Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year when you dig out your sweaters and boots. A cup of coffee or tea warms your fingers as you get to work or school. It's my favorite time of the year ... Halloween!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year when you dig out your sweaters and boots. A cup of coffee or tea warms your fingers as you get to work or school. It's my favorite time of the year ... Halloween!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
"Well you're gonna have to unless you want to look like that forever." Adrienne waved her hand in front of her nose. "Bel, I swear I had no idea it would really work."
"I'd believe you if weren't trying not to laugh," Bel replied.
Adrienne covered her mouth with both hands, tears welling in her eyes as she stared at what she'd done to her best friend.
"I practically let you live here for free!" Bel burst out.
"I know," Adrienne said. "I just thought- Well, you're not the girl I knew."
Bel glanced at her reflection in the mirror. Just a few minutes ago, she'd woken up and then hobbled from her bed to the bathroom, thinking she'd over done it at the gym. But oh no. Her sanctimonious friend and soon-to-be ex roommate put a hex on her and Bel had woken up like this.Gray skin rotted off Bel's face and neck. Her mouth was ripped wide and through the flap of skin she could see her teeth. Her right ear was missing and scraps of her normally blonde hair stuck out of her scalp in white patches. Adding insult to injury, she stank like a piece of maggoty beef.
But now that she knew Adrienne had done this on purpose, her blood raced through her veins and she could hardly keep her breath. "I can't go to work, I can't leave the house- You have to fix this!"
Adrienne shook her head. "But-"
"Who are you to tell me what I should do? I'm not telling Melanie that I slept with her boyfriend. I told you because you've never judged me and now I-"
"The Bel I once knew and loved would never have done something like that."
"But I-" Bel's insides curdled as she remembered that night when she stumbled in the ladies room with Rick. It had been such a naughty thrill to tease and taunt him after the way Melanie treated her in the office. But the fun was all over when he hoisted her up against the wall and pulled her panties aside. Bel had gone cold through the rest of it; disconnecting herself from her body.
Bel shut her eyes, trying to block out the memory. She hadn't been with another guy since; as if her abstinence could make her clean again.
"You're going straight down a dark path, Bel. I thought that if you could see what you're becoming you'd-"
Bel looked into Adrienne's earnest, saintly brown eyes. "I don't need your voodoo mumbo jumbo crap. Just tell me what I have to do to turn back."
"I practice curandismo."
Adrienne sighed impatiently. "The spell lasts as long as you want it to."
Bel rolled her eyes. "So you don't know? What about your guru or whatever she's called?"
"I could ask Maestra Luz but she doesn't know that I did this."
Adrienne squirmed, breaking eye contact. "It's technically against the rules for a curandera to hex someone but I thought this was an emergency."
Bel's skin crackled like paper as her hands curled into fists.
"Clear your conscience with Melanie or else, I'm not sure Maestra Luz can turn you back."
Bel stood up. "You can take your altars and all that voodoo crap and get the hell out."
That Halloween morning, Bel tried everything but confess to Melanie to undo the hex. She brought Sprinkles cupcakes into work, hoping if she got the good stuff instead of the crap from the grocery store that she'd earn extra points. No one at work touched them because of the lingering dead meat stench.
Then she had to explain to Melanie that she looked like an extra from Dawn of the Dead because the make-up wouldn't wash off. Dressed like a cat with whiskers glued to her face, Melanie believed her and Bel couldn't look her in the eye.
At lunch, Bel volunteered to cover the phones so everyone, including the loser receptionist could go to the office's Halloween Costume Parade.
Bel even called her mother. But because they got into a fight when Mom roasted Bel again for not attending her grandma's rosary – hello, a senior account manager at a firm like hers didn't take off seven days to pray much less go to Tahiti – Bel's other ear fell off.
The next day - All Saints Day – Bel still looked like one of dancers from Thriller and then lost the tip of her pinky finger when she ripped her design team for the crappy work they'd done on one of her biggest accounts. For the first time, she saw the hatred in their eyes.
And then on the day after All Saints Day, Bel made an altar to her Grandma. She didn't so much as touch the cap to the bottle of Cazadores, her Grandma's favorite tequila. But Bel cried when she set out the package of Virginia Slims, remembering how her Grandma would slip her a five to get an ice cream for buying her cigs.
For that, Bel went to bed without losing any more body parts.
The next morning, Bel went into Melanie's office.
"I have to tell you something," she said, leaving the door open because the rotting body stench could suffocate them both.
"Don't you think you're taking this whole costume thing a little too seriously?" Melanie asked.
Like being forced to eat her own vomit, Bel almost couldn't do it. Maybe she should become a freelancer and work from home.
