Sunday, December 28, 2014

On the other side of the holidays

I made it through the holiday season in one piece, more or less.  Family dinners were made. Presents were passed out.  Most leftovers were eaten, etc. This weekend I spent time cleaning out my room from the tall stack of papers that had piled up over the last several months.  I have finally cleared it out once and for all. I chucked old journals that I will not be taking with me when I find some new digs.  Lightening my load starts now.
It was a mild day on Saturday, enough to grab a wrap sweater, a cup of tea and sit in the back yard enjoying a bit of sun on my face, while reading Candace B. Pert's Molecules of Emotion on the science behind mind-body medicine. She makes biochemistry and brain mapping accessible. I was enjoying the quiet afternoon and despite having a mild migraine I just wanted to take it in for all its worth. I curled up and took a nap and it helped dispel the headache.
This week we will be ringing in the New Year.  I think I'm going to spend that night writing. Perhaps finally break out my novel and really start revising it. Even the thought of it makes my stomach rumble. Anyway, that's all I have for now.
Peace,
Lily~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Interstellar

A few days ago I went to see the Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar.  It's about a team of scientists who travel through a wormhole to find a way of saving a dying humanity.  The premise was sound.  The beginning and middle part of the movie I was invested as an audience member.  When the team landed in the planet made of water and the tidal waves began I was gripped with anxiety, the scene was nail-biting. Unfortunately, at times, the sound system was so loud that I had to cover my ears and I would miss some information.  There is a point in the story arc where I was pulled out and I wanted to call bullshit.  I won't mention which part of the movie it is BUT it was so glaring for me that the suspension of belief was over and it was hard to remain captivated from that point on.  The science in the movie was enjoyable and there is something about space travel that absolutely fascinates me.  At least it was worth it from that perspective.

Peace,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Duck and Run

I'm having a difficult night tonight. After many years of my folks "threatening" to sell the family home they are finally going to make that leap. It's strange how hard it's hitting me.  I've lived in this house on and off since I was eight years old.  For those keeping count that's a mighty long time. Even though I knew this was coming down the pipeline it has always felt like it was further off into the future.  Alas, that is not the case.  It feels strange to know that the house that I grew up in will no longer be ours. It's strange how we attach ourselves to material structures.  Even though I've been helping with the many renovations for just this purpose...it feels strange that in a few months it will go up on the market.  Goodness...who is ready for that?  Which of course also means its time to look for a new place to live.  And again, who is ready for that? I've moved so many times in the past seven years that I'm ready to find something all my own. Everything is changing... even me.  I just have to accept how things are transpiring and hopefully the next couple of months will bring interesting opportunities.

Peace,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wild

Last Friday, I went to see Reese Witherspoon in Wild, written by Nick Hornby and Cheryl Strayed, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.  This film goes deeper and darker than any movie I've ever seen Witherspoon in and she is really quite amazing in it.  The story is about a young woman who goes on a 1,100 mile solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail to grieve the loss of her mother and the end of her marriage and to regain a sense of herself again. The emotional center of the movie was right on and I'm so glad I had a chance to see it.  It made me want to buy a backpack and head out for the nearest trail ...too bad I don't know jack about camping.  I may have to do a little research and see about joining a group.  Hmmm we shall see.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wasted Love by Matt McAndrew

Wasted Love was sung by Matt McAndrew on The Voice Monday night and it completely resonated...check it out. 


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Cheer

For the past several years, every time the holiday seasons came around I approached it with a a bah-humbug attitude. Everything felt like a chore during that time.  Shopping, cooking for family, even the incessant christmas music that started blasting everywhere the day after Thanksgiving.
This year, I've embraced it.  At the very least, I am facing the holiday with a lot of gratitude.  Grateful that my family is healthy and boisterous and they have a fantastic sense of humor.  Grateful for a new steady job that's afforded me some decent health benefits to help me sort out my myriad of health issues. Grateful for feeling a lot less pain for the first time in many, many years.  I hadn't realized how much it had weighed down on my spirit until the burden began to lift. I am beginning to enjoy life again and all the little wonders around me.  I am grateful that the above has helped clear more time for writing and I've been doing it on a more consistent basis.  Less whinging, more writing, you can't beat that.  I am grateful for friends who love and support me and my work.  Grateful for it all. I've managed to get most of my holiday shopping done online so no brutal shopping crowds...hoorah!! I've written up most of my holiday cards but I have a handful left to go.  Now if I can only get my room clean of dust bunnies I'll really be cooking.  I had a day off from work yesterday which gave me a day to run errands and get some things done.  Plus...I enjoyed walking in Washington Square during the first snowfall last Wednesday.  Had big fat snowflakes cling to my eyelashes.  Anyway...having a lovely time during this holiday season.

