Friday, December 14, 2012

Birthday Colorstrology

I recently came across a book that pairs your birthday with a color and gave it a go for fun. Here's my color and what it says about me:


Colorstrology creates a personal color for every day of the year that embodies certain characteristics and qualities that help you to understand yourself and navigate the world that surrounds you.

According to Michele Bernhardt, "Your birthday color may or may not be your favorite color, but it is a color designed to nurture the real you to recognize, celebrate and honor your own TRUE COLORS. While your color preferences may change as you evolve, your birthday color remains constant."

To learn more about Colorstrology you can read "What Your Birthday Color Says About You" by Michele Bernhardt or visit www.colorstrology.com.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

Between moving, the holidays and getting a promotion at work things have been a bit hectic so please forgive my absence and enjoy some links to the most interesting news I've seen all recently.

Triple spiral, celtic triskele is sometimes called the spiral of life.
It was found in Newgrange site in Bronze age (or older) Ireland.
 It remained in Celtic art for 3,000 years.
Celts believed all life moved in eternal cycles,
regenerating at each point.
 All important things came in three phases:
birth, death and rebirth. Mind, body & spirit.
Slate curated a list of The Overlooked Books of 2012, which mentions both, I Am an Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran and Monstress by Lysley Tenorio that are worth a look.

Readers interested in Machismo and Mexico might take a look at ALMOST NEVER. By Daniel Sada featured in the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 list. You can find more good reads with “Best of” lists created by NPR,Publishers WeeklyEsquireHuffPo and The Guardian

Deadspin made me laugh with their The Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.

Women, social roles, and the intellectual situation. Whoosh!

Publishing's lack of Latino Literature put on blast here. But perhaps it's just a matter of awareness and accessibility  Blogger Mary Ann Reilly has curated an awe inspiring list of Latino/a Books for Elementary Children, see part 1, part 2, part 3. Nicely done, folks!

I am super excited about the Future of Consumer Intelligence conference I am working, not only do I get to head back to San Francisco but I get to hangout with some of the brightest minds who are shaping the high-technology revolution as it intersects with marketing and business opportunities for the future.

Speaking of mind melds, Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brain.

Mother Jones shines a light on sexism within the video game industry.

This etymology of the C-word makes me reconsider my hatred of it.

The perfect books to gift for the Holidays: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla and This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz.

I love that Maria Popova, the mastermind of the Brain Pickings blog, was featured in the Times.

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for 2013 is now open for submissions.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative is asking some well-crafted questions of this kind in a survey I’d urge you to fill out.

A new initiative is focusing on libraries around the world as centers of social and economic change.



Monday, December 03, 2012

New Book: The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir By Domingo Martinez

Don't miss this book by Domingo Martinez. He is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee and a Finalist for 2012 National Book Award.

A lyrical and authentic book that recounts the story of a border-town family in Brownsville, Texas in the 1980's, as each member of the family desperately tries to assimilate and escape life on the border to become "real" Americans, even at the expense of their shared family history. This is really un-mined territory in the memoir genre that gives in-depth insight into a previously unexplored corner of America.

Listen to Martinez read from The Boy Kings of Texas

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Uniqlo Designs an Interactive Tilt-Shift Calendar

I don't really understand what this does or its value but it's super creative and interactive: "Uniqlo have a new weather calendar site the tells you the weather where you are in tilt-shift miniature." See more cool and creative websites everyday at Awwwards.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Book: Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit by J.R. Martinez

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit is the inspiring true story of actor, motivational speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier, J.R. Martinez. Full of Heart chronicles Martinez's incredible, and uniquely American journey through poverty, hardship, and tragedy, to his rise as a hero and media darling.

The inspiring true story of actor, motivational speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier, J.R. Martinez, Full of Heart chronicles Martinez's incredible, and uniquely American journey through poverty, hardship, and tragedy, to his rise as a hero and media darling.

