This is a new shirt I bought at La Casa Azul last week, a sweet Latino-themed bookstore on 103rd Street in Harlem. How could I resist? It reminded me of the hours I spent as a kid watching Lucha Libre wrestling — that masked Mexican drama. My uncle was a big fan, and my grandmother and I soon joined him. “Do you think it’s real?” Abuela would ask as someone got slammed with a chair. How stupid, I thought. Of COURSE it’s real.
My shirt says Lucha Libros, of course. Much more civilized — but maybe not. I’m a writer, after all, and as any of us in this business will tell you, you can get sucker punched and slammed with a folding chair at every turn. A lousy review, an unimpressed agent, an editor who says something just isn’t ready. Dios de mi alma, it’s tough.
I’m thinking about all this because in two weeks I’ll be taking you inside the horror with debut author Aimee Agresti whose debut YA novel, Illuminate, has received great reviews. (It’s the first book in a planned Harcourt trilogy.) We’re doing a panel for one of my favorite writing organizations, James River Writers, as part of The Writing Show. Ours is the last Writing Show of 2012, and I’m excited that it’s about writers wrestling. Aimee has agreed to show her manuscript from the early, on-the-napkin stage, all the way to the picky line edits, all in the hope of helping other writers see with their own eyes what to expect. Along the way, we’ll talk about creating vs. editing, about who gets to weigh in on your work, and how to tell when you’re getting good advice.
If you’re around, please join us for The Writing Show on Thursday, August 30, 2012, 6:30 pm at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. (Come at 6 pm if you’re a member — and you should be — so we can have some wine and cheese before the show!) See you then! (Costumes and masks optional! Ha!)
Want your chance to win a whole year of free admission to The Writing Show?
Register for the James River Writers Conference before September 1, 2012 and your name will be entered in the giveaway. Great opportunity for some free craft development!