Tag Archives: Blog

Happy Halloween!

In the Spanish and Mexican culture there is a vast amount of tradition. Chiefly among them, the folklore, which are stories based in part on truth, and have been passed down from one generation to the next. Notable examples are La Llorona or The Crying Women, the myth of La Lechuza or witch/harpy bird, and of course, the legend of Chepita Rodriguez, whom many say was the first women to be executed in Texas. Wrongly accused of theft and murder, the legend says she haunts San Patricio County in South Texas to this day-with a noose around her neck.

 

The following is a similar story, albeit one lesser known. In fact, beyond that of my family and my elder’s closest friends, it may not be known at all. Today, it will be. In the late 1930’s there was a young man named Andres. Andres was a little over 13 years old. Andres was, to say the least, a very angry child. Here is the account of Andres, as it was told to my father, by his father Bruno, and how this young boy’s life was forever changed.

 

I call it,

Obedezca

Obey.

 

Socorro and Alejandro were immigrant workers in South Texas and prided themselves on a hard day’s work. They did their part during the day, toiling in the heat of the summer, and each evening when the sun would start to fall, they went home, tired but happy. Whatever food they could afford was more than enough and Socorro would always provide a decent meal for herself, her husband, and their only child, Andres. Somehow Andres, when he was actually home, found room to complain. The food was too hot or too cold, too bland or too spicy it was always never good enough. When he was younger, Socorro made excuses for him and blamed it on simple child-hood pickiness. As the years went on however, she began to believe that he truly meant to discourage her. This attitude was true for everything she did in the house. Alejandro intervened and begged Andres to listen and to show respect, after all, she was his mother. Andres cursed his father each and every time. When Alejandro went to further discipline his son, Andres would be gone in moments, prowling the neighborhood, looking for algo que hacer, something to do.

“¡Tienes que obedecer, hijo! Tu eres el unico que tenemos!” “You must obey, son! You’re the only one we have!” his mother would cry out to him as he walked away. She loved him unconditionally.

He would yell back to her, “It’s not my fault your barren!” among other curses and obscenities. He was getting worse and worse and the more they tried to discipline him, the more he resisted.

The elderly neighbor, Mariana, a close friend of the family’s, would hear every curse thrown at them by Andres. When she would visit, Socorro would appeal to her and ask her advice. Many times Mariana would console her and explain that it must be a phase and to keep disciplining him. But she knew it was not enough.

One day, while Alejandro was away, Mariana tried to intervene.  Andres threw piedras, rocks, at her and cut her cheek with one of them as he cursed at her. Fed up with how he treated his parents, she yelled at him, “¡Nino miserable! Los demonios le mostrara si no aye nadie mas puede!” Miserable child! The demons themselves will show you, if no one else can! Forget about me, obey your parents!”

He spit at the ground in front of him; a sign of disgust towards her and kept on walking.

“I pray to God for your protection but Lord knows!” she yelled at Socorro before slamming the screen door of her home.

Later that evening, Socorro paced the living as Alejandro sat on the couch. It was after midnight and Andres had not come home yet. This was rare. He would be in his room by this time, everynight, regardless. Then they heard a noice outside.

“Andres?” his father yelled out.

¿Que te importa? Ya bete a dormir, pinche hombre viejo. Tu y tu mujer! Voy para el bano! Ya dejame!” he yelled.

“What’s it to you? Go to sleep already, you old man. You and your women. I’m going to the bathroom. Leave me be!”

In those days, an outhouse served as a bathroom for families.

Alejandro and Socorro looked at each other and their faces fell in sadness. “What do we do?” she began asking him. Not having any solutions, they stood in silence and bowed their heads.

Their voices were drowned out by Andres’ sudden screams coming from outside. His screams were so real and horrible, his parents froze for a moment, but soon Alejandro gathered himself and darted out of the door. He grabbed his machete. Socorro ran behind him. The screams became louder and ominous.

Andres! Que te pasa, hijo?” Andres! Andres!” Alejandro shouted with terror. They reached the outhouse as it moved from side to side slightly. Loud and intense pounding of the walls filled the night as Alejandro tried desperately to break down the locked door, hacking and attempting to slice through the splintered wood. They yelled to him again and again. Andres’s cries were otherworldly. “¡Ama! Ama! Apa! Son muchos!!!” He yelled. “Mother! Mother! Father! There’s many!” The hitting and scraping of the outhouse walls and door intensified with screams of “leave me! Oh, Lord! Leave me!” Andres let out one last cry that shook his mother’s heart and caused her to fall to the ground. Then complete silence. Alejandro, out of breath, gave one final chop to the door and yelled out to his son. There was no answer. Alejandro opened the door and knees buckling, fell to the ground, making the sign of the cross over and over…and over again.

Andres lay huddle in the corner of the outhouse, one bloodied hand almost clutching the wall, the other around his knees. He was brutally beaten. His clothers were torn, tattered, and long, deep cuts crossed his chest. His fingers were bleeding and scratches covered his face. Clumps of his hair were strewn on the ground, covered in blood. As Andres stared blankly at nothing in particular, he whispered a single word, over and over:

 

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

Perdóname.

 

Overtime his wounds healed, though the scars remained. His mental state was what the doctors called, “perdido“…lost. Andres was sent to an asylum.

The only word he would ever speak was “forgive me” in Spanish:

“Perdóname.”

 Alejandro and Socorro never had other children. They were never the same.

 IMG_6195-550x366

True story.

*This story was published in Underneath The Juniper Tree’s blog 10/2011. Here is the latest and greatest Halloween /13 ISSUU!

Word.


Will you Hate Me Forever, If I Told You The Truth?

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure – that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s o.k.
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Pressure on people – people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
O.k.
Chippin’ around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets – ee da de da de
People on streets – ee da de da de da de da
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher high high
Pressure on people – people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love
but it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the light
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure.

Word.

Tis’ the season of love is it not?  I wrote a status a while ago. Then recently I wrote another similar to the first:

I really don’t care if you’re gay or straight. 

I don’t even care of you’re slim or overweight. 
If you’re white or Latino, black or Filipino, you know none of that stuff really matters to me. 
Only thing worth knowing is God’s love, is free.

Then…I saw this and I had to share.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re atheist or Christian, Hindu or Muslim, straight, gay, transsexual, black or white, or anything and everything between. I love you. I care about you as people, as individuals. You are not targets to convert. You are people that I love and people I want to invest in. I want to love you in the best way I know how – and that’s loving you how Jesus does. Unconditionally. ♥”–Julianna Pardue

Many say I am an inspiration. I cannot claim that without feeling humbled greatly. But I will say love is indeed my greatest inspiration. And is the reason I do what I do. God’s Love. This is no preaching. Far from it.

Sometimes the very quote that you’re seeking out for inspiration…is in your very own heart.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

the title of this blog post was written by my wife Jennifer for a song we are writing.


The Importance Of Mentors

I journeyed for what seemed like days. To a place no one knew about. At least I hoped no one knew. I left behind everything but my mind and wit. And resolve. All things intangible, yes, but each worth more than the most precious diamond. My boots were muddied as I made my way to the top of the hill where I left him standing there, alone. He was afraid. Of what? Of me not returning. See, I brought something else with me. I brought him with me. To kill him. Yes. I know. How shameful. How, how morbid, right? Well, say what you will but he had to go. I was tired of hearing his voice! His face just made me want to jab something in my own eyes. I often cupped my hands over my ears in an attempt to silence him. To no avail. That shrill piercing voice. Damn it. It nearly killed me. I was tired of being strong. I tried being reasonable. I was tired of being reasonable! He didn’t care.

Continue reading


Who gives a falutin kick about an Oxford comma?

The famous quote from The Wizard of Oz says:

“Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!”

Without the Oxford comma it becomes something else…

“Lions, tigers and bears!”

A better view of the tiger and bear running from the unseen lion that the scream guy warned them about:  Continue reading


Aspire No More: Part Duo

Write until your hand gives out. Then write some more.

Press ►

 

Snappin’ my fingers…and writing.

 

 

Word.


Pemberton Returns to the Forest That Screams

When we last saw the boy he was waving good-bye to his family in the ville,

the thought of them afraid of the dark, well it just made him ill!

His story continues with a little poem of sorts

never mind the ghastly GrumGrum beast’s snorts.

Tonight’s the night the ghouls and superhero’s feast!

On treats and goodies, some candy corn…at least.

They will come to the door, and don their disguises,

and better for their candy bag, if they should surprise us.

But one young man, oh, he has no joy.

He has no plan of action or ploy.

See  though it be Halloween this night,

And the spirits about will come out to fright,

Lil Pemberton is not smiling, no he is down, he is forlorn

his spirit is remiss, yes, oh yes, it is torn!

for tonight is the last night he can sit and be free

Underneath The Juniper Tree.

The October Issue is going away, along with the dead,

and Pemberton is filled with such dread.

“But wait, young boy,” eerie voices team,

“Remember when you first walked into the Forest That Screams?

