Things that made my year – 2022 edition

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of 2022. Where did the time go? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of things that made my year:

  1. Celebrating my son’s first birthday.
  2. Having my mom around for two months and celebrating my son’s birthday with her.
  3. Publishing my debut novella Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  4. This interview about my novella.
  5. Realizing that, as independent author, learning takes place every day, and it’s scary and fun at the same time.
  6. That it’s important to focus on the step in front of me, not the entire staircase.
  7. Learning about Amazon Ads for authors.
  8. Writing #LetrasDesnudas.
  9. Joining Té de Querer for some great writing workshops and making new friends.
  10. Publishing three articles on Excélsior (Mexican newspaper, all available in Spanish): Carta para la niña que se convertirá en mujer, Promesas de hoy para un mañana seguro, and Urge modelo de salud con perspectiva de género.
  11. Discovering the Curious Fox podcast.
  12. Rediscovering The Chase Jarvis Live Show.
  13. A great podcast in Spanish, Hablemos Escritoras.
  14. Joining Good Reads as an author.
  15. Learning that Depeche Mode is releasing an album next year.
  16. Finding joy in writing my newsletter.
  17. Listening to some great artists: Neo Soul, Toni Braxton, Sade, Tom Jobim, The Human League, Spice Girls, and Alicia Keys.
  18. Castella tarts.
  19. Tuna and salmon poke bowls.
  20. Janet Jackson’s album “Control”.
  21. Learning the meaning of surrender.
  22. Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.
  23. Waiting Game by Junior Boys.
  24. Toda Tercafeira by Soul Quality Quartet.
  25. Deciding that my new NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.

 

Grateful for all the lessons learned. Grateful for the wonderful people who walked with me every step of the way. Grateful for all discoveries. Looking forward to 2023!

Lecciones en El Principito #AlgoPersonal

Finalizó el club de lectura y yo encontré nuevas lecciones en El Principito.

A mis 34 años de edad, he descubierto un tema que antes había pasado desapercibido: la autenticidad.

Cuando El Principito llega al planeta Tierra, se encuentra un jardín lleno de rosas que se parecían a la suya y se decepciona, ya que pensó que la que tenía era única en el mundo. Sin embargo, en el diálogo con el zorro, aprende el concepto “domesticar” y cambia su perspectiva cuando le pone un ejemplo muy claro.

Me permito copiar un pequeño fragmento.

Tú no eres para mí mas que un chiquillo parecido a cien mil chiquillos y no te necesito. Y tú tampoco me necesitas. Yo no soy para ti más que uno más entre cien mil zorros. Ahora bien, si tú me domesticaras, nos necesitaríamos el uno al otro. Tú serías para mí el único en el mundo, como yo lo sería para ti.

Crear lazos es parte de la experiencia humana. Todos los creamos con nuestra familia, con personas que alguna vez eran desconocidas pero que luego se convirtieron en amigos entrañables. También los creamos con quienes elegimos como compañeros de vida.

En un mundo de millones de habitantes, con tantos siglos y tanto espacio de por medio, llegan personas que dejan huella. Cada una de ellas es única. Las experiencias son irrepetibles y vamos escogiendo con qué nos quedamos.

Por diversas razones, pueden salir de nuestro espacio y puede que ya no volvamos a coincidir. Sin embargo, ese pedacito de tiempo compartido se puede guardar en un lugar especial de la memoria. Queda el sentimiento de haber creado lazos de significado profundo.

Comentábamos en el club de lectura que El Principito es un libro triste. Me queda como lección corroborar este punto. Es triste despedirse. Es triste dejar ir. Es triste aceptar que las personas son temporales y que su estancia es efímera. No importa cuan fuertes seamos, asimilar todo esto nos deja vulnerables.

No sé por qué no había detectado este tema antes. Me pareció muy claro y estoy agradecida por lo que este libro ha hecho por mí en este momento.

