Saturday, April 13, 2013



This is also from an older draft post. I've since been part of a show, an extraordinary experience I still have to blog about but I'd thought I'd still post these earlier thoughts.

I love writing so just having a story out their in print or online and getting commented on I thought was enough but as I was recently told by an actor, when your story is told on stage its a completely different experience because of the interaction between the actors and the audience.

In this play I definitely felt the chemistry. Now and days and even back in the old days it was so hard to make a motion picture. To tell one of our stories would cost thousands of dollars and an experienced Hollywood budget and staff. At CASA 0101 what you need is an idea and some ganas to make your story into a play. And best of all its a community event with a very grass roots feel.

The Secret Lives of Bees



I'm diving into Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. I don't like to be between books for very long.

I found it much of a coincidence that I had heard Sue Monk Kidd's name over three times in one week from three very different sources. My sister lent me some CDs of Sue Monk Kidd's First Light audio book. The second  was in Wayne Dyer's audio CDs on Spitirtual Living. And finally, when I was perusing my brother's bookshelf right next to his infamous political commentary personality I don't want to even mention here, was the The Secret Life of Bees on the bookshelf of my 32 year old brother I asked to borrow the book. A diverse collection of books to say the least.

Still though, I felt compelled to read and I'm immediately taken in.

Fleeting Moments



While in Alaska, my family and I saw an bald eagle soar right above our heads. It made us stop, turn, and gasp a deep breath. Later on that same trip, a brown mother (or father) bear walked in front of our bus as we slowly approached our glacier destination. Everyone got up and raced to the left side of the bus almost trampling over each other to take pictures. Both those times my instincts led me to reach for my camera. I didn't succeed with taking the shots. 

Thirteen, eleven, and eight years ago, a slimy new born baby was placed on my deflated belly and we both stared into each others eyes for the first time. I have to trust that my memory will preserve my memories for me. 

While waiting to board our cruise ship, I took a picture of an ordinary pigeon I saw later that same day to celebrate the ordinary moments. The breath taking moments, I know are irreplaceable and I entrust them to my memory. But among the rare fleeting moments are all the ordinary pigeon moments that I want to stop and recognize as well. 

Moments such as: having a conversation with my sons on our way to school; blessing my sons as they set out to school; kissing my husband goodbye or hello; cooking with my sons or having dinner as a family. Having an ordinary day in an ordinary life and feeling extraordinarily happy about it.

No one goes to Alaska to take a picture of pigeons. I did  because it represented all the ordinary moments in my ordinary life. 

Love Letters To Women

Intimate stories about women from the hearts of men.
I was anticipating seeing this play since I had first heard of it when it's producer and writer X first mentioned on a producing class I attended at Josefina's Workshops. I liked the idea of men confessing the good and bad influences women have been in their lives. And I wanted to see the full cycle of a development of a grassroots play unravel.

From the class it seemed that producing a play is much like planning a wedding. There are plenty of details to watch, and you have to schedule things out months in advance and work backwards to set deadlines such as when the script should be written to the auditioning of actors.

It was nice to see this project in completion. From the workshop, I learned about stuff I never would have considered such as differences between union actors and proper budgeting of the smallest details involved

The writer x, grew up in a household of 5 sisters, and a supportive mother and father. X confesses memorable accounts of small ways his sisters made influential impressions on his life. There were also the ugly stories which they share being screwed over by a woman's infidentality be it a mother, wife, or girlfriend. While the script could have been more polished, it proved to be an entertaining night such as when y and w talk about the same women Martha as an influential person as both aunt and girlfriend.

On the particular night that I went the audience wasn't laughing as much as other shows I attended. My sister, husband, and I were laughing hysterically at parts and I couldn't help to notice the front rows sitting a little stiff. In performance, the other component is the audience and in this case, the audience wasn't pulling its end. I watched them exit and most seemed uptight like they needed a good few drinks before the show or a good laugh.

Cherrie Moraga One Day Writing Workshop

On Saturday, June 26, 2010,  I attended a Writing Workshop Intensive taught by Cherrie Moraga and  Adelina Anthony.

