Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Viva Mexico!

So my guest essay on Rebecca Walker´s blog on the Huffington Post is up! 
Find it here:
It´s about my psychic teenaged daughter, Carla, whom I´ve written about here. 

Our recent drama with Carla is that she took a giant government test to get a certificate saying she has finished secundaria, or, through ninth grade.  This was necessary because for seventh, eighth and ninth grades she was in private schools that were not part of the Secretaria de Educacion Publica umbrella.  Well, she failed one of the math sections, and as a result, can´t go to high school this year, as technically she is still in middle school.  So she is doing government math tutorials until she takes the test again, and getting used to not going to school. 

While this sounds like a shocking idea to Americans, it is not uncommon here.  I´m not alarmed.  Carla is not a gal to be idle.  She has many jobs riding horses, and then, she has her own horse to take care of.  Plus, this year off gives her time to realize a dream, that of going to high school in the United States of America.  A dream fueled by lots of shows on the Disney channel of kids in US high schools.

My brother Dennis and his lovely wife Margaret in Frederick, Maryland have offered to host Carla for a semester.  So now I have to figure out what kind of red tape I need to cut through to get here registered as a student in the US. 
You know, the ol´ silver lining thing...

Hey, ít´s not only the day that the Mexican Independence celebration starts with the mayor making El Grito at 11 pm in the town´s central square - "Viva Mexico!" it is also the 200th anniversary of Mexico as a free country.  The town of San Miguel de Allende, as well as my fingernails, is awash in red, white and green!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

psychic Carla

Last night, before we went up to the light show on the Parroquia, we had ceviche and Corona at my business - Jasmine Day Spa - and our 15-year old Carla said there was another "entity" in the place.  She saw a little child-like form, no higher than three feet.  

"Ask it to leave," I said.  I´m afraid these beings suck up all the good energy in our place, or scare away business.  Carla went up into the front room and came back.  "I invited it to move on to the next dimension, where it wants to go anyway," Carla said.

Another agent has requested some pages, and Carla feels good about this one.  That´s all I´ll say.  I´m afraid of jinxing things if I blab too much about this agent process. 

Mexican Bicentennial

There are red, white and green flags all over town and a Disney-worthy light show on the face of the Parroquia on weekend nights this month. Welcome to the place to be for the Mexican bicentenial - my home town, San Miguel de Allende.  Last weekend, along with the light show, were a grupero band in their turned-up cowboy hats and some barechested fire jugglers on an opposite stage.  All of this takes place in the Jardin, or town square, accompanied by hamburger sellers, corn-o-the-cob sellers, popcorn vendors.  There are bars on surrounding side streets when the need to have a tequila shot can´t be ignored. 

In the coming week, there will be bullfighting events, equestrian events - my girls will jump in a demonstration competition at Los Senderos - foot races, parades and princesses.  All in all, why would anyone want to be anywhere besides San Miguel de Allende in September? 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


On July 4th, my teenaged girls held little American flags and waved them around for the first time in their lives.  Born here in Mexico, they´ve been to the States several times and think it´s "cool", mostly because my dad makes an after-dinner run to the ice cream shop routine when we visit.

July has been a woefully tourist-light month.  July is usually our biggest month but apparently all the Texans are afraid of driving south.  You might see me selling sno-cones on the street soon.  Or micheladas-to-your-door!  Naked messenger service!  Lack of business does inspire one to think creatively.

There are SOME Americans in town.  They probably flew.   We like Americans-In-Town because they like massage, and they like OUR massages and services and prices.  But not a single one of them walked through our door today and now I think it is because we are spooked.  I did a 90-minute massage in the spa on Sunday and interrupted my work once when I saw my husband standing behind the screen.  But when I went around, there was nobody there.  Yesterday, Carlos saw a girl in a jeans jacket in the same room were I saw "him".  He went in to see what she wanted but there wasn´t anyone there.  Psychic Carla, our 15-year old, is going to check out the situation this afternoon when she returns from her job riding horses.  

