2012 was a memorable year for me. It was the year I graduated from Cal State East Bay with a BA in English with an option in Creative Writing and it was the year when the world was supposed to end. However, according to the Mayans, the world wasn’t going to “end,” but instead go through a tremendous change. This change made itself apparent when Ray Bradbury passed away. I had recently published my first short story “The Rest Area,” and felt like I had taken the first step into a large and wonderful world. I was sad to hear of Bradbury’s passing, but I was also inspired to continue writing to honor his legacy by contributing to the world of speculative fiction.
Bradbury may be gone, but his vibrant prose and imaginative stories continue to inspire others and spur lively discussions on the nature of his work. Gabrielle Bellot, a staff writer for the Literary Hub, recently posted essay on how Bradbury’s optimism and pessimism go hand-in-hand throughout his stories. You can read her essay and other cool literary discussions here: http://lithub.com/on-the-dark-wondrous-optimism-of-ray-bradbury/
I attended CSU East Bay between 2010-2012 for my major in English with an option in creative writing. One of my favorite professors and writing mentors was Steve Gutierrez, who is a wonderful human being and a great creative writing teacher. I remember sitting in a circle with other classmates during his class in the Spring of 2012. We were taking turns reading our short fiction assignment and giving each other feedback. One of my classmates read her work aloud and then admitted that her “fiction” was actually a true story. She was afraid of “lying” to her readers. Steve smiled and said that all writers are professional liars. He then looked up at the rest of the class, smiled mischievously, and said “let’s hear our next liar.” Steve inspired me to improve as a fiction writer, exposed me to the wonderful world of Russian literature, and shook my hand when I told him about publishing my very first short story in an online journal.
Steve continues to write and recently published a deeply personal and moving confessional about his life as a man, as a writer, and the many flaws and joys of being human.
The Case for Steve Gutierrez
A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco at my very first professional writing workshop. I had the pleasure of meeting and learning valuable advice from professional writers and agents such as Chuck Sambuchino, Mary C. Moore, Laurie McLean, and Paul Levine. The most important piece of advice I took away from that conference was the importance of establishing a platform for my writing career. This simple website is the first major step towards building that platform. I will be posting news and updates of my writing/editing projects and current magazine reviews at NewPages.com. I will be adding more to this website in the months to come and I look forward to connecting with new writer friends and readers.