Monday, December 17, 2012

12-14-12 and the Writer

It is my belief that children shouldn't go to school in fear of never coming home. Though I am not a parent et, my heart was broken this past Friday for those in Connecticut who will never see middle school, go to prom, and cry when there folks drop them off on their first day in college.
Twenty little innocent souls are in heaven tonight, no longer in pain or fear. Six adults who saved countless children, putting their lives on the line to save a parent’s whole world. No words can comfort anyone of those parents ever again for we are human and were made to never forget. And may we never forget of the events that took place on 12/14/12, for all those lost that tragic Friday will forever be alive in every soul they've ever encountered and the millions that have heard of their lives and deaths.
 You will always be alive, Charlotte Bacon, 6, Daniel Barden, 7, Rachel Davino, 29, Olivia Rose Engel, 6, Josephine Gay, 7, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, 6, Dylan Hockley, 6, Dawn Hocksprung, 47, Madeleine F Hsu, 6, Catherine V Hubbard, 6, Chase Kowalski, 7, Jesse Lewis, 6, James Mattioli, 6, Grace McDonnell, 7, Anne Marie Murphy, 52, Emilie Parker, 6, Jack Pinto, 6, Noah Pozner, 6, Caroline Previdi, 6, Jessica Rekos, 6, Avielle Richman, 6, Lauren Rousseau, 30, Mary Sherlach, 56, Victoria Soto, 27, Benjamin Wheeler, 6, Allison N Wyatt, 6, bubbly smiles and pink cheeks, colorful works of arts and handcrafted birthday cards, in our memories.


Monday, December 10, 2012

For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing

Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times
Third-grade students at Bayard Taylor Elementary in Philadelphia. Educators say children need more familiar images.


This week I’m going to take a breather from “The Writer” series on my blog and focus instead on a article I recently read on the NY Times website that concerns me greatly. The caption read, For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing. You can guess from my last name that I’m Hispanic. Personally I don’t call myself a Latino as my family has roots in both Spain and Central America.

My mother was raised and brought over as a child from Cuba to Florida.

My father came to the states in his early teens from Costa Rica.  

Growing up in South Florida in the late 90’s and early 00’s, I was exposed to the vast culture of both Miami and Fort Lauderdale and its growing Spanish speaking residences. Sure they got the food industry covered to the max, but I always noted the lack of Spanish writers, primarily the lack of Spanish characters in today’s YA market. Yes there are the side characters that pop up every once in a while, but no one I could relate to. I mean, how could I relate to Belle Swan from Twilight? Sure we could both act like idiots and fall in love for the bad guy all our friends are warning us about, but how about the struggles Latinos face in a world that only pictures them as the maid or a burger joint employee?

Most of the novels I’ve written and the ones that are in the processing of being written do have Spanish characters leading the way. Ambience has two main characters, one a ghostly male Spanish solider from the 16th century, the other a Cuban American female starting college. It’s important that in writing Spanish characters into ones novel, we paint them in a positive light. Everyone’s read the story of the tough tattooed Mexican who’s only goal in life is to break as many hearts as possible. Please be more creative. I am so much more than a stereotype. Yes I can be loud, just like a Cuban, but I’m also that shy girl who sat in back of the classroom in her college class dreaming of the day where I could be seen as more than just that odd mixed Spanish girl, instead that oddly shy Spanish girl who wrote those awesome killer novels.

So too all the writers and non-writers out there, what in this article speaks the most to you? Is it Mario Cortez-Pacheco notices that, “many of the other books he encounters in his classroom…most of the main characters are white. “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color,” he said.” Even at the tender age of eight, this kid sees the gap. A gap that needs to be filled so the future isn’t as closed minded as our past still seems to be.

In closing, this article should speak to the heart of every small or grown child out there, no matter the age. Writers, we need to mix the YA pool up and include more characters that everyone can relate to, just not the typical overly done stereotypes.

PHILADELPHIA — Like many of his third-grade classmates, Mario Cortez-Pacheco likes reading the “Magic Tree House” series, about a brother and a sister who take adventurous trips back in time. He also loves the popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” graphic novels.

Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times
At Bayard Taylor Elementary in Philadelphia, three-quarters of the students are Hispanic.                           
But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary here: most of the main characters are white. “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color,” he said.
Hispanic students now make up nearly a quarter of the nation’s public school enrollment, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, and are the fastest-growing segment of the school population. Yet nonwhite Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers. (Dora the Explorer, who began as a cartoon character, is an outlier.)
Education experts and teachers who work with large Latino populations say that the lack of familiar images could be an obstacle as young readers work to build stamina and deepen their understanding of story elements like character motivation.
While there are exceptions, including books by Julia Alvarez, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Alma Flor Ada and Gary Soto, what is available is “not finding its way into classrooms,” said Patricia Enciso, an associate professor at Ohio State University. Books commonly read by elementary school children — those with human characters rather than talking animals or wizards — include the Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen, Judy Moody, Stink and Big Nate series, all of which feature a white protagonist. An occasional African-American, Asian or Hispanic character may pop up in a supporting role, but these books depict a predominantly white, suburban milieu.
“Kids do have a different kind of connection when they see a character that looks like them or they experience a plot or a theme that relates to something they’ve experienced in their lives,” said Jane Fleming, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in early childhood development in Chicago.
She and Sandy Ruvalcaba Carrillo, an elementary school teacher in Chicago who works with students who speak languages other than English at home, reviewed 250 book series aimed at second to fourth graders and found just two that featured a Latino main character.
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, which compiles statistics about the race of authors and characters in children’s books published each year, found that in 2011, just over 3 percent of the 3,400 books reviewed were written by or about Latinos, a proportion that has not changed much in a decade.
As schools across the country implement the Common Core — national standards for what students should learn in English and math — many teachers are questioning whether nonwhite students are seeing themselves reflected in their reading.
For the early elementary grades, lists of suggested books contain some written by African-American authors about black characters, but few by Latino writers or featuring Hispanic characters. Now, in response to concerns registered by the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, the architects of the Common Core are developing a more diverse supplemental list. “We have really taken a careful look, and really think there is a problem,” said Susan Pimentel, one of the lead writers of the standards for English language and literacy. “We are determined to make this right.”
Black, Asian and American Indian children similarly must dig deep into bookshelves to find characters who look like them. Latino children who speak Spanish at home and arrive at school with little exposure to books in English face particular challenges. A new study being released next week by pediatricians and sociologists at the University of California shows that Latino children start school seven months behind their white peers, on average, in oral language and preliteracy skills.
“Their oral language use is going to be quite different from what they encounter in their books,” said Catherine E. Snow, a professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. “So what might seem like simple and accessible text for a standard English speaker might be puzzling for such kids.”
Hispanic children have historically underperformed non-Hispanic whites in American schools. According to 2011 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a set of exams administered by the Department of Education, 18 percent of Hispanic fourth graders were proficient in reading, compared with 44 percent of white fourth graders.
Research on a direct link between cultural relevance in books and reading achievement at young ages is so far scant. And few academics or classroom teachers would argue that Latino children should read books only about Hispanic characters or families. But their relative absence troubles some education advocates.
“If all they read is Judy Blume or characters in the “Magic Treehouse” series who are white and go on adventures,” said Mariana Souto-Manning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, “they start thinking of their language or practices or familiar places and values as not belonging in school.”
At Bayard Taylor Elementary in Philadelphia, a school where three-quarters of the students are Latino, Kimberly Blake, a third-grade bilingual teacher, said she struggles to find books about Latino children that are “about normal, everyday people.” The few that are available tend to focus on stereotypes of migrant workers or on special holidays. “Our students look the way they look every single day of the year,” Ms. Blake said, “not just on Cinco de Mayo or Puerto Rican Day.”
On a recent morning, Ms. Blake read from “Amelia’s Road” by Linda Jacobs Altman, about a daughter of migrant workers. Of all the children sitting cross-legged on the rug, only Mario said that his mother had worked on farms.
Publishers say they want to find more works by Hispanic authors, and in some cases they insert Latino characters in new titles. When Simon & Schuster commissioned writers to develop a new series, “The Cupcake Diaries,” it cast one character, Mia, as a Latino girl. “We were conscious of making one of the characters Hispanic,” said Valerie Garfield, a vice president in the children’s division, “and doing it in a way that girls could identify with, but not in a way that calls it out.”
In some respects, textbook publishers like Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are ahead of trade publishers. Houghton Mifflin, which publishes reading textbooks, allocates exactly 18.6 percent of its content to works featuring Latino characters. The company says that percentage reflects student demographics.
Students should be able “to see themselves in a high-quality text,” said Jeff Byrd, senior product manager for reading at Houghton Mifflin.
But Latino education advocates and authors say they do not want schools to resort to tokenism. “My skin crawls a little when this literature is introduced because people are being righteous,” said Ms. Alvarez, the author of the “Tia Lola” series, as well as “Return to Sender.” “It should be as natural reading about these characters as white characters,” she said.
At Bayard Taylor, another third-grade teacher, Kate Cornell, said that she would love to explore more options featuring Hispanic characters. “It would be more helpful as a teacher,” she said, “to have these go-to books where I can say ‘I think you are going to like this book. This book reminds me of you.’ ”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Insecure Writer

