Our Thrills: Writing Workshop Series began on October 2, 2016 with a generative writing workshop
facilitated by Hugo E. Rodriguez. Here’s what he had to say about his experience as a facilitator:
My lesson was officially untitled but unofficially I’d call it “A Quick and Dirty Primer on Flash Fiction” and the genre was literary fiction. My teaching approach was a discussion with my own background in journalism and the huge influence reading short stories as part of my MFA coursework had that led me to writing flash fiction.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous going in because I was presenting a workshop with some heavy hitters in Houston’s poetry scene, including my own poetry mentor Lupe Mendez. So I sought outside advice from my flash fiction mentor, writer Hillary Leftwich, and she pointed me to Pamela Painter’s You and the piano bench, found in the The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction. I used the prompt suggested there and gave it a bit of a spin in deference to the thrills theme.
The prompt that professor Painter references, and I’ll paraphrase it here, was to create a story using three objects. The one object I kept because of the potential it had given the topic, was that of an eye staring through a hole in a fence. After 10 minutes of writing, the responses were amazing. And so varied! I had stories about bars, about masks, about self-image, experimental flash pieces, and a great variety of others. The workshop attendees were really into the stories and you can tell by the passion they had when reading them.
I also led that part of the workshop while wearing a luchador mask!
I think my biggest take-away from the workshop is that it was comfortable. It felt less like any formal class or lecture and much more like a conversation about writing. Yes, the Tintero Projects are a deviation from the standard “workshop” environment, and that’s okay. The type of workshop where everyone brings something and then it gets critiqued has its place and time. At the Tintero Workshops, it’s just an educational conversation that everyone can benefit and learn from and who knows, maybe it can serve as a springboard for someone to discover a new way of writing fiction, plays, or poetry. Overall, the experience was great and I hope to get the opportunity to facilitate another workshop soon!
We’ve been staying busy! We kicked off the month of October with a wonderful collaboration with John Pluecker from the organization Failure to Identify where we featured writers Charles Alexander and Rodrigo Toscano at Kaboom Books.
The night was filled with musical and experimental poetry that left everyone wired and inspired. We hope that both of them will make it back to Houston soon to grace us with their words. Our friend Erika Jo Brown over at Inprint wrote up a great blog post about it too! Thank you Erika!
Then we kept moving right along with the beginning of our Thrills: October Writing Workshop Series. Our first session on flash fiction was facilitated by Hugo E. Rodriguez. Participants got the chance to explore objects that thrilled them including a Luchadores mask, a calavera statue and a very bizarre photo with a blue eye peeking through a hole. Needless to say participants came up with some pretty interesting work!
Our second workshop lead by Tintero’s very own founder Lupe Mendez explored collecting oral histories and creating found poems through black out poetry using newspaper articles. Participants used sharpies to blackout lines of an article in order to create a new piece of poetry. Check out what Icess Fernandez Rojas had to say about her experience in her blog post: Learning to Write Blackout Poetry.
Finally, our most recent workshop this past Sunday 10/16 was guest facilitated by the talented actor and playwright Josh Inocencio. He led participants through several writing exercises on talking to ancestors and developing characters. He shared some of his own works in progress and encouraged participants to keep searching for the “kernels of history” that could help build their stories.
We still have TWO more workshops left so please join us and don’t be shy! Bring a pen and bring a friend. This Sunday 10/23 Icess Fernandez will lead us in a long form fiction workshop and on 10/30 Leslie Contrreras Shwartz will talk to us about publishing opportunities and strategies. We will then finish off with a fun submissions party at Bohemeo’s next door.
Special shout out and thanks to Lizbeth Ortiz for letting us use the East End Studio Gallery for these workshops! It’s community partners and collaborators like her that make opportunities like this possible.
Open Mic Featuring Luis Galindo
Vino & Vinyl
3340 FM 1092 Rd #150
Missouri City, TX 77459