Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
And so it is~
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Have you ever wanted something so bad?
Have you ever wanted something so deeply that it keeps you up at night?
Have you ever wanted something that it makes you nervous, scared, excited and slightly nauseous all at the same time?
That’s how I feel about my writing career. I want to not only continue being blessed with writing everyday for the rest of my life, but I dream of being incredibly successful at it!
Yesterday I went to my mailbox and noticed that there were two very important envelopes waiting for me. I was rushing so I just through the mail in my bag and ran to catch my train to Wesleyan University. I forgot all about the envelopes until I got back to the city and returned to the house.
I wasn’t even thinking about my mail. I was thinking about how all I wanted was sleep. The students at Wesleyan University wiped me out, “In the BEST WAY!” it was such an incredible conversation with such a diverse group of students OF ALL SHADES, GENDERS & SEXUAL ORIENTATION! It was powerful. They had so much to share… the questions were difficult and incredibly personal… but I was up for ALL OF IT!
I was asked, “Is your writing a form of resistance?”
This was such a fantastic question. My response was that NO not this book. My next book… absolutely! :-)
I was sitting on the couch having a conversation with my dear friend when I went into my bag for something and noticed the envelopes. One was an important notice about a generous grant I had applied for. I opened it slowly… it was one of those thin envelopes like the ones when you’re waiting for that response that your application was rejected for admission, but “we thank you for your interest in our school. Good luck in your future endeavors!”
So I opened it… said a silent prayer… and BAM… “we thank you for your interest…” no grant!
All good… I had one more envelope… it was from Publishers Weekly.
I wasn’t sure why I was receiving a magazine from them. I started going through the pages looking to see if maybe I had a mention in the publication. I was looking for an image of my book. I went through it pretty quickly and didn’t see anything. So I went through it a little slower this time. I went through it one page at a time. And that’s when I got to pg. 6, 2nd column, located at the very bottom… I wasn’t sure if I was reading correctly… listed in the section of self-published titles:
In church my minister Rodney McKenzie teaches that sometimes the miracles we are looking for don’t necessarily show up the way WE WANT or EXPECT them to arrive. Reminding us that when we ask the universe or our creator for something we should premise it with, “This or something better…”
So in the moment I felt everything I needed to feel about that rejection… but opening up that Publishers Weekly magazine and seeing FINDING YOUR FORCE listed… is my SOMETHING BETTER! And so it is!
I am so incredibly grateful~
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
"If you are at all interested power of poetry and writing, women's rights, LGBT rights, equality for people of color and activism in general, you absolutely MUST come to our discussion with Alicia Anabel Santos Today, Wednesday at 4:30pm in Room 114 in the new Career Center Building." ~Dorisol Inoa
45 Wyllys Avenue Middletown, CT
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
"OK so let's do this! Can you come next week... ? We need your voice at Wesleyan!"
I looked at her and said...
"YES!!!! Let's do this..."
I didn't know about her... but when I say YES... I meant it!
Well to my pleasant surprise a few days later Dorisol was not PLAYING around... she organized an amazing discussion for me to come spend some time with this incredible group of leaders up at Wesleyan University (I know they will be the home of the next Dominican Conference... you gotta want it bad enough and these folks do want it!) They ain't playin!
I am so honored... so thrilled... so excited to go and spend the evening tomorrow at Wesleyan... THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME! We are going to have a good time!
Where: Wesleyan University
When: Wednesday, April 18th
Time: 4:30pm until 6:00pm
- 41 Wyllys Avenue Middletown
, CT 06459
- This is a MUST attend event if you are at all interested in the power of poetry and writing, women's rights, LGBT rights, equality for people of color and activism in general!
Please join us in a conversation with Alicia Anabel Santos: A a proud New York-born Dominicana who is passionate about writing works that empower and inspire women to find their voices, speak up and demand that they be respected. A self-identified Latina Lesbian Writer, Performance Artist, Producer, Playwright, and Activist, who after reading one too many stories about women she could not wholly relate to, decided to write her own tales that would honor women throughout Latin America and at the same time be representative of the American-born Latina experience.
