13,600 / 20,000 (68%)

Samba story
7,926 / 8,000 (99.1%)

S.M. (Book 1)
580 / 10,000 (5.8%)

S.M. (Book 2)
1,010 / 10,000 (10%)

4,032 / 10,000 (40.5%)

ASPCA Day is April 10

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Location: Puerto Rico

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weeepa Boricua!

"Yo soy boricua...
Pa' que tu lo sepas."

That's the chorus of a reggaton song. And in this case it applies as tonight another Puerto Rican, Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza, was crowned Miss Universe. Puerto Rico is but a small island in the Caribbean Sea. Once a colony of Spain, now of the USA. It's been hard for my people to keep an identity. And when things like this happens, it makes us more aware of our heritage and proud that it's recognized in some way. Now Zuleyka Rivera joins a very exclusive group of women that have represented my little island:

2001 - Denise Quinones
1993 - Dayanara Torres
1985 - Deborah Carthy-Deu
1970 - Marisol Malaret

Oh, I know as a feminist I should feel offended by this type of show that only serves to diminish women. And I promise to get totally offended as soon as I finish celebrating the victory of Puerto Rico. *does the Snoopy dance*

Friday, July 21, 2006

Music for my hero

I Need A Hero
by Bonnie Tyler

Where have all good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?

Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There’s someone reaching back for me

Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

Up Where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
Watching me
Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach
Like a fire in my blood

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Argh mate!

My goddaughter and I had made plans to go to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 since it's released in the States (a week earlier than in Puerto Rico). I'd taken her to see the first one when it came out, and we both have loved it very much - for different reasons. *wg* However, when it came down to see this second part, there was always something preventing us from going. But I was determined to see it. I was getting itchy to see it the more I read blogs and posts on the movie. Geez, it was like everyone had seen it but me. I felt so left out!

So since today is a holiday and I didn't have to go to work, we planned to go to the early matinee. She'd already phoned her best friend to come along with us. I didn't mind - but of course, I didn't know what I was getting into. The matinee started at 2:20. But the rain decided to start earlier. By the time I went to pick up my goddaughter, it was pouring hard, preventing us from leaving her house. I asked her she minded going to the next show at 5:30, and she said no. She phoned her best friend again, and we agreed to go at 5:30 instead. By then the rain had stopped. Whoopee!

We arrived to the theater 10 minutes to 5:30, so there I was with two 14-yr-old girls in tow. A totally new experience for me. I've never had so many teens tagging along with me before. All that giggling and chatting...

The movie started right on time, but that didn't stop the giggling and chatting. Especially when Orlando Bloom appeared in a scene. I could hear my goddaughter and her best friend sighing and chatting animately every time the dark lock pirate appeared on the silver screen. *lol* (Although looking at that poster, let's face it, he looks pretty dashing! I think it's the long hair that does it for me. *lol*) Gosh, I hope I wasn't as bad as they were when I was their age.

Oh, okay. Maybe I'm still as bad. *wg* I admit I couldn't take my eyes of Johnny Depp. Damn! The man looks so fine as a pirate. I could picture him dressed like that in my fantasies. But...er... *coughs* I disgress.

The movie was good. It was still funny like the first one but with a darker edge to it. All the characters seemed to be growing and changing directions, which makes me wonder what will happen in the 3rd. installment of the movie - especially between Elizabeth and Will. (Sorry, love Jack Sparrow but I'm still rooting that they stay together.) Regardless of some of the comments I've seen around, this movie answered some questions - at least to me. For instance, I always wondered where Jack Sparrow had gotten the "P" on his arm. All in all, I liked the movie.

After the movie, I took the teens to Burger King for something to eat. Basically the convo involved talks about how cute Orlando Bloom looked in the movie followed by giggling. *rolls eyes* Love both kids, but they zapped my energies. After returning them their respective homes, I got to mine and felt exhausted. Not even a warm shower revived me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Betrayal and the romance writer

"I feel so betrayed!"

