My wife works for Telemundo, the oldest Spanish-language television network in the US, and has done so for over 10 years, most recently in the general Marketing area. I normally don’t talk about my wife’s job at all either here or in social media since I would rather avoid a situation where my words could affect her work. Today, however (and with her permission), I am breaking that silence to tell you about her new project.
Mia Mundo is a short-form bilingual web series for the modern (Hispanic-American) young professional.
What does that mean?
Mia Mundo is a 13-episode series (as in American TV-style series, not a novela) created to air primarily on the web, with each episode being 4-5 minutes, and a finale that will show as a 1-hour special on Mun2, Telemundo’s cable channel.
It basically follows the format of a romantic comedy, combining a dramatic storyline with some comedic moments; think Sex And The City and you’re in the right ballpark.
The series is bilingual, mostly in English with Spanish sprinkled throughout, reflecting the reality of the modern Hispanic-American, and it will be subtitled for all audiences.
Most importantly, it was created from the start to portray and appeal to the modern Hispanic-American crowd, especially the female demographic, though it is also general enough to appeal to the young professional crowd at large, Hispanic or not.
See, Mia is an acronym for Modern Independent Achiever, one of the psychographic segments of US Hispanics identified by a study done by Telemundo Media and Starcom MediaVest Group. As this article on Broadcast & Cable puts it, the series was built with an audience in mind, literally.
The Accelerated Option nursing program has a weird schedule that doesn’t exactly match the regular academic year at Miami Dade College. That said, last Friday was the end of the Spring Semester, and that brought the end of two of the four classes I was taking since March. How did I do?
Nursing Medical-Surgical Skills: A
When added to the classes I had already finished in my first semester (what would be midterm for the regular academic semester), my current grades look like this:
I am extremely happy with my grades for this past semester. That C in Pharmacology? I sweated that C! We had a terrible time with that class due to having a really bad “teacher” that was simply not interested in teaching us the material. We mostly learned it all on our own, and with the help (finally at the end!) of our other professors. So yeah, a C there was gold, because it means I passed, and that’s what I needed.
I am still taking Medical-Surgical Nursing and Clinicals for another month, so I’ll update those grades when I get them.
Well, it finally happened: today I sold my car. I am now officially car-free.
I’ll admit it is somewhat bittersweet. This is the third car I’ve owned, and though I’ve never been a guy who friggin loves his car, I did like it the way a carpenter likes a really good hammer. Miami is a sprawl of a city, so a car is extremely convenient when you have to move around from one end to the other, like I had to when I was attending pre-nursing classes and working at FIU. It gave me mobility at my convenience, which is ultimately the purpose of a car.
But it had been failing for a while now. I simply did not have the money to do the proper upkeep it needed, and even so this green bastard kept chugging along for 16 years and over 150,000 miles. But when the brakes failed the first week of January, I knew that was it. The cost to repair it was just too much, not to mention the related costs like parking, insurance and gas. It simply did not make sense for me to have it anymore, especially since both school and the hospital, the two places I attend on a daily basis, are no more than a bus ride away. That I kept it around for four months after realizing all this was simply melancholy.
I got a pittance for it, I know. But it’s cash in my pocket instead of cash going out to pay for repairs that won’t extend the life of the car for more than one extra year. The cash I got will go to pay for my student transit cards for the rest of the year, so at least the car, in a way, is still gonna be helping me to move around.
I’m writing a whole lot about a car that I just said I did not love.
I’ve been intrigued by the Steampunk genre for a while now. I like the visuals of it, the gears and clockwork and pseudo-Victoriana, but it’s a curiosity that has been left at the periphery as other things have taken priority. My friend Mick Bradley is, however, quite into it (he does Steampunk-inspired crafts), so I always have some imagery coming through my social networks thanks to him, keeping it somewhat in my radar. I was happy to leave my interest vague, simply enjoying looking at pics, until last week.
This scene popped into my head some time ago, a scene featuring an airship battle inside a thundercloud, and it fermented there long enough to want to be written down. I didn’t know anything about the characters or story beyond that vague description. So I started writing, and behold, two characters emerged fairly well defined, along with the beginnings of the battle between two airships. In my mind airships are really closely associated with steampunk; along with some of the descriptions and dialogue that came out, it seemed that this is what I was writing right here. Great!
The issue then became, what is this I am writing? Not so much in terms of the story: that I actually have a pretty decent idea what it’ll be by now; but what about this genre I know nothing about?
Understand my approach to genre is very fluid. In general, I don’t care for genre; I always strive to write a good story first, and if it fits in some genre due to X or Y, then fantastic. But I’m also a firm believer of the adage “Know the rules before you can break them.” So I set out to learn at least some basics about Steampunk.
My professors like to say that being a nurse is really about being a compulsive observer, about catching little details that others would miss, and using that information to help treat the patient. Earlier this week, I was at the library at school and I saw a guy sitting at the table right in front of mine. I then notice that, when this young woman walked in, he perked up immediately and, almost imperceptibly, I saw him catch his breath. I noticed the way he looked at her as she approached his table, and how he simply swallowed it all up as soon as she sat down and went about pulling out books to study for their class.
That little scene stuck in my head; I felt there was a story there. I tried to tease out what it was over the next couple days but my mind wanted to run too rampant. I felt it needed to be a very short story for a very short moment. It was his breath catching that made it click for me. In order to get it out of my system, I set myself a one-man flash fiction challenge: write about the scene at the library in less than 1000 words. An hour and a half later, I had exactly 1000 words and a new short story entitled “Breath.”
Music has always featured in one way or another in my fiction writing, though mostly it has been in an inspirational guise. I don’t play music while I’m writing, but songs that I’ve heard have, at times, fueled everything from scenes to entire stories. To this day there are a couple of songs that I can never listen without thinking of the story they inspired me to write years ago.
As I approach a much-needed break from nursing school in a couple of weeks, I find myself desperate to start the rewrite of my novel, which I started for NaNoWriMo and finished last December. When I say I’m desperate, I mean it. I need to get that story done with, get those characters out of my head and into the page once and for all. Why? Because they are living, breathing people caught in stasis and they take over my thoughts and my emotions. And it gets very tiring feeling other people’s emotions on top of your own.[ref]This is where non-writers look at me kinda funny and think I’m loosing my marbles, while writers nod in full understanding.[/ref]
Thing is, one of the key aspects I know I need to strengthen during my rewrite has been stymieing me for a while now. I know what the end result I want is, but I also know I need to better portray it in the novel for some of the emotional punches to really hurt. I’ve been struggling with the nature of the relationship at the center of this issue and I just couldn’t quite see how I’d work that problem out.
Enter a new song into my jukebox.
I heard this song by Gotye just last week for the first time, and today my classmate played it in her car while she gave me a ride. The words snuck into my head unknowingly. When I got home I found that I was humming it absentmindedly… And that something in the lyrics had suddenly made things click in regards to the problem I was having with my novel! I still don’t know what it was: the music, the melody, parts of the lyrics, the emotion conveyed. Something. Whatever it was, I have now taken notes that will help me during my rewrite and finally allow me to bring my novel to completion.