Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birthday wishes

Today I turn thirty-three. It’s crazy to think how much can happen in a year, how many conversations, how many smiles, and how many glasses of wine can happenwithin the blur of 365 days.

Sure, sure, I know there was a lot of work and that this part of the blur sucks, I get that... I also know that along the way, we lost some amazing people, but look beyond that. Look at all the good things that have happened. Look at those times, those special moments, and realize how fortunate each of us are.

In this last year, I published Only Human... my first book.

Just reading that sentence above is worth the price of admission for me. Add to that that I’ve managed to outsell Van Gogh by 32, and well, I’m ecstatic. Add to that that I’ve begun work on the sequel, am working on a young adult novel about a boy who wishes he could fly, am well into finishing a compilation and have connected to almost 800 people on twitter... and well, it could very well fill me with all the pride in the world...

But that’s just one aspect of my life. Above, I said I’ve connected to almost 800 people on Twitter... that’s fun and nice and it’s fascinating to meet people throughout the world, from Russia, to Pakistan, India, Palestine, Australia, the UK, Canada, all over the US, South Africa, Japan, Romania and beyond... it’s amazing that in the palm of our hands, we can connect with people from so many places... but if you know me, you know that although I love that... I also love connecting with people I know.

If you’d ask most anyone about me, they’d say I should run for office because I tend to say hello to so many people. That’s because some time ago, I decided I wanted to connect and positively impact as many people as possible. Does that mean I don’t have off days? Anyone who knows me, knows that’s not true either. But no matter how bad I may feel, I always try to make someone crack a smile and connect. If you can read this message, that also means you’re on my friend list... and odds are pretty high I’ve sent you a direct message. That’s because I love to connect.

But that’s also just one aspect of my life. The ocean is another. One of the few places I feel the most at peace is when I’m bodyboarding and in the past year, I’ve been able to score some of the best waves I’ve ever had in my life and ride pretty much to the best of my ability during certain sessions when the stars aligned in the sky and I aligned with waves in the water.

Each session was a special moment, which at times I was able to share with friends and other times on my own. That’s because although I love people, I love alone time and often lose myself in papers and thoughts during lunch, playing videogames or some other scenario. 

But that’s also, just another aspect -another layer- of my life and who I am as I busy myself with living it. That’s because I’m a son, I’m a brother and I’m a friend. Although I’m not always in touch, I try that every time I interact with anyone, that I make it count. True, I may fall off the radar, but I try to be a message or a phone call away.

I have a grand extended family of people I would have gone to war with... but instead, I’d like to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from friendship and kinship. I have friends I’ve shared concerts and the deepest conversations with, brothers who have helped shaped who I am and a mother that swells my heart with pride.

But that’s also, just another aspect of me. That’s because I’m a husband and I’ve chanced on someone who inspires me to no end, who gets me, who nurtures me and knows that beyond the big smile, squinty eyes and bravado, there’s a guy who can’t help but write her into most of his works and love every fiber of her being.

And that, even though it is huge in my life, is also just another aspect of my life... because those elements I wrote about are all connected, we are all connected and I thank you for being in my life regardless of rank.

So if you want to get me a birthday present, a wall message is good, a private message is better, a referral of my book would be divine (you can even give it as a gift on Amazon to anyone who has the free kindle app), if you read the book, a review would blow my mind, a cold beer would be awesome and a raincheck for a hug would be perfect. Then again, just reading this and connecting with me is epic.

So in short,

Cheers to us all

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Space travel responds to our disappointment in our world

There’s a reason why some people fantasized about living in Pandora. Although I’m really not at all a fan of James Cameron’s Avatar, I can see why people would find it appealing: threats are clear and present, the planet (actually a moon) is pristine and habitable and you don’t get shot at if you’re a young person walking through a neighborhood.

Although it’s fairly clear we’re just getting started with the Trayvon Martin case (even if it has finished for now), the facts remain: a man, with a gun, for some reason, shot and killed a 17 year old and was found innocent of all charges brought forth to him.

You see, you can tell me all you want that it was self defense, or that he felt threatened, or that there’s some justification… that’s all fine and dandy and bless you for trying to defend a lost cause, but a kid is dead… not a man, not a big black man who looks threatening, but a kid on the cusp of becoming a man, was shot and killed by some guy with a gun… In the last year we’ve been exposed to tragedies in so many states that I’m not going to bother listing them off by name, I’m just going to say that in recent memory, if you went to see the Dark Knight Rises, if you were a six year old child going to class or if you were walking to get a snack, you could have died because of a gun.

I am not a fan of guns… I really hate guns… even more than I hate hard drugs (no, POT is not a hard drug). They only serve to kill or mimic the act of killing. Sure, they may protect and serve, they may be tools of peace, but it is always at the prospect and potential for causing and inflicting death.