Full of Heart is an intimate and inspirational chronicle of J.R. Martinez's life story. Martinez recounts his childhood in the South as the son of a single mother, a Salvadoran immigrant struggling to make ends meet. At the age of 17-showing the determination and drive that would become his trademark-Martinez convinced his mom to move to Georgia, where Martinez believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. 

But when Martinez's football dreams collapsed and he didn't have the financial resources or grades to attend college, he turned to the U.S. Army and soon found himself serving in Iraq.

In April 2003, at 19 years old, Martinez's Humvee hit a landmine and he suffered severe smoke inhalation and disfiguring burns to over 40 percent of his body. Martinez was sent to the Army Burn Center in San Antonio, where he spent the next 34 months in grueling recovery. During this time, Martinez shared his experiences with other patients and listened to theirs. 

His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto Martinez's inspiring personality, leading to a career as a popular motivational speaker, daytime television star, and Dancing with the Stars contestant.

Full of Heart is Martinez's entire and yet untold story-one that will attract his large fan base, as well as the many others who will find both his life and story utterly accessible and appealing. Martinez's memoir of triumphing over extraordinary obstacles through pure resilience, optimism, and strength of spirit will inspire legions of people.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Book: Reaching for the Stars By José M. Hernández

In Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut, José M. Hernández tells offers his very own narrative on becoming the first Mexican-American astronaut in the history of the space program.

Born into a family of migrant workers, toiling in the fields by the age of six, Jose M. Hernàndez dreamed of traveling through the night skies on a rocket ship. REACHING FOR THE STARS is the inspiring story of how he realized that dream, becoming the first Mexican-American astronaut. 
Hernàndez didn't speak English till he was 12, and his peers often joined gangs, or skipped school. And yet, by his twenties he was part of an elite team helping develop technology for the early detection of breast cancer. He was turned down by NASA eleven times on his long journey to donning that famous orange space suit.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

I've been sitting on several chapters of my unpublished, unfinished novel for years now. It's been so long that I've had to transfer the lengthy file to a new computer every couple of years to assure it's safety.

I was envision this, from here
Two months ago, I moved to a larger apartment where I now have my very own study/boudoir, which serves as my library and dressing room. My boyfriend jokingly refers to it as my "Lady Room" the foil to his "Man Cave."

Before I moved in, I had visions of hours-long writing stints surrounded my by art, books, and lovely things but in reality, I've had little time to spend in there at all. It came to me that perhaps the best bet to finish my book would be during a pregnancy - giving birth in more ways than one.

It's gotten to the point where I now have THREE great ideas for a book: one fictional and two, nonfiction. The latter two are no more than aspirational concepts and sometimes I wonder if I should just go ahead and query an agent now and worry about completing all three later but then I reign myself in. I want or need the timing, no, everything to be right because I know each one will be a success.

This is an outline J.K Rowling used while writing.
Since it's National Novel Writing Month, I've seen a lot recently on getting that book finished or published. Some of the articles like this one on how to use an Excel Spreadsheet to outline your novel  or Designing your story with the use of a snowflake fractal, I'll be quite honest, simply turn my stomach.

Is that really the best way to write a book? Is there a recipe, blueprint, secret sauce to doing this and doing it repeatedly? I remember reading this article on James Patterson's formula and thinking, well, that's one way to do it.

I've gotten in the (very bad) habit of just being in the mercy of my muse. When she beckons I follow, for hours if need be and when she doesn't, I let her be and I know that's probably not the best way to get where I want to go.

On a walk home recently, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be grand if I could write and publish a book every year for the rest of my life. I think back to the all the teachers and supporters who thought I would be a published author before I hit twenty sometimes and I feel as if I have failed in some way. I know I haven't but  we all deal with our little doubts and demons.

I know am not the only creative person out there with ideas and projects everywhere and no time to bring them into being. How do you deal with this sort of thing? Do you have any advice for me?


