Why do I love teaching writing?

Dear Reader, Someone recently posed a question to me. When you think about teaching creative writing, what does that mean? The answer was easy and came to me quickly. This is all about empowerment. Writing, especially creatively, is about being empowered and empowering others. This is why I love teaching writers. In my career, I've … Continue reading Why do I love teaching writing?

Don’t call me brave. Call me chingona

Dear Reader, I've been thinking a lot about bravery recently, what it actually means and what it takes to be brave. This bravery thing seems like a simple thing to figure out but I'm not quite so sure. I've been called brave once. About a year ago. See, I did something that most people wish … Continue reading Don’t call me brave. Call me chingona

Being a writer in the age of Alton and Philando

Dear Reader, This is a website about writing. And the writing life. It is about dispelling those myths about what the writing life actually is. It takes courage to live this life. It takes more courage to live this life as a writer of color. Today is one of those days where writing is my … Continue reading Being a writer in the age of Alton and Philando

Stop apologizing: What independence really means

Dear Reader, One of the very first things I heard during my VONA experience was this: “You are allowed to take up space.” The words weren’t foreign to me but how they were put together were. Space? I nodded thinking that I knew what that phrase meant. All through my week, I kept hearing that … Continue reading Stop apologizing: What independence really means

Afro-Latinos, Black History Month and Twitter

Listen, my black speaks Spanish. And I love learning about African American History. Love it. But I want to know about my history. Who are the people who fought in wars and made discoveries? Whose names are all but forgotten? What are the issues they have confronted and overcome?

What happens when you stop asking for permission

Dear Reader, Something dropped in my inbox this week, an unexpected summons that there was a new blog post of a blog I had subscribed to. This blog was actually part of a former life of mine. I had once blogged at this site as part of my duties.  I had forgotten I was still … Continue reading What happens when you stop asking for permission

You can go home again

Dear Reader, This week was the first week of classes and I started teaching on a new campus, my old college. It has been a beyond surreal experience. The first day was filled with so many memories. The classroom I teach in is the same classroom I learned in. I ran into my first creative … Continue reading You can go home again

How the worst time of my life became the best

    Dear Reader, Today, I am dreaming of Miami. It's been nearly six months since I last stepped foot in that town and it changed my life. That was when I felt something break inside of me and a shift happen. There was bound to be change. That was June 26. It wasn't even … Continue reading How the worst time of my life became the best

When the N word doesn’t make sense

Dear Reader, One of the most eye-opening experiences about teaching college students in Houston is the international feel of the classroom. In my English classes, I have students from countries in Africa (too many to name) Iran, India, South Korea, China, Haiti, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Colombia. These students are from these countries. First generation. … Continue reading When the N word doesn’t make sense

That Latin Explosion documentary…incomplete

Dear Reader, Sometimes being Afro-Latina comes with stomaching the obvious -- being left out of the narrative. I tried to avoid the HBO documentary Latin Explosion because I already knew what it was going to be, a celebration of Latino achievement in America. And it should be celebrated -- Rita Moreno, Jose Feliciano -- their very … Continue reading That Latin Explosion documentary…incomplete