Chocolate Good, Michelle Happy

Carlene's Chocolate Praline Cake

How does a Chocolate Fiesta happen? It takes a team of people who make a devotion to walk with me as I write a draft of my book and abstain from my favorite food group. It takes a generous friend and fellow sojourner on this creative path to say, “Let me host this for you.” It takes a gracious couple (parents of the generous friend) to open their home to painters, writers, familia, photographers, and dancers—storytellers all—coming together to mark a passage.

Shelle's Tortilla Soup Fixings

It takes red wine, tortilla soup, homemade brownies, a flourless chocolate cake, hand-delivered by Frances, Ghirardelli, the Chocolate Cartel. It takes a toast, a ceremonial passing of the manuscript around the circle that helped bring it into being. It takes a reading with my mom and aunt in the audience. It takes love.

Andrea & Nikki

It gives love. Celebrations are important. Community, wine and chocolate remind us that the creative process can be fun. The chance to celebrate with the Vessels Team, both in person and in spirit, inspired me. As we sliced the chocolate praline cake, Sabina took the stage as Masha in Chekov’s Three Sisters, one of three shows in which she is performing this month as part of USC’s Master of Fine Arts Acting Spring Repertory. Inspiration abounds. Andréa completed her poetry manuscript. Jennifer is seizing some newfound free time to write, just in time to complete her MFA at the University of New Mexico. Henry and Valle Encantado won a $25,000 grant to support our work in Atrisco. Daniel is hosting friends for a jam session. And today, Shelle (aka “generous friend”), the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and an incredible team launch Women & Creativity 2011, a month-long series of events celebrating women’s creativity and entrepreneurship.

Godiva-dipped Oreos

Yesterday, I revised Chapter One. Today, I am reshaping a pile of notes that deserve to be given structure and form. This afternoon, I am (finally) sending a lyric essay off to a literary journal. Tomorrow and the next day and the next, I will go deeper into the essays and prose poems and chapters in the blue binder that is my book. Demetria Martinez calls this stage of the process “creating moments of beauty,” which sounds and feels richer and more fulfilling than “revision.” I am remembering how it feels, physically, to take pleasure in writing, how it feels to be on a journey with this book, rather than on assignment. For the road, I have a 226-page draft, the good wishes of my community, and some chocolate to make it all sweeter.

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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 11:35 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It all sounds wonderful. I’ll be there for the signing party!!


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Vessel

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