Author:Luz Pinilla

Sowing Seeds

A long, long time ago, my grandmother handed me a bottle of honey without a single drop of honey in it. Instead, the bottle was filled with cilantro seeds from the plant in her garden. She had removed the seeds from her plant, set them out to dry for about a month, and stored them in the empty honey bottle, and when she gave them to me she told me to make sure I saved...

Drawing Connections

You know how some people are good with names and others are good with faces? Well, some people aren't good at either. That's me. I never would have made it as a waitress, and it's a good thing I never tried.   For years I have told myself that I am not a people person. My justification for this is based on the intensity of physical discomfort I feel when placed in social situations. There was a time when I...

How Was Your Day?

Every afternoon, after picking up my daughters from school, I ask the same question: "So, how was your day?" Normal kids say, "Fine." Normal parents accept it and move on. Long ago, when my kids tried to be normal about this, I (being ever abnormal) didn't let them. I started asking them to elaborate:   "What was the best part of your day?"   "Going home."   "What was the worst part of your day?"   "Getting there."   It became a joke, but inevitably after the...

How Donald Trump Inspired Me

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about my purpose in life. I know that it is to write. I've known that for a long time, actually. My problem is that I don't yet really know what it is I'm supposed to write. Today I got a little closer.   This afternoon, I met with my creative-pal-slash-writing-buddy-slash-muse, Shayne. We each went to separate corners of her house to work in silence, and I decided to freewrite by...

School Doodles

This past Monday was my first day of school! I had been looking forward to it ever since I received my acceptance letter back in the spring, and during these last couple of weeks I was starting to get butterflies, even though the courses I'm taking are all online. On Monday afternoon, though, when I logged in to the virtual classroom and discovered our first "lectures" and assignments, I felt downright giddy. I love school!   Can I afford to take...

Marks from the Past

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by my Tío Toñito's house. After 37 years, he has finally decided to sell his home--the one in which I lived between the ages of 5 and 11. I have so many memories of that place! The backyard, our pets, going for walks through the neighborhood, drawing in my bedroom, watching TV with him in the living room...

From Memories to Manuscript

In some ways, I wish I had documented this process publicly at the same time as I was actually going through it rather than after the fact, but considering that I'm still at the beginning of the post-production period, I figure now's as good a time as any to write about what I've done so far.   I officially began the Memoir Project on June 20, 2014. I titled a Word document "Memoir Notes" and just started...

Beyond the Bucket

Last week was pretty eye-opening. I guess I hadn't really had time to think about much else other than my memoir over the past two years, but in a way I think I might have thought that once it was all written and polished, once I had reached my bucket-item goal, I'd be done. But of course, that's not the case at all, and I knew this all along too.   Finishing this literary work was my bucket item,...

I Dig on Swine

Written in my Memoir Notes file on November 30, 2015:   Last night—or rather this morning, just before waking up—I had an interesting dream. I was carrying this turkey around, and trying to wring its neck. I hadn’t done a good job, so it wasn’t dead, but its neck was kinda bent, kinda swollen, and I really needed to kill the thing. I wasn’t angry at it—it was just matter of fact. Then the turkey became a...

Point of No Return

In August of 2005, I sent my firstborn off to school for the first time. The week before, we'd gone to the Open House to take a look at her classroom and meet her teacher, but on that warm, sunny Monday morning, things felt different. It was real.   I had gotten her up early and helped her into her first-day-of-school outfit: an adorable black and white checkered dress with a matching short-sleeved jacket, white bobby socks and Mary Janes....