This is me putting it simply; the politicians are one demographic and they see that Arizona is changing. I feel like the only instinct to retain power is to have education favor you. You have this Mexican American program that helps kids take ownership of their race and their power. It threatens the political powers that are in place.— Matt de la Pena
The most uplifting Matt de la Pena quotes that will add value to your life
People always think there's this huge hundred-foot-high barrier that separates doing good from doing bad. But there's not. There's nothing. There's not even a little anthill. You just take one baby step in any direction and you're already there. You've doing something awful. And your life is changed forever.
The Color Purple really floored me. That book was just incredible because I loved the language. The biggest deal of that book was that I loved the poetry of broken English. Broken English and vernacular. It just floored me that you can actually capture the way people really talked. And I also really connected to the social class element.
The feeling it gave me was an odd combination of weightless self-pity and excitement. I understood my life was meaningless, and this knowledge freed me up to accomplish absolutely anything.
But when you read books you almost feel like you're out there in the world.
Like you're going on this adventure right with the main character. At least, that's the way I do it. It's actually not that bad. Even if it is mad nerdy.
Once I start writing, I am a huge reviser.
To me writing is revising. I probably turn over every sentence that I write, to see if I have the rhythm right. That's why my first drafts take a really long time.
The whole guilt thing of not feeling Mexican enough was a big deal, too.
On the one hand, you have your grandmother who is anointing you as a chosen one because you are light, but then you feel like you're less because you are lighter than your cousins, who are more down on the streets. You know? So that confusion was all I wrote about.
I only know what it's like to be an author with social media.
I can't compare. I do think we lose the mystery of the author. Today, I get tons of e-mails and Facebook messages from readers, and my goal with Twitter and Facebook is, if someone reaches out to me, I'm going to respond to them. I don't want to be an elitist author who is untouchable. I'm just a regular person, too. I will always respond to everybody.
When I was in school, I was very much into just sports, mostly basketball, and didn't really see myself as much of a student. But once I got into college, I figured I wasn't going to be play beyond college. I started to think what was I going to do, since I wouldn't be able to make a living with basketball. There were a couple of things I liked to do. I wrote poetry, spoken word mostly.
Whenever I teach writing I tell them to never revise as you go.
Finish the first draft. This is my writing advice. I can't do that myself. I'm lying to everybody. I write a paragraph, and then I rewrite that paragraph. I want to feel like I'm standing on firm ground before I move on to the next paragraph. Mentally, I have to do that.
As an author, you go into the school, it gets written about in the paper.
It sucks that your book was banned, but you almost benefit from it. The bummer is all of the incredible educators. Nobody is writing about them. They are on the frontlines still, to this day, fighting to reinstate those programs.
Cormac McCarthy is my favorite author in the world.
I love him so much. There's one book that informs me more than The Road - it's called Suttree. That book is a huge influence on me. I'm not smart enough to emulate him, but he inspires me. He never infiltrates my writing directly. He writes incredibly intelligently about people that are marginalized.
I worked in a schizophrenic home when I was an undergrad.
You learned to be jaded to the crazy things they would say to you, but there was one man that I always gave crazy respect to, even though he would say the exact same thing to me every single day.
My chest got this weird feeling, like when you stare into the eyes of a little baby and the baby looks back up at you and you can feel how pure and innocent it is, so much that it makes your stomach feel empty - probably 'cause you realize you used to be pure like that, too, and now you're not.
To me, if the writing doesn't have rhythm, it feels dead.
I lose all confidence. The music has to emerge to feel confident enough to move on to the next major chapter.
I think we all try to figure out ways to ignore the fact that life is about suffering. In the modern world, that's what we're surrounded with. We have all these little tools, such as phones and the Internet, to help us forget about suffering. Whenever you are tired, you don't have to really sit in the abyss of what it means to be alive. We always find ways to avoid it. When a ship sinks, you are sitting in it. There is no way to avoid.
Being the first to go to college in my family was a great thing, but it was also a source of guilt. I felt like almost a sellout going to college.
When you first quit your regular job and you become a full-time writer, you are paralyzed with free time. You have so much free time. When you are at home, you have a guitar. There's a cat. You got to find ways to create an environment when writing is like going to work. Be efficient with the hours you put into the book. So I go there the same time, every day - like 7:30 am - and I leave around 2 pm, or longer, if I have a deadline.
I guess I don't really know what I want to do, either.
Sometimes I feel like a shook-up bottle of soda. Like, I have all this passion that wants to explode, but I don't know where to aim it yet.
I always thought books were just the canon, things I couldn't identify with.
And then I was introduced to really amazing multicultural literature - it was all things I was trying to do unsuccessfully in my poetry. It really just changed everything. I was introduced to authors like Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel García Márquez, Junot Díaz, and a lot of African American literature, as well.
When I'm there, it's pure silence. There are other writers there, too, and I get super competitive. I have this weird fear that some guy next to me is writing this amazing novel, so I got to compete.
My fear is you have to be careful as a writer to not get caught up in social media and blogging, because it can start to feed into your writing time. When you are writing a book, it's such a long journey where the payoff is way at the end, sometimes years away. The payoff of the blog post is today. You get the reinforcement, comments or "likes" immediately. It's appealing. You have to be patient with the book.
All that matters to me as a reader are characters.
I want characters to be real, authentic, and rounded. I will be digging into characters for at least a month. Who they are. What they are like. Outside of the story.
Growing up as a mixed-race kid myself, when you are in the middle of it and you're young...you don't think about it consciously. It's your reality.
I was really drawn to spoken-word style poetry.
I loved the rhythms, and for some reason, I was just drawn to this poetry as a way of expressing my feelings, because I didn't have any other outlet.
When I finish a book, I'll go to that file and look through them.
And I'll say, these are three that really excite me and I want to do them next. You have the business part; of those three, is the publisher excited about one? Is the agent?
I feel like I have a lot of novel ideas, but they often come up while I'm already in the process of working on a book. You have to watch out with the slutty new idea.