Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CATCHING UP WITH YOU: Updates on My Writing, and Some Fun Info About the "Holiday Blog Tour"

This year has flown, and I'm noticing how long I've been away from this blog now. For those of you who've stopped by and didn't see anything new, my apologies. I hope you won't give up on me, and please drop by again. For new readers of this blog, thanks for dropping by. I hope to keep you engaged and up-to-date. Let me update you first on what I've been doing since my last posting here a year ago.
  • Three of my short stories have been published in books or literary journals: Pha'titude Literary Magazine; PALABRA Literary Magazine; and the new anthology just issued, Soul Vomit.
  • About 7 new poems have been published in the San Gabriel Valley Poets Quarterly, and the Poetry and Cookies Annual Anthology.
  • I expanded and revised my new book of short stories (as yet unpublished) by adding new stories. The book is tentatively titled Liar, Liar & Other Stories and includes 15 works, which is longer than my first award-winning short story collection, The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories (2009).
  • I've launched a new series of book reviews for the awesome website, www.Latinopia.com , hosted by talented author and filmmaker, Jesus Trevino. The series focuses on iconic Hispanic-American women authors who made history with their award-winning books in the 20th century, from 1972-1996. So far, 7 books have been reviewed, with 5 remaining (about one per month).
  • I've written essays for www.PowerfulLatinas.com (hosted by Aurelia Flores) and some of these have been cross-posted in the award-winning blog, www.LaBloga.blogspot.com (hosted by vaunted authors Daniel Olivas, Michael Sedano, et al.).
  • I am preparing my new poetry chapbook, Hearts in Common--which was deemed a semi-finalist in a national poetry chapbook competition, and which will be published by Kentucky's Finishing Line Press in June 2013--to go to press.
  • I've completed a new nonfiction book that I plan to publish in early 2013. The book is a compilation of excerpts from my writings over the years, commentary and mini-essays on vital issues we all care about and that came to the fore particularly strongly in our presidential campaign season and during the elections in November, and which are still issues challenging us as we speak: education, women's rights, family, equality for all, politics and power...and the things we most care about on individual levels: parenting, love, friendship, death of loved ones, appreciating our world, nature, and beauty. The book is tentatively titled Life & Other Important Things and is illustrated throughout with about 25 full-color oil paintings by California artist and author, Victor Cass.
Whew! I feel less guilty now for having been very remiss in keeping up this blog. I'll keep you updated on all the above, but you can also visit my:
  • Facebook page, Author Thelma Reyna's Fan Club, for the most current information about my writing and publishing.
  • My other blog, www.Latinowriterstoday.blogspot.com 
  • The other blogs noted above,  for which I am a guest blogger (Powerful Latinas and Latinopia) or an occasional guest blogger (La Bloga).
Thanks for your supportiveness of us authors. Now, speaking of other authors...here's the best part of today's posting: LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE "HOLIDAY BLOG TOUR" THAT ELEVEN OF MY COLLEAGUES ARE DOING ESPECIALLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

The 2012 Holiday Blog Tour...Creativity Galore!

Beginning on December 7, a group of dynamic women authors have been writing special poems, memoirs, stories, or essays about the spirit of Christmas: what it means to them, memorable ones they've had, what they hope for us, etc. These commemorative writings have been posted day by day on each author's own website. The "tour" is thus our daily visiting of each website in turn, until the 2012 tour ends on Christmas Eve.

So far, 12 authors have posted their holiday blogs. These are still up, so stop by their sites to enjoy them:

DEC. 7--Jasmine Clemente, www.jasmineclementetheartist.blogspot.com
DEC. 8--Gwendolyn Jerris, www.silenceandhoneysuckle.wordpress.com
DEC. 9--Natasha Oliver, www.natashaoliver.com
DEC. 11--Caridad Pineiro, www.caridad.com/blog
DEC. 12--Teresa Carbajal Ravet, www.SententiaVera.com
DEC. 13--Natasha Alvarez, www.audaciouslady.com
DEC. 14--Stephanie Dorman, www.howmanyfrogs.com
DEC. 15--Karen La Beau, www.klabeau.blogspot.com
DEC. 16--Annette Santos, www.themongaconfesses.blogspot.com
DEC. 17--Zoraida Cordova, www.zoraidawrites.com
DEC. 18--Kristy Harding, www.kristyharding.com

The rest of the lineup is as follows. Please join me in keeping up with these very talented, insightful authors!

DEC. 19--Nikki Kallio, www.morepurplehouses.blogspot.com
DEC. 20--Sujeiry Gonzalez, www.lovesujeiry.com
DEC. 21--Samantha Kolber, www.sam-poet.blogspot.com
DEC. 22--Me, Thelma, right here...www.TheLiterarySelf.blogspot.com
DEC. 23--Julia Amante, www.juliaamante.blogspot.com
DEC. 24--Icess Fernandez Rojas (the creator of Holiday Blog Tour), www.writingtoinsanity.com

Looking Forward to 2013...

As we prepare for the new year, let us continue to support one another. Being an author is very hard work done in solitary fashion. For most of us, the monetary rewards are slight or nonexistent. Most of us do not support our families on our earnings from writing. We engage in it because each of our "literary selves" tugs at our hearts and compels us to write. We write because it is as natural an occurrence to us as breathing, eating, or brushing our teeth. It's a daily event, whether we pen emails to friends, or post opinions on online newspapers like the Huffington Post and New York Times, or whether we compose a poem, or write a story, or create a new chapter for our novel-in-progress--or (heavens!) any combination of these. Shakespeare said, "The play's the thing." For the rest of us authors working in obscurity, "Writing's the thing"...the point, the act which is its own reward for being. In short, we write because...we are.

Thanks for dropping by, and please keep coming back. Happy holidays to each of you, and a prosperous, peaceful, healthy New Year.

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