This was the first message that popped on my screen when I logged into my Yahoo messenger a couple of hours ago. I rarely use the program, but tonight I felt compelled to do it. Anyway, I was like "Excuse me? What is she talking about?" Not even a hello? How rude! But I ignored it and decided to reply. So this is how the convo went more or less.

Me: "What happened?"

She: "I thought they were my friends but they are a bunch backstabbing bitches. You can't trust anyone anymore."

Okay. Backstabbing. I can related to that. I've been backstabbed enough in my lifetime that my back must be full of knives with no more space for another by now. But I still couldn't understand where she was coming from with this.

Me: "Why are you saying that?"

She: "Remember, I was planning to work with in a writing project with these other writers?"

Me: "Yeah." I vaguely remember something about she and some other writer collaborating on a story and they were setting up some website for it. Or something like that.

She: "They started hanging out with these other two writers who totally hate me. Today I got an email from both of them saying they're committed to this other project with those idiots so they were dropping out of our project. I suspected something was wrong when they didn't answer my last two emails."

Doesn't this remind you of high school and clicks?

Me: "Did they tell you why they drop your project? I mean other than they're committed to another project."

She: "No. But that's bullshit. It's all that dark-haired whore's (I'm sustituting name here) fault. First, she insinuated herself into our group, sucking up to the others, telling them how wonderful they were and how much she loved their books. Then when she got published, the bitch showed her claws. Sucking up to the publishers and pretending to be everyone's good friend. I'm telling you, you can't trust people in this business. They call themselves your friends when all they want to do is use you."

Does that mean I can't consider her my friend either then because she might be using me?!

Well, I listened to her ranting for an hour or so, nodding and yeahing in all the right places, then I told her I had to do some writing and logged off. But my file remained opened while I just stared at it, this woman's words running around my head.

Oh, I'm not saying that everything is all peachy in the romance writing world. They are those who would snub you for whatever reason they deem necessary, which brings the idea of "clicks" in my mind. Oh yes, there are "clicks" among romance writers. Then there are the "suck-ups." They suckup to you if you're a published writer, and once they become published, they suckup to the publishers. (You know, the ones who just "ooh" and "aaah" at the most stupid things the publishers do just to gain the favors.) They also turn into the publisher spies, you know. Next are the "climbers", who don't care whose career they fuck up or who they step on their way to achieve their goals. Finally, there are the "published sharks" who hang around groups just waiting to steal ideas and plot premises (one of the reasons why I don't post anymore on workshops' assignments) because their well of ideas has run dry a long time ago and their writing careers are sagging. And don't get me started on the "snarkers."

So basically I don't know really what happened between this writer and the other two, but I'm not counting off what this woman said to me. Betrayal? Yes, it does exist. I've not faced that demon yet, and I hope I don't have to, but I'm sure it must lurking around, somewhere, waiting to jump on me.

However, romance writing is like any other job. You'll find "snubbers," "suckups," "climbers," "snarkers," and "sharks" in every single job - from waitresses in a small cafe to college professors in a prestigious university. Unless you're your own boss and own a 2 to 3-person business (and those who work for you are your relatives). This isn't a perfect world, people. Get over it!

But you can't put all romance writers into "snubbers," "suckups," "climbers," and "sharks" categories. There are some damn fine people out there. Honest people who want to pursue a career in romance writing. And if you're lucky enough, you'll find them along your path. Give them a chance to walk travel this hard road that is the romance writing. You'll blossom and so will your career.

Which Pirate of the Caribbean character are you?

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

Car updates

Yesterday my car was at the mechanic. Yes, AGAIN. The mechanic changed the pressure hose, but it still spilled the power steering oil. So at 11:30 am my mother called to tell me that she was going back to the store where we bought the pump (back almost a month ago) with my cousin. I sighed since I'd hoped that changing the hose would do the trick, so I told her to do whatever was necessary. But I swear I was seeing more $$$ slipping off my grasp. By the time I was leaving home to go back to work, she and my cousin had arrived with the new pump. When I came home, the car was parked inside the garage. I called mom, and she said so far I'd not spilled any more power steering oil and that I owe the mechanic $89. Agh! Gosh, that new pump better work 'coz I've spent almost $400 already in repairs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I just got an email from Noelle, one of my CPs. A couple of days ago she'd finally mustered enough courage to send out two romance short stories to Freya's Bower for their Bites series. Today she received the contract email. OMG! I'm so happy for her!!! Woohooo! *does the booty-liciuos dance of happiness*

