Where has the time gone..

6 months…

That’s the amount of time I have neglected this blog and my manuscript.  At this time last year, I was waiting to hear about the San Miguel contest.

I pulled her “ashes” from my bag and set them on the desk.  I wrote:

“This needs daily TLC!  Finish her story!”

I need that visual motivation.

As the guilt spread, I pulled out Elena Sikelianos’ The Book of Jon and Patricia McCormick’s Sold.  It inspired me.  It instilled fear.

What if I do not do it justice?  What if no one is willing to read it?  That is the chance I take as a writer.  Sadly, I’ve just never been good with rejection..

July Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve jumped in and registered for the July session of Summer NaNoWriMo.  I need to hold myself accountable for my manuscript and track how I am performing.  I am excited to meet the goal of 50,000 words in one month.  I need 1,600+ each day and I am confident I can do it.  I seem to write better when challenged or under a deadline.


Avoiding it all…

I’ve not worked on my manuscript in months.  I came up with every excuse to avoid working with words.  Why?  My manuscript lost its inspiration.  I started working toward writing a text that was not my own – I wrote the way others told me to.  I wrote the ways that are marketable, saleable, mainstream.  They’d never read the original manuscript and spoke blindly.  And I blindly listened and followed!

I’ve never been a fan of conformity – I’m a recovering Catholic School girl and we love to break the rules!  Why then did I so willingly give into this notion of writing for everyone else?

I am thankful for my husband.  He is my best friend.  I read him the half-assed manuscript this morning and he chewed my butt for not staying true my vision.  He told me to go back to the original concept and write what I found coming from my heart…

I’ve spent all morning writing.  It’s been a pleasure feeling joy an inspiration about the text again…


The guilt settles in as I realize that I have not touched my blog for nearly two months.  It pools in my cells when I realize I’ve done very little work to my manuscript.  The semester has been overwhelming and I am praying that with a lighter teaching load this summer, I may actually get to spend some quality time with it.

The remainder of the journal is ready.  I’ve not had time to pay a visit to my Aunt Sally to see it.  In addition, the love of her life, my Uncle Loren, passed away.  She spent several weeks with my cousin in New Mexico grieving.  It will be odd not having him sit at the table while we reminisce.

Where to start…

I’m still in conference mode, not writing mode. Several weeks of sitting and listening to workshops and lectures and panels and readings has inspired to contemplate my own manuscript.  However, that inspiration lives in my head – I’m holed up in my cranium and not putting things on paper.

I spend my days teaching beginning composition to community college students. I talk about:

  • Procrastination – don’t do it because it isn’t a good habit to get into and it makes Professor Newlon and unhappy instructor.
  • Process vs. Content – I’ve retarget my students how to write with fastwriting prompts and turning off the internal critic.

Sadly, I can’t seem to even follow my own lectures!  Rather than writing this morning, I’m checking things out on the internet, writing this post, and considering how long it will take me to shave my dog.  I’m overthinking my manuscript and have not jumped into the act of writing.  I’m focused on the end product and the content vs. the process of simply sitting and writing.

I need to get out of my head and stop worrying about what it will all look like when I’m done.  I have to start somewhere and I just need to jump in and quit obsessing over the little things.


I was upset that I could not do more posting to the blog while in San Miguel. Internet issues plagued me, so I had to wait until I returned to the states.

I am happy to say that my final pitch session was great – she wants to read the first 3 chapters of my book!  We spent nearly five hours together my final day in San Miguel and I am truly excited if she does in fact become my agent.


In the meantime, I’m reflecting on the cultural experiences of my trip and truly thankful that each workshop I attended managed to break down walls blocking my writing.  Excited for what is to come!

Day 2

I found myself giggling this morning – as I walked to breakfast this morning in a light pair of pants, spring shirt, flip flops, and hoodie, many of the locals were wearing winter gear.  Scarves, heavy jackets and even gloves.  It is 43 degrees and they are wearing what I wear when the wind is howling and snow is falling…

Today I read from my manuscript, headlining an open mic session.  This should be interesting as the average age of most attendees is 55-60 years of age.  I do hope they appreciate my work.  I’m not nervous yet – the anxiety of reading that I normally experience hasn’t set in yet so I am hopeful that this is a positive sign of my growing confidence.

