I Need A Word...

…And we’re back after a very long break. A lot has happened since I last posted, but I’ll ease in slowly. Blogging can’t be my main concentration since I need to devote my energy at both my writing and homeschooling my newly-minted middle schooler.

But I will be blogging. The goal (limit??) is three times a week, which seems a lot easier to handle than trying to post daily like I used to. We shall see how that one goes.

I’ve been meaning to start blogging again for a month or so, and almost posted what has turned into the ending for this blog post as a Facebook status update, because that’s what I’ve been doing for so long. Tonight I deleted the FB status before posting, so here I am on Aspiring Mama to ask you for a word.

I need a word for the 2018 snowman holiday card I just finished. 

We will have three options this year on my Etsy Shop - two of the 2018 Pauline Campos Studios Holiday cards are by Eliana. She wants to encourage kids to give cards to each other (and I love that)! Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing her originals this weekend and getting the preorder process going. Mine will go on preorder in about week. I need the extra time for your feedback and which word or emotion this image brings out in you, and then a day or two to play with it digitally before calling it good for sale.

Hers will remain as she created it because she wants it that way. But mine needs a word. Every year, my snowman has a message. What will 2018’s be? 

2018 holiday card.jpg

Resilience

She's strong for the world to see because that's what she thinks she is supposed to be. She pushes forward every day for those that need her to, even when she is too tired to take another step.

She smiles for others when she would rather hide and cry. 

The world sees strength where she sees fault. One day, she will realize that she is more than she sees in herself. She will learn that tears don't mean weakness. 

Resilience. 

Now available on the etsy shop as an 8x10 giclee fine art print and a 3x5 postcard. 

Resilience 

Resilience 

On Art, Moving, & Outsmarting Myself (Maybe)

Funny how moving can force you to get on track. I've got an crazy amount of finished art pieces I've been meaning to list on the Etsy shop...  but good intentions don't exactly always mean stellar results. 

 

 

But now that I can tell you that we will be moving to the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, I also can tell you that I'll be damned if I wrap these pieces up to forget for another few years. If I pack one piece, moving tape and all, that's exactly what will happen. But because I decided to try to outsmart myself by listing as much as I can before I put it away for the move. Nothing like Actually Making Something Available to the Public for the odds of Actually Selling it to increase exponentially. 

 

Paper Petals

Paper Petals

We plan to leave Maine the week of January 13, and with your help, I'm hoping to sell enough art to cover fuels costs for the moving truck and my SUV. My Pie in the Sky goal is to raise enough funds to cover hotel costs along the way, as well. Moving is expensive, y'all. If you like something in my shop and decide to buy before we hit the road, it's kinda like loving me so much that you bought me a gas card. Which is totally flattering, by the way, and you are my favorite.

If you are looking for something and don't see it listed, tell me. I love commissions. Keep checking back for new finished art pieces and prints, because I'm listing at least two new items daily for the next week or so. 

Happy New Year! 

 

 

Half-Off Joyful Snowman Holiday Cards!

I guess it't not all bad if I'm only posting sales codes these days, right? 

Fans of my Joyful Snowman holiday card sets have the chance to pick up a set (or five) of cards for half off with the code JOYFULSNOWMAN. That means an set of 30 cards is $25 instead of $50 and a set of 10 cards is now $9 instead of $18. You still pay shipping AND play nice, because the code is only good for the Joyful Snowman card sets. 

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I love this snowman. Last year, this guy was my Christmas card, and I'm so thrilled each time I find out my card was saved and displayed with this year's holiday decorations.

I've got a new design I'm sending out to family and friends this year and next year, the new design gets added to my etsy stock. I just got my order from MOO and I cannot wait to show you tomorrow. For now, don't forget that you can get 25% off all noncommissioned art in stock on the shop (HAPPYHOLIDAYS is the code). 

Note: Joyful Snowman cards are on sale for 50 percent off through 12/20 and then 25 percent off sale runs through 12/31. I'm out for tonight...I've got files to ready for a lined journal I'm self-publishing. 

*Winks*

 

Check out Little Frida Muerte on My Redbubble Shop!

I've got a sale update for you on my Redbubble shop. One of my favorite pieces, Little Frida Muerte, is now available on a few items, And if you order like RIGHT NOW, you can get 20 percent off your order with code MANICMON. The code expires at midnight, 12/4, eastern time. 

