Monday, August 29, 2016

Art 11: Doll (Untitled)

Here is a life drawing I did during an art class back in 2011.
It was a 15-minute pose of a tall model reclining on a chair.
I love the green pastel used and the doll-like lips.
There was an issue with the left arm and it could have used more shading, but I’m proud of the overall image. It’s rare for me to even say that, so I hope you enjoyed this piece.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Writer’s Workshop 19: Fiction Tips

Back in April, I attended the 8th annual Writer’s Weekend at MT. SAC. There were a lot of workshops such as art-related, poetry, and writing.
Here are a few things I learned for fiction from the Fiction Workshop with Christopher Allan Poe and Bonnie Hearn Hill:
  • ·         dialogue is important

-it lets you know character
-drives the plot
-helps us identify the protagonist and antagonist, which is conflict
  • ·         conflict is all about someone wanting A and someone wanting B (not only fists flying)

the goal of the character drives everything
  • ·         always keep learning about your craft: read, write, take classes
  • ·         before write ask: whose story is this? what does this person want? who stands in their way?

by answering these questions, you can build your pitch
  • ·        it’s okay to have multiple protagonists and antagonists, but there should be a MAIN on from each to keep focus
  • ·         consider outlining

Note: My poem, “Disneyland,” got published in Spectrum 6: Pick Up Sticks issue, August 2016.
The issue is filled with great poetry about being a child or about an event that happened in childhood. if interested for a copy, go to

Monday, August 15, 2016

Quote 19

“Don’t struggle to be a better teacher than everybody else. Simply be a better teacher than you ever though you could be.”
--- Robert John Meehan, U.S. educator, author

When I read this quote, I thought, “Wait a minute. Teachers comparing each other leads to competition and a not so happy workplace. How is that even good?”

It’s not.

Teachers should collaborate with each other and work towards building student’s abilities and empathy.

I’ve heard stories that teachers should get paid based on the results they get from student scores, but how does that tell you about the whole child?

If teachers think about being better than last year, they can improve on what was a success instead of wondering if they’re better than the rest.

Isn’t that what we want students to feel, too? A pride for being who they are and doing the best they can with what they got, learning from their mistakes and improving?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Books I’m Reading 25

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-nonsense advice that would inspire you to clean like the dickens by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer is a collection of tips from cleaning the pantry to washing the rug using natural ingredients.

Yes! We are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy is a book in which they take personal experiences of students and write poetry that encapsulates those experiences of being Latino in the United States of America. They also include a brief history about the worn torn countries and multiple migration of various groups in Latin American countries.

Flashes by Tim O’Rourke is a New Adult novel about a seventeen-year old, Charley, who can get glimpses into the last hours of a victim’s life and a nineteen-year old Police Constable, Tom, who is out to prove himself a good detective. They come together during a major case and learn to trust each other.

City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a collection of various poets such as Allen Ginsberg, David Meltzer, Harold Norse, Marie Ponsot, and many others.

Note: My poem “Go and Come” was recently published on vox poetica! Check it out at

Monday, August 1, 2016

Pet News 21: Urinary Infections and Tip

If your cat starts behaving differently than normal, it’s a sure sign something’s wrong and a trip to the veterinarian is important to rule out any major illnesses.
When my cat started showing symptoms of lethargy and a lack of motivation to play, I knew something was up. She wouldn’t follow me around and I immediately took her to the veterinarian. After some blood and urinary work, the results explained what I feared: crystals in the urine that may lead to kidney stones.
But that wasn’t the hard part. Administering the antibiotics took a lot of work. I solicited my sister’s aide because one had to hold the cat and the other had to deal with the mouth to squirt the substance. All this and still, my cat showed a small sign of crystal, so, we put her on a recommended prescribed diet. Of course, once on it, she couldn’t revert back to her original formula.
It wasn’t a total loss, my cat loved the food and is now pretty stable. No crystals. Cats can be finicky and picky, you know. If only she wouldn’t stress herself out so much, she’d be perfect again.
Later, my vet recommended Cranberry juice to be added to her food to help with her bathroom needs, making the transition of urine go smooth. Giving pumpkin puree also helps with the bathroom process. Dandelion is also a diuretic to promote urine flow.

