Como se siente ver a Mónica Puig jugar por medalla olímpica para Puerto Rico


Yo me imagino que ya todos los Boricuas saben como se siente esta pendejá. Un rush cabrón de adrenalina mezclado con el corazón hinchado de patria y un poquito de sexy porque hay que admitir que la Mónica está linda. Entonces de repente te das cuenta que acaba de ganar al menos plata. Ya es medallista. Es como un episodio de Stranger Things pero mucho mejor porque es real. ¿Y mañana vamos por oro? No me puedo preocupar ahora por buscar el itinerario; todavía estoy bajando del high adrena/patriótico de su victoria. Me siento como si hubiésemos ganado el Grito de Lares. En serio.

Todo se vuelve aún más loco cuando te das cuenta que mañana (o cuando sea) puede ser un USA vs. PR. What? A que todos los Boricuas de repente se vuelven independentistas. No lo dudo. Pues así se siente esto de ver a Mónica Puig triunfar por Puerto Rico: como ser parte de una novela del gran Gabo. En vivo, desde Macondo, Puerto Rico.

Veremos como sigue esto mañana…

Placement Is Everything In a Bookstore


PP cover

Cover illustration by Laura Diehl

Today I went to a local bookstore where they have copies of my book: The Bookmark. The idea was to stake it out, see where the books were placed and if people were looking at it. Well, at first I couldn’t find it at all as it was placed on a bottom shelf (not the best place for your book as you might suspect). To make matters worse, the 4 copies were facing sideways and you couldn’t see the beautiful cover. Well, I grabbed a copy and flipped it, placing it so the cover faced forward. Not 5 minutes passed and a little girl was holding my book. My kids’ grandmother was there (ex mother-in-law) and she’s the best salesperson ever. She quickly mentions to the girl that I’m the author and I can sign her book if she chooses to buy it. Of course it sold! Boom. So I grabbed another copy and placed it facing forward again so the cover showed. Another person grabbed the book! I had to leave at that point, but I passed again after I finished my back-to-school shopping and there were only 2 books left of the original 4. So, conclusion: Get an awesome cover and make sure it faces front. Especially with kid lit!

Good day to all! Now go and check your book’s placement at the shop.

Giant Spider – Deleted Scene From Pixie Piper: Vol. 1


Pixie woke up wishing she had died. Her whole body was covered in bruises from the fall and everything ached so much she wondered if she could move at all, even if she wasn’t securely fastened to a gigantic spider web in the middle of a horribly cold dungeon. There were familiar voices in the distance. She was sure one of them was Garm’s. There was no way she would ever forget his dreadful voice. Not after all the nasty things he said. The other sounded female, so she guessed it was Hela’s.

“We underestimated those little brats,” Garm said angrily. “Or perhaps it was your cage that was defective, mother.”

“Impossible! That ice is unbreakable. I’m telling you those two have some kind of powerful magic. How else could they melt both statue and cage?”

“Don’t be so full of it, old woman. Your magic is not the most powerful of Dahna,” he said.

“Neither is yours.”

“We’ll see about that soon enough. But for now, we must find another way to get to Delmes.”

“We could torture the brat,” Hela suggested. “Children never sacrifice themselves for their parents. They’re too afraid of pain.”

“Why mother, that’s a wonderful idea! Summon Hecate. She’ll take care of this in no time,” Garm ordered.

Pixie heard the sound of big heavy feet leaving the room far away behind her. It was probably a snowman fetching Hecate. She could only guess that would be her torturer. That meant she had no time to lose. She had to find a way to escape, but her arms were held fast to the web and whenever she moved it, it only seemed to tighten its grip. Soon all but her face was wrapped in the silky fabric and she couldn’t move at all. Desperate, she looked about the room in search of someone or something, maybe another prisoner that could help her or perhaps Meni. Where was Meni? Did he manage to get away?   Was he frozen in a corner somewhere? She suddenly felt terribly alone. What would happen to her parents? They would probably get killed all because of her. And Meni and his family, they had nothing to do with this, yet they would pay the prize. Once Garm was king he would probably seek them out and have them arrested. Perhaps it was best if she just gave up. They would never be able to torture her into giving her mom away if she was dead. And they wouldn’t have anything to bargain with. In her opinion, it was the only way out. But alas, the web was so tight around her she could do nothing. Only close her eyes and sleep. Which, surprisingly enough, she did. After all, she hadn’t slept a wink and her adventure was proving quite tiring.

