It’s not always easy to look back and evaluate your work with a critical eye. But it’s healthy, necessary, and motivating when you realize that you’ve acquired the skill set to see the areas that need work. And in review, some of those areas seem rather alarming and you wonder how that sentence or paragraph got past you and your editor. Ultimately, you have to accept that fact that your cake has been baked, iced and served leaving nothing but crumbs to be read like scattered tea leaves on the bottom of the plate.
For me, the past twelve months have been one of the most intense, life-altering years, ever. I got married, published my first book and purchased my first home. I am lucky to be surrounded by a phenomenal group of family and friends (including my outstanding spouse) that have supported me through this mind-expanding journey.
Fatizen 24602 has been my sole writing passion for such a long time now. I’d almost be naked without it. (Yeah, go ahead an imagine that.) I am a fat activist, and always have been. I started a group for gay fat men in 1996 with a friend of mine called Girth and Mirth Long Beach to address the needs and social welfare of the fat gay man (and bears). The group ran for over ten years and it was a raging success due to the men who ran it and the dedicated members who wanted a safe place to meet others.
Since that time, I’ve wanted to contribute, somehow, to the national discussion of fat in our society, especially now with all of the fat shaming to be found in social media. I am hoping that the upcoming graphic novel of Fatizen will help get the story out to a wider audience and address these issues for younger readers as well. My husband, Mason Arrigo, is working diligently on the artwork and fleshing out Delilah’s story in beautiful illustrations. It’s exciting to see the project continue and evolve. There is more story to come with Delilah, Rhonda, Mark and Rick. And who knows what may follow on the larger screen: lots of plus-sized possibilities.
I get people contacting me every week who have found their way to the book though one of the book’s platforms on the web. The word is spreading, and that’s a fabulous thing.
Now that the book is out and circulating around the room like a little Patrick Dennis in Auntie Mame, my thoughts have returned to the ongoing family research I’ve been conducting for my upcoming writing project about the women in my family: my mother Mary Martha, my Grandma Nina, her mother Maria, and my great great grandmother Petra going back to 19th century Mexico. The working title is The Things my Mother Told Me. It’s a family memoir woven within the history of the Mexican Revolution-a piece of history that a lot of people don’t know about. I’m looking forward to returning to Mexico for further research.
I’ve resumed speaking with the women in my family and I’m digging out the tape recordings I made from my Great Grandmother Maria before she died in 1991. This is a real labor of love, and I have to admit it’ll be a nice break from fiction. I just hope my Spanish isn’t as rusty as I think it is. And please, don’t test me.
<–My great grandparents, Maria and Baltazar Perez, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1915.