Cruznotes Newsletter by Jaime Alejandro | 5.22 Recap
Amazing Interviews, Scribe Stuff, and AI Shenanigans.
Let’s take a look at what happened in May, shall we?
I’ve settled into a good schedule for podcasting this month. There’s so much to learn from these incredible guests, that I’m thinking of listening to these episodes again to take better notes! For now, I invite you to check out their wisdom in these long-form conversations!
#35 Anindita Sengupta | Journalism, screenwriting, and embracing language
#36 Lynne Jensen Lampe | Mothers, rabbit holes, and family typewriters
#37 Shaine Greenwood Part II | Design the future and the self-contained art machine
#38 Eli Godfrey | Writing, voice dubbing, and imagining worlds
#39 Richard Jeffrey Newman | Teaching, co-translating, and sharing truth in poetry
#40 J. Simon Harris | Translating the inferno, family, and love for the classics
#41 Elaina Battista-Parsons | Writing Y.A., the 80s, and Italian Bones in the Snow
And just a quick favor: If you enjoy the show, consider reviewing the show wherever you listen to podcasts. It would help the show’s visibility tremendously and I would greatly appreciate it!
Cruz & Jonez in the lab!
Been meaning to get together with my friend Dust to record our latest tracks. I have lyrics for his music, but the writing is a bit unfocused lately. I’m focusing on getting the hang of my new job, so that’s taking priority over everything. They feel like first gear lyrics, nothing a few pass-throughs can’t fix! Need two more hours a day, that’s all. Either way, it’s always a blast to spend a Sunday morning making music with such a powerhouse musician as Dust. Music coming soon!
Coalition for Digital Narratives | New Prompts and New Figurehead
Sometimes, I really go off the rails. Time is scant, and though I want the Coalition to start producing work right now (this very minute FFS I have zero patience), I know that all good orchards take time to bear digital fruit. The stories will come around, collaborations take time, the forum will grow. All in good time. However, I have no choice but to delegate day-to-day operations to my new helper: I have entrusted my digital friend C.O.M.P.A. to take over the blog postings and AI prompts that will be shared!
Wait, who is this C.O.M.P.A.? Well, it is a compa. A friend. A buddy. A pal. In Mexican slang, the term carries a fair amount of trust. I hope it helps the Coalition become the venue for forward-thinking storytelling and free-form collaboration.
Check out C.O.M.P.A.’s inaugural comments on the website that it wrote all by itself! And feel free to check out the AI-generated prompt images in the updates section of the website.
During the pandemic, I recorded a lot of demos and songs and various servings of musical refuse. I narrowed them down to a few favorite tracks, and am calling it an album. It’s a collection of simple pop songs written over the years. I’m gonna be working with my pal Dust to get them mastered, and get them released sometime this summer. It’s not much, but it doesn’t matter. My songs make me happy. They needed to exist.
Agave, a short script with legs.
I prepped a short script for consideration last week and this one caught me off-guard. I say that a lot. The call for scripts requested something under eight pages with commentary on today’s cultural climate. This is a story rooted in fantasy and drama, but it escalates into a brief conversation about power, greed, and family. This was such a lovely opportunity for me to craft a modern-day fairy tale gone wrong, with elements from the story of Ehecatl, the Mesoamerican god of wind and air. Whether it gets looked at for consideration or not, I want to pursue this one for production on my own. This is long-term thinking, of course, but it has legs for a full-length project of some kind. I’d like to know more about these characters. They have a lot to say, methinks…
The Uvalde shooting in my mind forever. Nonstop. Just like Sandy Hook. That was our point of no return. Our irredeemable brand, burned onto the flesh of America. No parent should have to bury their child. What a tired, comfort-less phrase. The faces of babies all over our social media timelines. A mother handcuffed on the ground screaming to save her loved ones. He said she said. The picture of a little girl like an empty billboard in the hands of a father suffocated by trauma fog. Armed incompetence. Hydra-headed narratives coming from all directions. They said no one said. CNN reporters dutifully confronting responsible parties. Or simply there to feed our obscene curiosity. Slaughtered, unidentified babies. Unrecognizable. Those little students were my son’s age. I sat in my car the day of the shooting and wept. For those parents who won’t see their children smile again. Children who won’t ask Mom questions about the weather anymore. Kids who won’t bring handmade projects from school anymore. Butchered children are now justified out of existence, just long enough for the next headline to take hold. We have failed.
Man… It’s tough to end on a devastating note. So I thought I’d start sharing some things that are helping me get through the day.
That’s it for now so thank you for stopping by, dear friends. It truly means the world to me. I hope you’re doing well. And I’d love to know what awesome things you’re up to. May you be happy and free from suffering. Go make a dent. Much love,