Monthly Archives: June 2012

From book to play


The University of Arizona’s etc…Educational Theatre Company in Tucson will produce a play “Red Ridin’ in the Hood and Dos Cuentos” based on three stories from my award-winning children’s book, “Red Ridin’ in the Hood and Other Cuentos,” a retelling of traditional fairy tales with Latino characters and culture.
The etc… production will feature The Piper of Harmonía, a retelling of the Pied Piper with lizards; Blanca Nieves y los Siete Vaqueritos, the Snow White story set in old Mexico and told by puppets; and Red Ridin’ in the Hood, set in a modern day barrio where Roja is not at all fooled by a wolf in a low-rider.
Tour dates in Arizona are Oct. 12, 19, 26 and Nov. 2, 9, 16, 30.
“Red Ridin’ in the Hood and Other Cuentos,” published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, won the 2007 Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award, was named a Commended Title by Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, and earned a Starred review from the American Library Association and Best Collections to Share, 2005 Wilde Awards.

Postpartum Writing Blues: The let down when you finish a novel


I finished writing a novel recently and it felt like my kid left home and went to college and didn’t write or call.
This is not the first time I’ve had that experience.
Whenever I complete such a project, be it novel or screenplay, there is a let down. I’ll call it the Postpartum Writing Blues.
Like the kind women experience after having a baby, I believe this down-in-the-dumps feeling after the birth of a novel comes from placing so much of yourself into your writing. You push your mind and soul on the page. You step into the heads of your characters. So when it is done, you are left with a big investment of emotion. And unlike babies, which take nine months, our little bundle might usually take longer. My last novel took about one year.

You have so much hope for your project and you want it to do well in the world. Sometimes, it won’t. Sometimes, it will be the perfect successful child.
Still, that failure doesn’t remove anything from the experience of writing. This is a tremendous accomplishment all in itself.
After completing a big novel, I ususally take a break from writing. Then I start in another project.
Afterall, even if I face another case of Postpartum Writing Blues, the excitement of creating something out of nothing is too much to pass up.