I don´t mind ghosts.  I just don´t want them chasing business away. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

manuscript request

So I got a request from a NY agent for the full manuscript to Flirting in Spanish today.  Yeah!  It´s not the one that my psychic daughter predicted would be interested.  News to come...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Go Mexico

Mexico just beat France in World Cup soccer!  Car horns are blasting outside the Jasmine Spa (my business) window and two gringo tourists in golf shorts are taking photos of people in the streets.  

I just sent a query to an agent.  Maybe all the good feeling in the Mexican air will help it arrive with a special Read Me, Love Me vibe.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Beatles doing Shakespeare!

For their end-of-the-year project, I have both my high school and junior high English groups doing different scenes from A Midsummer Night´s Dream. 
To inspire them, I searched YouTube for similar performances and found the Coolest Thing Ever.  I found an old BBC show featuring the Beatles doing the last scene, where the bumbling actors put on The Cruel Death of Pyrams and Thisbe!  Go to this link now!  Or search Beatles - Pyramus and Thisbe on YouTube.

See John Lennon as Thisbe, Paul McCartney as Pyramus (with a P letter sweater), George Harrison as Moonbeam and Ringo Starr as Lion. 

I´m speaking about my memoir at the San Miguel Literary Sala this afternoon, so must get back to work on my talk...

Go Beatles!

Friday, May 28, 2010

May - Time for a Pause

It´s May in San Miguel, which means it´s hot and there is very little business.  Everything comes to a standstill for a minute, and then June happens and kids in the States get out of school and the summer tourists begin to pour into town. 

One year ago, things felt very different. One year ago, due to, or perhaps, promoting the Swine Flu Hysteria, the Mexican government shut down businesses, schools, playgrounds, pools, night clubs...anywhere where people might meet and "spread the disease" or spread the news that the hysteria was invented and furthered by the government, which was my suspicion.  Tourists fled the country, clutching their straw hats and passports.  Doctors met incoming tourists at the airports, when they returned later in June, to inspect them for signs of the flu.  Welcome Foreigner!  Stick out your tongue!  Life was not easy. 

On top of that, our landlord was kidnapped!  I don´t write about kidnappings in Mexico lightly, so let me add right away that he was released a few days later unharmed but lighter in the pocket.  Kidnappings don´t happen to random rich people here.  Rather, it´s like this: In the States when someone wrongs you and you want retribution, you can sue the offending party.  Here, you can kidnap him to let him know that in your opinion he hasn´t been behaving like a very nice fellow.  I guess I want to bust the myth of the Random Kidnappings here in Mexico.  It´s not like that. 

I like this analogy: In the 1920s in America, Al Capone was conducting lawless activities in Chicago.  The rest of the country went about its business.  People went to school, to work, to the lake on weekends.  But the US had a reputation of being a criminal land where all order had been lost.  That´s how it is in Mexico.  People are living their lives, getting haircuts, buying tortillas and watching soccer and drinking Victoria but all anyone hears about is the narcos. 

How did I start talking about kidnappings??  O well, like I said, people are by and large, just living their lives.  Tomorrow my 9-year old nephew, William makes his First Communion so to the church we go, and then to my sister Ann´s house for a mole lunch after. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

OK, so I gave my husband a bum rap yesterday.  Complaining because he wants to HELP; what´s wrong with me?!  Today, he is cleaning the yard!  Tossing out old junk!  Maybe, now that the girls are almost outgrown them, the bicycles will get fixed.  And the remote control for that matter!  I hope this burst of post-graduation energy lasts.

May is always a hot and calm - business-wise - month in San Miguel.  There are a few tourists but not many.  Businesses close for maintenance and to spiff up for the summer crowds.  Life feels darn OK these days.  One year ago, getting through life felt like trying to balance on a crumbling cliff.    Have to go get my kids from Centro Ecuestre Canales where they ride, and hate to interrupt the buzz of a thrumming weed back in a minute.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

These Days

My friend Jody was just here, along with a pile of Northern California gal pals, and I did more eating and drinking than I´ve done in all of 2010.  Fortunately the gals liked our Tae Kwon Do and Zumba classes too.