When she woke it was because of the sound of feet. Several of them, and they were moving down a tunnel in her direction. She raised her head and opened her eyes just in time to see a humongous black spider appear from the right. The thorax alone was about three times Pixie’s size. She could swallow her whole. Pixie bit her lip to stop herself from screaming.

“A heather pixie!” Hecate roared. “And a child at that! I haven’t had a decent meal in months and this is what they send me? The only thing worse would have been a human!”

Frightened as she was, Pixie could see an opportunity when it arose. “I’m half-human,” she informed the spider trying to hide the grin that was starting to form on her lips.

“Is that so?” replied Hecate, her voice sounded calmer, yet still quite sinister. “Nice try young one. It shows you got a good head on your shoulders. But I’m afraid I don’t believe you.”

“I am, I swear. My father is one hundred percent human. I don’t even live in Dahna. I’m here on… on vacation.”

“If you are truly half human, then you shall give me a drop of your blood. It is the only way I can be certain,” the giant spider said.

“What for? If you’re gonna eat me, I’d rather you do it quickly.”

“My dear child, with all due respect, I may be quite hungry, but I will never stoop so low as to eat human. You’re the stupidest animals in all the earth. Drinking your blood would render me terrifyingly ignorant. I would like a taste, so I can make sure you are not lying. Once when I was still a young spiderling I lived in an old house with some humans. They tried to kill me so I had to strike. Poor chap tasted so badly I nearly spilled my insides. It was the first and last time I ever had human, but I’ll never forget the taste.”

Pixie didn’t know what to believe. Hecate seemed dishonest. She had a way of slithering the words so as to sound like a snake hissing. It made Pixie very uncomfortable. Then again she had nothing to lose. If this was a way to avoid getting eaten it was worth a try. “Very well,” she finally replied, “but just one drop.”

“One is all I need.”

With two of her front legs Hecate freed Pixie’s hands, leaving the rest of her body securely fastened to the orb-like web. Then she gave Pixie a small piece of broken glass.

“You will have to cut yourself,” Hecate informed. “If I bite you, you’ll be paralyzed and won’t be able to move for hours.”

Pixie stared at the glass. She could use it to cut herself free. But what good would that do? The spider would certainly catch her. She would have to try her luck. Closing her eyes, she pressed the tip firmly into her index finger. There was a bit of a burning sensation and a large drop of bright red blood emerged from the cut. Pixie held out her finger for Hecate to taste. The giant spider placed her tube-like mouth over her prey’s finger and sucked the blood right off it. She cringed and made an ugly face.

“Ugh! You are definitely human,” said the spider as she dropped Pixie’s finger with disgust. “Perhaps it’s time I went out hunting. There has to be something up there better than you.”

“Oh yes,” Pixie began. “I saw some really big abominable snowmen and a pool full of penguins in the castle. Those would certainly fill you up nicely.”

“Snowmen? The hairy ones or the snowy ones?”

“The hairy ones, with the big horns on their heads,” Pixie replied.

“You lie. Garm told me they have gone extinct.”

“Hey, I didn’t lie about being half human, did I?”

Hecate was silent for a moment, scratching her head with one of her legs. “I believe you are telling the truth,” she finally informed. “But just to make sure, I will go seek proof. After I come back I will decide what to do with you. In the mean time, I suggest you stay perfectly still. You see, I build a special web around my victims; the more they struggle, the tighter it wraps around their bodies. So if you move too much, you might end up being crushed to death by the silk.”

Apparently Pixie’s horror showed on her face because Hecate raised a leg to her mouth and said: “Oh dear, perhaps it was best if I had bitten you. Too late now, I don’t want another taste of YOU.” And she disappeared through one of the tunnels.

The moment she was gone, Pixie let out a wide, cheerful smile. Silly spider had forgotten to take back the piece of glass!   Trying to move as little as possible she attempted to cut the threads of silk, but the web was covered in a sticky substance that adhered to the glass and she ended up hacking away at the cocoon. The harder she sliced the tighter the sheet wrapped around her body. Finally, it was becoming difficult to breathe. She stopped moving all together, fearing even her next breath. Large drops of sweat began to glide down her brow. They seeped between her eyelashes, stinging her eyes. She had to find a way to get loose before Hecate came back.

Her lungs began to burn as her ribs pressed hard against them. There was hardly any room for air. She tried to breathe, but instead an all too familiar wheezing echoed through the icy walls.

“No,” she thought desperately. “I can’t have an attack now. I can’t even move!”

Pixie closed her eyes, trying not to think of her asthma. She knew panic only made it worse. But when you close your eyes, everything else becomes more intense. She realized she could hardly feel her feet. And the gooey, sticky substance of the web was freezing against her already wet skin. No wonder she was having an attack.

