Writing Life

30 08 2007

The thunder and lightning outside my windows shake me inside. Even though it’s almost daily occurence during the summer time it scares me every time. I’ve been busy revising my book, preparing a site for launching and an ezine is due tomorrow. I feel like I’m going in circles but I must concentrate in order not to miss any detail. It gets harder and harder every time and just to think that I need to get a whole promotion campaign for the new book in a few months. But I won’t think about that right now, first things first. I’m waiting for the galley of my book, then it’s more revision. After that is done I need to send galleys for book reviews and that usually takes 2 months to come back to me, maybe more. In the meantime I can be working in the bookcover design, I’m not sure how long that one will take. Then it will be to the printers to be fulfilled.

In order not to lose the habit of writing I’ve been blogging, writing a short story, reading some poetry and fiction. Reading and writing goes hand in hand. Writing improves when you read a lot and apply certain techniques learned in whatever it is you are reading, it could be poetry, fiction, writing descriptions, etc. Listening to classical music also helps stimulate my mind.

So if you don’t see me around here too much you know why, I’m trying to get everything rolling in the right direction in order to come back here and relax with you for a while. Get your cup of coffee pull up a chair and tell me what you’ve been up to, I would love to know.

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity -Richness of Life





Empowering or Weakening Women

25 08 2007

girl
Girls and young women today are under a lot of pressure. They struggle between what they think their friends and guys want and what they really want to accomplish in their life and how to get it. Women have fought and defended the freedom they’ve earned in the last decades, but that freedom has come to be more of a burden than of satisfaction in many cases. For one the definition of freedom and equality with me is being distorted and many times work against women and what they really need and want to be happening in their life.

I know the pressures, I was a young girl once full of questions and expectations. Deciding how to relate to others was a difficult task at times. Looks sometimes worked to my advantage but at other times against me. I could both be loved and hated with passion. I had my scare with girl gangs who wanted to beat me up a few times just because the boys they wanted liked me. I didn’t even knew the guys! Anyway, I was rescued by my mom everytime. Since I was in private school they would not open the gates until my mom came inside the school to pick me up in her car. I could see the mad faces of the girls as we drove by, “We’ll get you another time” they would yell. Thank God they never did.

Girls and young women I believe still want the same things we did; be loved, some want to be married and have kids but most of all they want to be appreciated and respected. Women don’t go from guy to guy thinking it’s cool, they hope that their relationship lead to something solid and long term but the way they go about it doesn’t help them get to where they want to be. At the end their reputation is ruined just because they didn’t take the time to say no and stand for what they wanted. To me that’s power! To have the guts to stand up for yourself and what you want and not to settle for anything less. But what happens it’s very different. With every failed relationship the girls take with them less and less of their shattered self-esteem and at the end they even think they don’t deserve any better.

I believe is time to teach our children how valuable they are and how they can expect and get everything they really want and need in life. I discovered and excellent book that speaks about this; Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit. I think the topic is very timely and will help many girls get what they want. You can read and article and hear an interview by NPR with Wendy Shalit which is very enlightening.

I have a fifteen year old daughter and the things I hear her tell me about other moms it’s outrageous. It really bothers me because in many ways these girls and moms are influencing her in ways I really don’t appreciate. I’ve been called overprotective but to me protecting my kids is not a sin is my right. No matter how much they fight me I’ll be there to guide and protect them anyway I can. But back to the moms. How in the world do you justify parents letting kids 14-17 years old be out of the home at 2:30 in the morning. Kids today don’t do much, I can count the parents who involve their kids in sports, at least in this neighborhood, which by the way is upper middle class. It’s easier to get the kids out of their hair and let them do whatever they want with hardly any supervision.

I was amazed to hear that some moms were buying thongs for their daughters as part of their back to school shopping this year. What are they thinking and most of all what are they expecting from such a choice? What message are they giving to their daughters with it? I have a really hard time with this, to me this is adult undergarment choice and not for pre-teen and teen girls. Clothes are getting sexier and more provocative as well. You can be beautiful and get the opposite sex’s attention by wearing clothes that are classy and elegant instead of trendy and trashy. We need to teach girls that the clothes they choose to wear will attract a certain kind of guy and a certain kind of treatment and behaviour as well. Everyone wants to be wanted and loved but not for just a few hours or days, at least I believe that’s what most women want, and if they do they sure are going about it the wrong way. It’s not surprising that young women in their mid and late twenties are still waiting for Mr. Right.

I’m pretty vocal about what I believe and want in my life. I’ve been mistaken for a feminist which I’m not. I choose to enjoy certain priviledges we as women have learned to claim in the world but I know well the unique power a woman has and many times ignores. This is my favorite quote and it has become my motto:

“To be somebody, a woman does not have to be more like a man, but has to be more of a woman.” –Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz

By trying to be as men were are devaluing ourself and been treated just like them. I don’t know you but I don’t want to be one of the guys. I doubt that girls and young women want to be one either. Another excellent book I would like to recomment is Full of Grace, it helps women see themselves as the beautiful, powerful and unique creature God wanted them to be.

