The Memory of Common People: the Core of Literature
There are many sources of information for writers all over the world: diaries, letters, newspapers and documentaries. But conversations with real people, and the stories they recall, provide the fiction author with complex and believable characters.
8-Hour Intensive Workshop, Presented in Spanish. Monday and Tuesday – February 20 and 21, 9 AM to 1 PM both days
How to Ask the Right Questions —Writing Memoirs
(Cómo hacer las preguntas correctas al escribir memorias)
Based on my experience of writing biographies and helping others write their own autobiography, I will encourage participants to interview one another as if they were other people. They will create stories based in this experience and many other exercises, such as looking at photographs to create a fictional biography. Also, there will be many dynamic exercises on the right use of Spanish words, phrases, clauses and paragraphs.
The writers will receive a series of quotes from authors who write in Spanish, and their insights on how to write: Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes (my professor, 1984-1985), Mario Vargas Llosa, Rosa Montero, Jorge F. Hernández and others will be analyzed and discussed. Other themes may include the eternal dilemma: truth vs. fiction, and the importance of fact checking, since recollections are not always accurate.
90-minute workshop, Presented in Spanish. Session #2: Friday, February 17, 11 AM – 12:30PM
Writing the Short Story
We will learn how to capture the local atmosphere of old cities, their colors, aromas and flavors… and the peculiarities of their inhabitants. We will explore sources for local stories, from personal experiences to news clippings.
Araceli Ardón is a graduate of the Monterrey Tech, with a major in Communications. She attended several Hispanic-American Literature courses at Harvard University.
In 1988, she was awarded the Rosario Castellanos National Prize for Literature. She has been a professor of Spanish as a Second Language and Literature for American students both in Mexico and in the United States. She has published the novel Historias íntimas de la casa de don Eulogio; the short story compilation, El arzobispo de gorro azul; a book for children, La pandilla de Miguel; and Semblanza, the biography of Don Roberto Ruiz, a Querétaro entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Also, she compiled the book, Romance de piedra y canto. She has helped authors such as Fernando Barba and Fernando Pacheco to write their own autobiographies.
Ardón’s short story, No es nada mío, was translated into English and published by C.M. Mayo, editor of the book, Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. It was selected by NPR for its web site and mentioned in the program “All Things Considered.” In California, Ardon received the Sigma Delta Pi honorary membership.
She has also made a career in art and culture promotion. When she was the director of the most important museum in the state, she received the Junipero Serra medal given by the state Congress for her work in the arts. She is the director of Fundación DRT, a non-profit organization dedicated to promote local artists.
Araceli Ardón is the host of a regional cultural TV show. You may view it online, Fridays at noon and 11:00 pm and Sundays at 5 pm, Mexican Central Time: