Thursday, February 23, 2006


THINGS IN MY life have been, as usual, hectic, BUT I’m too tired to go into that now...

Yesterday morning, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to get a cup of coffee. (What I really wanted was to go to Starbucks for a “Grande Soy Latte” – man, I never thought I’d be one of THOSE people, you know the kind, the ones who ask for a cup of coffee like they’re throwing out famous peoples’ names or namebrands.) Anyway, even though I woke up too early (despite taking two sleeping pills last night; still not sleeping well by the way), I procrastinated so much that by the time I had showered, picked out my outfit for the day, and grabbed my things (and answering three calls on my cell), I left the house at the usual time, instead of being early. So I couldn’t drive the extra two miles to the nearest Starbucks (where there is no parking available and I got a ticket the last time I went...but, I digress)

Back to Dunkin’ Donuts... As I stood in one of two lines, five customers deep (I had already glanced at the lines through the glass windows so I promised myself I would not be impatient), this woman charges in through the door, shouting, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” (very rudely, I may add). She makes her way in between both lines (not an easy feat given her girth and the minimal aisle in between) and loudly proclaims that she ordered a ham & cheese croissant & never got it; she left her daughter in line waiting for it. The counter girl (I’m not sure what they’re called) immediately retorts, “I had two customers waiting.” The woman replies: “I ordered it ten minutes ago and because you couldn’t make up your mind who was going to make the sandwich, now I’m going to be late for work.” (Meanwhile, her poor daughter, who looked about 10, was looking bewildered, and somewhat scared I may add.) The counter girl retorts her excuse (even louder). “That’s why I stopped coming here,” the woman continues on her rant. She then turns to her rage toward her daughter, “You got to open your mouth!”

In defense of the female customer, I understand her frustration. Many mornings, little incidents like this have made me lose my temper. It always seemed to happen on one of those mornings when EVERYTHING went wrong: when I slept past the alarm, when I couldn’t find anything clean to wear, when my car wouldn’t start, etc. (I could go on and on... but I won’t.) I have been that woman. But yesterday morning, witnessing what I must look like when I’m blowing things out of proportion, exploding in public and taking it out on the person who just happened to prick that last nerve, I vowed to be more cognizant to whom I direct my anger, especially in public. For once, I was glad I wasn’t that woman.

On the DJ (Day Job)... The realities of the job are beginning to rear their ugly heads. There has been some tension in the department, terminations of long-term employees in other departments, and client complaints, which I’ve had to deal with. I’ve celebrated my fourth month, but it seems much longer, so what does that tell you.

On Awards/Scholarships Applied For... I did not get either of the awards I applied for, which was very disappointing, but I’ve chalked it up to it “not meant to be.” I WAS a finalist (out of 400 original applicants) in one of them so I guess that means something (don’t it?). Sometimes these organizations have hidden agendas we naïve authors are not privy to. Whatever.

On My Ongoing Medical Issues... I’m happy to say my breakouts have alleviated considerably. Once again, I look normal, though my facial skin tone is uneven from all the breakouts; now I feel like I’m in need of a chemical peel... or something. I went to a dermatologist (finally) & I was prescribed five (yes, FIVE!) different medications, including an antibiotic for the supposed infection on my legs. Although I don’t have an aversion to taking medicines (like my medication-phobic mother), I have a thing about using too many medications; needless to say, I haven’t filled the prescriptions. On the plus side, I have lost weight since I left my old job, and I was even down 1 lb. from my last doctor’s visit a month ago. On the down side, I had bloodwork done & my lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) are not so hot & my doc wants me to “eat better.” [Don’t I get any cool points for having a normal glucose despite all the sugar I consume every day?] I know I have to cut down on eating out, but I don’t want to cook—I ABHOR cooking. And I don’t want to eat salads, or any of that stuff that entails “eating better”—but alas, I have no choice. I’m not getting any younger. And like I said earlier, I’m still waking up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep until just when my alarm is about to go off... Everyone has all these remedies: my mom wants me to boil the bottom (stem?) of a head of lettuce (uh, can we say, yuck) and drink it; the maintenance guy at work says to try this tea; another co-worker swears on this other tea... at this point, I’ll try anything.

