Wishing upon Earth and Bone, an AlmaMia Story


Sofía (Mamabuela) Cienfuegos by Gina Morley
“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.” — KimR
***
Pagan Culture’s celebration of everything that is witchy, loving and creative will never end, but Witches in Fiction 2013… to the Bone is heading towards the finish line. I’ve enjoyed myself to the bone, and I hope your experience was pleasurable, fun, educational, full of life, and as therapeutic as my own. Thanks so much for making our circle stronger and stronger and stronger, my Wicked Darlings. Now to the 13th giveaway, sponsored by the Wickedest Witchy Writer of Them All: moi ;-)

$36.40
- to use at any of the sponsoring Etsy shops (listed in the main post)
- or to claim in the form of an Amazon gift card 

Here is what you need to do, for a chance to shop with my bone-hard-earned cash:
Explain the meaning of Soledad’s actions, after considering the last five sentences of the story.
How, if in any way, might the events in the story affect the future of the Cienfuegos’ family?

for extra entries:
- I haven’t decided if the final draft of AlmaMia’s novel will be told from the perspective of AlmaMia, Mamabuela, or both. from within whose head would you like to experience the story, and why? (one entry)
- are you able to relate to any of the characters? if yes, then tell me who and how? (two entries)
* Pagan Culture is a worldwide Circle, so this is an international giveaway  
* This and all other giveaways (see sidebar) will end on Tuesday, April 16th at 5:13 pm EST
Happy 4th Blogoversary, my Wicked Darlings; hope you enjoyed yourself to the Bone!
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72 comments:

  1. Am going out now but had to read this first...will be back later, most definitely :D XXX

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  2. Now, you would think my fix has been satiated, but no, you did it to me again, Mags. I've read this three times before commenting and I just keep wanting more. This is one of the best stories.. EVER. <3 <3 <3

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    1. More, more, more... I like your wants, so I shall continue to provide ;-)

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  3. Wow, Magaly. Just wow. I found myself holding my breath while reading this. You have a dark gift for pulling the reader into your tale. I could smell rosemary, mango, and lamp oil while reading this. This left me craving more!

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    1. I'm so happy AlmaMia's world touched your senses ;-)

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  4. It's been a long time since I read abnormal psych, but Soledad's psychosis is rooted in something prepubescent. Haven't figured it out yet, but Vanesa is involved.

    Oddly enough, my empathies lie with the rosemary plant. I am the watcher; I am the memory. And the rosemary will choose who it will.

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    1. I don't think it's odd at all that your "empathies lie with the rosemary plant." It is a horrible feeling to see something that beautiful and guiltless be hurt...

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  5. I think Soledad's actions were brought about by the arrogance of expectation, fuelled by her mother's lack of faith in her elders. People "born into" privilege will too soon forget that that privilege was earned by their ancestors...and that they too must earn the respect that they think they deserve. Soledad's lack of respect for her grandmother could lead to others in the community thinking they can behave the same...or they may choose to alienate Soledad and her mother, as a sign of respect to Sofia. Either way, a rift has been formed in the minds of others. They may feel the Cienfuegos are going to be more trouble than they are worth. :D XXX

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  6. I think the story has to be written from the perspective of both AlmaMia and her Grandmother. For most of the story AlmaMia is too young to witness the events that fuel the adults behaviour, while Sofia's vision has no "curtain" of blissful ignorance to capture the magic of a moment like AlmaMia has :D XXX

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    1. I agree. When I started AlmaMia I thought she would be 9-years-old at least, but it seems that the events that took much earlier want to be told, and as much as I would love to read a story from the perspective of a three year old, I don't see it happening in a serious setting.

