Remember when I had that dream…

Of creating a blog where I uplift the works of people of color?

I don’t know what happened. I almost want to start new. AGAIN!  Sometimes, I wonder how many followers I would have if I just don’t change my blog every few years. I thought I found my voice, but it turns out I haven’t.

I thought I needed strict deadlines. So I signed up to write for an online magazine. They switched editors and my heart was no long in it and it showed through in my writing.I wasn’t growing as a writer. I wasn’t being taught how to improve my writing anymore.  Instead, I was told HOW to write.  The only thing I could do was leave.

It’s really hard to manage your own blog, when you don’t have a new set of eyes to look over and catch the mistakes you don’t/can’t see.

On the bright side, I stumbled across St. Sucia. To quote their facebook page, St. Sucia is “a zine exposing what it is to be mujer in contemporary society.”  They were looking for other mujers to submit to their works to them. I did and I was lucky enough to have my poem published along side other talented women. You can buy the zine here.

For now, I am working and getting ready to attend grad school. I am thinking of revamping the blog. I want to make it  a little more personal and related to various forms of media. Maybe,  I’ll find my voice along the way.

 

 

Advertisements

Learning the Hard Way PS I guess I’m a laggie

Today marks the one year anniversary of my semi-friend/favorite writer passing away. She taught me the hardest lesson I ever had to learn, and she didn’t know it. Last year, I went to this celebration of life thing that was held at this theater in downtown. People were reading her poems and opening with a story of how they first met her and later became very good friends with her. They all started the same way- with a letter. I cried silently in the audience as each person talked about what they said to her. I cried, because that’s how I approached her. I wrote her a letter telling her how much her book meant to me. She wrote back and said she was going to make sure she came out to my school to see me, and she did. She tried everything in her power to become my friend, but I had always kept my distance from her. I kept my distance from her, because of how much I hated myself. I was afraid I was going to do something to screw this up-and I did. I screwed it up by not allowing her to get close to me. I lost out on what could have been an amazing friendship, because I couldn’t get over my self-hate. It’s still there, but I told myself I wouldn’t let it consume, anymore. I wouldn’t let it rob me of another chance to become friends with someone. I wouldn’t let it rob me of the chance to maybe one day become a professional writer. I just hate that I had to learn the lesson this way.

This is why last year, I had forced myself to write what I felt about her while the pain was still raw. It was physically, mentally, and emotionally draining, but I wrote  this blog entry. I thought it would be a great way to let go and just put myself out there and write. Honestly, I don’t know if it was good for me or not. I just knew that it was the year I was going to take writing “seriously.” Instead, I barely wrote two entries and I didn’t even meet my goodreads reading goal of 90 books.

Screenshot of my failure

Screenshot of my failure

I guess, I don’t realize how competitive I am until I fail. It’s not like I was in a competition with my friends over who could read the most books, but goodreads does make it feel that way sometimes. Seventy-eight books isn’t a bad number, either. So I don’t know what my problem is. (My friends were the ones to remind me of that, too). It’s just hard not to compare yourself to others. “They have their shit together. Why don’t you?” is a common  phrase I tell myself almost  on a daily basis. I wish I could say that I’m doing a better job of not comparing myself to others, but I’m not. Especially, when it feels like the feeling of being lost should be gone by now.

 

 

For the longest time, I was feeling like I should be done with my quarter-life crisis. But then about a month ago, I saw this movie:

Long story short, it made me feel better. I also like that it was told through a woman’s perspective, too. I feel like there’s not a lot of movies about this feeling of being lost told through the eyes of a woman. It’s usually a man and his manic pixie dream girl.

Sorry for this long semi-babbling first draft that hasn’t been looked over entry. It’s 3 am, cut me some slack.

I know, I always have excuses for my grammar being crap.

 

So what do you do when you can’t write?

I don’t know if this is writer’s block or what. But, for the longest time,  I haven’t been able to write. In the past, writer’s block has felt different. It felt like a stumbling block. It has never felt permanent – like it does right now.

I guess,  this is why I’ve practically abandoned this blog. I really want to start taking this blog seriously. So, I keep telling myself to write more, because, eventually, I’m going to write something people want to read. I’m just afraid I’m never going to get there -this is a huge fear of mine. I keep giving into the fear by not writing.