Green monster

No, it's not the Hulk. I'm talking about that green-eyed monster that lives inside each one of us, hidden quietly in the darkest part of ourselves, and when something triggers it, it roars to life, coming out sometimes as tall as the Green Giant. Know what I mean? ¡Ay caramba! Y dale with the Hulk. I'm talking about jealousy here people. Yes, yes... That's the green monter.

Why am I bringing up this topic? Well, for the past couple of weeks I've been reading blog entries and other posts dealing with that little monster called envy. Especially among romance writers. From little twinge of jealousy when hearing someone snagged an agent or a 3-book contract to full blow-out cases in which writers manage to say that a fellow writer's work sucks. Gosh, I even readcases of writers complaining that this or that other writer got a better cover or hotter-looking model on their book cover, or that this writer is getting more attention from their publisher than they do.

Of course, when you're struggling to make it as a writer and you dream of snagging Dreidre Knight as your agent and your goal is to get that 4-book contract with Avon Books, it's only natural to feel a pang of jealousy when you see a fellow writer landing a contract with the agent of your dreams or signing the sought-after book deal instead of you.

So as I read these posts, I started thinking (which isn't a good thing sometimes) about how I've personally felt when I log into Romance Divas and read my fellow writers posting about getting sign-up by this or that agent, selling their books to this or that publisher, and getting book deals right and left. Especially those who are newcomers and have been involved in this whole romance-writing thing for less time than me. I realized that I've felt happy for all of them, but never jealous. Not even a teensy-weensy twinge inside.

Which leads me to wonder what's wrong with me. (Okay, besides the fact that weird thing about having to have my hair on a pony-tail and wear bunny slippers to write. *rolls eyes*) How come I don't feel jealous about these things? Some say it's not unhealthy to feel a bit jealous of other writers' accomplishments since it's more like creative jealousy. Am I...unnatural then? Hm... Don't answer that one, please.

Oh, I'm not saying that I've never been jealous. When I go to the beach and see a woman with a great body wearing a bikini, I turn into a Hulk with envy. Or when I'm driving and see someone in a Hummer (H3) pass by my 1990 Nissan Sentra, damn, I'm totally jealous. (So my ideal would be to have the perfect body and drive the coolest car. *rofl*)

Seriously though, when it comes to writing, sure I wish I could slap a story in 1 - 2 weeks, pulling 10 - 15 pages daily, like some of my fellow writers do. However, I've never felt jealous. I might have felt inadequate as a writer at first, but then I came to terms with how I write. So I've been wondering if the green monster inside will be triggered sometime, or what will trigger it to surface.

What makes you jealous? What rises that green-eyed monster inside you when it comes to writing?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weekend in review

Well, the car is at it again. I came home Friday afternoon and the car was dripping the power steering oil - again!!! Saturday morning it was back to the mechanic. He's baffled with the situation and told me he'd never seen a case like mine. (Gosh, why that doesn't make me feel all fuzzy inside. *smirks*) So I took my car back. At least it didn't make the weird noise and I could turn the wheel. That afternoon the mechanic told me that he'd consulted the situation with other two mechanics and they agreed it might be the pressure hose (or whatever it's called in English), but he can't see my car until this Wednesday. That new...thingy... will cost me about $89 (plus taxes - shit, I forgot about that). Oh boy...

Then I got some sad news on my email, that although it wasn't surprising, it made me rethink a lot of things. I realize that in my career as a romance writer there are doors closing but others opening, and I have to learn to go with the flow and not fight it. There are things that must happen. Perhaps for the benefit of everyone involved. I just need to find my niche.