My sister is a big fan so I went even though I have yet to read Cherrie's This Bridge Called My Back, Loving in the War Years, or The Hungry Woman. There's other books but those are the ones I really want to read.

We did several fun writing exercises. I was relieved that we would have a chance to read and share some of our work. We filled a old conference room. There must have been 30 of us. I counted. Some sat on the floor to listen.

I remember a handful of advice Cherrie gave that I committed to memory.

Only you can you do. So don't worry about someone else trying to steal our work because what makes it special is us. We all have different stories to tell from different perspectives, tones, opinions.

Stay humble. Don't let pride or arrogance keep you stuck thinking that you know it all. Stay humble, stay open. Keep learning. I have no problem with this. I know I'm at ground zero.

What I know from my own life experiences though is that you need some degree of self confidence to make it. I've seen plenty of writers of have a hard time putting themselves out there so for me, I stress the need to have confidence.

Even though she's a published author she mentions she's still learning.

Beware of the applause. I was curious to see what Cherrie's opinion would be of an Open Mics. She said it's good but just don't get to used to the clicks of approval. I can see how the need for the open mic audience approval could become addicting and too easy where editors would need to evaluate one's work more harshly. I think open mics or some form of community sharing can really help a struggling writer gain confidence.

Don't throw anything you write out.

You need to keep reading.

Remembering NYC


When I first stepped out of the hotel on a warm and muggy end of May morning. I wanted to go right back in through the revolving doors of the hotel I stayed at and come back out again as I was unexpectedly greeted with the sound of concrete drilling, traffic of local businesses setting up for the day.

At first glance it felt like I flew 4 hours booked a hotel room only to awaken in L.A. Don't hate me New Yorkers. I did end up failing for NYC but it wasn't love at first sight.

I found after the fact that I am not the only one who was shocked to find that NYC is not as glamorous as it appears in Sex N City. I know it's nieve but that's just why I was so surprised by my first impression.

So when did I fall in love with NYC. Days later after waiting in line with hundreds of people of many different ethnic origins waiting in line to see the city from the top of the Empire States building. And after witnessing the Statue of Liberty and learning about the struggles immigrants faced in coming to Ellis Island.

I feel in love with the city that could offer so much hope to so many people then and now. The city's word is definitely seek/achieve that desire to strive and make it. I had a wondrous curiosity for the city and it's people much like the little boy in the photograph staring at the green suited mime. I captured this moment of inquiry and fascination on a hastened walk across the park.

My trip to NYC can not be summed up in one blog .

Advice I Would Give To My Sister...

Advice I Would Give To My Sister...

Every now and then, I come across lessons I have learned through either good advice or lessons I've learned  the hard way through experience. I usually find myself passing them along along to my sister. I don't think she wants to hear my so felt, "Words of Wisdom" but at least I feel I did my part.

Now and days, I'm more inclined to post some new found insight on my blog as a way for me to archive my thoughts and also share any insights with the world. I figure if fate brings them to my page, then the message was meant for them.

So what's my guiding word of wisdom for today. I'm not sure I can dispense of one today. I doesn't feel as easy as it sometimes is for me.

As I'm clearing out my blog posts from saved drafts, I think about why I was holding on to not submitting these posts sooner. What did I think was lacking? I've come to write as if I were talking to my sisters. I think my readers and fellow writers tend to like that best. The casualness and honesty.

So like the cliche goes Just be yourself.

On Living



This is another older post I found saved as a draft. Since I've been logging my journey. I'll post it now. 

After church we had another grueling soccer game. I wasn't completely in my element the second half of the game when I had to block two men who ran quickly past me leaving me quickly behind. 

After the soccer game, we came home to shower and get ready for my nephew's Baptism. It was a good party with a kid's mariachi band that sang. They were young and inexperienced but it made the party memorable. 

We are a good type of busy. In all of this, I am trying to keep myself centered and in good spirits. And I do enjoy it. 

We have a big family so it seems like there is always parties from June to October. There is a difference from oh, I'm chasing my tail to oh, I have a rich life and I am living it to the fullest, working on my dreams, spending time with my family. 