Peace,
Lily~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Update

The Book Launch Reading last Wednesday (12/3) at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe went well.  My piece  "Blanca's Monologue" from my play Glass Knives was 4.5 minutes long.  Concise, to-the-point and well-received, as is this update. Haha.  No, but seriously I was so nervous and anxious over this piece and this particular performance that I was surprised at how smooth the actual night went.  As an audience member highlights for me were Polly Frost's piece and seeing Pamela Sneed perform/recite her piece. Glad I had the chance to see them.  And of course always great to see Dano Madden's work and James Armstrong's work. I'm pleased that I went out there and presented work myself.  Hurrah on that front.

Saturday night I went to see the movie The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The story about Alan Turing, the English mathematician that help break the German Enigma code during World War II.  The ending had me wanting to bawl my eyes out.  Every time I read or hear about a Queer person committing suicide, either in the present or in the past, it absolutely breaks my damned heart.  Anyway, I can't write much more than that because this small post will turn into a rant. The movie itself revolves around Turing's work in creating the machine to help break the code and some of what transpires in his life after the war.  Cumberbatch is amazing in the title role.

Peace,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mild Winter Night

It was a balmy Friday night in New York City.  The rain was coming down in a thin oily mist.  The streets were reflective giving over to the noise of passing traffic. My romantic sensibilities were heightened by the elegant way the night sparkled.  My boots splashed up water onto the back of my work trousers.  The wool coat kept me warm against the occasional gust of icy wind racing up the Park Slope hill. It's beautiful on this mild winter night. I enjoyed the feel of the thin film of water on my face and smiled into the darkness.  Romantic sensibilities indeed.  You'd think someone was in love or something.  Ah! Just in love with a solitary walk in the rain, enjoying the dark quiet night.  Lovely!

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quick writing update

As promised, I finished Clara Betta last night. Hoorah!  Doing a little snoopy dance around my room.  I  have to give a big shout out to my very good friend Christine for all the wonderful feedback.  Her words of encouragement and the fact that she read almost every single version of this story has been a huge help in this process!! Of course, big thank yous to all the other readers Tamara, Patrick and William. All the feedback helped me cross the finish line on this project fairly quickly. :-)  Yep, that's a smiley face. I am sending it out this afternoon to a literary magazine I scoped out a couple of months ago. Hopefully, it's a good fit.  We shall see.  Wish me luck.

I also have a decent draft of the piece that I'll read on Wednesday.  I'm all fluttery nerves about this one and I have to remember to breathe otherwise i'm going to rush through this piece like a bat out of hell. Hehehe.  Seriously! I just have to get the accent down so that will be my homework for the next three nights.  Teek Spanish Ax-cent.  Eek!

Okay, all for now.

Peace,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Burying the Lead

It's amazing how quickly the days go by during the holiday season.  We are almost at the end of November.  Here are some tidbits on what's gone on + Upcoming Event at Nuyorican Poets Cafe:

Me and my mother cooked a feast for Thanksgiving.  We roasted a turkey that was so tender that the meat slid off the bone. Hoorah! And to think most everyone who sat at the table swore up and down that they didn't like turkey...we made believers out of them. An 11.3 lb turkey was stripped down to bones in record time.  hehehe.  No leftovers from that bird. It was fun to watch.  Lots of spirited talk and laughter. I'm usually such a grump during the holidays and this year I really enjoyed being around my family.  Not being in pain really helped matters.

My 6 year old and 9 year old niece stayed the night and slept in my bed which meant I slept very little / not at all that night.  At what point do two skinny minis turn into elbows / knees / kicking monsters.  Anyway, I spent most of Friday in a bit of a zombie state from lack of sleep.

Once they left I curled up into a ball on my bed and watched a long French film called Violette.  A film about the writer Violette LeDuc who Simone de Beauvoir took under her wing and encouraged to write.  What an amazing film.  I love films that depict writers. And of course this woman LeDuc raged and howled at the difficulties in her life but she continued to write.