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Check out the notebook!

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And don't tell Eliana, but I already have this cute tote bag hidden in the secret Christmas stash to wrap for her for Santa's stop at our house. Because yes, if she asks, Santa Claus himself has some of Mama's art on display at the North Pole, natch.

If Dia de Los Muertos isn't your thing, you might like something like this!

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My newest addition to the Redbubble shop, Sleepy Luna, is available on a few items, including a throw pillow...

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and this sweet iPhone 6 plus case I have on the way for my own iPhone! I can't wait. 

Stay tuned...I'll be adding more to the shop as I get prints and images uploaded and sorted. For now, click and buy now while the coupon code is still good! Oh, and if you're interested in a physical print, click the link to the name of each piece. That one takes you straight to the etsy shop. 

Happy shopping! 

Cyber Monday on the Etsy Shop

I had major plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on the Etsy shop, but life got in the way, so it's on to Plan B: and that's 25 percent off all prints, notecards, and original art listed (Sorry, commissions are not discounted.) Bonus? I'm running this sale through December 31! 

No, I'm not crazy. I am, however, planning a big move with my family and need to lighten the load. That means one goal is to sell completed art before it's time to load the moving truck! 

Before I share the coupon code with you, I want to show you something I just worked on for my writer friends, Alica. She wanted a few original art pieces with inspirational writer quotes on them to use for postcards she plans to give away at events. After a little bit of back and forth to get the ideas flowing, Alica settled on two quotes (one by me and one she came up with herself). I came up with a few original backgrounds for Alica to choose from, and once she chose her faves, It was time to combine art with inspirational words. That part I did digitally.

What do you think?

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product.  

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product. 

Now that Alica has her digital files (and is already ordering her first set of postcards!) I am working on the next projects. My friend, Heiddi, commissioned a monogram, which I am very excited about. And then there's the two journals I'm hustling to self-publish on Amazon in time for Christmas gift giving. I'll tell you about those soon. For now, though, stop by the Etsy shop for 25 percent off all non-commissioned art with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS. That means that if you haven't had a chance to order Christmas cards yet, you can score Joyful Snowman cards at a sweet discount and get them in time to send out to your friends and family!! 

Happy Cyber Monday! 

 

In Which I Introduce the F*ck-It Journal

Seems now that Mercury is out of retrograde and no longer being the biggest celestial asshole out there (again), I suddenly have my creative mojo back. So much so, that I'm alternating between getting paint under my fingernails with staring at blinking cursors as I try to figure out transitions and witty ways to wrangle words. It's times like this that being ADHD makes me smile.

One of my new Must-Make items in my list of Things That Make Pauline Happy is hand-painted composition journals. Yesterday I figured out that I can paint roses and then I showed a finished journal to a friend who decided she was going to buy it for another friend, which is cool, except my friend kept referring to my long-winded Original Altered Composition Journal as a Where's the F-Bomb on this Thing, or something like that.

As in: My friend really needs a fuck-it journal.

And: Why doesn't the cover have "fuck" on it somewhere? 

And: Aren't you going to paint the word "fuck" on this thing?

So I started referring to the long-winded Original Altered Composition Journals as Fuck it Journals and the rest only becomes history if this shit goes viral and I manage to somehow pay off my credit cards by swearing and painting pretty things.  

The journal that started it all. I cannot wait to make more.

The journal that started it all. I cannot wait to make more.

Check out my product description in my etsy shop:

When the kids don't listen to a word you say because if you have to tell them to clean their room One.More.Time...
When your husband has the man flu and actually gets to sleep because, ya know, he's dying...
When your blog post didn't go viral (again) even though it totally should have...
When Pinterest gives you a complex...
When life is sad & you can only share so much on Facebook...
When life is fucking amazing and you can only share so much on Facebook...
When you dream the dreams you want to remember...
When you dream the dreams you wish you could forget...
When you feel like a badass because you are one (but it's taken you entirely too many motivational memes to figure out the obvious)...
When you have things to say and want to say them out loud without making a sound...

This, my friends, is where the #F*ck-It Journal comes in. The one pictured here has sold, but that's paintbrushes and insomnia are for. These original & one of a kind, hand-painted, full-sized composition journals are perfect for you because you decide how to use it and get to have a say in how it turns out. 
Want roses? Talk to me. 
Doodles or Dia De Los Muertos art? I'm your girl. Mixed media? BRING IT. 

