Sunday, November 2, 2014

Earth Mother (free short story preview)

She awoke in the throes of a mind numbing panic.  Her eardrums sympathetically vibrated with the subliminal hum of an unseen, unheard yet very palpable force just below the threshold of audible frequencies.  Her heartbeat sloshed in her ears as though she were under water, desperately trying to escape a powerful predator. The adrenaline in her veins and the irrational fear that paralyzed her made every joint in her body ache and yielded spasmodic pains as though her muscles were tightly coiling around themselves. Her mouth dry and vocal cords frozen from fear, Lisa lacked the power to give voice to a scream that was born, grew and died in her throat without expression. Unable to move and still unaware of the cause of her discomfort, Lisa could detect a barely perceptible blue-green aura through the partially closed Venetian blinds and drawn drapes in her bedroom.  The air was charged;  she could sense it though the prickly itch of her hair standing on end. It smelled like a summer thunderstorm had just passed though, despite a cloudless sky.

After long, silent moments of languishing transfixed in irrational terror, satin sheets clinging coldly to her naked body as she lay in a  perspiration-soaked bed, a painful flash of white light inundated her bedroom, leaving Lisa temporarily blind, with multiple circular black afterimages receding slowly through her repetitive blinking, eventually fading to gray and melding into a humanoid form standing some six feet from the foot of her bed. The form, a hairless, androgynous ashen skinned humanoid with large, seal-like black eyes, button nosed, with thin, small lips,  approximately five feet tall and weighing perhaps ninety-five pounds, finally spoke to her.  More accurately, it transmitted words and fragmentary, vivid images into her mind accompanied by a soft, musical sound that might be speech and was as beautiful as it was unintelligible.

“Please, please don’t hurt me,” she thought, still unable to utter a sound.

“No need to fear; we will not do you harm. Be calm,” the creature replied in visual words and images that were fragmented but quite clear.

“Please go away.  Oh. God, help me, please.”  Lisa would have cried and screamed and run had she the power to do any of those things.  Since she did not, she lay still, mentally pleading with the seemingly innocuous creature whose presence, despite its attempts at reassurance, had done little to ameliorate her dread.

“Do not fear.  We bring you a gift with which to bargain for your help.”  The creature’s facial expression and body language did not change, but the visual messages it transmitted clearly tried to show its good will. Warmth, happiness, contentment emanated from the creature as does the sweet scent of a flower carried by a slight summer’s breeze.

“You won’t hurt me?” Lisa half asked, half pleaded, somewhat reassured by the creature’s communication, yet certainly not yet disposed to accept its alleged good will at face value.

“We come only to offer a gift, in exchange for your assistance.”

“What kind of gift?  And what type of help do you want?” Lisa’s fear seemed to dissolve rather quickly with each reference by the creature to a gift.

“We offer a great gift, the ability to communicate without words as we now do, in exchange for your service” The creature retorted, seemingly encouraged into more negotiation by Lisa’s growing receptiveness.

“Are you offering me the gift of telepathy?”  Lisa’s heart, no longer beating fast in response to fear, was beginning to speed up in response to a new growing emotion.”

“You may call it that, yes.”

“What do you want in exchange?” Lisa asked, furrowing her brow slightly, and beginning to ask herself what in her power she would not be willing to do for that ability.

“You must incubate one of us and nurture it until it is strong enough to part from you.”

“I don’t understand. Do you want me to care for you or one of your kind? To be a baby sitter?”

“Much more,” the creature replied, sending Lisa a clear image of a human body, her body, in the last stages of pregnancy.

“No!” replied Lisa, tried instinctively to close her legs and gather her sheets about her, aware for the first time of her nakedness and vulnerable position with great revulsion. She also remembered the unpleasant reports of alien encounters with horrific medical exams and intrusive probes wielded by intergalactic perverts apparently intent on molesting humans for their own gratification. But her body would not obey her commands; whether she was paralyzed by some sort of stasis field of by the creature’s mental powers, she did not know.

