Inspiration from Positive Emotions

positive-emotions

As writers we have an unlimited library, stocked full of emotions to work with. Many of us spent our youth hording a wide array of feelings, the product of years of not letting go of a single memory, a single mistake, a single regret. But also, by not letting go of the good, the great, the wonderful.

Because, even the darkest piece of writing should have a little light.

That light gives it contrast, put things in perspective. That light comes from many of the less thrilling, edgy and sexy emotions; gratitude, serenity, joy, love. The total absence of these emotions is not good for the soul of the story or the writer.

To strengthen the force of characters waist deep in misery, you should be able to create uplifting counter parts. Plots that stretch the limits of human suffering can offer glimpses of humanity underneath. Bleak dystopias could pose challenging questions, asking its characters to redefine their own reality, and challenge ourselves to dig deeper into what we are doing to our world.

Finding inspiration from positive emotions can be, for some writers, a way to step out of their comfort zone. For others, it might mean truly exploring the memories attached to those emotions, their source, and finding new ways to translate into words the relationships and feeling, that are mostly taken for granted in our every day lives.

Are you in touch with your positive emotions? How are they showing in your writing?

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The Window and The Way of a Writer

The Window and The Way of a Writer

“La Ventana y el Camino de una Escritora”…That’s the headline of my interview for Hound Magazine. It captures the essence of the experience and the message I wanted to communicate to its readers; maybe writers like myself or other creatives in need of a little encouragement.

There’s always a window, and there’s always a way.

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The Window: a sneak peek into your true potential. A small win. A step forward. A single decision that opens new possibilities and gives you the confidence to keep going. We don’t always need to find a door, or feel overwhelmed by the search for “The Door”. We can get out through a window, wiggle our way through, open up and share our message with the world.

The Way: a path to follow that makes sense for you, that brings you unbridled joy, lasting happiness and adds value to your life and somebody else’s. The way is a sense of purpose that fuels you. It does not lead to a single point in the future, but to many possibilities. The way, your way, would be getting there doing something you love, focusing on creation, on progress, not perfection.

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Share your progress with me below! & download the houndmag for free 😉

The Power of Collaboration + Comic

The Power of Collaboration + Comic

A Film-Noir Comic has been on my mind for a while. With the chance to participate in the local exhibit ExpoMujer came the opportunity to experiment with that aesthetic, adding it to one of my original narratives.

As is the case with my ongoing bilingual children book series Simona, once again, I needed the assistance of an illustrator, to bring my characters and my vision to life. Gema Ledesma, aka Nanoaoi in Fiverr.com had just the style I was looking for, and the disposition to do it fast. She was highly communicative, responsive and professional. And even though this was a paid service, she was genuinely pleased to work on the project and grateful for the opportunity. Then again, who said collaborations have to be free to be meaningful?

You might be able to do it all. You might be a writer who also draws, and has a handle on graphic design. But if you are like me, and you don’t want to wait until your own skills as an illustrator improve before sharing a story with the world, collaboration is power.

Illustrators all over the world, in platforms like Fiverr, ODesk and others alike, are waiting for meaningful projects; to practice, to test themselves and enjoy the boost of energy that comes from creative work and collaboration.

Collaboration shatters all obstacles to achieving what we want. Collaboration puts things in motion. Collaboration creates connections and sparks inspiration.

That graphic Film-Noir comic will stay in my to-do-list for a while. But “Entrevista con Ella” and the collaborative experience I shared with Nanoaoi, it’s definitely a step forward.

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“Entrevista con Ella”  (Interview with Her) 2017

This is my interpretation of womanhood. It voices the futile aim of “others” to define and confine “us”. Ella believes the word Mujer (woman) is synonymous with humanity. She believes that by excluding themselves from that word, men repress their femininity and weaken the power of their masculinity. None of us should.

“Mujer” carries with it imposed values, roles and beliefs, along unwanted negative connotations. It’s tied up with femininity, pinned against feminism. It’s chained to one human group and gender, when it belongs to all. Mujer is not just mother. Mujer is many things; wants many things. She doesn’t long for a world without Hombre (man) she longs for a world, where we are all intrinsically human, where we are free to be, without one single label, one single story.

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Art, Artists and Vulnerability

Art, Artists and Vulnerability

Two years ago I went to a contemporary art exhibit that featured all sorts of creations, from sculptures, to videos projected on the ceiling, from fashion to a little piece of writing. It was like a page rip from a diary, it was inside a small turquoise frame, on a black pedestal.

I was struck by the simplicity of the piece, and by the audacity of its author. Could that be considered art? Could that have found a place inside a gallery? The answer to both questions was clearly yes! Someone had been brave enough to put it there, someone had thought it communicated a message others would appreciate. I certainly did. I certainly needed it. It steered all sorts of questions within me.

What is holding me back? What is making me believe what I have to say will not be heard? Why am I letting perfection keep me from exposing my message to the world? Why am I letting fear win?

I don’t know the name of the author of the letter inside that frame. I don’t remember what was written on it. But I do remember what I read, what it said to me. It said, “don’t you wait another day”, it also said “vulnerability is not a weakness.”

Art exhibits are explorations inward. They are a wonderful way to get in touch with the power of vulnerability. Every artist, from Picasso to Warhol, from de Beauvoir to King, puts everything she has into a project, a piece of canvas a piece of writing, and then, she lets it go. He puts it out there for everyone to see and judge. He does not hide its flaws.