Is it your To-Do list? Your Dear Diary? Your time to yourself that you'll protect like a woman possessed because, fuck it, you deserve it?? Maybe your fuck- journal is all of these. And that's awesome. Maybe it's none and you fill your Fuck-It Journal with shit that is entirely Not Anyone's Business But Your Own

That's awesome, too. 

Write to your heart's content in an original, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted composition journal by artist, award-winning photographer, and author Pauline M. Campos. Each F*ck-It journal is made to order and will be unique. F*ck-It Journals are decoupaged, painted and/or doodled on both the front and back covers, featuring a hand-written #F*ck-It Journal tag affixed to the front cover with a dip pen & India ink. Your call on if your Fuck-It Journal tag is rated PG-13 or if you just DGAF what other people think about your love of the word "fuck". (<--- See What I did there?). Inside covers are unaltered because Pauline doesn't have that kind of patience, so... Fuck It!

Messy. Raw. Beautiful. Yours. 

What will *you* use your Fuck-It Journal for? 
 

Reserve your F*ck-It Journal here. 

When Deadline is King

Digging deep in the archives for this one tonight because my blog keeps crashing on me while I try to write new words and its this or I have to rob a bank to buy a new Macbook after I spike this one into the ground if I lose another post in the middle of trying to publish it. This post originally appeared on Aspiring Mama in July. Happy #NaBloPoMo. I've been publishing. To hell with linking up anywhere because it's a miracle I got this far. 

Resilience by Pauline Campos  

Resilience by Pauline Campos  

It's hard being the creative one in the relationship.

We are never not working. Even when we think we aren't we are. Vacations and conferences and business trips put us behind the behind we already were and then we stress and we try to balance family first and sometimes it works...

and sometimes it doesn't. 

It's hard being the creative one in the relationship.

But I think, if I'm being honest, it's harder being the one committed to the creative. Nights off are not always nights off. And time alone to celebrate being in the same house again after time apart are put off to meet deadlines missed because wifi on the train home was spotty at best. 

The deadline is always king. 

He took tonight off work to be with us. We got a few hours in watching a movie and eating dinner. And now he's in the room and I'm on the couch, laptop fired up, because it is what it is. 


I wish *it* came with the ability to freeze time and a personal assistant willing to work for smiling emojis.

Source: http://

#ScrewHumble

I've been told - and quite often, actually - that I suck at marketing myself. I don't deny or argue this fact. I'm a creative who is usually too busy focusing on the next thing to be done (blog post/book synopsis/art piece/essay/advice column) to focus on the business side of things. Which, if we are being totally honest, sucks big, giant balls.

Ginourmous ones, actually. 

I wrote this book once . #ScrewHumble

Here's the deal: You can be the best at whatever it is you do. You might even be fucking incredible at what you do. You gave it your all and are making those dreams you've harbored since your days of eating paste during show and tell in kindergarten. YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING PROUD OF YOU. Unless you're still eating paste. I'd wager it's fair to say that if you are still doing that, we've got a problem.

For those of you who kicked the habit in the first grade, it's time to talk turkey. Even if you and your tiny little slice of the internet are proud of you and your awesomeness, you aren't going to be climbing any higher than where you currently stand if only you and your tiny little slice of the internet are aware of your very existence. On the flipside, maybe you're slightly obnoxious and entirely lovable in 140 and twitter/facebook/instagram/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/youtube/periscope/blab is totally your bitch, we need to verify that twitter/facebook/instagram/youtube/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/periscope/blab is actually aware that your particular platform of choice is in fact, your bitch.

THIS LADY thinks that book I wrote is awesome.  You should buy hers . Right now.&nbsp;

THIS LADY thinks that book I wrote is awesome. You should buy hers. Right now. 

What do I mean by that? Sharing yourself and your talents with your fans and audiences is a good thing. You build a following that way and this is a good thing. But, if like me, your goals include things like All the Book Deals and Podcasts That Not Only My Mother Listens To and Best-Selling Books and Legions of Fans Everywhere, you need to reassess how it is that you present yourself online. I'm not talking about covering your tattoos here for the dayjob. What I am referring to is everything that I happen to suck at; namely, showcasing your street cred when there is most defintely street cred to be showcased.

