San Antonio, Texas
October 8, 2009
I just came back from Chicago where I installed a Day of the Dead altar for my mother at the National Museum of Mexican Art. The altar is part of a collection titled "Coming Home," and yet, with my mother's death, I realize now I feel less grounded in Chicago than ever. Perhaps I have lost Chicago as home with my mother's crossing. I don't know. I am still in that state of imbalance, of walking about the world with only one shoe.
Home. I no longer live in Chicago. It is no longer my home. Or, I still live in Chicago because Chicago stories live in me. I will always be at home there. I have never felt at home there. I don't know if both are true, but I know this — I have no true home except the one on the page.
If you are in Chicago this season, please stop by before December 14th when the altars come down. I would very much like for you to see it. To create it was something like writing. I was surprised at how much alike it was in collecting little things, hoarding them, arranging and moving them about, just the way I collect and gather up images, words, and spend hours and hours moving them about till they are just to my liking.
On another note, I have been collaborating with the wonderful Chicana artist Ester Hernandez on the upcoming HAVE YOU SEEN MARIE? book, a story in pictures for adults. For those readers who have heard the story and are waiting for the book, I will keep you posted on the progress of this project here. Ester and I are both excited to work with one another.
Another San Francisco artist I am working with is the amazing filmmaker Lourdes Portillo. Our project is a screenplay for THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET. And what revelations I'm making about my book even now.
The characters are still talking to me, and I'm delighted by what I'm learning. We have no dates yet as to when this project will become a film, but if you have a couple of million bucks you want to donate to a worthy project, send it our way. In the meantime we are having a hell of a lot of fun working on the script.
I am excited to be collaborating with artist Leslie Greene on a book called BRAVO BRUNO. Leslie, originally from the U.S., is a painter who lives in Paris. Can you believe it? She really is a painter in Paris and is married to a man named Pierre! Just like in the movies. We are having a lot of fun working on this children's book inspired by a dog I know who lives in Rome. We are finally "almost done" with this project after many meanderings, false starts, meetings in Paris, and lovely walks in Rome. I will keep you posted on when we can expect BRAVO BRUNO, which is turning out to be a beautiful baby thanks to Leslie's colorful imagination.
In between too much travel I am also currently editing a collection of essays titled WRITING IN MY PAJAMAS and having affairs with poetry on the sly when fiction isn't looking.
Be aware this December 20th marks my 55th birthday. We will be celebrating here in San Antonio with a big party/fundraiser on behalf of my foundation — Macondo, a professional writers organization that brings together writers serving the underserved. Save the date, and don't forget — attire for the evening is LEOPARD!!!! A donation of $55 is appreciated, and yes, you can send in a donation even if you don't come.
For more details, visit the Macondo Foundation website.
PS — Art auction and auction of my some personal items will be featured at a Macondo fundraiser in the spring. Watch my appearance schedule for more information.