The last two months have been insane. I have no stable writing schedule to speak of. Not just because of my recent move from New York to Illinois, but also because I had to let AlmaMia’s short story steep for a while. Jacob goes back to school on Monday, and I get back to writing fiction full time. In an effort to get my writer’s juices flowing, I reread Kimberly Parr Roberts’ review on Amazon. Here is most of it:
[…] In Magaly Guerrero’s AlmaMia Cienfuegos, we are introduced to the Cienfuegos family, under whose fractured veneer of civility and familial bonds lies a seething, roiling mass of conflict, abuse, jealousy, rage, and denial. At the center of the maelstrom is nine year old AlmaMia and a talisman bracelet. Made of silver and handed down through the family, the frog, the skull, and the book-shaped infuser filled with rosemary serve as a protection amulet for little AlmaMia.
Most cautionary tales provide the motivation for the characters’ behavior. Ms. Guerrero, however, wisely leaves motivation to the imagination of her reader. Having read AlmaMia three times now, I still surmise, I still speculate as to the driving forces that compel Mamabuela, Vanesa, Soledad, and AlmaMia to act and react as they do. Tantalizing hints fall effortlessly into the prose and I so look forward to the next tale.
Keep a sprig of rosemary near to hand when reading the story. Slip it into your pillowcase at night. In folklore, rosemary is powerful protection. Bear in mind, though, that rosemary not only protects, it remembers. And so does AlmaMia.
This analysis of AlmaMia’s tale got my fingers tingling… my mind has been burning with the voices of the Cienfuegos world for a while. I’m eager to revise, edit and rewrite… And Kim’s words are not the only ones in my head as I polish the tale. There are also whispers from those who are “not ready for [AlmaMia] to be a teenager,” the ones who told me that I should “be mindful of my pacing,” and at the very top are the voices of the ones who “want more.”
I’m feeding on your words; letting them be the blood that fuels my writer’s bones. And I have some rosemary in my pillowcase...