As Ramos noted yesterday, my Chicano fantasy novel The Closet of Discarded Dreams received Honorable Mention at the International Latino Book Awards in the Fantasy/SciFi category.
Of course, I'd have enjoyed first place, but like the accomplished novelist Mario Acevedo says, this is more than he's received from the Chicano literait, even though he's published 5 novels and graphic novels with his Chicano vampiristo Felix Gomez.
My congratulations to fella bloguista Melinda Palacio for taking first place in poetry. And my thanks to the many who've sent me felicidades.
Now to get back and finish my next novel, Bruised Hearts, Mended Dreams, that should have a shot next year at first place. For agents interested, this MS is edgier than maybe any YA ever published.
And it's got gringos and other non-Chicanos, too. And it's a double-arc plot that'll leave readers cansados and hungry. And it's got themes of sexual abuse. And it's got a monster born of La Llorona and La Malinche. And it's about a NON-dystopian future--no hunger grames or fifty shades, of brown or any color. And it's got special needs kids. And . . .
All I have to do is cut it down from 120k to 100k. Somebody do me a prayer to Tezcat, por favor.
New book by Cecilia Velastegui
This June, International Latino Book Award Winner Cecilia Velastegui releases her new book, Missing in Machu Picchu. The book is a psychological thriller blended with historical fiction that coincidentally seems ripped from the headlines of U.S. travelers’ kidnappings in Peru. Missing in Machu Picchu was nominated for the International Latino Book Award in three categories.
"Fortified by vibrant characters and a tenacious plot; [Missing in Machu Picchu] packs a mean punch when readers least expect it." Kirkus Reviews
“Missing in Machu Picchu is another beautifully written novel by Cecelia Velastegui. Combining historical fact with a modern fictional story takes the reader on an incredible journey. The mysticism and beauty behind the mallqui adds to the drama. Incorporating real pictures and drawings into the book brings it to life. As with her other novels, readers will not be disappointed and really enjoy immersing themselves in this story.” BlogCritics
“Skillfully written with a high sensitivity for the values and beliefs of the ancient world as well as a strong awareness of many of the pitfalls of modern life, Velastegui delivers a thought-provoking story that questions our true values and their merit. While each woman is in control of her own future, few of them recognize the role they play in achieving her situation." The US Review of Books
New latino YA book release
El Capitán by Carlos Solari
Synopsis: A family from Ecuador lands in Queens, New York, seeking to find the American Dream. They came for opportunity and find that "opportunity" is often a set of choices. For the two oldest brothers, these choices take them on different paths. El Capitan is a fictional story, but it is a slice of the real America, a place of immigrants past and present--a topic ever more so relevant.
Rio, the middle son finds his way with the help of an aging group of former futbol (soccer) professionals and others like his English literature teacher, his coach and his best friend Charlie Brown. Rodrigo, the older brother chooses differently and takes the first step of many to find that there is no escape. The allure of easy money in the drug business is Rodrigo's addiction that like the narcotic he peddles extracts a heavy price.
The story is filled with other "stories", the many small tales of life that the profes tell their young prodigy so he can see his path more clearly, first, in adolescence, and for the later stages of his life. Rio finds acceptance in his high school soccer team where talent, discipline and teamwork is the lesson of how to succeed. And there is an American girl - Kathy Robinson - the powerful emotion of first love of teenagers.
The climax is unexpectedly like what is happening in the news today, moments of profound joy in the challenge and the victory of sports thrown to the ground when violence comes to visit--the price of bad choices. There is also a young brother at the whipsaw end of the struggles with his older siblings. The author says that this book is about a place called "in between" where the young of other places come to America (or to any new place) to find that they have one foot in the culture of their parents and the other in the American culture. And they find that they belong to neither one.
Finding their way out of that "in between" place is maybe as simple as acceptance and accepting, the act of giving and taking, learning and being willing to rethink the walls we build for ourselves. This is what the protagonist Rio discovers along the way, shaping his young life as an American boy and for a future in the great stadiums of the world where soccer (or futbol) is played and glory is found with other teammates.
