There are only a few things that need absolutely no explanation to make it to this blog. This is one of them.
Whoever was responsible for finding the proper Spanish-language translation of "Cool Iron" and came up with THIS, deserves nothing but my most humble admiration -and an open invitation to a Happy Hour in New York City, at a bar of his/her choice.
Last week, The New York Times released their list of Notable Children’s Books of 2013. And once again, they failed to include a single title written by or about Latinos. In fact, in the last 10 years only one book featuring a Latino protagonist and written by a Latino author - Marcelo in the Real World written by Francisco X.
Crazy morning…got a call from a client saying that his ad schedule was wrong and that I was to credit him for commercials that ran without authorization. I look at the order and, see that, in fact, he was correct. I thought “chiiin…”, how am I gonna explain this one?” But then again, I started thinking, “how come I’ve never ran across this situation before?” Meanwhile, I’m watching as a chingo of emails are coming in telling me what I need to credit, etc. More stress.
I then broke out the entire file and the contract and, went thru it page by page, and what did I find? That I had actually done everything RIGHT. Thanking God that I didn’t respond to his email right away, I went and made copies and scanned them back to Mr. Cliente and yes! His signatures of approval were on the pages!
His response to me, “you INDEED are right, my BAD!” LOL.
Owning it, the good and bad, are lessons that I’m learning as I channel Inner Chingona and as I start to listen to that voice, that intuition … it’s all about taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and researching these types of things instead of reacting like you’re the one guilty of whatever you are being accused of! Conversely, when I’ve been wrong, instead of the drama, I simply say “I’m sorry”. Sure, I’m embarrassed but I’m finding out that owning up to things is actually very liberating and effective when in the workplace. Not too long ago, I would have reacted screaming and shouting all full of drama…NOW I’m learning to be more proactive versus reactive.
OMG! aaand as I write this, another client whom I go rounds with has just accepted another proposal I sent out! I now see the value of being prepared and putting my ideas together calmly versus all desesperada and rushed…love it! Go Inner Chingona … keep working it!
I am always being asked how to start a blog, there are so many blogging sites now and I chose this particular one because it is very easy to navigate and to get started. I didn’t want the technical stuff to get in the way of my creative flow. Once I get going writing, I can go on and on for hours! The writing part is the fun part, it gets a little harder to learn how to get others to visit your blog once you get it going…I really like this article courtesy of my colegas at LatinaBloggersConnect:
The key ingredient to successful blogging is exposure and expansion. One must be open and willing to trying new things, test it out and see if it would be a good fit for you/your brand.
At this point should have a social presence somewhere and making it work for you. It is crucial to use the social tools that go in line with your message and you will find success.
If you are looking to make your presence known in the social space or are wondering why you are not making more of an impact in the space, these five reasons may be why.
You are nowhere to be found. It is not enough to have accounts on various social channels if you are not using them. If you want people to learn more about you, you need to be present and involved in the conversations going on in the social space.
You aren’t where you should be. If you are serious about blogging, there is no reason for you not to be active on social media. Twitter, FB, G+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You need to provide a place for people to learn more about you/your brand. Create an effective social media footprint by being present
You don’t share the love. One way virtual relationships will get you nowhere. Visit blogs, FB pages, G+ pages and contribute to the conversation.
You don’t share other people’s content/links. It is okay to share the content of others on your social channels. It is the entire reason why social media exists. Share the latest trends, links, etc from your favorite blogs and news sites. Get people to trust your opinion, become a resource.
You think others are going to ‘steal’ your ideas. I have said this time and time again, there is no such thing as competition in this space. Sharing a niche is the only thing you and a fellow blogger have in common. Your views, opinions, etc. are different from that of everyone else. At the end of the blogging day, keeping tabs on what others are doing is not going to bring you the success you are looking for.
For me, blogging is incredibly fun and it is something that I “have” to do … once I get into a writing groove, I can go for hours and hours writing and I have my list of places where I can really get into writing…I need a sturdy table, good natural light, headphones, music, and a little bit of noise and I’m good to go! Blogging, however, takes passion and commitment to gain you the following that you want…so as author Deborah Santana says, “get off your a#% and write”! and get it out there for the world to see and enjoy!
