By Melody Ortiz
Like many college students, former East Los Angeles College student Joshua Castro, 30, enrolled without any idea of what he wanted to do. “I just knew I was supposed to go to college after high school,” Castro said.
However, after the first two years of general education classes and other subjects that peaked his interest, Castro found his passion for writing. He writes and performs his original lyrical poetry and short stories.
Castro’s work has been published in ELAC’s Milestone magazine. He has also performed in multiple open mics and talent shows. He recently participated in the talent show hosted by the Adelante First Year Experience.
He performed an older piece he spent years perfecting. He performed that same piece, “One Night Stand Jose,” in a previous talent show hosted by the Visions Club.
“The first time I performed it at the other talent show, I was very inexperienced, so it didn’t go over too well,” Castro said.
The first time Castro was published was in the Milestone magazine. He said he was excited when he learned the work he submitted had been accepted for publication. He said, at the time, “the illusions were still there.” He expected the publication to boost his writing career and opportunities quickly. Though it didn’t turn out that way, Castro says that writing is a passion he will keep pursuing.
One of the pieces he submitted was titled “My Afternoon with Dominic,” which was inspired by a letter Castro once received from a date. Instead of replying with another letter, Castro decided to reply with this short story.
Castro realized his love for writing in 2010 after returning from a trip to Paris. “That must have got my creative juices flowing because when I came back, I just started writing…it turned out that I had a knack for it,” Castro said.
Castro was first inspired by author F. Scott Fitzgerald. He had watched a documentary and learned Fitzgerald was 23 when he was first published. As a 23 year-old at the time he saw the film, Castro immediately became eager and hopeful.
Castro has been taking part in open mic events across the LA area for the past two years. He focuses on contemporary style work and gets his inspiration from his and others’ experiences.
But Castro has not produced any new work. He has instead kept himself busy with his relationship, work at the Arcadia library, and editing and perfecting older writing. He struggles with getting himself to sit down and write. “Devoting time to writing is where I suffer the most,” said Castro.
He has submitted his work to different places and is waiting to hear back. He plans to keep pursuing success in writing and performing.
Castro’s work in the Milestone can be purchased in ELAC’s student store or checked out in the campus library.