Posts Tagged ‘literature’

I decided to combine my favorite #FridayFlash pieces from Christmas and New Year’s into one list. Here are my favorite pieces:

Aspirations” by @TonyNoland: By far, my favorite of the bunch these past two weeks. Just a clever way to tell a life story.

The Journey” by @tgabrukiewicz: A great descriptive tale with very cool pacing. How’s that for a review?

The Archangel of Downward Spiral” by @mkelly317: An endearing, spiritual tale that offers redemption for all of us.

A Fresh Start” by @CliveM: My favorite opening line of the bunch: His fat belly rose and fell slowly with each whining snore.

I Heard the Bells” by @ramslyons: A church holds a horrible surprise for a town.

Christmas Past” by @SimplyOlivia: Quick and funny. This one just made me laugh.

Christmas Peril” by @melissalwebb: A twisted take on a Christmas Carol.

Winter’s Bride” by @icypop: I just love how Icy writes and how she weaves such charming passages each week.

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One of Valdes-Rodriguez's New Twitter Profile Pictures

Her Twitter stream and Facebook is very active. She is consistently getting new followers and friends each day. And as author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez continues to battle with Hollywood, she announced on her social media networks that she will be self-publishing the third book of The Dirty Girls Social Club series.

Early on December 31, Valdes-Rodriguez, who is alleging that the TV script adaptation of her first Dirty Girls book is “racist and sexist,” posted a proposed book cover with the working title A Call to Mountains, the third book in the series on her YFrog account.

On December 31, her Twitter stream and Facebook page is active with responses. Her latest updates on these social networks reveal her self-publishing plans, and also how much money she has made in the past on advances and how much she would make it should were to be successful with her self-publishing efforts.

After listening to some readers, on January 1, Valdes-Rodriguez suggested a different title and cover. The fans have spoken: the new book series will be called Lauren’s Saints of Dirty Faith and a new cover was posted that met some reader approval:

After getting more feedback, on January 2, Valdes-Rodriguez added another cover on her Facebook page and made it official with this image, proving that the is taking the idea of “an interactive novel” seriously:

Here are just some of the updates she has posted on December 31, January 1, and January 2:

From Twitter

  • “Believe it or not, some of us still make art for reasons other than money. #latism #teamalisa
  • “Watching 8 Mile. Love Eminem. Relate a lot to him actually.”
  • “Lauren Book outline nearly done. Title: A CALL TO MOUNTAINS. Lauren quits Boston, retreats to NM, hoping for peace, spirituality, love.”
  • Okay, it’s official. DGSC book three’s title will be: LAUREN AND THE SAINTS OF DIRTY FAITH. Remember that y’all. 🙂
  • “@_luisantonio I will publish a chapter a week as ebooklets for 36 weeks, starting next month. .75cents a pop. actual book 4sale fall 2011.”
  • “@_luisantonio going the dickens route with this, see where it takes me. half chapt. avail on blog. full chapt at lulu.com for 75 cents.”
  • “My advances from pub have been about $30k lately. Self pub a chapter a week I need 833 reg readers to make that much in a year.”
  • “If Dirty Girls 3 sells same as DGSC 2 as self pub. I make $625k. If it sells like DGSC1 self pub I make $3 million. No more middle man.”
  • “And I’d make that charging you LESS than my publisher does now.

Facebook Updates

  • “To make the same amount I’ve made from publishing houses lately on a self-published serialized novel, I will only need 833 regular readers. Dirty Girls Social Club sold more than half a million copies. Book two sold close to 200,000. I think I can find 1000 of you guys to go on this journey with me!”
  • “‘Dirty Girls Social Club sets out to prove Latina can mean anything — black, white, rich, poor, Spanish-speaking, not Spanish-speaking.’ (Miami Herald)”
  • “Well, then. It’s settled. By popular demand, I declare this cover a winner! Thanks, all. I can’t wait for you to read this book!!! I am loving writing it.”

Valdes-Rodriguez, who talks about her challenges (dismal sales, personal issues) with the Huff Post , also mentioned that she will very likely be using lulu.com, a website for self-published works.

Finally, we want to thank everyone for participating in our readers poll: Is the Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez story relevant to you? The current results of about 100 responses (You can still vote):

  • It speaks to the issue of artistic and creative control. 35%
  • I want to see an accurate portrayal of Latinas on television. 26%
  • Enough already. We get the point! 16%
  • I think the story is too one-sided. 14%
  • The use of social media can help people get their stories out. 9%

Let us know what you think of Valdes-Rodriguez’s decision to self-publish?

UPDATE, January 1, 2011: The Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez blog posts referred to here no longer appear on her site. Valdes-Rodriguez hinted that certain blog posts would very likely be deleted in accordance to the statement she published at Please Respect NBC.