Hi my name is Christina and I’m an insecure writer.

There I said it and I’m proud of it.

A lot of people live life with two faces, the one they use in the public world and the one they face daily in the mirror. I’m not talking here about facial dislikes people, but more of what’s churning up instead us.

What the outside world doesn’t understand is the fact that writers spill themselves into their novels. Heck, we even put ourselves in it through our main or secondary characters. I’ve done it and probably will always do so. And that’s fine, perfectly normal really. I mean what else would you write your novel about if it wasn’t filled with some of your own hopes, dreams and wishes? We take our insecurities and let them form into cleverly crafted words and that’s awesome.

Being a writer isn’t easy. We deal with a lot of rejection, not only from readers and agents, but also from people not involved in this complex writing word.

“You wrote a novel?” Questions your big bucks of a lawyer family member, this past holiday season.

“Yes, it’s…” The writer in question starts to respond, eager to spill about their work.

“You’ve published it?”

“No, not yet.”

“Well, you better get yourself a ‘real’ job then, can’t pay the bills writing sentences.”

Thanks for the wise words, see you next year.

Sometimes even teachers and professors can push you forward even if there words don’t.

I was told by a high school teacher in my senior year that I shouldn’t attend college, that I wouldn’t be successful if I choose that route.

This coming Sunday, 12/9/2012, I will be celebrating my one year anniversary of receiving my English degree.

I was told by my college professor that a degree in neither English nor writing would ever be good to peruse for my skills weren’t great nor there.

Dido the golden words above.

 When someone has ever told me I couldn’t do something, I proved them wrong. I fought my insecurities and won. Though I still have to deal daily with the ones my mind creates to stunt my growth as a writer, I push forward.
Life is crazy.
Last year at this time I was wrapping up my last college finals and buying my navy cap and gown, now I’m living three hundred miles away from my childhood home and letting my dreams take me where I’m supposed to go. I’m following my dreams and letting my insecurities be my guide into the great unknown because who’s ever said, ‘I dreamed small and I got to where I am today because of it.’ Writers, only dream big dreams, it sure make the journey of life that more adventurous.

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!

Monday, December 3, 2012

College and The Writer

Back in 2007, I could never imagine that journeys I would take and places I would visit or the person I would become. Coming from a sheltered upbringing, where church life was a 24/7 lifestyle, I started college wanting a new identity. Much to others pointed looks and cold words I took off in a new direction. To this day, I’m glad that I have. Without a doubt, I knew my life would have been bipolar opposite. Leaving behind the part of myself that I disliked so much, I found myself in this world for the first time with real eyes. I found the person I was denied of becoming. My love for reading and knowledge grew the more distance I placed between myself and the past.
Then in February 2009, I found my future. I discovered one novel that would forever change the direction my life was heading towards, and honestly that was nowhere. I was a sophomore at my local college, taking literature and music classes, trying to figure out what to do next. Had just left my job at a bookstore to work in a shoe store *cringe*. Than Beth Fantaskey’s YA novel, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, was released. I read it in less than a day. That day I knew without a doubt that I wanted to spend the rest of my life crafting novels like the one she had written.
Four year later, three novels written, two laptops and one degree received, I finally found the type of writer/person I had longed to be back in 2007 and 2009. I found the Christina who smiles at the silly tourist who invades her new town every day of the year that don’t know it’s history correctly and found a place in the business world she never thought she could co-exist with.
So my advice to both writers, readers and everyday people, is to be free. As the end of the year comes to a close, look forward to the future. Embrace the parts of yourself that others say you can’t be. Be that butterfly and find the YOU that you always daydream about. With a new year, let the years past be taken away with wind. You’ll be glad you did. :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

High School and The Writer

Recently, I read a post on, that I couldn't help but correlate with what my high school years were like.

