these spaniards :)

The Atakapa-Ishak (uh-TAK-uh-paw – ee-SHAK), are a Southwest Louisiana/Southeast Texas tribe of ancient Indians who lived in the Gulf of Mexico’s northwestern crescent and called themselves Ishak. The name means The People.

In prehistoric times the Ishak divided into two populations known to this day as, “The Sunrise People” and “The Sunset People”.   Some Ishak lived on the south coast of what is now Texas, down to Matagorda Bay. Other Ishak lived on the upper coast of the Gulf’s northwestern crescent at what is now Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.  In Louisiana, on the coast, we spread all the way to what is now Vermilion Bay.  The former Ishak, those on the lower coast, inhabited the land to perhaps a distance of a week’s walk.  Those on the upper coast inhabited the land to perhaps a distance of several weeks’ walk.

They were called Atakapa by the Choctaw.  The name was used by the Spaniards and French colonizers in Louisiana,  as a slur word to refer to the Ishak people. This gave them a reputation and rumor of being “man eaters”, which continues through today.

After 1762, when Louisiana was transferred to Spain following French defeat in the Seven Years’ War, little was written about the Atakapa as a tribe. Due to a high rate of deaths from infectious disease epidemics brought by Europeans, they ceased to function as a tribe. Survivors generally joined the Caddo, Koasati, and other surrounding tribes, although they kept some traditions. Some culturally distinct Atakapan people survived into the 20th century.  

K so I’m not done.

This is the year 2017 and I’m still having to yell about how ridiculous Maya extinction myths are and tell people we are ‘Maya’ not ‘Mayan’. I’m not saying shame shame if anyone reads this and didn’t know. I’m so angry concerning how slowly these issues are being picked up by educational institutions, at how often I have to bring these things up to higher education professors.

We are a massive massive group of peoples. One of the largest Indigenous groups in the Americas. Wikipedia cites 7 million or so of us total but honestly that’s way off because that’s about how many Maya folks there are in Guatemala alone.

We’re not dead. The Maya did not ‘mysteriously disappear’. We did not ‘fall’. We did not fade into obscurity. We’ve led revolts and rebellions against colonial powers for hundreds of years. We’ve had a big hand in shaping legislative definitions and protections for Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

We haven’t lost our cultures. We’re constantly threatened and experience a lot of violence and have our resources stolen but we are still very much alive and our cultures have persisted.

And don’t even try me with the whole “Oh well we mean your CIVILIZATION disappeared, not you.” The structure of our societies and layout of our network changed and decentralized in many areas. That didn’t make us turn invisible. That didn’t make us not still be large in numbers with a relationship with our lands and lose influence in the areas we live. We still held power in large cities way after what people like to cite as “the fall of the Maya Civilization” (around 600-900 A.D. when we still had cities that we held power of until nearly 1700 when the last was “conquered” by Spain.)

Which brings me to the next issue. Being “conquered” or having a colonial government installed does not erase Indigenous societies or civilizations. That’s an extremely eurocentric way of thinking. We didn’t suddenly turn into Spaniards. We still had massive amounts of towns and villages with leaders. We still had our cultures, our trade, our networks, our influence, while Spain focused on putting up flags in our cities.

So yeah. All your history books have you all convinced that an extremely large group of people, with a greater population than more than half of the countries in Europe, all died out 1100 years ago.

Now try to imagine what kind of shit Indigenous Peoples with much less numbers and much lower access to resources go through.

Quicker Hamilton Facts

Y’all STILL ALSO need to realize:


Lafayette go soooo drunk once that his brother-in-law had to drag him home


Hamilton’s ship caught on fire coming over to America


Jefferson had a mockingbird named Dick


He also owned a goat that killed someone


After being told about Hamilton’s death, Jefferson became quiet and aloof as he quickly found Burr to arrest him.


EVERY. FOUNDING. FATHER. HAD. DADDY. ISSUES


Which is why Hamilton didn’t want to get close to Washington in fear he would be a father figure and let him down.


Washington refused to respond letters from the British because they didn’t address him correctly.


Hamilton was claimed dead after destroying British supply in and trying to cross a river with British gun fire only to show up soaking wet later while everyone was drinking to his memory 


When Lafayette came back to America before his death, he and Jefferson hugged and cried with each other 


They said God Bless to each other


AND Jefferson and Lafayette did a lot of weed and a lot of alcohol


Washington liked to pretend his knife and forks were drumsticks and play music on tables


Despite common belief, Hamilton would often make time for his family and would often right home to Eliza about how homesick he was


Martha Washington outlived four children and two husbands and said the worst day of her life was went Jefferson came to visit.


Laurens was getting out of bed when he hit his head on the ceiling


Hamilton was supposed to go on Washington’s boat during Valley Forge but he wasn’t used to this thing called “winter” and often got sick a lot.


