What have I been up to? The title says it all. I have been mapping and enforcing my traditions and believes. Lent has come to an end this year, my silence during these past weeks had to do with it and the Holy Week just pasted, and writing my book.
My mother was raised her first childhood years in Old San Juan, the Northern Island or ‘La ciudad amurallada’, there’s a tradition she has pasted on to me and I have done this past years accompanied by my friends and matriarch. ‘La visita a los monumentos’ (The visit to the seven monuments) is a Catholic tradition done during the night of Holy Thursday, after mass, and during the day of Holy Friday where the parishioners visit the sacristy of seven churches where the holy communion, to be use for Holy Friday, is saved. My mother taught me that with this act we not only accompany Jesus, but most important we give thanks for the blessings he has given us during our lives. It is a beautiful tradition and this year I was able to do it again, the sad part is that our group was only composed of two. My mom move to Orlando to live, a good friend of ours went to the seminary in Spain to study, and others could not make it. Still my ‘comadre’ and I went on to visit the monuments in the metro area and here I live you with an assortment of pictures that we took of our visits. (If you wish to know more about this Catholic tradition you can read here in Spanish, also a little bit of history here; and here in English).
Mapping and I don’t mean the story for the new book. I have been drawing a map where the story will take place, a land inspired by the shapes of my Caribbean Sea and its children. It takes lots of developing like mountain ranges, woodlands, coasts lines, islands, rivers that cross and make fertile the land, mysterious places, kingdoms lines and its cities and capitals, bodies of water, and more much more. What I dislike of this process is drawing the mountains that look easy enough, but are hard to make them look as real as possible.
Having a visual drawing of the land where the plot develops and the characters linger, makes the story more real and you can track the advances of the protagonist visually knowing where he or she is going next. You can see what is near to them, how far is the place they are trying to reach or how hard is to get there because of the terrain. It is an exciting thing to do that sparks the imagination of the author and gives us more to develop, making the setting more alive and more vivid in the story.
I think the right term for this is Cartography! But since I’m only a humble writer I will say my map does not enter in the category where cartographers build beautiful and intricate maps. So mine is just an outline of a map that was conceive in my head and came to be on a computer. My apologies, to see it you will have to wait for the book to come out and I’m still not done yet with the story. The good news is I’m making one for Mink’s story ‘Los hijos de Oshmdwa’, and with this one you might see my not so good talents on map making.
About my book, I can say it has become to be more intricate than I expected and the thought just sparks my imagination on things to come in this world of fiction where immortals try to achieve perfection at all costs. ‘Till next time, my friend!