"Books are my inspiration, writers my heroes.”

- Olivia Castillo

I grew up in the Bronx, NY.  I had an older sister and three younger brothers. In those days there were no videos, computers, iPhones, game boys, Xboxs, or PlayStations. We had only three TV channels and shows for kids were in the mornings, afternoons, or on S...

"The US cares more about the cage than the bird."
    -Pedro Albizu Campos

The years 1860 to 1898 was a period of growth for Puerto Rico.  There was a rebellion, the end of slavery, and an attempt at independence from Spain before Puerto Rico was ceded to the U.S. When the U.S. took over 121 years ago, Puerto Rico had...

As an American citizen born on the mainland, one of my rights is the right to vote. I have had this taught to me as a small child in every grade at school. Teachers, books, media and my own parents hammered this into me. My mother would always ask us if we voted, and she stressed how important it was to be current on events...

I live in the land of the quakes, California. We are no stranger to rocking and rolling. Since I moved to California at 17, I have seen my share. There was the 1984 Whittier quake measuring 5.9, the 1989 San Francisco quake measuring 6.9 with its collapsed freeways, killing people and causing untold damage...the 1994 North...

It’s almost October the official beginning of the holiday season for me.

I love the holidays. I love Halloween and I even dress up. I love Thanksgiving, and getting together with family and loved ones. I love Christmas and getting the tree up and house decorated.

It hasn’t always been a good time of year for me. I remember...

Watching the news of Hurricane Dorian miss Puerto Rico and then-decimate the Bahamas has been heart breaking. Watching someone’s world fall apart is a terrible experience. It’s even more gut wrenching when it’s your own world and those of people you love. None of us will escape this. It’s an inevitable consequence of being...

I was totally stunned when I got the email that I placed for the Bronze Award at the International Reader's Favorite Yearly Competition. I had forgotten I had even submitted my book, so when I saw the letter I was in shock.

To win an international award for writing is a dream come true for me and to attend an awards c...

I look at fall as the beginning of the year. It's the time of year when we begin a new school year, start a new season, and kick-off the holidays.

I think of new beginnings differently today than I did before. I welcome it! Whereas before, I remember being very resistant to change. I felt like if things changed, I failed and...

While attending a Writers Conference last weekend, I attended a class based on women’s characters in fiction. 

I learned that there are two types of women in literature: the woman who trades her identity for protection and the woman who is at the mercy of what happens.

Both women have to get to awareness for them to find pe...

U-a, si-la
Pa-a ia me o-e
Ko a-lo-ha ma-ka-mea e i-po
Ka-‘u ia e le-i a-e ne-i la.
Now that we are one
Clouds won’t hide the sun
Blue skies of Hawaii smile.

"Hawaiian Wedding Song," by Elvis Presley

I recently went to the Kona Living History Coffee Farm on the big island of Hawaii. While on tour, I was fascinated to find out...

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