The Mamí Chronicles: The Gift of Mothering

I watch you in the morning while you are sleeping. I prepare my altar carefully so not to disturb you. I burn sage to remove unwanted spirits. They say this is how you keep the evil away. The smoke fills the air. The faint light of dawn creeps through the window highlighting the softness of your face. The stillness of the room interrupted only by … Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: The Gift of Mothering

Angie Martinez: How the Voice of New York Found Her Voice

The book begins with a foreward by rapper J. Cole and while some criticized Angie’s decision to have a relatively new artist open up the book I can understand why she chose to go with J. Cole rather than with someone more seasoned. Through his perspective, Cole looks to Martinez as the hip-hop icon she is. He recognizes her contribution to the culture describing her as being “cut from the original cloth”, a cloth that was “more honest, more curious, more genuine.” He refers to a time when hip-hop was brave and fearless and not at all consumed by first week album sales. A stark contrast to the big business money machine it has become. It is a description of an era that made Angie, myself, and many other inner city kids fall in love with hip-hop. Continue reading Angie Martinez: How the Voice of New York Found Her Voice

Overcoming Setbacks: Dealing with loss and how we recover

The red stain on my underwear pierced my eyes. It was the one thing I had not envisioned, yet here I was living my worst nightmare. I’ve never experienced this before so I don’t know what to expect. Yesterday there was a light stain and today too. Everything that I’ve read says that I should be experiencing cramping and that the blood will come in clots. Chunks of my deepest desire flowing through me like a poison releasing itself from my body. That’s what a miscarriage is. It is an abnormality in the fetus. The chromosomes didn’t split properly. Proof that what I believed was my miracle really wasn’t. Continue reading Overcoming Setbacks: Dealing with loss and how we recover

Struggling with identity: On the lies we tell and how we deal

I knew back then that Georgie was not going to grow up to be like the other boys. Georgie was different. Not because of anything he said, but because of how he acted and how delicately he carried himself. At 11 years old he was already in touch with the femininity that I wouldn’t embrace until I was 18. A self-proclaimed tomboy, I was tough and rough. I never felt the need to be glamorous or cute. Unlike my sister, who has always been very girly, my scrawny body would not be caught dead in a skirt or dress or shoes. I avoided them the way my toddler avoids the bath. I preferred jeans and Jordans. I enjoyed playing wiffle-ball and touch football, and manhunt. I was everything Georgie was not. While I could call myself a tomboy there wasn’t a word that I could use to describe Georgie. Continue reading Struggling with identity: On the lies we tell and how we deal

2014 Year in Review: Goals, Resolutions, & Making sh*t happen

How did I manage to accomplish what I set out to do in the beginning of the year? I set goals and stayed focused. When you set goals instead of resolutions you give yourself a better a chance of completing and attaining the goal. Goals unlike resolutions can be broken down into smaller goals. You can set deadlines and identify potential roadblocks. Resolutions are just arbitrary statements that people make with no clear idea or game plan as to how to make it happen. Continue reading 2014 Year in Review: Goals, Resolutions, & Making sh*t happen

How Cancer Saved My Marriage

Music lyrics often talk about how great love is and it is great, most of the time. Sometimes external influences will blind us into believing that if our relationships aren’t like those detailed in the songs or movies then it isn’t love. No one ever tells you that you can fall in and out of love with the same person, or that romance is something you have to work at every single day of your marriage. The stresses of everyday life can become burdensome on a relationship and when there’s bills to pay, children to take care of, and work to do it can leave you feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and even resentful causing one to feel as if they want out of that loving relationship they were once in. Continue reading How Cancer Saved My Marriage

The ALA Book Conference & 2014 International Latino Book Awards

On June 28th, immediately after the completion of my Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA) workshop at UC Berkeley I boarded a plane to Las Vegas for the American Library Association Book Conference and the 2014 International Latino Awards where I would be signing copies and attending an awards ceremony for my award winning book, Letters to My Daughter. I was not prepared for the 105 degree heat … Continue reading The ALA Book Conference & 2014 International Latino Book Awards

Giving Back: It’s good for the soul

If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.  If you want to touch the future, touch a life. — Unknown On Tuesday, after 3 months of compiling and editing the work of Christ the King’s 4th grade class, I went back to the school and presented the students with their very first book of … Continue reading Giving Back: It’s good for the soul

Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Workshop

Want to learn how to shift your thinking from a “I can’t do this” mindset into a “I must do this” mindset? Want to learn how to stay in track with your goals to achieve ultimate success? Want to learn how to balance your home, family and work life and make your dreams come true in the process? Then this is the workshop for you. … Continue reading Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Workshop

The Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch unites F.I.E.R.C.E Women Everywhere

This past Sunday, April 13, 2014 I held the first Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch at Katarina’s Bar & Grill in Kew Gardens. From the moment I woke up that morning I knew that the day would be full of beautiful moments and energy. Mother nature, in all her F.I.E.R.C.E-ness cooperated. The weather was perfect. The sun was radiating, a reminder that when we … Continue reading The Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch unites F.I.E.R.C.E Women Everywhere