Sin duda, el presente es todo lo que tenemos en nuestras manos. Hay que gozar. Uno también es efímero.

El Principito: Club de Lectura #AlgoPersonal

El Principito es uno de los libros más preciados en mi biblioteca personal. Ahora que me acabo de unir a un club de lectura para analizarlo, me emociona la idea de compartir mis interpretaciones y anécdotas.

Hoy quiero compartir una de ellas.

Hace algunos ayeres, mi mamá me llevó a la Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara. Era una época donde esta feria comenzaba a posicionarse como un punto de encuentro importante para acercarse a la lectura.

Yo estaba muy jovencita y no tenía ni idea de qué quería leer o qué podría interesarme. Nos acercamos a un estante y me compró El Principito. Hasta este día, conservo esa copia y es una de mis más grandes joyas.

Me dijo que este libro me iba a gustar mucho y no se equivocó.

Pese a que no había estado en contacto con muchos libros en aquel entonces, supe que El Principito era especial. Las emociones que transmitía eran únicas. Me parece que esa sería la primera vez que las palabras y las ilustraciones me formaron un nudo en la garganta sin entender del todo por qué.

Ahora que me incorporé al club de lectura, veo que remueve muchas cosas en mí que ni sabía que llevaba dentro. Así de poderosa es la literatura.

Anoche empecé a releerlo después de varios años de no haberlo abierto. Tuve uno de los sueños más tranquilos que he tenido en meses. No sé qué signifique eso, pero me gusta el efecto que me está provocando.

Estoy por terminarlo. Una vez que llegue al final, reportaré en este espacio las nuevas lecciones aprendidas. Ese es también el punto: puedes leer el mismo libro una y mil veces y siempre encontrarás detalles diferentes y asombrosos.

How do you spend your time? Some ideas to consider

How do you spend your time?

The answers may vary according to lifestyle, personal philosophies, daily tasks among many more factors.

It requires a lot of effort and patience to track our habits and observe exactly what we do with each hour of the day.

How long will things be the same? Surely, I will be awake, I will sleep, I will be hungry, I will be cold, I will be hot. Is there no end? Do all things go in a circle?

seneca

Continue reading “How do you spend your time? Some ideas to consider”

Creative lessons from ‘Get Back’

One of the greatest documentaries released last year was, without a doubt, Get Back. The Beatles, even after years and years of their split, can still give any of us creative lessons.

The recording of the band’s sessions took place in the 60s, a decade in which I wasn’t even born yet. It’s impressive for me to be able to see how The Beatles composed their wonderful songs. It means a lot to me to learn more about their creative style, their personalities, and their natural gifts as musicians.

Here’s my list of creative lessons learned:

  • Playing is the best way to work

Watching them play with their guitars, piano or drums was like watching kids have fun. Their spontaneity led the way even when they were under pressure to record an album.

At times, they would perform other artists’ songs to take a break and refresh their minds. There was always room for laughs, smiles, and some jokes.

  • Exploring one idea from different angles is a must

They never made rushed decisions on the final version of a song. They tried different options and worked on all of them until they were truly satisfied. A creative idea may have true potential if explored from different perspectives.

Magic can happen if you don’t obsess with a single take.

  • Having some ideas ready always helps

Paul had a good chunk of Let It Be ready. That means he spent some time working on the song outside the studio and then shared his progress to keep refining it.

In the creative world, not everything happens in an office or in a studio. When you’re on your own, you need to keep ruminating. Process never stops.

  • Paul is not dead

This is not exactly a creative lesson, but I couldn’t let this chance pass without mentioning “Paul’s death”. A tremendous talent like his has no match. There’s no way someone else could have composed masterpieces like Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road.

I think the documentary proves any conspiracy theories wrong.

 

What did you learn from The Beatles’ creative process?

