Category: Messi

WIFYR and in between packet lull (???)

Hi! I can’t believe I made it to the end of semester 1 in one piece.

 I crawled to the end of the school year. My poor children. On the very last day Joaquin said he had no clean uniform, so he was just going to wear street clothes because what is the worst that could happen? So he wore street clothes, and nothing happened, and then I spend the next four days doing laundry (the last time I did laundry, by the way, so I guess I’ll spend the next four days doing laundry again). But I finished and I’m so happy with my progress. Not only did I submit my packet, my end of semester materials, but also my short stories and poems that I wrote for Imagine Learning, and revisions for my agent. I’m still letting the revisions simmer before I turn them in to her to make sure they make sense and it’s not all just a figment of my imagination 🙂

This week I’m attending WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers) which is one of my two favorite writers’ conferences ever. It’s the first one I ever attended, seven years ago when I started getting serious about being a writer, when I had a couple of manuscripts and wanted to learn what to do to make them readable and publishable. Those two will never see the light of day, but how grateful I am that I wrote them. That conference I met Martine Leavitt for the first time and my life changed forever. Dandi Daley Mackall was the keynote speaker, and I remember her telling a story about a person who goes to Heaven in her dream and visits the Library. The walls of the enormous building covered with books, and yet, so many people wrote and wrote. An angel told her they wrote spiritually the books that were needed on Earth, and that they were just waiting for writers to sit down, get the inspiration sent from Heaven, and put into paper the books the world was waiting for so desperately. I’ve always loved that image of my stories just waiting for me to listen so they can be born.
Yesterday at WIFYR, Julie Berry (THE Julie Berry) spoke about the four pillars of her writing journey: commitment, believing, love, and listening.
She said it’s the writers’ duty to sit down and listen, and put the gift of inspiration down on paper. Later ugly first drafts will get cleaned up and polished on revision, but if stop listening, noticing, and writing, there will be nothing to clean up, no creation.
 Yesterday Argentina played in Copa America against our rivals and brothers the Uruguay team. What a difficult game! So ugly and thick! So dense and violent. But there were the usual bursts of brilliance by my favorite guy, Leo Messi. We ended up winning, and later my husband posted this Messi quote on Facebook;

I don’t intend to be an overnight success, although this semester I had a wonderful shower of good news (writing on commission, the New Visions Honor, my brand new agent), surviving semester 1 at VCFA. It was just a coincidence that my plants all sprouted at the same time, after years of work and commitment, believing, loving, and listening. But I still have so much to grow as a writer. My plants still need watering and nurturing and work.

So my kids are still sleeping and I woke up earlier than I have in a long time to have some quiet  writing time, and I feel better than ever. Especially because there will be more amazing classes in the afternoon. If you’re attending WIFYR, come say hello! I love meeting new friends.

Mother’s Day Week deluge of happy news

I’ll be studying here this summer!

I’ve heard people say that overnight success takes years in the making. These past few weeks I had an a torrent of good news that left me reeling for breath. How I love that word, reeling! Since I started writing seriously, I had the goal of finding a literary agent that would love my work so much, they’d be passionate to share it with the world. I queried two books. The first one I queried a few years ago wasn’t ready to go into the world. I had a great reception for the query and the first chapter (I even won the First Chapter Contest at Storymakers!), but ultimately, I didn’t find representation. I kept writing, and learning, and attending conferences, and getting up at 4 in the morning to get some quiet writing time, and submitting, and critiquing, and receiving critiques, and  writing some more. Writing and reading every day, all the time. Last year I started querying THE REEL WISH, my Latina Irish dancer novel. I had a great request rate too. I had dozens of full manuscripts being considered by agents. A wonderful agent even called me and suggested that

I earn the silver medal for the Honor! Isn’t it
a gorgeous design?

I revise and resubmit. I did. I wrote a different book: ON THESE MAGIC SHORES. I submitted that book to Lee and Low’s New Vision Award. I started my MFA program at VCFA. I found out I was a finalist for the New Visions. I received two offers of representation in the same week! And then another one. I sent a crazy query to a new agent that felt like a perfect match. Twenty-four hours later she offered representation. I found out I won the New Vision Award Honor. I found out I was accepted to the summer residency in Bath Spa. I could finally announce that I’m now represented by Linda Camacho from the Prospect Agency!
Again, I’m reeling with happiness and gratitude! And then on Tuesday, Barcelona won 3-0 against Bayern Munich, and Messi did this!

Isn’t it a work of art? And then I found some audio from Polanco, one of my favorite ESPN commentators. Even if you don’t understand the language, the emotion with which he talks about this goal reflects how I feel about signing with an agent, winning the Honor, and making it into Bath Spa!

