One Year Later


It’s amazing a difference a year can make. A year ago today, I started working for Barnard College. This was a life event for me that has had an effect on everything I currently do. It’s really too early to start a year in review post but I’ve never lost an opportunity to be reflective about the journey.

Everyone knew that I wanted to come back to New York. There was never a secret in that. I made it well known to my readers as well as the people I worked with. We all knew that it was time for me to move on. It was also widely known, and still is, that I have a love for Syracuse that will not go away anytime soon but I just needed to love myself more. So the break up was painless and my main goal was finally achieved.

Being in the bright lights of this big city has taken a little getting used to again. I’m a native of the Bronx so living in Manhattan was a change because I didn’t know the streets and neighborhoods as well. So I ended paying for that (literally) until I figured out how I was going to park my car without getting anymore tickets. Yet, the best thing about returning home is that I can see the city from a different lens. I think that I can now appreciate the NYC life and the views because I’m more mature and centered in my thinking.

While I am excited to go to Comic Con in a few weeks, I’ve taken the time to enjoy places like MoMa. I find myself taking pictures of just about everything. I don’t post all the pictures on Instagram like I should because I would inundate everyone’s feed with my glorious pictures, lol. My picture taking has given me a chance to stop what I’m doing and really enjoy the things that are around me. Because of this, I have been able to fall in love with this city all over again.

The funny thing is that it isn’t just the love affair with NYC (which reminds me of a poem I wrote a few years back) that has given me a new perspective, it is my relationship with my girlfriend that has allowed me to think inwardly about my past, present, and future. I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past while I focus on the here and now AND have a watchful eye of possibilities coming down the road. She has always been a part of journey and I think that I have become a better person because of her.

Which leads me to the book that I’m currently editing. This is just another piece of this journey, in which, I have no idea where it will lead me. If you told me last year that I would have had a first draft of a book done within a year of me moving back home, I would have told you to fly a kite. I realize this literary journey is filled with imagination, excitement, fear, and doubt. In many ways, the story hits home for me and like any other form of literary work, exposes pieces of me to the world. While this is a fictional book, I will just say that all writing is biographical so there is the fear that this book is shit.

With that being said, there was point in which I took a break from my writing this novel. The woman asked me why I stopped because she had notice that it was a long time since she saw me feverishly typing on laptop. I told her that the book was crap. That I hated it and everything that I wrote was nonsense. It was then that she looked at me and told me that I could not let fear and doubt creep into my mind. After all, she has read about 90% of the book so I do believe she would tell me if I was wasting my time.

So a year later,  I have reached a point where I never thought I would be. I can say that my decision to leave Central NY was the correct one.

Free-Write: Broke Edition.

I am doing a little experiement. It is 11:20pm as I write this and I am going to write for about 20 minutes because I need to just write about whatever. I need to just tap on the keyboard to see what I actually come up with. I think when I am done I will just edit for typos and find a picture that would most likely go with this post. This is something I normally do when I write is find a picture on Google and post it on the top of the post or if I am feeling really creative, I will post several pictures throughout the blog to give it a certain feel.

My stomach is not feeling so great right now because my dumb ass decided to drink just a little bit of soda with my meal. The person who took my take out order just had an extra drink and offered it too me. I barely took 3 sips before my tummy disagreed with it. So the moral of this tiny story is that I need to stick to water. That is the only thing I should be drinking anyway. Although, I am so very much into coffee. I only have one serving of coffee per day, but otherwise it is all about the water.

I know my eating habits haven’t been the greatest, but what I have noticed is that when I work so much, I tend to not cook as much as I should. I am also still not used to cooking for just me. I find that I enjoy cooking for me and someone else. Maybe it has to do with portions or maybe it has to do with the fact that I rather not be alone when I cook a meal. However, as the school year continues (because today was the first day of classes) I should be able to have enough time for me.

I am enjoying this free-write because I am just going with whatever comes to mind which is pretty funny because of the name of this blog. I have also thought about changing my description on the top left. I am no longer struggling with a divorce that is long gone. I am sure that I have moved on to the next level of my life and I am better person for it. I think my life gotten better and more enjoyable, I just need to get past the small things that hold me back everyday.

October marks my 10 years here in Syracuse. I was hoping to be somewhere else by now, but fate and the universe deems that I am here for a purpose that perhaps I have yet to fill. This also means that 9/11 is turning 10 years old too. If you have been keeping up with me over the years then you will know that 9/11 was a major reason I left New York City. While I may have taken this job at SU anyway, 9/11 sealed the deal for me. I still think about that day and I long to return to the city that never sleeps. I just need to be patient and wait for me opportunity.

