Being under quarantine, shelter-at-home, lock down, are just a few ways most people are looking at their situation. But we don't have to define things in that way. We all have the capacity to use our imagination to re-frame our reality to fit a more positive outlook. This helps us maintain a positive mind set and is healthier than simply trying to power through a perceived (and in this case real) forced seclusion. The mind is more powerful than we think. But, if you happen to need some extra help in imagining a reality other than the one you feel stuck in, no worries. I got you covered!
Watch my video below and I will explain. :)
Even when I was a drinker, I never had any major issues or event cancellations due to Corona! Are you kidding me? If anything, Corona made sure people came to the gig in the first place! Especially if it was free.
Ah, but of course, we are not talking about our friendly Corona beer. We're talking about Coronavirus. It is because of the panic and fear that it has spurred that events like mine, which was scheduled for March 22, 2020 will have to be postponed probably until the summer or until further notice.
An edited version of my event invite :(
Read Once Upon A Bad Hombre while you are waiting out the pandemic scare.
CLICK HERE to get the paperback.
Once Upon A Bad Hombre (Kindle edition) - CLICK HERE
Found Poems Journal (Paperback) - CLICK HERE
I hope you all are safe out there. Take care of each other and yourselves. Our abuelos and abuelas seem to be the most vulnerable. Let's get informed and prepared to face this with determination, faith, and intelligence. For starters, here is a brief look at the virus and tips for safety from the CDC:
Luckily it wasn't la calaca, la desnutrida, la guera huesuda, the grim reaper, that is. It was my friend and fellow actress, poet, purveyor of awesomeness in the RGV, Wendy Lara. I met Wendy years ago through cultural/literary events where she performed as Frida in full disguise. She nails it every time. We also worked on a small production by my short-lived acting/theater troupe "Mirco Teatro RPM". We did a variety show in which she, along with several other actresses and myself played skits and conducted something like a Sabado Gigante production live for an audience of older folks and little kids. I still have some footage somewhere. The point is that our friendship goes way back years.
You start to box people into expected roles when you meet them and know what they do. You don't have it at the forefront of the mind that, like yourself, others are capable of changing and evolving. Even if only on the surface level. Wendy, for example, to me was just a great actress and live performer. I never imagined that she was also a writer/poet. It happens a lot, though. I know this. I've seen it before. Since I have been publishing starting in 1998, I've discovered that a lot of people are actually deep thinkers, philosophers, and artists at heart, but shy as hell. So many just write their poems, short stories, and thoughts in journals or what not and store them away never to be seen by anyone. I know how that goes. I used to be one of those people.
I remember I never wanted to call myself a writer when I was in my 20's because I thought it was such a prestigious title, that to just take it and run with it like a name tag on my lapel would somehow be sacrilegious. Now I still think that being a "writer" or more so an "author" is prestigious and lofty, but not unattainable. As a matter of fact, I believe that MOST people are poets, most are also philosophers, some are writers and artists, and some are rare geniuses that can do it all and shine.
Wendy might be one of those geniuses who can do it all, but she would never claim that. But I can assure you that, having worked with her, I know she is a tremendous actor. And now that I have actually heard her read her poetry, I can attest to the fact that she is a tremendous poet. Watch for her. She is working on a manuscript for some time in the future. I think it's going to be pretty good.
You can follow Wendy on Facebook on her page @teatrerawendylara
Fun Times as a Theater Troupe
Got just three pics here from this past Friday's participation at the FESTIBA event in Edinburg, Tx. One is of myself, and the other two is two authors and me.
Ordinarily, I would post these photos to my social media accounts without much fanfare, such as writing a whole blog post about it. But when you get locked out of one of your main social media accounts, the one which you invested so much time in updating with new profile pics and such, only to be ignored by the handlers of said social media outfit when you ask, beg, plead, and scream for their help, you realize that you had been going about this whole thing wrong from the get go.
That's the lesson I took from this experience. Never again will I invest great quantities of my time and effort in updating a website that I have no control over when something goes wrong. My friends and supporters who follow what I do will have no problem, I'm sure, coming here to see what's new.
Of course, I'll share the post links to social media, but people will need to click to come see the updates. Social media will work for me, not the other way around. :)
And with that said, below are some pics of myself, me with Kathleen Carlson, (a great poet originally from Aruba), and me with mi tocayo Gabriel Gonzalez Nunez (another great poet originally from Uruguay).
You can check out Gabriel Gonzalez Nunez's blog if you CLICK HERE.
