We are such strange creatures!
We have to leave, to miss, and to be missed
We need space,to feel closer to our loved ones
We have to give, to receive
We have to die, to live
We have to have known loss, so we can appreciate
We have to have known darkness,so we can shine brightly through our being
We have to have been lost, to know the warm feeling of being loved and accepted
We have to be orphaned, in order to be adopted
We have to have tasted great hatred, so we can become great lovers
We have to have been buried, so we can sprout back up to life
We have to have been cut deeply and wide open, for blood to gush out, ushering in true healing
We have to have been cut, in order to be sutured
We have to have seen chaos, to appreciate harmony
We have to have heard cacophony, so we can hear beautiful sounds….
EVA SANTIAGO COPYRIGHT 2015
America what has happened to you?
Our freedoms are eroding everyday
Vanishing into the midnight air
You think you’re free?
Think again my friend
Ever try to travel while you’re broke?
Ever broke a tooth and you’re too broke to see a dentist?
Ever work your ass off
Only to find yourself sleeping on a cold concrete floor?
Ever stood in a food pantry line
Along with other unemployed Americans
Who can only afford to pay their bills
But not put food on their tables?
Ever had your kids who are of working age
Help you pay the bills?
I came here to the land of dreams
Leaving behind my place of birth
Things are bad there
Even though I was little
I’d hear the grown folk talk in whispers
Wringing their hands
Pacing to and fro
Worried and anxious
Now I’m here
Been here for most of my life
And it’s looking just as bad as the home land I left
Young people go to college training for jobs that no longer exist
Everyone in between is feeling the pinch
Get sick once and you end up in the poor house
I don’t mean to be grim
Even though I too am feeling Uncle Sam’s pinch
I still get up each day
And put a smile on my face
Because life is more than:
Fighting with your ex
Struggling with life’s woes
Life is sweet
Life is sour
Find your sweet spot
Don’t wander from there
That’s your place of power.
EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2014
Book review: Salsa! The Taste of Life
Local author Eva Santiago’s stories are inspired by world travel and multi-cultural background.
“There are times when a person is called to starve those things that need to die and to feed those things that need to grow,” she writes in Salsa! The Taste of Life. Her second book, a collection of poetry and fictitious short stories set in locations from Bogota to Bavaria,represents the experiences that flavor Santiago’s life.
Salsa! will have a special appeal for young adults and people who are familiar with Colombian literature. Many of the short stories and narrative poetry pieces, including ‘A Burro Named Churro’, incorporate traditional Colombian humor which may go undetected by non-Colombians.Yet, the stories are simple and written to entertain a universal audience. Parents of young teenagers in any culture will identify with her first story, ‘Capers or Sandals?’
The book is also seasoned with lyrical poetry. ‘Smooth’, one of the shortest poems, sharply depicts a deceived lover and packs a powerful punch as Salsa!’s habanero pepper. ‘Mi Familia‘ was written as a tribute to Santiago’s siblings, who were separated in youth after her parents died. It is a tender, personal piece that Santiago said represents heaven.
While it’s an easy and overall light read, Salsa!boldly critiques a number of social issues including religion, abortion, and racism. ‘The Race Card‘ is a candid commentary that stems from Santiago’s experience of taking on her mixed-race heritage. Recalling a time when her own family members rejected her because of her mixed race, she wrote:
… that’s when I packed up my bags;
I threw out the board game,
And burned all of their cards.
I learned to travel light,
And I love all people, and treat ’em the same.
I learned to pray, and that’s how I fight.
Parenthood is a prevailing theme throughout the book. Several stories depict imperfect men who try to be good fathers. Santiago also makes an interesting statement, portraying both nurturing and selfish mothers and prompts female readers to evaluate where they personally rest on the spectrum.
Many of the stories are warm and reminiscent of a mother telling a bedtime story. Santiago’s writings are much like the anecdotal conversations mothers often use to share their memories, wisdom,convictions, and warnings with their children. If you are nostalgic for those mother-child moments, or never experienced them and would like to give them a try, you might consider keeping this book handy and reading it periodically. Indeed, it could be like keeping a mom in your pocket.