There is no need to cry, or pout,

or whine or to shout…”

The voices drew closer and ever closer still

The kind that could be break even the strongest man’s will.

It then continued in it’s haunting, dark speech

and now Lil Pemberton was within it’s cold reach,

“there is most certainly a reason to fear…

The November Issue…is coming, my dear.”

Into_the_Light_by_daniellieske

 

Matter of fact, the Issue is here! Read on and bedefrighted. |m|

Read the Halloween Issue  as well, and also check this interview of Tex via Andrea Hurst & Associates!

 

 

 

10/31> And of course what Hallow’s Eve would be complete without Ichabod Crane. We all now what happened to the poor Mr. Crane* so let us enjoy…happier times.

*or do we?

WORD.


Genevieve Ching: Faith in Fiction

 Darkside Publishing Authors Week continues today, #WriterWednesday, with G.P. Ching!

A few years ago, I described The Soulkeepers to a fellow writer like this: An atheist teen comes to believe in God when he discovers he is genetically gifted to fight fallen angels. His reaction was to say he hoped I had a bulletproof vest.

I knew when I published The Soulkeepers that the theme of faith & spirituality mixed with the paranormal would limit my audience. According to a recent Pew Research Center Study, atheism is growing among young people faster than any other demographic, with an estimated 25% in this group claiming they have no specific faith. And on the other side of things, this months Thriving Family magazine points the finger at paranormal entertainment for introducing the occult to children.  Continue reading


Rapping, Rapping At My Door.

I kept waking up last night, shivering. The shadows on the wall danced but…they weren’t happy. I heard something outside of the window and hesitated to look. I took a deep breath, got over it and looked. Nothing but the juniper tree hitting against it.

Shew.

I decided to grab a snack, something small not too heavy. It was 3:33 in the morning after all! I wrapped my robe and scarf tight-it was cold out and the air was creeping in.

I ate my snack and exhaled. “Everything’s good,” I convinced myself then headed back to sleep…and then…I heard a knock at the front door. I opened my eyes and stared at the roof. “Are you kidding me?”
“Who’s there?,” I whispered and swallowed hard.
Silence for a minute or two. Then the tree began tapping the window. Good grief.


Then the knock started again. The rapping made my heart jump!
I had to answer so I jumped up without thinking, casting off the fear like my robe just a few minutes earlier.
I darted for the door and asked loudly, “Who is it! It’s 4:00 in the morning!”
Silence.


Then the rapping continued…and stopped suddenly.

Why, oh why did I pick this cottage deep in the forest as a suitable place to live? I wondered.
I mustered the courage and told myself I was clearly delusional. Obviously from the lack of sleep. I thought of Poe for some reason and smiled. Enough of this, I thought to myself and started for the room-and the knock got louder. My eyes grew several inches in size and I turned, angry now, and opened the door.
“WHAT?” I yelled.
But there was no one there. I breathed in and out and looked to my feet. The October Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree was resting on the ground. I stepped out and looked through the trees. But no one was out. The cold air brushed my air and I swear I heard an eerie laughter in it. I bent down to grab the issue just it began to rain. “Great,” I grumbled.
I didn’t see the figure with the pumpkin for a head behind me, in my own house…’til it was too late.

Read the October Issue, out now!


What Say…Me?

The following vid is one I cooked up for Heather Reese, MC of the very cool Blogger Idol. See, a while back I created the Twitter hash tag #WritersAreTheNewRockStars and she ran with that and created an entire contest and really put all of herself in it. So I applaud and commend Heather for that and give a most sincere “you’re awesome” to all of the contestants. Writers.

Congrats to Mama Spaghetti for your triumph! You are truly a writer.

To all of my Fellow Writers…write on!!!

For those about to rock…writers are the new rock stars.

thwip!


Underneath The Juniper Tree

Okay folks. Have you seen the Nick cartoon Making Fiends? Well get that, some  Shel Silverstein…then mix in some serious spook…and broil it at a temperature that will melt your face for four hours-you get Underneath the Juniper Tree.

This is one of my summer finds and it’s seriously cool.

Their contests are fun and challenging and lemme tell ya-they make me want to further my writing-all over again. I’m writing a horror short called Obey about kids and scariness…so this is perfect.

Did I mention the art?  Continue reading


#WriterWednesday:I Am Writer Has Moved.

In light of the most kind and future author Tiffany Cole posting my Guest Post on her blog today,  I Am Writer has been moved to Saturday. I write a contributing post for The New Authors Fellowship every other Friday and that is this Friday.