Kathleen doesn't have a blog page yet, but she will soon.
Y me falto Wendy Lara, una gran poeta y actriz a quien admiro mucho.
Nobody benefits more from the efforts of a reviewer to read a book and post his or her take on it than...other potential readers. You may have thought that I would say that the author benefits most. And maybe it's equal. But I say the reader him or herself is the one who gains more at that point because a reviewer informs a reader's preferences, touching upon topics which might either make you decide to read a book or completely ignore it.
Of course, the author also benefits greatly because the more opinions about the book are out there floating around informing others about the work the better. It's the act of having a third person (not the author or publisher) giving an honest opinion or take on a newly released book that is invaluable for both the reader of the book and its author. And for those very reasons I would like to thank the most prominent reviewer in the Rio Grande Valley, Raul Martinez, Jr. (pictured above) for his great work in putting the word out about local and regional authors and their works of literature.
I am honored to have gotten such a review as you will read below. I mean, putting my book up there in the realm of storytelling the likes of Quentin Tarantino is beyond humbling and encouraging. I happen to love every movie by that director. In fact, this book started off as a movie script. If you get your own copy and read it, you will see how it flows like a movie. You can see the different scenarios and characters very clearly. But enough about my awesomeness as a writer of fiction, read the review and get the book! :)
Ps. If you leave me even a one sentence review on Amazon it would help others who want to know about my book and it would help me know what you thought of it...so thanks for that!
Review by Raul Martinez, Jr.
"#OnceUponABadHombre by #GabrielHugo, is a bit over 100 pgs -- more a novella. The ending left me unsure if a sequel is intended; if not, then it emphasizes the NOIR feel to this story (reminding me of the ominous conclusion to one novel by Brian Allen Carr). The title hints at present-day xenophobia taken to its extreme here, in a type of dystopian horror... w/ a shade of Quentin Tarantino.
In fact, that director's style is reflected by a couple of bizarre scenarios, e.g. when one character acts like a vigilante, only to suddenly exude sympathy. My only critique is toward the notion of Catholic clergy willing to bless penitents w/ ashes not strictly from burnt palm leaves -- but I willingly suspended my disbelief, due to the tale's unusual circumstances. I got a kick out of the over-the-top host of the "Ancient Aliens"-type TV show."
Ever been locked out of your Facebook account because of the Two-Factor Authentification feature? I have. I'm on my third straight day with no access. It's kind of my fault because when I changed phone numbers I didn't go back to the settings to change my Two-Factor Authentification phone number to the current one. Buuuut, it's kind of also Facebook's fault for not automatically updating my Two-Factor phone number when I changed my Contact info on my profile. I didn't know you had to go and do that separately...I guess.
So in the meantime, here I am living in the early 2000's, you know, when all you had was your website and email to reach out to others. Of course, I am also on Twitter (btw, you can follow me @GabrielHugoSanz). I'm also on Tumblr (https://www.tumblr.com/blog/gabrielhugoauthor). And I got an Instagram account, too! (https://www.instagram.com/gabrielh.hugo/).
I am asking you, my dear reader, friend, colleague, well-wisher, to please help me get my message out. To all my friends on FB who my be wondering where I am, since not only is my profile unavailable, but also my author page, I will come back soon! But that's not the message. As many of you know already, recently I published my most recent dystopian fiction book "Once Upon A Bad Hombre" and was going to start promoting it. The largest part of the promotional campaign was going to be through FB because that is where most of my activity and connections are. But since I am unable to at the moment, please help me spread the word.
Below you will see a widget of my book on Amazon. Please click the "Share" button so that others can see that it is now available on Kindle and Paperback. Or you could simply share this blog post and encourage your contacts to check out my book.
Thank you all so much for your friendship and your help. I will be holding a book signing/launch in March and I want you ALL to be there so I can return the love. I will have free books, free coffee, and cookies. Plus, I will be inviting many other authors and we will be holding a round table discussion of sorts, and I want your input as well. Thanks again! Here is the widget to share:
Once Upon A Bad Hombre
by Gabriel Hugo
is now officially available on paperback!
Click the image above or the link below
to get your copy of this new dystopian thriller.
Please give the book a short review on Amazon
and share this press release with your friends who love books!
Thanks for the love and support. :)
Get Once Upon A Bad Hombre on Paperback
I thought writing an author bio was hard. Writing a synopsis of your book is like going in for a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided biopsy. (Yes, I got that from a google search, but it sounds exactly as torturous as writing a synopsis.)