They all dream and do. With every work they hang on a wall, place on a room, on an open space, print on paper or publish digitally, they expose their vulnerability, they stand for  something greater: self-expression, diversity, bravery and courage.

I want to be one of those daring artists, men and women who stare at fear and vulnerability in the face, and do it anyway.

Coming up, a little about my recent piece “Entrevista con Ella” (Interview with Her) for the Expo Mujer 2017. And my take on womanhood.

 

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Find Your Toughest Critic

Find Your Toughest Critic

I was feeling pretty great about the first draft of my next novel. I had buckled up, and reviewed the whole thing through. Now came the difficult part of showing the work to someone else. For this task, I recruited, for the second time, the assistance of my sister. She had help me make Sweet Abigail a more cohesive story. She had pointed some obvious flaws and areas where the path led nowhere.

I knew she would be supportive, she would begin by saying I had done a good job of coming up with ideas, taking the time to write and sticking with my dream. I also knew she would be brutally honest, and that’s exactly what she was.

After my sister read it, we had our discussion call. We laugh, I jotted down her questions, the gaps that needed filling. And her feedback was clear: “there’s no way this is finished!”

Wow! What a blow…

My sister is one of the toughest critic I have. She has always been. I know I can reach out to her for the perspective I’m missing. When we were younger, she never shied away from criticizing of myself and my style. Now, as adults, her sense of criticism has matured. Now there’s a clear appreciation for I am and do. Now her criticism is constructive.

With her questions and comments, she laid down in front of me an opportunity. To make the story better. To tell the whole story. The story that is still there.The first draft fulfilled its purpose. It was the bare bones. A step forward. A small dose of risk and vulnerability. Now I have to build the muscle, pump more blood into it, more life. Thanks sis!

Now comes the next fun part 😉

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Interview + Photoshoot Recap

Interview + Photoshoot Recap

What got me there?

Being open to serendipity.

You never know when and where an opportunity might present itself. Last year I participated in a script writing workshop that offered me such a moment. There, I met the editor of The Hound Mag, a digital magazine that scouts for local creatives. Out of that came the chance to publish one of my poems in their winter-spring edition (houndmag-enero2017), and now the opportunity to share my journey with its readers.

February 20th: Interview at Arrope (@arrope_riopiedras)

I got dressed and ready for my first magazine interview. I wore my favorite simple black shirt, jeans and boots, hair down, relaxed. I met with Cristina, the copy-editor and reporter for the magazine, at a local coffee shop I love. It was jam-packed with students but I managed to find a parking space and a table. I’m a fan of their coffee concoctions and house blends. I order my favorite “arrope” and sat at a table near the wide windows, to people-watch while I waited. Cristina came ready with lots of interesting questions and I got a chance to do one of the things I love to do most…talk. And we talk about writing, inspiration, fears, goals and everything in between.

I had a lot of fun! and can’t wait to see the final result on the upcoming Hound Mag edition;)

March 3rd: Photoshoot at UMET’s Laboratorio Integrado de Comunicaciones

For my first magazine shoot I went with a pair of jeans, a graphic tee, and black flat shoes. I added my string of faux pearls for a delicate personal touch.

I met with Anto, editor and creative director behind Hound Mag, and he took me to the studio, which I loved. It was somewhat messy, dark and filled with gadgets.

Being in front the camera was tough. Moving feels more comfortable, talking is my thing. Having to stop and pose was difficult at first. But I knew that from a hundred shots, there would be at least a couple he could use and I could be happy with.

Getting my picture taken meant putting myself in a vulnerable position, it meant challenging myself to look past perfection and realizing that the best picture of me would be the most natural, honest and real, not the most perfect.

Opening up, sharing your true thoughts and showing your very human face might feel scary to some, but doing it, jumping over that hurdle and getting over yourself is the only way to finally set your creativity and spirit free.

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When You Don’t Know, Make A List

When You Don’t Know, Make A List

Sometimes, you just have no idea what to write. Nothing is coming to you. Nothing inspires you. The world around you is noise, the time and place are wrong, conditions are not right.

Too many things can interfere with our creativity. Too many distractions and responsibilities can cloud our minds. But we must write. We must get our hands moving, our minds working.

When you don’t know what to write about, or what to do, make a list. Here’s a rapid-fire list of lists you can focus your attention on, to put some of that creative energy in.

  • List the stuff you have to do and the stuff you need to buy.
  • List the ideas that are popping and bouncing around in your mind.
  • List everything you don’t have time for any more (you might remember something you love and must make time to do again).
  • List the books you want/need to read and the favorite passages of the books you’ve read so far this year.
  • List the people you need to thank and the things/opportunities you are grateful for.
  • List the milestones you’ve achieved and the goals your have for yourself this year.
  • List the stuff around the house that need repairs or need to be donated.
  • List the names of places you dream of traveling to.
  • List the most interesting names you’ve ever heard of.

Make one list now and every time your mind needs a buffer to refuel and recharge. Believe me, from some of your lists unexpected ideas will bubbled up to the surface, to unleash your creativity once more. And if any of this fails…blog 😉

Share one of your “buffer” lists with me below!

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