Read that last sentence again because yes, I'm talking about me, too, here, and yes, that probably sounded a little pompous. Wherein lies one of the biggest reasons so many of us are busting our asses for little recognition when those already following our journeys are left to wonder when the universe is going to wise up and give us that big break we totally deserve -- we don't want to sound like assholes who are stuck on ourselves but we don't know how to find the right balance of pride and humbleness that is going to feel right and get the job done. That's where I lose interrest in the whole thing and say screw it, throw my hands up in the air (because I truthfully do not care most days), and distract myself from sucking at self-promo with a sharpie, a new ceramic tile, and a sassy #Chingonafest quote that probably would fall apart if I took the F-bomb out. 

See what I mean?&nbsp;

See what I mean? 

I've had this conversation with a number of respected colleagues recently and every single time it happens it's because of a new project or promo requiring a long bio and stats for vetting purposes. If I've reached this point in a convo with another party, it's usually because they already know something about me and it was enough to get them to ask for more details. This, my friends, is when the conversation comes to a screeching hault because the street cred currently impressing the other party is - and this is important, people - SHIT THEY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN. Turns out, I'm totally awesome but I'm awesome INSIDE MY HEAD and pretty much only inside my head. I'm not shy by any stretch of the imagination, but I've had Don't Show Off beat into my head since I was old enough to realize being the oldest meant new shoes and hand-me-downs made my little sisters hate me.

I'm not going to pretend to have suddenly become an expert at self-promo because I am not now and probably never will be. What I do know is this:

Being humble is killing the potential, people.

We need to stop standing in our own way.

After the Evolve or Die panel at Be Blogalicious with fellow speaker, Karen Walrond. Yes, I fan-girled. No, I am not ashamed.&nbsp;

After the Evolve or Die panel at Be Blogalicious with fellow speaker, Karen Walrond. Yes, I fan-girled. No, I am not ashamed. 

So, I challenge you to celebrate you and all that makes you fabulous: in your online bios and media kits and blog posts and facebook statuses. Tell your husband that your ass looks fabulous in those jeans you just bought because asking him if they make your butt look big is doing nothing for your self-esteem and everything to make sure you continue to leave the acknowledgement of your worth up to someone else. See where I'm going with this? No? Lemme show you:

Things I should have tattooed to my forehead (Read: #ScrewHumble)

And just wait until I get my shit together and itemize this list into individual tweets and social shares. I'm just getting started. I've got a lot to learn, and I may never have this marketing thing entirely right, but I'm doing okay, I think. Now? It's your turn.

What's on your #ScrewHumble list?

On Truth and Drumsticks: The Reboot

I wrote this four or five years ago. I'm sharing it today because I'm still trying to get to the point where All of This is moved to the Past Tense portion of my writing repertoire. But I'm human. Just like you. And the one thing we are good at is making mistakes. At least, maybe, the lessons we learn from the mistakes we keep making are meant for more than just me and you. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. 

Crying Girl in Black and White by Pauline Campos

Crying Girl in Black and White by Pauline Campos

"It's time to exercise, baby," I call to Eliana. "Did you want to play or workout with Mama?"' She's in the playroom she has dubbed her "magical land," but immediately joins me at my side and waits for the DVD to cue up. "Are we going to get healthy and strong?"

I smile. "Exactly."

***

When I was a baby, my thighs were so chubby that one of my aunts used to pretend to eat them like drumsticks. It's a story I heard often when I was growing up, usually told with the requisite giggles from my mother and a pinch on my legs from whoever else was within reach. I thinned out as I grew, but I never thought myself skinny. Instead, "big" was how I classified my body. "Big" as in I was five feet one inch tall at eight years old. The same height as my mother and almost every other adult woman in my family. "Big" as in not dainty with curves that snuck up on my when I was 12 and muscle definition that would have put me in the "athletic" category. But that word didn't exist in the Spanglish craziness my family resided in. Instead, children were scolded for not finishing what was on their plate and reprimanded for needing to watch what they were eating, usually in the same breath.

I remember very clearly the day my father notices my new set of hips. I weighed 156 pounds and stood 5'6'' tall. I wore a size 10 and only now realize I only thought that was a bad thing because my mother never shut up about the size 6 she could still squeeze into after five kids. If I could wake up with that body today?

A'ye, M'ijita.

My father, who stood no taller than me, pinched the curve of my hip.

"You need to lose some weight."

