My own project is a book about Casa de los Amigos, a Quaker Center for Peace and International Understanding in Mexico City. The Casa turns 60 this year and it's been exciting Quaker peacework, so there's a lot to write about, research, and understand. There are a lot of people to interview. I've been working on this book for just over a year.
|an interview with Orfila Vidal de Flores, a Casa volunteer from 1967, in the Biblioteca Jorge Fox.|
Last weekend, at the Casa's 60th anniversary celebrations, I was able to speak with a large group of people about the project and about my own process. It was a fun chance to talk about what I'd been doing during the last year: research in several archives, interviewing many people, reading, collecting and organizing documents, photos and personal histories, writing a grant, running a Kickstarter campaign, and yes, writing.
|kind of a weird picture of me talking about this project at the Casa last Saturday night|
On a deeper level, Writing--as a full-time thing--has been more challenging for me than I thought. I was quite sure that I had learned how to work hard and long at the Casa, and I had. I'd also had to write, pretty much every day. However, the discipline of daily, solo writing was (is) nothing like the fast-paced, multi-tasking teamwork of the Casa, and I had to shift gears on several levels to get into it. I have done that, but I didn't give myself the time I needed. I slowly reconciled myself with the decision to extend this project and continue working on this book until its properly done. The finished product has to be where I want it...for me, and for all the Casa community. If the book is some months behind my schedule, nobody will recall this in ten years. It is more important that the book is an accurate and effective statement of the Casa's amazing history and impact.
|A Casa piñata. Many people have responded to my ongoing call for Casa de los Amigos photos.|
¡Saludos a todxs!
This photo seems appropriate: here's a note to then-President Lázaro Cardenas about an upcoming, 1939 meeting with Clarence Pickett at the National Palace in Mexico City. This document is in the Archivo General de la Nación, where you have to wear gloves to look at anything...