No matter what you write, it can be tough to publish your work. Many focus on perseverance, never giving up when things get tough, but sometimes it is important to reflect and realize maybe some things aren’t meant to be. When you do feel what you’ve done needs to be shared, you’ll find a way somehow. We usually see failure and rejection as a negative, and what I’ve learned from J.K. Rowling is that we should see it as an opportunity to find a new path, and direction to what you’re doing.
When it comes to work, they say that you should find something that you’re passionate about because if you love it, it does not feel like work. I think it’s partly true. I have found that it is important to find the jobs that work best for you, but even though, there will things that you have to work on. Just like when you write, if you love it, you’ll keep writing, but it does not mean that there won’t be difficulties. You have to figure out what you need to do next. Are you trying to improve the recipe? Then it’s about revising and finding another avenue for publication. Is it a stepping stone to something else? Never see your past work that does not get published as a failure, it’s something that you learned and made you become who you are.
My essay did not get accepted as I hoped, but I’m going to try to find another avenue for publication, and revise my essay as best as I can. Most of all, I’m going to keep writing because I’m passionate about it, and it always helps me. I enjoy all kind of writing, especially creative, expressive, and academic. A friend told me to keep trying and writing, and I plan to do so. I have the time to write what ever I want in between my jobs that I love. It makes me happy. My mental health is better than it used to be, but I know that it is always a work in progress. There are many reasons why. When I learned about IDONTMIND, from my favorite actors, especially one from South Texas. This movement taught me about to value my mental health and share my experiences. Another reason is because everything in my life now is providing me opportunities to do what I’m passionate about: artistic pursuits, helping others, and sharing my talents.
I have the wonderful opportunities to mentor students about writing, especially impactful when they figure out something from our discussion, or they let me know of their future success. I feel such pride in helping students complete the next step in their education, and learn English, which reminds me the most of my mom, and others in my family, who have come to the U.S. and became American citizens. I have a chance to create items to grow communities. Also share my talents for an amazing website that grows every day. I can do all that along with working on my writing pursuits and singing at church. I feel appreciated and supported. Even with setbacks, I still feel hopeful for the future. What we should focus on is the positive things in our lives, and our strengths, and where we can move forward. Let go of what does not work. Don’t let others bring you down. Don’t let what you see as weaknesses and failures become negatives, but something that can make you become the best version of yourself, and bring much of your work to the rest of the world.
I’ll always find ways to keep writing and share my work.
This April and July sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo (plus the in between months) were really successful for me in many ways. I’ve had many opportunities throughout my life to publish my writing in some kind of form, but I could be sharing much more. In the month of April, I realized that my blog could be a great place to share short writing pieces, especially if I don’t plan to publish them in other ways. I decided to participate not only in Camp NaNoWriMo that month, where I could work on any project, but also NaPoWriMo, which is the challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. This was an interesting and amazing experience to find what I would write about each day, and help me realize that I have the freedom this year to be creative, especially each day. This was also a great way for me to improve my mental health through writing. I’m so thankful to IDONTMIND for inspiring me to share more about mental health, and making me strive to improve my mental health. The feedback I received from friends, fellow writers, family, and others about my writing was rewarding, motivational, and also helped me figure out what I could do to next. I also have enjoyed the support of my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin filled with local writers from the South Texas Scribes. Poetry is such a wonderful way to express and present different things. I feel like it led me to visit New York City, which I realized I could go by the end of April. On the weekend of May 25, I went to New York City, and fell in love with the city. I hope to visit again someday. I’m thankful for all the incredible experiences I had that weekend, and who I spent it with. When I got back, I truly felt like I had turned 30 early.
So many exciting opportunities were coming forward for my writing and with my jobs. Additionally, so many people that continue to inspire me and motivate me forward, especially those who I work with. My life isn’t perfect and there’s always things I strive for, but I feel like I’m at an amazing place right now. I’m excited for the future adventures ahead. This July, I began working on my second essay project this summer. I thought Camp NaNoWriMo could positively push me to finish the essay draft, just like it did for my first published essay. It did. I’m still waiting to see if it will be published, but I’m hopeful. I also used this month to write poetry and anything I felt like writing, especially on my blog. It felt good to have the option to choose what I felt like writing, especially when I felt stuck sometimes, or felt like writing something different. Both of these months, I didn’t focus on word counts. I look at pages and hours to see my progress. There was some freedom to the fact that I wasn’t focusing on reaching a word count goal. Only focusing on getting something done each day. There’s writing I still need to revise and so much I still want to write. I can’t wait to see how much more I can complete by the end of this year.
