Hello, there! My name is Cynthia Rodríguez. I’m a writer, copy-editor and translator in English and Spanish. I write about arts, fashion and entertainment and the ways they relate to our daily lives. I can write for you if you want, but here I write from my point of view. Feel free to browse, take a look at my samples and share your thoughts on the blog.
As you may have read in past months, I tend to travel up, down and all around to plus size fashion events and Fat Acceptance meetings. From London to Sheffield and all the way to Leeds, I love visiting and supporting collectives that hold the often confusing belief (to the rest of Western civilisation) that fat people deserve as much dignity and pride as everyone else. This sense of dignity and pride includes being able to navigate society, establish professional, amicable and intimate relationships, start and develop a career, get involved in joyful physical activities for health improvement and maintenance, and simply survive without fear. And for most of these activities, unless you work on a nude beach, you need clothes. Clothes that reflect your personality, are worth the money and are fit for the occasion.
To be honest, I have a complicated relationship with Chris Guillebeau and his work. Just like with Seth Godin, Mark Boyle and other “disruptive” intellectuals, Guillebeau’s ideas sound too good to be true and too simple to be universal. His concept behind The Art of Non-Conformity is exhilarating. Not only did I download his Brief Guide to World Domination, but I printed it and included it in a very special folder I read for inspiration and empowerment, among The ‘Undeclared for Life’ Manifesto by Puttylike’s Emilie Wapnick and The (nearly) Ultimate Guide to Better Writing edited by Mary Jaksch from Write to Done. I wanted to believe that, like him, one could travel around the world on a budget using nothing but intelligence and thriftiness. That one could publish several books independently and attract the power of thousands under the wings of tenacity, integrity and tenacity again.
Let’s play a drinking game, shall we? I know it’s quite early in the day, but we all can do with a shot of tequila or two in the morning. Or three? Or even more?
It’s quite easy: grab a crime novel, any crime novel, and whenever you encounter any of the following tropes, pour in your favourite alcoholic drink into a shot glass and gulp it. Are you ready? Here they are:
A dead sparrow once again. This time, in the mailbox.
They always appear wherever she least expects it: in the bin, between the newspaper pages, in cereal boxes. Under the pillow. In the sink. Like wicked toys from a Happy Meal. Like presents from the cat, who loves her so much and who purrs at her feet.
The other day, she opened a bag of beans to clean them, and there was one. She split an avocado in half, and she find him instead of the bone. Dark brown, rigid, curled up into a ball, with his feet crushed and without any fingers left.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be like Carrie. I wanted to have strong, mental powers to defend myself from the bullies, the teachers, and sometimes from family itself. I wanted to have them on the palm of my hand, unable to escape after one joke too many. I’m pretty sure I’m not the one.
Surprisingly, more and more teens shared this disdain and desire. Not necessarily absolute misfits. A few Halloweens later, this beautiful Suicide Girl chick from university went dressed as Carrie to one of the most decadent parties I’ve ever been to. Mind you, the same party had a bloke dressed like a member of the Ingsoc Thought Police, and I think I saw many Alices in Wonderland, Alex DeLarge and even the Aztec god Tlaloc. Accidentally on purpose, it was a literary themed party. Nobody killed anyone, though. Some people shagged, some people threw up and some people threw up while shagging. Nothing like Brian de Palma’s apocalyptic film adaptation, nor like the straight-to-TV alternate fantasy featuring Angela Bettis, which, quite ironically, we were watching before going to the party.
One of the perils of being a freelancer is finding the perfect workplace. Your home is nice and cosy, but it can get pretty lonely. The café or pub is friendly and crowded, but you can’t always afford eating out or having a cuppa. Plus, things may get hella distracting if you end up developing a crush on the barista – as you do.
Enter co-working spaces: the ultimate solution. A home office away from home… office. The opportunity to be your own boss and still have water-cooler moments with someone besides your cat, your mum on the phone and your sorry old self. There’s freedom, plenty of room, networking and friendship possibilities, coffee, tea, Internet, and the perfect excuse to leave your house and enjoy some well-needed fresh air like your 9-to-5 buddies do when they go to their company jobs.
For the first time in a very, very long while, I cried after finishing a book. I’ve never been a soppy person with books and films, even if I love them so much. But it just happened. I welled up.
And who did this? None other than Troy Blackford, a brave little writer from the Twin Cities, self-published most of his life, and using the power of social media to advertise his novels and short stories on paper and Kindle.