Whatever you do, make sure you consult with your vet first. Like humans, not every treatment works the same way. We’re glad it helped my cat.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Short Stories & Such 25: Selling Your House

This story was written back in March 21, 2013 when Writer’s Digest had a writing prompt about selling your house. I never got the chance to post it. I was busy with my novel and I lost track of time. I unearthed it for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Selling Your House

Kaden thrust the market sign into the lawn on the front yard of the house. He grappled with it until it stood on its own. He stepped back, wiped his forehead, and took in the scenery before him. The gray roof tiles and the round windows on the second floor made the house different from the rest on the block. The sun hit the right side of the house causing the shade on the left to cover the neatly placed garden that led into the side door to the kitchen. He had been waiting for this moment for over six months. After his daughter left for college out of state, he finally agreed to sell the place since all the upgrades were complete. He worked night and day to make sure it was ready.

Kaden strolled on the red bricked walkway to the house, wiped his feet on the outside mat, and stepped inside. Before he closed the door completely, he heard a knock. It was too early for anyone to come asking about the house, but he shrugged the uneasiness and opened the door.

“First day on the market, eh?”

Kaden lowered his head to see an extremely old woman stand before him. Her wrinkles were so deep he had a hard time following where they started and ended. Strange he thought. He hadn’t noticed anyone down the street this morning or while he adjusted the sign. She couldn’t have walked that fast. There was a slight incline to get here.

“May I help you?”

The old woman picked up her cane and pointed to the sign, “You selling this house?”

“Yes, yes I am. Are you buying?”

The old woman grinned. One of the few teeth she had protruded out.

Kaden hoped she wouldn’t laugh at his novice expertise in selling his own property. He’d like to avoid any surprises to the inside of her mouth or rotting gums.

“No,” she finally said.

“Oookay,” Kaden held the doorknob ready to close the door and bid farewell.

“I used to live here as a child.”

Kaden loosened his grip. “Ah, I see. Come to see the changes?”

“Come to tell you something about this place.”

“You mean like a history of the property? Well, I already did my research years ago.”

The old woman’s wrinkled lips creased before smiling up at Kaden.

Kaden wasn’t sure what to do. He’s heard of old people getting crazy the nearer they were to death. Maybe she’s one of those old people and his one of the recipients of their behavior, but there was no need to be rude in trying to get her to leave.

“Would you like to sit down to tell me?”

“I would never enter this house.”

“Um, I’m going to be really busy soon so -”

“Years ago, this house was occupied by two boys. When they grew up into adolescence, they did some things in here that no boy should ever be able to do.

Suddenly, Kaden felt a tingle radiate up his arm to his jaw. He rubbed the back of his neck for the mood had suddenly changed from strange to morbid. Whatever the terrible thing that took place here was better left behind. Maybe that’s why he never heard of such a story.

“Look,” Kaden started to close the door, “I’ve lived here for more than a decade -”

The old woman used her cane to stop the door. “Those boys buried their mother in the basement. They twisted her corpse into a knot and hid her down there.”

“I don’t think you have the right house. I can assure you there is no skeleton. There was a check on every board and tile in this house.”

“You will never sell this house.” The old woman stepped back to go, but turned to say, “She likes you too much.”

Taken aback, Kaden shook his head and looked down at his shoes and when his eyelids rose, the old woman was gone. He closed the door and continued to shake his head. He put his elbow over the other arm. He brought his thumb near his mouth thinking over what the old woman revealed, but it was so out there. He didn’t want to consider it. Instead, he proceeded to get the furniture plumped up. Even though he tried to keep busy, he couldn’t get the old woman’s last words out of his head. He paced in front of the door to the basement and after several minutes, he opened it. The loud creak caused his fingers to tremble. He reached in for the light. The bulb flickered before it lit the room. He went down the stairs scrutinizing the corners of the floorboards, but all he saw was emptiness.

Kaden kneeled at the bottom of the steps and chuckled. “Huh, just putting the spooks in me.” He proceeded to climb the stairs when he heard a sudden crack. He turned and detected the floor had warped. “What the -”

A silvery image ascended out from the floor. Kaden realized it was a woman. Her face was similar to the old woman outside, except, the wrinkles were gone. There was a sadness in her dark eyes and an anger in her movement. Before he had a chance to run up, it snatched him with elongated arms and dragged him under with her.

Friday, July 15, 2016

News Update

The computer’s going to the “doctor” and I won’t be able to post on Monday.

Feel free to re-read some Short Stories or Death as Metaphor posts or look me up on Twitter.

I’ll return the following Monday with a new Short Stories & Such post.

Thank you to all readers who have been reading this blog and keeping up with my writing.

Have a great weekend!