2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you all who visit my blog regularly and also those who just discover it by chance! Thanks also to bloggers who are my top commentors: Let’s CUT the Crap, poemsandponderings, Madhu, and Java  Girl

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GOOD BYE 2012 HELLO 2013!!

I dedicate this post to all of my followers. Thank you for all your kind support and feed back.  And so we are off to a new year. I am happy to announce that I am now working for Henderson Press, a local news paper. I will be covering news worthy events surrounding the arts around town and I will have an Opinion column. This is something I always wanted to do and now here I am doing it!

My dear readers, please don’t ever give up on chasing your dreams down and living them with a passion.  Sure, writing is not making me killer bucks, at least not yet hee hee but that doesn’t matter a hill of pinto beans to me. I get such a kick out of living my dream because at the end of my day I know some one benefited from what I do.

As you enter 2013 remind yourself that you are the only one that can do  what you were put here on planet earth to do. Many people can do the same job similarly true enough; no one can do it quite like you though! So stand back and let 2013 be the year your surprise yourself! Go for it there is no one stopping you but you and fear. And did you know fear simply is an acronym for: FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Let that sink in!

So long 2012, thanks for all the good things you brought me which are too many to name; and thanks for the bad things because I actually learned a lot from them. I go into this new year full of hope and a  resolve to keep pushing forward and forgetting what tried to hold me back in the past. I hope you find the strength to do the same.

Take care readers and see ya next year!!! 🙂

-Eva Santiago copyright 2012

Please check out the write up for my book launch. Thanks Henderson Press, for doing such a great job in covering my event!

http://www.hendersonpress.com/local-news/item/1598-author-eva-santiago-launches-latest-book

SMALL IS THE NEW BIG!

Do you ever feel small and that what you do seems insignificant? I sure do from time to time. I started The Henderson Poets, a group that meets on Tuesday evenings at The Coffee House close to my home. We are small in number but that does not matter one iota to me. People from all walks of life show up. Some times 15 or more people show up, other times it’s less. But I keep plugging on and do you know why? Because I believe what I’m doing matters! We live in a society where everyone is always number crunching. We measure success by the number of books we sold or the numbers in our bank account and even our number of friends on Facebook. Did you ever stop to consider that small is the new big? What if me showing up at the Coffee House every Tuesday night is just to touch one other soul?

A few weeks ago I invited a very nice man to join us. He said he writes poetry but he had never shared before.  Last night he came and shared poems he wrote  during what seems to have been a traumatic divorce. He moved all of us because as he read, he wept openly. Dear readers, that is why I LOVE what I do. I believe poetry is meant to be performed live. A dear friend of mine said to me upon our first meeting,” Our words are our life.” How true that is! How amazing it is and an honor to have the chance to give other poets a platform from which they can come and bare their souls to us. We all benefit when a soul reaches out to touch us with their light. 

So next time you think what you do is not important consider that  maybe your presence in some one’s life might be the one thing that is keeping that person alive. The work you do no matter how menial in your eyes, maybe some one else’s miracle and moment of joy. Take your eyes off the numbers and value what you do because really, you’re the only one capable of doing what you do. What you do and who you are is irreplaceable..think on that!

-EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

 

 

Word Picture #14

FOR: RLND…

It’s cold outside. The birds don’t even come out to sing  They’re barely looking for food.

It’s so cold outside, the sky is frigid and still;

as when someone holds toward you ill will.

ILL WILL

It’s so cold outside,

the bare branches on the tree look arthritic.

It’s so cold outside;

the wind pierces my skin and bones;

as his bitter words once pierced my heart.

It’s so cold outside;

all the chimneys sit back smoking away their worries

and telling old, sad stories.

It’s so cold outside;

the ground froze like a face does during a stroke.

It’s so cold outside;

I feel like I’m going to choke…..

 

 

It’s so cold outside;

but I’m all warm inside.

The birds outside with no song to utter

but my heart is a flutter

The sky maybe still-

but my heart will never get its fill.

And though the wind pierces my skin and bones,

thoughts of you mean I’m not all alone.

It’s cold outside;

but inside of me spring is giving way to summer.

-EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

Maribel’s Cadillac

I am reposting this story in honor of Mother’s Day! This is for all  moms out there, and the ones not with us any longer. We love our mothers and bless yours if she is still with you!  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

MARIBEL’S CADILLAC

 Roberto was planning a huge surprise for Abuelita  Mirabel’s 82nd birthday. We were all gathered around them in their tiny apartment on the 10th floor. It was spring and I remember Abuela always mentioning how she missed her cherry red tricycle she had gotten passed down from her older siblings. She said she road that thing until it fell apart. I think it was more that she rode it until she out grew it and then she got a bike.

