Monday, February 8, 2010

Maintaining our paths

I first read "Finding Our Way," the title short story from the collection of the same name, in an issue of The GSU Review. My, at the time, creative writing professor and author of the collection, René Saldaña, Jr. passed over the publication, not because he wanted to show off his story, but merely map the path he'd taken to get to where he was.

Alternations and editing later, "Finding Our Way," the final piece in the collection, comes to life. Still, I imagine of all the stories from the book, this one makes the best story for a feature film. A lot of times, book readers who happen to also love the flashing lights of a motion picture can snap their fingers and say, "Hey! There's a movie in here if it's done right." My opinion hasn't changed, and, if it has, it has grown surer of the idea. But only if it's done right.

I just put down the book for the second time in my life and I'm happy to say that my thoughts on it have changed for the better. Being YA lit, something I hardly touch, this book shows that there are two versions of the Valley: The one in which we live in and the one we remember living in. René Saldaña, Jr. ventures into both. Leaving us nostalgic for our lost innocence, but appreciating the course of events that brought us here.

It's a joy to read for both adults and teens alike. Each powerful story reminds us that if we should trip and fall in our journey into adulthood, the world does allow second chances. All we have to is pick ourselves up, dust off our clothes and never lose our way.


Para Guillermo

Ojala que I'll be begging for your autograph sooner than later. The field is wied open, and you're good. I'll be all jealous when you start making the big bucks.

R. Jr. 05/13/05 UTPA

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