Showing posts with label critique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label critique. Show all posts

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some white editors say Latino submissions are “sub-par?” What?!

guest post by Mayra Lazara Dole

Many of the thousands of Latino writers submitting to big publishers and getting rejected are intellectuals or academics who write perfect English and Spanish, thus I was shocked to read about editors “throwing their doors wide to submissions by PoC” and saying “the work they're receiving seems to be sub-par, not polished, or in need of more work than they have time for in this highly competitive business.”

Most editors don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Writers must first go through agents. I don’t know a single agent in these times who’d present the work of a “sub-par” Latino writer to an editor.

Who are the editors stating these comments?

In my view, the remarks seem racist and hurtful to Latino writers. Shame on you!

Marcela Landres, ex-executive editor for Simon & Schuster says:

“If you are a Latino writer… all you can reasonably expect from your publisher is for them to simply print and distribute your book. Do not expect your publisher to invest more than the minimum of time and money in promoting your book…. Don’t assume your publisher or agent will actually tell you this. Most people are unwilling or unable to convey bad news; they’d rather point fingers when things go wrong. It’s just human nature.”

In order for Latino books to sell, not only do publishers need to promote Latino books in the same way they do white authors, they must have a huge Latino list of literary journals, newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc. Sending Latino books for review to your Caucasian list is important, but we need Latino reviewers too. (I have created my own list.)

If editors put the same effort in advertising and marketing Latino books, instead of discarding, rejecting and abandoning Latino writers and authors, I’m confident we can also become best-sellers.

Two Questions to editors who made these remarks:

• Do you think most Hispanics and POC are illiterate or semi-illiterate?--I'm always surprised when people aren't aware that a large percentage of Latinos and POC are highly literate.

• If you are receiving manuscripts from Latinos that aren’t up to par, why don’t you recommend professional book doctors to them as you do with your Caucasian writers whose novels need work?

The publishing business boils down to two factors:

• What white editors know will sell.

Many large publishers have made a mint with white vampire, zombie and werewolf novels. Now, most editors are searching for Horror, Dystopian, Paranormal and Steampunk. Obviously, in this economy unless Latinos wish to self-publish, it’s no longer about art, literary merit, or the love for the written word.

It’s all about TRENDS that rake in the mula. It’s understandable. If editors don’t publish books or authors that sell, they could be terminated.

Film director, Alejandro Agresti (Valentin and The Lake House—the latter’s stars are Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves) wrote me seven moving Emails (he’s a brilliant, poetic writer and I will save them forever) expressing interest in turning Down to the Bone into a feature film. Agresti has handed my novel over to Selma Hayek, his business partner, and I’m hoping for the best.

In other words, if you give underdog Latinos an opportunity we might shine.

Everyone knows I wrote Down to the Bone over TEN YEARS ago when no one knew what LGBTQ, or tranniboy meant (just a few of us used the term back then, when blogs and tweets didn’t exist) and it got published in 2008. I sent my manuscript to every publisher possible until Harper Collins snatched it.

I’m lucky, though.

My excruciatingly painful perseverance and hard work, at a time when I was dying of chemical injury—what my dad died of—and all I could do was move my fingers to revise, paid off.

None of my talented Latina/o writer friends submitting at the same time got published.

Now that I have my foot caught in the door, I have ventured out to write for larger audiences and in different styles. Down to the Bone was written for a “niche” audience: young LGBTQ, reluctant Latino readers without a single book that spoke to them.

Editors, why not place a call for submissions for authentic Latino writers and authors? It’s not enough for white authors to add Latino characters they know nothing about or for you to secretly advise white authors to invent Spanish noms de plumes. I’m confident we can find a solution for bringing in el dinero while at the same time staying true to ourselves. In case you haven’t heard about us, there are thousands of Latino-Americanos writing contemporary books with literary merit.

It’s time for equality in the publishing business, thus the following is my plea:

EDITORS: Por favor, give authentic Latinos a chance to shine in your ultra exclusive and neon white publishing world. Let agents know you’re searching for diversity and authenticity. Authentic Latinos in literature means the following:

PUBLISHERS: Por favor, hire Latino editors. We need equality and diversity in publishing.

READERS: Please buy Latino books. Most of us write contemporary Latino-American stories set in the U.S.

LATINO WRITERS: I understand the painful struggle. Many of us don’t have the money to pay editors, but do your best and give your work to at least ten avid readers for critiques. Revise 3,000 times if you must! Never give up! Talk about the issue of inequality in publishing on your blogs. Tweet about our challenges. Make change happen.

