At twenty three I could make up a story out of thin air as easy as I was breathing. Words would flow out of my hands, and out of my mouth and out of my soul so easily, so freely, so true.

It was second nature to create little words out of tiny ideas. One thought would keep on untangling forever and I relished it’s own will with glee.

Then I spent more time with images and then in my early thirties, I mixed the two. And then I got ashamed of it all. Ashamed of the magic I used to make stories, because magic was not decent, hard work and anything that wasn’t related to decent hard work was shameful.

My brain shut down all the magical corners and all I could get from it, outside of work, was silence. A profound and dark silence. I lost all my moods around that time too. Normal jokes that would usually get a cackle out of me, didn’t tickle me anymore. But for my Baby J I kept a bit of my creative going.

I seeded that bit and it started to bloom after I moved out of a miserable relationship that sucked me almost dry of all me. To my surprised, it bloomed. It’s first leaves where just newfound laughter and words. I began to talk again, make conversation. And little by little I got me back, not exactly as I was before mind you, but a whole of me. One that recognises itself again, one with a voice and a brain full of magical corners – different, but magical.

So now my brain is full of ideas, and sometimes they come up at random moments. Like today I was driving and thinking of Dragon and how much I did love him, enough to write him the most stories and how I could still write him a few more. I don’t know anything about him now, but I can still remember his touch and the way he made me giggle with joy and that untangles into a story, or three.

And I dreamed a character a few weeks ago and she was so amazing. She came up quietly passing by and smiled going away without a bang, but I thought of so many different things for her to do.

Maybe I’ll go write some of those.

Presence: A Memoir

The first time that I was in third grade (because I was in third grade twice;  TANGENT:  my mother taught me to read and write at home and I could do both when I was three, so when I went to school I was in kindergarten only one semester and then went to first grade, putting me a whole year ahead of the rest of the class.  My mother then became concern that I didn’t had easy connections with my peers -read, I was as anti-social as I am now- and took me out of school for a semester so I could begin studying in a new school with kids my age.  This might have been a brilliant move, or a huge mistake.  I still can not tell.)  one of the assignments one day was to write a brief essay on what you wanted to be when you grew up.

I was very exited to write about this.  I even asked my grandfather to let me type my essay in his typewriter (a beautiful Smith Corona circa ’69) to make it more professional:  I wanted to be a secretary.  I liked paper, envelopes, filing, typewriting, pens and of course stickers (secretaries make use of a lot of stickers.  Or so I thought) so, my dream was to work at an office.  I wanted to use tape every day and have pretty nails painted in bright colors.  I also wanted to be a veterinarian and a scientist, but only in the afternoons or something.

After I finished my draft of a resume assigment, citing how awesome I would be as a secretary because I had the natural talent of stapling papers, I showed the paper to my mother.  She was very happy and proud of my wording so, she showed it to my father right in front of me.  He didn’t read the essay because he hates to read, instead he asked me what was it that I wanted to be when I grew up.  I smiled real big and posed for effect “A SECRETARY!”  If you heard a scoff in 1987, it was my father when he heard my answer.

“Listen to her!  A secretary?!  What sort of crap is that?”  My mother gave him one of her looks, the one that said you better shut your mouth up right now.  He said this was the moment to tell me I didn’t want to be a secretary.  I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or something like that, something respectable with a good pay.

“Do you know the wage of a secretary?”  Um, no, but I’m sure at seven years old not many people bother to learn what a wage is.  “A secretary earns a misery.  You want to be something that gives you a lot of money so you can buy a lot of the things you want.”

I’m pretty sure that moment ruined my life.  The beginning of all my problems can be traced to that single exchange with my progenitor.

Fast forward a few decades when I was already working in the pharmaceutical industry (at the very place I once dreamed of working, it was nothing big, but something attracted me of the place) and my father kept telling me I had to go take a course to be a Dentist Assistant.  One of his cousins had an office and I could work there.  Or I could go finish a certification on Data Entry, he could find me clients among his friends so I could work from home.  Actually, he would set up a pizza place and I could administer it, paying him a wage every month.

In other words:  I should have been doing anything but what I was doing.  I was working a job that taught me A LOT, with a good schedule and a good pay, with people that were like family and that was simply not good enough for him.  He let me know this at any opportunity.

The other day we were eating at my grandmother’s place, much of my immediate family together for the first time in a while, and we began discussing profesional lives.  Manfriend began listing the things he knows I’ve done –work for security in a marathon, rotate shifts, train people, work in a service centre- with me mentioning some others;  his point being that I’m known to be a hard worker, I’ve done a bit of everything I’ve had to when I’ve needed to earn my bread.

And then my father perked up and mentioned that I also had that Dentist Assistant Certificate.  Which one?  The one that doesn’t exist because I never studied that.  I could never deal with anyone’s mouth (no offence to anyone that does,  on the contrary, thanks for cleaning our teeth!).  But he had made that up in his mind, no doubt to compensate for my lack of good professional decisions, and it was so intricately elaborated in there that it became a truth.

Much like the presence he has had in my life since sometime around third grade.


This post was shared in this week’s writing challenge: Memoir Madness, featuring some AMAZING posts.

Lean on me

I was going out of the grocery store a few days ago when I saw an old couple walking in front of me.


I smiled when I saw the lady’s arms wrapping the gentleman’s body, her head almost resting in his shoulder.  She was holding him steady while they went down the ramp, and then to the parking lot.  They were walking ever so slowly, so slowly that any other day I would’ve been annoyed to be held up, but that day I just observed them with a smirk on my face.