Friday, November 16, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

A list of cool things I read, observed, and collected all week for you:

- How Yunior's Narrative In 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' Acts As An Archival History via HuffPo

- Social Media in 2013


 I wrote these three posts recently elsewhere:

I’m Not A “Girl Gamer:” How the Launch Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Won Me Over 

How to Breakthrough Creative Road Blocks? The Oblique Strategies App

What Happens to a Cashless Society During an Event Like Hurricane Sandy?

- How to make Molten Dulce de Leche Cakes via BonAppetit

- Speaking of Dulce: Don't miss your chance to 'Send an Abrazo with Nestle' via Facebook on behalf of Nestlé ® Abuelita ™  and receive a Nestle Abuelita Kit w/ Coffee Mug & Samples *1st 500 for Next 9 Weeks - Starts Mondays at 1pm EST. Enter here.

- Check out Esta Vida Boricua [This Puerto Rican Life]. Esta Vida Boricua is a digital life-narrative installation, spoken history archive, and public performance space, which focuses on the ancestral stories of Puerto Rico and its diaspora.

- Help promote Las Comadres' first book, Count on Me, essays on fierce friendship by Latin@ authors. If you'd like to participate in upcoming book tour send an email to info@condorbook.com, by this Sunday Nov 18th!

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico released a new 42-track compilation, the Greatest Christmas Hits of The Last Half Century – Patria, Tradicion & Navidad. Go to iTunes.

- How Doritos were invented via Getthefive


Thursday, November 15, 2012

NYC: Comite Noviembre's First Annual Book Expo & Artisan Fair this Weekend


You are cordially invited to participate in Comite Noviembre's First Annual Book Expo to take place at Comite Noviembre's Artisan Fair. The artisan fair is the largest Puerto Rican artisan fair in the US!!! FREE to the public!  Taking place Saturday, November 17, 2012, at Hostos Community College!

The Artisan Fair & Exhibit was established in 2006, in celebration of Comité Noviembre's, 20th anniversary. Over 50 artesanos puertorriqueños from throughout the US and Puerto Rico participated and the event boasted an attendance of over 5000 people in this very first Fair. 

The Book Expo will add more culture to an already established tradition in the NY Boricua community. The Expo take place at the bridge that spans the Grand Concourse on the 2nd floor, adjacent to the gym where the majority of the artisans will be set up. RSVP here.



Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Sparrow, Don't Make Your Home Out in the Snow

Last week, we came home to discover a little sparrow had someone gotten trapped in our house. Our Siamese kitty was quite distraught at the intruder, who had wisely taken refuge behind a tall dresser in our bedroom.

The extremely strange thing about our little visitor was that we had no idea how he found his way in the house. We discovered him after Hurricane Sandy but one day before the Nor'Easter and all of our windows were locked and closed. We thought perhaps he might have found his way in through small openings within the house and in through the radiator and such but really we haven't a clue.

After much shooing and waving our hands at the poor frightened fellow, we managed to persuade him out the window before Kitty took matters into her own hands.

I couldn't help thinking of the The Bird Omen Wives Tale which perceives this sort of visit to be a harbinger of very bad luck but I found it interesting that some think of this as a sign of good luck too.

 What would you say?

 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops


- A list of Brave Thinkers - 2012 The Atlantic edition.

- Anaïs Nin on Embracing the Unfamiliar and Encouraging Minority Writers via Brainpickings

- Puerto Ricans voted Tuesday to change their relationship with the United States and become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum that would require final approval from Congress. More via the Daily Dot

- Argo And The Trouble With Hollywood Logic via Racialicious

- Preview Cuban Post-Apocalyptic Cannibalism Drama 'Los Desastres De La Guerra' ('Disasters Of War') via Indiewire

- Book Shopping with the Best-Read Man in America via the Paris Review

- Sensitive Souls: Creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers particularly susceptible, according to a study of more than a million people. via the BBC

- The Economist looks at one way in which 3D printing could improve the everyday lives of people in poor countries here.

