Tag Archives: writing

In the Thrill of It All

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Once again, my birthday was planned by my beautiful and creative daughter, Anna Marie. She has always believed and supported my writing endeavors that I’ve started calling her my publicist. While I was on vacation, back home she rallied up my hubby, her siblings, as well as secretly contacted my list of friends. (I believe she even hacked into my FaceBook account, for goodness sakes!) The outcome being a wonderful, surprised birthday celebration for yours truly.

To my delight, I realized that my daughter planned out a theme for my birthday this year to honor me. She centered the theme with “Running in Heels,” my working title of my completed memoir. She designed and printed out bookmarks, created a decorated donation box, and had taken up a collection from donators who believe in my work.

This cloud-nine feeling by such love, the support and all that took place was surreal. I can’t imagine EVER getting used to having people who truly are fans, and those who faithfully remain in my corner, while cheer-leading me onward towards the finish-line. I have been deeply touched and I am grateful. But my work is not yet over.

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Yes, I am the author of this story. I lived and survived those years. I wrote the words on the pages through hours upon hours, throughout the night when sleep escaped me, and upon every available moment when at home in front of the computer or jotting down on a writing tablet. To my dear friends and family who have made this birthday gal feel loved and special, to the readers and fellow-bloggers who’ve encouraged my work, and to my supporters who went and will continue to go above and beyond, words cannot express the gratitude that is in my heart. Together we shall make a difference. Together we shall see this project completed.

From my heart to yours one beat at a time.

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© M.A. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Birthday, memoir book project

Looking Back – My Reasons for Writing

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One of my cousins from across the miles posed a couple of great questions, giving me food for thought. He asked:

Why do you write? And why do you write about the family?

My answer to him:

First of all, I write because I know I have a story to tell. As a kid, eventually I discovered we were dirt poor. In my teens looking back, I realized that I was neglected and forced to grow up too fast. I was ashamed of my childhood and bitter for being my mama’s mother. As I “matured,” settled down, married and had children of my own, along the way I found I was a stronger person because of some of the things that I endured as a child. Once I embraced the God of my grandparents, I became a much better person, too. NOT that I had it all together; I still had a few things to learn. But I learned that it was much better to let go of the bitterness and to forgive, than to hold onto the junk. I also learned that I didn’t have to be a product of my environment! I could rise above the ashes like a phoenix and become so much better. That was my freedom — still is — and God has called us to liberty, not to be in prison. Sure I made some mistakes along the way, but I learned from them as well. It starts with a made-up mind! While I’ve managed to confront my past, I believe my past hasn’t spoiled me, but has prepared me for the future. I may not be perfect but whenever I stumble, I can wipe the crud off and walk on. I share my story that I might help one person – and if I have done that then I have done a good thing and God gets the glory.

I mention family because the little girl growing up — although she may have felt like she was all alone most times — was not an orphan and did not live on an island unto herself. There were others around who helped to nurture her in one fashion or another, even, the antagonists in her story. And yes, some were heroes. She cannot tell her story without mentioning those she looked up to. For it to be truthful, she had to address some real and raw emotions and mentioned the flaws — the good, the bad and the ugly.

The story is not fiction. It is written how she remembers the events that took shape in her life as a child, a teenager and into her adulthood. All the memories do not take her to a happy place. She has had to dig deep to find them. To some, those “happy” places may be simple and insignificant, but to her they were her life-line.

His response:  

I am keeping this to remind me what it takes to be selfless.

 Thanks 

CD

I did not expect THAT answer 🙂

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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January 22, 2014 · 4:56 PM

Metamorphosis

My family was poor. As a child, by not having four-legged friends, I grew an unusual fascination in the behaviors of tiny critters, mainly insects. Curious in what lay beneath the ant piles, I liked to dig apart their colonies to watch the different activities of the workers, the soldiers, and the queen ant that I read about in library books. I never developed a fear of grasshoppers, even if they spat “tobacco” on my fingers, or of handling caterpillars that pricked when they crawled on my hand, or of sneaking up on lizards that left their wiggling tails behind, wondering what the funny red thing on their throats going in and out was all about. My fascination for those critters was a favorite pastime.

Not all school projects were memorable, but I remember one that stuck with me for years. When the teacher assigned a report on any subject, I decided to pick caterpillars. On a large poster board, I drew the four stages of the butterfly: (1) egg, (2) larva, (3) pupa, and (4) adult. I described metamorphosis. Though it wasn’t a Picasso, my work earned a ranking on my school’s hallway wall, posted for all to see, with the highest mark in class: A+.

One sunny day at recess, I found a black woolly caterpillar crawling in the shrubs and gently placed it in my palm. My classmate naturally was curious and asked to see what I held. When I opened my hand to show him, he whacked it so hard that the caterpillar flew out and disappeared onto a bush. And that’s when I morphed! Without hesitation, I slapped him on the face, hard. The boy stood stunned, mouth opened.

As an adult, I often thought about the word metamorphose. It means to change completely in nature or form.

I think about how alcohol deceived my loved ones, giving them a false sense of reality. After drinking, like the caterpillar many years ago in my book report, they metamorphosed into social butterflies fresh out of its cocoon. They felt invincible, glamorous or intelligent. Gone were the restraints that crippled them emotionally. They carried a false sense of bravado. It was then that they laughed wildly, conversed freely, and flirted openly.

The more attention and compliments they received from others, the less they knew the difference between genuine praise and mere flattery.

(A small excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace ).

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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June 26, 2013 · 10:20 PM

What Happened?

To “Please” and “Thank You”?
To supper at the table with the family at 5 or 6 PM?

To men holding the door open for women, helping her in her chair, walking on the outside of the curb, closing and opening the car door for her?
To saying, “I’m sorry” after offensives are made?
To picnics at the park?
Hand-written letters, and thank you notes?
In having family devotions? Saying grace?
To walks on the beach?
Random acts of kindness?
A gentle hand? A kind word?
A warm embrace?
To Honesty? Respect?
Truth? Prayer?
Humility?
Commitment in after the “I Do,” and “Til Death Do You Part”?
The Golden Rule?
Morals? Values?
Integrity? Or Honor?
In Saying, “Forgive me.”
Where have they gone? Why did they go?
What has happened …
To Us?

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Social, Values