Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shy Barbara Kingsolver

At a Q and A session at the San Miguel Writers Conference yesterday, Barbara Kingsolver said she is the last person in the world who wanted to be famous.  About fame, she said, "I´m sort of afraid of it.  I´m a shy person.  I do not like being on television." 

Kingsolver said that she grew up in Eastern Kentucky where people told stories but frowned upon talking about oneself.   "She´s parading herself around," Kentuckians would comment about anyone who anyone who wished to call attention to herself.  "Imagine how being in front of a public feels to me," Kingsolver noted.  "When I go on book tour," Kingsolver said, "I think, I´m evangelizing for literature."

In the photo is Jody Feagan, founder of the San Miguel Writers Conference, author Barbara Kingsolver and me at a Welcome to San Miguel cocktail party on Friday. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Barbara Kingsolver Talk

"Novels being in a million different places," said Barbara Kingsolver tonight in a keynote address to some 800 people at the San Miguel Writers Conference. Moi, being one of them. Here are some more of the things she said after declaring that Mexico was her favorite country on earth.

- "The novel beings the way a forest begins. One acorn drops in the mud and begins to grow. Then one falls in a stream. Then a mesquite seed drops."
- "All I can do is pay atteniton to what is growing,"

- After talking about all the growth sprouting from the seeds that fall, Kingsolver said, "I will manage this forest. I will make it what I want."

- About literature, she said, "I believe we should expect from literature an immense complexity."

- "It should be a timeless place where we should experience magnifigance."

- "The Lacuna is the most difficult book I have ever written."
- "The Lacuna. I attempted to explore every meaning of that beautiful word. The Lacuna. It can be a tunnel through rock or bone or time."

Then, I must admit , I had to leave to pick up my kids from the equestrian center where they ride. Otherwise I´d be reporting more. But what I heard was great!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

San Miguel Writers Conference

OK, here I am back to writing about writing, although the 2010 San Miguel Writers Conference is big news in town. The word I´ve heard is that more than 600 people have bought tickets to hear Barbara Kingsolver´s address on Friday night. That´s conference-goers and community members.

I myself will be attending all the lectures and workshops that my schedule teaching school and working in our business, Jasmine Day Spa, allow. Next week, I assistant-teach the Teen Writers Workshop with Betsy James. We´ve got 20 teens signed up and will be focusing on science fiction and fantasy this year.

I will be sure NOT to miss my appointments with two, yes, praise be, two agents. One will look at my memoir, to which I still hold the rights even though it´s up on Amazon. The other, an agent for children´s and young adult books, will critique my fledgling Young Adult manuscript. I get 10 minutes with each!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The New Me!

Writing about writing is often fun but I´ve found that what I really want to write about these days is my home town of San Miguel de Allende, in the central highlands of beautiful Mexico. San Miguel is, in Feburary, 2010 still talking about the snow that fell on the town and shone brilliantly on the Picacho Mountains for a full 24 hours before it disappeared, inspiring hordes of town residents to climb the mountain that January 15 to actually touch the cold, white phenomena.

Presently, San Miguel is spiffing up the highways feeding into the town in anticipation of the 2010 bicentenial celebration which will peak around Independence Day in September. On other fronts, the town is settling into being a World Heritage Site, and formalizing plans to bring back the San Miguelada, a wildly popular running of the bulls type of event that was cancelled as being too undignified for a World Heritage Site city. Town fathers have moved the event to a wider street that is a few blocks away from the historically valuable downtown architecture for this coming September. Past events brought in lots of tourist income, from national and foreign visitors, and businesses thrived, so you can imagine local restaurants and business owners are joyous to see its return.

So, that´s today´s report. I´ll be writing about writing AND about San Miguel now, and thus have changed the title of the blog to Sue in San Miguel and I´ve changed my photo to one of me hanging around the horse barn, Centro Ecuestre Canales, where myself and my kids ride horses. And I remain your Latina-wannabe author, reporting on all things local and literary. Or if not all things, at least those things that jazz my world!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I just looked at a book trailer for memoir called Gringa. About growing up white in LA, attracted to Latino culture. Ha! What would I know about that? It´s a nice video that includes recipes involving Fritos.

I figure this is a good opportunity to urge you to view MY book trailer on You Tube. Go to or search Fast Break South or Susan McKinney de Ortega.