A little preview….

Here’s a small excerpt from my book-in progress. I am now working on expanding my book and had the opportunity to get a “scene” to develop for my class that I’m really excited to share with you! This is not verbatim what will be in the book but the moment itself is very key for the characters as well as some of the themes and concepts expressed.

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Call Me Mutt (excerpt)

“Not today though, there was no cast of characters to ruin the magic of her seventeenth birthday and despite her mother’s reservations she knew letting Vida out for the night was the only way to salvage it. This was one of the roughest years they had thus far, with Dad becoming angrier, his endless drunk tirades reaching critical maximum. Staying in the house was the fruitful promise of another night full of bantering, beckoning, and belittlement towards everyone and that was not the way she wanted to usher in seventeen. He can have the other days as he often did, the looming power of his presence was not anything she, mom or her sister could withstand, but this at least could be the calm before the storm.


Jackson had not given away too much detail about the night’s events which gave Vida’s mother no comfort, but she trusted her so she placed a kiss atop Vida’s head, gave a big hug, and escorted her out the door. Vida fingered the tiny silver cross she’d received from her mom earlier that day, rubbing and grazing the edges with her fingers wishing she’d put on the scented cucumber melon lotion instead of Shea butter. The oil made her hands feel grimy and was irritating the blister she’d gotten from cheer-leading practice even though mom swore to high heaven it would soothe it. Her dad had scoffed at the idea of getting any injury from cheer-leading that wasn’t a broken nail since to him it was as relevant as mold on bread. Don’t even let anyone tell you cheer-leading is not a sport; throwing people in the air was no small feat, literally being tasked with someone’s life in your hands. Vida’s short, muscular frame made the ideal base or as she like to call it “the pilot” that geared, steered, and prevented the flyer’s body from becoming one with the earth. Another long practice that Monday was filled with heavy elaborate stunt sequences that went awry when Justine had dug her new NIKE shocks into Vida’s hands.


She had tried to pop the blister, but she’d once again bitten her fingernails down to the last inch after a bad AP government test grade preventing her from being able to relieve the pressure, so it just continued growing as an ugly bubble on her textured palms. Her sister always teased her about the lines in her palms saying they were a road to nowhere with their twists, turns, and intersecting curves, but her mom said they were “growth lines “or “la amor de tu Vida”- the love of her life. Whether figuratively or literally she was right since the “the love of her life” was now sitting beside her, smiling from ear to ear his blue eyes dancing like a kid on Christmas searching for their coveted prize. The old worn seat black seat belt let out a familiar groan as she clicked the clasp, eyeing Jackson’s baseball gear thrown in the backseat; she anticipated the baseball would roll underneath her seat gliding back and forth between the back and front as it often did. She looked up from fastening the belt to a beaming Jackson who had a single white rose with a glittering jewel hanging on the tip of the milky petals.


“Oh my God” she breathed as he grabbed her hand, rubbing his thumb over the top lightly, the touch reminding her this was real not a dream.


“Babe, I know we’ve talked about this and I think we’ve grown so much together these past few years. Yeah, there have been some setbacks…” he paused looking down at the seat. She gripped his hand a little tighter, thumbing over the calluses in his palm; the rawness was still fresh from the week’s practice. Dating Jackson was easy, he was easy, being with him was a big comfy sweater on a bitter winter’s day, but she was not. Setbacks came in the form of Vida who is an injured puppy waiting to be let off a leash tied to a tree. She filled with her doubts, reservations, self loathing that had them going towards happily ever after and taking frequent trips into the dark, twisted enchanted forest they almost hadn’t made it out of THIS time. If he thought hard enough about the latest setbacks he’d take the ring back, she was sure of it, he’d regret giving it to her and further solidify the common fact that she didn’t deserve him, and if she was honest with herself, she didn’t. His hand grew still as he looked up, the white rose still held mid air between them…”

“Rolling in the deep…”

Well 23 has come and gone and now I can say hello to 24 and my oh my did I embrace it with open arms.

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I got blessed with both my friends trekking up here from good ol’ Texas and spending the weekend with me which lasted the entirety of Friday morning through Monday. Needless to say we were tourist for the weekend hitting all of Chicago’s hotspots, eateries, and getting a little lost in the process. We learned the trial and error of the L train (which I’m still trying to master myself), safety is a necessity-not a luxury, we 3 as a package in Texas are a normal sight are an anomaly here in Chicago,and the wee late night hours of Chicago will hold some of our funniest moments.