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  7. I think I would liken myself to Sofia....in that I have a deep respect for the past efforts of my ancestors and the soil they are buried in(and I just bought 2 MORE Rosemary bushes for my garden :D) XXX

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    1. Ha! I am tempted to go and get a few bushes myself ;-)

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  8. I think that you most certainly are a charmer with words. You've charmed me with every writing of AlmaMia but this one has just become part of me. I crave more words from both Mamabuela and AlmaMia's points of view. My rosemary is in bloom and I must spend some time with it today and I will send my own chants of kinship to you. Oma Linda

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    1. You tell your rosemary, that I'm now staring at the wreath she so generously gifted me with. Its soothing, always... ;-)

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  9. Soledad & her mother have listened to consumerism & chosen materialism over the traditions, respect, & faith of her family. The bond between Family & Land is nearly severed. It will be up to AlmaMia to salvage it. Vanessa is weak & has allowed Soledads' sociopathic tendencies to blossom & take control. Such negative chaotic energy will wreck havoc on family & land if not protected against. (lovely words, btw)

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    1. Something chaotic this way comes...

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  10. I like Mamabuelas' voice explaining background & what AlmaMia was too young to fully comprehend. As she gets older then I think that AlmaMias' voice should take precedence.

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  11. I'd like to hear Mamabuela and AlmaMia both narrate. I think the different perspectives would be interesting. Excellent writing as always! Back to the wrist brace for me! ;)

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    1. I think it might be necessary (and thank goodness) fun, too ;-)

      I hope that bone heals soon...

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  12. It sucked me in perfectly! Your word smithing brought me right into the story, as if I were a ladybug settled on the rosemary plant for a front row view. I can't wait for more of this story. I love it!

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    1. Ladybug on rosemary in the springtime... I'm enchanted by the color ;-)

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  13. LOL...oh yeah, right. There were questions. I was so drawn into the story I forgot that part of it.

    This land was made sacred by death. Likely mementos, if not actually bones, hair or other remains, of the Cienfuegos women are buried there. All probably met a natural death, and death is not to be feared. However purposeful harm that could lead to death, that is anathema. That may be the only possible way to blaspheme on that land, and Soledad just committed it. Also there is the fact that she tried to claim something that wasn't really hers, something she didn't feel in her bones as it were. And when push came to shove, she didn't go through with it as all of this was nonsense to her; she only wanted to claim the physical possessions of the Cienfuegos women, but not have to deal with the responsibilities (and risks)that come with claiming the Cienfuegos' inheritance (both the physical and metaphysical ones). The future of course must be that Soledad's actions disqualify her as a true heir, and it is AlmaMia, in her childish innocence that is the rightful heir. Which of course will bring down Soledad's wrath on her.

    I think this should mostly be from AlmaMia's perspective, because the world can unfold more naturally from a child's perspective; as she grows to understand more so does the reader. But there should definitely be interludes from Sofia since she sees the larger picture.

    I love Sofia, but I am glad I cannot relate to her in that the children in my life, while both different, both give me such joy as they grow into their potential. My life has not been so difficult that I can relate perfectly to AlmaMia - while I was a strange child with my own precocious beliefs about the magic in the world around me, I was also a blessed with a doting family who left me to my eccentricities. Perhaps I am most like Toledo, because sometimes I naively hold out hope for smoother resolutions to problems, even when that outcome is highly unlikely.

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    1. I love the fact that you got so into the tale that you forgot reality. The writer in me is doing a happy dance. I'm also very happy to know that although you can't relate with a particular character in a very personal level, their story still calls on you... a writer can't ask for anything better ;-)

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  14. What a delicious desert to close Witches in Fiction 2013… to the Bone with! I had to reread this a few times to savour all of the layers and flavours.

    Thank you!

    As for myself, I would love to read the complete tale as told by AlmaMia and Mamabuela. They just strike me as two bodies sharing the same soul spark. Soledad might be flesh of Sophia's flesh, but I feel AlmaMia is the true child of her soul.

    Eagerly awaiting more!

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    1. er... that should be 'dessert'. Time to change the keyboard batteries it would seem. *headdesk*

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    2. "two bodies sharing the same soul spark" I like, I like, I like!

      Now stop the desk-banging, you need your strength to continue adding words to A Book of Worlds. Some of us are waiting for more... ;-)

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  15. I am glad that there are still a few days left til the end, because I must think on this a bit! It must be chewed and digested (in the words of Sir Francis Bacon), and then the bones gnawed upon til they give up their marrow. ;)

    though I sense transformation, in the way of things... life for the Cienfuegos will never be the same again after this, I believe.