“It is not copulation we seek,” the creature immediately offered, seemingly amused and sending a clear visual image of its honorable intentions.  “Our anatomy is unlike yours and would not permit it, but your womb is compatible for our purposes.  We would plant an embryo in your uterus that would grow, protected and nourished through your normal biological means” With this, the creature sent an image of a sesame seed-sized embryo being implanted into a human host, and later emerging in the usual means less than a fifth the size of a human baby.

“No pain?” Lisa asked, relived but cautious.

“Both the implantation and the subsequent birth are completely free of discomfort.”

“How long for the procedure and how long is the period of gestation?”

“Two of your minutes for the implantation and six of your weeks for the gestation to be completed.”

“A two minute implant and painless delivery six weeks later buys me the gift of telepathy, huh.  Is that your deal?”


“Wait a minute.  My mother raised no fools.  How long does my telepathy last?”

“Throughout the entire period of your life.”

“Not bad.  A lifetime of telepathy for six weeks of work.” Lisa replied, more to herself than to the creature, who perhaps sensing that fact made no reply.

Then, her brow furrowing again, she continued, “If this is such an easy deal, why do you need me?  Why can’t your own kind do so themselves.”

“All of those capable of breeding on our world are dead.” The creature’s thoughts and mental images conveyed great sadness. We will cease to exist as a species unless we have outworlders such as yourself help us.”

“Sorry to hear that. “  She thought back at the creature, which again made no reply.  “Is there any risk to me from the pregnancy or birth? Will you return for the birth?  And how long need I care for the thing afterwards?”

“There is no risk to you.  We will give you medications to strengthen your immune system and eradicate any illness you may currently have. The medication will also prevent your antibodies from attacking the embryo.  We can guarantee your health and vitality for the rest of your life as a byproduct of the procedure.  As to our return, it is unnecessary.  Our infants are self sufficient and require only the most basic type of sustenance for a period that never exceeds two of your weeks after their birth. The infant would then move on without need of any additional assistance from you.”

“Sounds like a deal to me.  The little bugger will pop out like a slice of toast when its time comes, care for itself immediately, leaving me with telepathy and good health for life, and I don’t even have to undergo morning sickness or stretch marks.  What more could a girl want?” She smiled, thinking about the possibilities that telepathy would provide for her.  To know what others thought, and to be able to plant messages in their minds.  The possibilities were intoxicatingly endless.


Earth Mother is one of the ten short stories in Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories. The book is available as an audiobook, in paperback and in every major eBook format from a wide range of book sellers.

Mindscapes short story collection – Audiobook version. Click on any of the following vendors for additional information and and an audio sample:  Audible, iTunes and Amazon.

Mindscapes short story collection – Paperback and eBook versions. Click on any of the following vendors for additional information and and a free preview: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Scribd.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October Goodreads and LibraryThing Audiobook and Paperback Giveaways of My Mindscapes Short Story Collection

I am giving away a paperback copy of my Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories book through Goodreads this month. Please click here to enter. I will be glad to autograph the copy for the winner on request. (Ends October 21, 2014)I am also giving away a free Audible download of the audiobook version of the book released last month through Audible, iTunes and Amazon to a U.S. reader and a copy to a U.K. reader. You can sign up for these here. (Scroll down until you see the U.S. and U.K. giveaways.) The U.S. Giveaway ends October 23 and the U.K. giveaway ends October 25.
The book is also available in a wide range of eBook formats as well as on paperback from numerous book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords and many others.
A simple book trailer for the paperback and eBook versions of the book that features my reading of the shortest short story in the collection is accessible here.  Unlike the audiobook which was professionally produced and read by Dale M. Wilcox, my reading of “Justice” is a cold read without the benefit of a recording studio using a cheap mike in my study. I offer it only as a curiosity and NOT as an example of the audiobook as Dale’s polished approach is in sharp contrast to my own five-minute project. (A sample of the actual audiobook is also available through the Audible site here.)

Good luck! And thank you for your interest and support.