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Being Latino, the largest online Latino community on Facebook, and The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts announced on December 30 the creation of a “joint impact project to address the glaring absence of Latinos on television and in film.”

In a letter to David Rubenstein, Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Leslie Moonves, President/CEO of the CBS Corporation, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the trustee of the John F. Kenndy Presidential Library and Museum, both organizations encouraged that the Kennedy Center seriously consider Latino performers for their 2011 honors.

We hope that this is the last year that Latinos are absent as honorees on your show.

Being Latino’s Facebook membership has over 52,000 members on Facebook, actively engaging and interacting with members on several key issues central to US Latinos. The Being Latino blog has one of the higher Alexa ratings for a Latino-themed blog.

The mission statement of the NHFA (join them on Facebook) states:

Actors Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales and Sonia Braga, along with attorney Felix Sanchez, created the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in 1997 to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. The Foundation has concentrated on increasing access for Hispanic artists and professionals while fostering the emergence of new Hispanic talent.

Eighteen other Latino organizations, including the National Council of La Raza and the National Institutue for Latino Policy, supported the letter.

A full PDF of the letter can be viewed here: Being Latino Blog.

We applaud this very proactive and positive effort to acknowledge Latino performers, and we hope something good comes out of it.

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After stating two days ago that she had made all the statements she needed to make and would now focus on legal action, author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, who claims that the TV script adaptation of her book, The Dirty Girls Social Club, is racist, sexist, and promotes Latina stereotypes, continues to tweet and post updates on her public Twitter and Facebook sites.

The award-winning author, who revealed last week on her blog that she obtained a leaked copy of the NBC script being developed by Ann Lopez’s Encanto Productions and written by Luisa Leschin, called the script a “bastardization” of her book and started sharing her thoughts on social media. Web outlets, such as PerezHilton.com, The Frisky, JezebelFishbowlLA (MediaBistro), and The Boston Globe, have written about the content of her blogs.

Fox News and CBS Early Show Interested?

Among her many tweets today, Valdes-Rodriguez hinted earlier this evening that major TV outlets are inquiring about her story:

Fox News and CBS Early Show both inquiring about me coming on to talk. Interestinger and interestinger she goes.

In addition, Valdes-Rodriguez today changed her profile picture on both Facebook and Twitter. She also changed her Twitter bio to read: Writer. Social Critic. Mom. This is a common occurrence with social media profiles, but it suggests to us that Valdes-Rodriguez is committed to sharing her point of view to her social media networks.

As for the other principals in the story, there has still been no public comment by NBC, Lopez, Leschin, Encanto Productions, or Creative Artists Agency (CAA), whom Valdes-Rodriguez claims stopped representing her on Sunday for her young adult book. (We have contacted each principal through email, but have not received a response.)

In the meantime, Valdes-Rodriguez has been active with her public social media network (her Twitter stream is public and her Facebook profile is also public with no privacy settings), sharing updates such as the following:

  • “You cannot stand for something important without making enemies.”
  • It is from my amazing immigrant father that I learned: Just because a thing is always done a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. #think”
  • “When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959, there were five synagogues in Havana alone. Seems silly to make the Cuban Jewish character on a show “American” for seeming “Jewish” to you, doesn’t it? And, no, I don’t care who it confuses. Facts are facts.
  • “There are 47 million Latinos in the US. Media wants them. But media ignores 56 million Latinos in our hemisphere who are black. #fuzzyassmath”
  • “I never thought I’d utter these words, but… I love my lawyer.”
  • 84% of Dominicans are African. Dominicans were the largest immigrant group to NYC in 1990s. 1.5 million in the U.S.; seems silly to therefore get rid of the only Dominican character in a show aimed at Latinos because she ‘seems black’ to you, doesn’t it?

Valdes-Rodriguez has stated in her blogs that she finds the script’s intention to change the ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation of key characters in the book to be extremely offensive. Her current tweets and updates suggest that these issues need to be accurate and true to her story, and not to the examples she claims are included in the script she obtained.

As this story unfolds (and we think it will only gather more momentum), there is no doubt:  Valdes-Rodriguez believes in the power of social media. Will that power translate to a resolution in her favor?

UPDATE, January 1, 2011: The Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez blog posts referred to here no longer appear on her site. Valdes-Rodriguez hinted that certain blog posts would very likely be deleted in accordance to the statement she published at Please Respect NBC.

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So, we share with you this simple poll. With major outlets like The Boston Globe beginning to pick up the story of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, is this story still relevant to you? Take a second to vote and let us know.

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For the record, we are not a media outlet, just a blog that talks about trends in Latino literature, celebrates Latino literary talent with others, and shares examples of online fiction.

We are interested very much in the power of social media and how it eliminates walls in communication. That is what intrigued us about the Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez story. As people tweeted and streamed about The Social Media Saga of Valdes-Rodriguez, some readers asked whether we had contacted the other party involved in this scenario. The answer is yes, we sent some emails to ask for comment but we haven’t heard back and we don’t expect to. That is cool. This is just a part-time thing on our part.