We were all excited as Abuelo’s dark brown eyes danced in glee; Abuelita had always told me her husband of 55 years couldn’t keep a secret to save his life-all she has to do was look in his eyes to know he was up to something. That’s the way it was on that breezy April afternoon. The ocean air was  caressing the white lace curtains Abuelita had hung in the living room filled with Colombian artifacts. We were all there; Berto,Tito, Amparo who had flown in from Miami to celebrate Abuelita’s day and Paco.

I had volunteered  to make arroz con pollo– a rice and chicken dish Abuela had taught me to make when I was in my teens; and when  had finally caught the hang of it, Abuelita would tell everyone that I made it better than she. I’d always chuckle , thinking, yeah right. Tito, the baker in the family had made a wonderful ponque negro for dessert; which I still haven’t a clue as to what ingredients go into making such a tasty treat. Amparo and I cleared the dishes at the end of the meal and we brought in Tito’s cake with a single lit candle on it. Abuelita had requested one candle saying that her mature lungs wouldn’t be able to blow out 82 candles all at once.

While we sat there chatting  and enjoying ourselves, Abuelo rose from his chair at the head of the table and cleared his throat,

” Bueno  pues,well then, is the birthday girl ready for  my gift?” We all stood up to see-anticipation burst forth from the room much like sun beams pour forth in the early morning at dawn.

” Close your eyes querida, darling,” Abuelo told Abuelita in his usual warm tone of voice he used only with her. She was always such a good sport and she played along.

” No peeping, vida mia,my love,” Abuelo said with a twinkle in his eye. He tip-toed to the spare bedroom as he told us to keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t cheating. A few seconds later he rolled it out. She was a cherry red 3 wheel Summit bike. The black seat was soft and it even had a white basket in the rear. We all oohed and ahhed as Abuelo kept shushing us. He had put a huge pink satin bow  on the handle bars.

” Uno, dos, tres…open your eyes Maribel!  feliz cumpleaños Happy Birthday!” Abuelita turned in her soft beige easy chair next to the front window and she giggled like a little girl. Her blues eyes beamed like the 2 light houses they’d always been and she clapped her wrinkled, spotted fragile hands.

” I must ride it tonight, Roberto!” She exclaimed. We all sensed the urgency in her delicate voice

” By all means, Maribel,vamonos,let’s go!!!” We all hugged and kissed our grandmother and then I brought out her blue Keds and tied them for her.

” Do you think I’ll remember how to ride? It’s been years since I had a bike,” Abuela asked us nervously.

No te afanes, don’t worry,” Amparo encouraged her,” We know you can do it!”

We helped Abuelo take the bike down on the elevator and unto the street. When Abuela came down, we took several pictures of her on her “Cadillac” ,as she had already chosen to name it.

The the 4 of us gran kids watched in awe as our  abuelos, grandparents rode down the pier to watch the setting sun; this evening in particular the glorious display of colors in the sky seemed to have an extra something special to it. Nature performed a longer than usual light show to end such a sweet day. They rode side by side holding hands as if they were young lovers who had just discovered each other.

Paco looked at me and said,” Jeez, does love like theirs exist anymore?” The rest of us looked out at them, not answering Paco’s question. None of us knew what that was like.

” If it happened with them, then why won’t that happen for us right?!” I offered lamely as we all chuckled anxiously.

A few days went by and Abuelo called Berto with the news  and Berto called me right away. I was busy with a term paper for my economics class. When I heard Abuelita was gone from us my hearts shattered. Abuelita had been fighting lymphatic cancer for several years and a mighty warrior she had proved to be. All I could think of was how must Abuelo be taking this since she had been the only woman he ever gave his heart to. I pushed my work aside forcefully on my kitchen table and I sped over to see him. Luckily, he lived less than 10 blocks from my place.

When I met him at his door, he looked like a lost little boy. I wrapped my sun tanned arms around him and suddenly my life long hero felt fragile and in need of a hero himself. We sat in the mint green floral couch by the bay window and I held him for a long time. Words weren’t forth coming-they would have not helped-they would have gotten in the way.

In the middle of the room was Abuelita’s 3 wheeler. Abuelo had been staring at it this whole time. I squeezed his hand tightly in mine. I felt like a giant compared to him. Is this what happens?, I wondered.

