VONA is an experience~

I am left with this sense of accomplishment… quite an achievement… its as if I just received a Ph.D from writers of color. What a huge honor!

Creator, Thank you for VONA!
Thank you to every single person that got me to VONA!
After traveling 20 hours… Oakland, LAX, Minneapolis then NYC… I finally arrived to New York in time to see my daughter off to college and had the nerve to begin my 12-week writing workshop that I facilitate at Hunter College yesterday… this is how serious I am about this writing thang!
Thank you to every person who prayed that I would get to VONA and who knew that I would get there! Thank you to every family member who has supported and loved me. I am so grateful for the family I gained while at VONA. Grateful for the incredible connections and profound learning that went down.
My instructor Maaza Mengiste, author of, Beneath the Lion’sGaze. Thank you for teaching me the importance of “story”—the importance of their story. Maaza you taught me to not get lost in the history and research. That its “all about character.” I was obsessed with making sure that the history was on point and perfect. You gave me permission to let all of that go and allow the characters to lead me on their journey. “Let the character tell me what I need to know”  and that, “it’s the story that matters!!!” from the depths of me I thank you Maaza. I will hear your tender and loving voice every time I spend time with these characters. I love you and am grateful for you. (Get the book she is an amazing writer).
I am grateful for every woman I spent the week writing with: Emily, Jean, Lydia, Burnita, Negin, Tara, Nakia, Danielle, Queen Esther and Alicia U. thank you for taking the time to read my manuscript and for providing me with feedback that I know will carry me though to the end of writing this novel. Thank you so much… I love you.
And real talk… thank you to my investors… you are my investors and dream makers… my personal angels who supported me in getting to VONA. YOU not only believe in me but you believe in this story. Thank you for playing such a huge role in getting me to VONA and having this experience. I want you to know that not only did I get your money’s worth I finished it. I gave every ounce of me. This experience is beyond words. I will continue to work at this level for the rest of my life. Thank you Andreina, Nivea, Eneida, Rock, Josie, Yoseli, Griselda, Maria, Peggy, Mia, Adolmary and Vanessa (if I have left anyone off… THANK YOU!) My kickstarter backers, my indiegogo supporters… you truly have my heart ❤
I am so grateful for everyone’s love and generosity. I WILL FINISH THIS! And we will celebrate at the book release.
I just wanted to say thank you… thank you Diem and the entire VONA Faculty and Staff. Thank YOU! Today I was a little more firmly and with a tremendous amount of direction.
VONA Class of 2012… WORD! Mama graduated! 
Maferefun Oggun~ padre tu hija lo logro~
Ache!
Peace, light and LOVE
Always Alicia
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