Additionally this July, I’ve even had time to learn how to bake pies by scratch with the Waitress the Musical pie book with the songs playing in the background. Life has an interesting way of bringing all the ingredients you need to write, but it’s up to you to create something with it. By the way, I recommend going to see the musical before it closes on Broadway on January 5, 2020. Truly everything changes. Besides July 31 being the final day for Camp NaNoWriMo, but it also happens to be J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter‘s birthdays. They both inspired me to become a writer, and become everything I am and do each day. They truly have taught me that we have all the magic we need within ourselves, and we can imagine and do amazing things. Thanks to them. Thanks to you for all the support, and I look forward to updating this blog with whatever is ahead. I’m so blessed, thankful, and excited. I hope to publish more of my writing in the future. I also hope you will continue to follow my journey, and I wish you all the best, especially on your creative endeavors.
Gratitude In July by Christy V.
1. The life given to me.
2. The stories gathered.
3. The people that matter.
4. The work that works best.
5. The talents passionately shared.
6. The travels that are worthwhile.
7. The everyday things and moments.
8. The choices that changes things.
9. The hope towards the future.
10. The help that can be provided.
11. The compassion for everyone.
12. The languages to communicate.
13. The feelings that move me.
14. The words to be written.
15. The vision to freeze time.
16. The ability to listen closely.
17. The voice to always sing out.
18. The hands to make anew.
19. The steps going forward.
20. The stars work hard to shine.
21. The nature that surrounds.
22. The love that we can share.
23. The cultures that connect us.
24. The self-care that strengthens.
25. The knowledge that empowers.
26. The open doors to new changes.
27. The team that makes us better.
28. The past that makes us learn.
29. The magic that is hidden within.
30. Everything given by a higher power.
The American Dream by Christy V.
I am the American detained
Told that my papers were fake
Told that I didn’t have rights
They didn’t believe me when
I said that I am an American
Because I spoke only in Spanish
When they finally released me
Days after detained with others
Wanting the American Dream
I am the son of an immigrant
My mother wanted me to have
A better life than she did in her
Country that she loved dearly
But destroyed by corruption
The travel wasn’t safe but
She knew it was worth the
Risk for the American Dream
I am the one to bring a voice
To the ones who are not given
A chance to speak for themselves
They are suffering with little
While Americans have so much
What is the American Dream?
The freedom to live without fear
To have a life with a better future
A chance for a good education
A job to help our families
Does the American Dream
Still exist? Who has the right
To this American Dream that
We all strive for and live towards
They say we should learn English
Why does that feel like we have
To forget where we come from
The American Dream should be
A mixture of languages and cultures
Living together for a better future
*Poet note: Poem inspired by the true stories on the southern border. I’m also a daughter of naturalized American citizen, who is originally from Mexico, and also a great-granddaughter of immigrants.
With Lemon Wedges by Christy V.
Sometimes walking away
Is all you could do even if
It meant leaving friends
That mattered to you
They never understood
The path less traveled
So why does it still hurt?
You put all this effort
Into something that
Broke you into pieces
Eventually life brings back
Together through writing
And baking countless pies
So what is a girl to do?
Stick with friends who
You trust with your words,
Find things that work for you,
It isn’t perfect, but it’s good
Like life, things get easier
Each time, with time
A slice of happiness
A cup of confidence
Life with lemon wedges
The end result of any writing project feels like magic. Leading up to the finish product is a journey that I enjoy being on. The first part of the writing process is planning. I prefer to outline, like a recipe that I can follow. I grab all the ingredients I need, especially the research, which feels like an adventure. You never know what you might find. As I start working on the first draft, is making every part of the recipe by scratch. The beginning and the end of the draft are the double dough pie crusts. The middle is the filling, with many possibilities.