***

I started making myself throw up after watching a news special about a woman caring for eating disordered girls in her revolutionary treatment center. The point of the special was to enlighten and educate on the dangers of easting disorders and the needs of those suffering. I took it as a how-to manual.

Sometimes I wonder if my actions are the cause of the body I see in the mirror today. The hypoactive thryroid. The polycystic ovarian syndrome. The number on the scale. I was skinny before when I thought I was fat. Just because I was the only set of ethnic hips in the sea of curve-less white wonders I went to school with, I thought that meant I needed to better control what I was eating. And because I had failed at being an anorexic previously, the consolation prize was closet bulimia. If I didn't have the control to not eat, I could at least force my body to get rid of the evidence.

I should have just opened my eyes.

***

My daughter is three and often confused for a five-year-old. She's built like her father's side of the family; tall and lean. My nickname for her is "Little." And I skip the word "fat" when it's included in any of the books I read to her.

""She's so big for her age," strangers often say when they realize how young she actually is. I always smile and gently correct them, whether or not she is paying attention.

"Yes," I say, "She's very tall."

***

We eat clean; no processed sugar, no processed foods, and are gluten free, to boot. For dessert she'll choose watermelon over an ice cream sundae. (At least for now.) And because I can't control what the rest of the world says or what she will hear, I try to side step any of the emotional triggers adults verbalized when I was a kid.

If she refuses to eat a meal after two bites of food, instead of force feeding, I simply ask if she would like a cookie. If she says yes, I tell her that she has room for more of her meal if she has room for a cookie. If she says no, I believe her and take her plate away. I never criticize my own body in front of her. And I never diet. Instead, we all eat what's best for out bodies.

And exercise?

Maybe the truth behind the sweat and the time commitment is that I would like to lose a few more pounds and firm up my muffin-top belly. Maybe I'd like to feel as beautiful as The Husband tells me I am (and sometimes, I do.)  But I'll be damned if I say any of that out loud to a three-year-old who thinks it's funny to arch her back and stick her belly out after a good meal.

We are exercising to get healthy and strong.

And one of these days, after saying it enough to her, maybe I will believe that myself.

#ChingonaFest: More than We Are

An Artist Trading Card of mine. Make your dreams a reality. I'm not new here. In fact, I'm what some of you may refer to as a veteran blogger (but I'm not really. I know a few who've been doing this way longer). But before I was a blogger with a column in one of my favorite magazines, I was a writer with a dream.

It was a simple dream, really. I was eight when I decided I was going to write books one day and maybe 10 when I dug my (obviously clueless) heels in and selected Canadian middle-grade author Gordon Kormon as my basis for having my own books on the shelves by the time I was 13. That's how he did it and it seemed simple enough. Write a full-length middle grade novel for an English assignment and blow the socks off my teacher who would then prep the manuscript for me to send to publishing houses and wait for the offers to start rolling in.

Seemed easy enough, right? Seemed would be the key word here.

An original Ink Drawing: Show of Strength

I could lie and say I totally rocked my pie in the sky three-Year- Plan but it wouldn't even be a good lie. And to be honest, I'm pretty sure the chocolate-flavored angst that followed the year I turned 13 and realized I had failed at life, consequently sending me spiraling into my first midlife-crisis, is the kind of angst every good writer needs tucked up inside. This is the kind of inner-artistic-creative-crazy IAMTHEBESTWRITEREVER tempered, naturally with Doubt (IAMTHEWORSTWRITEREVER) and a smidgen of necessary self-righteousness (thoseASSHOLESdon'tknowTALENTDammit!), that I think most writers would refer to as our inner drive. It's the source of our creativity and the reason we keep going when agents tell us our platform sucks because a platform that doesn't exist usually does. As do the platforms that aren't big enough to guarantee 10,000 copies sold if a publisher were to bite.

Sleepy Moon Series: Moon # 4 of 15.

Honestly, it's pure ego that keeps those of us with vision boards and high school classmates to impress at the next reunion from just saying Fuck It and changing our name to Snooki before querying again because platforms mean name recognition and publicity, not innate writing ability and Stop Looking at me Like That. I didn't  say I think Snooki can't write or ask the Gods of all Things Literary why agents don't just stop telling us that we need anything other than a reality show, a bump it, and a good spray tan because Really? No, my friends. I didn't say anything of the sort.

That would be unprofessional.

*Nods head solemnly*

Another ATC/ACEO card. I love making these and using bits of Kathy Murillo's paper from her Michael's line in my work.