Tu le diste su ultimo deseo, viejo, you gave her,her last wish Grandpa,” I said trying to assure him. He knew that-the words were more for my benefit.

” Sell it and keep the money,” was his response.  I didn’t question it. For the next few day I helped him get everything together for Abuela’s funeral. I placed ads on Craig’s List because Abuelo asked me to take care of things.

A few months after Abeula’s passing the only thing left of her belongings was her “Cadillac”. I suggested to Abuelo that maybe he should keep it and he insisted no. I even thought of buying it from him; but then I’d never find the time to enjoy it and it would just be in my place collecting dust. Abuelo said the right person would come for it.

One afternoon in the early summer the maintenance man came to change out an AC unit that had gone bad, in the back bedroom. He appeared to be in his 40’s and was tanned from all the running around he did on the property in his golf cart. I had seen him many times before, in and out of Abuelo’s apartment and Abuela told me Dave was her favorite maintenance man. I’d tease her about her crush and we’d giggle like teen school girls. We had moved the “Cadillac” into the spare bedroom. Dave came out after a few minutes and said,

“Excuse me, I’m not trying to be nosy, could you tell me where you got that bike?”

” Oh yeah, my grandpa bought it for my grandma’s 82nd birthday,” I responded.

“” How nice,” he said, still eyeing it.

I offered,” He’s selling it because she just passed away a few months back.”

Dave’s eyes brightened a little,” Sorry for your loss.” He paused, glancing in the bike’s direction once more and I thanked him. Then he returned to working on the AC. An hour later he  finished and he came to the kitchen where I was packing boxes of old utensils.

” Miss, how much are you asking for the bike?” I thought he had lost interest in it.
” My grandpa paid $400 for it. He’ll take $200 though,”  I replied.

WOW! That’s great. My wife wants one and I wanted to get it for her for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t afford it then but now I can make it a belated present.” We exchanged some pleasantries as he handed me the money.

” It looks brand new!” He exclaimed.

” Well, it is…my grandmother only rode it a couple of times…” Dave looked away quickly, not sure what to say.

” I better go…thank you! My wife will be thrilled.” I watched him take Abuelita’s “Cadillac” and put it in his fire engine red Ford pick up truck. He waved as he drove off and disappeared into the traffic lights. I turned around and closed the door behind me remembering Abuelos’ words,” The right person will come for it.”

-EVA SANTIAGO COPYRIGHT 2012

WHAT A DAY!

I just wanted to share some pictures and a few of the details that went into making my book launch for Salsa! The Taste of Life a hit! I met up with a couple of fellow writers, M Cid D’Angelo and Toni Pacini who really showed love and support. Receiving encouragement from your peers is great!

I had Vital Germaine, another fellow writer read for me in the early part of the day. He did an amazing job too!

Performers Jaelyn Denise and Darla Beaux brought joy to the whole day with their amazing talents.

My neighbor who lives in back of me, offered her artistic skills by doing great face painting, which many enjoyed.

At the end of the day I read 3 excerpts from my book to a full house. I shared the poem I dedicated to my family,MI FAMILIA, and  my own strong emotions caught me off guard , when I gave thanks to my long deceased parents.You never know how your own words will affect you as you share them with an audience.

After my readings several people came up and congratulated me saying that they felt what I wrote and could picture what I describe clear as day. Folks, THAT was the topping to end my wonderful day! That is why I write; so you my amazing readers can feel the music of my heart and picture what I see when I close my eyes. When you read me, I hope to take you places far away and touch your soul all at the same time. If I don’t ,I’m not doing my job as a writer 🙂

A warm thank you goes to ALL who helped me put my event together and to ALL who stopped in to celebrate my book! You all are the BEST and so are YOU my dear readers!!!

I am still on cloud 9 and not ready to land yet!! Happy Sunday!!!

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

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BLOG OF THE YEAR 2012 AWARD

I would like to thank all who blog and share on WordPress and the many other fine venues to do such. It is an honor to have your support. I am truly honored and humbled to have been nominated for “Blog of the Year 2012” by my co BLOGGERS and Friends thank you,

 iamforchange

 ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

I nominate these blog  for this award as well: ahelpingofhops.come.wordpres,

resurrectedwordpress.comriter

http://unschoolingparadise.com,

http://therecoveringlegalist.com

http://poemsandponderings.wordpress.com

THIS IS SO COOL!