After watching this film, I woke up, ran some much needed errands, came back home, procrastinated a bit and then went to work on the writing.  Spent some time writing up the monologue that I'm presenting at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe this coming Wednesday, Dec 3rd.  It's in conjunction with the book launch by Applause books.  I have a rough, first draft-two pages.  It's resting now.  I have to practice the thick Spanish accent and I have to write the intro to put the piece in context.  Okay, I know I've been crap about promoting upcoming events in a timely manner.  For some reason I was having an especially hard time making up my mind about showing up to this event...one night last week being unable to sleep, I finally made up my mind to just do it.  I don't know what the hemming and hawing was all about but I'll be there with bells on.

Next I have to finish up Clara Betta.  Just took a dinner break and decided to write this much needed blog entry before I go back to Clara.

Tomorrow I will give the monologue a once over--make edits/changes/deletions as necessary then ...practice, practice, practice the dialect until I have it down.  Make changes as they come to me.  That's the plan and I'm sticking to it.

Who wants a drink?!  I do, I do.  That'll have to wait 'til the work is done.  * sigh *

Peace,

L~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Echosmith - Cool Kids

Another cool pop-py song. Enjoy!

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vance Joy - Riptide

I've been late to the dance on some of these songs but now that I've heard them...I just want to share 'cause I can't get enough of them.  Enjoy!!

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nico & Vinz - Am I Wrong?


I heard this song about a year ago but it didn't quite register at the time.  As I was painting the bathroom last month, I heard this song a few times on the radio. It finally entered the grey matter and took hold. Enjoy!  

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Can I Say?

I spent yesterday and today revising my short story, Clara Betta.  I've sent it to a couple of trusted readers but I'm ready to send it out to a literary magazine very soon.  It feels good.
Now it's time to go face my novel again.  I almost restarted revising today but I lost my nerve.
Instead, I faced a box of soaked files. A couple of weeks ago my basement flooded.  I was able to shred five years worth of paperwork.  It made me aware that I could get rid of more stuff.  I have that bug again as I was going thru it all.
I found pages of my time as a sales rep and all the background with my transfer. I didn't realized I've been carrying that around for so long. As I was reading through the material all of the old anger came back up for me.  It's amazing that I've never really let that go.  Good Lord!!  After I ripped the pages up I promised myself that I was letting it all go.
I also finished Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests.  I really enjoy her writing.  I shlepped that 500+ page hardcover back and forth for weeks.  It's interesting that since I know her writing, I was anticipating a twist in her story. And when the obvious twist didn't happen, it  was a surprise.  The ending was bittersweet.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) by Alejandro González Iñárritu


Saturday night, I went to see this film.  I absolutely loved it.  
Quick description: A washed-up actor must overcome his fears, insecurities and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory. 

The dark humor is so up my alley.  It's so funny that I missed follow up jokes because I was still laughing at the first ones. Edward Norton as Mike was by far my favorite character. There is a certain kind of genius whenever he's up on the screen.  I follow and believe his characters no matter how absurd he acts.  Wonderful performance. To be fair he had some of the funnier moments.

I have a confession to make: Michael Keaton has never been an actor that has ever left an impression on me.  There was one role that I thought he was so far out that I thought he was decent and that was Beetlejuice. But I was not a fan of his Batman portrayal and after Christian Bale in that role, I don't really remember Keaton. After this film, I am now a fan.  He's got so many really amazing moments but the ones that made an impression were the times he was the most desperate.  The argument he has with the critic gave me chills because of the way he bared his soul. 

Emma Stone as his daughter Sam had one strong moment early in the film.  It's the first lengthy confrontation with Keaton.  After that, I think Inarritu forgot about her as a character. The film was strong but not perfect.  Inarritu has one high Hollywood action sequence that I could have done without. 

All the theater backstage references were so right on that I was in tears, I laughed so hard.  Seriously I could go on and on, breaking down the nuances, of this movie
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and spent a couple of hours after the movie talking about it with a friend.  

                                                                                                 
All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is It Over Yet?

It's been a very busy month.  As I've written in previous entries, I've been helping my dad renovate the bathroom.  It's been one day after another of running new pipes, laying down a new floor, tiling walls and floor, grouting and cleaning grout off the rest of the tiles and we have four more days left to finish.  Left to-do is priming and painting the walls, plus installing the new sink cabinet.  Tonight I have the night off.  Which is why I'm finally writing an entry. And really all I have to say is I'm tired.  I almost see the light at the end of the tunnel but there is so much left to do before we're done.  Not to mention that we've had setbacks throughout. Yesterday afternoon, my dad accidentally left a valve open on the boiler and flooded out three rooms There are boxes of old letters and journals that were soaked solid, so I have to go through them and throw whatever is not salvageable. Weekend project. Ergh.

