Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Last Glacier, Published in Cat on a Leash Review

Some mourn, some take advantage, some wonder where their next glass of water will come from when the last glacier melts.

Published in Cat on a Leash Review in September 2016

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Excerpt from The Last Glacier”

The last glacier melted today. It was one of the big ones in India or Pakistan or Somethingstan—the one that‘s runoff fed that big river that religious people like Tibetan monks bathed in each year to be washed of their sins. Funny that.  I guess we’ll have to come up with new way to cleanse our souls…(Continue Reading)

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Ghost Games, Published in Two With Water

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Growing up in a haunted house is challenging enough, never mind having to deal her parents’ rocky marriage, but now Lucia’s mom decides 13 is the perfect age to reveal the family curse.

Published in Two With Water, Second Dose, May 2012

Based on my husband’s family folklore, Ghost Games is the story that inspired my novel Corridos of the Copper Coin.

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Mami walked toward the kitchen, her green plastic slippers tapping and scuffing on the floor.  One of the candles went out and Abuelita eased out of the rocking chair to relight it.  She pointed down at the tin box, and Ernesto dumped all the dominoes onto the floor at once.  As they tumbled onto the floor, Mami suddenly yelped “Ay!” like someone who hit their thumb with a hammer.

Next thing you know she stomped into the living room holding one of her green slippers in her hand.  “Who was it, who pulled my hair?  Pobren de ustedes si no me dicen!”  She said and we knew that if someone didn’t speak up we’d get a spanking we wouldn’t soon forget.

Ay, m’ija, it wasn’t them,” Abuelita said once again easing back into the rocker, “All of the children were here playing dominoes.  What in God’s name has gotten into you?”  Mami was fuming her face was bright red, and she squeezed the slipper so tightly it started to fold down the middle.  The little ones on the floor scooched backwards toward the sofa with their hands on their bottoms.   I crossed my legs uncomfortably.

“Who pulled my hair!”  Mami said again.

Calmate!” Abuelita said “ I’m telling you it wasn’t them, just tell us what happened, Delores.”

Mami took a deep breath and tightened her grip on the slipper. “I was washing dishes,” she said, “My hands were in the water up to my elbows.  Suddenly I felt my hair grabbed and yanked back so hard I could feel my skin tearing,” She demonstrated for us, holding a chunk of her hair in her hand pulling it out straight.   “My neck aches from the snap.  It must have been one of the children playing a joke!”  She slammed the slipper down to the floor and all the candles flickered out at the same time.

“Pray,” Abuelita said while Mami relit the candles as quickly as possible.  In the dark, shadows that could be ghosts flickered on the walls and ceiling.   Abuelita gathered Risa and Berto onto her lap, and Tito and Lena pulled themselves closer to the rocking chair laying their heads against Abuelita’s legs.  Mami nudged Ernesto to the sofa where she squeezed him and herself in beside me. Whenever things got real scary both Mami and Abuelita said you should stop, take a deep breath and pray to la virgencita to protect you.  So we prayed, those of us old enough to remember the words that is.  The little children got quiet and eventually fell asleep to the gentle sound of Mami’s and Abuelita’s rosary beads softly clicking in their hands.

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Get your copy of Two With Water from these fine independent book sellers:

Quimbys – 1854 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

The Book Cellar – 4736 North Lincoln Avenue # 1  Chicago, IL 60625

Women and Children First – 5233 North Clark Street  Chicago, IL 60640

Bucket o’ Blood – 2307 North Milwaukee Avenue  Chicago, IL 60647

Uncharted Books– 2630 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60647

Transistor – 3819 North Lincoln Avenue  Chicago, IL 60613

or online at www.twowithwater.com

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Vegetarian

 

 

What if you realize you’re in love with your best friend…?

Published on www.cellstories.net, October 2010

 

Lainy placed her index fingers into the belt loops of the JC penny jeans I was trying on. I felt her eyes in the gap between the stretched out jeans and my panties.  She muttered a half-ass comment on how I had lost weight, but her gaze lingered just a moment too long and I hoped beyond hope it was something more. The tension was exquisite, with her tugging me closer by my pants the tips of my nipples just barely brushing hers. I stared to get real hot, and moist if you know what I mean…  I wanted Lainy to yank the curtain closed, push me back against the mirrors and put her tongue between my teeth.  I imagined myself tapping the inside of her incisors wrapping my lips around her tongue and taking her inside.  Instead, she just wiggled her fingers inside the belt loops, than pulled them out, incidentally tracing her fingers down my hips.  I got a chill from the base of my spine to the nape of my neck. I turned away from her and glanced at myself in the three mirrors.  I felt so sexy, with her around.  I turned back just in time to watch her cross her arms over her chest upside down, so she could grab the bottom of the shirt she was wearing, she pulled the end of the shirt up over her naval, until her head was shrouded but her round breasts (they looked to be a fistful each) were exposed.  She took the shirt off, entirely unconscious of my wanton eyes.   She wore a baby blue cotton bra (that I’m sure was soft to the touch).  I longed to touch her.  I wanted to squeeze that layer of skin over her hips in my hands as I pulled her to me.

click here to download a PDF of the complete story.

