La Gente Newsmagazine - University of California, Los Angeles | Linda Vallejo Bends Race and Represents Mexicans in an Anglo-Saxon Context

“Make ‘Em All Mexican” is a collection of mixed-media artwork by Linda Vallejo. The collection consists of Western and American icons–such as the Mona Lisa, Marilyn Monroe, and the goddess Venus–reimagined as Mexican. On the Artist Statement Section of her website, Vallejo explains that she created these pieces of art in order to represent contemporary images through a Chicano lens. By taking a famous image of Marilyn Monroe, giving her a Mexican appearance, and renaming her “Marielena,” Vallej

La Gente Newsmagazine - University of California, Los Angeles | Not Your Typical Trio: Son de Kalavera’s Music Is a Tribute To Multiculturality

Son de Kalavera, a trio composed of violinist Veronica, guitarist Vicky, and guitarrón player Ray, take the stage, surrounded by papel picado and tissue paper flowers. Veronica and Vicky’s faces are painted as customary for Dia de los Muertos. They play with great energy, transitioning between songs, genres, and cultures seamlessly. Their music evokes nostalgia and tastes like Mexico with a multicultural twist. “¡Pónganse a bailar! C’mon, guys, dance!” yells the guitarist cheerfully as they smo

Review: Nano for the New and Insane by Lazette Gifford

I recently found a book online titled NaNo for the New and Insane: A Guide to Surviving NaNoWriMo while searching for resources for the upcoming National Novel Writing Month in November. The title automatically grabbed my attention because, having participated in NaNoWriMo twice already, and Camp NaNoWriMo twice more, I would generally chalk it up to insanity. (Well, literary and very fun insanity, at the very least.) National Novel Writing Novel Month is an online and virtual event with thousa

Camp NaNo Tips & Tricks: Part 2

If you’re on target, near the finish line, or you’ve already won Camp NaNoWriMo, congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment and a reason to feel a tremendous amount of pride. Pat yourself on the back. Go on, you deserve it. However, if you’re anything like me, Pantser and Procrastinator Extraordinaire–a dangerous combination–you are currently flailing, running around in circles, rocking back and forth, hyperventilating, completely avoiding the topic, or masterfully doing all of the above. T

Elahmeth Part Four: Welcome to Elahmeth

Rachel, Sara, Meme, and Liz join us one last time, graciously allowing us into the world of their Roleplaying Guild: Elahmeth. Yesterday, we witness a very touching, special, and singular moment: the naming of their guild. Today, as we conclude our interview with the Roleplayer’s Guild, we take a fun twist to see how each member would be like in the world they themselves created. Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us, and allowing us to step into the world of your guild! Tell

Elahmeth Part Three: The Essence of Elahmeth

Rachel C. Lightfoot, Sarah L. Parris, Meme Dixon, and Liz Konkel from Elahmeth: The Roleplayer’s Guild join us once more! Yesterday, we talked about how their writing has evolved, and how they expect it to continue evolving. Today, Elahmeth talk to us a bit more about working together and collaborating as writers. Mayra You have each mentioned that your writing, as a group, is now very much in sync and flows wells. Do you think that’s a result of the working together shaping characters and wo

Elahmeth Part Two: Elahmeth’s Journey

Rachel C. Lightfoot, Sarah L. Parris, Meme Dixon, and Liz Konkel make up Elahmeth: The Roleplayer’s Guild. In Part One: Meet the Guild, the four writers shed light on who they are as a collective and as individuals. Join us as we continue exploring Elahmeth’s thoughts on their journey and expectations. Mayra Yesterday, our readers had the pleasure of meeting each one of you and learning more about your dynamic as a writing guild. With that in mind, what lesson(s) would you say you’ve learned

