Author:Luz Pinilla

Minty-Fresh

I had a brand new idea for a novel over the weekend. This is eventful for me. I'm not used to this whole idea-generating thing because, although I'm pretty okay at linking words together into fairly coherent sentences, I am NOT that great at just thinking up stuff. I suck at it, actually, and that's not just me pretending to be humble. I really do struggle with creativity. It's the same way with my art....

Winter Gardening

I wrote a poem today, from start to finish. The start was having the idea--that spark of a single line--while I was in the shower. Thank god it didn't come at three in the morning, the time at which most of my good ideas seem to come these days. The finish was printing out a second draft of the typed poem and being so happy with it that my body felt heavy with awareness, like...

Land of the Fearful

I see it now. I get it. And I agree. The ban. The wall. It all makes sense.   My daughter came home yesterday complaining about rumors that her school's annual 8th grade field trip to the Holocaust Museum had been cancelled. When I asked why, she said that apparently some students from her school had been disrespectful on previous trips to the museum and her principal didn’t want to run the risk of having students from...

Uncommon Courtesy

A couple of days ago I found myself (as I do pretty much every day of my life) on the highway. I hadn't bothered to check my GPS for traffic before getting on, but since I was early to my appointment, I didn't mind it too much when I came over a hill to discover a seemingly endless line of brake lights. It was stop-and-go for what felt like five miles but was probably closer to just half...

Fishing

Not to brag or anything, but the first fish I ever caught was pretty big. A "boca grande," my father called it. He had baited the hook for me and taught me how to cast the line, then left me sitting on the side of the pond with instructions to be very quiet and very patient while he wandered over to check his other lines. I sat for a long time there on that patch of...

Seasons Change

My favorite time of year begins at the start of football season, and it's not just because I love a good game of football. It's everything else, too: the cooler weather (even though just today the temperature around here got up to over 70 degrees before plummeting into the 20s), the holiday decorations, the family gatherings, the comfort food, the turning leaves, the breaks from work. This final week before Christmas, though, has always been...

Happy Reaping

Tonight I submitted my first of two Final Projects of the semester. Four personal essays that are far better than any writing I have ever produced. No fewer than seven drafts each. Hours and hours of painstaking revisions and every word, every comma, every dot of every i is exactly where I want it, exactly where it needs to be.   Since the semester began I have written several papers and also a handful of submittable pieces,...

Of Paper, Lines, and Machines

A couple of days ago, I stopped by a local bookstore called Deep Vellum Books. I'd heard of it and been curious about it but had never made the time to visit. I'm so glad I finally did. The very first book I laid my eyes on, sitting right there in the window like a fresh apple strudel, was Witness, written by Robert Rient and translated from Polish by a friend of mine named Frank Garrett (who...

Cranberry Salsa

I discovered this dish at a Christmas party years ago and fell madly in love. The weirdest thing about it is that it has as its base three ingredients I very strongly dislike on their own: fresh cranberries, green onions, and jalapeño peppers. Somehow, combining these with three ingredients I really, really love (sugar, cilantro, and cream cheese) makes all the difference in the world. I guess during this particular season of binary opposition and political debate,...