I first met Claudia Corletto-Coleman when I was touring for Hijas Americanas, and we were able to hook up a couple times when I was in her neck of the woods. Since then, we’ve stayed friends, and I am honored to introduce you to this writer, artist, and savvy mama today. You’ll love Claudia because she is sassy, passionate, honest, and purposeful. Claudia’s collection of short stories, 7 Cuentos, is written in Spanglish and explores the nature of relationships while showcasing some of her art. I asked Claudia to share some of her process and thoughts with us here today. Enjoy!
What themes did you most want to examine in 7 Cuentos and why?
Love, lust, friendships and cultural identity were the themes I wanted to explore when writing 7 cuentos. I feel that a lot of times, hyphenated Latinos are torn between old world values and new world options. What is seen in this country as the norm may not fly with abuelita. Finding that balance between the values passed on to you and what feels right is a tricky tightrope to walk.
What is your writing schedule and process like?
I write every day as soon as I wake up. I jot down everything that comes to mind. Once it’s all out, I leave it alone. I revisit what is written at a later time, and usually there is a story there.
Some issues we discuss on a regular basis on this blog are self-awareness and community engagement. Given that, what do you most appreciate about yourself?
I’ve realized that I can claim my happiness right now. I no longer have this list of things to accomplish before I allow myself to be happy. So many women do that. Why? How awesome could your life be if you just chose to go after your wildest dreams?
Is there a cause that is particularly important to you? If so, what is it and why?
Artists Unite for Haiti is a group formed by Georges and Carrie Le Chevallier, and Peter Eversoll. Artists from around the world donate unframed works on paper, and they hold an annual sale. All proceeds raised from the show go directly to Mercy Corps, a non-profit organization providing relief. It’s very disturbing to me how quickly that whole situation has quietly faded away in the news. Last I checked, most folks down there are still displaced. If my submitting art helps, then I know I made an effort.
I have to also talk about Circle de Luz and how important it is for us to bridge the gap that exists for Latinas and access to higher education.
What do you wish all women knew?
I’d love for the mujeres that read your blog to know que el sol brilla para todos (the sun shines for everyone).