You see, I wasn't the girl with tons of friends for my head was always somewhere else, speeding what seemed like a thousand miles an hour in every direction. Though I didn’t know back then that I wanted to be a novelist, more like a songwriter that wrote killer radio hits and got paid the big bucks, I knew without a doubt that I loved to read. Reading helped me believe in being that type of dreamer who knew that if I dreamt big, I could do anything I wanted to do and still do to this day.

There was one novelist who inspired that spark of nerdy dreaming in my early high school years and still does till this day. Caroline B. Cooney was my world changer. The four novels from hers that I’ve read more than a dozen times by now were the Time Travelers Quartet, still my guilty pleasure till this day. I cherished those books and anything else she has ever written because somehow just reading one of her novels made my high school, family life and troubled thoughts a little more bearable than having a false group of friends who really didn’t care about me most of the time. You see, I knew I was different than the rest of the 5,500+ students at my high school. Yes that’s correct, during the 2007-2008 school year Cypress Bay High School had reached an enrollment of more than 5,500 students and got named the most overcrowded high school in the United States. The school even got a show on MTV in 2008 called, The Paper.

Sometimes in a school that larger, I felt like I would never fit in anywhere. I was that girl whose style of clothing, friends and music changed every year because I didn’t know where I was wanted. I went from freshman hip hop to sophomore rocker to junior prep. When senior year rolled around, it was more of a preppy rock attitude I tried to pull off because by then I was thinking of college and high school was just becoming a bittersweet aftertaste that I was quickly trying to get rid of.

Till this day and more so back in those four years, I was seen as that nerd that wasn’t necessarily school smart, but sure knew how to dream of a world outside of myself. I was the friend who others asked for help in writing their papers and poems. They knew me as the girl that liked to write flowery words in black and white composition notebooks, now a day’s one is more likely to see my jolt down ideas on my iPhone.

Even though in my life today I have to hide the part of myself that wants to soak in the world of my novels, I still have my personality speared around my cubical at work. O’Hara’s Having a Coke with You Poem is tacked in the wall in my direct view, a Saint Augustine historical timeline tacked in another wall to remind me why I took the job in the first place so I could live in Saint Augustine, while a plastic pumpkin sits nearby to display that my love of Halloween doesn’t only get seen in October. These small objects keep me sane more then I let on sometimes. 

When I have to get so consume in a world I have to grin and bear to live in, remembering that part of myself that dreams crazy ideas, makes me believe in a future where I can and will be a world changer. Where my art will become my whole life, where the nerd will finally be able to breathe easily and laugh a little more. So to all those out there that have been laughed at and spitted upon, take it from the girl who spent most of high school eating lunch alone on the back steps of portables. When you want something so badly it’s hard imagining what the loss would feel like, keeping pushing forward because nothing will burn worse than giving up on your daydreams and seeing others doing what you know you should be doing as well.


All Hail the Dreamers

I was That Kid. The one who was colored pictures of unicorns when she was supposed to be solving equations. The one who kept a book hidden under the desk while her teacher lectured. I was the kid who imagined myself a warrior princess, a witch, a wise woman, until grownups told me I was too old to believe such things.

I'm willing to bet most of you were That Kid too. If you are a reader, or a writer, or a dreamer, you were probably scolded. Probably teased. You were probably called a ditz, or a nerd, or a geek.

It's ok. Most of us were.

As we grew up, we were taught how to hide it. How to pay attention when the teacher was talking. How to be smart and professional. How to live in the real world.

It's ok. We all did it. We all learned how to be normal.

But the older I get, the more I resent the "normal" mask, and the more I think it's not ok to wear it.

In recent years, we've learned so much about multiple intelligences, and all the ways that people learn. We've learned how to encourage children who learn by pictures and pretend games and storybooks. But we have not yet learned how valuable it is to be a dreamer.

Have you seen Once Upon a Time? I just started watching the series. It's one of those TV shows that everyone I know seems to love; and I think I know why. It speaks to something deep and instinctive in us - something that begs to be part of a different story.

