Good News!



1. A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen


1. Strongly wish for or want (something)

On Jan 1, 2016 I had this strong urge to do something with my fiction. Anything. Any small act that would let me know that I wasn't giving up on my lifelong dream.

So on that day, I polished up on one of my short stories and sent it out to the world. 

Now many months later, I'm happy to share my story, "Desire," won one of the finalist prizes in the Nelson Algren Literary Awards competition hosted by the Chicago Tribune. Woohoo! 

You can read the entire story here: Tribune Announces Algren Award Winners

I can breathe easier.



P.S. I'll be publishing the story with a recipe in the near future. :)

Truth About Fiction and Non Fiction

Congratulations to Neil Gaiman for the publication of The View from the Cheap Seats, a collection of his non-fiction essays, speeches and more. And huge thanks for him sharing this nugget of truth and insight: 
"It's a relief that it's published: I don't think I've ever been as nervous about a book coming out as I have been about this one. You can hide behind fiction. You can't hide behind things that are about what you think and believe."
 ~ Neil Gaiman on the publication of The View from the Cheap Seats.

Now that I have been working as a journalist for about six months, the truth of the above words hit home. 
And, it's not just the sharing of my personal thoughts and beliefs -- which my weekly food column give me an opportunity and forum for -- that is hard.
Writing stories about real people and real issues comes with responsibility that weighs on your soul.

Today I have two front page stories in the paper. One is about a 97-year-old World War II veteran who continues to work as a laundry delivery man. Jack Brownfield is a modest, practical West Texan, which means he's a man of few words and a lifetime of deeds. 

Getting his story out of him was not an easy task and took several visits. I'm honored he shared his story with me and I hope I was able to do it justice:

Here's the Photo Essay on Jack Brownfield:

I also wrote about a story about local government not following proper procedures. This one was hard because it was a mix of a lot of good and a lot of bad, and trying to present the complex story in a fair and balanced way was important to me.

Well, that's about it for this time. Keep reading and finding treasures hidden in words.

New Year's Resolutions of a Writer

Thank you for being a part of my story in 2015 and here's to new adventures in 2016. May we always have good books around!

So have you made any resolutions for the new year?

Here are mine...

Lol, okay, on the more practical side: I continue to search for easy and quick recipes that'll help me feed my family and myself healthy, home-cooked meals with minimum fuss and stress. To that end, I found this helpful list of articles on Food52 about tackling New Year's Resolutions

Also, I have returned to full-time journalism again. At the end of 2015, I covered issues like Texas' Open Carry policy, an ordinance banning texting and other cell phone/computer use while driving, and stories about our local family shelter. Important stories that help make a different in my community.

However, this means I didn't get much of my own writing done at the end of 2015 and I miss my words. While fiction seems to pale in importance when I compare them to some of my journalistic pieces, the truth is when I desperately need solace and hope, I turn off the news. Instead, I find myself a good story with romance and adventure...and yes, I find everything I need. So in 2016 I'm seeking to balance my two writing worlds.