Saturday, August 2, 2014


I am applying to Emerging Voices, a literary fellowship for new writers who lack access. It has been a time consuming endeavor mostly because of the anxiety and stress that kicks in whenever I do something creative.  I attended the final reading of the 2014 fellows on Wednesday and decided to kick self-doubt and anxiety to the curb. I want this so badly I can see myself standing on that stage next year but I also know the odds. It’s an extremely competitive program with applicants who have been at this a lot longer than me.  I have poured my soul answering the questions and hope my desire to be one of the chosen six comes through in my application. I'm working on Take the A Train, a collection of coming of age stories set in Washington Heights, as of now, the pieces are a combination of memoir and creative non-fiction. 

I’ve been in writing mode for a while, haven’t given much thought to filmmaking until yesterday. Matt and I went to First Friday in our neighborhood and one of the businesses, a law office, had a pop up art show. We snapped this picture, being silly and enjoying ourselves when an idea for another microbudget ($300) horror picture gifted itself to me. Creativity fuels creativity, Thank You writing and filmmaking Goddesses.
I'd like to take another class with Judith Weston, probably the director intensive workshop, sneak a short film in, enroll in two writing classes and of course working on my book. I'm really hoping to get into Emerging Voices and if I do, I will dedicate all my creative time to the fellowship so I need to squeeze in as much as possible before the end of the year.

Monday, July 21, 2014

VONA Workshop

In June 2014 I attended VONA Voices, a writing workshop for people of color. I participated in the memoir track taught by Andrew X. Pham.  For the first time in my life, I had the luxury of a week spent reading, writing and workshopping my writing.

We devoted at least two hours to each story; exploring, critiquing, sharing our thoughts and giving suggestions on the work. I got invaluable feedback from Andrew and the team but most of what I learned came from paying attention to the comments given to other people’s writing.  I got a better grasp of constructing a story, creating compelling characters and making scenes pop by studying the work of my colleagues.  

We took turns reading excerpts from our memoirs, pouring our hearts and souls into the room, trusting each other with our deepest fears and darkest moments.  I was humbled by the care and commitment everyone brought with them.

Every day I came prepared to give, engage, listen and write.  I’ve never felt this sense of community with any of my creative endeavors, the experience has been life changing.

Andrew was a marvelous teacher; kind, patient and generous with his time. My classmates were a gifted bunch of storytellers, I am grateful and humbled by the wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting.  

After the workshop, I felt an urgent need to surrender to the calling I’ve never had the courage to pursue.  This time I would not squash my desire to write. 
Since the workshop, I’ve kept myself busy writing and reading. Tomorrow, I start the rewrite of what I worked on at VONA. I wanted to distance myself from the piece so I can work on it with as new a perspective as possible.

I strongly urge anyone who writes to attend a VONA workshop.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

VONA - The Arrival

I arrived in Berkeley via OAK on Sunday afternoon. The day before Matt and I went for a bike ride, met up with friends in Belmont Shores and got home after midnight. I had not packed. I was exhausted, went to bed and set the alarm for 6am. Sunday morning, I freaked, I packed everything and then some.

My suitcase weighed 42 pounds! What happened to the person that could live out of a back pack on a two week trip? Part of this journey was to unload baggage and here I am bringing more with me.

Getting the suitcase off the carousel was so sad, I felt like Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory.  The conveyor belt moved so fast that the suitcase went by me three times before I could safely get it off without hurting my back. Dragging it out of the terminal and walking across to catch my shuttle made me wish I did CrossFit.

When I got to campus, I had two choices, lug the suitcase up the wheelchair ramps or haul it up the stairs. The ramps were longer than the stairs, it felt like I was on a hike with a giant kettle ball.

I checked into my dorm, rested for a bit, freshened up and went to the orientation. I was early, I sat by myself, away from the group, observing.

I was approached by one of the staff members, she was concerned; put her arm around me and asked if I was OK. I appreciated the gesture and told her I was fine, I was taking in the moment. I guess that's the filmmaker in me.

Once inside, I introduced myself to one of the women in my group and then another. I met other women (there are a lot of women at VONA) who were sitting near me.

I'm looking forward to the me after this is over, I feel a transformation is coming.

My swanky dorm room.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

VONA Workshop

A few months ago, I posted about all the writing projects I'm working on. You can find the post here.

I applied to VONA with one of the short stories for my coming of age memoir. I'm still thinking of fictionalizing it but for now, it's a memoir/creative non fiction piece.

I was accepted into the memoir writing section taught by Andrew X. Pham.  I'll be spending the last week of June at UC Berkeley in Northern California.

I'm kind of petrified by the whole thing, I will be surrounded by people in MFA programs, people who do this for a living, ambitious writers, published writers.... Ay Dios Mio, what did I get myself into! I'm up to the challenge and I'm looking forward to conquering my fears and slaying the demons of self doubt.

Day of the Girl updates

Latin Horror did a recap of Hollywood Horror Fest 2014 - Morgan and I were interviewed by Tyger.

Another cool article mentions Day of the Girl.

I am so grateful that my $300 film was so well liked.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day of the Girl Screening in Los Angeles

Day of the Girl will screen on Saturday, March 29 at 1:10pm - New Beverly Cinema as part of
Hollywood HorrorFest.

It's a free festival and they have an excellent lineup of shorts, features and a great panel - come out and support

4.40pm – 7.00pm – PANEL – “How to Finance, Produce, Sell & Distribute Your Indie Horror” – a panel of industry lawyers, producers, sales agents, directors and distributors TICKETS FREE

Hollywood HorrorFest


International Women's Day

Las Contemporaneas of the Museum of Ventura County held their First Annual Latina Short Film Festival on March 8th 2014. They were generous enough to screen both The Big Deal and Day of the Girl.

I was moved by the audience’s love and appreciation of both films. I am always humbled when I get such a great reaction to my work, it makes me proud of what I have achieved and motivates me to keep going.

The Chicana Role Model gave a fabulous
 I was honored with a spiffy award

Accepting my award

People want a feature film based on How to Be a Chicana Role Model - fingers crossed we make this happen.