Dreamers, artists, writers - those are the Henrys of the world. They are the ones who see princesses where others see housekeepers and teachers and college students. They are the ones who see a cursed land in need of healing, when others just see a boring little town. They are important.

You are important.

Your art is important.

You may think of yourself as just someone trying to write a book; just a reader; just a dreamer. But your dreams and your art and your books are vital. They mean something. They add to the world. And maybe we aren't real-life princesses or witches or warriors; but something about art and beauty makes us feel that we can be.

So embrace the fact that you are That Kid. Be a ditz, or a geek, or a nerd. Be a world changer. Make us see the goodness and light behind the cursed land.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Middle School and The Writer

My dad on a trip in NYC
June 2000

When I remember middle school I recall September 11th 2001.

That Tuesday morning I was in my first period history class. We were about to watch a school safely video that was being broadcasted to everyone at our school. The time was either a little before or after nine in the morning and the channel we were supposed to be watching was blank. So my teacher switched the channel to the news to see what was going on in the world. That was when I saw it, sitting in a desk in sunny Weston, Florida, hundreds of miles away from New York.

Even till this day, eleven years later, I can still see those smoky streets of New York and the scared reporters when I close my eyes. It felt as if time stood still as we all just gawked at the TV till my teacher ran out of our classroom as if she was on fire, leaving us twelve year olds alone and staring confusingly at the events taking place

What I was able to comprehend was that something really bad was happening. A plane had hit a building in New York. Wait, now another one got hit as well? What was going on? It wasn’t till a few minutes later when my teacher returned and explained to us that it seems we were under attack, before racing to the phone to try to call her dad that worked in downtown Manhattan.

Till this day, I don’t know if that school safely video ever did come on. The rest of the class was spent focused on the news, trying to learn as much as we could about what was going on and failing to make sense of the tragic events happening in NYC. It wasn’t till December 2005 when I myself visited New York on a family vacation for the first time. My dad, who had spent his teenage years as a New Yorker, had made it very clear that he didn’t want to go the memorial site, didn’t want to pass a place he remembered from his youth that was no longer there. But on a day trip to the Statue of Liberty, we happened to stumble across the site. It was strange, seeing the look on my dad’s face of pain and regret, as he peered through the metal fence at the spot that once housed the city’s tallest buildings. I believe that being back after the attacks helped him heal, like it had for others who had seen the towers before they were taken away from this world forever.

Tragic moments like these define a person. At twelve years old, I was suddenly faced with a world that was on high alert, even at the mall a place I thought I was once safe to wander about. But I guess it’s like discovering that fairy tales aren’t as truthful as you would like to believe when you’re a kid. 9/11 made me more aware of the world, fast. Innocence was taken away from all eighteen and younger in 2001. The world lost that hint of spark to us all, ones are parents tried to replace with hugs and kisses.

I was too young to remember Columbine, but 9/11 will be forever written into my Middle School years as do tragic events that have happened every day since. It helps me sometimes, when I doubt what path in life I should have taken or where I should go next, to remember that scared twelve year old who awoke on that Tuesday morning innocent to the worlds evils and came home forever changed.

Everything moves forward, I’ve come to realize through the years as personal tragedies and accidents have befallen me. But that past I’ve come to learn can’t be forgotten about. The past makes us who we are today. It’s in our blood and views. Our values and loves. One’s past is a luggage we all must carry, but don’t over stuff that bag or the burden might just take over your present and future. Writers Beware.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Music and The Writer

Back in 2009 I heard a song on the radio that not only changed my views of life at that moment, a confused sophomore in college but also of my writing in general. I’ve always had a special relationship with music that goes back to the time I was a kid, just ask my family. I love to sing and write my own music, guess that’s where my love for novel writing came from. I didn't grow up dreaming of being a writer. I grew up dreaming of becoming a famous singer, though stage fright always got the best of me.

Well, the song I heard on that Florida summer heated day was Fireflies, by Owl City, aka Adam Young. Instantly I felt like I’d found a long lost friend who got me, understood my sleepless nights and candy coated daydreams. It truly was a magical meeting of the minds.