Books--I recently finished Kate Wilhelm's, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. A novel about an isolated post holocaust community determined to preserve itself through cloning. This is an amazing hard science fiction novel and what makes my jaw drop about this story is that it was first written in 1976.  Historically the idea of cloning can date back to the late 1800's. This novel however takes a look at the social implications of cloning within the confines of this separatist community. I've been trying to decide on whether to keep this book on my shelf or if I should just gift it away. Lately, as I finish reading novels I've been leaving them on subway benches for others to pick up. I'm on the fence. The idea that I'll be moving in the next year makes me more likely to gift it away.  Less books will really save my creaky back from having to cart more boxes to yet another apartment.

I just started reading Sarah Waters latest novel, The Paying Guests. I really love the way she writes. It's a total pleasure read and I've been carting this 500+ page novel from home to work and back.

That's all I have for now.

Best,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dear White People - Justin Simien

I went to see this film and it really made me laugh.  This is Justin Simien's first feature (written and directed), a satire set at a fictitious ivy league college. It takes a hard look on the different experiences of being black in college.  What makes this film so interesting is that it moves into a more complicated place about race and at time an uncomfortable place as well.  Samantha White played by Tessa Thompson has some of the best lines when she schools her white peers on ways to avoid racist microaggressions: your weed dealer doesn't qualify as your 'black friend,' knowing rap lyrics doesn't mean you're black.  I enjoyed watching this film altho' I didn't really love the ending but it's worth watching with a mix of friends.  


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jackie of all Trades, Master of None


I spent the weekend helping my father renovate our bathroom. Which means I assisted him to cut copper pipes, passed tools while he soldered them into elbow joints, helped cap the open pieces, and held the fire extinguisher when he fired a pipe that was inside the wall.  Eesh.  I have one small burn from melted metal, ouch.  We are not done yet tho', not by a long shot.  There is still so much more left to do and after 11 hours of work on Saturday...I already want to quit. 

On Sunday, I had the day off from being an assistant which means I cleaned house and some laundry. Also unpacked boxes now that I've cleared out my storage space. Trying to figure out what I should keep and what I should chuck.  

Tomorrow, will be more assistant duty.  I just don't know how far we'll get with the work.  More pipes to run across the basement. Not to mention resurfacing the wall, and retiling the floor.  It's going to take us another two weeks before we finish.  

Writing has been put on hold in the meantime.  Ergh.  I am always much moodier when I don't have time to write. I'm going to have to sneak some time in during the week.  I may just get up early again and start writing first thing in the morning.  Might be the tonic I need to face the rest of my day.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard


This is the blurb about the play:
Ewan McGregor plays Henry, a playwright not so happily married to Charlotte (Cynthia Nixon), the lead actress in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing.

This play was directed by Sam Gold.  He's one of my favorite directors.  Alas, this was not one of my favorite plays.  Even tho' the humor was very British.  Even tho' Ewan McGregor can do no wrong.  This is supposed to be one of Stoppard's more heart-felt plays but the emotional content just wasn't there. The heart was missing from this play. Henry and Maggie talked around and around about their love for each other to the point where I just wanted them to shut up.  It felt as if they were playing at love and perhaps that is the point.  No, no, that wasn't the point. The material felt as dated as the 60's music they played in-between scenes. 

Once the curtain came down, I couldn't get out of the theater fast enough.  


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Show Me - John Legend

I've had this song running in my head for the last couple of days.  I've been humming it to myself where ever I go.  Humming it on the subway, on my way to work, while I'm working...earworm.  I've been loving life and it's coming through in song.  Just feeling deeply content.  Gotta enjoy these moments when they come.  I've attached the lyrics to his song below...enjoy! L~


  Show Me by John Legend
I realized as I lay down to sleep
We haven't spoke in weeks
So many things that I'd like to know
Come have a talk with me
I need a sign, something I can see
Why all the mystery?
I try not to fall for make believe
But what is reality?
Where do we go?
What do we know?
Life has to have a meaning
Show me the light
Show me the way
Show that you're listening