My dear friends, my cup runneth over. I’m so humbled by all the words of support during these years trying to achieve these goals! I expect many trials ahead. My road in this writing career is just starting! I’m so excited to keep working and writing books and sharing my stories with the world. I only have a tiny Mother’s Day wish: to be able to call my mom and tell her my wonderful news. I can’t do that anymore. I just hope that she’s smiling in Heaven, celebrating these goals that are also hers. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women who make this world a wonderful place and who made these dreams of mine come true!

Speed dating and the reckoning

Before I left for Vermont, baby Hulk was sick for weeks and weeks. Nothing serious (except a scary bout of bronchitis and two series of antibiotics for ear infections), but it was still wrecking and heartbreaking to see him struggle for so many days. I stayed healthy through it all, thankfully. Of course my time of reckoning came the day I was headed to my first residency. I used my essential oils and all the over-the-counter medicine I could think of to keep the beast at bay, but today laringitis caught up with me. Not being able to talk hasn’t stopped me from talking, which hasn’t been helping me recover as fast as I’ve wanted. So tonight, I opted to take a break and stay in my room to rest and give my body the chance to heal. I didn’t want to miss the faculty or class readings at night, but I don’t want to miss any lectures or workshops tomorrow or the day after either, so I chose to rest. It’s been good. Sometimes it’s good to disconnect from everyone and rest the body and mind.

Of course once my roommate came in for the night we stayed talking until super late, but that’s part of the experience, right?
The two lectures today by An Na and Martine Leavitt were amazing and energizing. I can’t wait to implement heir advise! 
Tonight I’m posting a picture of my lovely roommate (with her permission, of course). 
PS: I had just found out Messi didn’t win the Ballon D’or so I wasn’t the happiest duck in the pond. I’m a little better now. Did you now the last time Messi wasn’t a top three finalist he was still in his teens?

A True Gentleman

The last couple of weeks haven’t been good for us, Barça fans. We lost the first game against Chelsea for the Champions League Semi-final; we lost El Clasico and almost all hopes for La Liga to Real Madrid, and we tied on the second game against Chelsea, losing our spot on the finals. Messi missed a penalty kick (he’s human after all), and the tie left us a taste of defeat. Last Friday came the last straw, when I woke up to the sad news of Pep Guardiola’s decision of resigning as the coach of the first team.

I could see it coming, but I’m a Saggitarious! I always keep a glimmer of hope (proof is, I still think we still have a shot at La Liga 🙂

Pep cited exhaustion as the main reason behind his decision. He gave his all to the team in these last four wonderful years. He’s empty now. He has nothing left to give. Like someone mentioned on twitter, the guy aged ten years in the last four!

I just wanted to say thank you, Pep, for the leadership. Thank you for the example of ultimate sportsmanship. I hope that throughout their lives, my children may have the priviledge of having leaders such as Guardiola, who respect their principles beyond any score or title, who never stop demanding but the best, who believe there’s always one more goal to achieve.

Pep, you have inspired me beyond words. And I will miss you every weekend, directing and comandeering the best futbol team that has ever existed. Because of course, Barça without Xavi and Iniesta, Puyo and Messi would never be the same. Barcelona without Pep won’t be the same, but life continues. The mark of the leader is more noticeable when they’re gone. I know Pep’s legacy will extend for years, if not ever. I’ll certainly remember him always.

 Best Strategist Ever. He knew where the magic was needed. 
No, he’s not a top model. He’s The Gentleman of the most beautiful game of the world.

THIS is why I love it so much

Today Barcelona added another trophy to their already cluttered collection. I celebrated each goal (Iniesta1, Messi 2) and protested after each foul by the Real Madrid players in the same way as if I were at the stadium. Good thing my husband’s out of town 🙂

I’m still in a daze for finally seeing Cesc Fabregas wearing the blaugrana jersey of the first team (doesn’t he look awesome? He’s the first from the right). My happiness turned into outrage when Marcelo tackled Cesc at the end of the game.

The fight that followed the infraction for which a red wasn’t enough, and Ozil’s and Villa’s red cards for punching each other are nothing compared to what when Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho did. He attacked the Barcelona assistant coach, Vilanova, and then laughed about it.

I love the goals and celebration, but I hate the violence. Violence in the field creates violence in the stands.

In spite of all of that, my favorite part, and the reason I love futbol so much, is shown at the 1 minute mark of the following video. Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid 20, is outraged, and fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano tries to calm him down. Mascherano is Barcelona’s 14. The thing that I love the most is that in spite of belonging to rival teams, the Montegue and Capulets of the futbol world, these two guys belong to a team that takes precedence over the team they work at. They’re both part of the Argentine National team and they look after one another. A few seconds into the video, I saw Barcelona’s Dani Alves comforting fellow Brazilian, the Merengue Kaka. Same thing. They’re Brazilians and friends first. The rivalry comes last.

Of course, someone may argue that in both teams that are several Spanish National team players that hate each other, but that’s another argument. For the most part, the futbol players in this match avoided aggression and protected their friends, disregarding the jersey they were wearing at the time.

Futbol is passion but it’s also a brotherhood. And I love it.