I have a friend, who I internet stalked before I actually met him.  You see, he is a photographer, an amazing photographer, and as I began to look for photographs he had taken I discovered he was a bit of an icon in the local photography community.  Photographers here in Columbus collect photos of  KLJ Francis, stealthily taking awesome pictures.  It was while I volunteered helping artists at Via Colori that I first saw KLJ Francis “in real life” .  Overwhelmed with excitement I took a picture of him and posted it to the group’s somewhat stalker-ish page.   Months later, I would spot KLJ Francis again, while I volunteered at yet another arts festival, Independents’ Day.  I walked up to KLJ and squealed “I don’t know you but I have a picture you!”.  Oddly enough, I didn’t frighten him. He nodded and calmly replied “Okay” as if that was how all people greeted him.

KLJ Francis and Elenamary

KLJ Francis and Elenamary ComFest 2011

We became friends and I admire him the way I admire many of my artistic friends.  They see the world in a way I am incapable of, and strongly envy.   They see beauty in ways I cannot, they see color in ways I have cannot imagine, they see points and angles in ways I cannot comprehend.   I told KLJ Francis that I wished I was artistic like him.  He told me that I am artistic in my own right, in that I have this blog.  It was a huge compliment and one I don’t believe.   Nonetheless, he inspired me to view my writing and others differently and I have him to thank for that.

In a much related noted it seems to be that I have now taken on the task of organizing a reading with other Latina bloggeras of the Midwest that have inspired me.   I am looking forward to planning an evening in Chicago, this coming April, where we Latina writers share a piece or two of our writings.  An evening, where I will be intellectually stimulated and granted a view into their world; where I might enjoy their perspective even if it is only for one night.

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