I remember Sunday afternoons, I used to think about having to go to work on Monday. It was sort of a downer. Now it's the pivotal moment of the weekend and I no longer think about Monday on Sunday.

Are you a consumer?



Since when did it become okay to refer to our society as consumers?

I first heard this word "consumer" in the corporate news media. A decade or so ago, I thought I was being smart by using this word when I was referring to my family and I about a certain product we were looking at when I was at the store.

A man looked at me and my kids when I said this and said I got to get away, and then walked away. His wife turned to me and excused him by saying he's been listening too many conspiracy theories and something about Rockefeller. That was several years ago before I knew any better.

Since then, I've become familiar with neuro-linguist programming and I also learned about some of those conspiracy theories that have since begun to show they have valid points. It's as if they are trying to undermine the power of our humanity through the use of that language.

At first, the word consumer was used in business to business speak to refer to "consumers", the customers whether other business or people, of their products. That was just their inside lingo.

However, now this word has made its way into the daily language of society. It's used in phrases such as I consume this drink or that snack so casually.

In his recent address to the nation, President Obama referred to us and himself as consumers several times.
I remember the opening address of John F Kennedy and those words ring sweet to me. "Hello my fellow citizens."

I came across an article in OC Family Magazine that had a casual quote by Rafael Nader as her refers to "the next generation of consumers".

Is this alright with everyone? Am I the only one it bothers?


Walking Into A Chapter of Someone Else's Life



I'm posting now, a series of draft posts I had started and didn't finalize til now. This one I started back in 2010 and here it finally is, three years later.

I was at the San Diego Wild Animal Park today. It was 10 am and the park had just opened.We were making a stop to the restroom when we saw a teenage angry boy with Down Syndrome yell to his mother "Bitch!" He was angry.

She called out to him but it only made him more distressed, and he called out more vulgarities to her. His mom stayed calmed and warned him they would go back home. The teen headed towards the men's bathroom and I could see my own seven year old son hesitate to go in so I called to my son to use the adjacent family restroom.

When my own sons would act up when they were younger, I've had to make the decision to leave events because of their behavior. At theme parks we would make the mistake of stopping by a shop and they would end up crying because they wanted something. I've driven home with my youngest son crying the whole way kicking and screaming because he didn't get the $40 sword he wanted.

The family did go home. I wonder if things got better once they left or if she experienced what I have only with a much bigger son.

We walk into a chapter of someone else's life each time we cross paths. I've come across instances when I just pray for the different families or individuals I see that are going through a difficult chapter or moment.


Boyle Heights Latina Film Extravaganza


On Saturday, March 2, 2012, I was fortunate enough to follow my heart to Boyle Heights to enjoy a day of film at the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival. 

I had never been to a movie festival before and thought of all the ones I'd missed since my calendar was full. But this one I went a lone to. I walked into the new CASA 0101 and bought my tickets for two blocks of movies. I went to be inspired and see all the Latinas in the Film industry from Directors, Producers, Writers. I enjoyed the talk back back after each of the blocks. And I enjoyed that each film had its own message. Some comical and hilarious,
and others sweet and tender.

BHLIFE is a celebration of Latinas, their voices and their visions. The mission of the festival is to build a network of Latina Filmmakers that will draw attention tot the growing number of Latinas working behind the camera. The films of these Latinas constitute a body of work that acts as a powerful statement against the stereotypical portrayals of Latinas on screen.




Mission Statement


The Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza (BHLIFE) is the first

film festival to focus on the works of U.S. Latina directors. The mission of the
festival is to build a network of Latina filmmakers that will draw attention to the growing number of Latinas working behind the camera. The films of these women constitute a body of work that acts as a powerful statement against the stereotypical portrayals of Latinas on screen. The films featured in this year’s festival come from filmmakers representing diverse Latino communities throughout the country and overseas. We are proud to showcase these films here at The New Casa 0101 Theater and include this work as part of the burgeoning artistic renaissance that is developing just east of the Los Angeles River.