I may not be black, but I am a minority and the fact that if I go surfing, get a tan, leave my beard on and look Arab means someone might shoot me because they might feel threatened by me definitely means that I’d rather live in Pandora than the state of Florida.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of equality, of peace, of taking down color barriers… that’s one hell of a dream. I’m much simpler, I dream of a world without guns as a start. When we manage that miracle, maybe we’ll see if we can finally come to the 21st century and at least find a man guilty of manslaughter for responding to fear with a gun. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I wrote a book and it's called Only Human

"Nathaniel Runnels isn’t a fan of life. He isn’t a fan of the news, which is a bust because he’s a reporter. He’s lost faith in journalism, in the truth, in civilization and in himself. So it’s quite the surprise when he gets swept up in a quest to save the world. Perception and reality collide as one man faces one question, would you sacrifice your humanity to save mankind?"

That's the description of my first book. A book I worked on for years. I did the research, wrote it all by hand, transcribed it, edited it, jotted down ideas and truly allowed myself to write what I wanted to write. After attempting to get the attention of some publishers, I quickly realized that I love writing... not selling what I write, so I self published my book digitally on Amazon Kindle and soon to be available on Barnes and Noble.

In a small blur of a moment, I went from working on my book to having it out there. And sure I expect skepticism because who is anyone to judge their own work as worthy of publishing. It’s digital so there won’t be a book signing... for now. But it’s mine... it’s alive, it’s out there and it’s called Only Human.

I'm actually very excited because it's the first time I share something that anyone with a computer can enjoy. Just in case, I have another blog called For writing out loud although I will continue to write here, since this is my first own blog and I've been able to actually interact with some very interesting people. So to anyone reading this, thanks for checking out this blog and if you want to read something that has angels, vampires, werewolves and characters with substance, by all means, give my book a shot. 


Check it out on Amazon clicking this link: 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

In search of inspiration

Inspiration can be a fickle bitch, it can also be the best companion that you’ve ever known… that’s because inspiration breathes and lives. It has emotions, it has feelings, emotions, hang-ups and frustrations.

Throughout my relationship with inspiration, it’s been a hell of a ride and she’s always kept me company. I don’t force her to do what she doesn’t want for too long and often take her for walks to show her the world and feed her with information, sights, ideas and experiences.

Every day we get along better and we’ve even been able to get a bit more disciplined in what we do in life. That’s because with us, there are no rules… no conventions, no boundaries, no limitations. There are only challenges we’ve decided to take on together.

It’s funny because although we’re perfectionists and we get pissed off when we see a typo or a plot hole… we don’t blame each other. We simply accept that sometimes we get swept up in the moment and have little hiccups.

I’m writing this so she knows how much I appreciate her because thanks to the philosophy we both share, we enjoy life and pay attention to the details and the big picture. We grow together, we play often and work hard at bringing out the best in each other.

Although we haven’t been together all my life, I look forward to spending the rest of my days in contact with her, because I think we both have a lot to give.

So here’s to you dear friend… may you shine your kaleidoscope bright in our journey together.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Enero en la mañana, Diciembre en la noche

A menudo los comienzos del año es una sinfonía de tropiezos, accidentes, errores e idioteces. Lo peor de todo es que tratamos el año como si estuviéramos en una cita y pensamos que si hacemos una mala impresión, nos irá más mal que mal.

La realidad es que mucha gente llega al punto del año en donde se rinden, en donde olvidan sus resoluciones y en donde dejan de dar la milla extra porque saben que no lograrán sus metas al 100%. No importa que puedan llegar a 70% u 80%... es que si no es 100%, no es nada. El año y la vida en general ambos son más tolerantes que eso y simplemente quieren que sigas echando adelante, ya sea a pasos agigantados o a paso de caracol.

Cada año hago una lista increíblemente larga sobre cosas que quiero lograr durante el año. La lista es larga… bien larga. El detalle o lo importante no es en lo largo, sino en que me ha ayudado a enfocarme para ser más productivo. A menudo no logro las metas que me propongo al 100%. Eso no le quita que sigo tratando hasta el fin del año. Insisto, me pongo terco, analizo como mejor hacer las cosas, me pongo al día en ciertas metas y otras caen por la borda… así mismo es la vida.

La vida no son las tabletas ineditables de los diez mandamientos que no se pueden cambiar para nada… es una experiencia viva, orgánica, viviente y constantemente evolucionando. Cada día es una aventura en sí, un capítulo en una serie de libros cuyo autor, editor, propagandista y contable eres tú. Está en ti lo que hagas con cada día y mirar más allá de las metas tangibles, de ver la disciplina que lograste, de ver qué metas si llegaste al 100% u obtuviste un excelente resultado.

Está en ti mirar cada mañana como un primero de enero y cada noche un 31 de diciembre. Un comienzo alentador, de esperanzas, retos, deseos y sueños y un fin de día en donde rindes cuentas sobre lo que hiciste con las 16-18 horas que estuviste despierto.

Cada mañana es una oportunidad para tener esperanza y cada noche es tu foro para celebrar… te invito a que le saques mayor provecho a esa fiesta que llamamos vida.