New Chapter

As I prepare to start a new chapter in my life I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I have been blessed with a supportive and loving family.

It was all the love and support that allowed me to grow as a person and complete my educational goals.  When I enrolled in a local community college many years ago  I thought I knew what I wanted to do.

I thought that I wanted to be a paralegal. At 19 years old I thought this was the right path for me.

When I finally completed my Associate’s degree I discovered that I was a different person and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to work in a law office. A few years later I enrolled in a program at a local college.

Now, I was sure that I wanted a double major in history and political science. One year later, I transferred to another school.

Once again I changed my major.

I changed my major to English.

I have learned that I am constantly growing, changing, and evolving. The goals  I set today may change tomorrow.

One day, I had an assignment to write a piece of flash fiction and I found myself very happy.  The biggest challenge I have had over the years is coming to terms with calling myself a writer. Now, I call myself a writer.

Today, I committed myself to a new chapter of my life.

I am starting chapter one of a new book.

The ending is not quite ironed out yet but the words have been set down on the page.Here are some links to some of the unexpected turns in my story:

https://www.setonhill.edu/news/detail/delia-marrero-receives-first-harlequin-diverse-voices-scholarship/

Poetry and Me

Today, I am working on my poems, and I must have hit a nerve.

I began to squirm.

Writing from a place of vulnerability can be exhausting, in part because of the emotional toll it can take on you. Exploring past issues, rehashing out experiences that were once dead and done, reliving memories can be hard.

Lately, I find myself sifting through a compartmentalized box of memories (good and bad).

Sometimes, we bury our feelings deep within the confines of our souls and never really find closure. We move on from a bad moment and some of us never get the closure we need. But, my personal trip down memory lane has left me with a sense of healing, or closure.

What does closure look like?

For me, it comes in the form of a series of poems that explore my life and identity as a woman, a minority, and mother trying to figure out who I am in the midst of trying to raise strong young women.

And, let me tell you I am tired.

I am tired of being subjected to a world that expects certain behaviors and norms in order to succeed. I am tired of the way society has created standards of beauty. I am tired of sitting in a room where I am silently criticized because I color my hair blue (purple, pink, and green) or I have henna on my hands. I’m tired of trying to fit into white America in my America.

But, in this exhaustion I also find truths.

I find that I love discovering myself. I love the beauty of language. I discover that the power of words can move me to tears, bring me joy, or bring me peace. In this vulnerable place of discovery, I use my words to heal my wounds, to find my serenity.

Within the spaces of my lines, I build my stanzas of truth creating my poetic voice.

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2019 All rights reserved.

‘Tis The Season…

‘Tis the season to revel with family and focus on being. ‘Tis a time for joy. ‘Tis the time for shopping, buying toys for boys and girls.

BAH HUMBUG…

I spent many holidays trying to fill the space between the floor and my Christmas tree with wrapped presents. On Christmas morning my kids were so excited to rip open wrapping paper and play with their new toys. Then, a week later those toys were sitting in the toy box. Small pieces were found beneath the sofa and under the sofa-cushion in the dark spaces where the cushion meets the couch.

As a young mom, I really couldn’t afford Christmas but I went out of my way to do so. I wanted to give my kids everything that I could.  I didn’t want them to be left out when they returned to school, but one day I decided enough was enough.

I couldn’t afford to fill a tree with items that would just be disregarded in a few weeks. I stopped burdening my finances. I realize that I buy them needs and wants all year long. I taught my children to understand that I cannot always buy the wants but I will do my best. What this has taught my children:

  1. To be content with anything that they get. (If you ask my kids what they want for Christmas they usually don’t have an answer.)
  2. If they want something and I can’t afford to buy it,  they save their money until they have enough for the item.

I guess I have come to dislike the holiday over time. The years have shown me how we put a monetary value on the meaning of Christmas. I think that we forget about what we should focus on which is eating food and drinking coquito.

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2018 All rights reserved.

A Dog And My Blog

I write to engage the reader but how do I engage a reader with new and stimulating content when I feel the content getting stale?

A few months ago I found myself enthralled by Vu Le who was speaking at a local event  he stated and I misquote, “Everything is better with kittens.” He proceeded to show a slide of a baby kitten and it was cute, then he continued to talk about the nonprofit world. For me, the take away is that it’s important to have visuals in your blog to engage the reader and there is something about baby animals that make people take notice.

I don’t have a baby kitten but I have my rescued dog…

Jethro

This is a picture from 7 years ago. Now that you are mesmerized by my dog continue reading.

