Healing, Latino culture, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Comics, Writing

Who Really Uses NaNoWriMo?

 

NaNoToon
NaNoToon

Who writes 50,000 words in 30 days during November?

Crazy writers. Passionate writers. Driven writers.

Writers who have trouble keeping their butt in the chair and hands on the keys use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as a last ditch effort to focus.

Completion rather than perfection is the goal.

We wait, crunked up on leftover trick or treat candy, swigging an energy drink, ready for the clock to strike midnight.

Who are these crazy people pushing their pens, tapping their computer keys at 12 a.m on Halloween night?

We are the Nano’s, peculiar writer beings who believe we can write 50,000 words in 30 days, November 1st to November 30th.

Really, we do believe.

This year I’m actually adding to last year’s draft. The working title for this New Adult novel is La Curandera*. Here’s my logline and a description:

Three generations of women, three broken hearts, one love potion.

Violet Romero is just as ambitious as her father, the city mayor. She has a five and ten-year plan to become the young politician who will change the world. That’s the strategy until her fiancé dumps her for her best friend and she spirals into depression, dropping out of her master’s program. Now she’s on the verge of losing her summer internship at the state capitol.

When she finds a job at a shop that specializes in cures, spells, and potions, run by two curanderas, she decides to take matters into her own hands and concoct her own remedy. But when Violet’s love potion causes her ex-fiancé to fall in love with her mother, and her grandmother’s 70-year-old love interest falls for Violet instead, she has to make things right again. She must travel to Mexico to seek a 100-year-old curandera who possibly has the cure if Violet can accomplish a vision quest.

I’m using this photo as inspiration to write:

The Healing Arts of Mexico by German Rubio
The Healing Arts of Mexico by German Rubio

I have my storyboard up on Pinterest for more inspiration.

So this writer will use the next 30 days to complete the story because I am driven, passionate and crazy about writing.

This means much less time on social media and no blogging for 30 days (unless there is a blogging emergency).

See you next month. Happy November!

*Curandera: Traditional healer who uses centuries-old herbal remedies for a variety of ailments. A spiritual element is also part of the healing. Usually, the healers are generational and native people of Mexico, Central, and South America.

 

Denise Chavez, Love, poetry

Caveat Emptor – Poem

flickr.com- by Marsmettin Tallahassee
flickr.com- by Marsmettin Tallahassee

Remember when I began cleaning out and donating books? Well, that’s when I found a 2008 journal, lumpy from two 8 x 11 sized papers folded in fourths. I had written my first poem on those papers at a workshop.

Denise Chavez, author of Face of An Angel, Loving Pedro Infante, Last of the Menu Girls, and two others, was the instructor of the first writing workshop I attended. Her instruction, her demeanor, and her passion were poetry in motion.

The first day was about getting in touch with our senses. We sketched, found our own talismans, went outside for a walk, and wrote.

On the second day, Ms. Chavez directed us to a small dictionary which sat in the middle of the desk. The task was to open the book at whim, and with closed eyes blindly select a word.

My word was in Latin. Thankfully, “Caveat Emptor*” was defined in English. This word was to serve as a prompt for a poem. I wrote it down, put it into my journal and forgot about it for six years. With a little revising, here it is:

Caveat Emptor

 

He was the lie from hello to goodbye.

The master of mask, the emperor of illusion,

carrying a pedestal,

a singular prop.

 

Musical words floated from his mouth

under her feet, skirt, arms

gently lifting her up

resting her body atop a velvet chaise

sounds lulling her into the 

magic of romance.

 

Eyelids heavy with love dust,

obscuring the red checkered flags

the blinking yellow caution lights,

deep potholes covered in webs

until she sank, deep into the

fantasy of love. 

 

Two years later,

the lies, the facts tore

away the veils,

revealed the reality, spun

her into agony

 

until the door slammed behind him,

stirred her awake from the

illusion of love, where she

could plainly see

 

the words “Caveat Emptor”

written on the back

of his shirt. ©

 

 

*ca·ve·at emp·tor
ˌkavēˌät ˈempˌtôr/
noun
  1. the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

    In other words, “Buyer Beware.”

Encouragement, Grief, Love, poetry

A New Page – Poem

The First Page by Nick Kenrick, Flickr cc
The First Page by Nick Kenrick, Flickr cc

 

Days flutter pass

like the wind blown pages of a book

to rest on one page

which you decorate with

happiness,

glorious art the colors of heaven

drawn with joy, love, future

 

until a rush of air blows hostile

rips the edge from the seam

to a page of scribbled

pain,

stiff lines of anguish, questioning grief

shades of light and dark

swirled into murky gray.

 

The breeze of life wafts pages

slowly,

build to a fanning pace

past blurs of memory,

landing on a blank canvas,

another first page,

ready for you.

Family, Grief, Latino family tradition, Memoir, Mothers, poetry, Strong Women, Travel

Hurricane Mom – Memoir, Part 3

Poem to Mother by Sharon Doubiago
Poem to Mother by Sharon Doubiago

 

Day’s flutter pass like wind blown pages of a book, occasionally landing on a chapter of happiness or sorrow.

Mom’s children leave. Each daughter marries. The hours spent on them are now hours gained to contemplate middle age, not that anyone would guess she was in her mid-life, nor would she correct them.

Grandchildren come into the world as her oldest siblings depart. Men of integrity, courage, and tradition. Orphan men who provided for siblings survived the Great Depression, and wars. Men who married young sweethearts, raised families, and weathered changing times.

The winds of life blow with the ferocity only death can bring. Mom’s brothers died soon after retirement, ravaged by cancer, the affliction of her parents. Their departure like uprooted trees in the landscape of her life.

Her career becomes her greatest pleasure, counseling the unemployed, connecting people with goals, encouraging youth, instilling hope. Evenings filled with meetings, groups of various acronyms, with one purpose: equality. Now there is a community pool, educational centers, and non-profit organizations serving people.

The pages keep turning. There is no slowdown in mid-life. Mom worked until 67, left after a mass shooting at her state office left co-workers dead, injured. Left her with post-traumatic syndrome. She thought about going back to college, for her Master’s degree, but serves on the Grand Jury instead.

Wanderlust struck. So much life, so much to live for. Egypt, Jordan, places we can no longer visit, were first on the agenda. Spain, Portugal, Canada, France, England, Mexico, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and half of the United States. Places visited in books of her youth or on TV.

She rescues working daughters, son, and walks grandkids to school, makes them snacks, watches them grow. Her home is open to her children when troubles strike. None of us ever go it alone.

Mom’s life temporarily shuts down when her youngest sister died, the one she protected, the one who helped her through every pothole in the journey. Cancer. Again. A light went out, brightness dimmed. The absence of phone calls, trips to casinos, shopping, laughing with her sister leave Mom depressed for two years.

Her eyesight dims like her joy. A prognosis of legal blindness curtails her driving, her independence and link to distant friends and extended family. Worse, it’s difficult to read.

Now family reunions take place in her dreams, between recurring nightmares. Pain fades, aches remain, good times are remembered, wistful visits to previous chapters of life.

The first great-grandchild is born, many grand nieces/nephews, celebrations of sacraments, birthdays, milestones. Tortillas, turkey, tamales, everything celebrated with food and family, traditions kept alive.

And the pages turn.

 

 

Thank you for reading.

Click here for part 1 and 2 of “Hurricane Mom.”