How sweet to see her effort to help them both look so poise.


But oh, what a surprise to see;  when they reached their car he gently helped her to the passenger’s seat, doing everything for her, even placing her hands where she could find support.

He had been carrying her all along and giving her all the credit.


How sweet they were, how very sweet.


Game of a made-up bestseller: A Yellow Stapler

Victoria invited us to play a game last week that consisted of touching something with the left hand and point at something with the right hand; put together the color of the touched article with the name of the one you are pointing to and that’s the title of your next bestseller. I wish I could come up with such cool things.

Mine apparently will be A Yellow Stapler.

Preppy, teenager Natalie secretly writes acclaimed BDSM stories for a local newspaper’s website, under a pseudonym. Her best friend Brent, is close to finding her secret and outing her to their schoolmates and her family. Will she voluntarily share her hard copies with Brent and try to avoid the scandal or will she go down denying what makes her exceptional? She knows only one thing: whatever happens, will happen under her own terms. And her stories will be part of the outcome.

I want to point out that I was able to write this “synopsis” because for the first time in about five years, I saw a scene in my mind. Insert my surprise here. I thought my creative side was dead because I dreamt stories so often and now all I dream about is mundane. But alas, that side though it’s weak and feeble IS NOT DEAD! Rejoice.

You can play along by sharing the title of your best seller with Victoria and with me in the comments. Have a fun week!

The first line of my -non-existent- biographic novel

I love the DailyLit.

Right now I receive a bit of The Intellectual Devotional  (HIGHLY recommended!) in my inbox everyday. I have the actual book, but I never used it daily as it is supposed to, so I enjoy this ‘inbox version’ better.

DailyLit’s current newsletter had a challenge to write your own first sentence for a novel and share it. Excellent motivation to blow off the dust of the first sentence from a biographic ‘novel’ I begun years ago, which has been sitting in my inbox laughing at my attempt:

Me bautizaron Angela en honor a mi abuela, pero después de la pubertad todos me llamaron Angie.”


“I was baptized Angela in honor of my grandmother, but after puberty everyone called me Angie.”

Totally took the easy road with that one.  Even the title, 1997, had no effort what so ever.   But there it is.  The first line of a novel.  You can share yours at the link above in DailyLit.

(And no, my name is not Angela.  But it nearly was.)


Tuve un poema en la punta de los dedos. Como no lo escribí, huyó a la planta de mis pies, donde lo aplasté irremediablemente con el peso de mi cansancio añejo.

No creo que vuelva.

* Translation:  

I had a poem in the tips of my fingers.  Since I didn’t wrote it, it escaped to the soles of my feet where I crushed it with the weight of my very old tiredness. 


I think it won’t come back.

Luciernaga curiosa

* translation in the comments.

Quisiera que me llegaran las palabras a los dedos tal y como me llegan las ondas de tí. Que inunden el papel de trazos como tu aroma me inunda el alma y me lleva y me trae. Quiero pasear en el vocabulario que he olvidado con la tal presición que paseo en tu barba.

Que vengan todas las palabras que he dejado a visitar sorpresivas como la luciernaga curiosa que nos visitaba, tintilante y juguetona; les daré un beso y así comenzará todo también.

I get it now

Since poems are poems, and songs are songs, poets and songwriters have been describing how “the breeze carried the scent” of someone to another.  How a person, while longing, would feel the wind in the face and smell a fragrance that will soothe the soul.

That was just words to me until today.  I was walking out my dog at sunset time, there was a light summer breeze and the trees were dancing lightly above me.  I looked up to the skies, as I so often do, and felt the wind caress my cheeks so I inhaled and there:  it smelled vividly like a boy.  Just as if he had walked right pass me.

I looked around everywhere for while, but there was no one.

And now I get it;  because the wind carried his scent to me, under a sunset, while the trees ever so lightly danced above me… so it would soothe my soul.  

She can tell it however she wants

The first time I saw this girl I did a double take.

She is probably as tall as I am, elegantly thin.  Her hair looks luscious for the upkeep that she seems to give it.  She wears normal, well fitting clothes and she seems to know that she carries white well.  She has piercing green eyes that make the rest of her bony face a blur when you look at her, but if you can take your eyes off of them for a moment you see a thin mouth harshly marked at the sides and a very exotic nose.

So the first time I saw her I did a double take because mostly, she really doesn’t look like someone who would be begging for money in the street.   Begging doesn’t seem like the right word though, because she asks for money in a fierce tone as if she deserves this money, part of your money should just be hers.

Every now and then she gets pregnant from some guy from the streets, or just some guy.  She will oblige if they offer money too.  She gives up the babies, some seven kids for the Department of Family so far.  I saw her pregnant once, it looks like something that shouldn’t be happening the way she carries her belly around.

Now she has so many tattoos.  I thought those cost money.

Last time she went to jail, because she ends up there every now and then, someone got her story.

It seems many years ago a Puerto Rican guy found her in France.  He was rich and she was young and they partied several nights.  He showered her with gifts and drugs and told her if she came with him to Puerto Rico he would give her that life.  It sounded good to her.  And then he left her here stranded in some forsaken place and she had to care for herself.  And this is the best she could do.

At least that’s the way she tells it.  She says all this in perfect Spanish with a very common Puerto Rican accent.

I guess everyone is allowed to their own story.