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Author to speak Thursday

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By Kirsten Laskey

Writing started out as a money-making venture for Robert Arellano. When he was 6 years old, Arellano’s mother would pay him a $1 for every Shakespeare sonnet he rewrote.

His interest in writing expanded when he was 8 or 9 years old. Arellano remembers writing stories about a little boy, named Jimmy Rocket, who could fly.

What started out as a moneymaking opportunity grew into something Arellano needs to do to feel satisfied. Unless he writes a few hours a week, Arellano said, he doesn’t feel happy.

His writing took another turn when he traveled to Sonora, Mexico, for three months. He went at the invitation of his publisher, who owned a cabin in the Mexican state. At the time Arellano was on sabbatical from his university teaching position and was completing a book. Arellano described living in the cabin as camping under a tin roof. The windows had no glass and the structure was made out of unfired adobe bricks, which meant all kinds of critters could easily enter the cabin.

Despite the rustic conditions, Arellano was introduced to style of writing that greatly influenced his own.

The town where Arellano was staying in, Desemboque, did not have a library but once a week a bookseller would come to town, selling books from the back of his pickup truck.


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