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Judge for yourself – Was my article unfair to Myra Bland?

A couple of years back (2006 ) I interviewed both Myra Bland and Arthur L. Turner regarding the the IL State Representative 9th District race.  On her website Ms. Bland claims that my article was biased toward Mr. Turner and that it was  “a sloppy and unflattering twist of words, absent research and quotes.”   She compares it to a tabloid and calls me unprofessional.   Since the website  remains posted, I would like to post the article in its entirety and allow readers to decide for themselves whether her claims are substantiated.

Here’s the article.  It was originally published in the November 2006 issue of the Near West Gazette, now known as the Gazette, Chicago.

You can download a PDF of the article here


Community leader Bland takes on Turner in
9th House District

By April Galarza

Arthur Turner has served the community for 25 years as 9th District State Representative, but Republican candidate Myra Bland thinks it is time for a fresh approach in Springfield. Turner disagrees, believing that after all of his years serving he has a true understanding of the district and its needs. The Nov. 7 election will decide who will represent the Near West and West Sides.

Democrat Arthur L. Turner was born and raised in North Lawndale. He still lives there, a half a block from his childhood home. He holds a B.S. from Illinois State University in business administration. Before being elected State Rep in 1981, Turner served as an investigator in the State Attorney’s Office.

As a State Representative, Turner has promoted fair housing legislation. He spearheaded a trust fund to buy and renovate housing to make affordable units available to low income families. The fund averages about $18 million per year and helps families statewide.

One of the biggest challenges Turner faced last term was legislation to reclassify ex-felons. Before this issue was brought to light, ex-felons were prevented from working in most professions. For instance, a man or woman who cut hair in prison, once released, was no longer allowed to cut hair. More than 52 occupations have been adjusted under the law to allow hiring of ex-felons so they can earn a living.

Turner also supported tougher restrictions when deciding whether a repeat domestic violence abuser should be let out on bail.

If elected, in his next term Turner would focus on education funding and distribution. He feels it is crucial to “get away from property tax reliance and reanalyze the entire education funding system,” he said. Turner suggested obtaining the bulk of funding from income tax revenue instead because a slight tax increase of ½ percent “could offset a large portion of the gap in funding presently caused by the large differences among school districts’ property values.”

Turner added, “My track record is one that says that I would serve the people well, based on seniority in the evolution of laws and law that are made. I still have energy and commitment, I am forward thinking, and I am adaptable to changes in the economy.  I truly represent the wishes of most people in our district.”

Turner’s opponent, although new to politics, said she is the fresh approach the district needs. Myra Bland grew up on Chicago’s West Side and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

Bland has a background in education and community service. A former State of Illinois Community Leader of the Year winner who logged more than 20,000 community service hours, along with the Red Cross she partnered with another organization to raise funds for disabled people in her neighborhood. She also served on the Professional Women’s Advisory board of Who’s Who International, where she formed an international database of strong, educated community leaders that was used for networking to pair human and financial resources.

Bland considers inactivity to be “the bane” of most political offices and vowed to “work harder than any other political leader” if elected. Bland also believes the education funding system needs to be amended, but she said the problems are internal; her education background gives her an inside perspective on funds distribution.

“Plenty of money is set aside for schools,” said Bland. “However, once administrators get a hold of it, most ends up in their pockets and there isn’t enough left for buying textbooks.” She suggested an honest, independent administrator with an educational background be hired to oversee funds and their distribution.

Bland opposes deportation of immigrants, believing it costs more to deport them than to create a program helping them attain citizenship. If elected, Bland would offer local businesses incentives to sponsor immigrants wishing to become citizens.

About gang-related crime, she feels neighborhoods would be much safer if people could pass information anonymously to police. Often, she said, traditional questioning is fruitless because citizens are afraid to talk to police. If elected, Bland would set up an untraceable way for citizens to communicate crucial crime-solving information to law enforcement officials.

Bland implored voters to consider candidates carefully before voting. “Look at the candidates and look at what they have done,” she said. “In every party there are active and inactive people. You cannot judge the entire party by the candidate. You have to vote based on the candidate.”

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Two With Water: Rx Reading Series March 2010

  

A hip new Chicago literary magazine, Two With Water featured yours truly in their ‘Rx Reading Series” on Friday March 26th at this nifty little gallery/radio station/book store/performance space, Transistor

I read my flash fiction piece ‘Civic Duty,” a  wild dream story about an austere general commanding actions of war and glory and sudden realizations about the meaning of peace.  Hopefully to be published soon in a literary magazine near you…. 

An excerpt of my novel, “La Manda” is forthcoming in issue #2 of Two With Water.   The excerpt is called “Ghost Games” and will be published in October of 2010. 

Here’s what “Ghost Games” is about:

Growing up in a haunted house is challenging enough, nevermind having to deal with the disolution of her parent’s marriage, but then Lucia’s mother decides that 13 is the perfect age to reveal their family’s hidden secrets.

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