As for writing, I didn't type a word as I'd planned. I was suppossed to go over the moon phases with the calendar and make sure I'd not fucked up the timeline in my wereanimal story for DDD. But I didn't do that either. Instead I brainstormed a few ideas to tie that story, Zack's story, and Dimitri's story. Yeah, I know what you're all thinking. I've not finished one story, and I'm already thinking of the other two. *lol*

So you all wondering what I did this weekend, right? Well, I repaired my goddaughter's computer. Also I reformatted my computer (another hacker was trying to slip in - sucker!), downloaded a few new software and installed them. Speaking of downloads, I downloaded tons of songs from 70s rock bands. I had a hunker for some good ole Journey, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Ted Nugent, Fleetwood Mac, and Bee Gees (before the disco era). *lol*

So, how was your weekend?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Test

Your Aura is Violet

Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.
And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don't always use it!

The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say

Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony

Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blame it on the moon

Yesterday I did some little writing on the wereanimal story, although I must admit the progress wasn't enough to further it toward the end. I expanded the first scene between Marcus and Zack. Just added details. Something I'm not good at when I'm first drafting a story. For a while I toyed with the idea of making this one the first chapter, but then I realized that it'd set the tone of a fast-paced action-packed plot for the story from the very beginning giving the readers the wrong impression so I discarded the idea. Frustrated, I went over the first 4 chapters, looking for grammatical errors, before sending it to Laura and Noelle for a brief critique in the hope that they might detect something I haven't. As I read it, I quickly noticed the time line was off. Because many of the characters are wereanimals and the club opens only during weekends, I forgot to take into consideration the full moon. I mean, I did take it into account when I wrote the scenes because some of the hero's reactions are affected by the moon, but I forgot how many weekends would be between one full moon and the next (the moon cycle). Now I have to sit down with my story and a calendar to figure this out.

Have you ever had a problem missing a key element of story's timeline that makes it off?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

When a story threatens to spill out

As you all know I've been trying for the past two and a half weeks to finish my story for the DDD anthology (the deadline is Aug. 1). Notice that I said "trying." I started alright, adding about 1.5K words to the story during the first week, but then I hit a (huge) snag, and I've not been able to move past it.

You see, the problem is that the external conflict is taking over the internal conflict. Okay, well, that's not it exactly. Hm... It's more difficult to explain that I thought. Here's the deal, I'm trying to create a connection between the DDD story and another one, which I started writing even before DDD one. Besides having the same setting, which is also the common denominator in Viviene's and Cassandra's stories, I wanted Zack, the hero of my other wereanimal story, to appear in Marcus's story (which is for the DDD anthology). You know, have a couple of scenes together so the readers would recognized Zack when they read his story. So far, so good, right? Right.

So for the DDD story, I wrote a scene that allowed me to introduce Zack, and then a second one in which Marcus and Zack interact a bit more, showing the relation between these two. Fine. Now here's where the mess started. Zack's story is more action-packed whereas Marcus's story is more internal conflicted. But because of the scenes I already wrote, the external conflict in Zack's story is sort of spilling out into Marcus's story. I want Marcus and Helena's story to have more internal conflict than external conflict. I mean, the external conflict will be there in the form of her ex-husband, but I don't want this story to turn into one of those "action-packed ones," where the hero/heroine depend on something to happen to react. You know, the typical line in which the hero saves the heroine from perilious situations. No, no, no!!! This isn't what the DDD story is about. I want Marcus and Helena's story to be very emotional. I want to make the heroine struggle with her own emotions and believes (what's right and wrong), and therefore, raise and challenge society's moral values. (But it's all an emotional struggle for her. She will have to break with everything she grew up believing in and change.)

So, my question to all wise writing gurus out there is:

What do you do when the conflict/action of one story threatens to spill into the other? How do you keep the original plot intact without allowing the follow-up to mess it up?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!

Hope you all enjoyed your day full of fireworks and out cookouts!

