sabrinamari: (tiny seedling)
The last few days have been like an overlap between past and future in several different ways, but one of them has to do with past friends and future friends, past books and future books.
Read more... )

They're both in my book.

New books, old books, new friends, old friends. It's a eerie overlap.
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
OK, now I understand. It's a giant two-page spread with a big picture of me. I thought it was going to be a column. Wow!
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
My prayer to the Universe: I have discovered that books need aftercare, nurturing, and guidance even after they are born. I am still learning to deliver my baby into the world successfully.

Books need ongoing stewardship. I am learning to be a good steward.

Help me learn stewardship!
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
Some mornings feel much better than others, and this is one of them. I had a great time last night hanging out with a surprise guest and talking about all kind of things: inner city dynamics, what it's like to be a researcher-anthropologist, and how that differs from being in law enforcement in the city. I threw together a last-minute meal of rice, beans and quesadillas (the emergency meal of this household) and it was well-received and even much enjoyed. That's always nice. Michael had to leave early in the evening, but our friend stuck around and even did the dishes afterwards.

He has promised to read my book and do an Amazon review. I'm really psyched about this because of all the years he spent policing in an inner city environment. If anyone outside of HIV/AIDS research can evaluate my history chapter, it's him. I am deadly curious about what he has to say. Where will he see holes? Where will my experience match his? What did I miss? Law enforcement is a whole different ball game, but I'm curious about what his eyes will catch that I have missed.

The last week has allowed me to focus on my book again. Between the NJWAN conference, my talk to Edgar's class and post-conference networking, I'm starting to wonder where I can go with this. What can I do to apply my knowledge in way that's useful to women and men who are infected/affected today? How can I apply this NOW?

I'm poking at it persistently to see what unfolds.

Next month I'm stopping in here, at SMART University:

I'm going to meet the women who run it and try to figure out what I can do to help. And in the back of my mind is this: what can I learn here that I can bring back to Newark? How can the resourceful women I worked with and their younger peers benefit from this? Is there any way I can connect the Urban Systems class I'll be teaching next semester with what's unfolding in places like SMART University, where women and youth are busily rescuing themselves and each other?

I wonder. I really, really wonder...


The other thing that stuck with me: at one point our friend said, "Wait, you're Hispanic?" And I said, "Uh, didn't know?" He proceeded to explain that I really don't look Hispanic, and I pointed out that our usual categories of race and ethnicity don't work well for Hispanics, who come in every color of the rainbow. He knew this intellectually, but had somehow missed that I strongly identify as Latin.

It reminded me of something that happened with Michael an entire year after we met for the second time. In the course of a random conversation Michael turned me in shock and said, " don't think of yourself as white?" and I looked back and said, "What, you thought I was white?"

Weird, the way our identities don't always match up with the way others see us.
sabrinamari: (enblankenate)
The two talks couldn't have been more different. The first was tiny: I talked with three people about how to get their doctors and social workers to help them as much as possible. It was tricky to see so much need and help strategize about how to meet it. What I offered seemed useful, but far short of what was truly needed. It wasn't nearly enough.

The second talk was a world and a half away, at an elite university, with a packed crowd of interdisciplinary MA, PhD and MD students. The room was transfixed as they listened to stories of the people who survived on not nearly enough. Lots of questions; lots of curiosity.

I feel like I've been traveling very slowly and laboriously between worlds, and all I want to do is snuggle up and go to sleep.

Talk talk

Nov. 3rd, 2011 02:34 pm
sabrinamari: (...what is brain?)
One talk down and one more to go. Wow, the cost of the train has really gone up since I took it last.


and god help you if you are a Phoenix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy while
you are just flying past

I am what I am

I am 32 flavors and then some
taking my chances as they come
I am 32 flavors and then some
I'm nobody but I am someone

32 Flavors, Ani DiFranco
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
The New Jersey Women and AIDS Network (NJWAN) Annual Conference:

Confronting the Crisis 2011: Women and HIV Conference

I have a morning workshop slot. I'm excitedly figuring out how to get maximal audience participation rolling.

Then talking at Hunter College that evening, in a colleague's class. It should be fun!
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
"Dear Sabrina,

'Five Questions' is a regular feature of UMDNJ Magazine and we would like to devote the section to questions for you about your new book, Surviving HIV/AIDS in the Inner City: How Resourceful Latinas Beat the Odds.

This would be published in our November/December (fall) issue...."

Full of squee!


Aug. 29th, 2011 11:24 am
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
Something good: one of my colleagues who teaches in NYC texted to tell me he has adopted my book for his class, and he thinks it's perfect for his students. He said it was an excellent ethnography.

Really happy.


Also, [ profile] evcelt, your review rocks. It just rocks!

