Saturday, September 26, 2015

A latino chapter book. Latino ecowarriors. Blind submissions. Cracked movie reviews.

 The Enchanted cradle for Abuelo story

Yesterday I submitted my middle-grade chapter book to a literary agency. The story emerged from real-life experiences of building a neo-azteca cradle for our first grandkid. The love of that project transformed, not magically, into the passion of writing a kid's tale of fantasy. That's happened to me before, but never so directly.

my cradle, done w/o nagual assistance
An impetous thirteenish Aztec nagual-spirit helps old Abuelo to build a neo-Aztec cradle for his first grandkid. It's got spiders, a bulldog, a spunky wife, chaneco-goblins, a riddle, tragedy, sacrifice, love--lots of kid's love--and plenty of magic. The ending should blow anybody's mind.

I want what every writer seeks: a manuscript turned into a book. A hard copy that my Nieto can read with me, in two languages, hopefully. With illustrations or photos not of my making. Like I said, what every writer seeks.

It'll be a month before I hear anything back. Meanwhile, like a good writer, I'll work on another story, revise an old one based on what I learned from this one, or a new one incorporating lessons learned. So, none of us needs to sit on the edge of our sillas or wait with abated breath. I'm optimistic, como siempre.

azteca glyphs on my cradle / right is a monkey I made a nagual
Chapter books are usually published only as part of a series. But I have great ideas for at least three more in the series.

Storylines: 2. The nagual-spirit Nua will help toddler Nieto to not lose la vista sagrada, the vision all infants are born with that enables them to see, hear and feel the fantasy around them. That will be fun.
3. Nua prepares Nieto who's grown some, for his Abuelo's death. With that, I don't intend to do a tear-jerker.
4. Nieto turns 13, but his nagual companion has no experience with the opposite sex. Until a tweener female nagual enters his world, turning it inside out, literally.

I really want these to fruit. What any writer seeks. Vamos a ver.


If you're an ecowarrior of any level, if you're Latino of any kind--or if you want to link your work with theirs--and you're in the Denver area Oct. 15-17, you can attend most of these events for free. If you register online. I don't know where this group is headed, but most everyone knows where the climate will wind up. If we don't act as a single, rational species.

"The Americas Latino Eco-Festival (ALEF) is the largest multicultural environmental annual event of its kind leveraging Latino leadership for conservation gains. ALEF establishes a home for advocates and leaders from the leading organizations with Latino constituencies and environmental mandates.

"ALEF advocates for an integrated local and national conservation agenda committed to advancing Latinos' connections with nature and experience of the outdoors that in turn may inspire future stewardship of our natural resources. ALEF 2015 will launch an authoritative climate training program as well as call for actions on climate stewardship, land conservation, and the transition to renewable energies."

Blind submissions for Climate Fiction Short Story Contest

The following contest includes "blind submissions," which means the judges should have no idea about the authors submitting--their race, gender, literary history, etc. The idea is that the story stands on its own merits. This is good.

That U.S. contests even need to go this route indicates how prevalent prejudice is. This is bad. But at least ASU recognizes this and took this step.

From Arizona State University: "The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative and the College for Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU announce the 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest, to be judged by science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, along with other climate fiction experts from ASU.

"Grand-prize winner will be awarded $1000, with three additional finalists receiving book bundles signed by award-winning climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi. A collection of the best submissions will be published in an online anthology and considered for publication in the journal Issues in Science and Technology."

The stories should "envision the future of Earth and humanity as impacted by climate change; should reflect current scientific knowledge about future climate change, without prejudice to artistic freedom to exaggerate and invent fictional worlds; could reflect on a climate-related challenge that individuals, communities, organizations or societies face today."

Deadline is Jan. 15, 2016, finalists announced April, 2016. Read details here.

A dozen ways to improve your stories

Movie reviewer David Christopher Bell cracks me up, figuratively. I haven't seen all these movies--not at today's ticket prices--so I don't know I agree with all of his analysis. But his advice about storytelling made me rethink one that I'm working on. Read them and you'll see why. WARNING: contains foul language, disgusting metaphors and irreverent comparisons your mom wouldn't want to hear coming out of your mouth.

6 Reasons Movies Suck (That Hollywood Hasn't Figured Out)

6 Stupid Characters That Hollywood Now Puts In Every Movie

Es todo, hoy,
RudyG, a.k.a. children's fantasy author Rudy Ch. Garcia, waiting for rejection/acceptance of a great chapter book

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