Monday, September 22, 2014

LibraryThing and Goodreads audiobook and paperback giveaways

I am giving away a paperback copy of my Mindscapes short story collection (autographed on request) through a Goodreads author giveaway that should go live by tomorrow (9/23/2014). At the same time, I am giving away an Audible audiobook copy of the book through a LibraryThing giveaway. If you’re interested in signing up for either or both giveaways, you can click on the following links: LibraryThing  or Goodreads.
Once again, the Goodreads giveaway is pending editorial approval but it should be up and running by tomorrow.

As always, I am grateful for your interest and support. And good luck!

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New short fiction audiobook available free from Audible

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories | [Victor D. Lopez]

My Mindscapes short story collection was released as an audiobook last week and can be downloaded free of charge with an Audible free one-month trial subscription. The book retails for $14.95 and is also available from Amazon and iTunes. A sample preview file is also accessible from the Audible, iTunes and Amazon sites. The book is also available in paperback and in all major eBook formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords and many other retailers.
A simple book trailer for the paperback and eBook versions of the book that features my reading of the shortest short story in the collection is also accessible here.  Unlike the audiobook which was professionally produced and read by Dale M. Wilcox, my reading of “Justice” is a cold read without the benefit of a recording studio using a cheap mike in my study. I offer it only as a curiosity and NOT as an example of the audiobook as Dale’s polished approach is in sharp contrast to my own five-minute project.

Please sample the book and feel free to leave feedback–positive or negative–which is always welcomed.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Mindscapes audiobook published today

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories | [Victor D. Lopez]

My book of short stories, Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories, is available starting today on Audible. For a preview and sample audio clip you can click on the book's cover above or here. The book is also available in soft cover and in various eBook versions through AmazonBarnes and Noble, iBooksSmashwords and many other retailers. the audiobook version will also be available at iTunes and Amazon in a day or two. The book is unabridged and was produced and read by Dale M. Wilcox.

As always, I am grateful for your support and would appreciate any feedback my readers would care to offer on this  or any of my books.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Audiobook version of Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories slated for August release

Mindscapes: Ten Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories by Victor D. Lopez (Narrated by Dale M. Wilcox)

There were a number of minor technical issues that needed to be resolved in post-production that resulted in the delay of the audiobook's release. These have now been addressed and the book should be released to Audible, iTunes and Amazon in the next week or two.

I will post links and a sample audio file here as soon as the book is released.  It is a little longer than four and one half hours and I am very pleased with the narrator's (Dale Wilcox) final work. Pricing is, unfortunately, not up to me and will be set by ACX. Paperback and Kindle versions of the book are currently available through Amazon and elsewhere. If I maintain Amazon's distribution of the Kindle version of the book (rather than limiting the Kindle version distribution to Smashwords and its many affiliates--something I am currently considering) then anyone who has purchased the Kindle version will be able to purchase the whispersync audio version at a cut rate price.  Unfortunately, my ACX exclusive distribution agreement will not permit me to make the audiobook available other than through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
A rough book trailer for the paperback and eBook versions of the book that includes my reading of the shortest short story in the collection, "Justice", is available here. (Worry not. The actual audiobook is professionally produced and narrated by Dale M. Wilcox rather than me.) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Celts descended from coastal Spaniards?

Galicia, the region of North Western Spain from which my ancestors hail, has long referred to itself as "Terra Celta" (In Galician, Celtic Land) and celebrated its Celtic roots. A new study by an Oxford University team has discovered that Celts are descendants of seafaring Spaniards, fishermen from Coastal Northern Spain according to an August 4 article from The Independent.

I've always been fascinated by the similarities in some of the folk dance, folk costumes and the ubiquitous bagpipe in folk music of Galicia, Ireland and Scotland and thought these might be traced to a common Celtic/Druid ancestry yielding wonderfully different branches of a common tree that share many common traits to this day, not the least of which is a fierce independence and a love for the spoken and written word. It never occurred to me that the original tree might be rooted in coastal Northern Spain, or that Terra Celta could be a literal label rather than a tipping of the hat to the Celtic tribes known to have settled there in the distant past.