Carlos doesn´t leave the house at 6:30 a.m. for school any more.  This is taking some getting used to.  I have a system for lunch-making and now he wants to HELP.  Which means get in the way.  Until he learns that Sean likes regular mayonaise; Carla likes chipotle mayo.  Sean likes tuna sandwich; Carla takes her tuna in a plastic tub.  Sigh.

The girls competed in a dressage competition this past weekend.  Sean won First Place on her horse, Andale on Sunday, but the best was how both girls demostrated dedication while practicing for the show and sportsmanship during.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Agent Search Update

A latino chick at a Big New York Agency asked to see my entire manuscript, responding to my query, not too long ago.  Exciting, but only mildly so, as my psychic 15-year old said, "Mom, she´s not the one for you.  She´s not competitive enough."  I have to admit, on the Big Agency website, said agent looked to be about 12 years old. 

Carla, my 15-year old, said a blonde lady would be interested in my book "in about 3 months" which would be about the end of June/beginning of July.  So when the New Young Agent with a Mexican sounding last name didn´t want to represent me, I only thought, OK, next.  Blonde lady, step forward.  I found a blond agent who blogs actually, who I´ve contacted.  I showed Carla her photo, and Carla said, "Oh yeah, that´s her."  Would I jink it if I say her name?  Her initial are JB.

I shall let you all know if and when she replies.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carlos, college graduation

That´s my handsome husband in Bellas Artes on Friday, May 7, 2010, navigating the flight of a pink purse, just before his college graduation.  Carlos is the subject (aside from myself) of my memoir, Flirting in Spanish (formerly Fast Break South).  In the last chapter I say that he is close to starting college
and here he is, finished after five years!  I´m very proud. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ilusion, Prieta Linda, Afrodita, El Vikingo, Marta Veronica
Perigrina, Anguila II, Doña Luche, No Problema
Susanita, Marias III, La Perla and El Capullo

Those are the names of some of the fishing boats we saw around Zihuatenejo and Barra de Potosi.  El Capullo carried us from Z-wah to Playa Las Gatas, where a man emerged from the ocean carrying a mesh bag of oysters, which we bought and ate immediately.  The oyster diver said his name was Flaca-man, because he was so skinny.  He´s the guy in the top photo with the bucket.  You be the judge. 

We vacationed with Carlos´ brother and his family.  That´s Carlos and his brother, Hector and his son waiting to slurp oysters in the other photo.  And me - post-slurp in the other. 

More on the beach later!

Friday, April 23, 2010

English class blog    Please take a look at my Advanced English student´s blog.  The school is called Colegio Multicultural Siglo XXI.  Each week I suggest a theme that they write about.  Check and you´ll see they wrote about Sandra Gulland´s visit, and before that, about what they were going to do over spring vacation.  We write one week and correct the texts the next, so you´ll find some mistakes.  Remember, these are Mexican kids writing in English. 

One kid wrote about his vacation, that he wasn´t going to do anything "and I´m gay."  I told him I thought he was hysterical, and he laughed as well.  I actually think another kid wrote it and signed Diego´s name.  In fun, not as aggression.  Anyway, I like how nobody was offended, and how Diego has enough self-esteem to think the entry was funny.  So I left it. 

Mexican beach
Open the above link QUICK! and see what Miami Herald writer Andres Oppenheimer says about Mexico courting US retirees.   
Going to the beach tomorrow.  My client and friend, Pat, says Barra de Potosi is where all the 60s hippies ended up.  Last year, though, I only observed lots of Mexican families eating mesquite-grilled fresh fish and laying in hammocks oceanside.  We´re part of that group.  I feel pretty good that our 13 and 15-year old girls still think it´s a cool thing to go to the beach with their parents.  The no-frills ambience of Barra de Potosi does allow us to pack lightly - bikini, flip flops, sunscreen. 
My great friend and wonderful author Sandra Gulland visited my high school class on Tuesday and talked about writing Mistress of the Sun and her forthcoming novel, about another of Louis XIV´ mistresses.  I was proud that my students asked thoughtful questions.  Many stayed after the bell to continue to talk to Sandra.
My husband is finished college, yet he still gets up at 4 or 5 in the morning, accustomed to studying.  I think a trip to the beach is just what he needs to readjust his whole way of living after almost 5 years. 
I´m taking index cards, at Sandra´s suggestions, to outline all the scenes of my YA novel, which is retitled, Everybody Is A Star.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Notes from San Miguel in April