"Your boyfriend, Rick, is a cheating bastard," Bel said, deciding to lie by omission.
"I know this because I-" Some of Bel's skin fluttered to the floor like dead leaves. She sucked in a chest-full of air and then choked on the smell.
"I, uh. Well, I slept with him. In the ladies' room so we weren't really sleeping together but-"
A high-pitched yelp popped out of Melanie's mouth. She didn't leap over her desk to bash in Bel's head with her stapler. She didn't even cry. But with one look into her eyes, Bel knew she'd just yanked the rug out from under her.
"Look, I know I can't work here anymore because everyone hates me already so I'll just leave and-" Bel stood up out of her chair. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry for what I did and I hope you'll- Okay, I know you'll never forgive me but maybe you'll be better off knowing."
Later, as Bel walked out of the elevator carrying her stuff in a cardboard box, she had no idea how she'd pay the minimum monthly payment on her credit card, much less next month's rent without her job.
Adrienne had been right. She couldn't undo what she'd done with Rick. But by telling Melanie the truth, Bel didn't get that squishy feeling in her stomach when she thought about what she'd done. That must be the self-forgiveness kicking in.
An agonizing pain snatched her breath away and the box fell to the ground. Bel's knees skidded on the rough pavement. She wrapped her arms around her middle, as if to keep her insides from breaking through her skin. But then just as quick as it consumed her, the pain vanished.
Bel wasn't sure if she had the strength to stand. Her bones shaking, she placed her hands on the box and then realized the skin was normal. Frantically touching her arms, her neck, both of her ears and her face, Bel realized the monster was gone.
Relief rained over her like cold clean water.
"I knew you'd do it," Adrienne said when Bel walked through the door. "I'm really proud of you."
"You didn't move your stuff," Bel said, putting her box on the floor by the door.
"Do I have to?"
Bel shook her head. "But you'll have to pony up more money for the rent."
"Its money well spent to have you back."
© Copyright 2007 by Mary CastilloFor more Halloween chica lit...
Saturday, 10/27 Berta Platas!
Monday, 10/29 Sofia Quintero!
Tuesday, 10/30 Kathy Cano-Murillo!
Wednesday, 10/31 Caridad Pineiro!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I also received the following list from the Las Comadres network and wanted to share this with everyone.
To make a cash donation: Your donation can help organizations obtain goods and services locally to issue assistance to victims.
- American Red Cross: Support their Disaster Relief Fund which enables them to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster
- San Diego Humane Society and SPCA: Help to rescue and evacuate pets
- Volunteer San Diego: Support their Disaster Program which allows them to meet volunteer needs locally
- San Diego Foundation: Support their After-the-Fires fund which will provide food, shelter, housing and address healthcare needs of the victims.
- Please call a special hotline set up by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to offer your non-cash donations, 1-800-750-2858
- To volunteer: Search for ways to volunteer at www.californiavolunteers.org
- You can visit also : http://www.wishuponahero.com/ to give and receive help.
Here's a link to help out in Orange County: http://www.ocregister.com/news/font-normal-style-1903511-span-class
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Yesterday, my dad was at a high school fire set by two idiots who apparently were unaware that all of Southern California is burning. Luckily no one was hurt and the fire crews took care of the fire. Last night my grandma and uncle left Spring Valley and today, there are evacuations fo Spring Valley and Bontia.
It's a very serious situation and I feel a bit helpless checking the updates. I think I'll go through our stuff to set aside for donations.
If you want to stay on top of the news in San Diego, go to http://sosdfireblog.blogspot.com/.
For new in Orange County, go to the OC Register.
Chica Lit: In your bio, you said that you were on your way to becoming a CEO. How did you get into acting and what did your parents think?
Kikey: It's true. I always envisioned myself a corporate career woman in suits. Senior year in college I took an elective course, "Intro to Acting" and really liked it. From there I pursued plays and got bit by the acting bug. I remember thinking: "I'm a month away from graduating college and all I want to do is move to LA and pursue acting. My mom is gonna kill me!" I think she was a little disappointed at first (though she may never confess to this) because she wanted me to have a better life and more opportunities than she had. And I can understand that, but when she saw that I was actually good at acting and that I was making money and appearing on TV, movies, and print then she really started to believe in me and now she's my rock and my biggest supporter.
Chica Lit: Talk about your role in Virgin Love. What were the challenges of your character? What do you love about that character?
Kikey: I play Franceschina, the jeweler's wife who loves jewels more than her husband and consequentially ignores him but is having an affair with the town bachelor (who is also having affairs with several women in town...it's a comedy).
A big challenge for me was that i couldn't sing and the play is a musical commedia! I was very nervous about singing and didn't want to sound terrible in front of anybody, even my cast mates, so I hired a voice coach -- thank God! She's really brought me a long way.