AGENTS: please open your doors to Latino authors.

The U.S. is comprised of different cultures. Shouldn’t kids, teens and adults read diversity in books?

Regardless of the state of our economy, and even though mula comes first, there must be some publishers, editors and agents interested in diversity. If you are one of them, please RAISE your HAND!

Diversity rules!

[This post originally appeared here on GoodReads.]

Mayra Lazara Dole, was born in Havana Cuba and raised in Miami's Cuban community. Her interests: writing, languages, cultures, architecture, landscape design, Green-living, literature, international cuisine (she LOVES to eat), critical thinking, theatre/arts... Dole's debut novel, Down to the Bone, was nominated for ALA Best Books for YA 2009. Mayra is the author of two bilingual strong girl picture books: Drum, Chavi, Drum! and Birthday in the Barrio. The latter is being transformed into an animated children's film. Her Cuban dialect poems and LGBTQ short stories have been published by Cipher Journal: A Journal of Literary Translation, Palabra: A magazine of Latino literary Art, Velvet Magazine, Sinister Wisdom and other paper magazines. Dole has worked odd jobs (dancer, drummer, library assistant, hairstylist, landscape designer and chef) while writing. She's taught ESL to Central American teens and designs writing activities for aspiring authors.

You can leave comments and check out this masterful and magnificent author's blog here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Creativity - The Magic Synthesis

The synthesis referred to in the title is the ability of a person to combine both the primary and secondary processes of the brain. The primary process is concerned with the subconscious workings of the brain: dreams, imagery, associations. The secondary process is concerned with logical thinking or how we express our primary thinking to the outside. The "magic synthesis" is the result of an individual merging these two, and then creating metaphors, symbols, abstractions and a new way of seeing or thinking about the world.

According to author Silvano Arieti, creative persons and schizophrenics have a greater connection to the primary process, but, unlike the schizophrenic, the creative person is able to then process this thinking into a rational or logical form and create something new. I'm not surprised to read once again about the closeness between madness and creativity.

Aside from the physiological similarities, I believe there is a driven quality, that's shared by both states. I've felt compelling urges when creating something new and in states of intense emotional duress. When I try to make art, I take that energy and hopefully, articulate it, infuse it with metaphor, rhythm, and a certain beauty. (Unlike when I've experienced deep emotional crisis, where the experience is more like a spiraling panic that I need to release.)

As I started work that combined movement and poetry, I found myself more and more concerned with the way the spiritual is linked to the physical, the way the word is made flesh, both literally and figuratively. How something ineffable as connection to Spirit manifests is incredibly important to me.
In Creativity: The Magic Synthesis, Arieti discusses the neurological and biological aspects of creativity. The fact that “the human cortex has fifteen billion neurons” seems to account for our ability to be more creative than the other animals on earth.

A path or an “engram” is formed in some neurons when we perform a task or have an experience. It is through the engram that we are able to later recall the experience or perform the task again.
“The unfolding of the human psyche may ultimately be considered as a formation and transformation of engrams (and groupings of engrams) throughout life,” says Arieti, though this is where he and I part company.

The ineffable quality of being can't be reduced to this explanation, no matter how compelling or seductive it seems to be. I say seductive, because there is a certain egotism in assuming everything can be known, dissected, reduced to quantifiable elements. And yet, I'm attracted to this kind of research, much in the same way I enjoy my own cleverness, by own ability to be witty, to craft a piece of work, to edit and shape something.

But I'd be foolish to think that I'm the ultimate source for the ideas, the inspiration.
Arieti also points out that social factors play a part in a person's level of creativity. He postulates that a society which promotes creative thinking through its educational systems and then controls it via rewards in the work force, will ensure the engrams that get traced will be more likely to facilitate innovative thinking on a collective level. I do feel a certain level of agreement here, but it's a telling comment on the isolation of the scientific ivory tower. Arieti can write this treatise with no reference whatsoever to the way social forces shape how people learn, and what, in fact, is taught to whom .

Those critical flaws aside,
Creativity offers a detailed overview and some cogent theorizing on some of current research on creativity, and takes into account unpredictability when dealing with the human mind. I can hardly wait to see the results of the engrams that were etched into my neurons as a result of this reading.