Saturday, we went to a Mexican asada or cookout at Centro Ecuestre Canales, where we keep our horses and ride.  First thing noted: a fancy, new double tier grill and sausages and arrachera and a tub of iced beer.  Nothing to complain about there. 

We were invited by Eugenio Canales, who gives my girls their riding lessons.  They are practicing diligently with him these days as there is a dressage competition at his place in mid-May.  The guests were Eugenio´s friends and nephews and his workers, who tack up the horses and keep things clean around the barn, and supposedly their families.  But the guys said their wives preferred to stay home. 

A guy who works with charro horses brought his lariat and showed us how he could jump through  while spinning it.  My 15 year old daughter demanded to be taught how.  As we rolled up tacos of meat and grilled peppers, it began to get dark and the electricity suddenly went out.  One of the caballarangos (ranch-hands) went for his truck to illuminate the party with headlights and music.  He only crashed into one parked car as he rearranged his.

Next, a charro rider (and nephew of the host) called Pollo said he would leave.  Another caballarango said, "If you leave, te voy a echar sillazos."  "Ni modo, ya me voy," Pollo said and headed for the street.  Sure enough, the caballarango, as promised, threw a chair at him.  Then apparently, more chairs flew.  The wind picked up.  Guests grabbed at flying napkins and held onto their beers.  When the lights came back on, it was late and only two horse guys were left. 

Can´t wait for the next Mexican grill.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


M husband just went off to play basketball in Dolores Hidalgo and I´m home alone (this never happens) to blog and lesson plan.  The girls are on a sleepover/campout. 

Update on my memoir:

- About four days ago, an agent asked for the entire manuscript.
- My retired editor pal and mentor doesn´t like the new title, Flirting in Spanish.

that´s all!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Future Shock

I couldn´t do it!  I´ve peeked at Authonomy twice yesterday and once today.  I even reviewed some books!  Now that I´m in three digits, the addiction has a new purer strain.  How can I give it up now?

At least I sent queries to two new agents.  At least I had lunch with my writer pal, Sandra Gulland and we talked about my Young Adult novel and what to do to bring it up to date from 1974 so it´s not considered historical fiction. 

I´m easing off.  I¨m finding balance.

My 15-year old daughter has Sight, as it was called in one of the books I read on Authonomy, or vision or preciense or a connection with other energies and dimensions.  We took a trail ride together yesterday and I said, "Now that I´ve dropped 65 pages from my memoir and changed the title, is it going to be picked up?"  Often, Carla will tell us if we are going to have a good day in our business, Jasmine Day Spa.  Results are 99% accurate.  Sometimes Carla doesn´t feel like looking into the future, but she was game yesterday.

"In about three months, an older blondish lady is going to want your book." 

"Is it going to sell a lot?"


"Will it be made into a movie?"

She was laughing at me and my anxiety by now.  "Yes, but that comes later."

So here it is, her prediction recorded.  We´ll see if anything is happening with my book by the summer.  I will stick to women when I send my agent query letters from now on.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No More Book Stalking

Holy Week in San Miguel.  The banks are closed now until Monday.  Many businesses close on Good Friday, and there are solemn processions through downtown tomorrow, going from churches like the Oratorio and the Parroquia.  San Miguelenses dress as Roman centurians and angelitos and there is a Jesus with a real crown of thorns.  On Sunday, life-sized paper mache Judases hang from rope that goes from the Jardín trees to the police station across Calle San Francisco and are blown up with firecrackers. No fuzzy duckies here. 