Open Call for Submissions
From former Denverite Santino J. Rivera of Broken Swords Publication comes this:
by Emilio Medina of Muy Creative
Lowriting: Shots, Rides & Stories from the Chicano Soul. This book will feature the photography of Los Angeles-based photographer/poet Art Meza. Meza, who started off as a hobby photographer taking shots with his phone, has graduated into a full-fledged artist who dazzles anyone that sees his work.
The theme will be stories revolving around old school cars, bombs, lowriders and oldies that Meza frames with his lens. BSP is looking for short stories, poems, prose etc. – having to do with these kinds of cars and their culture.
If you need inspiration, visit Meza’s Etsy shop where you can purchase his signed prints, just some of the photos that will be included the book.
The competition is already elite, so you have to really bring it when you submit something for this title. No hard feelings, no love lost – this is not amateur hour! The theme is wide open – you just have to make it about these cars and/or their culture. Have a horror story inside of you, involving a ’64 Impala? An epic poem about a car chase involving a ’52 Bel Aire? A prose piece about your family tradition of lowriding..? The sky’s the limit. Think outside the box!
Deadline for submissions is July 4, 2013. All submissions must be sent no later than the deadline. Space is limited and competition high! So the sooner you get your work in the better! Be professional with your submissions! Important Note: Submissions are unpaid.
About the publisher: Broken Sword Publications is a small and independent Amerikkkan publishing company that specializes in printing material the mainstream would never consider. BSP continues to provide an alternative to traditional publishing houses – free from corporate censorship and marketing tactics. We pride ourselves on producing raw, independent and underground material.
Keystone XL Pipeline scandal
The following comes from 350.org, possibly the biggest organized opposition to cutting the country in half with a monstrous pipeline transporting the dirtiest carbon fuel to our country. That would accelerate tornados, rising ocean levels and air pollution. That means Aztlán, too. That means our kids, too. If the planet gets pushed any further over the edge, it will take it out on more than just the gringos. This is an issue of species survival:
Who wrote the State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL? They hired corporations to write big chunks of the review, one of them called Environmental Resources Management, or ERM. They make their money reviewing big industrial projects, and one of their past clients is TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL. A fact the State Dept. did not disclose to the public when the review was released. It gets worse.
ERM is also a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute, big oil’s top lobbying group that has spent millions trying to get Keystone XL built. The fox guarding the hen house, only instead of just hens, it’s the planet that’s at risk, hens included.
We’ve played nice so far: already our movement has submitted over 1 million comments demanding they stop the pipeline. Now it’s time for us to prepare for the next step, should the State Dept. ignore the scientific and public opposition to the pipeline.
We're working with the folks at CREDO, Rainforest Action Network and The Other 98% to prepare for a massive wave of civil disobedience actions if the State Department allows the project to move to the President’s desk.
The effort starts now with a pledge of resistance to the pipeline. This is a commitment to join an epic nationwide plan for action, organized to be ready at a moment’s notice. Over 60,000 people have already joined, and a national training program will start soon to prepare thousands of people in the strategic use of civil disobedience in every corner of the country.
Are you willing to join a civil disobedience action if the pipeline moves forward? Click here to take the pledge.
Ultimately, President Obama will make the final decision on whether the pipeline gets built. If the State Department gives its OK, the President will have approximately 30 days to decide whether to grant the permit. The idea behind our pledge is to put as much pressure on the President in those 30 days as possible, with civil disobedience actions at locations all around the country.
Organizing will get underway in July, when local leaders start weekly weekend trainings to coordinate community-led actions across the country. On July 17th, a sit-in will be held in the President's home town of Chicago -- a sort of preview for what President Obama can expect if this process moves forward.
These actions will mean risking arrest, but 60,000 people have already stepped up because the stakes are so high. Recently Canada’s Natural Resources minister said that Keystone XL was the key to unlocking the tar sands, and just today a top Canadian bank said that $9 billion worth of tar sands investments are riding on the pipeline.
That’s big money -- and we’ll need big action to push back. Before the State Department makes their final review, we'll take to the streets in a big way for Summer Heat, targeting fossil fuel projects of all kinds. Thousands have already signed up to take action across the country. Click here to join them: joinsummerheat.org/map
Es todo, hoy,