Friday, May 29, 2009


After my last post, many of you wrote and asked me not to give up book writing. Not to worry. I'll never stop writing books. They're just going to take longer than usual. Today I turned in a pilot script and series treatment and on Monday I'll start writing a spec script that is due at the end of June. In July I plan to go back to Aracely and whip her into shape for the fall. That's the plan and I'm stickin' to it.

In other news, I did an awesome interview with Chef Daisy Martinez last week. It will appear in the July/August issue of Latino Future magazine. Typically my interviews with celebrities are pretty cut and dry. But Daisy was special. She's one of those women who's done it all. She's sustained a loving marriage, raised a family of four, acted in commercials, matriculated from the French Culinary Institute and is now a Food Network chef, magazine columnist and author.

Some pretty amazing opportunities have come my way recently (hard to believe after my last post but its true). Being me, I was freaking out because of the huge changes these opportunities would bring to my family. I mean, I'd die if my son ever had to call my assistant to schedule himself on my calendar. But then I talked to Daisy, who in spite of all that she does, puts her family first. When I asked how she does it all, she said the following which I printed and stuck it above my computer:
"I'm one of those girls that shows up, you know? When I have a job to do, I get it done."
Every day since that interview, I step into my office and tell myself: I'm showing up, doing the work and then when I'm done, I'm walking out of here to do what I gotta do with my family. I can't tell you how amazing that kind of attitude has been. My output is off the charts and while I know it won't last forever - these things ebb and flow as they should - I'm really enjoying the flow! So if she's reading this, thank you Daisy!

I hope y'all have a rockin' weekend.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Mountain

Photo from

On the night that I decided to become a writer, I dreamed of walking on a road leading to a mountain. My destination, the mountain, stood far in the distance and the road I walked curved and rose and fell. Depending on where I stood, the road seemed to disappear completely from view. But the mountain was always there, waiting and watching in clear weather and foul.

The dream was a symbol of the choice I'd made earlier that day in a tourist shop in Sedona, AZ. My choice would never be easy, it wouldn't always be rewarding and it would bring me to the conjoined twins, Ridicule and Jealousy over and over again. But the dream told me that storytelling was my calling, my soul's work. I've never regretted the decision to embrace that calling. Ever since that day back in 1994, I've never woken up and not said thank you.

Today I got some very disappointing news with regards to Aracely Calderon. And yet, I don't feel too sorry for myself because for the last five months I've been researching for an eight-part mini-series being written for Will Smith's company, Overbrook Productions. I'm developing a cable series and preparing another script for a prestigious fellowship.

Good thing I have a sense of humor, not to mention patience, because I had to train as a screenwriter to become an author to then become a screenwriter. The road has taken me to some amazing places and it only knows where it will lead me next. Honestly folks, I don't know when my next standalone book will be released. It could be in three years, thirteen or thirty. It could be with a major publisher, a small independent or on my own dime. But you have no idea how grateful I am to you who have not only bought my books for yourselves, but also as gifts for your family and friends. You have no idea how much I treasure the emails you have taken the time to write where you asked when my next book will come out. Thank you. Thank you all of you.

I say this with much confidence and hope that we'll meet again, through one of my books or on a TV or movie screen, somewhere on the way to the mountain.

By the way, I will not close down this blog! I will continue to write my thoughts when they come or share a kick-ass book or author. And mija, when I sell Aracely Calderon (this is where you will notice that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Capricorn) I will be OBNOXIOUS in my excitement. But in the meantime, its time to get back to work.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thought of the day

Today Lenny Kravitz leaked a nekkid photo of himself. Last week, Rhianna photos appeared online. In 1952, Marilyn scored big when her topless photos launched Playboy. Apparently when a reporter asked what she had on during the photo shoot, she replied, "The radio." From that moment on, Marilyn became a bona fide star.

Celebrties and their nakedness is nothing new. The photos appear out of nowhere, "experts" appear on TV and in newspapers to wonder outloud if the photos will ruin the celebrity in question and then before you know it, the naked girl or guy's new movie or TV show or CD is for sale.

Nudity seems to turn a red hot career into a white hot career which leads to my thought of the day: would my books sell better if I leaked a nude photo of myself?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


My friend and fellow author, Frederick Smith wrote a great blog today about parents who might find themselves with a bully on their hands. Here is my response that I hope will inspire parents of children who have been bullied (ahem, that would be ALL of us!):

With my little guy in preschool, I've seen him bullied by other kids. And not just by boys. Girls do it too, by refusing to play with someone "new" or encouraging the other kids to run away from a specific child they've deemed unacceptable.

I encourage parents of kids who have been bullied to teach compassion, understanding and appropriate self-defense. My son once asked me why some boys were mean to him. I explained that those boys might have had a bad morning, or they might not know better, or maybe they felt afraid of him. I emphasized that it had nothing to do with him; it was the mean boy's decision to be mean. After the Little Dude thought about it for a moment, he said, "Mama, I hope mean boys have a good day tomorrow."

He still seems confounded when other kids are aggressive or mean to him, but he seems to have an understanding as to why they might be that way. It's hard not to tell him to go over and beat the s#!% out of those kids because uh, that's what I did to kids who bullied me!

Instead I tell him to say to those kids that they're not cool or to buzz off. (Hey its better than f$#* off, right?) And if they don't stop bugging him, the Little Dude knows he can go tell one of his teachers. My biggest fear is that inevitable moment when he'll encounter an adult who tells him to toughen up and take it. But when we get to that bridge, I hope the Little Dude knows that his Wonder Woman, ass-kicking Mexican mama will cross it beside him.

Man, it's hard letting your little one go onto the big bad world. But even at the Little Dude's tender age of three, I'm already giving him the tools to manage bullies because let's face it, bullies in the playground grow up to be bullies in the office, on the roads and as certain bloggers and reviewers on

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Today is Cinco de Mayo?

I'm a bad Mexican. I forgot that today is the day Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla. I think.

In celebration, I have this video to post in honor of my favorite Mexicana warrior:

Makes you wanna go kick some ass, huh?

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Family Ties

Growing up, my family hung out with the V's; short for my parents' compadres, Auntie Betty, Uncle Mario and my three cousins. Crammed in my Uncle Mario's VW bus (which we called, "URK") we'd drive to Coronado for bonfires, Presidio Park for picnics and memorably up to L.A.

I vaguely remember the day we spent at Universal Studios. But I can vividly recall the drive we took in URK to Boyle Heights and Echo Park. My Auntie Betty pointed out the house that her parents had bought after her father ended his service with the U.S. Army. The house is still there but sadly most of the Victorian mansions and Arts and Crafts bungalows - and in the case of Chavez Ravine, an entire community - have given way to the post-war development of L.A.

My Auntie Betty's niece has co-curated “Lost to Progress: The Modernization of Los Angeles" at Heritage Square . Opening tomorrow, May 2nd and running till June 28th, the exhibit coincides with National Preservation Month. This important exhibit explores the controversial evolution of Los Angeles through the examination of and the significant changes that led to the eventual destruction three lost Los Angeles Communities: Chinatown, Bunker Hill and Palo Verde (Chavez Ravine).

Heritage Square is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Regular admission applies; free for museum members. Click here for more information.

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