Wednesday, November 8, 2017

WATCH: Are Latino Men Naturally Machista - The Kat Call

Earlier this year I watched 13th with my husband. It's a remarkable documentary that clearly shows how the 13th amendment abolished slavery but how institutional racism continued and is still pervasive in our country today. It opened my eyes because I never realized how specific decisions have contributed to what black people experience in the United States today. 

Then I discovered this video after following MitĂș on Facebook. They have a segment called The Kat Call where a woman named Kat calls people out on what they're thinking or how they're acting. This particular video was called "Are Latino men naturally machista?" and it really made me think about the stereotype that has been created around Latino men. 

I've been thinking more and more about stereotypes, where they come from, and why they continue. Personally, this is why I share my story, to add my perspective to the narrative, and to give others a book to read that hopefully open their eyes a bit. When I read, I get to walk around in someone else's shoes and to me, it's the best way to understand others better. 

Watch and think about any biases you might have or you might have had at one point. What contributes or contributed to your thoughts? How do your biases change or how have your biases changed over time? Does this video add to your thoughts on how Latino men are portrayed in the media? Can you recognize any other stereotypes or biases that this makes you more aware of? How might your own writing break down biases or stereotypes? 

We each have a unique story to tell and in my opinion, the more voices we add to the mix, the better.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

JOIN: Celebrating Playlist Power

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

This weekend I'm celebrating how helpful a playlist can be! I started collecting songs related to an idea I had for a novel early in 2015. I finally wrote the first draft of that novel this summer, over two years later. I still find songs I want to add to playlists I create and I find myself listening to the songs as I'm writing. 

The playlist for the novel I'm currently revising - or rewriting to be honest - really helped me think through what changes I'd like to make as I rewrite. It also helped me remember what I initially thought this book was going to be about. It's mostly still what I thought it would be but I'm learning about first drafts and about all the next drafts as I think about what I thought I was going to write, versus what I did write, and what I plan to make the writing into now. Sometimes things just go where they go...but now that I've written something, I can go back and makes changes to it. 

It's kind of like working towards the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. Every lick gets you closer until you finally get to that chewy goodness in the middle. Every draft gets me closer to what the story is meant to be. 
This week I'm celebrating how helpful my playlist was as I'm starting on this new revision. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year but I have a few friends who are! If you're reading, keep going! And if you aren't doing NaNo, I still wish you happy writing!