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Maria de Lourdes

Victoria

I am a bilingual writer born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, currently residing in the state of Washington. I write novels, short stories and children’s books. I wrote my first novel, Los Hijos Del Mar (The children of the sea) because I wanted my sons to know their ancestry and to be proud of their heritage. The story, set during the late nineteenth century in México and in Spain, is based on the lives of my ancestors, the Victorias, who made a name for themselves in México’s pharmaceutical industry, and the Muguiras, Spanish immigrants who found success cultivating and trading coffee seeds. The novel weaves both families’ sagas into a shared destiny and their intertwined tales becomes, finally, the love story of my parents. Click here to read a chapter of Los Hijos del Mar.

My second novel, Más allá de la Justicia (Beyond Justice) is a farewell to my former profession as a litigator. Through the first-person narrative of my three characters, I bring my reader into the harsh world of our criminal justice system, the complex lives of the accused, and the people who work, relentlessly, in the pursuit of justice. While the novel is not a memoir, my work as a public defender influenced my writing, and the process became therapy, allowing me to understand how the experience had shaped me. Click here to preview Mas Alla De La Justicia

A number of literary journals have published my short stories. The theme that seems to permeate my prose in that genre is the struggle that Latinos face in the United States. My characters are often working women trying to survive in a country that is not their own. The inspiration for the stories often comes from the people I try to help in my current work as a mediator.

I particularly enjoy writing for children. I find the process uplifting, and a good source of balance, especially when the substance of my adult work is often dark, and daunting. The more I explore and learn about this genre, the more it calls to me, especially when I am around my grandchildren, who are my best, and most devoted audience.

TO GIVE AND TO RECEIVE

My father used to say that we have two hands; one to receive and one to give. He’d say that in order to walk straight in life we must give as much as we take. Lately, I feel as though I have taken more than I have given. I’ve been showered with gifts, I am not sure why. My birthday is not until January. And I am not talking about gifts that you unwrap (although I’ve received those as well) but the type that entail life - an invitation to walk, have coffee, a loving comment, dinner, or an unexpected hug. I feel so loved!

Last week I taught poetry at Puesta del Sol, the immersion program attended by my children when they were little. Aida, the phenomenal woman who organized the program, greeted me with a book of poems that the little ones wrote last year (I also taught them last year), complete with photos. Such a nice gesture! Here is a picture of my precious gift.

A few days ago I invited to dinner a couple of very dear friends. One came with flowers, the other with a scarf. Both women are very busy with very important jobs and yet they came and gave me four hours of their life. They even brought their "honeys" to entertain my husband.

Last Saturday I participated in the anniversary celebration of Seattle Escribe, the group of writers who live in Seattle and write in Spanish. There is so much talent in that group! Half way through the celebration I was given a necklace with a red apple. Simply beautiful. Here is a picture of this amazing, growing group.

My friends of over 35 years, the Ya-yas (thus named after the book Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya sisterhood) invited me to Lopez Island to spend a couple of days. While there I received hugs, advice, smiles and jokes. So many memories! So much shared much life!

Recently, a friend invited me to the first congress of "Kick-ass women" (mujeres chin…onas). Funniest conference I have attended in my life! The congresswomen gave me inspiration and hope that one day my granddaughters will enjoy the same rights and privileges as their male siblings. What a gift!

Last night another friend organized a dinner to celebrate my new novel, La casa de los secretos (release date is July, 2016). She is a gourmet chef and served us an exquisite banquet. She also gave me a beautiful necklace and a sweet card. But the best were the hugs of her daughters who are almost my granddaughters. One will be a writer. I am sure of it.

Yesterday my sister, who just returned from Mexico, came to visit. She came bearing gifts that my niece and my other sister sent me. (Look at this beautiful Jarochiland game and book!).

With the publication of my new novel, I have been showered with many gestures of love. Already there were several angels helping me with the manuscript from the beginning. Now my family and friends have rushed to help me organize the presentations in both countries. The have offered space, music, even food! A friend wants to dress me in a Oaxacan dress, another is offering to dance the Mixteca song, yet another offers me to write a review and introduce me to the media. The presentation of Veracruz is being sponsored a generous uncle. Many have promised to accompany and bring their tribes so I don’t have to read to the walls. Organizing the events has been intense work, the efforts of many, and no one has accepted a penny for their help. Another friend even offered me to create a "book trailer" and refuses any compensation. I don’t know how to thank so many wonderful people. Here is the invitation to the book tour in Mexico, you are all invited!!

Now you see why I feel so loved.

Such kindness makes me reflect on what I should give to walk straight and not crooked. It is my turn to distribute words of love and comfort, give hugs to whoever needs them, and advice to anyone who wants it. It’s my turn to give my time and help my fellow human beings and my community. I must open my arms, my home, my mind and give the best of me. Perhaps the beneficiaries will not be the same people that have given me so much, but that does not matter. The important thing is to spread and share the rewards of my basket as they do in the Guelaguetza. Throw fruit in the air to lighten the weight of the hand that has received so much.

I thank you for all the gifts! I will do my best to reciprocate. 

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