Unfortunately, I still cannot bear the sound of bagpipes for other than ceremonial purposes of short duration, be they Scottish, Irish or Galician, and hope that if these musical instruments have any link to Celtic culture, it was only as a tool to drive enemy armies nuts. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Armageddon de jour

Alas, one need not be a prophet or read tealeaves to see some disasters coming, such as the wisdom of bringing a doctor with an incurable, highly infectious disease into the U.S. for treatment rather than maintaining quarantine on site and taking treatment to him. What could go wrong? Did anyone other than my wife and I immediately notice the exposed skin in the gap between the glove and the sleeve of the hazard suit worn by one of the health care workers in yesterday's news reports? Are terrorists signatories to international agreements not to use chemical and biological weapons? (And do these help when countries like Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Syria are involved--to say nothing of the U.S. infecting native Americans with smallpox-laden blankets prior to such agreements in a particularly low-point in our history?)

One need not be prescient to posit a novel (yet I believe quite plausible) theory of cosmology or a low-tech means of allowing terrorists to bring about the end of the world by creating black holes with readily available technology (for a price) as I do in "End of Days." There are far more pedantic means of achieving that end right now without any specialized technology or knowledge of physics or quantum mechanics. I wonder, for example, if any of the geniuses in Washington DC at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have thought what would happen if terrorists purposely infected the tens of thousands of children making their way to the US from Central America with bubonic plague, Ebola, antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, anthrax or any number of other readily available naturally occurring pathogens? It does not take a science fiction writer or much imagination to posit a scenario where infected suicide terrorists posing as cut-rate coyotes shepherd these unsuspecting children to the U.S. border where there is no screening of any kind for infectious diseases. These children are then relocated (for "humanitarian reasons") to the four corners of the U.S. courtesy of an overwhelmed (and politically driven) federal government, thereby ensuring as wide a reach as possible for the infection as these hapless souls are welcomed into the unsuspecting arms of caring sponsors. Armageddon soup, anyone?

And if terrorists have scruples about using children in this terrible way (you decide how likely that is) not to worry: there is no health screening for visitors from many countries with whom we have friendly relations and which are overrun by terrorists and their sympathizers.

No need to move back very far from this pointillistic painting to see the clear picture. But fear not. Courageous men and women in improperly fitted hazard suits will rescue us if that impossible scenario from the overactive mind of a know-nothing prof ever comes to pass.  So don't worry. Be happy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life Imitating Art?

Last year I published Mars: Genesis 2.0, a short story set in the very near future that deals with efforts to set up a small colony on Mars before an unavoidable extinction event on earth. No, we don't have a massive asteroid with our number on it destined to hit us in 666 days (as far as I know), but NASA announced yesterday that an oxygen reclamation system will soon head to Mars that will turn CO2 into oxygen in preparation for a future mission. My idea for reclaiming O2 and hydrogen from the Martian atmosphere through atmospheric reclamation units as the means to provide both water and a breathable air (also methane and carbon for fuel and building materials) was based on some rudimentary scientific knowledge and was not a novel concept. But if NASA announces that it is exploring ancient dry aquifers and/or lava tubes by dry lake beds as a site for a colony I'm suing the agency for plagiarism.  Surprised 

Now, given the  current situation in the Middle East I sincerely hope that terrorists are not into fiction as my "End of Days" short story also published last year is keeping me up nights.

If I were Stephen King, I'd write a novel about a mild mannered university prof driven to write prophetic warnings on his demonically possessed laptop that nobody reads. The end is near. Fade to black.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Should Independent Authors Opt-in to Amazon's New Kindle Unlimited Program?

I received an email from Amazon announcing its new Unlimited program that provides royalties for books read by subscribers to this new service that allows readers unlimited access to all participating author's works for a monthly fee. The new subscription service is Amazon's answer to Scribd and Oyster. It did not take me long to find the usual Amazon catch though: exclusivity. Authors who wish to have their indie books listed in this new service must restrict distribution of their Kindle titles to Amazon--just like KDP Select. In keeping with the Select paradigm, Amazon will add $800,000 to its Select global fund for author's royalties under this new service.