Currently, she is completing a historical fiction novel titled The Daughters of the Revolution and is work-shopping a one-woman show titled I WAS BORN.
Check out her amazing blog: http://
The conversation will occur in Room 114 in the new Career Center building next to Usdan.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Women’s history month has ended yet the celebration of women will always continue… Our next writing session we continue to honor ourselves and our craft by exploring the Rituals of Writing~
We will explore what developing a consistent practice looks like (identifying our own practice). Setting clear goals. Outlining. Mapping. Planning. Executing.
The spring is a time for cleansing… releasing what no longer serves us. Releasing the old story so we can begin to write the NEW STORY!
For too long we have been holding onto our stories afraid to get it out onto the page. This is a challenge to really show what we are made of and who we are. Come ready ladies. “You betta WORK!” Rupaul
Workshop facilitated by: Alicia Anabel Santos
Fee: FREE (no excuses ladies--)
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Time: 10:00am (arrive by 9:45am please)
Location: Hunter College, 68th and Lexington Ave.
Facebook event link: Rituals of Writing~
NYCLWG Facebook group page: NYC Latina Writers Group~
Alicia, Emma, Ellie, Nancy and Maria
Oprah Lifeclass with Tony Robbins
Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY
April 6th - 7th ~
National Dominican Student Conference
April 17th ~ Tuesday
April 18th ~ Wednesday 4:00pm
Reading & Discussion
April 19th - 21st ~
April 22nd ~ Sunday 10am - 2pm
Rituals of Writing ~ NYCLWG Workshop
Lexington Avenue & 68th
April 24th ~
Reading & Discussion
SUNY Albany ~
April 25th - May 12th
Traveling - out of the country
Latin America ~ En el Caribe
No blogs will be posted during this time.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
So the past few days have been pretty rough. I have been going / growing through some life stuff. Some good, some not so good… some incredibly GREAT and POWERFUL!
Yesterday in the midst of some life upset I decided to open up a book my friend Tamara has on her nightstand: Until Today, Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind, by Author, Iyanla Vanzant
I know I don’t need to say it… but I LOVE IYANLA... I’ve been reading her for over ten years when I received my first copy of In the Meantime… in the meantime I have about (3) copies of 40 Days and 40 Nights, and 2 copies of almost every book in addition to meditation cards all highlighted and underlined who I quote throughout my memoir, Finding Your Force A Journey to Love...
I decided to trust my instinct and open UNTIL TODAY on any page and see what message came up for me… and I opened it to September 28th … This image is that reading:
Some of things that rose for me were:
“I experience and express the power of trust because… ALL of my debts have been paid.” Iyanla Vanzant
The body shift for me is that I finally… FINALLY understand that I am PAID in FULL. I am done with all of that… I am done with all of IT… with my past… with my pain… with ALL OF IT! I AM DONE! It’s time to move on… It’s time to move differently. It’s time to have ALL that I deserve! And I am open to receive ALL OF IT! I AM WORTHY OF IT! I DESERVE IT! I have worked hard for it!
I AM ENTITLED TO IT!
From the three messages, Iyanla writes:
“I suffer so that you don’t have to…”
What I heard was:
I will NEVER FEAR people or circumstances!
I will NEVER FEAR what people can do to me or how I will survive what happens to me!
Something / some things… happened to me this week that made me question my ability, my integrity and my sense of self. The person who questioned me is actually an old experience… MY OLD STORY creeping up on me to see how I will handle it and how I will choose to get out of this one.
In the 2nd message Iyanla writes:
“Forgive them father for they know not what they do!”
What I heard is:
Some people are not aware of how they DISHONOR me with fear and doubt!
Some people are not aware of how it makes me sad when they do not TRUST me!
Some people are not aware that in dishonoring me, they dishonor THEMSELVES!
Forgive them father… forgive me!
In the last message Iyanla writes:
“IT IS DONE!”
