Digital Version of “We Flew to Guatemala When I Was Five” available NOW

Hurrah, Riprap Journal’s Vol. 38 featuring my pantoum poem, “We Flew to Guatemala When I Was Five,” is now available in digital format – so those that don’t have a print copy can get ready to start clicking and reading.

I have to say, that there is some really great work featured in this publication. The works featured alongside mine are astounding, I feel lucky to have my piece be among them. But furthermore, this edition of the journal is really special and should be read and loved because it not only features a great interview with Juan Felipe Herrera, the U.S. Poet Laureate, but it also honors two people that lost their lives recently, one of them being Mark Friedlander, a CSULB MFA Creative Writing Student, as well as Nohemi Gonzalez, another CSULB student who was killed in the 2015 Paris attacks. At the back of the journal just before the contributors notes there are three pieces dedicated to Nohemi and one featured piece written by Mark. It is a lovely section that honors them both beautifully, truth that art can help to heal wounds. Have some tissues ready!

I hope everyone can take some time to check out the journal and read some wonderful work. I’m on page 16 but don’t just read me – read them all.  :)

Riprap Journal Vol.38 – We Flew to Guatemala When I Was Five 


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New Work – We Flew to Guatemala When I was Five – Riprap Journal

Hey everyone, exciting news on my newly released poem “We Flew to Guatemala When I Was Five.” Last night I was lucky enough to make it out to CSULB for Riprap Journal’s Vol. 38 release party which features my pantoum poem that I created in my final year of school at CSUN under the instruction of Prof. Kim Young. It feels so good to know that my piece has finally found a home.

The event was really great, they held a reading for any contributors that wanted to read, so I did. I was super nervous, so much so that as soon as I got up on stage I got really bad dry mouth and realized I left my water elsewhere which was horrible but I kept on reading. And on top of that, I never stopped to adjust the microphone to my level, so the whole time I kept standing up on my tiptoes, haha! It’s all a learning experience. In any case, it was a fun fun time and I’m so proud and honored to have my piece published in such a fine journal. A few family members and friends came out to support me which was so cool, it made me feel like a celebrity, hehehe. Below are some photos from the event and my piece in the journal.



New Work – Live Reading – Next Week

I am excited to announce the forthcoming publication of my piece “We Flew To Guatemala When I Was Five,” in Vol. 38 of Riprap Literary Journal, produced by the Creative Writing MFA Program at CSU Long Beach. It’s a Pantoum poem that took a lot of work and it’s one of my faveskies. I wrote it in college and I am so happy that it has finally found a home.

In honor of the publications launch, Riprap is throwing a wonderful reading and release party to celebrate. It takes place next week on Thursday May 5th from 7PM – 9PM at the Soroptimist House on the CSU Long Beach campus.

I, along with other contributors to vol. 38, have been invited to read my work at the party, which is a thrilling pleasure for any writer, once you get past the inevitable heebie-jeebies of course. So I’ll be there reading my piece, “We Flew To Guatemala When I Was Five,” and if you can’t already tell, I’m super nervous but also very excited! 😅

So for those of you in the LB area who don’t already have Cinco de Mayo plans and who can make it out to support, come on by, I’d love to see some friendly faces in the crowd. But if you can’t make it, no worries at all, I understand. Just be sure to send me your good juju vibes, that way I don’t trip on my way up to the stage or mispronounce my own name or something silly like that. And for all those interested, I’ll be sure to post up the link to the publication with my piece along with some photos of me reading (maybe even video footage if I can figure that out) after the launch. 😎

Here is the Facebook event link for anyone interested in attending.


Thanks for tuning in. I’ll be in touch shortly once the publication goes live.😉


Two New Publications: “LAMB, BUNNY, LAMB” & “SECRET EATER” in The Round

Hey everyone, I am overjoyed to announce that another two of my pieces have been published, “Lamb, Bunny, Lamb” and “Secret Eater.” They are presented in the XIII issue of The Round. The Round is a journal of literary and visual arts based at Brown University in Providence, RI.

“Lamb, Bunny, Lamb” and “Secret Eater” are two very short poems, the first only 7 lines and the latter only 6! These two pieces mean a lot to me, they both represent family history, love and that little thing we know as ‘the human condition.’

I hope you like the poems, they’re short and maybe not sweet at all, but if you’ve got a moment or two let them roll around on your tongue, play hide-n-seek in your eyelashes or just sit on your shoulders. Go ahead, what are you waiting for? Click on the link below and check out the issue and read my work.  😋

Until next time…


P.S. Look for me on pages 17 and 18. And if you really enjoy the journal click on the share button and you can download a pdf version for yourself or share it with others on social media!