I am also thinking about Latino Heritage Month that is coming up very quickly. I know that I did the 30 day blog challenge last year and I am wondering if I am going to do that again. I am not sure that is a good idea to do the same things over and over. However, I see the value of highlighting different things. I will have to really think about this before I commit to something. These types of challenges do take a lot out of me because I do not want to write crappy blogs.

Which brings me to my other struggles. I am tired of being broke. I need money to make money and trying to get this book of the ground will require money that I do not have at the moment. So there will be many things that I need to think of in order to get this done. In the meantime, I highlighted and wrote up a basis for another project I want to do in regards to @beingafrolatino. It turns out that I am always full of ideas but I just need to execute them.

This was an awesome free-write.

ISBNs and Things

Been doing some research over the last few weeks in regards to doing some actual publishing. I want to publish something soon and in order to do that I need to look at all my options. So my first thought was to go to createspace and start with the a basic design of my first book. I decided a while ago to put all my poetry into one volume and go from there. The only thing left to do wast to start the process.

So, I did some playing around and I realized I need to do some template work since I have to decided what sized book I want to publish. That was something that seemed pretty easy, of course I would have to reformat whatever I pick, but I think that is something that just comes with the territory. Of course, I would have to figure out a cover. This is a point in which I feel I need to take a picture of whatever I feel really displays the essence of my book and the poems within. In terms of the title, I have already thought one up.

It took me awhile to get to a title. I had been thinking about it for months actually, but last week it just hit me. I have decided to call it My Twisted Life Through Lines of Poetry. It just hit me when I thought about all the poems that I have written over the last few years. When I give some thought to the things I have written, I try to imagine the frame of mind I was in when I wrote them. I came up with the scattered works on a canvas. Since I am very much a Gemini, my work seems to be random but yet with a specific purpose. I feel the title embodies me. I just need to work on getting a picture that will speak to me as well.

Creating the actual book seems to take as just as much creativity as writing the text within. So, I have come to fully expect that this process may take awhile. I do not want to rush getting this done, but at the same time…I want to get this done. Which brings me to the part about a very interesting thing about something called an ISBN.

Every book has an identifier that seems to very much be a bar code on the back cover. This is a code that identifies this book as whatever it is. I can choose one or have one chosen for me, but there is a catch. See, I can get a free ISBN and publish by week’s end, the only problem is that it is not a universal identifier. It would only be recognized by Amazon and sold in that manner, thus I would have issues if I wanted it sold by a chain like Barnes & Noble. However, if I wanted a universal ISBN that is recognized by all (including libraries), I would have to pay a fee of $99.  That does not seem too bad, however I am currently trying to work through my budget and that is something that I simply have not planned for. I have often made the joke that when you are broke…everything seems to cost a thousand dollars…lol

So, I asked a friend who is currently selling his book on the Barnes & Noble website. Andre Cole is the author of The Unholy Servants and a very good friend of mine. We both attended Syracuse University and survived. I knew that he had self published and quite frankly this seems to be the way to go. I knew that he would have some answers about the ISBN thing for me. Not that I did not believe what I was being told, but I need to talk to someone who went through this process.  He basically told me that he bought a bunch of these! I am assuming I got this correct when he told me that every format will need its own ISBN. Hmmm….this is proving to be an investment (nothing wrong with that of course).

It made me think a little more clearer on a another project that I started. I would really want whatever it is that I write to be in as many formats as possible. What would be the point of any book if you cannot provide the reader with a format they may find convenient. So now,  I know what it is I need to do in order to get my work published. I cannot help but feel very proud that a good friend of mine has published. No, he is not the first person I know, but Andre is the closest, which gives me the motivation to work harder on this.

It is not easy to find the time and the energy to sit down and write. I have plenty of ideas in my head and I wanted to use the collected poetry as a starting point so that the second time around I know what I need to do. My countdown to get things done as begun in my head. I will need to focus on this and this is something that I know I can do because I have already written the material. With that being said, I do plan on writing new material so that all the poems published are not all from my blogs.

Please take time to click the link to The Unholy Servants. The e-book is only available at the moment but  we are eagerly awaiting the hard and soft cover editions. I have not read this book yet, but I plan to add it to my book club reading list. This way I am helping him out as much as he is going to help me out in this process.