My husband said to me today, "For the last month, you´ve been on the computer a lot.  Do you realize that?" 

Sheepish grin.  I´ve got to give up Authonomy, and get back to writing and sending queries to agents.  I´m going to do it.  Today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Writing Life (do I have one?)

First, my short story Picarón was accepted to appear in the second San Miguel anthology.  The first one was called Solamente en San Miguel, and nobody can tell me how many copies sold.  Nonetheless I a happy to be a part of the second.  Editors asked that I translate all words in Spanish, and that was all.  Publish be announced. 

Next, an essay I wrote about my 15-year old daughter being psychic will be published on the Huffington Post some time soon.  It will appear in Rebecca Walker´s blog.  I, along with all other contributors to Rebecca´s anthology, One Big Happy Family, was invited to guest blog about anything having to do with our families.  My essay in the anthology is about being part of a bicultural family.  My essay on her blog talks about how Carla can see auras and feel dead people.  It´s called My Indigo Girl. 

Third, I got a rejection letter for my memoir today from some agent who obviously does too much crack.

Then, I met with my retired Simon and Schuster editor pal, Fred when he was here in February with his lovely and talented-writer wife, Kathy.  I worked up the nerve to ask him to read the entire manuscript and he read it in 24 hours and met me at Starbucks the next morning.  "I could see this being a movie," he said.  "It´s fine.  All you have to do is cut the first 65 pages."  

So I did.  I cut the section that talked about my early life with my basketball coach dad.  My precious words!  Slash.  It did make the memoir much better.  I dropped in a little bit of the info, mostly in the first chapter, and the memoir did not suffer at all the loss of my early life.

Finally, I uploaded my new version onto Authonomy, a Harper Collins site for unpublished books.  It´s been there for about two weeks, and it´s pretty exhausting to keep up.  You have to read and back other people´s books and hope they back yours.  There´s about 5000 books on the site, and the sorry thing takes over your life!  Yet, it´s mesmerizing to get coments and see your book rise through the ranks.  Right now I´m at about 1000 and hoping for three digits!!  It´s a sick addiction.  I think I need a help group. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life in San Miguel today

Today, driving to Celaya, I got the first glimpse of jacarandas, the purple-flowering trees that make half the population of San Miguel run for their Claritin. The jacarandas herald spring in San Miguel de Allende, and they are appearing 2 to 3 weeks late this year because of the intense cold we´ve had.  (Quit harrumphing, all you Canadians.)

The girls have a two week stretch of vacation ahead of them (or is it 3?  The school wasn´t clear.)  So this morning, in celebration of being relaxed, we went to Las Cazuelas in Escobedo for breakfast.  For 40 pesos at Las Cazuelos (less than 4 US dollars), you get to cruise the buffet table offering chiles rellenos, eggs in chile, mole, rice, frijoles, guacamole, bifstek, meatballs and homemade tortillas (see the muchachas making them in the photo) among various other offerings.  While we ate, a band played outside.

In our sala (living room) we have a ceramic all-star wrestler called Mystico.  He has a silver mask and a slot in his shoulder.  In this alcancia (bank) we are, as a family, throwing all of our extra change and bills to be able to go to the beach at the end of April when Carlos finishes college. We call him Mr. Money.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alright already

I´ve been certain that google had taken away this blog´s ability to receive comments and then, lo, I got one.
So I´ll quit all my whining and get back to writing.  Very soon. Bye for now!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shy Barbara Kingsolver

At a Q and A session at the San Miguel Writers Conference yesterday, Barbara Kingsolver said she is the last person in the world who wanted to be famous.  About fame, she said, "I´m sort of afraid of it.  I´m a shy person.  I do not like being on television." 

Kingsolver said that she grew up in Eastern Kentucky where people told stories but frowned upon talking about oneself.   "She´s parading herself around," Kentuckians would comment about anyone who anyone who wished to call attention to herself.  "Imagine how being in front of a public feels to me," Kingsolver noted.  "When I go on book tour," Kingsolver said, "I think, I´m evangelizing for literature."

