Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chapters and waves

 In a year of many firsts, two weeks ago had plenty of them for me. It was my first book signing and the first activity that is exclusively for my work. It was the first time I read my writing in public and only the second time I read poetry in public, the first being a first place in college in a poetry competition. It was also the first time I participated in a book festival and saw my books standing next to countless other titles.

Friends offered me genuine support and I never thought I’d hear so many people say they were proud of me. Honestly, the thought of the kind words so many people have shared makes me choke up a bit because it means the world to know that people read, enjoy, appreciate and support.
I saw my mom gushing and I was able to finally inspire in her at least something that nears the pride I feel for her. I had my wife with me, presenting me and moderating the Q&A. Both of my brothers were there and they asked wonderful questions that made me think on the spot and gave me ideas for my writing. I had friends from all chapters of my life there, countless others sending blessings via text message or online and even got to meet a few new ones (Hi Madeline, Alexis and Yelitza).

It was a wonderful experience and I am very thankful to Luis Ángel Oyla and his team at The BookMark. They were super easy going and accommodating to the point where they invited me to their booth during the weekend at a local book festival called El Festival de la Palabra. Although scorchingly hot, it was another lovely experience from which I learned so much.

People keep asking me how everything was and now that I’ve settled down a bit, I can process the events and truly talk about various aspects.

Talking about what I do and why I do it 

While some people specialize in one genre, I’m in love with the written word and all its forms. Being fixated on what makes us human and the roots of humanity, Only Human was definitely the perfect way to begin my career because it is the perfect vehicle to explore multiple topics and weave it all into one tale. Reading the Prologue and first Chapter out loud though.... that was a very rewarding experience because it was then I rediscovered the story and saw it in a whole new light. So in a nutshell, let’s just say I might test myself in regards to how much of a Do it yourself artist I am. And yes, that does mean me trying a few chapters in audiobook version.

Living the poetry

Although it may not seem so, part of me is pretty shy to share my work and reading my poetry was fascinating because I’d never done this so in detail and for the first time reading poetry, I didn’t hold anything back. I used inflection, emphasis and all I could to color the poem. Plus, how often can you grant a request from your mom? (She asked me to read the last poem in the book called Jane Genie).

Seeing my book up on a shelf

This seems silly, but seeing my books on a shelf have me a huge sense of satisfaction a further confirmed that this is my path and I will walk it.

Book Signing
I enjoy being able to give a personal dedication to my readers. I don’t repeat messages and everyone seems to enjoy this (even if my handwriting borders on chicken scratches – hey, at least it’s legible). Does it take more time? Sure and so do the better things in life.


I had a few prepped questions and was luckily greeted with various that I actually hadn’t scripted. More than half the questions came from the audience and I think it was a great opportunity to be put on the spot and speak my mind. Oh, and one of my nephews asked me why I began writing poetry in the first place... the answer? To impress girls I had a crush on. :D

In the end, I think that was the best part of all of this. I presented my work how best I understood I should present it and this is work solely made by me. To have friends and fans there was wonderful and all I can say is that this is just the beginning.

So thanks for reading and joining me on this chapter and this wave.



  1. That's great J.D., I commend you on stepping out, and stepping up!

    Life is about living, about experiencing that new wave, and then sharing what you've learned with others.

    I'm curious what your first print run was, and how did you arrive at that particular number?

    1. SO true, he who does not live, will regret, and I'm not much for regrets. I will be writing about the different aspects to share what I've learned about my journey. As for the first print run, it was just 40 because it was what I could afford although thinking about it, I have sold over 100 books in the last year, which is pretty good.

      The number also came about because I have a fixation with the number 4 (look at the cover of Only Human) :)

      I keep the numbers down because I'm basically pushing the book alone and don't want my house to become storage.

  2. How fantastic it must have been to hear you read from your book!
    Glad it went well for you.

    1. I'm pretty sure there's some video around. Still trying to find it. :D Many thanks for the comments and hope all is wonderful in your neck of the woods. :D Cheers

  3. JD! I'm so super excited for you! Congratulations! I wish you much success walking your path. I'd say you are on your way now and nothing can stop you!

    1. Thanks so much Sheila. Also very excited and pleased with how everything has flowed. Thank you for the well wishes and support. I wish the same to you and to continue walking your path. Life is a matter of Choices, and your choosing right in your life. :D

  4. Hey J.D.!

    I am so happy your first experience went so well! It's wonderful when it seems like the Universe is giving you a thumbs up to do what you love. Support from friends, family, and community is amazing, as well! I've had a tremendous amount of support just for completing a first draft; I can only imagine how outstanding it must feel to be at your stage! You and yours have every right to feel proud! Great work!

    And I love the fact you go the extra mile to personalize dedications! It definitely makes a difference.

    Congrats again! Head up North for your next book signing and I can critique your reading :P Haha!


    1. Larysia, thanks so much for these lovely words! And indeed, although a bit slow, it does seems as if many things are conspiring to give me the go ahead to pursue the dream. Friends, family and strangers have been kind enough to read me and actually a few I met that week.

      I'm anxiously waiting for your novel and I was there not too long ago. So feel proud though keep going. You're on the right path.

      I have the luxury to write long messages to people to show them how much they matter. They make the difference.

      I'll definitely be considering tours throughout and I'd love to hear any pointers about how I should pronounce certain words lol.

      All the best and keep going!!!!