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    1. Chew and digest away, my friend, for swallowing big chunks has never been comfy ;-)

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  16. and here moments later, I realize I do have something to relate without digesting too much:

    You asked who and how to relate to, of your characters...

    In a twist of fate, I can honestly say I can relate to Soledad, in some ways. She is unable to allow herself to trust her family - namely her grandmother - and now in her mind her mother has betrayed her trust as well. I can empathize with what she must be feeling, and whether her perspective is born of psychosis or not, her feelings are still real and must be addressed.

    I know what that feels like. And I find myself hoping that Soledad's story does not end badly. In every child's story, there is a parent that is largely responsible for the tale unfolding. Vanesa has much to answer for. Yes... I can definitely empathize with Soledad.

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    1. Soledad is a very complex character. We have done a lot of staring at each other through the pages. I think her actions are easy to despise, but it would take someone who lacks compassion not to feel for her, too...

      I will probably read this comment many times. You've made her very human...

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  17. Since I come from a godless and magic-less place, I just saw a young petulant modern girl raised by a tired mother and rebelling against her mother's superstitious "crazy" traditions. You may believe and still rebel, you may not believe but still choose to act respectfully, you may not want to believe, and you may not believe and act accordingly when your weird grandmother tries to burn your hands, after your mother forced you to take part.

    I feel that anything that happens from now on Sofia will see as repercussions, while Soledad might not understand until at the end of the book, if ever. It is a very intriguing set up, I would love to read the whole thing one day! Since I haven't yet, I don't feel that I know the characters well enough to have an opinion on in whose voice the last chapter should be told. But both AlmaMia and Soledad are interesting.

    I can relate to Soledad obviously. Anyone who did anything like this to their children in Sweden would probably loose custody. I'm sure your story will prove Sofia right, and center around magic as a real living thing. But to me that's only in the fairytales, however much I would like it to be otherwise.

    Thank you for hosting this interesting assignment Magaly! And such lovely giveaways :)

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    1. I am psyched beyond believe, right this moment. I can hardly wait for the day the whole thing is available to read. Soledad is difficult to write, but a pleasure to flesh out. The more I write her, the more intriguing she gets. I know what I had planned for her (and the other characters), but 59,000 words later, everybody has surprised me in one way or another. It's been a very interesting and real journey...

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  18. I loved this story. I have always love AlmaMia and Mamabuela. I even love Soledad, although I want to put that child over my knee lol. I think that the next story should be from Soledad's POV.

    \IiiI

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    1. I have been dancing around (and at time with) a story from Soledad's point of view, let's see what happens... I need to know her more, methinks ;-)

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  19. Powerful, rich, absorbing. These are the first thoughts tha come to mind, having finished this wickedly delicious bit.

    I am probably being hard on her, but I think Soledad is an angry, spoiled child who is so pulled into the materialistic now that she had lost her "roots." Her actions are of anger and entitlement, sadly fueled by her mother. It's as if the 2 of them are the polar opposites of Alma Mia and Sofia. And the poor Rosemary, the symbol of over 100 years of an earthy familial line, nearly destroyed and subjugated to such suffering by a thoughtless fit. Their is much to heal in this maternal line.

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    1. There is much that needs healing, indeed...

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  20. I would like to "hear" the story from Mamabuela's head because she has the wisdom and impartiality of the crone.

    My beautiful Magaly, I have so enjoyed every moment of this amazing party and have been enriched by the depth of everyone's content. Thank you so much for another perfect April, my love. Mina

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    1. Yay! I enjoyed myself quite a bit, too. And have learned so much from everyone... Also, I might be writing a bit about King *smiles*

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    2. Oh, that would be so wonderful if you have the time. ;-)

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    3. For you and him? Always ;-)

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  21. I feel sorry for Soledad, Vanessa has failed to instill in her daughter the family traditions, values and love that was given her by her mother. Perhaps Vanessa never fully understood them herself. Vanessa probably raised Soledad they way she (Vanessa) had wanted to be raised, and tried to be the mother she (Vanessa) had really wanted ... not the one that had been chosen for her. It would seem that Vanessa wanted to be more like "others", be more ordinary ... like other community families .... not so much like her own family, who were different from other families; probably labeled as different or odd by others ....

