Sunday, December 2, 2012

For the Sender Book Review


My latest read is Alex Woodward's For the Sender. It’s a tender story about a musician, Alex Woodward who one day gets a surprise letter in the mail just as he’s contemplating his professional music career and existence. That first letter is from a grateful fan, Emily, who lost her husband a few years back in the autumn. Emily writes to Alex, “So, every year around this time, when memories fill me, I write him a letter. I thought I’d share it with you, not so you’d write a song for he and I, but because I think your songs are gifts.”  Alex is deeply moved by the letter and decides to write a song as a way to give back. What follows is a series of letters and songs, not just from Emily but from other fans who also send their personal accounts of loss and renewal. Alex learns that he receives more from giving back to others than wallowing in his own thoughts and insecurities.

I enjoyed reading each of the letters that touched Alex’s life, and getting a perspective of what it’s like to be a musician and song writer. The songs are written and recorded in Alex’s living room, often after a morning surf. Another sweet spot of the book was that Alex was not afraid to show his emotions over losing his dog, Kona. It was a refreshing change to the stereotypical range of emotions males are portrayed as having.

This little book is accompanied by a CD with the songs from the book. 

For the Sender was sent to me by www.hayhouse.com for my honest review.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

8 Ways To Say I Love My Life Show Review



The show, 8 Ways To Say I Love My Life And Mean It, returns to the New CASA Theater in Boyle Heights for a three week run. After winning an Imagen Award in 2009, the show is back with the release of the book that shares its name.

The book, 8 Ways to Say I Love My Life And Mean It, is a collection of stories from 8 Latina authors (Josefina Lopez, Susan Orosco, Nancy de Los Santos Reza, Bel Hernandez Castillo, Laura De Anda, Margo DeLeon, Rita Mosqueda Marmolejo, and Joanna Llizaliturri Diaz) about their journey to self-love and self-realization. Excerpts from the book were woven into 8 heartwarming monologues that inspire and uplift audiences.

I took two of my sisters and nieces to a preview of the show on Friday, November 2, for a girls night out. On our drive back home, we talked about the performances that resonated the most with each of us. I didn't have to ask my sister, who had been sobbing beside me during Pilar of Strength, a monologue written by Margo De Leon and performed by Kikey Castillo. It reminded my sister and I of our beloved friend Sonia, my sister's twin, who passed after battling cancer. My favorite was Josefina Lopez's My Low Self Esteem Days, performed by Yvonne DeLaRosa. It spoke of the power we give away in our quest to try to find self fulfillment outside ourselves. It was witty and funny. Bel Hernandez Castillo's The Power to Say You Belong was my niece's favorite. They related to Castillo's ambitions of becoming a professional dancer.

I was fortunate enough to have received the book as a gift from my sister. I'll be posting a review of the book in a few weeks.

8 Ways to Say I Love My Life And Mean It is a tender show you will want to take your girlfriends, daughters, nieces  or mother to see. It will get you started on your own dialogue about your own journeys and dreams.


8 Ways to Say I Love My Life
November 3 - November 18, 2012
Fri & Sat @ 8pm | Sun @ 2 pm & 7pm

THE NEW CASA 0101 THEATER:
2102 E. 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
http://www.casa0101.org/

TICKETS: $20 - General $17 - Students/Seniors $15 - Groups of 10+ $15 -
Boyle Heights residents w/ ID
*Group tickets of 10+ must be purchased prior to show date.

https://www.facebook.com/8ways
http://8waystosay.com/

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sole Sisters Book Review



Sole Sisters, by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner, is the book that swept me out of my several month long reading hiatus.  I walked into a quaint  used bookstore in Riverside, Downtown Books, while I was running errands and found this treasure. I thought it was so fitting since I'm happy I'm actually running again and recently found a new running buddy, Alma, which in Spanish meals "soul".


Sole Sisters is a collection of short stories about the lives of female runners. Like any good anthology, the stories are as varied as the women themselves. The personal stories of well know athletes such as Sister Marion Irvine (better known as "The Flying Nun"), Joan Nesbit Mabe, Cheryl Treworgy, Grete Waitz, Colleen Canon and the Ndereba Sisters (Catherine and Anatasia Ndereba), are woven among the tales of  lesser known women who run for their health, the camaraderie, to recover from a loss, or for the love of running itself.


What I enjoyed the most, even more than getting inspired to run, was learning about the history of the running world through the eyes of a woman. I gained insight on what it was like for Cheryl Treworgy to run prior to 1972, before Title IX was passed.  Cheryl was banned from running alone at the high school track.Since her school did not have a female track team, the closest she got to the sport was to be the score keeper for the boys' meets. From Colleen Canon's story, I learned how one can go from not knowing the difference between a triathlon and a walkathon, to becoming a professional triathlete, to getting burnt out, and then walking away from that to organize adventure retreats for women through the company she founded, "Women's Quest".

I would have loved for these stories to be told from a first person point of view rather than in the third person, but none the less, the content is rich and diverse enough to keep you reading.You will be inspired to lace up your running shoes and call your best running pal after reading this book.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After the Marathon

After I completed the Las Vegas Marathon in December I wondered what other challenges I could take on. Unlike other runners who immediately contemplate their next race or make plans to improve their time for their next marathon, the marathon was like something I checked off my bucket list.  I set my sights on other activities like writing and surfing and meditating. 

I'd always admired surfers ability to ride a wave. I don't even care if I'm bad at it, I just want to try to ride a board and if I'm able to stand and ride a wave then all the better. 

I started sitting in my car writing during my lunch breaks and I sent work out. Got rejected. And one of my monologues might get into production. I continue to journal daily, mostly for the sake of my memory and it helps keep me organize my thoughts. I used to use it more often to vent, though now I use it to plan and ask myself insightful questions. Its sort of like a workbook for me. 

I've learned the value of meditating and enjoy doing so everyday. Life is a balance act. I played soccer and I ran with all my heart as a defender and realized how out of shape I've been since I stopped running so I've started cycling and doing the hula hoop again. I signed up for a local mud run. It will keep me motivated to train.