I believe parents have a powerful battle in their hands and their daughters’ happiness is at stake. If we don’t teach them how to obtain what they deserve in life and let them go with the flow so that they can fit in because it’s easier, we would become the reapers of their unhappiness. I know that no parent wants that for their girls so I encourage every woman to reflect upon this as they raise their girls. And to the girls and young women, look into these great books and try to look for people who can guide you in the right direction and help you get on the path to happiness instead of destruction. You deserve the best!

by Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity – Richness of Life





Down in my Cell

19 08 2007

cell

In the last few weeks more than ever I’ve been looking within in order to find my way. Going down the cell of our soul is a sure way to find what truly matters in life. It’s in our temple where we can see more clearly what it’s right or wrong in our life. Perhaps we’ve lived years of neglect of our spiritual and intellectual needs, only caring for those around us just to find out that at the end all is out of our hands. There is only someone you can change and control and that is you. We try to plan and control every little detail in our life and find ourselves disappointed when it’s not what we hoped for from the start. We have the wrong impression that love and affection is something we look for when in reality it comes to you when you least expect it. We are supposed to love without expecting anything in return but then again we do. We don’t demand love and respect from others we earn it with the way we live and treat others in our life.





Parent’s Connections

12 08 2007

dad

It has taken me years to understand, but I think I finally realized that as parents we are able to connect with one gender better than others. Being a parent is a very difficult task and knowing how to best accomplish the art of better communication with our kids is important. I thought that because we were parents communication had to be an equal thing between mom and dad. I’ve read some books -they all suggest different things- I’ve tried a few things but at this teenage stage of my kids’ life nothing seems to work for them or me. In talking with other parents I noticed how the dads were able to better connect to their daughters as I was able to connect better with my boys. It was a light bulb moment for me even though I did’nt react to it right away.

Now that I think of it I can tell why I’m more like my dad than my mom. I love my mom but I always longed for my dad’s love and affection. Even though during my teen years he tended to be so strict and sometimes unfair, I loved him. He was the one to protect me, be proud of me, buy me beautiful clothes and jewelry. In one word I was (and still am) his princess. I don’t remember him talking to me about boys, my future or my feelings -that was more of my mom’s job- but with his example I learned a lot about all of that.

I know that my best connection with my mom began when I had my own kids. Maybe I’ll have to wait till then to have that kind of connection with my daughter.

girl





What to do when you are feeling blue?

6 08 2007

There are moments in life in which we can’t runaway from, if we are alive we’ll have good and bad moments. What we do with them is what matters in the end. It’s during difficults times when we realize how insignificant we really are in the universe’s realm. What happens to us many times is not under our control and been used to care of things right away, we try to fight them or fix them somehow. It’s natural instinct I guess.

When I feel blue is usually the time in which I go in circles in my mind, don’t know what to say or do and end up writing. It’s my way to unload feelings and frustations to regain hope. I’m usually inspired to write poems that nobody lay eyes upon. I also like to listen to music with lyrics that express my sentiments.

I’m puzzled at how human beings relate to one another and how they communicate their feelings. Half the time nobody is sure if they are coming or going. They say one thing but don’t mean it at all, and then at other times they mean it but never speak of it to another soul. I guess we all do the same thing -smoke and mirrors- to protect ourselves.

So what to do when you are feeling blue? Take a good look inside, usually something is trying to work in you. Take time to be by youself and ask the hard questions you’ve never wanted to answer. Be honest. Be hopeful, tomorrow will be another day, maybe a better one than your present. Don’t let your mind run wild imagining things, it only helps you feel worst. Just wait and see and at the end you’ll see it was nothing after all. Let the waves carry you wherever they might, there will come a time when all is calm again. Nothing last forever.





Hating Weekends

4 08 2007

The more I get into writing the more I come to hate weekends. Weekends tend to be the only time in which my writing is restricted. Taking in consideration that writers need to dedicate a lot of time to the craft it’s obvious that while those weekly interruptions take place so our inspiration is affected. By the time Monday comes around I’ve already lost the flow I accomplished by Friday, it takes me couple of days to get into the swing of things again and before I know is the weekend one more time.

Is it fair to want to spend so many hours trying to create something worthy of publication or should I relax and enjoy life as it comes? I usually try to concentrate in reading since it’s something I can do anywhere. Reading helps at least keep my mind working. I also try to use my camera and capture nature and scenic views which is another way to stay connected to my creative spirit. If I am to write my next book I need to dedicate time and energy to the endeavor or it will never be done.

Discipline is what makes a writer, aside from inspiration which we can’t depend on, having the purpose to be in front of the computer or writing on a notebook whatever it is that comes to mind. I remember the first book I wrote, it bursted out of me and I didn’t stop for seven months straight. There was an urgency in the process and I was amazed at what I did in that time frame. I need to get that back.





Don’t Lose Sight of Your Dreams

1 08 2007

I started looking in my computer files to see what I could work with, I had the need to write but didn’t know about what. So I stumbled upon this article and what a coincidence that speaks about dreams. I’m sure God is trying to tell me something. I wanted to share it with you.

dream

DREAMS
A wonderful story for any age…..

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and
challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood
up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.
I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me
with a smile that that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old.
Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of
course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married,
have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to
be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting
one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and share a
chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next
three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was
always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her
wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily
made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled
in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was
living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football
banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and
stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech,
she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a
little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said,
“I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is
killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: “We do not stop
playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There
are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving
success. “You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to
have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many
people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”

“There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If
you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t
do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am
eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do
anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That
doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always
finding the opportunity in change.”

“Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we
did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear
death are those with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She
challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our
daily lives. At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had
begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to
the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to
be all you can possibly be.

Lessons:
1. You are never too old to learn.
2. Laugh and find humor everyday .
3. Don’t let change overwhelm you, let change help you find
opportunities you may have never seen!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
– James Dean

Advice
Do you have a dream, a wish, then turn it into a goal today – break it
down, take one step, then another and accomplish your dream.
– Catherine Pulsifer