I love my character Franceschina. She has an air of prim and proper about her but yet she has this youthful spirit about her. I found it really easy and fun to step into her shoes.
Chica Lit: How do you keep up the energy night after night, rehearsal after rehearsal?
Kikey: Energy? What is that? :) The rehearsal process has been very physically tough at times. We have been rehearsing five nights a week for the last three months but it's all worth it in the end. Our opening night is Friday, October 26, 2007, so high energy is definitely going to be required during our run. But for me that's usually the easiest part. I can keep going and going during performances...there's something about performing live that always gives me lots of energy.
Chica Lit: Where did you grow up? If not L.A., how did you adjust to becoming an actress in the Hollywood?
Kikey: I grew up in very small town in Eastern Oregon. My family were migrant workers and the work was good up there and we all stayed. Growing up in a small town was very nice, apple pie kind of nice, but I always wanted to live in a big city. So LA was an easy adjustment for me and I really love it. However being an actress in LA has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears...but it's my passion, my dream and I wouldn't dream of doing anything else.
Chica Lit: What struggles have you encountered in Hollywood?
Kikey: I think I've encounter the typical actor struggles here in Hollywood the whole "my agent doesn't send me out enough", "Getting good representation is hard", having to constantly get new headshots, feeling like you never work enough and thinking to yourself why didn't you know about that audition for the TV show, commercial or movie you just saw. Now saying it here makes it seem so comical but trust me, these are serious topics for an actor :) LOL.
Chica Lit: What's next after Virgin Love?
Kikey: I have a few projects in the works. I'm shooting a national Chevy commercial this month; I'm in an indie feature film called The Broken Hearts Club which shoots in December, more on-air hostessing projects and a webisode project. And si Dios quiere, a lot more!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Would you mind if ask you for a favor? My dad has been sent out on a strike team today to fight the fires in Southern California (we don't know exactly where he'll be deployed). Would you take a moment to think or pray or send blessings to the fire fighters out there, as well as the people whose lives, homes andbusinesses are in danger?
Thanks so much!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Today, I'm baking and preparing for my event tonight at Calacas but on Saturday, I'm going to create a journal that will accompany me as I write my new book!
Also, check out Kathy's book!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
- No matter how many copies of books in print and sold, authors still count and remember their rejection letters.
- Even if their latest book debuts high up on the NYT list, best-selling authors still envy writers whom they think are (a) more talented than they are or (b) get more money and attention from their publishers.
- Best-selling authors always talk about how during their childhood, they were the family mutant. Only when we succeed do our families look at us in a different light. (Usually to see if we used them as a character in the book, or if we've made enough money to spring for lunch.)
- Best-selling authors always walk into the room looking a bit bewildered by everyone's awe and reverance. Wait, that's not true. Jackie Collins once paid a visit to OCC RWA and she made an entrance. Then again, Nora Roberts struts around RWA National like she doesn't notice everyone staring at her so maybe it's a guy versus girl thing.
- Most best-selling authors - actually I should say that the ones who are still good and aren't paying other writers to write their stuff - never lose that sense of awe that they get paid to make stuff up.
- No matter how many millions they've acquired (and that their publisher will fly them first-class and not put them up in a haunted hotel), best-selling authors still want us to feel sorry for them when they tell us how they struggled in the early years.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Daisy: My husband knew the pleasure that I gained from entertaining friends and family, and he would often see me, wistfully looking through the ads in the back of the cooking magazines. In appreciation for all the energy that I had devoted to raising my family, he wanted to reciprocate, and offered me the opportunity to be totally selfish and immerse myself in an intense culinary program at the French Culinary Institute.
Chica Lit: Were you intimidated? I ask because I've considered culinary school and with my humble cooking background, it's a bit scary!
Chica Lit: Are your kids cooking, too?
Daisy: All of my children cook. I am the very proud mother of four incredibly fantastic kids, which range in age from 25-12 years old. They can all carry their weight in the kitchen, which has made the boys very popular on campus!
Chica Lit: How did you meet Rachael Ray and what is it like to work with her?
Daisy: I met Rachael at a New York Times event which was hosted by Amander Hesser, and which featured Rachael, Dave Leiberman and myself, on a panel discussing food and the direction it's going. One would think that all that energy would be too much for one room, but Rachael and I share a very similar sense of humor, so it worked really well together. We stayed in close touch and became fast friends very quickly. It is always fun to work with Rachael because of her thirst to learn about Latino ingredients and cooking.
Chica Lit: What misconceptions about Latin cooking do you want to dispell?