What I said was that I didn't get a book deal the first time out the gate 'cuz I was 13 and nowhere near ready to be published. What I did get was secure in my identity as a writer. I called my friends at 11 p.m. at night on school days with my newest essay on Life and All Things Hormonal, freshly typed out on my new typewriter, and read to them the words that formed the path I was (and still am) dead-set on following. That's all well and good, except that in telling myself I was a writer, I inadvertently also told myself that I was only a writer.

Imagine my surprise when I sat down just last year to hand draw a set of animal note cards for a homeschool lesson and The Husband -- all sweet and surprised-like -- told me that my drawing didn't suck. High praise, you guys. High praise.

But it was enough to send me into an entirely new direction, complete with watercolor pencils and acid-free drawing paper and an etsy shop in which I sometimes remember to post my latest little creation. Even with art being commissioned by friends and strangers alike and the occasional sale from the artsy things I did manage to post, I still had a really hard time referring to myself as an artist. And don't even get me started on the inner-struggle I wasted five minutes on regarding the Being a Photographer thing. I am a writer, remember? I couldn't possibly be more than that because that's all I had ever allowed myself to be. Until, at least, I accidentally remembered I wasn't too shabby at this drawing and painting and mixed media thing and stopped telling myself I couldn't be more than I thought I was.

Original Mixed Media: Autobiography by Pauline Campos

We can all be more than we are because we already are more than we realize, usually. All we need to do is own our own potential.

And if that doesn't work, I suggest talking to yourself like you would your crazy talented and inspiring BFFs who you swear to God you are going to bitch-slap if they don't stop minimizing themselves and their talents and just say Thank You for once because Dammit, that's what you do when someone pays you a compliment, already. Honestly, it's like we can't create enough variations on the "I look good? But look at this ASS! No way, Bestie, YOU LOOK GOOD!' 'Really? BUT THIS TUMMY FLAB!'" bullshit we seamlessly fall into when trying to compliment our Best Amigas. Why can't we just learn to shut up and take a fucking compliment?

Good Hair Day. Photo by Pauline Campos

We can pay them forward all day long and we mean them when we say them to the women we care about. Which makes me think I had the "Stop Defining Yourself Through Other People's Eyes" thing wrong. Maybe we need to do the exact opposite, if the Other People are the ones telling us that we are Beautiful, Smart, Important, Talented, Funny, Inspiring, and Chingona to the hilt, that is. Maybe it's the perspective change that we need because we've been brainwashed to always see ourselves as Less Than because Celebrating Ourselves is seen as improper and stuck up  --  which is complete and utter bullshit, y'all.

Bull...

Shit.

So maybe the trick is to start with changing the inner dialogue and swapping our own internal Critical Tia for that of a good friend. Look in the mirror and let HER tell YOU why you are All Things Fabulous. You'll know you're doing it wrong if you suck at being a friend and tell your besties that they suck at that thing that they secretly think they might be sort of good at. If that's the case, I'm betting your friendship circle totally gets bigger if you give my way a try. You can thank me later.

A Mile in Her Shoes. Photo by Pauline Campos

Obviously, I eventually got over myself -- at least in this particular case -- and that was a good thing. I'm still a writer. But now, I'm more. And I like it that way.

Now it's your turn. I don't often ask for comments on my writing here, but the point of this Aha! Moment of mine is that we all could use a reminder here and there to swing our hips a bit more confidentially and to stop playing the Humble Card because Self-Pride is entirely underrated. Whether you are a proud member of the #ChingonaFest community or a writer, blogger, or fledgling underwater basket weaver, you are always more and capable of so much more than which you give yourself credit. Always Celebrate Who You Are. No One Else is Going to Do It For You. That's one of my most popular Chingonafest quotes, and for good reason. We are too often told that , as women and, for many of us, as women of color, that we aren't supposed to be anything but humble and unsure of ourselves outside of cultural and societal dictates.

I'm a writer. An Artist. A Mother. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Photographer. Friend.

I'm creative, driven, bull-headed, caring, bitchy, sarcastic, and sassy.

10518140_479967992137698_681701580_n

I'm that and I'm more and I'm ready to be open to the possibilities of what and who I may become tomorrow and proud of who I was yesterday, just as I am of myself and my capabilities today. And this is where I leave the ball in your court.

Tell me, amigas...

Who are YOU?