After each block crowds headed out of the theater and mingled and browsed the art work in the exhibit. Film supporters and friends came by to see films. Casa's new theater can hold x number of people. Unfortunately, I made plans for Sunday and wasn't able to attend the awards ceremony.



THE 2012 BHLIFE FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS

1. Best Director-  Dir. Iliana Sosa "Child of the Desert"

2. Best Screenwriter- Dir. Cristina Malavenda "Understudy"

3. Best Documentary- Dir. Anayansi Prado "Paraiso For Sale"  

4. Best in Keeping with the Festival Theme- Dir. Debby Wolfe "Gordita"


5. Audience Award- Dir. Kamala Lopez "Ese Beso"


6. Up and Coming Director- Dir. Belinda Salazar- "Barrio MMA"

7. Mujers de Juarez Award- Dir. Jessica McMaunn Macias- "Soleil"


8. Unique Voice- Dir. Sara Martin- "Le Petite Chef"

9.  Promising Filmmaker- Dir. Regina Gomez "Morning After" 


For more information, visit:

http://www.bhlife.org/

facebook/New.BHLIFE

Orange Coast College World Dance Concert


Orange Coast College World Dance Concert

On Friday, May 18, 2012, I attended the unforgettable Orange Coast College World Dance Concert at the OCC Robert B. Moore Theater. This is an annual event I've come to love. For only $10 you are given a ticket that transports you around the world in your very seat.

Last year, I finally made it to the theater in time to catch the introduction of the dancers lined up all along the theater isle as they made their entrance onto the stage. They wore gorgeous elaborate costumes.

Each year the show focuses on different types of regional dances from around the world so its always a different show with something to learn and be dazzled by. The dances are performed by college students and  some college instructors such as Angelika Nemeth and some other professional musician/dancers are invited to perform as well.

I'm looking forward to attending this years event as well which will be coming up in May. I'll post the flyer as soon as I get it.

Storyline Online Makes Stories Come To Life


StorylineOnline.net brings you online reading of colorful rich children's book by well known actors.

One of my favorite books and readings from StorylineOnline.net is No Mirrors In My Nana's House by Ysaye M. Barnwell. It's read by Tia and Tamera Mowry.

StorylineOnline.net reading of There Are No Mirrors In My Nana's house


If you are a parent, educator, or community organizer this is a wonderful site where kids can learn to love reading.




Friday, April 12, 2013

You Can Trust Your Life DVD Set Review

I love Louise Hay! And if you see her video, You Can Trust Your Life, you'll see why. The 4 DVD set is a live taping of Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson talking to an audience during a Hay House Seminar. They are inspiring people that clearly care about others. It's visible in the advice they comfort the people who ask questions, and in the advice the give people. They clearly want them to overcome their limiting beliefs and heal themselves.

Hay House sent me a DVD set of You Can Trust Your Life by Cheryl Richards and Louise Hay for my honest review. I listened to it as I folded laundry, cleaned the house and cooked in an empty house, while the kids and my husband were away at sports. I felt as if I was at a weekend retreat. I had too much to do around the house to just sit with a notebook and blanket and watch the video like I wanted but I still enjoyed it quite a bit and plan to do just that if I ever feel I need some comforting words again.

Some of the topics they covered were mirror work, affirmations, tapping and creating a loving environment both at home and work. Louise Hay gives advice on how to greet your day and how to center yourself when you arrive home so that you intentionally create the life and experiences you want. I like that the DVDs are broken up into different topics. I've gone back to view disc 4 again  to listen to the work related and forgiveness topics again.

It's great to have more than one person up their on stage because then it creates a dialog that we can eavesdrop into as an audience or viewer. I'm familiar with a lot of the concepts already from reading such books as Ekhart Tolle's The Power Of Now and The Secret. But still I find this very interesting because there is always something to learn when you listen to Loiuse Hay or there is something you already knew but need to remember.

I recommend these videos for someone going through a rough time and perhaps can't afford to take a weekend retreat. This DVD set is wonder to cuddle up and watch and be inspired by. It's also good for when you want to break your busyness cycle and recharge.