    This must be heart breaking to Sofia, who I am sure understands what is happening. Vanessa is not sharing the family traditions with her daughter, as a result Soledad is spoiled and on her way to cutting herself from the family, Sofia is hoping time will eventually change Vanessa and Soledad and that the two will some day learn to appreciate the gift of strong family ties and traditions. At the same time, Sofia is probably internally bemoaning the lost love of a granddaughter that she may never regain ...

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    1. As I write (and rewrite) this novel, I wonder and I am surprised by all the characters. At first, it was 'just another story.' It came out of my head, so I knew everything that would happen, right? No, the Cienfuegos family, the village of El Monte, and this plot are alive, so I'm hoping they can all find their way...

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  22. My friend, I just wanted to say, that I love your story! It has so much in it!
    In my eyes, I feel Soledad is a little brat! I think she feels everything should be given to her! I don't feel she truly wants to be apart of the family and the traditions.

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    1. Well, thanks my dear friend ;-) I, too, think that Soledad's sense of entitlement is quite strong, and as the story develops, I wonder what got her there...

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    2. Hey Magaly ;o) Just running out the door. I will be back. I didn't finish my thought last night. I was tired. Talk soon ;o)

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    3. I also wanted to say, I feel that Soledad is very jealous of AlmaMia. Jealousy is a horrible thing to feel and creates a lot of hatred! There is also something going on for sure with her and her mother. Soledad doesn't trust her and that is too bad. Maybe it is Vanessa's fault? I don't know?

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    4. I think these events will affect the family, because there is a lot of rebuilding needed to be done! I feel there is a lot of deep issues, even before this happened, that need to be sorted out!

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    5. I also wanted to say, I love AlmaMia. She's so innocent, so genuine, so loving, so caring, so full of life. Her offering was adorable! Tea Bath ;o) LOL!

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    6. Jealousy is indeed a destructive emotion to act by. Let's hope that the love that emanates out of the other characters will spread and soothe ;-)

      I did giggle at "Tea bath," too lol

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  23. I loved AlmaMia's offering, how sweet! But Soledad... tsk tsk. I fear Vanessa has not done her any favors.

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  24. I have not gotten to read any of AlmaMia except for your excerpts (say that five times fast) But I will attempt to answer the rest of your challenges...

    I adore AlmaMia's outlook - still joyous, uplifting, bright-eyed and hopeful despite Soledad and Vanesa. (And I don't believe I've told you I think Soledad is a beautiful name! It gives me hope for something beautiful to come out of that child.) Sophia is wise, so wise, yet very... hidebound. Attached to her family traditions. I think to weave a fully matured and seasoned story, you're going to need both perspectives. There is much that has yet to occur, it seems, that only Sophia will be able to relate to a reader; AlmaMia, while having an inspiring childlike wisdom, doesn't have the level of comprehension to be able to relate what she sees and experiences to an adult's perspective - a reader's perspective.

    And Sophia, the key to the family seems to be Sophia. She is so concerned with the future of the family and continuing the old traditions that perhaps she has neglected some things. There must be a reason Soledad has learned to be the way she is; no child simply is spiteful and cruel on their own. Vanesa is likely the main culprit, but even she was also a child once. What, I wonder, in her relationship with Sophia has caused this particular cascade of relational entropy? The trust amongst the Cienfuegos women stands poised on the edge of a knife; their future will be determined by what effect these actions have on that trust, and the choices that follow. Soledad seems so very hurt, and Sophia's challenge of fear terrified and angered her. She did not trust her mother's words enough to trust Sophia. I hope Sophia will not be too quick to cast Soledad aside - I can see where there would be a division not just between the Cienfuegos, but also in the village. There would be those who side with Sophia, and those who side with Vanesa & Soledad... and then there would be AlmaMia, whom Sophia would attempt to claim... but who, I have a feeling, will always walk her own path in spite of all of them. Soledad did not want to accept the memories and legacy of their ancestors, but AlmaMia already has, in her own way....

