"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pain of Writing, Part I and El Paso Writers Update: Mora, Salazar, Cinco Puntos, Saenz, Gilb, Solis

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Book Festival in  Alpine

The Chasing Tales Blog gives a description of a visit to Alpine, Texas and the recent book festival there. Ben Saenz is mentioned as is Xavier Garza and Cinco Puntos Press' Bobby and Lee Byrd. READ MORE.

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Pat Mora on board

There is just a brief mention of Pat Mora on the Readertotz Blog, but the blog discusses the need for more writer of color on board books. READ MORE.

See Mora's profile at the Library of Congress 2010 National Book Festival. READ MORE

Also check out this article/review of/on Pat Mora and her book Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students?: "Many people, including college professors and high school teachers, have told award-winning author Pat Mora that they want to do what she does -- write books -- and they want to learn how she does it." READ MORE.

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Ricardo Sanchez remembered

I don't remember if I mentioned this, but the Somos Estrito Blog put out a piece on Ricardo Sanchez' passing. READ MORE

Drama over Ruben Salazar files continues

Here is another Los Angeles Times article on the attempt to get the Los Angeles County Sheriff to release its records on Ruben Salazar. Not much new on this one: "The county Board of Supervisors, responding to a Times report about the denial, ordered county attorneys to prepare a report by next week to determine if the documents can be released." READ MORE. Also check out the "The Ruben Salazar Files," and these:

Also, check out this video the LA Times posted on youtube.com

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Also check out Lisa Salazar, Ruben Salazar's daughter, accepting Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso for her father.

Octavio Solis in the news

Check out this article mentioning El Paso native playwright Octavio Solis: Date Lines: News from the Bay Area arts scene. It also mention some other Chicano playwrights and some Latino ones as well.

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Trailer for Writ Writer and other news on Gilb

Old news, but I caught this trailer for "Writ Writer" whose script was adapted by Dagoberto Gilb. Check it out. Writ Writer is based on Fred Cruz the write writer.

Also, their is a article and blog on the La  Feria Internacional del Libro, or FIL. READ IT HERE. Dagoberto atteneded, as well as Ruben Martinez, Yxta Maya Murray, Dagoberto Gilb, Geoff Nicholson, Jonathon Gold, and Alex Espinoza.

Those who attended agreed to put together an anthology of their experience in Guadalajara called  Waiting for Foreign: LA Writers on (and in) Guadalajara.

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by Raymundo Eli Rojas

The clock is about to turn to midnight, and you are on a roll.

Writers block gone and you're busting out.

The water has broken and all that cooped up creative energy is out. You typing way. A little tingle on the wrist -- you don't even notice.

Your creativeness has led you to another idea, and it's one in the morning. That tingle is now a sharp a pain. You keep going. Rotate your writs ever so often. You imitate you abuelita squeezing mangos and melons at the mercado. You do this with your hands a few times.

By five, the roosters are crowing, and the cars of early workers are rumbling through the streets. Your back is tired. Shoulders hurt. What started as a tingle is now throbbing. Your forearms a little swollen. You shake out your hands. Time for bed.


You sleep as you do each night. Having hand and forearm pain is nothing new. It will disappear by morning. You put your head on your wrist, bending your hands at the writs to a 90 degree angle. Before drifting off into dreams, before REM sleep sets in you realize: “I sleep on my wrist almost every night.”

In fact, sleeping on your wrist is one of the signs of the maladies that can plague a writer. The maladies are tendinitis or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

Old Underwoods and Remingtons

The pain of writing as always been with writers. When I see old Remington Typewriters and Underwoods, I cringe at the un-ergonomic world writers in which writers use to live. However, are our laptops much safer?

My typing world came as a surprise to me. In high school, I saved my typing class until my senior year. I was required to take it. By then, typing was on computers, and the class instructed you not just to type, but on Microsoft applications like MS Word. Of course you learned typing. Cortez Peters.

I sucked. The teacher came to me one day and told me so, in kinder words of course. She let me take the Cortez Peter book home to practice, and soon, I was a writer. Letters to the editors, letters to scholars, articles on mariachi music, all on my sister's computer. She had just moved in with us after her husband died, bringing her computer with her. The computer was made by Magnovox if you can believe it.

What the typing class didn't teach me was that I would feel pain from the so much joy I would receive from writing.

Even in those first years, I felt the tingling of the wrists. Typing until my arms and hands could take no more.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

According to the Mayo Clinic, the carpal tunnel is “Bound by bones and ligaments...a narrow passageway — about as big around as your thumb — located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and nine tendons that bend your fingers.”

It is the pressure on this nerve that produces numbness, pain, and maybe later weakness in the hand. Though the carpal tunnel is in your hand, this numbness and weakness can eventually extend to your forearms and wrist. You will notice them getting tired in other regular chose of life: holding the steering wheel, holding up a book.

Henry's Ford's Plague

This is nothing new. Much of this came with the Industrial Revolution. But don't be fooled, it can also be found in the pueblitos of Mexico and colonias of Cd. Juarez.

I remember a tailor in the southern colonias of Cd. Juarez. He used a foot pedal Singer sewing machine. His hand was so damaged and deformed from years of sewing that it was always kept in bent position – a bent position like when we sleep on our wrist at night. This was probably caused by excessive and repetitive use, a problem you will see in the industrial world.

Though Henry Ford is marveled at for inventing the assembly line, the injuries of that came with it, the repetitive injuries, are one of the hidden secrets of success of modern capitalism.

While in Kansas, I hosted a panel called “Growing up Beef,” which focused on college students who had grown up in beef towns. One women n the panel said the beef workers would open their beer and soda cans with their teeth because they no longer could open cans with their hands. Of course this is because the assembly line was brought to the beef industry in 1980s -- the line never stops.

But what about writers

However, for writers, the research does not show a definite link between Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and typing, at least this is what the Mayo Clinic says. Many of us know better.

One thing we do know is that women are more likely than men to get the syndrome, the syndrome can be inherited, and certain health conditions like thyroid problems, diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk.

So if you had someone in your family that suffered from the syndrome, you might get it too.

The other malady related with repetitive stress is tendinitis. Of course, tendons are “any one of the thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones.” Mayo Clinic.

These tendons, inflamed because of excessive repetition, cause multitudes of injuries. These injuries are mostly associated with athletes, as colloquially: Tennis elbow, Golfer's elbow, Pitcher's shoulder, Swimmer's shoulder, and Jumper's knee.

In the coming posts, we'll talk about the pain of writing and what you can do to prevent it and treat it.

Later this week, more Pain of Writing, Why Chicano(as) don't read our literature, Out of El Paso Spotlight.
The link we share with you today is: Kansas City Jazz Documentary

Your calo juarense for today is: juila
        - Bicicleta; papalote; cometa; puta.
        - Bicycle. windmill; kite; whore.
                              --- Glosario del Calo de Cd. Juarez, Ricardo Aguilar Melantzon

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