The foreword of our latest published work explains it all, followed by the links where you can get our new paperback and e-editions of Once Upon a Time in Brownsville! Hurray! Welcome Linda!
Respect your elders. Do good deeds. Choose work that you find to be fun. Find a way to help others, and you’ll never be lonely or poor. These principles ingrained in me from childhood popped to mind the moment I heard of the opportunity to help Linda Longoria-Neff publish her work. Yet, even my parents who instilled these ideals were not born yet for some of these tales, and just young children for others. Oh, the wisdom and social insight that can be gleaned from people who lived in those times, in that place.
Brownsville, Texas is a charming town by the Mexican border on the Gulf Coast. This extraordinary place, combined with the world-changing time period of early-mid 1900’s make the setting for Ms. Longoria-Neff’s anthology of fictional short stories. She composes with such a realistic blend of history, culture, and authentic life experience she gained there, I felt it was an honor just to read her work. With hindsight spanning nine decades in a land rich in Spanish, Mexican, Texan, and American history, it is a privilege to witness a bicultural, bilingual, biracial family’s life through Ms. Longoria-Neff’s credible eyes. As a teacher and writer in the South Bay area of San Diego with a similar family dynamic, I felt a strong connection to Brownsville. The elements of tradition, religion, classism, gender roles, Hispanic folklore, and signs of the times woven throughout these anecdotes are truly exceptional.
The manner in which I received Mrs. Longoria-Neff’s work was equally unique in today’s writing world; hard copies. Paper pages, straight from an old-fashioned manual typewriter, and some photocopies of pages that were born on one. I found the print style and font seemed to be just as much a part of the story as the phrasing, Spanish accents, and local slang. With a nod from the professor himself, Craig C. Collins, and some stellar support from beta-reading authors like Kim Martins and Lindsay Johnston, I focused on keeping this original look and feel to the best of my ability.
Pages were scanned. New applications installed. Images translated into an editable digital document. Hand corrections for Spanish accents and tildes were transferred and formatted. It was my intention that this anthology deserved the genuine air of a period piece, right down to the angle of the quotation marks and the underscoring of titles. I carried an overwhelming sense that this medium needs to be preserved. This precious resource was formatted, edited, and published to paperback and digital platforms with great care so that more readers can see how it was… once upon a time.
Welcome to Brownsville, people! Here are Linda Longoria-Neff’s book links. Pick yours up today!