living / reading / write here write now / writing

IN THE HOOD

IN THE HOOD

At my book launch, I wanted to read the acknowledgment in Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator, which I wrote as a chapter because, to me, the role of other people in a writer’s search for stories is as important to the creative process as a vocabulary and a point of view.

But I have this fear of public speaking and I thought my reading would take too much of my audience’s time and prove to be too much of an indulgence. In a moment of panic, I decided to write a quick thank you note on my S III on the way to Powerbooks and ended up reading it before the crowd, with my muses Apples Aberin and Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez at my side and over a hundred, maybe 200 people, family and friends, not fans, in front of me.

Let me share with you the same note in this space.

“The acknowledgment pages of my book are a chapter as integral to my advice to the reader as the other chapters. I call it “Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood” because I think this was how my generation, raised by Sesame Street, was taught to value the contribution of so many people to the stories of our life.

But whether we value it or not, especially in this age of self-entitlement, at this time when Sesame Street is no longer as popular, the contribution of other people is still there, palpable and undeniable.

There is no such thing as a self-made man.

In the said chapter, I wrote that ‘love, or lack thereof, plays a big role in a writer’s search for voices and viewpoints’ and I know this to be true.

No matter how self-sufficient we are, no matter how self-centered, no matter how needy and clingy, strong or weak, social or anti-social, we cannot deny that we are who we are because of the people in our lives.

I am blessed to have such good people in mine — and so many that I only wish I could name each one of you.

But here is my book and it has come to be because you helped shape who I am.

Thank you very much.”

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