Daisy: Latin food is NOT Tex-Mex, as great as Tex- Mex is! There is incredible diversity within the cuisine of any Latin country (think Spain, Mexico, Chile, Peru, etc), not to mention the diversity with the Caribbean, Atlantic South America, Pacific South America, Andean South America, Incan South America, Spain, etc. We are an exercise in diversity, passion, flavor, heat, and spice!
Chica Lit: My great grandma was the cook in my family and unfortunately, many of her recipes were lost to us because she refused to share her secrets! Do you share all of your family recipes or are there some that you keep for sentimental reasons?
Daisy: YES!! I share my secrets, because this is the inheritance and legacy I leave to my children. I am a firm believer in the "you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you came from school". When I teach my recipe, you can be sure that they are completely and genuinely reproducible...what kind of a teacher would I be, if they weren't?
To read Daisy's column, check out Mucho Gusto.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Two best friends find themselves switching lives in “Switchcraft” by Mary Castillo.
Aggie is living the single life, running her own clothing store and debating on whether or not to strike up a romance with her friend, Kevin. Nely is the former business manager turned stay-at-home mother who is fighting for supremacy in her marriage and daughter’s life against her meddling mother-in-law who lives right next door. Aggie thinks Nely has the perfect life and Nely envies Aggie’s freedom. A weekend retreat with a spirit guide leads to the two switching bodies. Now Nely is Aggie and Aggie is Nely until the next full moon.
Nely soon finds that Aggie’s business is in trouble, a property manager is stalking her, and Kevin doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Aggie learns Nely is being mowed over by her domineering mother-in-law, taking care of a toddler is not as easy as it looks, the local mommies group is headed by the ultimate mean girl, and her husband is feeling neglected. Sometimes it just takes someone else to sort out your life, which is exactly what Nely and Aggie do, with hilarous results.
Nely and Aggie are both highly relatable characters you can’t help but cheer on. They both are tough in the face of adversity and go for exactly what they believe their friend would want for their life.
This book is a fun love letter to all women and the bond of sisterhood that is best friends.
“Switchcraft” is published by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins. It is $13.95 and 282 pages long.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
When I was in college, a friend of mine told me that her mother would say to her and her sisters that when it came to sex, they had to sit like they were holding a dime between their knees. My mom never put it that way, but it was understood that I would die if I came home and told her that I was pregnant before I got married.
Even though us Latinas are portrayed as spicy sex-kittens who render men powerless, most of us walk around with the specters of our disapproving parents looming over our shoulders. When I saw the cover for Juicy Mangos, my first thought was: what would the authors' mothers think?
So I had to ask the editor and one of the contributors, Michelle Herrera Mulligan about her experience.
Chica Lit: You write in the Editor's Letter that Johanna Castillo approached you with the idea. How do you know each other?
Michelle: Johanna contacted me because she liked the work I'd done on Border-Line Personalities, a new generation of Latinas dish on sex, sass and cultural shifting. The anthology had a raw, honest sexuality, and I think she liked it and wanted to tap me to edit Juicy (not to mention the fact that she heard I was a slavedriver editor!).
Chica Lit: How did the story of "Juan and Adela" come to you?
Michelle: Juan and Adela came to me as I started reflecting on characters I hadn't seen before. I started to visualize this woman who fascinated me, a complex, sexy older woman who hadn't had the opportunity to realize her dreams, someone like my mother. I wondered what would happen if her world got shaken up by a younger man. I experimented with a lot of voices for the narrator that would tell her story and once I had that down the rest just flowed.
Chica Lit: Did you have any fears about writing erotica? How did you overcome those fears?
Michelle: my fears about writing erotica were that one: my work wouldn't be taken seriously and two: people would judge or speculate about my sex life personally. I definitely had the subconscious Catholic bad girl fear thing...I was so worried about what my family or my boyfriends family would think if they found out. Ultimately it was doing good work that got me over those fears. When you write good sex scenes, it is hard work and it was a great challenge to my writing.
Chica Lit: How did you find the contributors?
Michelle: We found the contributors by seeking out diverse authors we admired. We didn't look for "erotica writers"; we wanted incredible authors who made sex and sensuality pivotal parts of larger works. We wanted the sex to reveal something deeper about their characters. Once we had a small list of people we wanted to target, it was surprisingly easy to get people to agree--the writers were really excited to write about sex in an unexpected way.
Chica Lit: What were the challenges you faced while editing the stories?
Michelle: The editing challenge was for all of us to find the patience to go through many drafts together--these were erotic novellas and I wanted the stories to be really strong on their own, without the sex. I really loved doing the anthology and the challenge of writing amazing love scenes. I would consider doing another--but when my schedule frees up some day! (I don't want to give my agent a nervous breakdown!)