When I first started writing and blogging I was excited.  Ideas were always racing through my head. I had content and I was dumping it into my blog.

Now, I find it hard to finish what I write. I find that writing has become a chore over time. Now it feels forced and stale.

As I try to figure out my words I am left with this question: Where and how do I begin?

This past year has led me to question my identity as both an artist and person. My writing has troubled me for quite some time as I try to find inspiration in my daily life, workshops and writing groups. The writer is hibernating as I sift through the rest of my being.

I am examining old stories and poems, revising and editing trying to find what works again.

I just have to keep chipping away, piece by piece at the boulder that is blocking my path.

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2018 All rights reserved.

Revised: An Empty Love Letter

I just revised this poem. I revised it because after reading it with fresh eyes I realized that it needed something else, it needed a facelift, a poetic facelift.

I am going to try and practice what I learned at The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of CreativeWriting.

I was fortunate enough to attend this program a few weeks ago and I learned so much.

I came home with a new found enthusiasm to work on my poetry and short stories. So this is my first revision of an old post.

via An Empty Love Letter

Writing Update

Five days until I head off to Martha’s Vineyard for a week of creative writing. I am nervous and excited. I have never done anything like this but I know that it will be worth the experience. Lately, writing has been challenging and I am looking forward to breaking through this writer’s block.

I think this week away will help me focus on my craft. I look forward to breaking through this writer’s block!

I am still a little short of my goal check out my most recent update below:

Delia’s Creative Writing Dream

 

Write—For Me

I set out to write a new collection of poetry and I am thinking about words more than I have in the past.

The most difficult thing about writing is trying to find new words that mean the same thing while creating a different version of what I already wrote without repeating myself.

Can you follow that?

Some days, I can’t because it is exhausting.

I think about the words I  use when I write.  I listen to the way they sound and explore the feelings which I am trying to express.

If the words don’t invoke any feeling then I know I’m doing it wrong.

This intricacy of language is what makes writing so difficult.

One word can alter everything that you are trying to express as a writer.

I have been trying to push my writing in a different direction and— as I write— I discovered that it doesn’t work. I was frustrating myself with every word because it did not sound right.

Then, BOOM! It hit me…

Through trial and error…

I have my own style and I should use what works for me and build my toolbox from this foundation.

I attended critiques sessions for poetry and for fiction, and I received positive feedback and constructive criticism that helped me. As I work on revisions I recall the the feedback that I receive. Some of the commentaries I received were geared around the musicality and lyrical quality of my word choice. My short story received positive feedback about the intentional wordplay I created was examined.   The woman who critiqued me wasn’t sure if it was intentional wordplay and I was proud when she called out to it because it was intentional.

These pieces came naturally, they flowed from my fingertips with ease and poetic prose. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel.

Not everyone likes rhyming, most people don’t like poetry, and wordplay can get lost in the mix but I shouldn’t allow that to change my style.

I have an awkward inner poet that rises up from time to time ready to create a beautiful word-vine.

I love writing. I love poetry. I love a good story. I revel in telling stories and creating a thunderous voice that booms from the pages making you feel the power of prose.  A voice that can move you to tears—as a writer making people cry is so rewarding! Think about it! To muster up that kind of emotion in another being through language now that’s powerful!

So why should I try to please everyone else with my writing?

Writing makes me happy so I should enjoy what I write.

If I am genuine then I am sure to reach an audience that will appreciate what I have created as a writer and that is all I want, even if it is an audience of one.

Releasing Writing Fears #2

I love the complexity of language and the intricacies of fabricating worlds.

Worlds that are created between the pages of a spine, so I must continuously read. It is my belief that the love of writing should come from the love of reading.

All writers should read and read everything because when you are done reading then the fun begins.

You can now begin twisting thoughts and plots in order to make something new.

I read because I love the beauty of words, I write because I want to imitate this beauty. I want to mimic what came before and write my own version.

I often avoided writing because avoidance was easy.  I would avoid creating avoid the voice inside urging to be set free.

Avoidance.

I want to create and I understand that creating requires commitment.

And I must commit to writing it all down but it’s so much easier to avoid the commitment.

In order to be a writer, I must be committed to my craft and avoidance is a self-imposed death sentence imposed upon my pen.

As a writer I am the messenger, the pen is the vessel, and the story controls my hand. I believe that I can’t control the outcome of my writing; the only thing I control is the task of getting the words out on the paper.  I may be the author, but my characters create the stories and it is their lives which dictate the outcome of my pen.