Show me that you love me
Show me that you walk with me
Hopefully, just above me
Heaven's watching over me

Guess it's funny how I say thanks to you
For all you've given me
Sometimes the price of what you gave to me
I can't stop questioning
O God of love, peace, and mercy
Why so much suffering?
I pray for the world, it gets worse to me
Wonder if you're listening
When people go
Why do they go?
Why don't you choose me?
But someday I know
I'm gonna go
I hope you're waiting for me

Show me that you love me
Show me that you walk with me
Hopefully, just above me
Heaven's watching over me

Maybe we'll talk
Some other night
Right now I'll take it easy
Won't spent my time
Waiting to die
Enjoy the life I'm living

Show me that you love me
Show me that you walk with me
Hopefully, just above me
Heaven's watching over me



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tiny Bit

This week  I've had a head cold. I've been taking supplements to help boost my immune system so that's helped take the edge off what could be a bad cold.  I managed to make it into work and luckily it's been a low-key week there.  Plans for this weekend consist of seeing another play, The Real Thing and helping my dad with some renovation work on our bathroom.  Let's see how long it takes before we start yelling at each other.  Hehehe.  No, I'm kidding.  It will be fine.  We just have two strong personalities.  I'll try to keep mine in check for the duration of this project.

I have not worked on any writing this week and I'm starting to feel the repercussions of that decision. I'll spend some time journaling tomorrow when I get a chance.  I should be right as rain after that.

All for now...peace,

L~  

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On Writing Too


On Friday, I read at an open mic at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker Street.  Usually I announce beforehand so I can get folks to come support but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get on the roster that night. I went up first which was a good thing.  We were in the gallery space beneath the music venue so while I was up it was nice and quiet.  There is something so amazing that happens when I am up there in front of a new audience and the room turns perfectly still.  I feel myself expand and reading from my work allows my wings to stretch out a bit.  Usually, I am trying hard to tamp myself and my personality down because it doesn’t fit into the culture of my day job.  So I contract in order to be able to just get the work done.  But when I’m doing my work, my writing, reading from my book of poems, I feel the power of that moment.  It radiates up through my feet, makes my legs tremble, moves up to my belly where the butterflies are aflutter, through my lungs where breath and voice connect and out comes the words in these flowing waves and I more present then at any other moment in my life.  * happy sigh * I managed to sell a book which is always a pleasure. It was a great night of eclectic writers. There was one cat called D-Bird that cracked me up with his poetry.  Funny and so well-worth the price of admission.
Then I went to see Disgraced on Saturday night.  I’ve written up a separate entry on that experience.
Then on Sunday afternoon it was Writing Group time.  My short story Clara Betta went over really well. I was honestly surprised at how well it was received…it made me blush. So now it’s time to make some final revisions, one more look see with WG and then send it out to see if some magazine will publish it.  Hmm.  So much to consider.  Where to send it?  First I’ll make the final tweaks and then see what might be a few possibilities. 

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar


On Saturday night, I went to see Ayad Akhtar’s play “Disgraced” (2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama) at Lyceum Theater.  This play centers around Amir, a New York corporate lawyer who finds himself reckoning with his heritage –born in Pakistan, raised Muslim – in a series of conversations and confrontations.  Amir, played by the magnificent Hari Dhillon, begins to devolve after a lifetime of tamping down his background.  Mr. Dhillon is nuanced and subtle in his portrayal as each layer is peeled away. When Amir’s desperation and displaced anger lashes out in the crescendo scene, every moment has been earned. His performance gave me goosebumps it was so raw and powerful. 
Emily, Amir’s wife, played by Gretchen Mol is a wonderful counterpoint.  Emily is an artistic idealist who tries to push Amir to embrace his heritage only to slowly discover how deeply he’s buried that part of himself.  At times, there is a naiveté that Ms. Mol brings to the role that works without being disingenuous.  Josh Radnor playing Isaac and Karen Pittman as Jory share a memorable dinner with Amir and Emily.  Jory had some of the best one-liners and Ms. Pittman delivered them beautifully. 

There is one scene with Amir’s young cousin Abe played by Danny Ashok at the end of the play that is heartbreaking.  After the aftermath of the previous scenes, it felt like adding salt to the wounds but so well done nonetheless.  This play is directed by Kimberly Senior. 