The Round


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My Internship with Escape Artists Entertainment at Sony Pictures Studios

This past year, as I was going around asking other writers I know if they knew about any job openings, an opportunity arose. Not a paid opportunity, but an opportunity nonetheless. And as it sometimes can help to “know someone,” I was able to land an internship working for Escape Artists Entertainment who have a first look deal with Sony Pictures. Escape Artists Entertainment is the company that made movies such as Sex Tape, The Equalizer, and most recently Southpaw.

My Sony Studios Badge. I know, I look silly.
My Sony Studios Badge. I know, I look silly.

It was all very exciting. My job description focused on the usual office duties such as checking and refilling printers with paper, making coffee, refilling the fridge, greeting clients, retrieving and passing out mail, etc.. but the best part was being assigned to do “Coverage.”

Being assigned to do Coverage was awesome! All you did was read over scripts – both screenplays and pilots and the occasional book that is looking to be developed into a movie or television series. And we all know, that I love to read! So, again, I say Awesome!! After the reading, I had to then write up a report that consisted of a summary and comments section, which gave my opinion about whether ultimately the script should be considered, passed on, considered with reservations, or sometimes the writing was great but not the story therefore only the writer should be considered and the project passed on. This way, when the script was handed over to the appropriate executive, they could read my report, get a sense of what the script was about and they could then question me if they were unclear with anything and from there make their own opinions and decisions about the project and whether they wanted to go ahead and possibly move forward with it.

I really enjoyed working there and learned a lot. I familiarized myself with what a bad script looks like and what a great script looks like. In one instance, I had to read a book, and it was awful. I hated every moment of it but it was a great learning experience and of course, you can bet that I passed on it. With each coverage report I got better and better. I had to learn how to sometimes construct my reports to fit a slimmer structure with less summary and more commentary or a heavy fully loaded report, it all depended on the project and the executive that ordered the report.

The team I worked with was amazing. Everyone who works their was very nice and helpful. I worked under the assistants to the executives and alongside other interns that came and went as school let out. I of course, was the oldest. It was a funny feeling but I got passed it and smiled.

Eventually I had to leave, not because my time was up but because I needed to find a another paying job. I still work as a nanny, but another job would be great. My experience with Escape Artists really opened up my eyes to a whole new world of writing. I initially was afraid and I admit that a small part of me didn’t want to intern with them because scripts are so different from the type of writing that I normally do (prose, poetry and memoir). It was all very terrifying because I had this nebulous idea about this world and I didn’t think I could hack it. Yet, in the end I made it out alive and INSPIRED to possibly write my own script one day, because script writers are just as creative and really do create wonderful fanastic art like the writing that I strive to create and like all those that I admire. Plus, I love TV and films, so why not write for them. It isn’t a promise but it is an idea that could happen one day. I just need to sit down and write it. So who knows, maybe. Until then, I’ll remember to be open to different styles of writing and to stay positive.


P.S. I’m still looking for another job, lol.

Why I will NOT be watching SNL’s broadcast tonight and HOPE you won’t either

Although my site is mostly dedicated to my writing, sometimes a different type of posting can be quite satisfying, and seeing as the site can also be used as a platform to air out my views and the views of those smarter than me, then why not do it?

Tonight, SNL is slated to feature Donald Trump as the host of the 90 min show, and I for one will not be watching. I think it’s ridiculous that the show celebrates someone who has said such hateful things about the Latino community. If Trump or anyone else for that matter had sad anything about the black community, the gay and lesbian community, the asian community, etc.. then they would not be tolerated on the show. But because he’s said these very offensive, hate-mongering xenophobic statements about Mexicans and about all Latinos, it’s okay??? Why is that OKAY? It shouldn’t be. It’s not fair and NBC and SNL should have higher standards for the people that they bring on to the show.

I’m all for freedom of speech, after all, I’m a writer. However, when someone is running for president and intentionally says cruel things about a great percentage of the people he intends to represent and then gets celebrated for that, then we have to stop and wonder whats happening?

if you like, I’ve linked an NPR article that I feel really highlights some interesting points. “Would ‘SNL’ Have Donald Trump As Host If It Had Latino Cast Members?” 

In the end, I don’t have the right to tell anyone else what they can and cannot do. But I do ask anyone reading this that tonight, when turning on SNL, that they remember those that have been affected and think about how wrong it is to celebrate this man and what he’s said. The intent is to make light of it all via comedy, but in the end it’s just another way to further make us feel inferior.  I’m a Latina, whats been said was hurtful and despicable. But we move forward by hopefully showing that we do not accept whats happening, we do not roll over and laugh, we will not watch. I will not watch.

You can also check out what these latino celebrities say on the issue here.