Thomas Jefferson told his grandchildren to flirt with everyone despite their gender so everyone would like them


Jefferson had an expensive bust of Hamilton in his house for no other reason than he wanted one.


Burr set himself on fire trying to light a candle on fire with gunpowder.


TWICE


Hamilton was not only gay for Laurens, but also for the spy John Andre.


He said Andre was too pretty to be hung


Franklin and Adams shared a bed and fought over whether a window open was good for your health while you slept.


Franklin won because he ranted so much that Adams fell asleep.


Lafayette often joked about his name, saying “It’s not my fault, I was baptized like a Spaniard, with the name of every conceivable saint who might offer me more protection in battle”


When George Washington was 17, a girl stole his clothes just to see him looking for them while naked.


Eliza had a mourning ring which she worn on a ribbon around her neck and had a lock of Hamilton’s hair


Engraved inside the ring was the day he died and how old he was


Lafayette was buried under soil from Bunker Hill in France


During World War 1, General Pershing and a perade went to Lafayette’s grave and said “Lafayette, we’re here!”


Sooo…America help Lafayette in a war, just a little toooo late.


After Hamilton’s death, Eliza referred to her late husband as “my Hamilton” and “my Alexander” 


When giving tour of her home, she would stare for many moments at a bust of Hamilton and would whisper “my Hamilton”


Burr bought a coconut for about $40 today because why not.


Hamilton was called “The Little Lion” because of his mouth and small stature.


Burr would often refer to Hamilton as “my dear friend Hamilton, whom I shot”


Burr was attacked by bedbugs and proceeded to sleep on the floor for 6 hours


Burr’s daughter, Theodosia, was lost at sea.


Burr had sex with A LOT of ladies in Europe…after he killed Hamilton

youtube

Hi everyone! 

Thanks to our Kickstarter backers, we were able to work with a Spaniard composer we had only once dreamed to work with, Arturo Cardelús. His score has elevated our film in indescribable ways, and he has uploaded a piece of it for you to listen to on his Youtube channel. We were also able to fly out to meet him in LA for the live recording session of the score, which we’ll be sharing more about later. Check it out and give him some love!

The Dos and Don’ts of Beginning a Novel:  An Illustrated Guide

I’ve had a lot of asks lately for how to begin a book (or how not to), so here’s a post on my general rules of thumb for story openers and first chapters!  

Please note, these are incredibly broad generalizations;  if you think an opener is right for you, and your beta readers like it, there’s a good chance it’s A-OK.  When it comes to writing, one size does not fit all.  (Also note that this is for serious writers who are interested in improving their craft and/or professional publication, so kindly refrain from the obligatory handful of comments saying “umm, screw this, write however you want!!”)

So without further ado, let’s jump into it!

Don’t: 

1.  Open with a dream. 

“Just when Mary Sue was sure she’d disappear down the gullet of the monstrous, winged pig, she woke up bathed in sweat in her own bedroom.”

What?  So that entire winged pig confrontation took place in a dream and amounts to nothing?  I feel so cheated! 

Okay, not too many people open their novels with monstrous swine, but you get the idea:  false openings of any kind tend to make the reader feel as though you’ve wasted their time, and don’t usually jump into more meaty action of the story quickly enough.  It makes your opening feel lethargic and can leave your audience yawning.

Speaking of… 

2.  Open with a character waking up.  

This feels familiar to most of us, but unless your character is waking up to a zombie attack or an alien invasion, it’s generally a pretty easy recipe to get your story to drag.

No one picks a book to hear how your character brushes their teeth in the morning or what they’d like to have for dinner.  As a general rule of thumb, we read to explore things we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.  And cussing out the alarm clock is not one of them.  

Granted, there are exceptions if your writing is exceptionally engaging, but in most cases it just sets a slow pace that will bore you and your reader to death and probably cause you to lose interest in your book within the first ten pages.  

3.  Bombard with exposition.  

Literary characters aren’t DeviantArt OCs.  And the best way to convey a character is not, in my experience, to devote the first ten pages to describing their physical appearance, personality, and backstory.  Develop your characters, and make sure their fully fleshed out – my tips on how to do so here – but you don’t need to dump all that on the reader before they have any reason to care about them.  Let the reader get to know the character gradually, learn about them, and fall in love with them as they would a person:  a little bit at a time.   

This is iffy when world building is involved, but even then it works best when the delivery feels organic and in tune with the book’s overall tone.  Think the opening of the Hobbit or Good Omens.

4.  Take yourself too seriously.

Your opener (and your novel in general) doesn’t need to be intellectually pretentious, nor is intellectual pretense the hallmark of good literature.  Good literature is, generally speaking, engaging, well-written, and enjoyable.  That’s it.  