 “Disgraced” began preview performances on Sept. 27 and opens on Oct. 23.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Most Wanted Man


I know I'm late on the upswing on this movie, it's been out for months and months but I finally saw A Most Wanted Man last weekend.  What an amazing film!  Phillip Seymour Hoffman is subtle and nuanced in this role and Robin Wright as the American counterpart is flawless.  It's filled with tense political intrigue and the ending made me gasp out loud. Truly. There is something about these spy movies that have always captivated me. I wouldn't have the stones to be in that life.  Who could you trust?  The world is such a dark and twisted place full of enemies of the state and national security is always at stake, how could anyone sleep at night? Ever?

Of course, this makes me think about how Power needs to create an "other"/ an enemy in order to justify torture, murder, rape all in the name of nationalist or religious rhetoric.  Wow!  How did I get here on this one?  You get my drift though, political structures and tactics created for the sake of power.  Maintaining that power.  Ends justifying the means.  We create this fear and FEAR is contagious.  I've gone down the rabbit hole. I won't go on tho'.  That's for a different entry on another blog.  :-)

Peace, L~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

accidental art

F-Line, Broadway-Lafayette, 2014
On the F-Line at Broadway Lafayette there is this wall where rusted water has leaked down and created this pretty amazing abstract piece.  There is texture where the paint is coming off the wall.  The background wall is brown but there is this reddish hue mixed in with yellows and white.  And it keep developing out, especially after it rains.  Yes, this wall is probably a toxic combination of mold and who-knows-what else but it is absolutely beautiful to me. Sometimes these hidden gems are enough in themselves.  Water created this piece and it continues to change and grow. I'm sure some inspector will see this one day and decide it's hazardous to our health and wipe it clean but until that happens more visual stim for me.  

In the meantime, I've picked up a couple of sketch books to paint again. I had set aside art for awhile when I was trying to figure out my writing "focus."  I'm learning that I could paint and sketch and write at will.  The only limitations are the ones that I impose upon myself. Time to break out my knives/brushes and paint for the sheer joy of it.  I've decided to go back to painting on paper because they are easier to store than canvas.  Let's see how long that stays true once I start working.  

All for now.
Peace, 
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kill Your Darlings

I watched Kill Your Darling the other night and man was it an awful film. This is one of those moments when I wish they had done more with the actual writings of Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg.  Someone should have killed this movie.  What crap!

I did spend tonight working through some new poems for the reading next week, so that's something.

More later.
Peace,
L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Invisible Woman

Wednesday--what a needy bitch of a day it has been today. Work was crazy busy which I always enjoy. The busier it gets the calmer I get, or at least that's how I was on this day.  There is lots more to take care of tomorrow but hump day was all rock and roll.  It will be a low-key early night for me...trying to pay attention to my body cues for a change.  My cell phone keeps ringing which puts me on edge.  I may shut it off completely but I need an alarm clock if that's the case.
I did want to make mention of a movie I saw recently (and if I've already written about it forgive me) but it's worth a second and third mention if that's the case. The Invisible Woman, directed by Ralph Fiennes, screenplay written by Abi Morgan.  Ralph Fiennes played Charles Dickens and Felicity Jones plays the part of Ellen...It's a movie about Charles Dickens and a young woman that he took on as his lover despite his married state, in the height of his writing career.  He kept her a secret from the world but they were together until his death.  This movie is so well written and Felicity Jones is wonderful. I remember her from another favorite of mine, Like Crazy.  I will admit I have a soft spot for period pieces but the dialogue of this movie is exquisite and the quiet moments are heart-wrenching.  I watched this movie weeks ago and it's still lingering in my brain. Scenes still haunt me. Fiennes is amazing to watch. I love when movies affect me so deeply.  * happy sigh *

All for now, I am about to watch Kill Your Darlings.  How I do love movies about writers!!

Peace,

Lily~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Short Writing Update

After trying to make the last scene work in Clara Betta, I decided to cut it out altogether.  Another 6 pages cut.  I hope it works.  Anyway, I'm done with it for now and I've sent it out to the writing group.
I'll find out soon enough if it's working or not.  Eek!

What's next?  There are a couple of poetry readings I'd like to do in the next couple of weeks so I'll be writing up some new material for those events.  I'll post info when I know better.

All for now...

Peace,

Lily~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quickie Post

I've spent the past five hours working on the short story Clara Betta today.  Last night, I put in a couple of hours worth.  It still needs more work tho'. So I probably won't send it to the group until tomorrow.  Call me cautious but I'd rather send them something as close to a finished state as possible. Eek!!  Nervous butterflies in my belly.