Me? I had a good day. I went out shopping in the morning. Nothing fancy there though. Just a few thing I needed from Walgreens. Then my goddaughter and I decided to catch Superman Returns's early show. I thought the movie was okay. It dragged at times, maybe because they wanted to try recap those missing 5 years between Clark Kent and Louise Lane and to create an emotional build-up by adding a new man in her life (played by James Marsden, the actor who played Cyclops on X-Men) and her son. It failed at times, making me wish Lex Luthor would show up and do something. Speaking of Lex Luthor, he wasn't given enough chance to shine as the bad guy. He was more like a filler at times. The end was good though. The special effects were awesome. And the actor was to die for. *g*

Monday, July 03, 2006

The day after my b-day

Oh man, there's no worst hangover than the one you get from drinking too much wine. (There are four bottles of Vampire wine on a bag for recycling. Damn! S omany?!) But at least I didn't wake up with a strange male g-string on my head and there was no coffetti in my panties. *lol*

A great surprise though was to get a package from C.C. in the mail this morning. OMG! She is a little wiz creating these wonderful products out of herbs. This time she sent me a natural-soy, spice-scented candle. Took one whiff of it to spark my sleepy Muses back into writing. (Thank you, chica! Just what I needed! I added like 300 words to a chapter on my DDD story, and now I'm much happy with it.) There was also a piña colada shea butter lip care, which I quickly had to try on. Hmm... Delicious! It made me want to have a piña colada (but without rum). *g* She also included a sample of her apricot scrub with vitamin E, which I'll try to night as part of my nightly beauty ritual. But what really made me smile was the green tea soap with the face of the Green Man on it and the aveeno soap with a triskele (not to be confused with a triquetra) design on it. That was so thoughtful of her! *wg*

Now to the horoscope for this month according to Astrology for Writers, Editors and Filmmakers:
Cancer: Many, many gifted writers and editors and filmmakers (Larry David for one) are Cancers. Astrological researchers have found that the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is prominent in the charts of the great writers of our time. This year, with Jupiter in Scorpio, the stars support your projects, lift your spirits, and line your wallet.
So my wallet is going to be "lined." Well, I sure didn't get "the big bonus check" the stars promised me last month. So let's see what happens this month.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Birthday time!

YES! Today's my birthday. I'm turning 20 (with 21 extra years of experience.) *lol*

Some interesting things that happened a day like today:
  • 1776 - The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with Great Britain, though a formal Declaration of Independence is not adopted until July 4. (Today's the real Independence Day, baby, yeah!)
  • 1937 - Amelia Earhart, American aviator (disappeared) (b. 1897)
  • 1962 - The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
  • 1979 - The first U.S. coin to honor a woman, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, is introduced.
Know a little about little ole me through astrology:

1965 -
Chinese Astrology: Snake

Chinese Sign Element: Wood

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Unpublished works when I'm dead

What are you guys planning to do or are doing with work you don't want published, swiped or artfully interpreted after you buy the farm? - Paperback Writer
I just ran across this question posted by author Lynn Viehl on her blog, and it got me thinking (which it's a dangerous thing to do).

Okay, I'm not a well-known writer as she is, and I doubt I'll ever be. So who would want to publish my stuff once I'm dead? I doubt that my goddaughters will find all these CDs and diskettes with my stories and decide to publish them. *rolls eyes* I'm sure they might end up throwing them all away without looking at the content of the files. Or maybe they'll amuse themselves reading what good old Madrina Silma wrote when she was young. Then they'd laugh and cry and put them in the trash can. Of course, wouldn't it be a kicker if they published them and the stories became bestsellers? Famous after death. *lol* Gosh, I can see it now! Everyone saying how good I am. And they can't say a mean word because I'm dead. You don't speak bad of dead people (except evil politians).

On the other hand, let's imagine for a moment that I gain a measure of recognition among my peers and the romance community, but I kick the bucket and leave behind all these unpublished material. Would I try to destroy the stories so nobody can find them when the gorgeous Grim Reaper, with emerald-green eyes alight with inner fire, silky black hair, and a nice tight ass that won't quit, comes to pick me up for a long-term date? Nope. Would I mind if one of my goddaughter tries to pick up on where you left? I doubt that will ever happen as those two don't have the inclination to write. But if she can do a better job than I did, more power to her. (Girl, just make sure you get paid!) How about if if it's another writer? Then I'm coming back and haunt him/her. (I'll make one hell of a spook!)