In the photo is Jody Feagan, founder of the San Miguel Writers Conference, author Barbara Kingsolver and me at a Welcome to San Miguel cocktail party on Friday. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Barbara Kingsolver Talk

"Novels being in a million different places," said Barbara Kingsolver tonight in a keynote address to some 800 people at the San Miguel Writers Conference. Moi, being one of them. Here are some more of the things she said after declaring that Mexico was her favorite country on earth.

- "The novel beings the way a forest begins. One acorn drops in the mud and begins to grow. Then one falls in a stream. Then a mesquite seed drops."
- "All I can do is pay atteniton to what is growing,"

- After talking about all the growth sprouting from the seeds that fall, Kingsolver said, "I will manage this forest. I will make it what I want."

- About literature, she said, "I believe we should expect from literature an immense complexity."

- "It should be a timeless place where we should experience magnifigance."

- "The Lacuna is the most difficult book I have ever written."
- "The Lacuna. I attempted to explore every meaning of that beautiful word. The Lacuna. It can be a tunnel through rock or bone or time."

Then, I must admit , I had to leave to pick up my kids from the equestrian center where they ride. Otherwise I´d be reporting more. But what I heard was great!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

San Miguel Writers Conference

OK, here I am back to writing about writing, although the 2010 San Miguel Writers Conference is big news in town. The word I´ve heard is that more than 600 people have bought tickets to hear Barbara Kingsolver´s address on Friday night. That´s conference-goers and community members.

I myself will be attending all the lectures and workshops that my schedule teaching school and working in our business, Jasmine Day Spa, allow. Next week, I assistant-teach the Teen Writers Workshop with Betsy James. We´ve got 20 teens signed up and will be focusing on science fiction and fantasy this year.

I will be sure NOT to miss my appointments with two, yes, praise be, two agents. One will look at my memoir, to which I still hold the rights even though it´s up on Amazon. The other, an agent for children´s and young adult books, will critique my fledgling Young Adult manuscript. I get 10 minutes with each!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The New Me!

Writing about writing is often fun but I´ve found that what I really want to write about these days is my home town of San Miguel de Allende, in the central highlands of beautiful Mexico. San Miguel is, in Feburary, 2010 still talking about the snow that fell on the town and shone brilliantly on the Picacho Mountains for a full 24 hours before it disappeared, inspiring hordes of town residents to climb the mountain that January 15 to actually touch the cold, white phenomena.

Presently, San Miguel is spiffing up the highways feeding into the town in anticipation of the 2010 bicentenial celebration which will peak around Independence Day in September. On other fronts, the town is settling into being a World Heritage Site, and formalizing plans to bring back the San Miguelada, a wildly popular running of the bulls type of event that was cancelled as being too undignified for a World Heritage Site city. Town fathers have moved the event to a wider street that is a few blocks away from the historically valuable downtown architecture for this coming September. Past events brought in lots of tourist income, from national and foreign visitors, and businesses thrived, so you can imagine local restaurants and business owners are joyous to see its return.

So, that´s today´s report. I´ll be writing about writing AND about San Miguel now, and thus have changed the title of the blog to Sue in San Miguel and I´ve changed my photo to one of me hanging around the horse barn, Centro Ecuestre Canales, where myself and my kids ride horses. And I remain your Latina-wannabe author, reporting on all things local and literary. Or if not all things, at least those things that jazz my world!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I just looked at a book trailer for memoir called Gringa. About growing up white in LA, attracted to Latino culture. Ha! What would I know about that? It´s a nice video that includes recipes involving Fritos.

I figure this is a good opportunity to urge you to view MY book trailer on You Tube. Go to or search Fast Break South or Susan McKinney de Ortega.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

So I dusted off an old TYPEWRITTEN story I found in a drawer. It´s called Picarón. I wrote it almost 18 years ago, and was astonished to find that it held up. Dashing my notion that my writing has improved over the years.

