She Had Given Him Her Entire Life In Those Final Moments…

(Snippet Of My Novel- A Work In Progress)

The game was running into overtime as his mind wandered. There were moments that seemed to blur. His thoughts, reality and not, all jumbled into one very real alternate universe. It was sometimes difficult to discern time.

“Look there, my son” he thought.

Seeing him now, a young man of fifteen. Fifteen? Juan shook his head as if to rewind back time. It was impossible to escape the ever lingering sensation he felt when looking at his son. It was the sense of accomplishment and one of awe. His son on the soccer field was the same 7 pound 5 ounce baby that once entered the world from his wife’s body to then be placed into his arms—both warm and small.

And now here was, his son gliding across the vast expanse of the green field and blue sky, confident and strong. Juan reminds himself how fortunate he is. He had finally brought something good into this world, uncorrupted and untainted.

Robbie had been born during a time when fathers had just been allowed into the delivery rooms. He could recall the mosaic of sounds that beeped from the many machines monitoring her and the baby’s heartbeat. The piercing smell of bleach and blood that seemed to linger in the air fueling the thought of life and death. Giving and taking, both intermingled together in one place.

It was their third try. It hadn’t been easy. She didn’t want this. He knew it. But he pushed just like he always did. They both believed they needed this to mend a marriage; to consummate something beautiful and permanent despite the obvious seams that had been fraying at the edges.

In some ways he knew it was over. The last battle for their love was won and lost by his wife Rosaline. Juan felt the moment during his son’s birth when she broke away from him. She was there, she was smiling, she was holding his son, but she had already left him.

She had given him her entire life in those final moments; each year passing with every push.

As she grasped his hand to bear down for the final time, out came the last string of love that lied between them both, now beating in the soul of his son.

Robbie was the last gift of her youth, her independence and her innocence, all given to him. Just as he had always received everything he had asked for, whether given freely or taken by demand.

Now, looking at the face of his son as he kicked the black and white paneled ball in mid-air, it didn’t matter anymore. It didn’t mean anything but what was in front of him in these moments.

Music & Writing

The Push Pull of Love

Within my novel I’ve been  attempting to show the universal experience of pain, regret, love and family. Suffice it to say, far too often  these topics tend to drudge up my own personal experience with these same issues.  Essentially, this is where I use my poetry as a cathartic process of releasing the things that weigh heavy on me.

So, in between my novel-writing I’ve been working on one particular poem that speaks of my own intimate experience with the push-pull of love, anger, longing and desire. Honestly, I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with it. My words have been feeling like a tangled web of hair, unable to comb through. This is where music often helps me…it puts me in the right mindset.

Pandora, my iTunes and CD collection are always on or within reach. I’ve even gone as far as using my Sound machineapp on my iPhone to use as I write. Depending on the particular scene I’m working on (hospital setting, outdoors in a park) I pick from the various sounds they offer. There I have a sampling of thunder storms, forest sounds, rain falling on a tin rooftop, traffic and distant train sounds. It may be a bit weird but for me it helps.

For my novel and this particular poem the song below is always looping in the foreground. I feel like the music embodies the idea of  leaving behind while moving ahead. You can almost sense the movement as you listen… well at least I do 🙂

I hope you enjoy it.

“Untitled #4” (a.k.a. “Njósnavélin”)  -By Sigur Rós
The song had a Hollywood debut in the movie ‘Vanilla Sky’ during the final scene.

Untitled

By: N. Guadalupe

Falling deep, falling hard
I’m losing all sense of me
This adult version of she

College educated, career oriented
I’m losing the jaded most part of me

This teen is falling deep and falling hard
Becoming the younger version of me

Filled with insecurities and exposed virginity
I’m losing sight of me

Naïve in the language of surface truths
Unrevealed and uncertainties she wades the deep

Watching the slow tempering of real and make-believe
These stiff brick walls remain unrelenting on me

I think I’m losing all of me

Put a Fire in My Belly

By: Natasha Guadalupe

Craving violence
No more complacent me
Understanding and peaceful talks has made this me

Put a fire in my belly
Fill it with the instability and unpredictability of it all

The feeling when first strapped to the chair
Heart racing with the clink, clang of the worn track
Gripping the bar as you anticipate the decent

Swooshhhhh
Down the windy slope, stopping midair, upside down, only to be whipped whipping around
Right-side up

Unforeseen curves,
The weight and push of the bends
Exhilarating!
Until the end

Creeping to the place where you began,
Unstrapped, released, and shaken
Left with only the echo of ride

Why I Write….