As a member of Lowe's Creative Ideas Network I received gift cards from Lowe’s in order to purchase supplies to complete projects. All opinions are my own.
Each year we decorate the tree and each year I'm not content with the ornaments I have to choose from or the ones available at the store. None of the ornaments are quite what I'm looking for which means I end up looking for unconventional ways to remedy the situation.
A lot of times, we tend to jump into situations and relationships without dealing with what went down in the last ones. This has been how I’ve handled things for many, many years. I’ve promised myself to finally deal with things and, while it may seem like I’m being more distant or uninterested … truth is, I’m extremely focused on getting my ish together. No doubt about it, Inner Chingona has her work cut out for her!
It is so not easy to pick up the pieces of your life and to look at each one for WHAT IT IS…not what you wish it to be, not what you want it to be, not what you’ve told yourself how it is, but to see the good for the good, the bad for the bad, the ugly for the ugly.
Once you start working on your life like this, and you walk thru an ugly truth or unpleasant situation, you really do become humbled. At least I do. I realize that, no, I haven’t been all that and then, thankfully, I am told to be kind with myself, to not beat myself up for the mistakes that I may have made in my life. I have lost count of the times that I’ve been down on myself for one thing or another only to have someone show me how I was able to get thru certain situations and ‘work it’. It’s amazing how easy it is for me to throw myself into the fire for something that I did or didn’t do. What I’m learning is to accept is that it’s important that I build myself back up. Because if I don’t learn how to ‘work it’ for myself emotionally, then it will never be a ‘fair fight’, and that my feelings and emotions will be at the mercy of someone else along with all of their lameass baggage that THEY haven’t dealt with … as if I don’t have enough of my own.
I’ve found that going back to the very basics has really helped me as I put myself back together: hang out with familia and people whom I really trust and who I can have fun with, carve out that all-important ‘me’ time, stay within a learning curve in all aspects of my life, shut the f up sometimes and LISTEN before I react to certain people or situations, have that all-important safe place and person to tell your business to and to keep you in check!
I’ve also been reviewing what projects or goals that I had for myself that got interrupted with all of my personal drama…it is all about closing the circle and finishing up so that I will have room for all of the new goals and plans that I am making for myself. Once I started getting a little of my power back, I tried to get everything done that I couldn’t do when I was in crisis; turns out, for some of these goals, that the timing was off, it was not the right time.
Key to all of this is Inner Chingona timing — which, for me, means that the timeline is not set in stone, that I don’t have to be completely this or that way by a certain time. I found, that by making the committment to work on myself, that I’ve been able to now see the effect of a bunch of small, albeit significant, changes has had with me. The main one that I happily discovered was that, yes, I have great coping skills and have been able to operate and make the necessary changes WHILE crisis was swirling all around me … not easy. The other significant change has been that I’m finally learning how to make boundaries … how far I will or will not go and, more important, how far I will let someone have control of my life power…or not.
Every year on November 11th, I am reminded of how blessed I am to have both my parents in my life, to have both parents who are incredibly sharp of mind, a little slower physically, and, oh so important to our familia. As kids, we Torres used to think that we got November 11th off from school, not because of Veterans Day, but because of Mike & Margaret Torres’ Anniversary!
My familia is by no means perfect but the one thing that we have been given by this union with our parents is STABILITY and PEACE. Who knew that these two things would be soooo important to me? I feel sad for those who have never known this kind of stability: of having to be home at night, having a set bedtime, having to do homework, housework, having to be there for each other, having to take each other into account and to know that your actions WILL affect the family either in a good or a bad way. I may have fought being a part of this concise unit for a time but NOW…there is no greater comfort to me than to know that I can go home to BOTH Mama and Daddy and that my fam continues to be united. Mom and Dad taught us all how to live in PEACE, not to look for trouble, to treat folks right, and to do the right thing WITHOUT turning our backs on each other EVER. While the 5 of us can ‘go there’ and argue with the best of them, the one thing we can never say, nor even imagine, is that we are not speaking to each other. Our entire lives, my parents always taught us that we have to stick together, that we have to be there for our brothers/sisters. In the words of Mike Torres, “Kiss your brother for good brother/Kiss your sister for good sister” LOL.