- Dunkin' Donuts has launched a free, customized music shop tab on the Dunkin' Donuts Facebook page (http://umusic.ly/DDMusic), allowing fans a complimentary download (while supplies last) from among 10 pre-selected tracks from this year's hottest nominees of Latin music's big night, Noche de Estrellas.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Amsterdam Travelogue:

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, Netherlands, for over a week. It was a rough week, my mom had been hospitalized the week before and I was there for a conference so I had no choice but to carry on. However, I still managed to walk around and see a few of the great sights of the historic town.

I would definitely say the trip was worth it just for the food. Whomever, said Dutch food wasn't great, was so wrong! The cheese and the butter alone were unlike any thing I have ever tasted. Every place we went to eat served fresh food so expect a little bit of a wait at your table but the food will reward your patience. Also most shops and restaurants have resident cats so don't be surprised if one stops by your table while your dining.

While there you must try the pannenkoeken or pancakes, they have almost every kind imaginable. I tried banana, bacon pancakes and ended up going to the supermarket to buy my own jar of suikerstroop or molasses which is used as the pancake syrup. Stroopwafels, or thin waffles sandwiched among cinnamon-spiced syrup, make excellent souvenirs to bring back home and you can purchase them pretty cheaply at the Albert Heijn's local supermarkets, for 1-2 Euros or 3-4 for a cute tin.

The frites or fries are pretty popular and are served with mayo but they're pretty heavy so I advise you think of your tummy beforehand. Bitterballen (deep fried croquettes), were new for me, but quickly became a favorite snack, especially the curry flavored ones at the Hilton Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is lovely for walking but not much for shopping. Most of the things I wanted to bring home were hard to although I did buy Gouda cheese and flower bulbs in the airport to bring home - make sure you get the kind that have a certificate of inspection sticker on them.

My neatest finds were at the Waterlooplein Markt, one of Amsterdam's centrally located Flea Markets. I purchased an awesome vintage metal box and a sitting Buddha statue for 35 Euros.

One of the coolest shops I visited had a really wide selection of Asian art notebooks and other chatkies that I had to resist buying. The Asian Spirit shop has a website here and I can't visit it without feeling regret over not getting notebooks to bring back.

If you are there for a few days, you might want to check out Stuff Dutch People Like because it will make you laugh. It's funny because I got a real sense of New York's Dutch roots and also the influence of the Dutch within Caribbean culture. One of my favorite breakfast foods there were the delicious cod fritters, which reminded me of my mom's bacalaitos.

Another thing that really impressed me was the diversity and open acceptance of other cultures and peoples, it was unlike anything I've experienced in Europe or even New York. On the flight home, I ended up sitting next to an ex-patriot who now teaches journalism and film in Amsterdam. The crazy part of this was that he attended my alma matter, Hunter College, and grew up in the same town in New Jersey, as my boyfriend. The world is a small place my friends - a small but wonderful place.

Now about my box? Should I clean it or try to polish it up? I have a suspicion it's a gun box but that key is way too pretty. What do you think it was used for?

 

Read more my Travelogue from Zurich, Switzerland here and check out Marisel Vera's blog about her travels in Zurich.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Forward

Siempre Pa'lante, nunca para a'tras.

Rafael Lopez

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Book: Acting White? Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

I don't know about the Post-Racial part but this one is for all the kids (like me) who've ever been called "coconut," "oreo," "apple" or "banana."


Acting White? : Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

In Acting White, Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that racial judgments are often based not just on skin color, but on how a person conforms to behavior stereotypically associated with a certain race. Specifically, people judge racial minorities on how they "perform" their race. That includes the clothes they wear, how they style their hair, the institutions with which they affiliate, their racial politics, the people they befriend, date or marry, where they live, how they speak, and their outward mannerisms and demeanor. 


Employing these cues, decision-makers decide not simply whether a person is black but the degree to which she or he is so. Relying on numerous examples from the workplace, higher education, and police interactions, the authors demonstrate that, for African Americans, the costs of "acting black" are high. This creates pressures for blacks to "act white." 


