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The Heart of a Writer

Yesterday I submitted a story for a contest. As I typed in my credit card information for the entry fee. I said a prayer over and over in my mind, "Please God let me win something. Please God let me win something."

After the culmination of days and months rolling down a hill and snowballing into years without stepping foot into a church, my Catholic upbringing of spending every Sunday on a hard wooden pew with my grandma Ita, has not left me.

I sat in a noisy coffee shop quickly rereading a story, I've read 100 times, one more time to make sure it was really ready to send out. I attached it quickly to the email, exhaled, let my fingers hover over the keys and finally hit enter, sending a piece of my heart into cyber space for someone to look over, read, and hopefully connect with it.

The heart of a writer is both tender and calloused. We pour pieces of ourselves out onto paper for people to judge. Perhaps I should say the heart of the artist, but I can't think of other professions where one hands out pieces of themselves, gift wrapped with crinkled paper, to strangers.

After I hit send I crossed myself (with a bit of subtly I'm superstitious not crazy) and said a silent thank you then added one more, "Please God let me win something," for good measure and tried to remember the words of Sylvia Plath.




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Listas de Colombia

Number of hours spent traveling: 20
Days spent in Colombia: 29
Cazuela de frijoles comidas: 2
Tres Cordillera cervezas tomadas: 15
Shots of aguardiente shots I turned away: 6
Shots of aguardiente I couldn't turn away: 4
Veces que usé tenso equivocado en español: unknown
Ceviches I ate: 6
Days at the beach: 4
Micheladas: 10
Showers taken: 58
Sunblock application: 10
Usos de la palabra chevre: 5
People asked why I was a brown gringa: 4
Times I was offended by this: 0
Times people thought I was Colombian until I spoke: unknown
Apologies made on behalf of United States for Donald Trump: 1
Explanation of the El Paso/Juarez border: 5
Uso de la frase, "ese man": 20
Photos taken: 88
Veces que escuchú salsa: infinito
Ramen from Formosa restaurant eaten: 3
Max number of hours of speaking only Spanish before mouth and brain hurt: 4
New tattoo: 1
Book read: 1
Books started and left unfinished: 1
Reruns of CSI: Miami watched on AXN: 20
Ubers rides: 15
Chicharonnes eaten: 12
Jaras de …