I've been publishing for more than two decades. When it comes to writing and publishing, and all that comes with those practices, I like to think I'm an expert. But some things that you think might get easier the more you do them actually don't get easy. They remain just as frustratingly difficult to do. That's if you actually care about representing a literary work properly. If you are the type that likes to wing it, then you won't concern yourself much with doing a good job. Just well enough to get by. Getting by gets you nowhere in the world of publishing. You got to stand out.
That's why author bios and book synopses are important. These have always been my toughest areas regarding the publishing and writing process.
Take, for instance, my newest publication: "Once Upon A Bad Hombre".
I wrote the damn thing. It took me at least two years (on and off) of editing, revising, and editing some more, to get to the point where I thought it might be ready to be published. So, it got published. But after publishing a book, things don't just take off by themselves. You can't just sit back and relax and let the book go where it needs to go and say what it needs to say. You got to be the representative and pusher of your work. That, or pay someone to do those things for you.
For authors who have little to no experience writing promotional material, this second option is favorable. For people, like myself, who have experience in writing and promoting literary works, the work is doable. You can even exceed at it. But that don't mean you're going to like it one bit, or find it easy to do. That's my situation.
I'm trying out my own book synopsis here. I want to get your opinion on it. How does it sound? Is it attention-grabbing? Too wordy? Makes sense? Let me know.
"A new administration is in power in the U.S. promising to enact a 'solution that is final' to the 'immigrant problem'. In spite of the rhetoric, no one seems to care that immigrants are going missing in increasing numbers, as their fellow compatriots continue with their daily lives watching their telenovelas like any normal day. Meanwhile, a mysterious ash falls across the U.S. and Mexico, and no one knows its true source. When Marco, a reporter for the Daily News Report, is assigned to investigate rumors of a secret immigrant panel headed by the president's staff, his investigation uncovers truths too dangerous to reveal to the general public, and he is taken off the story. Facing the choice of keeping the truth in the dark, or telling the world one way or another, Marco decides to go underground and head all the way to Mexico City to reveal the plot against all people of Mexican descent. Along the way, Marco is triggered by people complacently sitting around in public spaces watching telenovelas in cafes and hair salons, which drives him to shoot the TV sets to send a message, but no one seems to get it. Will Mexicans stop living vicarious lives of fantasy through their telenovelas and live life to the fullest? Or will time run out once Marco reaches his destination and reveals the news of an impending Mexican apocalypse?"
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Thanks for the feedback. If you have not yet, please go like my page on Facebook, Gabriel Hugo Author. And share this post with others who might find it useful. I appreciate it.
P.s. Come back soon for part 2 of Synopsis Biopsy, where I "dissect" the structure of my synopsis to offer you a kind of how-to on writing synopses.
Writing a bio has got to be one of the hardest things an author does in his or her profession. Writing ain't easy. But writing about your self? That's just torture. For example, I had such a hard time with it that I actually used the following bio in one of my books:
"Gabriel Hugo comes from a lineage of people as old as the mountains. They saw the rise of civilization in the Americas. They were there, as well, to see the fall of Tenochtitlan. They returned to the caves of Aztlan for generations but observed from a distance as the new peoples took root and history transpired. They waited until the prophecy of Moctezuma was fulfilled, and now have returned after the long night bringing a new day and the new age of the sixth sun."
I was going for mysterious, but maybe just came off as pretentious? So I thought, maybe I need to rework this whole bio thing. Maybe at some level people really do want to know more about me and what I have done. Also, about who I am. My personal life. I used to think that nobody truly cared about the man behind the stories. Now I'm not so sure...
So, I'm looking for thoughts on my new bio. Will you let me know what you think? You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't want to be public about it.
Read the bio below and let me know what you think. Thanks!
Gabriel Hugo is the author of Once Upon a Bad Hombre, the X Series, The Martian Ones, and The Fluid Chicano. He has collaborated with authors on several anthologies and his poetry has been featured in various literary publications. Gabriel is also the founder of The Raving Press, an independent publishing imprint in the Rio Grande Valley, publishing works primarily focused on issues affecting Chicanos and other minorities in the United States. He is also an actor, appearing in two films available on Amazon Prime Video. Gabriel Hugo lives in Mission, Texas with his two sons Hugo Kuahutemoc and Jose Moctezuma, a.k.a. “The Bro Team”
P.s. If you are reading this on January 16, 2020 before midnight, you still have a chance to get my latest book "Once Upon A Bad Hombre" for FREE at Amazon.