I know I created this blog to write about people of color in the media and, at the moment, I’m not. However, I am a woman of color (even if I’m not a novelist). I write; at least, I did. I wonder if I will be able to get there again. I haven’t been reading much either. I’ve been in a  really bad reading slump.

Honestly, I think it has to do with my favorite writer passing away. Ever since she left this earth, I haven’t been able to write or read much.

I want to change that.
I’m really going to start writing.
This time it will be different.

This was what I always say….

At least, we had one season of Cristela.

(ABC Network)

(ABC Network)

I hate that Cristela was cancelled.

I’m one of those viewers who watched and thought: “Finally, a show that represents me.”

I know, you’re probably thinking, “What about George Lopez, Ugly Betty, American Family, Jane the Virgin etc.?”

As great as those shows were, they didn’t resonate with me the way Cristela did. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the show and was surprised at how closely I could relate. It’s like this show represents those of us who have dreams, but haven’t had a chance to reach them yet.

Cristela had this dream of becoming a lawyer, but she needed her family’s help to get there. She needed time to build her career and that theme is very universal. I mean, we’ve all been there at some point in our life? So it surprises me that the show was cancelled.

This show may be “traditional” in the way that it represents Latinxs, but some of us come from those families. I know, I do. Cristela was made for people who dream of something better.

I’m sorry Cristela Alonzo felt so much pressure from the Latinx community to represent everyone. The truth is that this was one of the many voices in the Latinx community, just like the other shows(I mentioned above) were.  I hope, in the future, there will be other shows…other voices to represent those that are still silent…those waiting their turn to be heard.

You can read Cristela Alonzo’s letter to her fans here. I highly recommend reading it down to the bottom. It made me cry a little. Yeah, I’ll admit.

Thank you, Cristela Alonzo, for creating a show that represented your lived experience. I’m glad you got the chance to share, because it’s nice to see a reflection of yourself on tv every now and again.

Here’s a clip from a great show you weren’t watching:

Update:

lookaround138 (1)Hello all (x) number of you,

Thank you for following my tiny little blog. Especially, those of you who put up with me constantly changing blogs. I am happier with Media in Color; I feel like this blog has a purpose.

Anyway, January was a hard month. I guess, I didn’t realize I needed time to mourn Michele’s passing. I know, I followed some of you because of her.

Currently, I am a contributing writer for theculturetrip.com. I’ll post the link to my articles as I publish them. But, I’m still going to publish original pieces for tumblr/mediaincolor.com

I don’t know why you all chose to follow me or if any of you will read this, but thank you for the support. Seriously, it means a lot.

In Loving Memory of Michele Serros

michele

In 2007, I moved back home from college in the middle of the semester because my mom had cancer. At the same time, I was losing “friends” and some of them also made fun of me for being too “white washed.” This was a hard time for me, because I felt like I was losing everything, my friends, my mother, my identity.  I never felt so alone before. During this time, I did what I always do. I tried to find solace at a bookstore. While I was there, I did something that was radical for my personality at the time; I went to the “Hispanic literature” section. That’s when I saw a title that stuck out to me: Chicana Falsa. I was in the middle of the bookstore laughing, and looking around to make sure no one was looking. I had this gut feeling, if I walked out of that bookstore without that book I was going to regret it. So I bought the book, and it became the book that changed my life for the better. Michele Serros helped me piece together the broken pieces of my identity. Chicana Falsa became my best friend, when I barely had any friends. I can’t imagine any other book doing what this book did for me.

I found her on myspace and contacted her. I told her I found her book, and I couldn’t wait to one day meet her at one of her book signings. She responded jokingly: Why wait? I’ll see you at your next family barbeque (not exactly but something along those lines). We communicated every now and again, from my initial message to her. Then in 2010, I wrote her a letter explaining why her book meant so much to me, and asked her to come speak at my school. She agreed. A few days before she came to my school, she tried to prank call me. She called my phone saying I had an overdue ticket for an expired license plate tag.  However, the prank failed because I didn’t have a car. We laughed about it and talked for a few minutes.  Then a few days later, she came to my school. I wore a green jacket, which reminded her of Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks. So she nicknamed me Lindsay. I wasn’t Cristina anymore. I was Lindsay. She treated me like we had been best friends for years, even though it was our first meeting.