But, as the authors point out, "acting white" has costs as well. Written in an easy style that is non-doctrinaire and provocative, the book makes complex concepts both accessible and interesting. Whether you agree and disagree with Acting White, the book will challenge your assumptions and make you think about racial prejudice from a fresh vantage point.


Devon Carbado is Associate Dean at the UCLA School of Law and Professor of Law and African American Studies. Mitiu Gulati is Professor of Law at Duke University.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sign up: Hispanic Heritage Month Prize Pack Giveaway

Hispanic Heritage Month ends today but I encourage you to celebrate the contributions, leadership, and culture of Latinos everywhere throughout the year.

Please enter below to win 1 of 2 prize packages, which includes a For Greater Glory DVD, starring Peter O'Toole, Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria, a Safe House DVD, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, and an ARC of Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships by Las Comadres Para Las Americas and Adriana V Lopez.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Wanton Life


The Wanton Life, from My Nature is Hunger by Luis J. Rodriguez (Selected Poem)


About Luis J. Rodríguez:

Rodríguez is a poet, journalist, memoirist, children’s book writer, short story writer, and novelist whose documentation of urban and Mexican immigrant life has made him one of the most prominent modern Chicano literary voices. He is perhaps best known for his memoir Always Running (1993), a powerful account of his time spent in Los Angeles–area gangs in the 1960s and ’70s. One of Rodríguez’s primary concerns as a writer continues to be the experience of poor immigrants in US cities, a theme reflected in his novels and children’s books as well as first-person accounts.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

English: Black Hispanic and Latino Americans
Black Hispanic and Latino Americans (Photo: Wikipedia)
- 10 Essential Books for Book Nerds via Flavorwire

- Junot Diaz is killing it! National Book Award Finalists Announced here

- National Reading Group Month: Great Group Reads List announced here.

- Speaking of great reads and Hispanic Heritage: Here's my  Epic List: 105 Books to Read By Latinos

- Will whites see a black indie film like “Middle of Nowhere”? via Salon


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How Not to Suck at Social Media

This cute little Youtube video, a guide to not sucking at Instagram, shares the fundamentals of social media sharing done right:



Monday, October 01, 2012

New Book: Have You Seen Marie? By Sandra Cisneros


The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman’s search for a cat who goes missing in the wake of her mother’s death. 


Have You Seen Marie? By Sandra Cisneros: The word “orphan” might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” 

What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, who ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. 

As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, “Have you seen Marie?” the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. 

With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author’s storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.


Sandra Cisneros firmando el libro de visitas d...
Sandra Cisneros firmando el libro de visitas de la Feria. (Photo Embajada de EEUU, Buenos Aires)
Sandra Cisneros is the author of two highly celebrated novels, The House on Mango Street and Caramelo. Her awards include National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Other books include the story collection Woman Hollering Creek; two books of poetry; and two books of children's literature. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Cisneros is the founder of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral and Macondo Foundations, which serve creative writers.

Ester Hernández is an internationally acclaimed visual artist whose work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. She lives in San Francisco.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Immersive Culture



Monday, September 24, 2012

New Book: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity by Lorena Garcia

If you've ever wondered if Latina girls are doomed to a sexually stigmatized life, you might want to read this new study, Protect Yourself, Respect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity, from Lorena Garcia, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

While Latina girls have high teen birth rates and are at increasing risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, their sexual lives are much more complex than the negative stereotypes of them as “helpless” or “risky” (or worse) suggest. 


In Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, Lorena Garcia examines how Latina girls negotiate their emerging sexual identities and attempt to create positive sexual experiences for themselves. Through a focus on their sexual agency, Garcia demonstrates that Latina girls’ experiences with sexism, racism, homophobia and socioeconomic marginality inform how they engage and begin to rework their meanings and processes of gender and sexuality, emphasizing how Latina youth themselves understand their sexuality, particularly how they conceptualize and approach sexual safety and pleasure. 