So don’t concern yourself with creating a poetic masterpiece of an opening line/first chapter.  Just make one that’s – you guessed it – engaging, well-written, and enjoyable. 

5.  Be unintentionally hilarious.

Utilizing humor in your opening line is awesome, but check yourself to make sure your readers aren’t laughing for all the wrong reasons (this is another reason why betas are important.)  

These examples of the worst opening lines in published literature will show you what I mean – and possibly serve as a pleasant confidence booster as well: 

“As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – who would take her away from all this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.”

– Ali Kawashima

“She sipped her latte gracefully, unaware of the milk foam droplets building on her mustache, which was not the peachy-fine baby fuzz that Nordic girls might have, but a really dense, dark, hirsute lip-lining row of fur common to southern Mediterranean ladies nearing menopause, and winked at the obviously charmed Spaniard at the next table.”

– Jeanne Villa

“As I gardened, gazing towards the autumnal sky, I longed to run my finger through the trail of mucus left by a single speckled slug – innocuously thrusting past my rhododendrons – and in feeling that warm slime, be swept back to planet Alderon, back into the tentacles of the alien who loved me.”

– Mary E. Patrick

“Before they met, his heart was a frozen block of ice, scarred by the skate blades of broken relationships, then she came along and like a beautiful Zamboni flooded his heart with warmth, scraped away the ugly slushy bits, and dumped them in the empty parking lot of his soul.”

– Howie McClennon

If these can get published, so can you.

Do:

1.  You know that one really interesting scene you’re itching to write?  Start with that.

Momentum is an important thing in storytelling.  If you set a fast, infectious beat, you and your reader will be itching to dance along with it.  

Similarly, slow, drowsy openers tend to lead to slow, drowsy stories that will put you both to sleep.

I see a lot of posts joking about “that awkward moment when you sit down to write but don’t know how to get to that one scene you actually wanted to write about.”  Write that scene!  If it’s at all possible, start off with it.  If not, there are still ways you can build your story around the scenes you actually want to write.

Keep in mind:  if you’re bored, your reader will almost certainly be bored as well.  So write what you want to write.  Write what makes you excited.  Don’t hold off until later, when it “really gets good.”  Odds are, the reader will not wait around that long, and you’re way more likely to become disillusioned with your story and quit.  If a scene is dragging, cut it out.  Burn bridges, find a way around.  Live, dammit. 

2.  Engage the reader.

There are several ways to go about this.  You can use wit and levity, you can present a question, and you can immerse the reader into the world you’ve created.  Just remember to do so with subtlety, and don’t try too hard;  believe me, it shows.  

Here are some of my personal favorite examples of engaging opening lines: 

“In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." 

– Douglas Adams, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

"It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

– Iain Banks, Crow Road.

“A white Pomeranian named Fluffy flew out of the a fifth-floor window in Panna, which was a grand-new building with the painter’s scaffolding still around it. Fluffy screamed.”

– Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games.

See what I’m saying?  They pull you in and do not let go.

3.  Introduce us to a main character (but do it right.)

“Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time. So he kept himself in shape, and taught himself coin tricks, and thought a lot about how much he loved his wife.”

– Neil Gaiman, American Gods.

This is one of my favorite literary openings of all time, because right off the bat we know almost everything we need to know about Shadow’s character (i.e. that he’s rugged, pragmatic, and loving.)   

Also note that it doesn’t tell us everything about Shadow:  it presents questions that make us want to read more.  How did Shadow get into prison?  When will he get out?  Will he reunite with his wife?  There’s also more details about Shadow slowly sprinkled in throughout the book, about his past, personality, and physical appearance.  This makes him feel more real and rounded as a character, and doesn’t pull the reader out of the story.

Obviously, I’m not saying you should rip off American Gods.  You don’t even need to include a hooker eating a guy with her cooch if you don’t want to.  

But this, and other successful openers, will give you just enough information about the main character to get the story started;  rarely any good comes from infodumping, and allowing your reader to get to know your character gradually will make them feel more real.   

4.  Learn from the greats.

My list of my favorite opening lines (and why I love them) is right here.

5.  Keep moving.  

The toughest part of being a writer is that it’s a rare and glorious occasion when you’re actually satisfied with something you write.  And to add another layer of complication, what you like best probably won’t be what your readers will like best. 

If you refuse to keep moving until you have the perfect first chapter, you will never write anything beyond your first chapter.  

Set a plan, and stick to it:  having a daily/weekly word or page goal can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re starting out.  Plotting is a lifesaver (some of my favorite posts on how to do so here, here, and here.)

Keep writing, keep moving, and rewrite later.  If you stay in one place for too long, you’ll never keep going. 

Best of luck, and happy writing.  <3

An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard and a German are all watching a dolphin do some excellent tricks.

The dolphin notices that the four gentlemen have a very poor view, so he jumps higher out of the water and calls out, “Can you all see me now?”

