NEWS FROM THE WRITING TRENCHES—APRIL 2022
I didn’t think I would get a blog out this month. I’ve been working on the new book OUR HOLLYWOOD LIVES with Anita’s help. I just finished going through the entire book, cleaning up things, and rewriting some. Yesterday, I had planned to do a final pass with Grammarly (my grammar/spell checker) to see if I missed anything. Of course, I found some things to change and correct, then I was going to print it out and give it to Anita to read and make changes if necessary. Plans can fly out the window in a New York minute.
At about thirty-something pages, I looked over at my printer, and the printed pages had faded ink. I had gotten an indication of low ink last week. I ignored it because I had recently replaced both the color cartridge and the black-white one. How can I have low ink? I thought. Well, I was out of ink. I was on the edge of depression. I don’t know why I take these things so seriously. I ordered new cartridges from Amazon ($98 for two cartridges), which won’t be here for a few days. Following that, I did some other things and took a nap.
I woke from my nap and looked forward to that evening with anticipation of going to the New Mexico Writers 4th Annual Dinner at the La Fonda Hotel on the Santa Fe Plaza. This event was postponed for two years because of the pandemic. Anything at the La Fonda is always an exciting pleasure. This historic hotel recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. It was a Harvey Girls hotel between the 1880s and 1960s. Fred Harvey employed hundreds of thousands of women in his Harvey House restaurants and hotels. They were usually next to or near railroad lines in the Western United States.
At the dinner, I sat at a table designated for memoir writers. I have written one memoir, Almost A Wiseguy, and Anita and I are working on another, Our Hollywood Tales. I haven’t had a lot of contact with other writers in Santa Fe since moving here five years ago. The New Mexican Writers organization brings together writers from all over the state. The dinner’s proceeds help fund their grant programs and other programs that inspire writer development. Grants were given out last night to writers for both 2020 and 2021.
The gentleman in the photo is Livi Romero, the evening’s keynote speaker. This New Mexico native has written award-winning poetry books, co-directed films, and teaches Chicano studies at the University of New Mexico. He read us some of his poetry. He was one of the best readers I have ever listened to. He intersperses Northern New Mexico dialect in-between the English verses in his poems. It was interesting to hear and something I had never heard before. I wished I knew what the translation was for those Spanish verses. From what he read, it was apparent that he is a gentle, loving soul. And it was the pace at which he read that impressed me the most. Having done some readings of my own, I have something new to aspire to. SLOW DOWN WHEN YOU’RE READING. It wasn’t just that it was slow, but the pacing and tempo were right on. He couldn’t have gone any slower, any faster.
If you are interested in reading some of Mr. Romero’s books, they are A Poetry of Remembrance; In The Gathering of Silence; New and Rejected Work; Sagrado; and the anthology Querencia.
At the evening’s end, I said goodbye to my tablemates and left with a renewed energy for writing—the heck with printer cartridges. I’m a writer, and shit happens to us too. So I’m over all that, and it got me to sit down and write this blog, and I look forward to publishing our memoir about living and working in Hollywood.