Who am I, and what am I?
I’m a human, and second I’m a writer. Though on some days, I wish I was a tiny bird, a warbler-type that loves tricking birdwatchers. Sadly, I’m stuck in my human form, sitting by a window, hoping to see a Streamertail, a hummingbird from Jamaica. I’m mostly introverted, though on some days, I'm an aspiring extrovert, so it does feel like I’m veering off a cliff, since I don’t know what will happen.
Finding yourself in solitude is rewarding, especially when the world asks you to always be moving, and occasional tripping down a flight of stairs in order to make it to work on time. Recently, I wrote about post-Roe intersectional activism that moves us beyond legality and expands the conversation to abortion access for marginalized groups. Also, thinking about the lack of diversity in outdoors and recreation, I wrote about, Latinx organizations and individuals in the field and inclusivity for larger bodies in outdoor spaces. Before leaving New York, I saw some birds in the Finger Lakes region.
When traveling or moving through life, I’m aware of my gender and Latinidad in relation to how I'm perceived, as explored in this personal essay, Unaccompanied Girl. During quarantine with so many restrictions, I started thinking about the transformation this moment could bring through dancing online. I've also explored the contradictions of American life, during the trump era and living through 9/11. My writing roots started with reporting about a bike program, a wild foods forager, a sustainable urban area, among others (see below!)
Where are you finding writing or creative communities?
I regularly attend writing workshops, where I offer critique for novels, short shorties, and poems. Recently, I was a featured reader at the Inner Loop, where I read a short story. Previously, I read poems in D.C., NYC, Paris, New Orleans, and online spaces like the BIPOC Writing Party. I've taken Fiction Narrative in New Orleans Writer's Workshop, a Short Story Voice Generating, Translation workshop at Catapult, and studied Improv at the Magnet Theater in NYC.
Do you have editing experience?
I've edited content for newspapers, magazines, mobile apps, non-profits, and government agencies, turning mundane lines into vivid, insightful, and well-researched prose for a variety of readers. Usually, I'm focused on gender, the environment and culture, but also fem-centric films, inclusion for marginalized groups, immigration, and other explorations.
I also copy edit and provide line edits for fiction, creative non-fiction, and essays, taking notice of technical aspects: spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation. I've given feedback as an editor and beta reader for novels, short stories, and poems. When providing developmental comments for fiction, I focus on dialogue, tone, character development, exposition, plot structure, transitions, and the overall narrative arc.
Do you think your life resembles a particular movie?
Definitely a trippy, mystery film with morning fog, and silent, spiral driving through precarious cliffs (not unlike an Albert Camus novel). Movies are visual conversations; a simulation of life on screen, showing the current zeitgeist, some historical, societal truth, or taboos within a visual narrative. I often write film reviews exploring hidden aspects of humanity, those posing philosophical dilemmas, or criticizing societal norms, like Moonlight, or the dystopian-horror flicks: 1 BR and The Platform. I gravitate toward movies that show personal growth in female characters, who overcome oppression like Unorthodox, Ixcanul Volcano, or trippy films that make you wonder about time and destiny: Lola Lola Run and Arrival.
What’s the point of writing until your fingers fall off?
Writing is a way to document my anxieties about the world, find meaning during difficult moments. As a kid, writing was a way to understand my reality (feeling like an outcast, not knowing the culture or how to speak English, since I was a new immigrant) and create an alternate world, and see how the two merged. I kept a colorful journal, for short blurbs and captured moments. I wrote my first short story when I was in elementary school. It was about a scary ghost, living in my school, inspired by an adventure where me and a friend found an abandoned floor in our school. At the time I was reading Goosepumps and watching the TV series Wishbone, so I was craving detective stories. My favorite books in high school and college were: Number the Stars, Macbeth, Beowulf, Huckleberry Finn, Othello, What Mad Universe, Sula, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, among others. In college, I joined my university's newspaper (The Ticker) and magazine (Dollars & Sense). I later found my voice as a poet through a poetry club, experimenting with language and abstract poetry, through the works of Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, William Carlos William, William Blake, T.S. Elliot, Alice Fulton, and Rae Armantrout.
How did you keep sane during quarantine?
I experimented with improv, stand-up, sketch writing, storytelling, and contact improv (dance form) to grow as a performer, and maybe torture myself. Also, I made a lot of smoothies. Also, also, my sketch, The Tomato Jar, where I dressed up as a bearded dude, was picked for Moxie, a show written and performed by women, trans and non-binary comedians.
What are you reading these days?
Similar to a squirrel, my attention is a bit manic, but I’m working hard to ignore distractions like the sun, social media (blah!), and the need to bike down a long trail while listening to synth wave.
In the meantime, I’m reading, Swimming in the Dark (Tomasz Jedrowski), Diary of Anaïs Nin, The Song of the Lark (Willa Cather), and Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy). I don’t necessarily read what’s trending, sometimes opting for authors I share a connection with, despite the year they were published. Recently, I finished reading, Fairest (Meredith Talusan), In The dream House (Carmen Maria Machado), H is for Hawk (Helen Macdonald), Normal People (Sally Rooney), Go Tell It on the Mountain (Jame Baldwin), Drawing Blood (Molly Crabapple), among others.
Any jobbies, skills?
After college, I worked as a Staff Writer for the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star, a news publication in New York City, where I covered community development, history district, education and culture. I covered South Ozone Park residents fighting against the conversion of a family shelter into a shelter for adult males. My story on whether Queens bike lanes is a need or a want was highlighted by NY1. I wrote feature stories on Brooklyn artists, the Miss New York pageant winner, and a wild foods forager in Central Park, among others. As a reporter for Media Media Global, I covered developing nations and small islands on the following topics: climate change, women’s issues, and indigenous tribes. Some of my favorite interviews happened during the 12th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where I spoke with women tribal leaders and activists fighting for protection against violence and discrimination. As a Social Media Editor for ParksByNature Inc., I wrote articles on hiking, wildlife, nature photography, ecology, and created content for their national and state park mobile apps, and also managed their social media, including Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
In 2016, I served as an AmeriCorps Vista for NoKidHungry, New Orleans. As Outreach Coordinator, I created awareness for USDA's summer meals program, provided administrative and logistical support, maintained the organization's website, created photo content, managed social media, and designed newsletters and marketing graphics. In 2019, I worked as a Research Specialist for External Affairs and Community Planning Liaison for Community Planning Capacity Building, Recovery Support Functions supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's long term recovery, where I researched, wrote, and edited content to produce community profiles, identifying impacts and short/long-term issues after the flooding disasters in Nebraska, and separately after the hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In 2021, I provided support for the Interagency Recovery Coordination in response to Hurricane Laura with technical writing and admin support.
Taking on the role of reporter, editor, and writer for news organizations, non-profits, start-ups, and government agencies, has allowed me to curate content for a variety of readers. I also have experience shooting and editing photos.
- Skills: Creative Writing, Editing, Copy Editing, Line Editing, Developmental Editing, Proofreading, Beta Reader, Interviewing, Transcribing, Social Media, Photography, Audio & Video Editing
- Beats: Outdoors, Gender Construct, Films, Culture, Ecology, Climate Change, History, Literature.
- Forms: Essay, Creative Non-fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Journalism, Translating (Spanish), Blog Writing.