ISBN-10: 0465014437
ISBN-13: 978-0465014439

Lisa Alvarado

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ulises Silva, Tragical Mirth, and Pushing the Envelope

I recently posted an article about a piece of speculative fiction, Solstice. It's a novel that's sharp-edged, haunting, and has some kick ass-heroines.

The following is a conversation with Ulises Silva, its author, and the founder of an independent press, Tragical Mirth Publishing.

(If you missed my piece, you can read it here.)

1. Tell me about the genesis of Tragical Mirth Publishing. Do you see
yourself as a niche publisher? If so, what do you feel are the strengths of that? The downside?

Tragical Mirth Publishing
is the independent publishing house I
established in order to self-publish Solstice in 2007. I took the dreaded self-publishing route primarily for creative control.

After all, one of
the earlier comments I got on an earlier draft of Solstice was that the characters’ names (i.e., Itztli, Jai Lin) were too difficult and different for most audiences, and that I should change them. I think that’s what I feared the most about going through a traditional publisher—that they’d want to change the characters’ ethnicities and names in order to make them more commercially appealing. That would have defeated the purpose of writing this story. So I took the chance and created Tragical Mirth to self-publish, and it’s a gamble that’s surprisingly paid off. Despite it being a self-published book, Solstice received positive reviews in Booklist, Library Journal, SciFiNow magazine, and now here at La Bloga. I see TMP as a niche publisher in the sense that I want to focus on giving authors of color an entry into the crowded literary marketplace. While I’mnot yet ready to publish other writers, I do hope to eventually start working with authors of color and let them tell the stories they want to tell.

I want them to see TMP as an alternative to the big publishers that
seem naturally inclined toward labeling anything written by us as Urban Fiction or what have you. I think that focus on letting writers of colors tell the kinds of stories they want to tell is our greatest strength. Hopefully, down the line, TMP will be a very viable publisher with a full roster of good and promising writers of color. The downside, of course, is that TMP is an independent publisher, and not currently set up to publish anything. And, assuming I can ever get to the point where I can publish other people’s works, writers will still need to temper their expectations. I doubt we’ll ever be about giving someone a $10,000 advance and promise to get their book into every top review magazine and best-selling list. But if a writer is willing to work with us and be willing to take some of the risks with us, then hopefully we can accomplish something special. And considering the unexpected success of Solstice, I truly believe we can achieve anything.

2. Your novel is a piece of speculative fiction. How does that sync up with popular ideas of 'Latino/Chicano' fiction?

A lot of ‘Latino/Chicano’ fiction is based on telling stories from our
historically marginalized point of view. We tell stories that, while familiar to Latinos, might seem alien to most everyone else. They’re stories about growing up as hyphenated Americans, about Latino/Chicano political activism, about all our experiences on the fringes of mainstream American consciousness.

They’re about telling the stories no one else can
or cares to tell. Solstice, although grounded in speculative fiction, is deeply influenced by this aspect of Latino/Chicano writing. The notion that Scribes can use the English written word to literally manipulate reality is based on my belief that mainstream media has the power to invent our reality and historical awareness (or, in some cases, efface it altogether).

So it’s no
coincidence that the Editors tasked with watching over these Scribes are all people of color, people who operate in the shadows and whose native languages serve as a defense against Scribes. Solstice’s protagonist, Io, is a Mexican-Japanese anti-heroine. She’s the best of The Editors, but she moonlights as a vigilante, and her mantra is that only cruelty can destroy cruelty.

But she’s haunted by the loss in
her life, including the loss of her parents and her own normalcy. She carries a reminder of this loss with her—a copy of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street given to her by her mother as a reminder of “where she came from.” Although her character is adrift at the start of the story—caught between two distinct ethnic identities, occupying the fringes of common law, trapped in the purgatory that is her own aimless vigilantism—it’s her mother’s book that keeps her oriented, even if she doesn’t know it.

And, of course, there’s Nadie, the novel’s antagonist. She’s the Scribe who decides that humanity is irreparably corrupt and destructive and must therefore be exterminated. But she wants the world to know why it’s being destroyed, which is why she sets out to tell a story—in her own unique way—that recounts history’s many unpunished crimes, including the horrors of colonialism. It’s one of the book’s ironies that this young girl whose name means "no one" is the one who brings these crimes to light and issues her final judgment.

3. In Solstice, you create a world similar to Dick's Blade Runner. Talk
about that as a landscape for your characters, and the decision to pit Scribes and Editors against each other as the central theme.