Personal fears: An exercise for self-reflection

I want to write openly about my personal fears. Since fear can be used as a GPS, I think it’d be a good exercise to see where it’s leading me. On the other hand, it’s difficult to be vulnerable in public. It’s a common belief that the more you hide your flaws, the stronger you will look.

It’s time to get rid of that belief and let my authentic self show. I’ll start by naming three of my greatest fears while elaborating a bit on them. I’ll mention where they come from and how I can overcome them.

Let’s see how this goes.

Continue reading “Personal fears: An exercise for self-reflection”

20 things that made my 2021 interesting

We’re just about to finish 2021, a year full of life-changing events. I’m grateful for all the experiences I had, and all the opportunities that came my way, especially for writing.

New priorities redefine the way I live my days, but there’s always a chance to make room for all the things that matter to me. I’m confident 2022 will teach me how to become better at it.

Here’s the list of 20 things that made my 2021 interesting.

  1. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby boy
  2. My mom’s visit for two months
  3. Publishing an article on women’s empowerment in Excelsior, one of the most prestigious newspapers in Mexico. (The article is available in Spanish only).
  4. Collaborating as a blogger in Apocrifa Art Magazine. I wrote about indie authors, creative entrepreneurship and writing life in general. (All articles are in Spanish).
  5. Taking a course on creative writing for the first time in my life. It was wonderful.
  6. This video on the importance of being yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched on YouTube.
  7. Reading more in Spanish. This year I read El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, Ficciones, Cuentos Naturales, Plagio, La Ciudad Oculta 2, and Mucha Madre.
  8. Discovering the following musicians: Chet Baker Quartet, Debussy, and Vangelis.
  9. This song
  10. Finishing my book!
  11. Dave Gahan’s Imposter album
  12. Depeche Mode’s photo book
  13. A playlist I made to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day
  14. Discovering that I want to explore folklore through dancing. Watching Amalia Hernandez’ ballet was inspiring.
  15. Deciding that, someday, I’d like to become a judge at the Olympic Games
  16. Playing Mario Kart again
  17. Meditation as a more regular practice
  18. Writing about beginnings
  19. Writing more in Spanish
  20. Buying books for my son

Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works

Writing on paper is one of my favourite activities. It allows me to slow down and think better. Seeing my hand in motion as I scribble down is still a fulfilling experience.

I can strike out ideas on the go and stop at any time to find out what comes next. On a digital format, I find this process a bit more intimidating. The text box is blank, and all I can see is the cursor blinking; waiting for you to come up with the perfect words to type. It’s a lot less spontaneous.

It’s almost an obligation to come prepared to work at the computer.

Continue reading “Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works”

Analogue process is still around and will always be

Analogue process is part of our daily lives in the XXI century. We still need it. We still use it.

On the one hand, we all look for digital tools when it comes to making creative work: doing research, creating graphics, blogging, building a website and more. Technology is an important component.

It makes sense. After all, it’s the norm in this day and age.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that analogue process is still relevant. Isn’t it wonderful? There’s a lot of trends that indicate that our lives will be relying more on artificial intelligence and other tech tools, but some things can’t simply fade away.

Continue reading “Analogue process is still around and will always be”

Eliminating distractions in the next decade

If we are to think in decades to track our growth, we better start eliminating distractions and prioritize the things that matter.

Here’s a few considerations from various sources I’ve come across:

  • Put your family, friends, and partner in the first place. Meaningful relationships are crucial for personal fulfillment.
  • Analyze the content you consume on TV, books, and the Internet. If you constantly find that you’re not learning anything, it’s time to be more selective.
  • Make sure that you’re doing something that makes you happy. There is no time to waste in things that you dislike.
  • Cut negative people out of your life. Protect your own energy.
  • Have clear goals for every day, every year, and of course, every decade. Time runs faster than you think. Make every moment count.
  • Be bold and ask for what you want.
  • Judge less. Focus on your own progress.
  • Play the long term game.

How would you start eliminating distractions from your life?