Suddenly, her breaths became faster and shorter and the wheezing louder until there was no way to prevent the panic. It was happening and there was nothing she could do. She was gasping for air now, but between the web’s ever tightening threads and her incapacitated lungs there was no hope.

She began to drift in and out of consciousness. She saw her mother napping on the couch back home. She looked so peaceful, without a care in the world. Pixie had never seen her so relaxed. Then everything became dark and cold and she was back in the cave, except Garm was there, and Mrs. Piper, and Hela. Her mother wore a long white veil made of spider webs. It trailed behind her, collecting dust and insects and everything in her path. She walked towards Garm with tears flowing freely down her face. Hela walked before her, spreading snow across her feet and all the way to the altar where her son stood waiting for his bride. Pixie tried to scream, but there was no air left in her.

“NO!” she whispered. “No, no, no… I won’t let this happen.”

6 Reasons Why Pokemon Go Rocks


People are hating like crazy about Pokemon Go. I don’t really understand why everyone is so upset about a simple game. For those of you who are, let me explain why Pokemon Go rocks, and if you don’t understand that, you just don’t get it.

It all started a long time ago with a cartoon that launched with a card game. The whole concept of the show Pokemon was about a group of friends who traveled the world finding and catching Pokemon (pocket monsters). Long story short, the show and card game were a hit and eventually the video games followed. The bulk of the games were in the Nintendo DS platform. The games echoed the show by creating a world that you explored to find Pokemon. There you would join gyms, train, compete and advance. There were even special Pokemon that would come out on special days in particular places. Like if you went to Toys R’ Us or McDonald’s on a particular day and hour, you could download a monster for free and have it in your game. Suffice it to say, people loved this! Collectors still abound.

But the game was pretty much a sitting game. The Pokemon creators have always wanted to counteract this and have been pretty ingenious at it too. Before Pokemon Go, some games came with step counters that you connected to the games to get more stuff and others had them in the DS and if you walked around with it, you would gather coins. But again, it was very limited…

Lo and behold: Pokemon Go

In my opinion the game is genius! Now you actually go and catch the Pokemon in the real world and not the fake one of the DS. The games are the same, with gyms, teams, training and such. The integration of reality and gaming is done with the right purpose. Here’s a list of pluses for you short and simple, so I don’t bore you. (There may be a few cons, but those are usually when the people playing don’t have much common sense.)

  1. 13729124_10154490138127275_479978947022411561_n

    My son wearing a Tentacool for a hat. 

    It gets you walking. You can’t really catch anything while driving (it’s too fast) so you have to be on foot.

  2. Pokestops are in the real world. You have to get out of your house, off your ass, and out in the world in order to advance in the game.
  3. Pokestops include street art, restaurants, museums, and sights worth seeing. (Encourages cultural awareness and travel)
  4. You have to walk to hatch your eggs. Yes, even if it’s back and forth in your own living room, in order to hatch the egg, you gotta walk. So the game makes you exercise!!! (Back to point 1)
  5. Augmented reality fun! Yeah, you get to take pics with the Pokemon on your head and stuff.
  6. It creates a strange #PokemonBond among users.

So bravo to Niantic, The Pokemon Company, and John Hanke for a great concept. BTW (although the play is buggy, I play in my 4s which according to Niantic is not supported, so there.)

 

A Democratic Fiscal Control Board for Puerto Rico


Dear Mr. President:

As you’ve signed PROMESA, I propose a more democratic fiscal control board. I won’t beat around the bush and will go straight to it. (BTW, I write this in English so nothing gets lost in translation.) Puerto Rico isn’t very happy about this law. I think a lot of people understand there is need for spending control, but as a COLONY, we do not appreciate such a thing being imposed without any form of control or say from our part. So, in order to have a fiscal control board that is more democratic in its process, I propose the following:

Puerto Rico will accept a fiscal control board under the following conditions:

  1. Congress will elect members from a pre-approved list provided by the government of Puerto Rico.
  2. The list of candidates will be created as follows:
    1. PR legislature will establish a committee that will determine the specific requirements that each member must have. (I believe at least 1 economist, 1 international law debt specialist, someone with track record in city planning, etc.)
    2. Requirements will be based on merits and track record.
    3. No candidate may have previous political affiliations.
    4. No candidate may have held a government position in the past. (At least in Puerto Rico).
  3. Once requirements are established anyone can nominate a candidate, but said committee must approve the candidate according to the requirements.
  4. The approved list of candidates is sent to Congress. Congress chooses the committee from this list.
  5. Congress may appoint 1 member from their own ranks or outside the list, but… Members of the committee MUST reside in Puerto Rico while they serve on the committee (I believe this is essential. When the decisions you make affect you personally, everything is different; perspectives change.)
  6. President approves.
  7. We have a democratic fiscal control board.