While this may be a very welcomed addition for authors who distribute their books exclusively through Kindle, the exclusivity arrangement is unappealing to me and I will not participate, just as I no longer participate in KDP Select. I already enjoy access to Scribd and Oyster as well as BN, iBoks, Baker & Taylor, Library Direct, Overdrive and other retailers (including Amazon) through Smashwords.  Although I would gladly participate in this new Amazon subscription program as a reader and author if exclusivity were not required, giving up much more appealing distribution channels for an Amazon-exclusive  distribution is about as appealing as buying shares of the Brooklyn Bridge. Ayone feel differently about this?

Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Bad for Authors?

Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Bad for Authors?: Amazon today unveiled Kindle Unlimited, following in the footsteps of Smashwords partners Scribd and Oyster. When I first heard of Kindl...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Audiobook version of short story collection approved for distribution via Audible, iTunes and Amazon

I've just approved the final audiobook version of my Mindscapes short story collection which will go live within two weeks at Audible, iTunes and Amazon. Dale Wilcox has produced the audiobook and narrated the ten short stories in the collection and I am very pleased with the result. I'll post links to the audiobook when they become available, as well as the book's audio sample here. I do not know and cannot control pricing which will be set by Audible/Amazon, but I'll get my copy by signing up for a free month's trial membership to Audible when the book becomes available. Meantime, more information about the eBook and paperback versions of the book is available by clicking HERE.

As always, I am grateful for your interest, encouragement and support.


Coming Soon . . .

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do Book Giveaways and Other Low-Cost Advertising and Promotion Activities Help Independent Authors Sell Books?

In my experience, book signings, personal appearances and constant direct-sales efforts are the only low cost (not in time, though) activities that actually yield significant sales for independent authors. I think too many new authors have an unrealistic expectation that if they write a good book and put it out there it will be read. Unfortunately, with few niche exceptions (e.g., erotica, zombie novels, etc.) most independently produced books sit on countless lists without attracting the attention of their intended market. And most affordable professional marketing services are profitable only to the marketing professionals that tout them. This includes the services provided by POD services like Amazon and CreateSpace.

Yes, there is evidence that spending a lot of money on marketing plans works, but for most indie authors unable to manipulate book rankings with underhanded and expensive schemes such as those recently in the news is not feasible (even if one overlooks the obvious ethical and legal issues involved in perpetrating massive fraud on the reading public by manipulating book rankings on the NY Times Best Seller's list and elsewhere through expensive schemes to buy one's own books). With few exceptions, most unknown indie authors will not recoup the cost of advertising. I know those who provide such services will protest and cite examples of fabulous sales by a handful of authors. If they are so certain that their services will not only pay for themselves but make authors a lot of money, I challenge them to provide them on a contingency fee basis--let them provide the service for a royalty split with the author of any increased sales for a period after the advertising campaign launches, or make their fees contingent on increased sales (e.g., guarantee their results or forfeit their fees). No agency will take that deal for a new author's ad campaign even as they point to the potential goldmine that their services can bring.

For most indie authors the only reasonable way to sell books is the same self-marketing approach taken by self published authors from the days of vanity presses through today's equivalent print on demand (POD) services: personal appearances, book signings, direct selling and constant promotion of their work.

I don't do personal appearances because of the time constraints of my day job which leaves relatively little free time even in "vacations". Also, frankly, self promotion and direct sales is not something I am willing to do to any significant extent. I also don't sell through independent bookstores that would carry my books (especially the intellectual property book that sells fairly well for an indie book with no advertising of any kind beyond an occasional mention in one of my blogs). The problem for me is that independent bookstores typically want 50% of the selling price as their commission for carrying the book which would force me to sell it at a much higher price than I want and would also take more time than I have to travel to these bookstores (and to service these "accounts"). Some also want up front listing fees on top of a 50% commission on the retail price. If/when writing becomes my full time job, then I will revisit my strategy. For now, even blogging takes more time than I have available.