In any case, have a good Saturday night, whether you watch or not.



Hi everyone, I am pleased to announce that I have another wonderful piece out in the literary journal FRE&D (For Reader’s Edification & Debauchery). It is a poem titled, Bowling Alley Love.

This post comes late since the issue was officially released on April 19th, however there were some writing setbacks. In any case, here it is!

Like all my work, this piece is very dear to my heart and has been in the works for a very long time. Initially, I had a lot of trouble getting it onto paper. The concept of the whole narrative was there yet I struggled over and over in how to pull the images and ideas from my mind and onto the page.

My whole vision of the poem was in constant transition, never fully developed until one day it just came together. The aesthetic look and skeletal structure was a huge endeavor as I could never fully create what I wanted as it too was in constant flux. Bowling Alley Love originally started out as a prose poem yet eventually made its way into a more traditional piece of poetry, transforming into what it is today.

This is FRE&D’s second print issue and it features many other great writers, like Matthew Dickman, Ellen Bass, Jack Grapes, Richard Jones and others. Be sure to check it out if you can. The journal costs about $11.00. You can order a copy of through FRE&D’s website or through me and I will be sure that you get one, just leave me a comment or private message me via this site or directly contact me if you have my cell, or my private email.

Read Bowling Alley Love – feel pain, feel fear, feel love. I hope you enjoy the poem, now let’s go bowl!

Note** When I get a chance, I will be sure to post a PDF version of the piece for you to read.





Hi everyone! I am pleased to announce that my pieces, NIGHT BEAT and MEDUSA, LOVING are now out in the inaugural issue of the literary journal, Angel City Review.

Angel City Review aims to bring readers new and exciting pieces of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art from both established writers and artists as well as emerging writers with an emphasis on those based in Los Angeles like myself. The journal is an Ebook (including PDF and ibooks/Kindle formats etc.) and it is FREE!!!

Heart Attack by Mando Castellanos
Heart Attack by Mando Castellanos

I hope that you enjoy MEDUSA, LOVING as well as NIGHT BEAT, they both mean a lot to me (as do all my pieces) but what I love about these pieces is that at the time of creation I was practicing a new exercise in writing that I had learned and I was able to come up with these different pieces. I am so glad to have been able to attain a home for the two of them in this up and coming journal. Please read, they await your eyes.

So stop by the Angel City Review and download your ibooks copy today or click below for the PDF version.

Angel City Review PDF

Angel City Review

Angel City Review Launch Party & Reading at Avenue 50 Studio

Come join me this Thursday, June 16th from 7pm to 10 pm at Avenue 50 Studio for the launch party of the inaugural issue of the Angel City Review. Avenue 50 Studio is located at 131 N Avenue 50, Los Angeles, California 90042

Two of my pieces, “Night Beat” and “Medusa, Loving” appear in the journals first issue and I am so proud and would love to share this experience with you all.

I will be reading along with a few other great writers featured in the inaugural issue such as F. Douglas Brown and Keith Niles.

The reading will be followed by some wonderful Jazz by the Alex Santos Quintet.

Check out the Facebook event here.

Angel City Review



Hey everyone,

I’ve wanted to report on this for a few weeks now but my internet has been on the fritz, still is actually ;( in any case, here we go!

Coffee House Press has published and released the full length book by my wonderful friend and mentor, Quintan Ana Wikswo, titled “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far.”

It is almost indescribable to be able to hold this beauty knowing all the hard work Quintan put into creating it.IMG_0566

As writer’s we are often faced with the uncertainty of others and more frequently our own uncertainty. Those loud and annoying voices in our heads that convince us every so often that we’re not going to make it, that we’re not going to actually be able to produce anything let alone anything that is well received or dare I say successful. And yet, we continue, we dare everyday. We write. Which is why I am so proud and happy for Quintan.

This book is made up of a collection of short stories, all of which are evocative and masterful works, beautiful poetic pieces that peel back layers of our humanity and expose their truths, our truths.

On Tuesday June 23, I was lucky enough to be able to make it out to the Los Angeles book launch party for “The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far.” It was held at Monk Space in K-Town and it was absolutely fabulous. Quintan read selected pieces from the book and each piece was accompanied by a live music composition, it was both lovely and haunting. The whole ensemble was so beautiful I even cried. Afterwards, Quintan signed autographs and took pictures with her adoring fans like me😉

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Me and Quintan

This whole experience was so eye opening and inspiring. I hope to one day achieve this success and have a book published. In the mean time I will continue writing and celebrating others like Quintan.

You can check out Quintan’s website or purchase a copy of Quintan’s book on Coffee House Press or Amazon. Happy reading & once again, CONGRATULATIONS to Quintan!