Elahmeth Part One: Meet the Guild

We had the great honor and joy of interviewing Elahmeth: The Roleplayer’s Guild. Elahmeth is composed of four magnificent writers: Rachel C. Lightfoot, Sarah L. Parris, Meme Dixon, and Liz Konkel. Because of the length of this interview, we will be releasing it in parts. Enjoy! First of all, introduce yourselves to our readers! Tell us a little about yourselves, as individuals. Kinda chuckling to myself that we all seem to hate to go first in roleplaying, too. x)  Intros are always awkward for

Camp NaNoWriMo Tips & Tricks: Part 1

When I get “writer’s block”, my first step is to take a deep breath and diagnose the problem, much like you would a coding error or an illness. Sometimes the cause of writer’s block is a lack of concrete characterization for your point-of-view character, as was the case with my own writing this week. Though I’m writing in third person, and though I created this character over a decade ago, I realized I did not truly “know” him. Don’t be afraid to take a bit of time away from writing to develop

Rollercoaster Reader, Rollercoaster Writer

I recently began reading and writing again. I’ve missed it more than I can express. I consider myself a rollercoaster reader and writer, in the sense that life’s ups and downs profoundly affect my ability to participate in the two activities closest to my heart: reading and writing. It’s more than unfortunate and quite the Catch-22 that, with regards to my mental illnesses, what most brings me relief and helps me heal are the same things I cannot do when I’m unwell. Reading and writing are the

Interview: Markie Madden

Hi, I’m Markie Madden. I’m a married mother of two and a cancer survivor. When I got sick in 2014, I couldn’t work. So, I turned back to my love of writing. I’ve been writing since the 4th grade and wrote my first full-length book in high school. It was my first published book, Once Upon a Western Way, published in e-book in 2012. It’s had a rewrite and new cover and is now available as Clash of Times: The Quest. It’s a little fantasy, a little steampunk, and a lot of steamy romance! I’ve als

#WWGotYourBack: Swords, Gowns, & Plot Fodder

Thanks to Eva Wei for starting this test. It can be done, and isn’t uncomfortable. The sword I was wearing is real, and wasn’t difficult to draw. It would have stayed in place easier if it had a hilt in the style of the god killer. Now where do I find a sword of Athena? @gal_gadot #wonderwoman #WWgotyourback #dress #sword #woman #warrior #bonuscat #catsofinstagram #movies #dianaprince #amazon #wonderwomanwhenigrowup

Interview: Laitie Montai

Mayra Pérez González: Thank you for joining us Laitie, and for allows us to talk to you for Mental Health Awareness Month. First of all, introduce yourself to our readers! Tell us a little about yourself. Laitie Montai: Hi! Thank you for having me! I’m excited to talk about Mental Health Awareness Month with you today. Hi, Readers! I’m Laitie. I’m 26 years old and live alone with my betta fish, Kahlo. It can get kinda lonely, here, haha! I’ve always been distracted from the real world, daydrea

Pantsing, Plotting, and Plantsing: The 3 Styles of NaNoWriMo

Panster: A writer who pantses their NaNovel (the novel, or project, they write during NaNoWriMo), i.e. flies by the seat of their pants, i.e. writes without a plan. A pantser’s life in the days leading up to NaNoWriMo are easy, yet stressful. All we must do is wait for the clock to strike twelve, and much like Cinderella, lose our glitter and our sweet ride and transform back into a sleep-deprived starving artist. Nevertheless, we fret over what our story will end up being. Should we have at le

Stardust, Always

I am beyond excited to announce that Stardust, Always: A Charity Anthology was released today! What better day to release an anthology that benefits St. Jude’s Children Hospital than National Cancer Survivor Day? The original idea for the anthology was put forth on January 4th, 2016. Just four months and a day later, all pieces have been turned in, beta read, edited, formatted, compiled, and finally, published. It has been a great an exciting day. I am so happy to see this project become a real

Mental Health Conditions Are Not Adjectives

In 1969, in an interview with the Paris Review, E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, said the following: “I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.” As writers, we have a great responsibility; we must be careful how we represent–o