Indie authors need to be true entrepreneurs in promoting themselves and their product if they expect to have more than nominal royalties as compensation for their efforts. There is no substitute for having a reasonable business plan and carrying it out through consistent hard work. (I teach law for the entrepreneur, a course I developed, and was the dean of the business division at BCC for a very rewarding and productive four years prior to deciding to return to the classroom, so the business end of writing is not much of a mystery for me.) I love the movie Field of Dreams, but also know that with regard to writing, there is absolutely no guarantee that "if you write it, they will buy it".

Monday, July 7, 2014

Two free science fiction short stories from B&N, iBooks and Smashwords

My Mindscapes short story collection is in production as an audiobook and will be released this summer through Audible and Amazon. The two shortest stories in that ten short story collection (Justice and The Riddle of the Sphinx: Solved) are currently available for free download from Smashwords in a variety of eBook formats and can also be downloaded free of charge from Barnes and Noble and iBooks. You can download a free copy by clicking on the Mindscapes link for the book here. 

The Mindscapes audiobook version currently in its final editing stage is read by Dale Wilcox, but if you’d like a different (rough, unedited) audio version of my short story Justice read by me, you can access (an equally rough) YouTube book trailer by clicking on the Mindscapes link from my YouTube listings here.

 Product DetailsProduct Details

Friday, June 13, 2014

Heroes desconocidos - Parte II (Remedios)

[The following is an excerpt in translation from the original English version of my poem Unsung Heroes from Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems (C) 2011, 2014 Victor D. Lopez]

Héroes Desconocidos
Aunque estoy parado en los hombros de gigantes, no veo mucho más lejos que el puente de mi nariz.
La culpa es mía. La vergüenza es mía.  Pues no soy digno de ustedes, mis queridos muertos.  

Parte II--Remedios (Abuela Materna)


Tu esposo murió a los 40, dejándote sola con siete hijos a mantener,

Pero no antes de que tu hijo mayor más, Juan, muriera ahogado en el mar,

Aun en su adolescencia, trabajando como pescador para ayudarte a ti y a tu esposo

A poner comida en la mesa.


Habías también perdido a una hija,

Toñita, también en su tierna adolescencia, a la enfermedad.

Sus gentiles almas puras encontraron

Su camino de regreso a casa demasiado pronto.


Más tarde en la vida que perderías dos hijos más a la tragedia, Paco (Francisco),

Un, hombre sumamente trabajador, honesto, y bueno cuya inclinación a usar lenguaje vulgar

Nunca pudieron desmentir una naturaleza apacible y un corazón generoso. Se electrocutó con una

Luz portátil defectuosa mientras trabaja en torno a su piscina.


Y el niño de tus ojos, Sito ( José ), el último en nacer y tu preferido, quien

Había heredado la hermosura física de su padre y también su conciencia social, su política de izquierdas, Su imponente presencia, su labia de oro, y su mala, mala suerte, terminando su vida tal vez por

Accidente debajo del carril de un tren en movimiento.


Ni la desesperación ni la pobreza pudieron doblar tu espíritu. Tú te levantaste todos los

Días antes de la madrugada para vender el pescado en un puesto en la plaza.

Y cada tarde colocaste una enorme cesta de mimbre en la cabeza y

Caminaste muchos, muchos kilómetros para vender más pescado en otros pueblos.


El dinero era escaso, por lo cual a menudo recibías otros bienes a cambio de tu pescado.

También le dabas tu pescado a quien solo te lo podía pagar con su bendición. Caminabas

De vuelta a casa, a altas horas de la noche, a través de la oscuridad o por

Caminos iluminados por la luna, cargada de lo que te dieran a cambio de tu pescado.


Verduras, huevos, y tal vez un conejo o un pollo llenaban tu cesta de mimbre sobre tu

Fuerte cabeza. Caminabas recta sobre tus piernas repletas de venas varicosas, impulsada

Siempre hacia delante por un propósito noble: alimentar a tus hijos y poder darles

Esperanza de que vendrían tiempos mejores.