Perhaps Salsa!’s most surprising ingredients are a few pieces written by Santiago’s daughter, Esther Starr. Readers will be surprised to learn that Starr was only 13 when she wrote ‘Nightmare in Jerusalem‘ and ‘Don’t Go’, as her writing reveals talent and insight beyond her years.
Eva Santiago and Salsa! The Taste of Life will be featured at a book signing event at Book Boutique, 19 W. Pacific Ave.on Saturday, Feb. 23 from noon to 2 p.m.For more information visit evasantiago.wordpress.com.
Who wants to enter a contest?
To win all you need to do is be the first person to answer the question and you win a free copy of Salsa! The Taste of Life. To be qualified to enter, like this page in the link below and write your answer on the comments.
Answer: F. Scott Fitzgerald
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I participated in this year’s Vegas Valley Book Festival today! My books didn’t come in yet so I didn’t have any to sell at this event. So I had some flyers made up and I went there anyway to enjoy the day, meet new people and get the word out about Salsa! the Taste of Life, my new book. I don’t let anything stop me!
As it turned out, I am glad I went and there was a happy surprise! I was able to read excerpts from Salsa! in front of a captive audience. I love it when things fall together better than when I plan them . I call that serendipity. Here are some pictures from the event. I plan to attend the next one in 2013 and I am sure I will have books to sell then. “When life hands me lemons, I bake a lemon merengue pie!!” -Eva 😀
-Eva Santiago copyright 2012
Dear followers of my blog,
I know I have not posted recently about my new book, SALSA! The Taste of Life. The book is finished and SOON it will be available to you. Right now I’m working with my publicist who is getting ready to set a release date for me. I will give you more details as I get them. Mean while, please read this post and please do what the picture below suggests; don’t just do this for my book when it comes out, show other writers your love and that you enjoy our work. Your reviews mean so much. THANKS!! My readers are THE BEST!!
All my love and appreciation to you- my dear readers,
What does it mean
When I look in your face
And your soul is blank
When I look in your face
And your demons stand as in rank
What does it mean
When I reach out for a hug
You look down at your shoes
And all you do is shrug
I’ll tell you what it means to me:
Stop looking through that old broken window; it’s busted from years of rocks pelting it. First stone you threw, it cracked from top to bottom. It was not a clean break- jagged,taking up the whole window. Then came bigger rocks, chipping away at the surface,until one day a huge boulder came crashing through…such a terrific noise it made! What a great explosion, it took out all the glass. Now what’s left is an empty window pane; the house is debris filled from the winds that blow in from all the four corners. Dust,rain,leaves all blowing in. And this is the window you want me to keep looking through? No thanks, I’ve better things to do.
-EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012
Word Picture #3
Frailty is a funny thing. It talked her into a compromising situation. When she was strong she would proclaim “ I will never do that! “ . In her might she could scale a wall bare footed and topple several giants with her hand tied behind her back. She seemed invincible.
Now things are different. Battles have scarred her and she feels herself wavering. What was once firm ground now has turned into sinking sand. She said she would never stumble in matters of her heart and she did just that because weakness is peculiar. Her flaws continually beg for her attention. She looks in the mirror and where once stood a warrior, now all she gazes at are the accusatory fingers that point to her and blame her for things that aren’t even her doing. That was her undoing back then and she wonders if it’ll contribute to her demise now.
She heard those voices back then and that’s how she lost her way. They drowned out her own voice and she followed the wrong ones, betraying herself. Now the image in the mirror begs her not to do it again. She is fragile and is succumbing more and more each day to what is comfortable because she has grown tired of the battles.
The conflict is in her soul and she knows there is a way out but she finds herself enjoying the darkness more than she thought possible. Being in the light this whole time has exhausted her. She finds opacity comforting, it’s where she can hide away, not having to worry so much about anything. The darkness beckons her daily; it is where light hasn’t reached yet. Those places longing for light’s exposure is where she treads lately. What she doesn’t realize is that as she visits those places, they are no longer in the dark because by illumination, they become won over territory.
Her darkness sees the light and it comprehends it not. It surrenders to the brilliance and that’s how she overcomes her weakness.
It’s not by might nor power but by my Spirit says the Lord…
-EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012