Do go and read my guest post. A piece on a few of the Pros & Cons of being a writer. Also you’ll be showing Tiffany and me, of course, how much Writer support is really out there.

My next  post will be “based” on the well-known quote: What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail.

Aspire No More.

Be Blessed.

I’ll leave you with this also somewhat known little story, rewritten by me.

We encounter a man, drowning, flaying about in the ocean…
…apparently he has been lost at sea.

He stops for a moment to take a breathe, to take it all in and prays.

“Oh, my God…help me out of this…I pray to you…help me out of this…I have been faithful.”

Just then he sees a light in the distance. Faster than he knows what to do, a barge is bearing down on him.
The captain steps over to the port, and says, “Ahoy there…looks like you need some help! Climb aboard!”

The man says, “No, God will help me, thank you.”

Surprised the captain of the barge moves on.

In the dark quiet night with only the waves to keep him company, the man again prays…

“God, I have asked you…I have been obedient to you in all my ways, and I have acknowledged you as my Saviour…help me out of this.”

About an hour or so later, a  boat nears  him and one of the passengers sees him floating in the water.

“Mister, Mister!!! Hey, We’re here, come inside! We’ll help you!” one of the passenger eagerly says.

“No…thank you, but my God will help me out of this.”

So, again, just as before, the boat leaves the man in his predicament…the passengers bewildered.

Another couple of hours pass and the man who had been lost at sea…

…tires…

…and drowns.

Upon entering Heaven the man looks upset.

Angrily, he tells God, “My God! I prayed to you! Why, oh why, did you not help me???

Without any hesistation, God replies,
“Dude! I sent you two big boats you idiot!!!”

The moral of the story is when you trust in God to help you, know that when he does, be waiting for it….don’t let it pass you by!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 NIV


Stylish Blogger Award

This is the day that will live in the infirmary…or something like that.

I am part of a group on Twitter now on Facebook, called the #BNFF. BestNerdFriendsForever.  My Friend and Head-Nerd, Christin Mowery, picked me as one of five people to be awarded the Stylish Blogger Award.

Christin not only are you my #BNFF, but you’re also a client.

BUT WAIT There’s MORE!!! Today I find, another Nerd awarded me this very prestigious award of awards. Her name: Burke. Allie Burke. Remember this name. REMEMBER. THIS. NAME.

So, here’s how it works:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to five new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Random Acts Of Nerd: One-a.k.a Random Fact 1:

I love music.

Music+Me=me standing on a mountain top with my sword raised to the heavens. I bow down to the Lord of Lords, in tribute for this most beautiful gift He has bestowed to me.

Anyone that “knows” me knows, I love music. From epic incarnate, Dio to times of Grace to Pavarotti. ♫♪ I love music more than writing. Yea, I said it.

Random Fact 2:

I am a singer.

I was a kid before. No, really. Like all kids I loved to sing. Thing is I kept doing it. Then I started going to church and that was where I began to sing, like for real. During services. It was one of the best times of my life-of course, it was God-given-and I cherish those memories. “I sing because I’m happy…I sing because I’m free.”

Random Fact Numero Tres:

I was in a band. Really. I was the-you guessed it, lead singer. We were called Endless. We even recorded a song ONTO A DISC!!! Lol. But really, something I can not brag about but be very proud of.

I Am…Random Fact Four:

I read magazines,  newspaper, back to front. I don’t know what. It’s an o.c.d of mine. I can’t help it. Weird? Yes. Epic? I like to think so. I must admit, it’s very hard reading sometimes because of this.

Random Factoid 5:

I want to help everyone.

I was afraid to say, I will use the money from my book sales, etc for fear of being called boasful or big-headed. But, Christin Mowery inspired me to SAY what I believe to be true. I want  so desperately to help my father quit his job at the maximum security prison. I want so badly to buy a fleet of vehicles and give them away to the I.S.D. or meals on wheels for oldies but goodies. So much that I want to accomplish. I want to enlarge God’s kingdom. Word.

Random Fact 6:

I worked in the same max unit penitentiary for almost seven years. I will say, it was very educational. I learned so much MORE about the human psyche. Really. Just imagine.

Random Fact Lucky Number Seven:

I am Greek on my mother’s side. My great-great grandfather Miltiadis came to America in the late 1800’s..and I am proud of this fact.

Efharisto!

I nominate the following 5 people for the Stylish Blogger Award:

Christin Mowery. It’s a given. Her name is in my book. She’s the Number One #BNFF.