Durante la peor época de hambre mediante y después de la Guerra Civil, la chimenea de tu

Casa alquilada con vistas al Puerto de Fontan, expulsó humo negro todos los días.

El fuego de tu lareira alimentó no sólo a tus hijos, sino también a muchos vecinos aun

Menos afortunados que tú, alimentando su cuerpo y manteniendo en vida la esperanza.


Fuiste criticada por algunos vecinos cuando lo peor había pasado, después de la guerra.

"¿Por qué trabajas tan duro, Remedios, y permites que tus niños pequeños trabajen

Tan jóvenes? Los sacrificas a ellos y a ti misma sin necesidad por un orgullo imbécil

Cuando Franco y la ayuda extranjera otorgan comidas gratis para los necesitados”.


“Mis hijos nunca vivirán de la caridad pública mientras mi espalda lo permita,” era tu

Contestación. Resentiste a tu esposo por poner la política por encima de su familia, y por

Arrastrarte a ti y a tus dos hijas mayores de tu cómoda y sana vida en tu casa, en el

Numero 10 Perry Street cerca del Grenwich Village a una Galicia sin esperanzas.


El optó por inclinar su lanza a molinos de viento por a la eterna gloria de otros hombres

Necios. Y te dejó a ti sola para enfrentar la ingloriosa lucha por la sobrevivencia diaria.

No obstante su corazón enfermo, el trabajó  con gran diligencia para promover un futuro

Justo en su querida España, ignorando la realidad practica de tu doloroso presente.


Te llenó de hijos y construyó con gran cuidado la cruz en la cual lo crucificaron, una

Palabra a la vez, dejándote a ti la dolorosa tarea de recoger los rasgos de su idealismo

Destrozado.  Pero tú sobreviviste y prosperaste sin sacrificar tus propios principios

Sólidos y sin permitir que tus hijos sufrieran más privaciones que las del trabajo duro.


Nunca perdiste tu sentido del humor. Nunca tomaste a nada ni a nadie con gran seriedad.

Enfrentada con la absurdidad de la vida, siempre optaste por reírte con ganas.

Te vi llorar muchas lágrimas de risa, Pero nunca te vi llorar lágrimas de tristeza o de dolor.

Nunca te verías a ti misma como una víctima ni permitiría que otros lo hicieran.


Te encantaba la gente. Tu sentido del humor fue siempre irreverente y repleto de suave Ironía.

Y de gran sabiduría. Te encantaba reírte de ti misma, de otros, y especialmente de

Tontos pomposos que invariablemente no se daban cuanta que eran los objetos de tu gran

Diversión, inconscientes de tu despito, proveído con gentiles palabras y ojos luminosos.


Tus cataratas y miopía hicieron difícil que leyeras, No obstante leías 

Vorazmente y te encantaba escribir largas cartas a tus seres queridos

Y amigos. Eras una anciana sabia, la persona más sabia y más fuerte que jamás conoceré.

Eras sabia, si, pero con el corazón de una niña y el alma de un ángel.


Fuiste el ser más sano, más racional, más bien ajustado y humano que jamás he conocido. Eras

Traviesa, pero incapaz de malicia. Fuiste aventurera; nunca tuviste miedo de probar o de aprender algo Nuevo. Fuiste amante de la diversión, interesante, amable, traviesa, divertida e infernalmente inteligente. 



Habrías sido una de las primeras adoptadoras de toda la

Tecnología moderna, si hubieras tenido una vida más larga,

Y te hubiera encantado jugar-y trabajar con

Todos mis juguetes electrónicos.


Habrías sido un terror con un procesador de textos, con el correo electrónico

Y con las redes sociales y una gran campeona con mis juegos de video.

Me habrías ganando en todos ellos. Éramos grandes amigos tú y yo,

Y compañeros de juego a lo largo de la mayor parte de mi infancia.


Nos seguiste a nosotros aquí en breve después de que emigramos en 1967, dejando atrás a 20 nietos. Nunca entendí a plenitud la profundidad de ese sacrificio,

O el amor que lo hizo soportable para ti. Lo comprendo ahora. Demasiado tarde.