Because as I see and feel both pain & love, I want and need my experiences to become words that exemplify the beauty in both – 

– Natasha Guadalupe

The Guilt I Feel

By: Natasha Guadalupe

The guilt weighed heavy on me
One of desire, the craving of love,
and the need for normal.

It pulsated hard through my veins and bled to my lips.
Now swelled and stained from each pull and tug.

Now aware.
How do you explain the guilt that you feel?

Detach, disconnected
not related to me.

The disrobing of my dress, and revealed face
how do you explain the guilt that you see?

Awakened.

Opened wide, ready to give and now receive
how do you explain the gentleness and desire in front of me?

Selfish

As the word “Yes” rose through me
how do you explain the things that you need?

All body and no mind.

Detached, disconnected
not related to me.

Penetrating The God of Walls

By: Natasha Guadalupe

Lasting for an instant, today and tomorrow.
Oshun’s warm waters flowed over the steep tower’s edge.

Empty corridors swelled,
as amber ripples swam.
Adorned and rich.

Palpitating against its gates
Primroses ignited.
His thirst quenched.

Eroding its structure,
dissolving its defenses,

Oshooon….went her waves,
seeping trough hidden chambers,
where casted dreams and fears lay.

Lucid now.

Who was she but a chisel,
rumbling the mortar loose.
Coaxing the brick wall to release and fall.

Agile and delicate her fingers were,
separating each block from its joint.

Pulling at the strength of his defense.
What gain could there have been
but imminent hurt,
an apparent offense.

Not worrying what will happen,
only what needed to be done,
He salvaged what remained

Body heaving, arms heavy.

Laying and interweaving;
each block placed as a foundation,
one on top of the next.

Tap tapping from the bottom to the top.
Disciplined and exact.

Trowels smoothing,
grout hardening.

Laid and now bonded.

Each line rebuilt.
Heart fortified.
Mind resistant.

Engulfed in fear, realizing truth
A God in the wall that was
A God in the wall that still is.

Grants & Money for Writers/Artists

As much as I would like to say that I am full-time published writer, traveling from one city to the next on book tours, negotiating with producers for movie right deals….Alas no,  this is not the case.

I actually work full-time at a university as a grants (federal and private  foundation) administrator.  I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life cultivating private donors, researching and writing many grant proposals; each in an effort to obtain funds for many great non-profit programs I believe in, many of which work with the communities  that mean the most to me… Youth & Teens, HIV/AIDS programs and of course for Artists.

YES, I’ve been able to secure large amounts of funds (yup, a lot of $$) for non-profit organizations and groups over the years.. However, now that I am finally doing what I want to do most I’ve been trying to translate this skill  to help myself as a new writer.

Well, it’ has not been easy to say the least. Competition is high and resources are always limited. So in my research and learning this ‘new’ craft of trying to find funding I thought I share some of the things I have found…maybe something that may not work for me may work for you…..

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS: Leave a comment or send email,  I will try my best to help. OR if you have info to share GREAT!!!!

WHAT WILL BE LISTED HERE? 

  • Info on Fellowships
  • Info on Grants
  • Helpful Links
  • Info on Proposal Writing Tips
  • Info on Free Writing or Artist Contests

STAY TUNED AN UPDATE WILL BE POSTED SOON on the top Home Page!!

My story takes place in the state of Washington

My story takes place in the state of Washington.  More specifically Bremerton and Bainbridge Island.  I wanted and needed a place that could be detached from the world, both with its physical isolation but also carry a sense of beauty.

Each of these things needed to be overshadowed by a big city in its direct view (Seattle).

Having never visited Washington I needed to familiarize myself with the area. I Googled and printed information on the local high school, where the police station was located and visited numerous realtor web sites and identified my main character’s apartment and layout.

After downloading numerous maps of streets and neighborhoods I said to myself….

1) I need to get my butt over there soon and

2) I need more information.

With that, I made up in my mind that this coming year I will fly out to WA for a few days and two, I decided to pick up the phone and call the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce.

I explained who I was and what I was doing (writing a novel that takes place in your neighborhood) and how I needed some information. The friendly voice on the other line replied “Sure! That sounds exciting, I think I can help”.  With that she sent mountains of maps, demographic information, newsletters and special events calendars.  I was so excited to open my mail each day until it arrived.  A little shy and nervous to call…but I’m very glad I did.

Thank you Bremerton Chambers of Commerce!!

Mapping out the Road they meet on…

Writing By Hand

I didn’t have my computer at the cafe last night, so I wrote…..by hand, with my best pen in my worn spiral notebook….

It felt good.

FYI excluding a few cross-outs its a really good way to not self edit (which I suffer from…badly) You can’t really go back and erase…you’ve got to keep moving.

Hardcore baby…. Laundromat and STILL typing! Ha!

