Yeah- true story...I do feel like a tractor trailer hit me! Probably because one has!
Okay let me not get ahead of myself. First of all... Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!!! I am definitely still talking about it, celebrating it, and just loving every minute of it! Why? Because I'm Latina and sometimes I can be a little extra. I can say that (hahaha) because I have my Latina card polished nice and shiny. All joking aside, I have been super busy sharing my story of immigration, my sense of pride of being Latina and having the superpower of being bilingual. Latinos have made uncomperable contributions to our country and it is definitely appropriate to celebrate all of those accomplishments and more importantly to recognize those accomplishments. A week and a half ago I was a guest keynote speaker for the Gwinnett Government Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. They have an amazing leadership team that includes Sylvia Goalen. She definitely leads by example of being a servant leader. I'm pretty sure I've not met someone as dedicated as Sylvia in Gwinnett. She's definitely a gem for the the county. The event ended with a fire alarm going off and so we ended up going home at that time since we had to evacuate the building. The entire time all I really wanted was a taco or two. An authentic Mexican restaurant catered the event and I had to wait until after I spoke to eat. Well the alarm went off after I spoke, so I couldnt't get a taco. As I walked out into the parking lot all I kept saying was, "I just wanted a taco."
This week I'm supposed to be flying to California to present on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and sharing why books such as mine, "3,585 Miles to be an American Girl" are important in classrooms. All students should see themselves, their family, their culture and beliefs in the books they have access to. Now I might not be able to attend. I'll find out tomorrow morning. On October 16, I will be visiting GA Highlands College! I love speaking with young people and helping inspire them as they approach their future and work to meet their own goals.
Okay so now I'll tell you what happened this past Thursday. I was leaving Vida Radio, as I had just wrapped up an interview to promote the Hispanic Mentoring Program I am leading. I drove back to my office, got off at my exit, the light was red. I waited for the light to turn green and as it did I got ready to move forward like the cars in front of me. That's when I felt the strongest jolt I've ever felt. It felt like it seeped into my entire body and immediately I went into shock! As I turned to look what was happening, I saw a huge tractor trailer literally at my window. The tractor trailer had hit MY driver's side door. Then a horrible screech followed. The truck scraped the entire driver's side of my car. Initally I thought, "okay- I'm okay- ". Ten seconds later I had the worst headache I've ever had in my entire life. It felt as thought my head might explode. I dialed 911. They responded and I told them where I was. The driver of the truck approached me. I could tell he was remorseful. He told me I was in his blind spot and he never saw me. I asked for his insurance and I took pictures of everything he gave me. I called my office and half of my department showed up to support me at the scene (I know they are super nice and they made me feel better because I was scared). The ambulance came too. I was taken to the hospital. They ran lots of tests, x-rays, and scans. No broken bones, but I have a nerve on my neck that is bruised so I have to wear a fashionable neck brace. All in all I feel blessed, I know it could of been much worse. In the meantime, I feel like a tractor trailer hit me and I am stuck with minimal tasks allowed. All prayers and well thoughts are welcomed at this time.
Tip for novice / aspiring authors: Do not, I repeat do not skimp on the book cover. I see lots of pre-made book covers being sold here and there by illustrators. They do not reflect your story. Your story is unique. Your story is part of you. Readers are visual, your book cover can literally be the deciding factor in someone's choice. Shop around (it's easy now with social media and access to the web). Whether you're self publishing or you're using an agent, remember that illustrations in children's books are very important and book covers for any genre are very important too.
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See you on the web!!!! Until then... What are you reading?