I will no longer avoid writing, I refuse to avoid the moments that the muses call out to me and I make every effort to jot down the ideas when they come to me. I continue to write because that is what I am meant to do.

Releasing Writing Fears

I like writing but I am hesitant about sharing. Self-doubt, apprehension, and fear continuously rear their putrid heads over and over again.  The self-doubt and apprehension lead me to write. In part, I believe that this is an oxymoron because the fear and apprehension should make me run from the craft.

The exploration of my language leaves me at a loss sometimes. I am lost in my thoughts and words— constantly. I am lost in observation and I am lost in the wonderment of exploration. I can explore the darkest thoughts of my mind and create something truly unique or I can create a poem that embraces every romantic idea I have ever come across and yet somehow, I feel it’s never good enough.

It’s not good enough so it’s not worth sharing.

I have so many creations, characters, and plots that are begging for exposure.

They haunt my thoughts daily.

They chase me down dark damp dreary desolate corridors.

They rush to the forefront seeking the spotlight in the world. They long to enter the minds of others and leave behind an impression of existence.

And, then, there is me.

I stand in the way of everything. I place myself between the world and my words.

Is this intentional sabotage or uncertainty? It may be both.

So I have decided to make myself uncomfortable!   I am trying to share more, I am seeking exposure, albeit, baby steps but nonetheless steps in the WRITE direction.

The first thing I did was enter a poetry contest. This forced me to create and compile a collection of my poetry. A total of 51 poems which explore my love of poetry by exploring the concepts of identity, love, sex, fear, torment, nature, and any other experience of the human existence I could muster up from the left and right hemispheres of my brain.

I am also going to continue my novel, a multi-cultural contemporary romance novel sprinkled with history. The book explores the harsh realities of love, loss, grief, trauma, history and there is the possibility of happiness (this is still to be determined).

And—for my last trick there are these short stories I have been working on. Sorted little tales I take the most pleasure in writing.

I am exploring the world of writing, my world of writing. I am going to take the time and cultivate my craft and figure out what I will do with it in the next few months.

I invite you to share your writing fears, inhibitions or apprehensions. Expose them, explore them then release them.

Puerto Rico

I am writing today from within. I write from the roots of my being. I am an American, a Puerto Rican. I am the daughter of an island born on the mainland of a country in turmoil over identity. Today, I see inaction on behalf of other American citizens, on inhabitants of an island in despair.  Americans absent from inclusion, they live on an island bombarded by the waters of grief and we are all hurting. Our island is in trouble and we are stranded on the mainland, hopeless, fearful, and desperate.

La isla del encanto, la isla de mi niñez, drowned by a storm— is surfacing for air.

And I see all of us crying out for our people.

I see humanity emerging from the depths of tragedy.

We cry out with memories of a coqui singing, the sounds of parrandas bellowing through the night, el cuatro is the backdrop of my childhood, with trio music cascading through my memories.

I still smell el calor de la lluvia que cae en el verano and I hear my grandmother saying to me, “se caso la bruja, lluvia con sol.”  I can’t translate culture. I can’t turn this refrán into something that makes sense in English. Sometimes, I can’t make sense of myself in America, because I am  Puerto Rican. The earmarks of our culture lose meaning when we try to translate them.

We try to translate our being, our identity. We try to be American- but we don’t have to try because we are Americans with a dash of sazón.

Our culture is a mixture of history told over the sounds of an island’s melody for decades.

We are American. We are part of this country too; we are the people of a nation that ignores us.

We fight in wars, we work in your business, we are doctors, nurses, teachers, representatives, we even hold a position in the Supreme Court, we are Grammy award winners, Tony award winners, actors, actresses, sports players, musicians, rappers, poets, writers, executives, secretaries, your neighbors, and friends.

It saddens me that the tragedy which has fallen upon the birthplace of my ancestry has devastated the Motherland. But I want you to remember “Esta raza siempre es brava/ Aunque sople el temporal” (Residente, Hijos Del Cañaveral).

Don’t lose sight of the solidarity that has forged from this tragedy. Make an effort to help. Bring attention to the plight of our island; bring attention to the people of the island. Don’t sit down and remain silent, write letters make phone calls, donate money for relief efforts (Donating items is not always the best solution unless you know what is exactly needed. Avoid waste).

Find out where the relief efforts are, change the conversation of the nation unite with others and make CHANGE happen.