On Wednesday evening at The Twig Bookstore, readers, writers, and local fans gathered to listen to Sandra Cisneros read a bit of what she's been working on these last few years. But she wasn't wearing her traditional Mexican garb or her trademark huipil. Instead, she donned turquoise fleece pajamas with a multiticolored polka dot print. In its own cheeky and sort of whimsical way, the comfortable setting and attire added a deeper, more humanized layer to Cisneros' sometimes elusive persona.
Her newest work, aptly titled Writing in my Pajamas, is set for release in about a year and from what we heard that night, we're in for another notable addition to the Mexican American literary canon. Throughout the evening, we snacked on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Cisneros brought for us and listened as she offered writing tips for those of us in the audience who often wonder what we can do to be better writers or how we can break through the writer's block we all know oh-so-well.
"For me, writing is like speaking. And when we're in a comfortable space with someone we feel safe with, we don't stammer or wonder what our opening line will be. That only happens if you're self-conscious about who is listening to you and what they might think. So when you think about who is going to read your writing, you start stammering with your pen." She went on to say that we should write to the one person with whom we feel most comfortable, the one person who loves you, who you can talk to without feeling that self-consciousness.
The party will continue on Sunday, December 19th at Luna on San Pedro, where there will be belly dancers, pizza, and music in celebration of Cisneros' 56th birthday. Tickets are $56 and will help fund the Macondo Foundation.