The story is set in an alternate near future where the U.S.’ power and
influence have eroded following three catastrophic military ventures (there are vague references throughout to Iraq, Iran, and Taiwan). I wanted the story’s landscape to present an uncanny glimpse into a foreseeable future, where government corruption has gone unchecked thanks to stolen elections, interest groups, and widespread apathy. Part of this landscape, of course, are Scribes, people with the power to make whatever story they write come true. Scribes are meant to reflect the notion that the written word, in the hands of certain people, can create reality. We see it in history books, of course. How many of us have heard that it was Mexico that provoked the war of 1846 -- a war Americans call the Mexican War and that Mexicans call La Invasion Norteamericana?

consider this also: If we think on the ways mainstream media helped the current administration launch its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how they invented for all of us the reality of Iraq’s nuclear stockpiles and willingness to use them against us, then we can see that the written word really does have power. It’s no coincidence that I make references throughout to a Scribe named Don Poinsettia, a Scribe Io takes down with the help of a Chinese Scribe, Xiu Mei Xiang. Poinsettia is a Murdoch/Rove figure who’s used his powers and his MIX media empire for personal gain.

The suggestion is that he
single-handedly brought about the U.S.’ downfall. I actually plan a prequel to Solstice that will focus on him and Io’s attempt to hunt him down. She’s the top Editor, after all. Editors are, in essence, a representation of post-colonial theory. So much of what Latinos and other writers of color do is write the stories that colonial and mainstream texts have skipped or effaced. I wanted the Editors—all people of color whose native languages serve as a defense against a Scribe’s powers—to represent that ongoing struggle.

4. Solstice is populated by strong female characters, outside the 'norm.'
Can you share what motivated you and what you hope you engender in the reader with that choice?

It really began with my mother, a strong Mexican woman who never backs
down from any fight, and who always taught me to respect women’s rights and equalities.

From a very early age, she let me see the inherent
ludicrousness of the machismo that was (and perhaps still is) rampant in Mexico and Latin America. I remember seeing Aliens for the first time, and seeing the Ripley and Vazquez characters in action, and being totally awestruck by them.

I think
that was the first time that I saw a female character that kicked butt with the best male characters, and the first time I started to ask myself why we didn’t see more characters like them in movies. We’ve all seen male action heroes, but not nearly enough female ones, at least not many that weren’t just Barbies with guns (e.g., Lara Croft). I’ve always believed that, as a writer, you should embrace the control the written word offers you. As writers, we can tell whatever stories we want with whatever characters we want. That’s why, when it came time to start writing my stories, I always featured a strong female lead, because those were the kinds that I always appreciated the most.

With Solstice, I saw an opportunity to create Io, a heroine who’s very
strong, very independent, and not just a sexualized, hot-blooded LatinAsian woman bowing down to stereotypes. I wanted her to have real layers, real depth, and real flaws. And despite her troubled beginning (she really is a monster at first), I wanted readers to sympathize with her plight, and appreciate her eventual redemption. Maybe more importantly, I wanted people to read her and the rest of the characters, and say to themselves, “why aren’t there more characters like these in books and film?” I wanted to give Latino/a and Asian audiences a set of strong central characters they could appreciate and even embrace. And I wanted to show other audiences that a Latina/Asian woman could have other roles than the ones people are used to seeing them in.

5. What are the themes you find yourself returning to? What's their
significance personally and creatively.

Creatively, I’m fascinated with end-of-the-world scenarios, maybe too much
for my own good. I guess, growing up in the 80s and thinking that the Emergency Broadcast Network was going to come on at any moment, I thought the end of the world could really happen. So I migrated to these kinds of stories. I was always fascinated with the human response to apocalypse, and especially how the media would react and spin stories if an end-of-the-world scenario began to unfold. That’s why there are many instances in Solstice where Io and her companions are listening to the radio or watching TV; they’re forced to watch the horrors of Nadie’s actions through the filters of network news and talk shows. Personally, I’m just as adamant about writing stories featuring people that look and act like us. Growing up, I didn’t see a whole lot of Latino/a protagonists that were strong or three-dimensional or even law-abiding.

So it’s important to me, as a Latino writer, to create
characters we can relate to. Because I genuinely feel that our people, especially our younger audiences, still don’t have a whole lot of positive portrayals in mainstream media to inspire them. There aren’t enough characters like us out there that make us think we can be heroes or awe-inspiring or even strong. I’m just one person, but I make it a point to always feature strong, central Latino/a characters in all my fiction. With Solstice, it’s Io.