I love this quiet writing time.  I used to write while listening to music but I've noticed that I need the quiet space to hear the voices trying to come through to tell their story.  It helps the process and there is less resistance when there's quiet to feel my way through the story arc. I saw this great mug online the other day. It read, "Writer's Block: When the voices inside your head stop talking to you."  It made me laugh out loud...'cause it's true.

Tonight I am going to a play reading. I think it's going to be several people presenting work so I'm excited at the prospect of seeing works-in-progress.  I have ideas swirling around my head and I have to keep reminding myself to just jot things down. I never know what will be used or what the next project may need to give it a fresh perspective and those mini-ideas come in handy.

I read an article by Quiara Alegria Hudes in this month's The Dramatist magazine on Subject Matter and it was a great reminder about love for the writing craft. Pen to paper is the only way to build that writing muscle.

I hope this entry makes sense because I'm now on my way out the door.

Peace,

Lily~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jack White - Would You Fight For My Love

Jack White came out with his latest video - Would You Fight For My Love?  (As I write this blog entry, it's 12 hours old) I love his music, I really do!!  But something is missing for me in this song...too much angst, not enough crescendo. The video in the blue filtered hue makes my day tho'.  Click on the link above to watch it on YouTube.  Vevo has new guidelines that won't allow me to post it onto my blog.  Booo!
Photo from Jack White's FB page- Still from video
Rock on people!! Rock on!!

Peace,
Lily~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tidbit on Light

This morning as I was walking to the train, there was this gorgeous sunlight breaking through the cloud cover...i absolutely love the light in the Fall. It's diffused but the edges are bright. Burnished gold. I had a mild migraine so I'm sure there was aura from the headache but it was a moment worth taking in.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Radio Silence is Over


Well folks it’s been awhile. I’ve been acclimating to my new schedule, 6 months into my new day job, and finding time at lunch or after work to spend time on the creative writing.  I’m currently working through a short story right now (not science fiction). The ending is bugging me.  I keep re-writing it but blah, it’s just not coming out quite right.
Let’s see, I’ve joined a new writing group since my old writing group has split off.  I present this month so I need to keep working through the problems of this short story before I send it out to the group on Saturday night.  That’s my internal deadline otherwise I’m going to be putzing with it until it’s a tortured mess of a story.  We want to avoid that result. 
Movies-Must make mention that my crush on actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues. I recently saw a few of his movies back-to-back.  An earlier movie called Mysterious Skin (2004) where he plays a young gay hustler and the key moments when the character is the most vulnerable are heartbreaking. I also watched Premium Rush, ‘cause who doesn’t love a good chase movie but really it was candy (no nutritional value). Then I watched Don Jon, this movie surprised me.  He wrote and directed this film which made it better for me.  His character Jon is a player who sleeps with anyone he can get his hands on.  He meets “the one” in Barbara played by Scarlett Johansson, who plays a Jersey girl so well she scared me a little. Haha.  But when Jon doesn’t get his happily ever after, he meets Esther, played by the the wonderful Julianne Moore. The movie was a lot better than I anticipated.  Sweet, sweet, sweet.  Don't you love it when a movie makes you smile from all the way inside?
Health, I have my good days and I have my challenging days.  All the doctor visits haven't helped pin-point the underlying problem but I've managed to strike off a few illnesses off the list.  I guess that's the silver lining. Then I came down with a rebounding migraine that left me feeling a bit hollowed out. The food restrictions had washed down the headaches to once or twice a month. So to have this last one come on so strong and for so many days was a surprise  This week, I've slacked off on the food restriction list, it's amazing how quickly the weight starts to creep up. I just have a soft spot for baked mac & cheese. I have to get back on my strict guidelines again. The one thing that I have been struggling with is going to yoga classes on a more consistent basis.  Being healthy is hard work sometimes.  I know i feel good after a class, just have to show up for them.
Peace,
Lily~ 

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Entry

I am sitting here staring at this blank screen with a blank mind.  Overly tired. I spent yesterday breaking down the closet in my brother's room which was strangely gratifying.  I still have more work to do in that room.  More wood to pull down tomorrow.  The feel of hot nails as I wrench them out of the wood. I like the feel of these tired muscles.  By week's end, I'll finish priming the room and pick out some groovy colors in high gloss to lighten the room up. I've been living in a room without windows so it will be a nice change to get some sun coming in again.