Translated by me… I AM DONE! This is done! We are done! My past is done! IT’S DONE! My debts are paid! I am paid in FULL! This is DONE! Breathe Alicia… ache~
Then I opened to today’s message and here is that reading:
“I AM willing to acknowledge … if I AM not giving my ALL to myself, I am not giving my ALL, at all.” Iyanla Vanzant
So UNTIL today, I am done serving others first… today I sit at the table and feast!
And so it is~
There are things we must ask ourselves in order for change to happen for the shift to occur:
Am I willing to release my past and let go of thoughts that don’t serve me?
What am I willing to do here?
What am I willing to give up to get there?
What am I willing to BE to arrive to where I am destined?
Are you open to all the good that is coming?
I AM learning to replace feelings of anxiety with thoughts and feelings of security, safety, peacefulness, confidence and love.
I look fear, anxiety and self-doubt in the eye and re-center myself grounded in the truth that I AM magnificent!
I AM HUGE and living in the bigness of how powerful I AM and in ALL that I do!!!
I AM exploring the truth of my own beauty~
I AM recognizing the truth of my FULL potential~
I honor the truth that I AM one with my FORCE~
The truth is wherever I AM, GOD IS, and all is well!
And so it is~ Ache~
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
At first, I was only going to share a few quotes from this incredible letter, but decided that it was too important to not share with YOU in its entirety!
This person has changed my life in an instant…
LETTER FROM A READER:
“Good Morning Alicia!
...Wow Chica! Where do I start...?! I finished your book last night--in less than 48 hrs--but it has taken me all this time to finally sit down and write to YOU. To YOU, the author of the book that has changed my life--YOU, the person that told me that she does read her text messages and e-mails (and I believe you!) YOU, the person that I felt such an enormous connection to not only when I saw your picture and read your information before meeting you--But, when I saw you in that panel--when you spoke, when you read/performed/recited your poem, when you answered my question, when you signed my book (which I have not let go ever since Saturday--I knew I had something special in my hands and that when I started to read it I was not going to stop and I was right!)
Then, I learned that you are a LEO just like ME! Yay!! I was born July 27th--when learning your birthday I was like: "No wonder! This is why I felt like I knew her!" I love it! Never did I imagine though that you were going to affect me so much and so strong--after meeting you--the next day, I wanted to write you an e-mail just like you did to "Rock Wilk" saying I LOVE YOU--YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL as well :-)
Alicia, reading your book has been such a pivotal experience/moment in my life--I found my self laughing out loud-literally, crying out loud-hysterically, I was in love, I was hurt, I was heart broken, I was lifted, I was uncomfortable and I was extremely comfortable at once, I was cheering, gasping, hyperventilating... Dios Mio!... y tambien ahora, as I'm writing to you I can feel my heart beats in my throat--I'm cold, I'm sweating and I cannot stop my tears and I know you understand how it feels--YOU are my Ellen Degeneres, my Oprah, my Marc Anthony, my Barack Obama, my Rock Wilk--Finding Your Force A Journey to Love is my Alchemist (I have not read the Alchemist yet, but I will keep and cherish your book just like you did to The Alchemist.)
Sooo many feelings take over me when thinking about your book--I want to buy a few more copies to give to my former teacher, former college advisor and a few other individuals that have extremely impacted my life. I have not stopped talking about your book--usually, after reading a book I let some of my friends and family read and take my copy but NO not this time--NOT with THIS book--This is MINE ONLY--I did with my copy of your book what I have never done before--I highlighted, underlined, I marked up pages, I wrote notes and comments on it--I do not want any body to touch it (which is really not like us LEO women, you know how we are.)
On the other hand, at the end of your book you stated, "I want to inspire people to reach for their dreams. I want to serve as an instrument of change." Well, CREEME MI AMOR--YOU DID IT! I've never been so inspired before to achieve my goals and it is all thanks to YOU! This is the push that I needed--I will start a fucking revolution!
You have been my, "group of girls that were singing about a small town girl when you were walking towards the shuttle train--don't ever stop believing" and for that I THANK YOU!