The time spent on making the filling is what makes a pie unique. Everything written with the heart, and then later revised and edited with precise measure. The draft can be set aside as you work on another before preparing the pies for baking, the revision and editing timed just right. The baking time is every draft that you have to make before it’s ready for publication. When everyone sees the final product is when everyone, even the creator, can have pie.
The magic is how one taste can lead someone to make more pies, more writing. Sometimes writing can be done alone, or mostly, but a mentor can make the process more fruitful. Eventually, you have to go at it alone, and hope that you continue to improve. You cast a spell that wows the audience, and become a mentor to others. Showing others how they can find their best way through the process. After all that time, everything changes.
Behind Door Number 3 by Christy V.
I’ve gone through two doors before
Made my way through different paths
This year I see what’s behind number 3
Yet I still look back to see how the past
Made the present and opens the future
I see what I’ve accomplished, overcame,
The things I’ve dealt with, places I’ve been,
And everything I’ve ever loved, always
Makes me hopeful of door number 3
Yet some might say that I never finish
Left things when they got hard
That I don’t know what love is
What will you have at 30?
They never seem to understand
I know my value and who I am
Striving for the best version of me
When to fight and when to step back
My power is within me that’s my magic
My mind matters that I know
I find the path that works for me
So I can be, while making ripples
In the future that many cannot see
I don’t know what is ahead but
That’s the adventure I want and
The pages I can’t wait to write
It only takes a taste to know
That I want more of a life
That matters to me with
A blindfold and jumping
I’m excited to get started on another Camp NaNoWriMo session, so much so that I’ve made a few changes to my blog. This time I’m doing something different from what I did in April 2019. I’m focusing mostly on an academic essay that I hope to publish in an anthology, and when I have time, write about my writing process on here, and also write poems and stories. I want to do as much as possible because I’m inspired with many ideas to make this session productive. I need your help. Your encouragement has helped me complete writing projects, and improve my writing. Please continue to do so. I really appreciate it. I’m thankful to continue to be part of an awesome virtual cabin of local writers from the South Texas Scribes. We work encourage each other to complete our writing goals. First of all, I’ve already have a good start on my essay, but I hope that camp will help me finish my first draft before the draft due date later this year, especially early enough to give me time to revise.
Additionally, I really enjoyed completing 30 poems in 30 days this past April. It really helped me grow as a poet, improve my mental health, and inspire me to take what was on my mind or going on during the month to become poems. Also many of the prompts from NaPoWriMo pushed me to write poems that I did not expect. Poetry, along with expressive writing (like personal narratives) are so important as outlets to let our minds explore our thoughts, our lives, and our world. Even though I don’t have those prompts this time, I do know where I can get prompts if I feel inspired to write poems, but not sure what to write about. As well as how to gather inspiration from my life and things that I enjoy to create new poems. The best part from April was that my writing lead me towards the chance to head to New York City for the first time during Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully I can write about my adventure there as a poem or a short story. That experience impacted me so much. I understand now why writers are drawn to write about that city. I’m grateful that I was able to take that trip for my 30th birthday (which lands this month). I’m not sure what else I might write this month, but I’m excited to see where my writing journey goes.
Check back here to see my updates for Camp NaNoWriMo, along with a special birthday post on July 3, and beyond. I can’t wait to share my writing progress, and any poems along the way. Right now, the future is very bright.
Flight by Christy V.
A place I’ve only seen
In movies and stories
So many writers want
To write about this city
I’m about to take flight
A place filled with lights
A city that never sleeps
From a small city town
Comes a star so bright
Along Broadway nights
Sit back and relax, it is
Going to be a long flight
All the cost will be worth
Everything I see and meet
Soon I’ll hear the attendant
Say welcome to New York City
Meditative Pond by Christy V.
Be aware and present in the moment
Look at the nature surrounding us
The sights, sounds, and smells
Focus on our breathing
One, two, three, four
Let go of the negatives
Let them fall into the water
Lean forward to the positives
They will come to us like
The duck heading to shore
Things will come when they’re
Meant to for all sorts of reasons
Sharing our thoughts brings us
Unexpected peace to our minds
We head to thoughtful places
No matter where we are
Even creating a pond
Within our minds