Exodus to America

Exodus to America

This comes to you from News & Guts, a multi-media production company headed up by Dan Rather, one of the most beloved TV news anchors of all time. Click the link below or the image above and watch the video. The rhetoric on immigrants cannot affect or inform like stories and images of the real people who have a choice no one should ever have to make: flee your homeland or die. These women risk it all to stay alive and give their children an opportunity for a better life in the land of opportunity.



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Texas Institute of Letters Runner-Up: Best YA Fiction Award

TIL logo

Another tremendous honor for Evangelina Takes Flight. Thank you to the Texas Institute of Letters!

Congratulations to winner, Francisco Stork, who I had the good fortune to meet in Austin last year. I’m happy to call him a friend and mentor.

TIL Winners Announced

HEB YA Award

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The Wisdom of the Cheshire Cat

cheshire cat

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire Cat in a tree.

“Which road do I take?” she asked.

His response was a question: “Where do you want to go to?”

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland

On January 20, I added a post entitled, “Conscious Endeavor.” It was my first attempt at sharing key concepts from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I’ve been teaching the 7 Habits material in a 3-day workshop for over 20 years, and my students tell me they’ve benefited immensely from it. I’VE benefited immensely from it, so, I’m sharing with you.

While Habit 1 is about accepting personal responsibility for your choices and ultimately, your life, Habit 2 is about personal vision. Knowing who you are, who you want to be, what your core principles are, who your key relationships are with and what legacy you want to leave.

Habit 2 (Begin with the End in Mind) says you should define what outcomes you want in life before acting. So many of us live one moment at a time, only focusing on what’s in front of us. This usually gets us short-term gains and often leads us in the wrong direction. We let the circumstances of the day take over.

If you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which road you take!

Imagine your 80th birthday party.


Everyone you care about most is gathered to wish you well and say a toast. What do you want them to say? Do you want your friends to say you were considerate and trustworthy and fun to be around? Do you want your significant other to say, that if given the chance, they’d choose you all over again? That you were a good listener, that you were thoughtful and loving? If you have kids, do you want them to think of you as a role model? Someone they will want to emulate when they become parents? What about at work? Or as a community member? Or sibling? Son or daughter? How do you want to be remembered? There is no right or wrong. It’s for you to decide.

Live every day from here on out with that end in mind. A written personal mission statement can be very helpful in establishing what you want to achieve and how you want to be remembered by those you hold most dear. There’s a mission statement builder on the FranklinCovey website to get you started.


Your choices are a diary of your life. What choices have you made so far, and are they a reflection of everything you always hoped for?

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! For boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!” Johann Goethe

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Winner – June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children

DRT June Naylor Award

I appreciate this honor! My sincere thanks to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. See the Press Release from Arte Público Press here:


Thanks also to Arte Público Press for their ongoing advocacy of my work!

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Hankering for Tex-Mex

Pappasitos Cantina

Living in Western Washington, authentic Mexican food is as common as a sunny, dry November day. Our Hispanic population is growing. The 2017 census shows our state at approximately 12% in 2017, and yet, I have only found 1 Mexican food restaurant that’s up to my standards within a 10 mile radius of my home (El Antojo in Lynnwood).

Thus, an ode (plea) to Pappasito’s Restaurant and Cantina, a save-room-in-your-belly-before-you-go spot my family frequents in Houston. I know it’s in other Texas cities and beyond, but alas, it’s M.I.A. here. It is a chain, but the food, oh the food – love me some of those fajitas with melted garlic butter. And, their frijoles a la charra? Just like my Abuelita used to make.

Pappasito’s – why do you reject the great Pacific Northwest?

We need you. Yes, we have expensive strong coffee and lots of fresh seafood, but that’s not scratching the Mexican food itch of us pale, vitamin D-deficient Seattleites.

The people here don’t even know how devoid they are of fresh cooked tortillas, ice cream topped with creamy cajeta, enchiladas suizas, tacos al carbon and frozen margaritas that come out of a giant machine like a 7-11 Slurpee. But they SHOULD know.

And the fajitas! Skirt steak sloshed through a concoction of lime juice and soy sauce and cooked to perfection over mesquite, seasoned just right, sliced thin, laid lovingly inside a hot flour tortilla, topped with pico de gallo and savored while oohing and aaaahing with every bite.

Seattle is rich in natural beauty, responsibly sourced organic food, a colorful array of umbrellas and innovation as evidenced by our famous start-ups: Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco and others, but we are incomplete without YOU.

Pappasito’s, this is your invitation. Set up shop in the south Lake Union area. You have any idea how much growth is going on here with Amazon’s constant expansion? We have more working cranes packed in that part of town than any other city. I mean, there are thousands of hungry people with money to spend, looking for a margarita and some warm chips and salsa. You’d be a HIT.

Plus, I have a hankering for good Tex-Mex.

PS: If you do come to Seattle, would you bring Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen with you? My husband wants some of that Cajun seafood you’re so famous for.



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The Traditional Publishing Process in GIF


feelings chart

feelings associated with the publishing process


You know how one click on the internet leads you to another and another, and you wind up somewhere completely off the topic you started with? This random-clicking-time-sucking-phenomenon took me to a GIF that shows the ups and downs of the traditional publishing process. Any published author who’s gone this route will relate. Interested in publishing a book? Watch this, and don’t say you weren’t warned.

The Publishing Process in GIF Form, courtesy of Nathan Bransford.


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Classic! Eydie Gormé & Trio Los Panchos

Eydie Gorme Los Panchos

Sharing songs (video below) from my favorite Spanish language album, straight out of my childhood – Eydie Gormé and Trio Los Panchos. The first two songs are Piel Canela and Sabor a Mí followed by Granada. This style of music takes me back to my carefree kid-life. These days, I am in a 70s show band, mostly as a back-up singer on cover songs. It’s a completely new experience for me and so much fun.
In honor of my love of music, I’ve written a children’s picture book, tentatively titled, The Music in My Heart, about a ten year old girl who wants to become a mariachi. Hope to see it published in 2018/2019.
2 years ago I published a post titled, Music for the Mexican Soul, also featuring Trio Los Panchos. I just love these guys!

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