Monday, April 17, 2017

I am shameless... (And I apologize.)

So much for my new year's resolution to not let more than two weeks go by without posting... It's going on 3 months since my last post here, and more than that on the dog blog; it's a wonder I even remember how to. Shame on me.

Much has happened to blog about, and plenty of times I began composing drafts of posts... I just never got around to finishing them before things changed. Again. I got a job, which upended my 'carefully balanced' schedule of dog walks and writing and (at least the intention of) blogging. I've since quit said job (yeah, short-lived experiment; one learns more from mistakes than from success). Two of the four puppies we took in as fosters back in December are still not adopted, which means they're still here, and as part of our effort to make them more adoptable I've begun taking them to training (well, one of them, since that's all I can afford time- and money-wise). I'm still not done with the dog book, but over the last two weeks I made some serious progress. I hope to have that done and delivered to the publisher for another round of edits before the month is out.

The dog book cover, as designed by Everytime Press

Oh, and we had the film festival here in Curaçao two weeks ago, April 5th to 9th. Forty-seven absolutely extraordinary films (well, except one). Impossible to see them all, obviously, but we did manage, with careful logistics planning that included Cor taking off two whole days from work (and one extra one after the festival, just to rest up), to see fifteen of them. Sixteen, if you count the preview film, Jackie, which screened one week before the festival began (and again during the festival, but seeing it beforehand allowed us to fit in one more film over that busy weekend).

Our film-fest booty, courtesy of Cor (who, unlike me, remembers to take photos of these things for posterity):
tickets grouped and stapled by day, from Wed Apr 5th through Sunday Apr 9th.

And I desperately want to share those fifteen (fine, sixteen) films we saw. They were thought-provoking and gorgeous: their narrative styles, the cinematography, the diversity of stories and points of view, their timeliness and value in view of current events. So, as of this week, I'll start posting a review every few days here. No, I won't make the mistake of committing to a certain day of the week or even a fixed (-ish) schedule; we all know how well that's worked out for me in the past. But I do want to share them, for you film-lovers out there, of course, but also for me, as a sort of journal record of the impact these films had on me.

So... See you soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The One Positive Thing About #Trump? Endless Fodder For Ridicule

It's true. The man practically begs to be made fun of. That bit about 'the best crowds ever' at the inauguration—seriously? His choices for cabinet members—an illiterate moron for Education, a climate change denier for the EPA, a freakin' banker-slash-Wall-Street-scammer for Finance—and his own son-in-law as 'Senior Adviser'! I mean, you can't make this stuff up. Any dystopian novel that included even a fraction of this goofed-up circus would be laughed out of even the most amateur of literary agents' offices. To quote Monsieur Cheeto himself: Unbelievable. 

And tragic. And—to put it mildly—worrisome. But a sense of humor is the hallmark of an educated mind, and if we can't see the hilarity in all of this, we're that much farther away from gaining the perspective we need to fight back.

Enter The Netherlands.

(Updated video, since original is 'no longer accessible'... Censured, perhaps? :D )

Got to love the Dutch. (Plus, Cheeto-man really hates to be laughed at, which makes the laughing all the more enjoyable. Thank you, dude, for elevating laughter into an instrument of resistance.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 To-Do List

Lately I've been doing more visual "art" than writing... Not sure why. Maybe creativity not only comes in different shapes of expression but actually requires these different shapes to feed on, to renew itself, even to deepen itself. (Or maybe I'm just a five-star procrastinator and spin doctor.)

Here's one of the latest: the 2017 To-Do List. Hope you like it :)

The 2017 To-Do List, by Guilie Castillo
Created in Photoshop, January 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On the Money We Make (or Fail to Make) Through Writing

Getting paid more than zero for your work is the first step toward learning what it’s really worth to you, the best way to learn to stop obsessing about what it’s worth to everybody else.

This brilliant piece I just found on touches on some of the key elements of making a living through writing. Many authors I know say it should never be about the money. Many others believe it shouldn't be about anything else. Some feel that making money off their 'art' is akin to 'selling out'; some consider payment the ultimate validation.

Either way, though, and as the article says, 
"Few connections are more mysterious than the one between writing books and making money."

Oh, and this:
In their candid moments, most publishers will admit going into business with writers whose work they regard as subliterary because they believe that they can profit from their books. This is still considered shocking in some unsophisticated quarters, but publishing isn’t literature: Literature is literature.

Read the full article at

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Voice of Frustration

We—all of us falling under the liberal, progressive label—have just about had it with being told to "get over it", "work together", "move forward". Two months after the election and the divide is only growing wider. I've seen plenty of material—call it rants, or apologies, or whatever you want—in the blogosphere and elsewhere, and as brilliant as much of it has been, none of it has captured both the frustration and the sheer reality of it as perfectly as this post. My highlight (WARNING: strong language):

You can stop explaining the white working class rural conservative Christian farming folk, hot-takers and self-justifiers. Instead, why don't you explain liberalism to them? Why don't you explain that jobs are drying up and communities are dying not because of abortion and same-sex marriage but because of Republican economic policies that have favored the wealthy, most of whom live in cities, including a certain president-elect they voted for who took advantage of those very policies in order to stay rich? Ultimately, though, it won't matter. Because despite every fucking word to the contrary, the real problem is that those who voted for Trump are racist. They are sexist. They are Islamophobic. They are ignorant.  
The whole thrust of these "let's learn about the yokels" articles is to imply that there are real Americans and there are coastal elites. Sorry, motherfuckers. We're all Americans. And if I have to suffer under your stupid, you have to hear about our smarts.

Exactly. (Even if I take exception to the use of 'Americans'... America is a continent, which makes not just US citizens but Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Guatemalans, etc., etc., also 'Americans'.)

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