Not sure if this is an individual thing but I too love so STRONG and so MUCH to the point that many don't always get it and as much as I love to "play around" with words--I cannot always express it right (but I sure do demonstrate it but many still don't get it!) yet, you worded it so perfectly when you stated it: "I FUCKING LOVE LOVING~ and I give it freely" you could've not said it any better! I found myself yelling "Exactly" at the end of many of your statements, wanting to high-five-you and in many instances hug you and cry with you.
Alicia, I know you barely know me but I am so proud of you! I identify with you so much on so many levels--I respect you and admire you--I look up to you! I LOVE YOU! Thank you for your words of wisdom--your words/quotes have/will inspired me so much! I can't wait to tell all of our radio stations and schools about you!! I love it that you lived here in Rhode Island, that you went to Rhode Island College, that your roots are Dominican--que eres Latina y que eres Mujer! Gracias Por darnos tan buena y tan linda representacion!!! CONGRATULATIONS on such a wonderful masterpiece!!! There was not a chapter, line, word that I didn't enjoy! Eres un Angel! Eres Grande!
I will be getting in contact with you again very soon--I would like for one, all or some of the organizations that I am involved with to bring you here--If not I WILL invite you to one of my shows--I feel like EVERYBODY needs to know about YOU--I am an actress, writer and spoken-word artist--I work with a few theaters and a few radio stations here in RI--in Spanish and in English--I am extremely active still at RIC and in the community and just last month I started doing: "Noche de Poesias" A Night of Poetry and Spoken Word--which I will be hosting once a month. Also, I did a one-woman-show while in college called: "Feeling Luna-Tic" which was about My Purpose/Reason in life and my hunger and passion to follow my goals---I am still performing it--Finding Your Force I felt was like an answer to my play--THANK YOU! You have become one of my favorite Writers and Finding Your Force A Journey to Love has become one of my FAVORITE books! Te Adoro!
~from MARLENY LUNA, Providence, Rhode Island
As I sit here thinking about how amazing receiving those words make me feel… I am filled with a tremendous amount of love. I feel so humbled. To receive a letter like that on a day like today serves as a confirmation that blessings come right on time.
When I read in her letter, “YOU are my Ellen Degeneres, my Oprah, my Marc Anthony, my Barack Obama, my Rock Wilk--Finding Your Force A Journey to Love is my Alchemist (I have not read the Alchemist yet, but I will keep and cherish your book just like you did to The Alchemist.)” This is where all the tears started falling… it brought up every significant moment… I fell in love with her… I fell in love with her words because I understand how significant and profoundly powerful each of those people she mentions from my book have meant to me… so many experiences, moments of transformation and moments of defeat… how each person that I have met or NEVER met has impacted my life… actually I can say that I have met (or seen live) the people mentioned above and have had the opportunity to tell them how they have marked me in some way. And to know that I have somehow left a mark on someone’s soul is an honor I do not take lightly. I feel so grateful. I feel so full. I feel so blessed.
Then she wrote: “You have been my, "group of girls that were singing about a small town girl when you were walking towards the shuttle train--don't ever stop believing" WOW! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. To not stop believing… and her words came to remind me of this truth – right on time!
She closes with: “THANK YOU! You have become one of my favorite Writers and Finding Your Force A Journey to Love has become one of my FAVORITE books! Te Adoro!” WOW!!!! How amazing is that… I made someone’s favorite books and writer list. Thank you God for this blessing. I will forever be connected to you Marleny… thank you for this most beautiful gift!
Monday, April 9, 2012
This group of leaders were phenomenal but it was the audience that really made this workshop incredible... they were engaged... really cared about the issues and were incredibly interested in how we go about initiating change... the conversation was incredibly special... from Religion to HIV... to coming out to the family... the space was sacred... the conversation was honest... and we left feeling so much love! Thank you to all of our allies... thank you to all those who support us AS WE ARE! Thank you Brown and the entire National Dominican Student Conference team... this experience will stay with me forever. <3
Thursday, April 5, 2012
For the past three years I have attended this conference and I always leave feeling completely inspired and empowered. This year I am incredibly excited to be speaking at the Dominican Conference at Brown University in Providence, RI.