Honestly, I can’t articulate everything I want to say about her in a few measly  lines. This isn’t the first time I have tried to write something up about her, and post it publicly. My messy online scribbles will never capture the amazing person she was and howc much her books meant to me…how much SHE meat to me. For now, all I can do is hope she is resting in peace and power.

I want to wrap this up with two links: one to her facebook page and the other to her giveforward campaign. Please, if you can donate to help Michele Serro’s family.

I’d also like to end with this video:

I haven’t stopped crying, since I found out she passed away. I didn’t bother editing this. I’m sure there are a ton of grammar mistakes here, but I really don’t care.

I’ve always done my best to respect Michele’s wishes. This is why I am using the photograph her husband posted on facebook. In the past, she asked me to keep the photos I have take with her for my own personal collection. Thus, I am not posting them.

2014- Top 5 Authors of Color (No Order)

As 2014 wraps up, I thought I would share my top five favorite authors I read this year. I want to note that this list of books I read this past year and not a list of books that came out this year. Some of these books are backlist books that I finally got around to reading. If you don’t know what backlist reading is, I suggest checking out Book Riot’s video about backlist reading.

These aren’t really reviews just a list books with a little bit of added information here and there.

1.  Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, and So Much More by Janet Mock

janet mock

I discovered her book the way most people did. She appeared on Piers Morgan Live, and Piers Morgan disrespected her gender identity throughout the interview. I bought the kindle version of this book instantly and regretted it. This book was so good. I wished I bought a hard copy instead. My suggestion, if you have the cash, buy a hard copy of this book. She is an amazing writer.

Sidenote: She appeared on a podcast called Black Girls Talking. I suggested listening to this particular episode of Black Girls Talking, because I feel as though you get more of a sense of who she is in this podcast than you do with her mainstream media persona. I’d like to emphasize that this is my opinion and not accurate information. The interview turned me into a fan of the podcast, and now I listen to it when I have the chance.

2. My Nature is Hunger: New and Selected Poems:1989-2004 by Luis J. Rodriguez

rodriguez

I read a book of Luis Rodriguez’s short stories about four years ago, and I instantly fell in love with his writing. He has a way with words. I know this that’s a cliche expression, but he really does. I’m not the only one who thinks so, because he was named Los Angeles’s poet laureate. The poem that struck a chord with me is called “Piece by Piece”, which you can read here. However, I strongly suggest going out and buying any of his books. You won’t be disappointed.

3. The Absolute True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

518bFu3S5KL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I was introduced to Sherman Alexie back in 2006, when a friend at the time made us all watch Smoke Signals. After that movie, I was hooked. I read the short story the movie is based off of. Then years later, I read The toughest Indian in the World. Needles to say, Alexie is funny as always in The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. Alexie will convince you to believe stereotypes about Indians, then twist the stereotype just to prove how wrong and ignorant you are. However, he does so with humor which is why his books are fun to read.

4.  Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley

tumblr_inline_mvcpbwYKfB1rieamv

Everyone knows Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work, because of Scott Pilgrim series, which I hate to admit, but I still haven’t read those books.  I have read a few of his other books, which I loved. I  react to O’Malley’s graphic novel’s the same way. I’m reading the books thinking this is a nice book, but then I hit the ending:

1240479220_baby-reading

It becomes one of the best books I’ve ever read in that moment. Here’s a sample image of what you get in his books:

las-moment-of-realization

5. Fresh of the Boat by Eddie Huang

Fresh_Off_the_Boat_-_A_Memoir_(book_cover)

This memoir is an acquired taste, but I loved it. I plan to buy a hard copy, when I get a chance. He talks about social justice, and what challenges he faced growing up. Like most people, I discovered this book when I learned that ABC is coming out with a TV show based of his book.  The book is funny, and worth checking out. I was already looking forward to the TV show, reading the novel made me even more excited to watch the show.

*This was written December 31, 2014, but was not published until January 2, 2014.