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Blowing Your Horn

I just summed up my publications for the year for a friend. One short story and one personal essay published in two anthologies. Not bad for one year’s work, given that I was working full time and taking classes in the UCLA Writers Program as well. So I’m going to share them here: Short story, “The Red Lipstick” in the anthology You Don’t Have a Clue. Personal essay, “A Grown-up” in the anthology Our Spirit, Our Reality: Celebrating Our Stories. The first anthology got a very good Kirkus review that you can read below:

YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE (reviewed on March 15, 2011)

Cortez complements her adult level Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (2009) with 18 new tales (from a largely different set of Latino/Latina authors) featuring teen characters and concerns. Readers with a taste for the gruesome will be delighted by Xander’s discovery of a freshly severed human arm in his school locker in R. Narvaez’s hilarious and memorable “Hating Holly Hernandez” or the bloody, eye-gouging battle with alien fugitives in Mario Acevedo’s leadoff “No Soy Loco.” Along with scary tales of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping, less violent crimes solved by young detectives include stolen auto parts, santitos (religious figurines) and costume jewelry—along with an encounter with possible ghosts and a vision of the enraged Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui rising up over Venice Beach in Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s “The Tattoo.” Several authors explore moral or ethical gray areas. Sergio Troncoso contributes an anti-mystery in which a teenager simply shrugs off a near-fatal allergic reaction and moves on, and, in another ingenious twist on conventions, Carlos Hernandez crafts a smooth-talking Bronx teen who cements his reputation as a “cop-whisperer” when a face-blind friend’s girlfriend supposedly disappears after posting a suicide note. Only one—a too-sketchy short-short from Daniel A. Olivas—really misses the mark. Overall, a consistent, well crafted collection. (glossary, author bios) (Short stories. 12-16).

Am now working on two novel, one of them YA. And being retired, I've got the time to invest in them. A good feeling.