Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.
The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.
My mother, Celina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).
Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.
And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!
See you next time on June 22nd.
The holidays just ended and already I’m getting emails from a major department store telling me it’s not too early to prep for prom.
I took a look at the dresses offered and I have to admit, $445.00 is pretty pricey for a dress you may only wear once. Or twice.
If you’re lucky, you get to wear your prom dress to a college dance, but by then it will be so “yesterday.” Not to mention it won’t fit if you fall victim to the Freshman Fifteen.
But what if you’re not going to the prom because . . . well, you hate yourself because you’re not thin. Who’s gonna ask you?
It gets worse.
When your arch enemy, the Duchess, bullies you about your weight, you lose it. Announce to the universe you’re going to
run against her for prom queen and you’ll anything to get thin. Anything. Even sell your soul.
Guess who shows up…and is Luke the hottest, sexiest devil you’ve ever seen. He promises you that you’ll get thin if you do what he says…
Find what that is in CRYSTAL GIRL when Kaylee makes a deal with the devil to get thin and win Prom Queen.
Available in Kindle and Kindle UnLimited
With all the talk about how women are viewed in the workplace, let’s not forget appearance is also a key factor. Actresses have been “ordered” to lose weight to get a part. Models, it seems, live on lettuce. And the rest of us, well, we see these gorgeous ladies looking like celery stalks and get on ourselves because we don’t look like that.
Thank goodness people are talking about how much women are paid in the workforce compared to men, and how they have to struggle against unwanted advances from men in power.
But we’re also victims of ourselves. The obsession to be thin. It’s not a new problem. I’m doing research now for a story set in the Victorian era and I came across an “X-ray” drawing of a woman’s ribs from using a corset. Pushed, squeezed into an unnatural, skeleton structure. No wonder women turned green. Literally. It was called chlorosis.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t keep a healthy weight. Healthy is the keyword here.
So if you’ve ever uttered those words, “I’ll do anything to be thin,” check out Crystal Girl and find out the price Kaylee paid before she found her way back.
CRYSTAL GIRL is based on a play I wrote that was produced at the Malibu Stage Company Theatre. It was very exciting to see my characters come alive on stage!!
Thanks for listening,
Right now I am in the middle of choreographing a musical for my sonâ€™s middle school. We are doing Aladdin, Jr., and I am working with 60 5th-8th graders. As I draw out diagrams of who goes where and count beats, I realize that all this orchestrating Iâ€™m doing is another form of storytelling, just like writing a book. As Co-Director Iâ€™m making decisions on how we tell the story, just like writers decide what scenes they write for their book.
If you are interested Friends Christian Middle School will be performing Aladdin, Jr. March 13 (7pm) and 14 (1 & 4pm) at Rose Drive Friends Church in Yorba Linda. Tickets are $7. Call 714-202-8410 for more information.
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