On My Continuing Book Promotion... I got an invitation from a Chicago Public School, James Monroe, about participating in their Read-A-Thon on February 24th as an “African American Author.” (My uncle happens to be a vice principal there.) The school is 90% Hispanic, about 12% African American and I guess they’re celebrating African American History Month. Okay, I know, “technically-speaking,” I’m not African American. But I have African roots, and I look “African,” evidenced by the fact that not a day goes by when some Latino passes my office and hesitantly looks in and inquires with a cautious voice, “Jew es-speak Es-Spanish?” (Don’t get me started!) Anyway, I’ll be visiting classrooms and talking about being an author. It sounds like it's going to be fun.

Monday, February 13, 2006


New Reviews
Choose Me is a moving debut novel by Xenia Ruiz. One of the things that makes this novel shine is the diverse background of the two main characters. Eva is Afro-Latino and Adam is African-American but it is not the main focus of this story. Ruiz showed great vision by showing how difficult choosing celibacy can be for someone who was once a sexually active adult. Choose Me is not a quick read, but that’s what good about this novel. This story is told in a gradual, unhurried fashion that gives you time to appreciate the deep love that develops between Eva and Adam. Choose Me is beautiful and poetic, and Xenia Ruiz has the knack for telling a refreshing, emotional story that will hopefully be the start to a long career.
Radiah Hubbert of

One can’t say enough about Choose Me and the two lives that this author created so she could tell a story about having faith in God when the chips are down. Xenia Ruiz is a gifted writer and I hope to read more by her. She did a great job taking the reader into the lives of these fictional characters, making them real enough that one will clearly relate to them as if they were real in-the-flesh people. Highly recommended.
Curled Up With A Good Book

[Choose Me is] a good mixing of spiritual beliefs and day-to-day issues. I enjoyed the way Ms. Ruiz handled God, spirituality and celibacy.
Cheryl Robinson "Just About Books Radio Talk Show Host"

Readers’ Comments
I started to read Choose Me on Saturday. And since I couldn't put it down till late last night, I almost didn't get up this morning (Monday). I must say I am totally impressed; it is well worth the cost of the book. You are an accomplished author. I congratulate you.
B. Moreno

I want to let you know I finally finished Choose Me last night. It has taken me a while because I only get a chance to read it on the Metra (train). I haven't read a book in a long time because of my hectic schedule but I love your book! Wow!! Sometimes I get embarrassed because I literally start laughing out loud. I was so embarrassed the other day on the train because everyone was staring at me when I started to cry; I couldn't help it. I cried, I laughed and I prayed the whole time. I find myself telling everyone about it. How much of the book it true? Is there really an Adam? When does your next one come out? I hope it’s soon.
S. Carrera

* Named Top 25 Books by Christian Fiction Blog

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Happy (Belated) Holidays, etc.

Happy (Belated) Holidays, Happy New Year & Happy Three Kings’ Day!
The holidays came and went and I’m glad they quickly passed. No, I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions (don’t believe in them); I’m just vowing to take each day at a time, and “be glad in it.” Although we never celebrated Three Kings’ Day (traditional holiday celebrating in many Latino countries commemorating the three kings who visited Christ, celebrated on January 6) in my family, I remember my mother telling me about her childhood celebrations of the holiday. She and her brothers and sisters would put their shoes filled with hay underneath their bed (they all slept in one bed). Traditionally, the hay was supposed to eaten by the camels (sort of like Santa eating the milk & cookies) and replaced with candy and toys, but because my mother’s family was so poor, they would usually wake up to find very little, sometimes an orange, sometimes nothing. Now, whenever I hear mention of the holiday, this is the image that comes to mind.

(Oh, by the way, the picture above has nothing to do with the holidays, it's just the current wallpaper on my computer. When I wrote the character of Adam, I had this picture of what he looked like in my mind, but when I saw this guy, whose name is Jason Mamoa, it brought Adam to life. I think he looks very biblical, lion-like and he would be a perfect Adam -- if Choose Me is ever made into a movie. Not to mention, he's not bad to look at. And I am not lusting, just looking...)