Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What I Know For Sure by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Phoebe Gomez Mondragon 1970's. Southern Colorado my maternal grandmother.


Juliana Aragon Gomez Gallegos Mondragon Aragon Fatula granddaughter of Phoebe Mondragon


Excuse me for my late night blogging. It's Tuesday and I've had a busy week. So busy that I've failed to take the time to write a really great post. And I'm tired and it's late at night and Trump is tweeting his bullshit and I'm so angry that all I can do is laugh. So forgive my ramblings but I have something I want to share with you.

This is what I know for sure. I know that writers spend great amounts of time alone, writing. I've learned to take the time to read other writers' work and to give praise where praise is do. I have favorite writers that I correspond with via social media and email. They are my mentors and they are my comadres. They lift my spirits when I feel insecure and unworthy. I feel that way a lot. But when I read their books and poems and interviews and see them traveling the world on book tours, I wonder how they do it. How do they keep the faith.

What I've observed is that these writers have something in common, they love to write. I love to write, too. So when I read something that moves me, I google that author and learn as much as I can about her/him. I write them a quick note and post it, email it, message it, send it to the writer so they know they are not alone. I tell them how much I enjoy reading their work and how their writing moves me to tears, laughter, or deep thought. I express to them what they are never told enough, thank you for writing and for sharing it with us, their readers.

Without readers, writers have just words and no way of knowing how they have changed us, touched us, healed us with their words. It's a simple thing to do. A quick note to say, hey. I get it. You created a masterpiece and shared it with the world. Now, let me tell you how your work made me feel. What memories it invoked. What tears of laughter or sorrow your words brought forth from my psyche. I tell them everything I'd love to hear from my readers.

Praise is worth more to me than money. No that's a lie. I just lied. I love money. But praise like applause for the actor on stage feeds writers and gives them hope that they are making a difference in the world by creating their stories, plays, songs, poems, screenplays...

Someday when I'm much older like the photo of my grandmother Phoebe,  I'll sit on the floor in the middle of a pile of fan mail I've printed over the years from social media and I'll float in the air with happiness because someone, a fan, took the time to say thank you for what you do. Remember to tip your waitress and to tip your writer with fan mail. 


Juliana Arag√≥n Fatula’s, three books of poetry are Crazy Chicana in Catholic City (2nd edition), Red Canyon Falling On Churches, winner of the High Plains Book Award for Poetry 2016, (Conundrum Press), and a chapbook, The Road I Ride Bleeds (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press). She has been anthologized as a poet in Western Humanities Review, Open Windows III, El Tecolote, Trance, and broadcast on National Public Radio’s Colorado Matters.  She is a southern Colorado native, a member of Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Foundation, teaches poetry writing workshops to Bridging Borders, a writer-in-residence  for Colorado Humanities’ Writers-in-the-Schools Program. She teaches cultural diversity and believes in the power of education to change lives. She is currently writing a mystery, The Colorado Sisters. 




6 comments:

  1. Grandmother Phoebe is so proud of you and your talent will be transferred to your grandchildren - how life propels itself forward. Great advice, please let Denise Chavez know how much her writing has inspired me. Besos, Abrazos, Fuertes, Fuertes

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    1. Thank you for always being there to encourage me and kick my ass when I feel sorry for myself, comadre.

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  2. Consider this your fan mail! I love reading your stuff (though I often forget to comment). Thanks for reminding me that I am a reader as much as a writer. :-D

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    1. Wowee! Thanks for the fan mail. I forget to comment too. Thanks for the feedback. Look forward to meeting someday. Someday.

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  3. Great post, Juliana! It's so true, too. I remember when I was going through a tough patch with my career, and a stranger emailed to tell me that an older poem of mine had helped him decide not to kill himself. Now he'd used that poem with a student who was suicidal to convince him to get the help he needed. The kid thanked him afterward when he was better, so he was thanking me. And after that, I told myself it didn't matter how tough things got sometimes--what I was doing had worth, and I would just keep doing it. Sometimes that little "your writing was important to me" message can keep a writer going for years, so never hesitate to send it.

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  4. Thanks Linda for the feedback. Sure do appreciate your comments. Mil gracias, Juliana

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