challenged by established writers of color. It is a space to come face to face and learn from my role models. It is a sacred community I would be honored to engage with.
What are your goals as a writer?:
My goals as a writer, finishing her PhD, are to refocus my energy on my heart, my creativity, and my body. I have had a couple recent publications of my creative work, which has surprised me. I wrote and submitted them in order to (re)engage with my dissertation from a new direction, and, admittedly, to take breaks in my academic writing. My hope is to approach my creative writing more directly in this next phase of life; I would like to stand in my power as a creative writer as well as an academic writer.

In response to my submission, they wrote, "Terrific project. Auto-ethno-historio-hybrid-spiritual approach perfect for travel workshop."

Sisterfriend's coffee shop in Phoenix
Finally, all this has gone down while we've been on the road "SouthWesting" as I'm calling it.  This journey included a stop in Phoenix, Balmorhea, Austin, and San Antonio now and tomorrow to ABQ for my next presentation. Of course, the beautiful thing, too, is being able to visit bio family and chosen family.  Let me conclude with some photographs from this journey:
At the White Horse in Austin
with friends from all over
(Hong Kong, Chicago, CA)

Riverwalk in San Antonio
with my cousin.
Our great-grandmothers were sisters!

03 March 2014

Keeping Perspective: The End in Sight

Been thinking of my entire school career: starting with preschool and ending, to a certain degree, soon.
Been thinking I do not have to be in school.
Been thinking of the family who went to school before me.
Been thinking of being the sister, aunt, cousin, granddaughter, daughter that has an MA, that will have a PhD.
Been thinking of how I could have just become a monastic, an ascetic, a flower shop owner, a wife, a pilot, a farmer, a priest, a pastor, a suicide,  a mother.  
       How I could have done nothing.
       How I could still be and do or not do all these things, and, yet, I’m here in a coffee shop on Shell Beach still working on my dissertation.
Been thinking of the space I inhabit here and now, and in that space, I can simultaneously believe I am very productive and then fall into thinking I am not accomplishing much at all; how I can feel that everything  I want to accomplish is easy and, then suddenly, daunting.
Been thinking of not succumbing to self-sabotage.
Been thinking of not betraying myself and my story.
Been thinking a lot.

Been thinking too much.   
With the Sequoias