At a time of controversy over the appropriate role of sex education in schools, Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, provides a rare look and an important understanding of the sexual lives of a traditionally marginalized group.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Prettiest Teabag for Creatives

I've been on a herbal tea kick for a while. Brewing green tea or mint tea to both cleanse/detox, activate my metabolism and curb my snack-appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I received a trio of Mighty Leaf Teas from BirchBox and I was taken aback by their... Beauty.

I know it might sound weird but these might well be the prettiest tea bags I have ever come across. Their artisanal teas are packaged in specially handcraften SILKEN tea bags that are 100% compostable. Inside are whole leaf teas, herbs fruits, blossoms and spices. They also have a social responsibility section on their website where they demonstrate their initiatives and discuss their human (artist)-based philosophy. One that has garnered them innovation awards and my advocacy.

I hope you have a chance to experience this tea for yourself.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

Where I post the most interesting things I've observed all week:

- Laying down the tracks for you: Guest DJ: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Diaz via NPR

- Back to School: I've signed up for 4 fall online courses: Understanding Modern Marketing Madness, Explain an Idea: A Creative Workout For Your Mind, A Crash Course on Creativity, and Finance.

- I thought it was just me, apparently, I'm not the only one thinking this: What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs? via Designmom and Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs via Salon.

- Bravo! HBO Options Guillermo Del Toro Series via Vulture.

- I am buying this book mentioned here, just to read this essay on How to Be Creative: “There is only one way to be creative--and that is to have the courage to examine all our secret convolutions, hopes, and jokes and transform them into art. To hell with what the other guy thinks! The odder and more personal we get, the more everyone identifies. It’s magic.”

- “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” ― William Faulkner

- Geek Foodie Alton Brown protests Twitter with Analog Tweets. Nicely done.

- Your Book/Blog needs to prove that you are an interesting or attractive storyteller with relevant ideas. Read why here.

- I was so ecstatic about Revolution," NBC's new sci-fi drama but it failed to capture me. It was a wannabe Walking Dead, without grit and zombies, with too-pretty scenery and actors, what a loss - it had so much potential.

- How Being Bicultural Makes You More Creative, yes!

- The end of "Man" - it's not what you think. Worthwhile read here.

- Time's annual 50 Best Websites 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Free Access to Research on Five Historic Hispanic Authors This Month

In honor of Hispanic heritage monthQuestia, an online research and paper-writing tool for students, is paying homage to Hispanic authors who have made significant contributions to literature throughout history.  For the entire month, enjoy free access to reference works on five of history’s most researched Hispanic authors:

  • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra:  Spanish-born Cervantes is widely regarded as an influential playwright, novelist and poet in history, penning infamous works such as Don Quixote during his lifetime.  As a student under the direction of Juan Lopez de Hoyos, Cervantes published his first works, a collection of four poems.  For a portion of his life, Cervantes lived a military-lifestyle, eventually being held prisoner in Algiers for many years.  Upon his release from captivity, Cervantes solidified his reputation as an author and authored many more novels.  [Mancing, Howard.  The Cervantes Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 A-K.  Greenwood Press: 2004]
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez:  Marquez is among the most recognized Spanish American authors of the 20th Century and is primarily associated with his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.  At the age of 12, the Colombian-born Marquez obtained a scholarship to study at Colegio Nacional, a national secondary school, and eventually went on to study law.  While working as a journalist for a newspaper, Marquez began to publish his first works, many of which were short stories.  As his works gained notoriety throughout his life, Marquez found fame and came to make many famous and powerful friends.  [Pelayo, Ruben.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion.  Greenwood Press: 2001]
Federico García Lorca
 Federico García Lorca
  • Federico Garcia Lorca:  Internationally recognized as a poet and playwright, Lorca’s tumultuous personal life and anguish was visible in many of his works.  Born in Spain, Lorca collaborated with many artists throughout Spain on various plays.  However, strained relationships with friends such as Salvador Dali led Lorca to make his way over to theUnited States where he enrolled at Colombia University and authored the poem Poet in New York.  Lorca eventually returned to Spain and was murdered in the Spanish Civil War. [Nandorfy, Martha J.  The Poetics of Apocalypse:  Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poet in New York.  Bucknell University Press: 2003]
  • Pablo Neruda:  Born as Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto in Chile, he often used the pen name Pablo Neruda for his politically-charged prose and poems and eventually took the alias as his legal name.  Throughout his life, Neruda became an internationally recognized figure for his involvement in politics, however in his youth he authored many poems such as the erotically-fueled Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.  [Belitt, Ben.  The Forged Feature: Towards a Poetics of Uncertainty: New and Selected Essays.  Fordham University Press: 1995]
  • Jorge Luis Borges:  An Argentinean poet and short-story writer, Borges was a master of the written word with his writing first beginning in Europe where he received a baccalaureat from the College de Geneve in Switzerland.  In hisAutobiographical Essay Borges reminisces about how his involvement in literary tertulia while living in Madrid and how participating in conversations about different essays became a pivotal point within his writing career.  Borges is most remembered for his poetry and fictional essays that contained fantasy and magical realism themes.  [De Quevedo, Francisco.  Six Masters of the Spanish Sonnet: Essays and Translations.  Southern Illinois University Press: 1997]