Read more... )
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
Another kind co-worker approached me to ask where she could get my book. What a gift! This day is looking better and better. I am most thankful.
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
My publisher is having a big book sale, and if you've been thinking about reading my book, this is a very good time to do it. Here's the deal:

75th Anniversary Special

Rutgers University Press is celebrating its founding in 1936 with a special online offer for our customers. Take 36% off the list price on all books you order from our website through June 25, 2011 (simply enter discount code 02ANNV11 in the shopping cart).

The link to the sale page is here:

And the link to my book page is here:

I would love all suggestions about how to get the word out about this and encourage librarians and individuals to grab a copy.

I checked in with my publisher yesterday, and while sales aren't bad, they could really use a big boost. I appreciate anything you can do. Please offer your thoughts! Signal boosts are also very welcome.

Finally, I would be very grateful to those willing to do Amazon and Powells book reviews---if you'd like to review the book, please let me know.

I've asked a few wonderful people about this already, but I could use even more help in this area, particularly if you have an unusual/specifically focused perspective on HIV/AIDS, managing serious chronic illness, health care, women's health issues, resilience/surviving under really challenging conditions or social/cultural capital...

You can see some of the reviews that have been written already here:

Thanks so much, my dears!
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
One of my many amazing friends just sent me a video review of my book. Natalie is a gifted author, a fiction writer, a clever vlogger and an all-around remarkable person. I'm delighted that she did this review.

When I figure out how to upload it, I'll add it here and on Facebook.

I figured it out:

Want to see more of Natalie's clever vlog entries? Go here:
sabrinamari: (Trinity face)
Still not writing about the new model. But...

...over the weekend one of my friends proposed that I do something truly outrageous. He has been reading my book, you see, and he is the kind of person who makes outrageous plans (clearly). While we were sitting around eating hummus and waiting for ritual, he suggested that I submit my book for a really big book prize.

Not, you see, one of those regular, quite excellent book prizes, but a really big book prize.

As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I was pretty much floored, and I explained that I couldn't submit for this prize, since I am an anthropologist and this is an ethnographic book.

But no, he explained, this really big contest has multiple submission categories that most people don't know about, and actually, my book fits one of them. He also pointed out that anyone can submit for this thing, not just a publisher. In fact, he said, he was thinking of doing it for me himself, but it requires a bio and a photo.

So I sat there for a minute and thought about it.

There really is no downside that I can think of. There are no adverse consequences for submitting it and not making it through to jury review. In fact, as near as I can tell, failure would simply mean that four copies of my book would be floating around to random people, some of whom might like it.

All I have to do is send in the copies, a small check, a bio and a photo.

Of course, I tend to get paralyzed when I am confronted with big, intimidating things like this. But I have lived with this for a long time and I know how it works from the inside, so here's how I'm gonna do this.

1. I'm not going to say the name. As long as I don't think about it as anything but "that thing I'm going to submit,' I am much less likely to get intimidated about it.

2. I am going to break it down into small steps. All I have to do today is print out the URLs he sent me and read them. He has already determined the category under which I should submit.

3. All I have to do tomorrow is tweak an existing bio for this thing. That's *all* I have to do on the project tomorrow.

4. The day after, I will put the four volumes in a package with a one-paragraph cover letter, a hard copy of the bio, a check and whatever else they want and send this thing off. Then I am going to forget all about it.

5. I have asked my friend to text me regularly and ask me if I have kept my commitments to myself.

Because the very worst case scenario would be to end up like this:

And I am someone very different.
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
LATER EDIT: Oh my gods---I am holding my book in my hands!

It's an actual BOOK!

It's beautiful. My life is beautiful.



I am told that an advance copy arrived at my apartment a little while ago.

This is what a photo of it looks like:

And the description is here:
sabrinamari: (Surviving HIV/AIDS)
I met with my book pre-production manager this morning and turned in changes to the index---now, there's only approval of my back cover copy left to do!

I also met with the publicity manager for the press and explained my website strategy to her (for those who don't know, I've hired [ profile] divalion, luring her into becoming my website and social media genius as well as my general publicity manager, because she is VERY GOOD at this).

Our strategy intrigued and excited the press's publicity manager, who is interested in designing my book's promotional material around it. I'm delighted, too, because we're going to incorporate a very unconventional approach into what we do.

I'm deliciously excited about blurring the lines between storytelling and social science research.
sabrinamari: (Graduating)
Actually,[ profile] onyxtwilight created the cover's concept and even found the photo---he's the star of this show.

sabrinamari: (Inanna/Transformative work)
Today I've been writing about the deaths of several of my friends from the Helpseeking Pathways/Resourceful Women study. I've put it off for over a year, but now that the worst of the writing is done, it wasn't so bad. I dreaded this task, and it's been a day of tears, but now it's mostly done and I'm still here.

Tomorrow I get to write about my friends who lived, and those I don't yet know about. :)


sabrinamari: (Default)

June 2012

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