Allie Burke: Epic. Her words to me were a pinnacle, a serious boost in my already confident spirit. I owe her so. Her blog has an interview with Perception Of Intent. Go.

Michelle Shaw She was one of the Firsts. The firsts to welcome me. The Firsts to support me and give so many kind words. The M.S. to my Sweet T. Also she has read the intro and Chapter One of The Stories. Word.

Sammie Spencer  She is ever, ever supportive.

Lanie Leigh She says I was the inspo for creating one of the best videos for writers, EVER. Her words compel you. Read them.

I’m cheating but Number Five is Two. My Twisted Sisters, Amy Rose Thomas and Demetra Brodsky.

You know what? I can’t do this. FIVE? Well, writers don’t really follow rules do they?

6: Rachel Harris She, along with many other awesome YA Writers is a great person to know. A great Writer and a great Blogger.

7. Jamie Harrinton As her blog says, she’s totally the bomb. And her drawrings are EPIC.

Seven Random Fats. Seven Picks.

Fact is these are seven. But there is more. The Feature “I Am Writer” begins tomorrow. You’ll see. Tiffany King. You’re next.

Be blessed!


P.S. Random Fact Ocho. I am going to open up a tattoo shop called Grace Full Ink. Word.


I See

What do you consider yourself?
Left-Wing?
Right Wing?
Liberal?
Conservative?
A “Tree-Hugger?”
Pro?
Anti?
Do these labels help one identify?
Do they help one feel a part of  something bigger than themselves?
Than ourselves?
What is that something?

An idea?

A truth?

A belief?

Is it real…or something more of a cover?

How do we really feel?
…and why?

Time and time again…we are reminded that nothing is what it seems.
We learn new things everyday…if we allow ourselves to.
We are shown great things about ourselves, those around us…those far away.
To associate with things we have never been through, to understand, maybe,
what others are feeling.
What they’ve seen.
We hear new ways, of new avenues to approach life’s mysteries.
Open up our minds…

…you’ll see.

Be blessed!


NEW posts coming this week!

A new feature I have dreamed up will showcase the unbridled writing talent of the youth of the world.

No, seriously. I have taken it upon myself to share-with the writer’s permission, duh-with you all exactly what people are writing. They have some great ideas and it shows. These are the future #Writers. Should they choose to continue of course. The feature is called, Unbridled Talent and will begin tomorrow, Thursday. It will be a recurring post every Thursday. These amazing unknown young writers have agreed to let their words hit your heart.

Also coming Friday, great and talented writer and future best-seller D.L. King will stop by with Aspire No Mores newest Guest post, entitled:

Rowling and Meyer: Writing in Secret.

Anticipation, indeed.

Also I am honored and very pleased that my Wife, Jennifer Longoria will be guesting on Sunday with a post she humbly calls Humbled. Thank you so much for doing this Jeni. You’re a Writer as well. ;}

Stay tuned to Aspire No More. Things are looking ever better.



Bucket List. 2.0

A few things I’m going to do before my time is up. 🙂

  1. Make The Stories as epic as possible.
  2. Write my books. Finished my PB The Sad Little Robut
  3. Help Mama* write hers.
  4. Sing a duet with my wife.
  5. Get Par(or better) with Jubal**.
  6. Hear my wife sing with all her might.
  7. Go to Greece.
  8. Italy.
  9. Longoria, Spain.
  10. Sing I’m on a Boat, while on a boat, with Jubee.
  11. Master M. T.s Punch-Out.
  12. Destroy Silver on SFIV.
  13. Get my ink*** done.
  14. Carry my daughter wherever she wants.
  15. Have Jen style my hair. DONE.
  16. Stand face to face with my enemies.
  17. Look at the stars with them.
  18. Get age 20 on those Wii games.
  19. Finish For Reasons Unknown. (My one-hit wonder song)
  20. Fly. (In a plane)
  21. Wear Mark Nasons.
  22. Leave money in random places.
  23. Be the MAN, HUSBAND, FATHER, BROTHER, SON You called me to be.
  24. Pray favor 4 times mine upon my Grandchildren.
  25. Tell Joel Osteen thank you****.
  26. Dance with Jennifer. DONE
  27. See Times Of Grace.
  28. Embrace who I am. DONE
  29. Embrace what I have, Who I have. DONE
  • Tell her…it was worth it all.

*My Wife, Jennifer

**My son

***By ink I mean TATTOO’s.

****I have my reasons.

This is just a small sample of my goals, wishes, dreams to accomplish. With God all things are possible.

What do YOU want to do?

Be blessed.


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