* Finding Hijas Americanas on the bookshelf on its official release date.
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Hijas Americanas was released on June 1, 2007. I thought it would be fun to look back over that year at some of the experiences along the way. So, here it is, 11 touching and funny highlights from a year in the life of the book.
1. Meeting the amazing women who shared their stories with me to help make Hijas Americanas possible. I was able to meet about 15 of the women at events around the country and that was such a touching experience for me. I am so grateful to them for trusting me with their stories and then indulging me a meeting when I came through their cities.
2. Reconnecting with old friends and former teachers who somehow heard I had a book out or googled me and the book made it easy for them to find me.
3. Having to make a presentation in El Paso, Texas with dark blue hands because the new dark denim jeans I had worn were, unbeknowst to me, leaking dye in their pockets like you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t even know that I put my hands in my pocket that much until I took them out to speak, looked down, and had flashbacks of the Smurfs. Then having to leave my El Paso, Texas hotel at 4 am in the dark because my hotel had lost power. I was creeping down the hallway and then going down the staircase all freaked out that Freddy Krueger was going to get me.
5. Having my flight canceled in Newark, New Jersey after I had flown up to do just a lunchtime keynote address at a company for Hispanic Heritage month. I was in a silk dress, tights, and heels and my feet were killing me. I made a deal with the counter agent that if he didn’t get me on the next plane, we’d have to change clothes because I could not take one more step in high heels. He put me on standby, and I have never been happier to have a middle seat in my life!
6. My friends calling to figure out who was who in the book since I used pseudonyms. I won’t tell, but sometimes their guesses were spot on.
7. Really meaningful speaking engagements at highschools and colleges across the country. I just loved talking frankly with young people about these issues. And I loved when young men would raise their hands and ask what they could do to help improve the body image of the women in their lives.
8. Seeing parts of the country that were new to me. I loved Indianapolis, upstate New York is just beautiful, and how cool is Berkeley!
9. Chance encounters at book stores that were so serendipitous. Two really memorable ones were at a bookstore in Columbia, South Carolina, and one at the Bronx signing last week which I’ll tell you about in a post later this week.
10. Provocative, interesting conversations at bookstores, festivals, women’s groups, book clubs aroudn the country. I had some of the most interesting dialogue of my life in the last year, and I am richer and better for it.
11. Using those provocative and interesting moments as the impetus to start Circle de Luz.