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The danger of the single story

The single story refers to the notion that there is only one story that children hear about regarding a group of people.

As a writer/poet I write from my own person experience as a first generation Chicana (a person of Mexican descent). I want to write many diverse stories with different settings, characters, plots that many different types of Latino children can relate too. I want to write the stories that are missing from the single story from a child’s perspective. Stories about a recent home-owning Latina girl, who is becoming a terrific pet owner. An ant whose parents were deported and is walking to find them and his new home. The single Latino father making pancakes. All of these voices are not mine, they represent children, families I’ve met in the last twenty years since HS working as a social worker in the Mid-West. Wish me luck on my new adventure as a Children’s book author! Uno, Dos, Tres, Dimelo Otra Vez!

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Writing what I want to write and writing what I have to write– LUNCH BREAK!

Every writer’s heartache, writing what we want vs. what we have to.
I guess I’m lucky because what I have to write is for school, but it’s still hard.
The 5 paragraph, critical. MLA-cited essay isn’t easy. 
Even if you know how to write, even if you have spent most of the semester kneading it, rolling it, cutting it and then when you want to put it in the oven-it doesn’t fit you have to cut some more.
Okay enough with the moaning about critical writing.
Time to rock it up with some fun Children’s Book ideas I have been toying with:

Platos y Planetas
Estrellas y Tazas

This is just the beginning…
I look online to learn how to say the planets in Spanish. It’s wonderful because I was able to listen to the correct pronunciation of each word. And then I listened to my own voice-what sound did Venus (Venuuuuss) have?

The online recording sounds like she saying ven which means come here or come with me… so I play with that image…

That’s the love: the artsy process of forming a poem story. 

Now, how do we do that for Children’s voice? or how do we listen for the Children’s voice in the idea…

I think it’s basically the same but you put yourself in the shoes of the child. What does the child want to do with Venus? How do they see Venus? What would Venus say to them, if Venus could talk? What happened right before Venus? and remember to tie in the action…

 This is what I came up with...
Veo planetas en la noche.
Lavo platos y me imagino como es de caliente Mercurio?
Es más caliente que el agua para lavar? Mercurio es un misterioso vecino.
I see planets at night.
Washing plates I think how how hot is Mercury?
Is it more hot than the hot dish water? Mercury is a mysterious neighbor. 
 
Afuera con mis amigos, corriendo asilla el arroyo, les dio
Ven con migo a ver la planeta más azul, más linda se llama Venus.

Try to show and tell. I want to give the sense of outside and inside and what does a child do. Maybe the dishes, maybe outside with friends running to the top of a hill to see Venus. 

What sounds good to the ear?
 –is the best advise I’ve gotten on poetry –oh and that it’s all about the nouns. And don’t talk/preach and sound breezy either.–I got this from Struck and White Elements of Style. 

Advise is like tiny corner stones of a picture, its a container which to craft in. Can you imagine if you had no structure, how would be able to base anything from anything? How would be able to know what is the theme or meaning. In a children’s book we write with in 32 page container. If you illustrate great! If not you will matched by the publisher.

I felt like writing about my work today because I wanted to show to you and me. that I know what I’m doing, and that I’m good at it. Just seeing my process in print is an affirmation that I’m on the right journey.

Thank you for letting me share, now back to that critical paper….