Best news to receive in Paris! International Latino Book Awards-Latino Literary Now Thank You!
Best Latino Focused Book Design
FIRST PLACE Graciella la Gitana Oracle / El Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana, Theresa Varela, illustrated by Mara Alicia Cordova; Pollen Press Publishing LLC; USA/Puerto Rican; New York City
Best Arts Book
HONORABLE MENTION Graciella la Gitana Oracle / El Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana, Theresa Varela, illustrated by Mara Alicia Cordova; Pollen Press Publishing LLC; USA/Puerto Rican; New York City
I’m a bit stunned at receiving the news that our Graciella la Gitana Oracle/Oráculo de Graciella la Gitana is a finalist at this years International Latino Book Awards. I’m thrilled too and especially glad that the illustrator, Mara Alicia Cordova, my daughter, is a finalist along with me. That fact is beyond my wildest dreams. We’ve placed in the Best Art Book and Best Latino Focused Book Design categories. Wow. Just wow!
From seed thought to penning sample illustrations to figuring out whether we were using CMYK to RGB it took us fifteen years to complete this project. I’m glowing and marveling that my spiritual work and my loving close relationship with Graciella, one of my spirit guides, has enabled these very special oracle cards to come to fruition. I thank Patricia Dornelles, my VP and spouse, for her attentiveness and commitment to making sure the box and booklet design and cover were perfect for the oracle. I thank Orlando Ferrand for his finesse in translation and for being true to the spirit of the words so the magic could come through the portal of this work. I also thank Cindy Hochman for her editing suggestions of the lyrical prose.
I can’t help but shake my head. There were many times during the last fifteen years as I dug into my creative aka spiritual work that I’d received downright advice to give up the ship. Agents and publishing companies often didn’t take a soft stance when they offered their opinions of my work. I’m glad that I didn’t walk the plank as almost suggested. The vision of my work falling into the ocean wasn’t a pretty sight. These experiences helped me to learn to value myself and the worth of my work. It was definitely an inside job with the outside tears sometimes rolling down my cheeks. An agent I’d submitted Covering the Sun with My Hand to actually wrote me an email saying my writing stunk. Literally. I wiped away my tears and jumped right back in. That novel, just as Nights of Indigo Blue, won International Latino Book Awards.
Pollen Press was developed by me because I needed a company that would be truly behind me from the finances to the late nights editing ‘just one more time.’ This post isn’t about ‘how you like me now?’ It’s coming from a place of encouragement to not give up your dreams because someone else thinks you’ll never be any good. Believe in yourself. Develop a thick skin that allows well deserved critique and love to permeate into your self. This will help you to grow to be the person you journeyed to this planet to be. As Graciella would say, Compasión is for others, but it is for you too.