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08 September, 2010

Hey guys, so I have been a bit busy this last month with my newest gig: So far, so good!!!  I love my classroom, the kids and the teaching assignment is a dream come true: teaching WRITING to 3rd and 4th graders!!!  My teaching colleagues are a riot and the kids are perfect. Couldn't ask for a better start to a new year. . .

more about the job as it develops . . .

So, while I was taking the time to set up a good school year, I also had a bit of a surprise. Looks like the perks of being published last year still make a few waves, even as far as Europe!!  In August, one of the Co - Editors of Norton's Anthology - Sudden Fiction Latino - Mr. Robert Shapard sent me this tiny email

8/9/2010 - 11:15 AM

Hi Lupe,

Your story " What Should Run in the Mind of Caballeros" was mentioned in this review in The Barcelona Review (its editors are in Spain and England).

Here's the review:


and the magazine home page:

I hope you are having a good summer.

I checked out the article and sure enough, my story was mentioned in the review!!  Though its not a big deal, its big enough to know that the book crossed the at Atlantic and somebody might just have liked our contribution!!  

Here is  a portion from the review about the book:

Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America; edited by Robert Shapard, James Thomas, and Ray Gonzalez.  
W.W. Norton & Company, New York, June 2010.
The very rich are different from you and me, yes.  That line sprang to mind as I realized how very different as well is Latin America literature, be it from Latin America or descendants in the U.S. who draw from their roots.  In this superb collection of 60-plus short-short stories (all under 1500 words), we see a literary tradition far different from what we are accustomed to, a literary tradition that draws on historical precepts different from our Euro-American heritage.  There is a music in the prose, be it a translation or not, that strikes a new chord.  We are on fresh ground in these stories; they dazzle and surprise, creep up on us in a collective way and leave us amazed.  Yes, Latinos are very different from you and me.  And that is good.  They form a beautiful part of the mosaic to which we all contribute, to which we all belong.
Here, there are stories of border crossings (Fernando Benavidez’s “Montezuma, My Revolver”); earthquakes that expose mysterious crypts (José Emilio Pacheco’s “The Captive”); and one of advice to young men (Lupe Méndez’s “What Should Run in the Mind of Caballeros”), which reads rather like a Latino commencement address:  “Don’t start fights, just end them / stand up for yourself . . . a little / mind your own business / never touch the ball with your hands / play fair / no name-calling / no swearing, remember you pray with that bocota of yours / let ladies go first / open doors for everyone / don’t stare at her . . . with your mouth open . . . .”
There are stories, of course, that hint of evil regimes and how they have damaged those who lived through them (Isabelle Allende’s “The Secret”); and of those who are at the mercy of figures lurking the dark (Pedro Ponce’s “Victim”); as well as a peek at the domestic abuse that lurks in machismo culture (“Aunt Chila” by Ángeles Mastretta).   Injustice and abuse know no borders, yet it is the strength and resiliency of its victims that impress us here.
So far so good. Next up: a podcast this weekend - I get to read with another poet for a podcast that will appear on the Word Around Town website (please check it out!!!). Soon after, I think I might just host a new showcase (monthly of course). Take a breathe and get ready. I think this gonna be a good fall season.
Stay tuned!!  Hit me up if you want any info or want to drop me a line . . . 
Hasta la proxima!!!