Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Bit About Me

Many who know me know that I am writing a book -- a collection of personal essays about growing up Chicana in hick town, but only a few have read what I've written so far. I've named my book Pretty Bold For a Mexican Girl. I will be sharing some of what I'm writing here -- only the shorter very polished pieces -- and below is an introduction (reading it will provide context for what's to come) that I wrote about myself for a community of writings working together to finish their book length works. Our teacher, facilitator, wise sage, and deadline keeper is Ariel Gore author of How To Become a Famous Writer Before Your Dead.
You should check her out.

About Me
I was born Michelle Christine Cruz in East LA to Cheryl Gonzales and Michael Cruz,two young Whittier Boulevard-cruising Chicanos. Only eight months later, I was Michelle Christine Gonzales, living in Redwood City with my mom who had to leave LA because Michael had kidnapped me after my mom quit him because he had beaten her one too many times.

When I was four we moved to the California Foothills, to Tuolumne, to get even farther away from Michael and because Mom was a hippie with a pastoral fantasy. I hated Tuolumne and it hated me which is what the book is all about though there were things, are things, that I love about it, and while I was born in East LA my family's homeland, my hometown, the placed that shaped me into who I am today, is Tuolumne.

While my mother still lives there, and in the same house where I grew up, I left Tuolumne when I was 17, two weeks after graduating high school. I moved to San Francisco with members of my all female punk rock band, signed up for City college, dropped out, partied too much, got a job as a pre-school teacher's aid, a job that I was very good at, formed another band -- Spitboy -- toured the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and when that all broke apart, I went back to college got a BA and an MFA.

I teach English at a community college -- a career job that I love, where I am well-liked by the people there who matter most -- the students. And even though I never wanted to get married, I am happily married to a real Mexican with whom I own a home (he was raised in house with a dirt floor and I grew up on welfare), have nine year old, piano-playing son, and two loving chihuahuas who will no doubt be sitting on my lap while I write for you this summer.


  1. I sure do love that new title ;)

  2. Thanks to you, Jenny! I wrote about you suggesting the title in my cover letter for Ariel's manuscript workshop.