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I have always been someone who has revered and basked in the wonders that are my friends and even more so with my best friends. I love them infinitely and there really is no one else like them here in Chicago. Not to say Chicago doesn’t have it’s share of interesting people (just ask the girls, the culture of people here is pretty diverse) but nothing will be as comforting as the familiarity of shared laughs and truthful heart to hearts you’re best friends can give you.

In my case it was both, because I’ve been grappling with the task of writing versus the natural state of it. In grad school were tested with different types of prompts and styles since they are 100% supportive towards us discovering and uncovering new aspects to our writing. This is important since no one wants to be one show pony, even writing in one genre you want to be able to appeal to different people outside of just the genre.

Example: Hunger Games-world wide best seller that has young adults (12-18), and even the “new adult” (18 and up) gravitating towards it in the masses.

So I was struggling cause I hadn’t written anything that has really moved me or made me completely proud. As a writer you have your slow weeks, and sometimes were thrown material that just doesn’t resonate enough to make meaningful writing. For me since I place a lot of pressure and expectation on myself I want everything I crank out to note-worthy material, especially given that my cohorts (aka my twelve classmates) are very gifted and talented in their writing.

The pressure to be on par is not above me. It’s different coming from an environment where you shined, or being the only writer amongst my friends so I go to shine (not that I am vain/prideful and need that) but everyone is extremely talented here, so everything you write you want to be your best work. And sometimes that’s not the case.

& my best friends had to remind me of that which I needed, that it’s okay not to be perfect with everything I write and not be disappointed if I feel less than enthused with what I’m writing. At the end of the day I’m here to become a better writer and I’m here for a reason, the twelve of us were chosen out of over 150 applicants for a reason. We as a cohort have had these conversations amongst ourselves some of us making connections and revealing our “struggle with the struggle” so I know I’m not alone which in a big city with the workload we have is always a good reminder.

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Overall I had a whimsically beautiful birthday, I’m blessed to have such great friends who continue supporting and rooting me on while I’m here living out my dreams and getting the opportunity to learn and grow as  writer. In my classes I’m just not getting to start editing, revising, and expanding my book….so here comes the really fun part because nothing is better than feeling passionate about the story you want to share.

Thank You

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I just wanted to send a special thank you to both of my parents for their support with my moving process. Between the check up phone call and text, mail packages and support…I appreciate your support with this big life change I had, I know having one daughter on the East Coast and the other West Coast can’t be easy. I’ll make you proud.

Won’t take nothing but a memory… from the House that Built Me

Well the past week has been full of several surprises! Survived my first full week of classes, work and got a few blessings along the way.

First off I cannot tell you how happy I was to see a familiar face that came in the form of my FIL (chris) on his Labor Day Tour from New York. Chicago has become the new love of my life in so many ways, but what it will always be missing is the people that I hold so close to my heart. It was extremely exciting getting to show him/Efrain around my school, living quarters, and us exploring Chicago together. I’m not homesick yet, but I’m friend sick and Chris has always been my mentor, friend and soul partner so getting to just unwind with him was awesome. Tequila and salsa dancing had us ending the weekend on a high note…Come back soon!

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PSA PSA PSA..not only is my birthday in 1 week officially,but my 2 best friends will be touching down in Chicago!!! ( I cannot contain my excitement)

As far as classes go, they are intense, right out of the gate I’m on a strict cycle of journaling, reading analysis, critiques, and reading. I can say that it is extremely refreshing and invigorating to me around such eloquent and imaginative writers. We as a group get along really well and I look forward to the next 2 years I’ll be spending with them. What I’m most excited about is that I’ll be editing/revising my book of 100+ pages in one class, and creating a whole new Young Adult book for another class.

**They don’t let us carry work from one class to the other, so while I’m excited, I’m really challenged in having to create a new work of fiction (40 pages at minimum)

The teachers are very illustrious and always seeking to foster growth in us not just in Fiction but encourage us to try out other writing genres (Non-Fiction, Essay, Short Story) or new specialties altogether so we can truly find out what fits us best. I’ve had 2 short stories published so I’m eager to see what else I can crank out on that end.

As far as work goes I found out this week my work-study job will consist of working in Teen Outreach program where I will assist as a TA  (teacher’s assistant) in creating curriculum and hosting writing classes for teenagers in the surrounding Chicago area. It’s a great opportunity not necessarily because I have any intention of teaching but I will have direct access to my target audience.

AND it’s getting a bit chilly–not winter yet but Fall is blowing it’s way through Chicago! Can’t wait to share my adventures from next weekend, I will be tourist/tour guide!

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