What I love about this conference... what makes this one stand out for me is that it truly highlights the academic success of Dominican students here in the United States. This is such a high honor for me.
Side note: Providence, Rhode Island holds a special place in my heart because its where by daughter was a little girl being raised just up the street from Brown University and is the place where the beginning of my memoir, "Finding Your Force a Journey to Love" takes place.
Join us for the...
6th Annual National Dominican Student Conference
Brown University - April 6 - 8, 2012
Each year, NDSC strives to bring you the highest quality in educational and empowering workshops, prominent and inspirational speakers, culturally influential movie screenings, art exhibitions, networking events, and parties – all of which serve to educate, uplift, and unite the Dominican college student community.
Junot Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O'Henry Prize Stories 2009. He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948) and Nancy Allen professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I will be speaking on a panel titled: Dios, Patria, Libertad: Communities Divided
The force of the religious community in the Dominican Republic has had a strong impact on the nation’s life and identity. The common expectations, teachings, and practices of popular religious groups have been important to Dominican development at home and abroad. At the root of this religious unity lies a strong lack of acceptance for images that differ from traditional gender roles. LGBTQ life is rarely, if ever, discussed in a religious context. As in many Latin American countries, homophobia and hyper-masculinity remain pervasive throughout much of the Dominican Republic.To introduce this workshop a series of images and text will be shown to participants and later this will transition to a personal and confidential group discussion in order to make us cognizant of the issues faced by Dominicans who are members of the LGBTQ community.
REGISTER FOR CONFERENCE HERE ~ NDSC
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
When am I going to stop believing the old story?
I have such a beautiful smile on my face right now. My heart is smiling. My eyes are smiling. My chest is smiling. My breath is smiling. I am laying in bed feeling so peaceful… PEACEFILLED! Straddling this I AM WORTHY / I AM NOT WORTHY story!!!
What would happen to me if I completely released all thoughts that I am NOT WORTHY!
What do I see when I look at the Girl Before a Mirror, 1932, oil on canvas, by Pablo Picasso.
What do I see?
The girl looking in the mirror is holding her up. She is holding her reflection up. She is lifting her up. She is showing her the beauty that she IS. She is showing her the power that SHE possesses. She is revealing the strength that lies behind her eyes. In her belly she is carrying ALL that remains to be birthed and shared with the world. She is showing her the reflection of herself… the woman looking at her little girl saying, “You are beautiful… truly beautiful flaws and all!”
Creator, Thank you for this day. Thank you for allowing me to live another day. Thank you for allowing me to open my eyes and live in the fullness of who I am and what I am called to do.
Today I ask for so much strength. I ask for continued guidance.
Please continue to protect my Courtney, give her clarity and focus so that she may accomplish all she has been called to do.
Please protect all those I know and love, especially protect those I do not know. As I begin this day I say Thank you for illuminating my soul and restoring me to who I am and have been called to be. MAKTUB. Ache. Amen. And so it is.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Oprah Lifeclass Tour in New York with Motivational Speaker and Author: Tony Robbins
Tonight I spoke to OPRAH! And I was FEARLESS!
Well that's not really true... yes I spoke to Oprah... but I was PETRIFIED! I was so very afraid!
I am sitting in my bed thinking to myself: “Did OPRAH really speak to me tonight?”
What I am feeling in this moment:
Meditating on: What it is I need to BE and stand IN … in order to be fearless~
What FEARLESS looks like for me!!!
Fears about giving my book to Oprah…
How will I stand out?
How will I get Oprah to notice me?
How do I get Oprah to see me?
What do you do when you feel defeated?
How do you deal with fear of REJECTION?
What do you do in the moment where you SEE your own fearlessness?
Acts of courage! Tonight is such an amazing night! I will never forget this moment! Thank you Emma for bringing me to see Oprah! Thank you OPRAH and Tony Robbins!
Peace, light and LOVE!