With my next novel, Inventing Vazquez, it’s a
Chicana named Liliana Vazquez. With my next speculative fiction novel, The Mourning Syndrome, it’ll be a Chicana writer named Clara Solis. That will always be my goal: to have real characters that we, as Latino/as, can readily identify with, and maybe even be inspired by.

6. Share with Bloga readers where you hope to take them with Inventing Vazquez.

From the writer that brought you Solstice, a dark, apocalyptic novel,
comes…a light-hearted comedic satire. That’s going to be a nightmare to try and market, but… In any event, Inventing Vazquez is my new novel (with a release date sometime late 2008 or early 2009) that takes
on an issue
very important to me: the (mis)portrayal of Latino/as in American cinema. Like I said before, I don’t think our people have a lot of positive examples to look up to in film. Most of the time, we’re portrayed as gang members, or domestic servants, or crime victims. And even when films do cast Latino/as, half the time they play non-Latino roles. It’s like America Ferrerra said in Ugly Betty: "Mexicans don’t have action heroes. All we have is a fast little rodent."

So Inventing Vazquez is my little
critique of the whole industry. (As an aside, even the title of the book is in reference to the Vazquez character from Aliens. Yes, the same one I mentioned earlier. I eventually learned that the actress wasn’t even Latina; it was a non-Latina actress with brown contact lenses, bronzed skin, and a fake accent. I was so discouraged, because for so long, I’d really liked that character and what I thought she represented.)

The story centers around Liliana Vazquez, a mousy Chicana who’s hired by a
major film studio to serve as a “Hispanic Sensitivity Issues Consultant” following the widespread outrage among Latino/as over a recent film. She’s hired to read scripts and alert the studio if she thinks it’s going to offend Latino/a viewers, but she comes to realize that the position is a token one. She, like the Asian Sensitivity Issues Consultant and the Arab Sensitivity Issues Consultant (a Sikh man), is just a PR gimmick.

although she starts off as soft-spoken and mousy (she’s ashamed of her voice because it’s so girly despite her being 29), she has to find her voice—literally and figuratively. The story is about her finding a way to make her voice heard among people who don’t want to hear it. It’s a comedic satire, so I hope to make audiences laugh. But I also hope to get people to think about the issues I raise. Because although the films mentioned in the book are loosely based on real-life films (e.g., “Empire of Blood” instead of “Apocalypto”), some of them should resonate with the audience (i.e., “yeah, I can see them making a movie like that”) despite being so off-the-wall silly (like one film, “Latin Lover,” about a guy that gets women to fall for him when he bites into a magical habañero pepper).

7. Where would you like to see Tragical Mirth in ten years? Where would you like to see yourself?

Ideally, I’d like Tragical Mirth Publishing to have a full roster of
writers of color, and a full line of good books that tell good stories about us. And I’d like to be able to work with writers, and give them the kind of encouragement and feedback they’ll need to keep writing. Because I genuinely believe that people of color, especially Latino/as, need to write more, and we need to start creating the kinds of stories and characters that mainstream media won’t. So hopefully, with enough lucky bounces and maybe some more commercial success with Solstice and my future novels, I can work toward this.

As for myself, writing is what I love, so I plan to keep writing. I always
said that to simply publish Solstice and present it to my family as mygift to them (because nothing says “I love you, mom, dad, and brother” like a novel about the end of the world) was my only goal; anything after that would be gravy. So I’m just enjoying the ride, and embracing the joy that is writing fiction. Hopefully, in 10 years, I will have published a few more: Inventing Vazquez, The Mourning Syndrome, a sequel to Solstice, and maybe one or two more. And I genuinely hope that, by then, the kinds of characters I like to feature won’t be ‘outside the norm’ anymore.

