Soledad en masa

I’m a published author! Buy the book!

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I write to let you know that a story of mine was included in a book. I participated in journalist and author Sam Quinones‘ Tell Your True Tale workshop at the East Los Angeles Library over the past few months. Our nonfiction stories were collected and published in this book, which you can buy as a paperback or Kindle edition via Amazon.

The stories by seven first-time authors — of braceros, mariachis, bus riders and vets — are tremendous and reflect East Los Angeles and similar neighborhoods in a profound way. My story is a polished version of a story that first appeared in this site.

Tell Your True Tale aims to get new writers working on stories about their own lives, or the stories of those close to them. Stories that are true but read like fiction are the goal.

Please take a moment to check out the book, buy it in the form you prefer, and share it with others!

We’re planning an event in Los Angeles in the coming months. I’ll let you know about it..

Written by soledadenmasa

February 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

2013 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Written by soledadenmasa

December 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Personal

Mariachi & Cinco de Mayo

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This is my last post for LAist.

What It’s Like To Be A Mariachi Performer on Cinco de Mayo

In the grand U.S. tradition of co-opting ethnic pride as an excuse to get totally blotto, this weekend bars and dorm rooms across the United States have been celebrating the Mexican Army’s 1862 defeat of invading French imperial forces (nevermind Mexico’s subsequent defeat and status as French colony for three years). Drinko de Mayo, Gringo de Mayo, whatever you call it, is what Gustavo Arellano calls a “mestizo St. Patrick’s Day.” This weekend will be the only time of year mainstream U.S. will want to be Mexican, putting on fake bushy mustaches, wearing sombreros and listening to Antonio Aguilar lament about being away from his homeland.

Written by soledadenmasa

May 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Sal Castro remembered at funeral mass

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Banner of Sal Castro, highlighting his work as an activist and educator (Photo by Diego Rentería).

Banner of Sal Castro, highlighting his work as an activist and educator (Photo by Diego Rentería)

Family And Friends Remember Sal Castro, Teacher And Influential Chicano Activist

Amid cheers of “¡Sí se puede!” and “¡Viva Sal Castro!”, family, friends, former students, contemporaries and numerous admirers gathered this morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for Sal Castro’s funeral mass.

You can read my remembrance of Sal Castro here.

Written by soledadenmasa

April 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

¡Chalino Sánchez vive!

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Suspect in South Gate Deputy-Involved Shooting Identified, Treated for Gunshot

Chalino Sanchez, 37, of South Gate, remained in custody at inmate reception in downtown Los Angeles, a Los Angeles County jailer said in a phone interview at 5:40 p.m. April 21.

Elvis, Tupac, and Chalino, back from the dead?

Written by soledadenmasa

April 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

To a drowning person

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“By far the great majority of the people who go through even the severest of depression survive it, and live ever afterward at least as happily as their unafflicted counterparts. Save for the awfulness of certain memories it leaves, acute depression inflicts few permanent wounds.”

“It is of great importance that those who are suffering a siege, perhaps for the first time, be told – be convinced, rather – that the illness will run its course and that they will pull through. A tough job, this; calling “Chin up!” from the safety of shore to a drowning person is tantamount to insult, but it has been shown over and over again that if the encouragement is dogged enough – and the support equally committed and passionate – the endangered one can nearly always be saved.”

“To most of those who have experienced it, the horror of depression is so overwhelming as to be quite beyond expression, hence the frustrated sense of inadequacy found in the work of even the greatest artists.”

“… if depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease – and they are countless – bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.”

All quotes from William Styron’s Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.

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April 20, 2013 at 3:28 am

Posted in Personal

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Jordan Downs to be Torn Down and Replaced with New Urbanist, Mixed-Income “Urban Village”

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Jordan Downs Housing Project To Get ‘Urban Village’ Makeover

Retail space and market-rate housing interspersed amid affordable housing is done with the hopes of changing the social life of Jordan Downs and by extension, Watts. The concern amid current residents is whether the redeveloped Jordan Downs will replace one-to-one the 700 affordable units or if there will be a loss in affordable units, as has been the trend in recent redevelopments of public housing across the country.

Written by soledadenmasa

April 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Los Angeles, Politics

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