How To Raise A Bookworm


To yourself


In bed
On the beach
On the toilet
At the library
On a plane
On the couch
On the go

By sunlight


The end

Here are some books we’ve loved lately. 

fireboatThe gentlest story about September 11th.

a_wrinkle_in_time_digest_2007It swept us away. abuelaA sweet story about language, culture, and family.

sistersBoth my girls could not put this down and ran to get the authors other books.

thiefKid sister has been in a trance with this one.

true-storiesThey cuddled up together to read this one and couldn’t put it down.

sewing An honest and inspiring story about slavery and the evolution of an artist.

dogRequired reading for my oldest. She still talks about it.

secret-schoolAfter Something Upstairs proved too creepy, this one was a hit.

The Harry Potter series, Isle of the Lost series, and a few Rick Riordan books have made the rounds as well lately. I could write a dozen posts or more on the books we read. I remember the days of stacking picture books onto my lap before bed. Now it’s hard to keep up with all they read. Luckily, they still let me read to them. What books have your kids loved recently?

A Love Letter To Creativity


Dear Creativity,

Thank you
for being a constant and loyal visitor.
Too often I’ve told you
“not now,”
“there isn’t any time.”
But you are patient and persistent.

Continue to ignore me;
you know my dreams better than I do.

I’m a fickle lover these days.
I’m still learning to love us.

I know
idle hands are your kryptonite;
perfection your enemy.
I’m working to stay far away from these.

I know
creating is your love language.
I will make and do and be.
I will make a practice out of loving you.
My life will be an act of love for you,
for me.

Out of thin air,
we will create something that has never been.

that’s what this love is.
That’s what we are together.

Let’s play.

Always stubborn but working on it,

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Where I’m From

I am from rollers and hair dryers, Mirta de Perales and Pantene, bucles and scrunchies.

I am from a home to house generations, veiled in secrets. From things better left unsaid and ancestoral mystery.

I am from children are best seen but not heard. From “do as your told” and “aim to please”. From take the road most traveled.

I am from mami, abuelo y madrina, a tiny family big on love, not so big on showing it. From hard work and a life built from the ground up.

From a second chance of getting it right.

I am from long walks and even longer bus rides on Bergenline Avenue. From Dos Amigos and Houghlihans, El Artesano y La Cafeteria.

From day trips into New York City and Sundays in Queens for Cuban food at the Chinese restaurant.

I am from church tours from Jersey to DC to Florida. From Disney vacations and summers down the shore.

I am from immigrant dreams in a foreign land.

I am from gladiolas on the dining room table, white petals in the tub.

I am from festive Noche Buenas and lazy Christmas days, from ham on Thanksgiving and saintly shrines.

I am from fiery tempers and unwavering optimism. From no one to blame but yourself.

From sana sana cola de rana y de lo que pica el pollo.

From Saved by the Bell y Sabado Gigante.

I am from Hail Marys and Santana Barbara, Our Fathers y La Virgen de la Caridad.

Prayer and lit candles, confession y despojos.

Holy water in emptied detergent bottles y aqua florida. Rosaries and aszavches.

I’m from a West coast birth, raised and rooted in the East, soaring out at sea.

I’m from maduros and frijoles, arroz con leche y malta con leche evaporada. From cod liver oil and milk of magnesium.

From a trip to Cuba at age three and first cafecito sips, from novelas and late night Arsenio Hall.

I am from Cuba and New Jersey, from parents 20 years older than everyone else’s. From hip hop culture and freestyle music.

I am from pride and tough love, respect and faith, determination and fire.


Writing prompts are sometimes more stifling than inspiring but this one is magic. Discovered here who discovered it there. Take a look at the original writing prompt and give it go. What’s so wonderful about this is it can be serious and deep or light and really a fun walk down memory lane. You choose what direction to take it in.

In the comments, tell me. Where are YOU from?

I’ll Always Hold you

When you were just an unmade promise,
I held you in hopeful stories of my future.

When you were just a wish, a being being willed to be,
I held you in my heart.

When you came true, just a speck of existence, as you grew from just a being to a being in flesh,
my body gave you a home, shelter, sustenance.

When you burst forth, out of dreams and into reality,
I cradled all of you in my arms.

For so long before and so long in waiting and so long in your beginning, I have held all of you –
in arms, inside me.

You always fit because you were a wish, a dream, a plus sign of existence, an infant.

Now I can’t hold all of you in my arms,
legs dangle, arms wrap around, I’m knocked down by your love.

Each night you sleep and each morning you wake,
bigger, stronger, brighter, more.

I cup your cheek. Lace my fingers with yours. Nest your head on my lap.
Hopeful attempts at holding you whole again.

Those days of holding you whole in my arms are gone,
But I will always try to envelope all of you with each embrace.

When you began,
I was your home.

For ever,
I will be your home.

For ever,
I will hold all of your possibility, all of who you’ve been, who you are, who you might be, all of you.

For eternity,
I will hold you sacred in me, my heart, in prayer and  in dreams.

I will always hold you.

I’m The Best Mother In The World

I am the best mother in the world,

to infants,

and only children.

I have mothered two infants of my own.

I mothered the first infant through 23 months of only childhood.

I currently have neither an infant nor an only child.

So it follows that I am not currently the best mother in the world.

I have sisters.

I have an independent, wildly bossy mini-me and a fiery, wildly bossy mini-me of my mini-me.

I have ferociously curious, sensitive little women souls under my wing.

I am not the best mother in the world but I have my pockets in time of being damn near close.

Right now I’m the best I can be.

I start fresh just about every other moment.

It’s a daily exercise in losing my patience &  starting over, losing my patience & starting over, losing my patience & starting over.

Everyday, though, when we sit to read stories, I’m the best mother in the world.

I find peace in reading.

They find peace in reading.

I find peace in sharing my peace.

On epically challenging days, when I feel least like the best mother in the world, I read to them.

And we make peace.

I read to them and I am the best mother in the world.

And then, likethat, I am not.

I hold onto the knowing that given a thousand infants, my patience would be endless.

Given one child to mother, my peace would be always.

I hold on to the knowing it is possible.

I can.

I breathe deep into the knowing my daily practice of starting over every moment is a lesson for my babes, for the future mothers in them, for grandbabies and great-grands.

I am the best mother in the world. And I am not.

But I know how. I carry the wisdom to be the best, wisdom already unveiled, wisdom waiting to be discovered.

This wisdom, this knowing is my compass. Everyday. Every moment.

Now to you, I say this –

You are the best mother in the world.

You carry the wisdom.

You might be the best mother in the world to 7 year olds and 21 year olds,

But you currently have a 6 year old or a 22 year old.

You might be the best mother in the world to two and boys,

And currently have three and both girls and boys.

But it is possible. You’ve been there. You’ll be there.

You have peace you can share.

Your peace may be in the kitchen, in the ocean, on the couch, on the mat, on the go, behind the camera, in walking.

Share your peace.  Make peace.

Every moment is a fresh start.

Every moment is an opportunity to be the best mother in the world.

Or at least have the intention to be.

Trying, intention is what it takes.

You are the best mother in the world.

Own it. Work for it. Celebrate it.

You are the best mother in the world.


I want to know, what is your peace? When do you feel like the best mother in the world?