For music I've been listening to Hall and Oats "Kiss on my List"...I know, I know, it's definitely old school...but you can't go wrong with this one.
I'll think of more to write tomorrow when I'm a bit more awake.  I'm off to bed for some much needed rest.

Peace,
Lily~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Begin Again

It's been a busy couple of weeks.  Lots of changes happening.  It's amazing how much is going on lately.  Day job is picking up speed and there is much to do.  I'm keeping up but I need to remember to take some deep breaths and watch my stress levels from spiking too high.

My brother Bleu moved out to L.A this past Thursday.  He's following his dream to go produce music and I'm really proud of him. He set himself up in an apartment and some freelance work and he's just going to work his ass off until some of his music takes off.  I'm all for following dreams...Go Bleu!! I helped him pack boxes late into the night last week because he's a night owl.

I met up with my writing group this past weekend.  It went better than I expected. Got some really great comments to use for my revision.  I'll start working on those changes this week.

I've seen a couple of movies lately.  The most recent, I went to see is Begin Again, a movie by John Carney.  I love this movie but then again  I have a soft spot for musicals.  Keira Knightley (Gretta) surprised me with her voice.  Adam Levine plays the part of Dave and he is great as her douchy boyfriend.  But Mark Ruffalo absolutely steals this movie playing the part of Dan, a former music executive, who finds his passion for music again.  There is a moment in the movie when they are playing on the rooftop of a building and the scene absolutely brought tears to my eyes from the sheer joy of it.  So of course I bought the soundtrack and I can't stop listening to all the music but I'm sharing Keira Knightley singing Lost Stars.

Adam Levine singing Lost Stars
Told you I like it...now go and enjoy!

Lily~


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

James Blake - Retrograde

Another song to check out: James Blake's Retrograde.
His voice is haunting...I love it when a song gets under my skin.




All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Birdy-Words As Weapons

A song I can't stop listening to: Birdy-Words As Weapons.  




All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bullet Point Entry

I haven't written in awhile.  For the most part, I've been busy with summer activities.  

  • Still dealing with some health issues.  Altho things are on the upswing.  Yay! Not feeling quite so terrible.  
  • I'm learning to spend time relaxing which is hard work for someone who is used to constantly working.  I was thinking about what my life was like several years ago: I was working several jobs to make ends meet, taking grad classes and making a go of my creative writing.  It's been quite the adjustment.    
  • Last weekend, I even spent some time sunbathing in my backyard.  The day was warm with a rich breeze and I was so caught up in the book that I was reading that I burned.  Lots of Aloe Vera slathered on for several days after that.  
  • June 24th, I went to see Tegan and Sara live in concert.  They were fantastic and I always enjoy their live performances.  
  • June 27th, I went to see Neil Gaiman at Carnegie Hall. He read from a couple of stories while a string quartet played along as they projected graphic images. Loved it!  So much fun and a much appreciated birthday gift from a good friend.  
  • I have also been suffering from a bad case of World Cup fever.  Sunday afternoon is a big game between Mexico and Netherlands.  Eek.  Can't wait! 
  • I've been reading lots of fiction.  Currently reading Hate List by Jennifer Brown.  The writing is okay but it has some really decent emotional moments.  
  • I've been pulling books from my overflowing bookshelves and setting them out for neighbors to scavenge.  I've managed to fill and give away two boxes of books. 
What else?

  • My writing has stalled.  I've been writing on scrap paper again.  Can't quite get enough momentum on either of the pieces I've been working on.  So I keep writing bits and pieces.  
  • I'm on my first week of giving up sugar. For the next six weeks, no fruit, no fruit juices, no sugar, no honey, no starchy veggies, no rice and no soda.  I'm just adding to my very long list of food restrictions. This getting healthy is hard work.  
  • I have to add aerobics to my exercise routine. hmmm.  Again getting healthy is hard work.
  • Also, I am hooked on the Canadian sci-fi show Continuum.  I caught the first season on Netflix and now I'm moving through season 2. 
  • Last but not least, I'm working on a new set of goals.  It's mid-year and I'm reassessing what I've accomplished so far.  Time for a new set  for the second half of the year.  I can't believe we are almost done with July...good lord, time seems to pick up speed as we get older.  Yikes!
Peace,
Lily~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2014 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.