In that same year, I decided that I wanted, needed to be a writer and hearing any one song from Adam just spurred me on, still does to this day. Hearing his lyrics and wonderfully arraigned music puts the M in motivation for me. Nearly a hundred song and 3 concerts later, I still get chills when I hear a chord of the song that is to come. His lyrics lets me daydream of the possibilities of knowing that simple dreams don’t turn to dust or that sometimes walking amongst the greenery of the forest, it’s better to waltz then to just simply walk on by, ignoring the simple beauties my generation takes for granted.
So next time a new pop hit comes on the radio and you start to bop to the beats, listen to those lyrics. Do they inspire you? Make you want to be the best you? Settle in your soul like a long lost friend? Chances are, most properly won’t.

Music in the 21st century seems to be losing the charm our grandparents and even our own parents use to hold like their own breaths. Sure, music changes over time as do people, but only true musicians and lyrics can stand the true test of time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Life and the Writer

Sometimes when life gets a little to difficult to handle, most turn towards an outlet, a way out of life’s craziness. Maybe a short trip to paradise in some far away island in the Caribbean?

Well, I myself turn to writing, sometimes jolting ideas down on paper, my iPhone, iPad, or laptop, the last three all beautiful technology thanks to the 21st century I would never take for granted. But if any of those weren’t around, could I just sit back and chew on it for a bit? Figure out what I really wanted to bring across to my future readers by choosing my next words like one would answer a question on the SAT’s?


But then again, sometimes things just need to be written down, fear of it disappearing and never coming back to me a constant battle and itch millions upon millions of people in a creative driven life deal with all too constantly. I’ve had those moments when I just need to write it down, capture that thought in a voice recording while my baby sister gave me a weird glare or seek a single scrap of paper at work to jolt down a quick note.

So to fill my most undying itch of all, for a book idea that was on the back burner since the summer of 2009, I decided that in order to fully grasp the location of where I wanted this book to take setting in, I decided to move there. Itch crazy times ten. Three hundred miles away from my family, I suddenly found myself in the sea side town my characters resided in. At first I was thrilled. I was here. The 25% of the book that had yet to be written would just come screaming out of me to be written and so would everything else that followed, right?

Nope, because life got in the way as did my insecurities of my once pretty awesome book idea.

What if I fail?

What if no one wanted to read it?

What if I ruin all the good this town was doing in prep for the upcoming 450th anniversary of the cities founding with this book?

The closer I got to being finish with it, the more I seemed to ignore it, hated it like it was cursed. For weeks I wouldn’t read a single word. But then something changed one day as I was sitting typing away in my full time desk job. I was overcome was a sense to read it like I’d never read it before. And you know what? I discovered again why I thought this idea was great before I let doubt sink in. Felt that someone out there, just one person alone, would fall in love with these characters one day, just like I had when I first envisioned them in 2009, though through many revisions they have drastically changed forms for the better. I had found a happy median somehow for myself in this fast paced world where my daily life was always constantly evolving into complex agendas of just putting one foot in front of the other. I knew that the only way to be happy with what I had written was to finish the darn thing once and for all. To be gleeful when I thought of it instead of making me cringe at the idea of mustering up the courage to just read one more word.

Writers, in every vein of the worlds vastly developing genres, are unique. We are each our own aged wine and we all need time to mature, though sometimes we think that delaying the process will help the end result, when in fact a writer never stops dreaming of what’s to come. A writer never stops living life for their lives are a book in and of themselves. Though one can’t predict what will happen next like one does a books plot twist that will just wow the audience, writers need to find and listen to that little voice inside of themselves telling them that it will get better and happier time will soon find their way to us in due time.

Because when you do listen for it, hidden behind all your self-doubts and misguided thoughts, just a still small voice in the vast darkness of one’s sometimes irrational lives, can a writer produce a masterpiece, the ones that are so often a part of our daydreams.

Next Monday: Music and the Writer

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shooting Star

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before.”

It’s a year to the date when I came to the city I now share my zip code with when the story that started to form in my mind two years prior was reawaken.... Now a year later as I wrote the last words and now begin months of editing the heck out of it, I get this strange sense of completion. Sure I've felt this before in other novels I've written, but this time it’s different. Walking the streets of Old Saint Augustine yesterday and looking into the eyes of the locals and tourist alike, I felt a sense of obligation to do this city right and do my best to make this book as powerful as possible for both myself and them.

To My Dreams and Beyond :)