Es uno de los grandes pesares de mi vida.


Jugamos juegos de mesa, a vaqueros e indios, carreras de coches eléctricos,

Volteamos tarjetas de béisbol y compartimos miles de manos de cartas juntos. Nunca

Se me ocurrió que tú eras el más mínimo inusual de ninguna manera. Te amé profundamente, pero Nunca me moleste mucho por demostrártelo. Eso también me pesa, y es también demasiado tarde.


Después de mudarse a Buenos Aires, cuando mamá se había ganado suficiente dinero

Para llevarte a ti y a los dos hermanos más jóvenes, el sistema de cuotas entonces

No permitía que emigraran también tus dos hijos menores, quienes quedaron

Al buen cuidado de tu hija casada mayor en España, María, y su esposo, Fausto.


Los querías contigo. Te dirigiste directamente a Evita Perón para pedirle ayuda.

Como era de esperar, no pudiste conseguir esquivar a sus porteros. Pero no eras nada si no persistente. Sabías que Evita salía temprano cada mañana para su oficina. Y te

Estacionaste a las 6:00 de la mañana, mediante muchos, días por su camino de salida.


Con el tiempo, Evita le hizo parar a su chofer y te señalo que te acercaras.

"Abuela, ¿por qué me hace señas a mí cada mañana cuando salgo para mi trabajo? "

Ella preguntó. Tu le explicaste acerca de tus hijos en España. Evita se apiadó y

Te escribió un pase en su tarjeta para verte en su oficina al día siguiente.


La fuiste a ver al día siguiente y ella te aseguró que la visa se expediría inminentemente;

Cuando se enteró de que hacías la vida de lavandera y de limpieza,

Ella te ofreció una máquina de coser y entrenamiento para

Convertirte en una costurera con la intención de promoverte una vida mejor.


Tú se lo agradeciste, pero declinaste la oferta. "Dele la máquina de coser a otra madre Necesitada. Mi espalda es fuerte y mis manos me sirven bastante bien, igual que siempre Me sirvieron. “Evita debió haber quedado impresionada, puesto a que te pidió que la Visitaras una vez más cuando los niños hubiesen ya  llegado a Buenos Aires.



Te dio otro pase y tú cumpliste tu palabra, como siempre, de volver a verla con tus niños.

Evita te volvió a ver en su despacho brevemente y compartieron chocolate en taza y Galletas tu, Evita y tus dos hijos menores—Emilio y José (Sito). No eras partidaria de la Política ni del

Peronismo, pero siempre defendiste a Evita mediante tu larga vida.


Te fuiste demasiado pronto. No te había dicho “te quiero” en muchos años, estando

Demasiado ocupado con mis estudios y con otras ocupaciones igualmente inútiles.

Falleciste sin poder volverte a ver. Mamá tuvo que ir a tu lado sola. La última vez que

Te había escrito te envié una foto de mi graduación de abogado.


Según mamá la llevabas en el bolsillo antes de que te diera el ictus cerebral del cual

No hubo recuperación. Como siempre, me quisiste con todas mis faltas que me hacen

Indigno de tu cariño. Yo presentí el momento de tu muerte. Desperté de un profundo

Sueño desperté y vi un pájaro blanco parado encima de mi escritorio al pie de mi cama.


Ese pájaro de tamaño humano extendió unas enormes alas y voló hacia mí,

Traspasándome y dejándome en un fuerte escalofrió. Supe en ese momento que

Habías muerto. Lloré y recé por ti. Mamá llamo el próximo día por la mañana

Para confirmar la triste noticia.


Mamá también me comunicó muchos años después que habías estado en una

Coma por un tiempo pero que habías despertado y que, sin conocerla, le

Habías dicho que viajabas a Nueva York par ver a tu nieto. Luego te dormiste

Por última vez, según mamá.  Te echo de menos todos los días.


[Este es un extracto de mi poema más largo, "Unsung Heroes" de mi libro Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems © 2011, 2014. La traducción al español es rápida e imperfecta, pero también es mía.]