“Yes.”

“Oui.”

“Sí.”

“Ja.”

10

Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the “cry of independence” on September 16, 1810, which started a revolt against the Spaniards. It follows from the day of the Cry of Dolores (El Grito de Dolores), on September 15.

I’m not proud of most of the citizens on Mexico or my president, but i am surely damn proud of the country itself. I love the music, i love the food, i love the places, so here’s some of my favorite musicians that proudly represent Mexico! Pinta tu madre patria de colores, so you can’t tell the difference entre los others. 

VIVA MÉXICO CABRONES. 

(please don’t repost this anywhere/ no republiquen). 

That reminds me, when will people finally realize that Spanish people are WHITE EUROPEANS? Stop calling brown people Spanish or expecting to see a brown person when Spanish people are mentioned. Christopher Columbus, the maniac who committed genocide against brown folk, came to the Americas on behalf of Spain with a Spanish crew. The Spaniards are the ones who colonized most indigenous people in North & South America. There were no Spanish people in the Americas before 1492. Spaniards are indigenous to Europe, hope I made it clear enough.

Why are you racist when you say that Fassbender playing a Spanish is whitewashing:

First of all I want to say sorry if I make some grammar or spelling mistake. English isn’t my first language because I’m Spanish from Spain. Also, since this morning, I’m very angry with this whole topic. I don’t use to write statements like this but I’m very tired of seeing how ignorant people can be.

This morning I saw a tweet of Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) in which he said Fassbender couldn’t play a Spaniard because he’s white. He erased the tweet but I’m sure you’ll find a screencapture of it on Internet. I quoted him a few times and I wrote this things:

-I’ve just discovered that here in Spain WE’RE NOT WHITE. OMG I’VE BEEN LIVING A LIE. (I was just being sarcastic).

-Dear USA: Spain is in Europe. In Europe we don’t give a fuck about races because we’re all fucking mixed. (I didn’t want to generalize this much but I was angry)

-I can see why Donald Trump is being voted there. Open a book and learn about how culturally rich people we’re. (Sorry if I offend someone, again, I was angry).

Finally, I wrote:

“So it’s okay for an Aussie to play a Spaniard in the old Hispania but not for a British-German to play a Spaniard after the Visigoths. OK”.

As you can see I was very angry and disappointed. I couldn’t really understand how people who thought they weren’t being racist, they were. If you say Fassbender can’t play a Spaniard is because you think here we’re all latinos. And that is the first mistake that Americans always make.

I need you to understand two things:

-First, here in Europe we don’t say we’re white or we’re 20% or 50% latino, African, etc… When you Americans do that it’s really weird to us. Because we’re all mixed, we’re not sure from where or who we came from. My ancestors could be German because of the Visigoths or Charles V Empire, maybe French from the Napoleonic Empire, or African from the Islamic Empire. Can you see my point? We’re white or black, we’re Christians or Muslims or Jews, we can be from the East or the West, from the North or the South, but at the end it doesn’t matter, we’re all the same. Maybe I share blood with a German or an Egyptian, I don’t know and it’s okay.

If you ask me what I am, I’ll say I’m Spanish. And maybe you’ll ask again, “yeah, but, what are you?” and I’ll answer the same. If you ask a German, British, French, Italian or Polish…, they’re going to answer with the same simple answer. We’re Europeans and being European means that our history is all connected and our ancestors too.

-Latino and Spanish are not the same. Latino is from South America. And not all the South Americans look or are the same, be careful with that. Spanish are from Spain, Europe. We’re all Hispanic, because we all speak Spanish.

In South America people are generally darker than in Spain because of their geographic situation, of course.

In Spain, there are people very different, but we’re mostly white. Maybe you find the olive skinned of some people from the south (mostly from the south but not everybody who is olive skinned is from the south) as dark as the dark people in South America, but you’re wrong, sorry. That’s because the olive skinned people from Spain have that skin because of the Sun (so they’re just tanned, guys) or because the Al-Andalus times. While the people from South America are darker because of the sun, our colonization and the people who lived there before us.

When you say people from Spain are POC you’re saying that because you think we’re the same as our friends and brother from South America. And I think that’s racist. Because I’m sure you wouldn’t say that an Italian is POC and they’re our historically, geographically and culturally buddies.But you think Spanish means South American and you think South Americans are all dark.

Coming back to the main point: Fassbender can play a Spanish perfectly. In the XV century when the story takes place, the Visigoths and the Celtics had been in Spain. Visigoth were from Germany (mostly) and Celtics came to Spain from the UK. Fassbender is British and German so he’s perfect for the role.

Heres a neat lil factoid of the day: the reason why Catalonia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba have similar flags is because they all had historically strong anti-Spaniard independence movements ~1890s and they assisted each other.