THANK YOU!

I get really depressed when people tell me: THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION. I hate that! There is ALWAYS another option and if we just invest a little thought process into it, it can be achieved. I have plenty more where this one came from, so just ask.

 

 

10 Best Questions Kids Ask During a Reading


13103514_10154289693702494_7107582485137733516_nI love doing live readings for kids. There’s a really cool feeling when you read a part in your book and you hear a collective gasp from the kids in front of you. It makes you feel like you did something right. What follows a reading is usually a Q & A. I love this part because kids have lots of questions; questions that can be challenging, inspiring, and often times make you learn things about yourself. So here is a list of the 10 best questions kids ask during a live reading. Suffice it to say, some of these get asked more than once during the same presentation.

  1. Will there be a movie about your book? – I love this one. My answer is always the same: I certainly hope so!
  2. How long did it take you to write your book? – This one’s tough. I wrote Pixie 1 a few years ago, had it sit for a long time, then rewrote and published. In the end, years went by. After I explain, there’s usually a follow-up comment like: “So it took you 8 years?!” -Author nods in shame.
  3. Is this going to be a series? Yes
  4. Do you write other things besides books; poetry for example? Yes. Poetry, short stories, picture books, blogs, and essays. I hope to someday write a screenplay too.
  5. What is your next book going to be about? It’s a secret.
  6. What other books have you written and what are they about? I have a book about some kids who find a key to a portal into a different dimension. Coming in 2017…
  7. Who is your favorite character in your books? Tough one. I don’t think I have a favorite. I enjoy writing all of them, even the evil ones.
  8. What is your favorite book? Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
  9. When did you start writing books? I was just a girl. It was a book about my dog.
  10. Are any of the characters based on real people? Yes and no. There are elements of real people in the characters, but no one character is based on a particular person.

Convocatoria 39ª edición de los Premios de Literatura Infantil El Barco de Vapor y Juvenil Gran Angular 2017


Para quienes escriben en español… Quizás este sea el año que someta alguna historia para competir. Veremos…

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premiosSMLa Fundación SM convoca en España la 39ª edición de los Premios de Literatura Infantil El Barco de Vapor y Juvenil Gran Angular con el fin de promover la creación de una literatura para jóvenes que fomente el gusto por la lectura y transmita, con calidad literaria, unos valores humanos, sociales, culturales o religiosos que ayuden a construir un mundo digno.

Con una dotación de 35.000 euros, estos premios son los de mayor cuantía mundial en su categoría, lo que contribuye a la recepción de un gran número de originales procedentes de toda España y de gran número de países de América Latina.

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Why Readers Stop Reading a Book.


Thought this was totally worth a reblog. Great insight!

Lit World Interviews

Recently, we here at LitWorldInterviews.com conducted a survey, “Why do you put a book down?” and through the assistance of the writing community we had a very nice response. Now it’s time to share what we found.

First, I want to say why the survey was conducted. We wanted to help writers by giving them the information they most need. If a reader takes the time to check out your book and don’t like it, they are unlikely to give you a second chance with your next work. First impressions mean a lot.

86.30% of those responding were Female, thus leaving the remaining 13.70% Male. Considering the majority of those reading novels are Female, although not quite this extreme, I’m comfortable with sharing what we found.

There were 34 sub-categories as a result of the survey. Those results were then placed into 5 main categories: Writing, Editing, Proofreading, Taste, and…

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First Flight


The follow-up to The Mother Bird, and in my opinion, an even better story.

Unsuccessful Attempts at Brain Silence

The Family

The baby birds have flown! Recently I posted about a mother bird who had nested in my flower box. In my last post, the baby birds were already full feathered, but still had not flown. I had mentioned how the mother had been cooing at them from the floor and that I thought she was trying to encourage flight.

Well, after that they started walking around the flower box and eventually jumping from one box to another while they flapped their wings.  Last Monday (05/14/2012) night I noticed the birds were all alone. It seemed strange that the mother wasn’t there. I was actually concerned. She always left in the early morning. Never at night.

Practice

The next day she was nowhere… That night they were still alone. I wondered if something had happened to the Mother Bird, but my instinct told me not to worry. And of course…

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