‘The warmth of the water….

‘The warmth of the water caused the wet cedar planks to slowly perfume the air with the sweetness of flowing sap. Looking above the clearing of the cabin, the tangled branches seemed to reach up to the distant stars creating a jagged picture- framing both the night sky and crescent moon.

The late hour was made darker by the dense canopy of trees and brush painted deep shades of blue and gray.

Despite the soft illumination of her silhouette he was still able to take in the strength of her quite presence.

Through her shadowed face he knew she was looking at him, just as she always did. What was she thinking? She seemed to gaze at him with both sadness and clear desire.  How can both feelings and thoughts inhabit the same space and time yet separately carry through the minds of both Juan and Adriana.’

………AND SO THE EDITING AND WRITING CONTINUES.

Marine Rites

I’m supposed to be doing freelance now so I can go out to the movies later….So of course what am I doing???? Looking up Marine rite of passages and hair cut regulations for my main character.

How I’m spending my Saturday night …and LOVING IT!!!

Some Of The Tools I Use

Tools of the trade.. Books I’m reading to inspire and help structure my story (Oh yeah-that’s my bike helmet and doggie biscuits in the background..the essentials)

BOOKS TO INSPIRE

  • ‘Tinkers’ –  Fiction Novel By Paul Harding
  • ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Short Story By Annie Proulx. My absolute favorite short story.  But I mostly have it near me to remind me that I need to make every word count- short or long story writing.

BOOKS TO HELP WITH MY WRITING & STORY STRUCTURE

  • ‘Stephen King on Writing’ – By Mr. King himself. Not only helping with my writing but a small look at the man behind his most famous novels. Surprising and VERY interesting.
  • ‘The Writers Journey 3rd Edition’– By Christopher Vogler. The last thing I want is for my story to be too formulaic but since I’m new at this I need help with structure and for me this book has been AWESOME to read.  I’m also a big movie/ film buff. This book uses both mediums to help you identify story structure and character rolls. Thank you Mr. Vogler and of course Joseph Campbell!!!
  • ‘The First Five Pages’– By Noah Lukeman  Although this is more for once I finish or as I edit my novel, its still a great read as you prepare.

RESEARCH… Visiting the Bronx VA Hospital

Marines…….

Marines…….

OK, for research I’ve been interviewing a Marine (friend of a co-worker) and he’s been great, and very patient with all my dumb questions. Outside of his Boot Camp experience and our conversations about living life as a Marine one of the many things that stood to me during our talks was what or how to call a Marine.

He said NEVER identify a man or woman as an Ex-Marine and DON’T EVER ever call a Marine a Solider….why?

  • The Army has soldiers,
  • The Navy has sailors,
  • The Air Force has airmen.
  • BUT Marines are Marines!

ITS WILD…It actually brings me back to a time when I was in college and was visiting friends at Albany State. While hanging out at the dorms I met an Alpha  (Alpha Phi Alpha)  from the African American Greek Fraternity. We were talking about Greek life….etc…. so I asked him how was pledging for him?

” I DIDN’T PLEDGE!!! ALPHA’S GO THROUGH A PROCESS!”
Wow!!  Boy, I enjoy researching

Story boarding isn’t just for the movies….

 

Now the question is can I read my handwriting…hummm?

SEX LOVE AND WRITING

…..OK, so I want to incorporate a love scene into my story….Not wanting to use the language of smutty romantic novels and sugar sweetness of Twilight’s pillow biting scene, I’m doing a bit of research. Just how did the great novelists of our world go about adding sex and love into a story? Well here is an example how Gustave Flaubert who wrote Madame Bovary created a huge scandal in his scene. In the scene the clerk has convinced Madame Bovary to join him in a horse-driven cab with the blinds down. Now the moment of truth has arrived and she goes along with it because she doesn’t know what else to do. The cab driver is instructed to drive anywhere he chooses………………………………….(He was arrested shortly after writing this) I don’t think I want to be this subtle.

Here is a great site that provides you with tips in this area  http://rebeccalacko.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/feel-the-heat-sex-and-fiction-8-tips-for-building-tension/

Madame Bovary

Butler Library

The Grand Central of study halls.. Butler Library… 24hours of straight writing!!! 

‘Trying to focus on the sleepy warmth of his son’s body…..


‘Trying to focus on the sleepy warmth of his son’s body and the steady pace of his breathing, Juan wished for more time and more moments such as this.  Instead, his thoughts drifted to the beginning when the decision was first made, when the decision to be alone would affect both his and his son’s life…..’

1,154 words down 48,846 left!!!! Hoorah to NANO!” – (First try at last year’s National Novel Writing Month)