The San Miguel Literary Sala is putting out a second anthology of stories from San Miguel de Allende, so I entered the story. It´s about a guy in his 50s in a Spanish class at El Instituto here in San Miguel. He is generally befuddled to find himself divorced, in Mexico and in a class filled with hungover twenty-somethings.

Hoping it makes the anthology! I´ll find out in February.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I had my class of 8 Mexican high school students read "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D. Salinger last week, and today we discussed it. Since some kids are using English hour to do independent study to help them graduate, I only had three students today, ages 15 and 16. I found it very interesting that none of them got any of the sexual references in the story. All thought the protagonist, Seymour Glass, was a nice guy hanging out with a little girl on a beach.

Then we talked about the bananafish which goes into a hole and gluts itself. Then I read to them, slowly, these lines, He took Sybil´s ankles in his hands and pressed down and forward. The float nosed over the top of a wave. The water soaked Sybil´s blonde hair, but her scream was full of pleasure.

They looked up at me, eyes wide. "Ooooh!"

These are not unsophisticated kids. But they didn´t get the creepy feeling I got reading about Seymour and Sybil on the beach. Maybe it takes being a parent.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Title

UPDate! Sean (my 13-year old readaholic daughter and critic) says Annette is an old-fashioned name and is wierd. APologies to my real-life high school friend, Annette. So I changed the name of my YA to Dear Jules. I´ll live with that for awhile and see how it feels.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

YA entry for San MIguel Writers Conference contest

I sent an entry in to the Meet the Agent contest sponsored by the San Miguel Writers Conference. It was the beginning of my memoir, the one that´s published by moi on Amazon.
Maybe I´ll win and get some decent feedback.

Today I´m going to send the first 12 pages, as I only have 12 pages so far, of the Young Adult novel I started, Dear Annette. I spent most of yesterday working on a one-page synopsis. It required figuring out my plot once and for all. Exhausting but a chore I´m glad I completed.

THE IMPORTANT PART: I asked my readoholic daughter, Sean, aged 13, to look at the synopsis. She tore herself away from Hannah Montana and read it.

"It´s cool," she said.

"Really? You like it?" My heart was doing gleeful little jumps.


Then the commercial was over and Hannah Montana back on and she wouldn´t say more. But I liked what I got.

Off it goes to the annonymous judges today. Wish me suerte.

Happy Birthday Expat Women

Have you ever wondered what it´s like to live in another country? is the site that tells you all about. The site features more than 1000 pages of news and information for women living overseas, and for women, and men for that matter, who might want to. Curious about what it´s like to run a business in another country? Hire domestic help? Buy real estate? is your go-to place. You´ll also find first person stories from women who have made other nations their home.

On January 16, ExpatWomen celebrates its third anniversary of being online. Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Check out the site, and you´ll see why it´s a great resource.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Hardest Part

I´m trying to write a synopsis for my Young Adult novel Dear Annette, to submit with my first twelve pages to the Meet The Children´s Books Agent competition for the San Miguel Writers Conference, which means of course, I have to know Where the Story Is Going!

It´s hard.

I have lots of great scenes but an airtight plot? hahahahahahahaha

Back to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

teen diary entry contest

First of all, I have to say that I thought I posted the link to my book trailer over there to the left, but it´s a live, moving thing. And I´m a techno-idiot. Lots of other book trailers seem to be coming up but I haven´t caught mine. O well. Featuring book trailers is not a bad thing.

So I entered Nathan Bransford´s Teen Diary entry contest. 500 words or less. I sent in a section from Dear Annette, about the author´s attempt to show off her Puerto Rican accent in Spanish class, and about her mother being a Welcome Wagon hostess, which I think is hysterical. My mom did that for about 15 minutes in 1974. Then I think she found she lacked a required perkiness, and quit. The fictional mom is going to hang in there for awhile.

Anyway, sent the entry in and realized two horrible spelling mistakes. One in Spanish. Horror.
Me, of all people. Me, who has been speaking decent Spanish for more than 15 years.


Maybe he won´t notice.