As I spent this past weekend with my parents literally lying around watching TV and sleeping … Daddy tells me, ‘mija, parece que tu cabello paso por un huracan’, and Mama says, “sorry to laugh, but I hardly ever see your hair so messy!” It’s like we were taking care of each other this weekend and enjoying a peaceful, stable, weekend. I was there when the clock struck midnight on 11-11-13! Love love love love Mike and Margaret Torres and grateful to be able to celebrate 11-11 with them, for them, and for me.
My parents have albums full of pictures that folks have taken of them over the years and this photo is one of my favorite shots of them from the 70′s — Mike & Margaret always worked it, always looked good when they went somewhere. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad, 52 years strong!
Every year, I tell myself that ‘this is the year I’m going to make an altar’ to celebrate my departed loved ones for Dia de Los Muertos! Have I done it yet? No. But I will say that, this holiday, more than any other, has helped me to realize that death is a natural part of life and, by embracing it, I have been able to think of my departed familia, friends, colleagues, and fam friends with a smile on my face celebrating what their life was and what they meant to me versus the scarier Halloween version of death, violence and monsters.
Now when I see these Dia de Los Muertos symbols, I am comforted instead of being scared…here is a small explanation what the event is all about…it’s a great tradition!
Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico and increasingly, in the US, and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
The celebration takes place between October, 31, November 1, and November 2, in connection with the Christian tradition of All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls day.
Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars which include:
Ofrendas: Here’s a great example of my friend Eddie’s altar to Hip Hop:
Calaveritas de Azucar/Sugar Skulls: These are ‘calaveras’ made out of sugar, some of them have the loved one’s name on them. You can find them around this time of the year at festivals and tiendas mexicanas. Pan de Muerto is also very popular and, many times, you’ll find pan de muerto in shapes of bones, etc.
La Calaca refers to the skeleton that is associated with La Muerte…you’ll find it mentioned especially in the Calaveritas de Poesia/Poetry.
Marigolds – the official flowers of Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, flowers that celebrate the lives of the departed. Dating back to Aztec times, it was believed that the scent of the flowers would help lead the dead back to their loved ones here on earth for the day.
Masks are positive symbols which celebrate both death and rebirth! Masks also serve to help one overcome the fear of death and love it that folks bring life to these masks and calaveras! Here is shot of some of my fam at our Dia de Los Muertos/Halloween party last week!
Calaveritas de Poesia/Poems about the departed — some of these are downright hilarious and, here’s one from my colega El Poeta de La Bahia – gracias por contribuir esta calavera Francisco:
Dicen que enamorarse mata…Yo me enamore de la calaca y hoy de su tumba no me saca!
(Translation: It’s said that ‘love kills’…I fell in love with the ‘calaca’ and now I’m stuck in its tomb)
Folks usually display the favorite foods, beverages, and possessions of the departed to celebrate their lives. Altars are located in private homes, and some folks go straight to the cemetery, leave food at the graveside for their departed ones and they’ll straight-up picnic right there at the grave with music and everything.
Feliz Dia de Los Muertos…remembering so many who are with us in spirit: Mama Lupita, Grepi, Gma Hogan, Tios Mundo, Pascual, Willie, Al, Jesse, Ralph, Louie R, Prudencio; Tias Adela, Jenny, Vera, Bea, Alvina, Sylvia Rosa: Cousins Robert, Joe, Freddy, Jennifer T, Martin P, Markie, Joey E; Famfriends, Josefina, Frank G, Rosa, Gabe Sr, Socorro, Gabe Jr., Ralphie, Ralph L, Felipe, Ed S, Joey N, David N, Elvia, Emilia; Godparents Susan, George, Marty, Mary, John, Marina. Send love to your departed ones today and everyday…