    "Open hand and heart to fear and fire..." the ritual says to accept the fear along with the fire; that it takes both to forge a Cienfuegos into the fullness of what she could be. Soledad was unprepared, because of her mother's actions, to "open hand and heart" and so the circle is so very close to being broken. The rosemary, the bones in the earth... rosemary for remembrance. Sophia knows the earth and their ancestors will remember this night, and it will come back to bite them somehow. This seems almost more about Vanesa and Sophia than AlmaMia and Soledad... but the two little girls are going to suffer for it, and one or both of them may yet salvage it. Whether they come out stronger on the other side... is up to them.

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    1. Methinks, that when someone asks me why Dancing on Her Bones (that's the working title of the novel) has taken so long to write, while my other stories seem to fly out of my fingertips, I will ask them to come and read this comment. There are so many complexities to be explored (of feelings, of traditions, of personalities...) and as much as I would like to say that I already know were all the twists and turns lie, it would be a lie if I do. So, I'll write on...

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    2. I am honored. And do please write on. I look forward to reading thw whole story one day. :)

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  25. Soledad (and her mother as well) seem to approach their Ancestor Kindred with an eye only to 'what do you owe me'...'what can I get from you', without any understanding or respect for what is owed to them or what it means to be a part of this family lineage. As for what it bodes for the family - hopefully, this lineage carries on through AlmaMia, who seems to grasp it correctly, but I think Vanesa and Soledad are passing out of that tradition, so whatever uniqueness they may have brought will also be lost to a more 'modern' view of things.

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    1. I imagine that to grow up and live with a constant sense of entitlement can be a very difficult thing to day with...

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  26. I'd love to see the tale told from the POV of each of the characters, as they are all clearly seeing the 'truth' of things from very different perspectives and understandings.

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    1. Hm... different books from different characters' perspectives, very challenging, but deliciously appealing ;-)

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  27. I relate, I think, both to Sophia - wanting so much to be able to pass on what is important to me to my children and grandchildren, and realizing it may simply not be something they can receive, and also, honestly, to Soledad, who feels that she must 'playact' in some way to be accepted, but not understanding or respecting the values of those who insist on it enough to even comprehend why it is being required. I have mostly given that up - but I've been that person, and it's an unhappy place to be.

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    1. I wonder if there is a bit of all these women in each of us...

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  28. Totally love the simplicity & beauty of AlmaMia's innocence & charm & her generous nature that saved the rosemary so it would survive (by dampening the ground & nourishing the soil with the mango treasure) there is a future for this family now, although I feel it will be led to the brink due to lack of faith, greed and & not embracing the wisdom & tradition of the elders. The story has seeded that the power will not be with the ignorant & selfish Soledad, because with her there is no future.

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    1. Awww... if they could only compliment each other...

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  29. I relate to AlmaMia, why...? Mmmmm that's harder, nothing in her life really, just the respect of others, of nature, how she tries to do the right thing, (the kid has balls LOL, gotta love that) her joy :) and she may not be that educated but she is clever and intelligent in ways that aren't taught in institutions but by observation and inner wisdom which hopefully continues to grow... oh yeah & she innately realises the power of love :)

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    1. "the kid has balls!" I think she would like to know that lol

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  30. AlmaMia, Mamabuela, or both???
    BOTH, because some things are better observed & told by the perspective of the two characters, gives a more rounded view, a more 3-D version of events if you like, and you get to be in the head & see events from being interpreted by 2 characters in very different stages of their life and witnessing sometimes an event the other is not privy to.

    Magaly this has been a wonderful celebration, thank you for including me and a very fitting post to finish the party on, a post that hints that there is much more to come :) Happy 4th Blogoversary Wicked One xoxoxoxoxoxox

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    1. Both seems to be the right choice, and perhaps a glimpse (or thirteen) into the minds of Soledad and the other characters...

      Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the party, I had a blast. I love how Mr. or Mrs. Grinning Skull with Daisy started it, and how its conclusion was met by the bones of the Cienfuegos' ;-)

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  31. Great story and Soledad is one bad egg.

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    1. She seems to have an issue or three...

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