anybody these things, but now YOU know.
Yes, I was encouraged to speak English at school--more than encouraged. We got swatted for speaking Spanish at school! It made all of us feel bad about speaking Spanish. After all, nobody wants to get hit, or to do something bad. That's how we were made to feel. But I think, really, our teachers were just trying to help us. They weren't trying to be mean. But I don't think swatting us was the right answer. And things have changed now, which is good. I don't feel bad about speaking Spanish anymore--I feel proud. It's something not everybody can do.
You know my mother was born in England, and my father in Mexico. Well, I can also speak with a British accent. It's fun. And that's what I try to do as a writer, now: have fun with language, and tell good stories and write powerful poems.
Now, for your last question: do I visit all the places I write about. Well, the answer is yes--but with my imagination! That's the best part of being a writer is getting to use my imagination. If you look at the word--imagination--it has "magic" in it, and "nation," and "i." It's like thinking "I am in the country of magic" when I think about the imagination. And that's a great place to be!
Thank you for your letter, and I'm very glad you liked my story. I've never been, but I hope I can visit you all in Puerto Rico some day soon. You never know!