8. Tell us something not in the official bio.

Some things that may or may not be true about me:

  • I stay up until 2 a.m. every night writing, drawing, or watching horror films. This despite the fact that I have to be at work at 8:30 a.m. I started my writing ‘career’ in earnest with an Anime fanfic entitled, Nightmares in the Apocalypse, which was so horrid and badly written but nonetheless made me somewhat popular among a small group of teenage readers.
  • I can make a mean guacamole.
  • I write music on the side, and play bass guitar, electric guitar, and drums. All at once. Really.
  • I’ve been in a punk band, am currently in a blues band, and am now trying to form an indie rock band.
  • I draw pictures of my main characters to get a sense of who they are and what they look like. And all these pictures are done in Anime style.
  • I don’t do windows.
  • Having grown up in NYC, I naturally root for the Detroit Tigers, the Arizona Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Sabres.
  • I hate powdered laundry detergent.
  • Having grown up in NYC, the city I most want to live in is San Francisco, or Chicago, or Toronto. Which is why I’m in Michigan.
  • Being Mexican-American, naturally, my favorite kind of music is indie rock and Japanese rock.
  • I was actually a terrible grad student, probably because I spent all my time writing instead of studying.
  • Being Mexican-American, my favorite film of all time, naturally, is Lost in Translation.

Tragical Mirth Publications --

Solstice --

Lisa Alvarado

Sunday, July 29, 2007

La Bloga is unlike other sites

Spending much time checking out the Internet, sifting through all the chaff could make you senile. So, when we started La Bloga we intended it not only to focus on Chicano literary themes, but also to strive for higher standards than a typical blog, by our "passionate" (see Laínez's post from yesterday) understanding of cultural distinctions. As example of the type of site we didn't want, one recently came to our attention and warrants comment, given its topic.

On 12/15/06 Manuel Ramos's post introduced Rudolfo Anaya's The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story. The blurb quoted publisher UNM Press: "She [Jade] has made the first tortilla." It also mentions a Mountain Spirit and talking hummingbirds. Sounds like a fantasy, folktale or leyenda, right?

In our 7/18/07 review of The First Tortilla, Bloguista Gina MarySol Ruiz wrote: "Rudolfo Anaya has written a magical and lovely folktale about the origins of that favorite of us mexicanos/Chicanos, the delicious tortilla." Note her use of "folktale" and "the origins of the tortilla."

When the editors of Guanabee read our review, they remarked: "Finally, a role model for young Mexican girls that doesn’t ask them to sell out so damn hard… but make tortillas instead?" While their first remark may or may not be commendable, it is the "make tortillas instead" that begs literary interpretation.

That anyone, Latino-oriented or otherwise, could misconstrue a folktale about the first tortilla as somehow advocating that contemporary, young Mexican girls should make tortillas instead of aspiring to other (unnamed) activities, indicates either a low level of vocabulary or deliberate misinterpretation.

Using Guanabee logic, we'd expect their editors to review Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat and vilify its author(s) for advocating that young females take up bread making instead of other (unnamed) activities. Or perhaps they think the authors of another old story, about Adam and Eve, didn't want 21st century females eating apples.

A folktale about the distant past or a fantasy world, with talking hummingbirds or hens (or serpents), should not be interpreted as providing lessons or role models, solely based on the plot. Guanabee editors seemed to understand part of that. It's the part they didn't that separates Guanabee from La Bloga.

If we read further into the post: "Bless Me, Ultima, the novel that taught us Mexicans/vomiting can be literary motifs", one wonders what they consider to be rational critique. Characterizing Anaya's recognized classic in this fashion seems like a shallow way to artificially create controversy. In their own words, "Guanabee is commentary on media, pop culture and entertainment, spicy coverage for the Latino in you."

Now, I don't know about you, but the Latino in me prefers that spicy coverage not approach the abyss of Fox-TV standards of verity. Guanabee is a commercially supported site, filled with "ads by Google" and other business interests, including Fox (by chance?), so perhaps the "spicy" in Guanabee is simply intended to generate more hits-per-month to support their bottom line. That it generated my hit, indicates outrageous deviations from common sense can make money. This is another aspect where La Bloga separates from other Internet sites in that we deliberately avoid commercial interests.

Comments to the Guanabee post likewise reflect more grasping at straw men and low-level bursts of supposedly smart remarks like, "The highly-anticipated sequel to [The First Tortilla] will have Jade pushing Qdoba burritos in central Los Angeles. . ." That my post may generate more Guanabee hits is only unfortunate in that at times you need to know what a bad tortilla tastes like to better appreciate homemade ones. While we know La Bloga's "cooking" doesn't always reach what we strive for, be assured we won't go commercial on you and forsake the literary for the North American corporate dollar.

* * *

Due to popular demand I decided to pull the second part of this post until I read The Confessional. I will leave the Comments, though.

As I said in that part, "I've had to eat my words before." In this case readers let me know they felt I do need to to set the table and gorge on some of my own masa. I'm going for the masa.

Rudy Ch. Garcia