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Showing posts from June, 2016

Sunday en Segundo

Sunny spring Sundays always brought the people out of their red brick apartments. The rows of doorways popped open and screen doors kept the flies out. Opened windows let in the fresh breeze and sunlight. The neighborhood knew to take advantage of it because there were only a few days like this in El Paso’s spring before the winds came.
            El Freddy walked down 3rd Street toward Stanton.  He’d just left from La Bowie where he ate a warm empanada. He’d passed on the cafecito even though he thought it always made the piña of the empanda taste sweeter, but it was too warm for café.
            As he walked, he passed some vatos who were riding around the barrio on their tricked out chrome blinding bikes. El Freddy nodded as he passed them and he heard their laughter as one of them hit the curb and almost wiped out. El Freddy didn’t laugh but just smiled. In the alley, he heard the sounds of chavitos as they kicked a worn soccer ball shirtless and barefoot up and down toward make…

She was Fierce

I once knew a woman who was fierce. She stood at the helm of her ship every day, dark hair flowing in the ocean breeze ready to face whatever the sea held for her.  She manned her ship in the vast open ocean and always managed to keep the small ship from capsizing. The ocean, not always friendly to sea goers, seemed to regard her with respect.  She worked hard on her ship and even when waves and storms crashed against the sides of the boat, she held quick to helm in even the darkest skies. 
At night, she would stare up at the stars and plan for what was next. The pinhole lights against the stark black background held all the wishes she made every night. She lived like this for longer than anyone knew. Her boat was always moving back and forth across the sapphire seas. Until a storm that not even she could handle rolled in unexpectedly. The bright blue skies shifted into darkness. Try as she might, the boat capsized.  She fought and swam but the waves threw her to and fro. Hours late…

¿Y la Prieta?

My grandma, Ita, called me Prieta. She called me this because my skin is toasted brown. When I was born my mom says I was light skinned, but she knew “que iba ser morena” because the inside of my little baby thighs were already darker than the rest of me.
In the sun, I turn a darker brown. I get even more Prieta.
It was a term of endearment. My sister, who has a light complexion, was called guera or guerinchi. When I tell people who don’t speak Spanish what Prieta means, dark or the dark one, their eyes open wide and a small gasp escapes. I see the offense they feel for me sprinkled on their faces like the freckles I will never have. When I try to explain, the offense still shadows their eyes.
That is the problem with Spanish. Wait, maybe, that is their problem with Spanish. Even when I explain, they are suspicious. Their faces ask, “Is this true?” as if I am setting them up for a joke. But how can I explain the cultural and literal meaning of a word at the same time?

How do I tell th…

Somewhere Between Blue and Elated

Sunday was the first day that I was able to relax since finishing the first draft of book two of the YA series, Love Letters, I'm writing. My bestie from another mama was in town. My bestie editor, reader, confidant had just returned from a trip to O Canada! Sunday I rested. I watched movies. I  got sucked into Netflix series Love.  I didn't want to do anything, but I wanted to do something. D asked if I wanted to go to the pool, and I did want to go, but I didn't want to get dressed, pack our pool gear, drive to the other side of town, then back. I stayed on the couch.

Monday, I pressed snooze instead of going to boxing. Two days in a row, I broke my 30 days of fitness goals. I slept in the with Faustino the dog and watched DVR'd Bones episodes. D left for work. I was annoyed with myself for still not wanting to do anything, but still didn't want to do anything. I took a shower. I put my phone on silent. The world was loud. I thought about writing and my hands pre…

The Hummingbird at My Window

For the past week and a half, a hummingbird has visited me throughout the day as I write at my rectangular kitchen table. She swoops in and out around the banisters of the backyard porch and smells the herbs from the hanging garden.

I don't have a nectar feeder for her, though. So, I wondered what she was doing visiting me every morning. I watched as her wings fluttered faster then I could see instead of writing. As each day passed, I found I'd space out in the direction of the sliding glass window trying to figure out what my characters were going to do next and hoping she would come visit me again.

All day yesterday I wrote and wrote trying to meet a deadline for my editor. My hands ached after several hours, but then I saw the hummingbird and how her wings flapped, and I typed more. Later, I noticed, after she fluttered around, that she rested on one of the branches of the Mulberry in the back yard. Her tiny body moved left then right. Left then right. On a break, I went ou…