Day One

Internet has been unreliable at the house, so I have to wait until I am at the hotel to post.

I took in everything this morning as I walked to breakfast – children giggling and running to the school just blocks from where I am staying… the sweet smells of cinnamon and baking bread… the pleasant greetings of those I pass on the road.

I spent the evening working on my pitch, taking into consideration the suggestions for revision made by my loving husband Mike and my gracious host Franny.  Today, I present my manuscript in the hopes of finding someone willing to take me on, willing to represent me during this journey toward publication.  I pray I am met with positive answers, but have prepared for the evil rejection often found in this industry.  I’ve silently prayed for God to give me the strength to make it through and have asked my Grandmother to inspire the agents I am slated to meet with today.  Her words have impact and combined with my own writing, I hope I have a way to share them with readers beyond the blogisphere and casual publications.

I will have to wait to post photos as the internet doesn’t seem to want me to share the sites.


I am here…

The flights to San Miguel were typical – one too darn hot and cramped, a three-year-old sitting behind my seat, kicking and jamming her toes in my lower back while her mother drank.  The other flight (yes I took two) was freezing cold and much smaller, but I was blessed enough to have my own seat – no cramping.  However, the woman behind me, who was of very large stature, kept tugging and pulling on my seat each time she moved around.

I found myself starstruck on the second plane as Yann Martel boarded with his family and nearly fell on top of me getting to his seat.  It was in that moment that I realized I was riding with a plane full of writers – an airborn writing community.

Customs was a breeze.  Riding the shuttle to Franny’s house wasn’t!!!!  The roads are in poor condition and many of the individuals on the road drive EXTREMELY fast, swerving in and out of traffic.  I buckled up tight and prayed to the Lord as I bumped up and down in the back row of the van – paybacks for the all the times I hit a big bump in the day care van and sent kids launching in the air.  I was honestly suffering from motion sickness when I arrived at Franny’s door.  Somehow, even though my destination was the first coming into town, I was the last to be dropped off.  That is alright though as I really got to see San Miguel!

The roads are very narrow and made of cobblestone.  Drivers tend to understand the “language of the road” and know when to yield or go.  While heading up the street, we were met with flashing lights and redirected traffic.  Our driver of course ignored the road black and moved head on toward a massive body of individuals walking down the street.  In the last few moments, I realized it was a traditional funeral procession – music, mourners, casket…all one large group of entangled bodies creeping across the cobblestones.  It was beautiful.

I wandered down the road at about 7:30 to the Longhorn Smokehouse.  I will admit I was scared and nervous at first.  But Franny walks everywhere and assured me nothing bad will happen.  Everything looks the same so I had to pay careful attention to landmarks, signs, and other noticeable markings as the streets are not always clearly marked.  Thank God for my GPS!!!

I had fajita tacos with the most amazing salsa!  I did laugh though – as I ate, a stray dog came waltzing out of the kitchen and disappeared into the night.

Walking back to Franny’s apartment, I experienced something that I haven’t seen since high school.  The school children (middle school – young adult) were flocking the streets, cruising and socializing. Several groups, as they passed me in the streets, mocked me, calling me filthy names.  One young man yelled out, “Pinche pendeja!”  I of course ignored him and kept walking.

I may be Hispanic, but I am whitest Mexican you will find.  I remember, during Chic Chicana, in high school, being made fun of my many of the group members because I wasn’t Mexican enough…

My pitch is a bitch…

I’m struggling with deciding on what exactly my manuscript is – non-fiction, prose, flash non-fiction, short essay, prose poetry.  I’d like to classify it as a hybrid verse biographic form.

Regardless, I can’t classify it in my pitch when I’m not sure what it is and I can’t accomplish a competitive analysis when there is nothing out there like my writing!