Thursday, February 27, 2014

#AZchat -- the First-Ever #atozchallenge Twitter Chat!

Exciting times, people. History is being made. The First-Ever #atozchallenge Twitter Chat goes live on Friday Feb. 28!

Tune in with hashtag #AZchat at 6 pm EST (issues with timezones? this tool will help) and join the A-to-Z fun. Ask questions, connect with other A-to-Z-ers, share tips & tricks (or your latest blog post), spread the love--and have a blast.

Record-breaking sign-ups are expected for the A-to-Z Challenge this year. Get in on the fun early, build your network, get help and help others. The A-to-Z isn't about April. It's about this: a sense of community that spans the blogosphere--and, as of this Friday, Twitter too.

This is an informal event, A-to-Z-ers getting together to talk shop--which we all love to do and are, in fact, already doing at the slightest chance. But, time permitting, some of the A-to-Z co-hosts will be joining, including Damyanti (@damyantig).

The chat will be hosted by the awesome ladies of #TeamDamyanti (which you should totally follow because they're not just wonderful co-minions, but outstanding people in their own right):

Anna Tan (@natzers), 
Csenge Zalka (@TarkabarkaHolgy)
Jemima Pett (@jemima_pett)
Viola Fury (@ViolaFury)
Samantha Redstreake Geary (@WriterlySamIAm), 
Vidya Sury (@vidyasury)
& myself (@Guilie73

Come make history with us. See you at the #AZchat!

P.S. -- never taken part in a Twitter chat? Here's everything you need to know.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Friend (of a friend)

Silvia Villalobos, an exemplary writer friend of mine--exemplary both as a writer and as a friend--has a short story up at Red Fez. Take a hop over, spread the love. The read is a ride of careening tension that doesn't let up. My stomach is still in knots--and will be whenever I think of this story. Friendship isn't always selfless, is it?

Brava, Silvia!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pleased to have met you, Sochi

I'm a fan of Olympic games. I rarely watch sports (live or otherwise), and I've never been much of a (sports) player, although I did win silver in a 1.5 km race back when I was... twelve? First race I ever ran. Last, too.

But I love the Olympics.

It's the dreams, I guess. The hope in every face, spectator or competitor. The coming together. I know--cheesy. I choke up with the first strains of the Chariots of Fire theme (yes, even on the Carnival Cruise ad).

I watched the Nadia Comaneci movie dozens of times. And Ice Castles? Hundreds.

I probably learned to skate more from this movie than from the lessons I got at the Galleria rink every time we were in Houston for vacation. (Disclaimer: I can't skate to save my life. Do not try this at home.)

The rink at the Houston Galleria where I learned
 to skate (humming Through The Eyes Of Love)
So the past two-plus weeks have been a mix of heaven and frustration for me. Heaven because--well, see above. Frustration because of TV coverage, or lack thereof. But I managed to watch some events, not as many as I'd have liked--not, for example, nearly enough figure skating, or skiing--but still.

And beyond the sports, what struck me was how different Russia seems to be from the idea I had of it. Yeah, I grew up in Cold War times.

Being Mexican, I'm no stranger to the lengths a country will go to in order to put on a show worthy of international Olympic coverage. Still, Russia's presentation to the world was impressive. How real it was, what it cost (I'm not talking about money here), whether it was a sweeping-under-the-rug or the proof of a true desire to move forward, rise above... Well, time will tell. There's that LGBT issue, for example, that shows no signs of changing in the near future. But this article in the New Yorker added a level of depth to these XXII Winter Games that make them a greater part of history.

Are you an Olympic fan? Did you watch the Sochi games? What did you think about Russia's image?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Introducing Life in Dogs: How the Valentine Grinch Celebrates Feb 14

Originally posted in Life in Dogs
Feb 14, 2014
Life In Dogs

I'm a Valentine grinch. It's pre-fab and commercial, and it turns peer pressure up sky-high. If you're with someone, V-Day turns a relationship into a checklist that grows longer--and more unsatisfying--with every other couple you see. Is my partner good-looking enough? Are we, as a couple, romantic enough? Did I get flowers? A card? Handwritten? Did I get jewelry? Was it the real stuff?

If you're single, the twenty-four hours of February 14th are proof time is relative. No day lasts longer.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Hop Within A Hop: The A-Z Theme Reveal!

It's ongoing, and it's endless: the debate over whether To Theme or Not To Theme.

Every year, as soon as the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge linky list goes live--sometimes even before--the debate picks up where it left off. Should I, shouldn't I. Pros & cons. So-and-so did (or didn't) last year, and look how that turned out. I don't want to feel hedged in. I don't want to ramble all over the place.

To Theme or Not To Theme. But this year that's not the question, is it? No! Because you--lucky you, insanely genius you--came up with the perfect theme. Beyond awesome. Not just original but unique. Jaw-dropping in its wondrousness.

And you cannot wait to shout it out from the rooftops, can you?

It's that time of the year again...

Can you feel it? Excitement is making the blogosphere crackle. The A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge list opened last week. Are you in? Oh, I hope so. Because this year I'm a


Yes. I'm excited. I'm also very, very tired (not A2Z-related). But please come back in a few hours: a Great & Powerful secret will be revealed. No, seriously.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Watcher of Vowels

A bit of inspiration goes a long way, especially on Monday morning. Enjoy.

The Watcher of Vowels from Catalina Kulczar-Marin on Vimeo.

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