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My New Twitter Header

is literally a piece of art.

Canvas print by Jon Solid, at Domeasolid.com


Have you changed yours yet?  Mashable explains how to do it here.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Si Se Puede - Rock the Vote - Hispanic Heritage Draft

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and what better to celebrate your Latinidad than by flexing our political and civic muscles this election year. In partnership with Voto Latino, you can register to vote right here, right now. (Then get ready to hit the polling booths on Election Day, and don't forget to bring Mami, Abuela and the rest of the registered voters in your family along with you). Together we make a major impact on the future of America.

Through both Voto Latino and National Voter Registration Day’s online voter registration tool, users that complete the online form will receive an emailed PDF with their information filled in. The registrant then simply signs, stamps, and sends the completed form to the address included in their form. That’s it -- the whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
About Voto Latino

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05:  Taboo of the Bl...
 Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas at Voto Latino's Purple Carpet Bash on Sept 5, 2012. (Getty Images)
Founded in 2004 by actor Rosario Dawson and political analyst Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino is a dynamic and growing organization whose civic engagement campaigns have reached 55 million Latino households.

Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson
Driven by the belief that Latino issues and American issues are one and the same, Voto Latino has effectively used volunteers, celebrities, media, and the latest technology to register 120,000 young Latino voters, galvanize Latino youth and their families to be counted in the 2010 Census, and mobilize them to speak out and take action on policies impacting their lives.

* Our regularly scheduled edition of Lit Link & Scoops, will return next week following the PSA.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Book: Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman

English: Close up of Sabina Berman Español: Cl...
Sabina Berman (Photo: Wikipedia)

A transporting and brilliant novel narrated by an unforgettable woman: Karen Nieto, an autistic savant whose idiosyncrasies prove her greatest gifts.

As intimate as it is profound, and as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World marks an extraordinary debut by the award-winning Mexican playwright, journalist, and poet Sabina Berman.

Karen Nieto passed her earliest years as a feral child, left alone to wander the vast beach property near her family's failing tuna cannery. But when her aunt Isabelle comes to Mexico to take over the family business, she discovers a real girl amidst the squalor. 

So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Despite how far she's come, Karen remains defined by the things she can't do—until her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family's fishery. 

Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman
Her plan is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will be the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves, fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that explores how we live, what we eat, and how our lives can defy even our own wildest expectations.

Sabina Berman is a four-time winner of the Mexican National Theatre Prize for her plays; she also writes filmscripts, poetry, prose, and journalism, and has published several novellas. Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World, which will be published in twenty-five territories, is her first novel. She lives in Mexico.

Lisa Dillman teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University and has translated numerous works of fiction by Argentine, Mexican, Catalan, and Spanish writers. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.

 
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