This year, I am working on a creative writing thesis titled “To Die in a Dream.” It’s a collection of short stories of the Rodriguez family facing several challenges as a Latino-American family, such as machismo, sexuality, and immigration, in a New York City neighborhood called Washington Heights. The title, translated from Spanish as “Morir Sonando,” is a popular beverage of the Dominican Republic, usually made of orange juice,milk, cane sugar, and chopped ice. However, when combined, the verbs “morir” (to die) and “soñar” (to dream) can have a different meaning that may well describe the stagnant lives that the Rodriguez Family deals with as they struggle to keep their American dreams alive in their mundane routine.
That said, my creative writing thesis challenge me in so many ways as a writer. From the very start of my writing career (freshman year), I was exposed to a variety of writing techniques, such as writing prose, poetry, short stories, non-fiction, fiction, novels, blogs, etc. Every experience was, in fact, a challenge for a non-native English speaker, and I thanked all my professors for giving me the opportunity to develop my writings skills in all areas. This was useful for my creative writing thesis. A character rhyming a sonnet while he’s trying to get over his drug addiction. E-mail exchanging among the main characters. Twin sisters struggling to trust each other as they grow older and apart from each other at some point.
The best part of being a writer is letting your characters develop their own personalities, voices, and actions. They come to life before your eyes. Originally, this story was supposed to focus on bigger themes like immigration and machismo in Latino culture, but my two main characters, Felipa and Fanny, are the crux of the story. These twin sisters constantly fight each other and try to find a common ground with their differences. Felipa Rodriguez, daughter of undocumented parents, faces a personal struggle of whether or not she should pursue her bachelor’s degree in law at Boston University or settle with an abusive lover, who impregnates her, in order to save her reputation as a woman in a Latino society. Fanny wants what’s the best for her sisters, and she pushes Felipa in the right direction to pursue her bachelor’s degree and have the child without tying herself to an abusive lover. But in all this chaos, the Rodriguez Family deals with other issues such a drug addict trying to conquer his vice and a soccer player trying to hide his homosexual tendencies. I can’t wait to get this done and read it to my friends and professors.