Yet in the interest of painting a full picture, we did want to share a little bit about Luisa Leschin, who wrote the TV script adaptation of The Dirty Girls Social Club and Ann Lopez, head of Encanto Productions.

Copyright ©LuisaLeschin.com

Leschin’s bio is impressive. She is a native of Guatemala and has several acting and film credits. Her bio also states:

In prime-time television, Luisa is very proud to have been a writer on the ground-breaking, George Lopez show (ABC) from its inception. Through the six seasons of the show she rose from a position of Supervising Producer to Co-Executive Producer for the show.

In 2008, Luisa served as Co-Executive Producer for 22 episodes of the critically acclaimed CW series Everybody Hates Chris.

As for Ann Lopez, a lot has been written online about her much-publicized divorce with George Lopez, but very little is available about her. Her Facebook profile is private (as is ours) as well. She is not on LinkedIn. The best information we could find, besides basic bio information was this article from Herald de Paris, published in January, 2010.

Copyright © heralddeparis.com

The article’s introduction reads:

Ann Serrano Lopez… has been the executive producer for the 2009 Nickelodeon & Warner Premiere film Mr. Troop Mom, George Lopez’s 2009 and 2007 HBO comedy specials Tall, Dark & Chicano, and America’s Mexican, as well as the ABC Television film Naughty or Nice. She produced the television specials Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music and America’s Hope Award honoring Oprah Winfrey. Mrs. Lopez started her career as a casting director….She has selflessly worked to improve and save the lives of people confronting the challenges of chronic kidney issues. She has selflessly worked to improve and save the lives of people confronting the challenges of chronic kidney issues.

Her full artistic list of credits can be viewed here: Ann Lopez (Serrano).

In addition, the newspaper also interviews Lynette Ramirez, who has also been mentioned by Valdes-Rodriguez.

If we do hear back from anyone, we will let you know.

UPDATE, January 1, 2011: The Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez blog posts referred to here no longer appear on her site. Valdes-Rodriguez hinted that certain blog posts would very likely be deleted in accordance to the statement she published at Please Respect NBC.

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With people returning from the holidays, the curious social media story of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and her allegations that the leaked TV script adaptation of her book series The Dirty Girls Social Club is harboring Latina stereotypes continues. Today, Valdes-Rodriguez has been extremely active in the social media space, but just announced on her blog that “I have made the statements I needed to make.”

She continues:

Now it’s time for me to focus on the legal aspects of this situation. In the meantime, please keep speaking out, speaking among yourselves, and know that I am fighting for YOU, and for ALL OF US to be represented as we ARE and not as Hollywood wishes us TO BE.

Meanwhile, we had a chance to interview Valdes-Rodriguez on the Being Latino Blog, which was published today. To see the entire interview, you can click on the Being Latino image below:

The Being Latino interview is still the blog’s top post, according to their site.

Tweets Out Encanto Email
In another development, Valdes-Rodriguez tweeted out an email for Encanto Productions, the company that owns the option to produce the TV version of the book. She does continue to be active on Twitter and Facebook, although her blog says she is done with statements.

Other Outlets Pick Up Story
The story is starting to picking up momentum as it has appeared today in both Jezebel and The Boston Globe, where Valdes-Rodriguez used to work in the 1990s as a reporter.

La Bloga Weighs In
La Bloga, one of the Latino literature blogs, summarized the latest Valdes-Rodriguez saga and concluded with this opinion. See more at La Bloga.

Here’s wishing Alisa the best possible outcome from this altercation and the hardball fallout. Her work has been invariably entertaining and deserves to find the wider appreciation that comes of having your stuff on prime time television. Excoriation is what she’s in for if the pilot project gets made. She knows this, so she’s fighting for her life. Lástima.

My Latino Voice Blog
This was just pulled from My Latino Voice:

There is, however, a greater message here. As women, as Latinas, as Latinos, we must stop perpetuating stereotypes ourselves if we are to effect change (the producer and script writer of this TV production are both Latinas). The buck stops here, chicas. Mrs. Lopez, Ms. Leschin, how do you respond?

People have also asked us if we have contacted any of the other principals that Valdes-Rodriguez mentions in her allegations. For the record, we have contacted NBC, CAA, Ann Lopez, Luisa Leschin, and Lynette Ramirez. We have not received any response so far, but if we do, we will be certain to publish comments.

For more Twitter reaction to this, follow these hashtags: #alisavaldes and #LatinoLit.

UPDATE, January 1, 2011: The Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez blog posts referred to here no longer appear on her site. Valdes-Rodriguez hinted that certain blog posts would very likely be deleted in accordance to the statement she published at Please Respect NBC.

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