Mona Washington is the present resident writer at the Kerouac House. We met at a reading she did at Infusion Tea. She saw the sketch I did and invited me over to the Kerouac House to do a sketch of her as she worked. I have always approached each resident author with the idea of sketching them and this was the first time the stars lined up. As I was sketching Mona at the kitchen table, she was doing online research for the play she was working on. The play is about freed slaves after the Civil War who are not entirely free. She was researching how female slaves were often used sexually by their owners. After years of this kind of treatment, a slaves body is not entirely her own. A male slave who was trained as a blacksmith had a relationship with this female slave and he was shocked by her promiscuity. She just wanted to feel good.
Mona had on her lucky Police tee shirt. This was the shirt she was wearing last time I sketched her. The Gato Negro red wine we were drinking was sweet and delicious. Mona read aloud from some of the sites she found using the Google search engine. She read to me from a KKK website and I told her about a KKK demonstration that I had witnessed in Maitland. Jack Kerouac glanced over at us from his framed in place of honor in the kitchen. Mona started offering suggestions for residencies that I should apply for. As we talked she was firing off e-mails to my home computer. She is an incredibly giving person and that evening she opened my eyes to creative opportunities that I didn't know existed.
On November 12th at 8pm Mona is going to read from her work in progress at the Kerouac House (on the corner of Shady Lane and Clouser in College Park.) Mona's work is insightful and deeply moving, you don't want to miss it.