What I Learned From The Wolf Girl

It’s a quiet moment in the forest. Prince Ashitaka, the protagonist, lays unconscious, half-submerged in water. Hooves approach him and flowers spring around the steps. What appears to be a deer wakes him up. But it’s not a deer. Its face is more human than animal. This is the introduction of the forest god.

There are a million reasons I love Princess Mononoke: from the animation style, music, pacing, the untold love story that lies beneath the plot. But what I think has inspired me the most in my writing is the magical atmosphere flows so effortlessly from one scene to the next.  I like writing about things that aren’t real but are concrete in my imagination. Princess Mononoke has showed me how to build a world that has its own logic, that is fantastical yet is so grounded. A world with forest spirits and cursed boars doesn’t sound so unlikely.

Princess Mononoke uses the world around it to build up to a universal conflict: man vs. nature. What happens when industrial progress means the death of living things around it? It’s inspired my own writing. I want to write about universal themes and feelings without the backdrop of the “real” world. You don’t have to understand the world to feel the message it’s trying to portray.

Imagery is the reason that Princess Mononoke is so memorable. I don’t mean the animation itself, although Miyazaki is able to animate such breathtaking and beautiful details. I mean what each line comes to represent. The boar bleeding black tar. The girl who rides wolves in the dark of night. The prince who rides an elk and is quick with his arrows. The forest deity with the bizarre face yet serene nature. These are images that have stayed with me since the first time I saw the movie at fourteen. To create imagery that lingers in a reader’s head is a goal of mine. I want people to read my work and have the world that I build stay in their mind.

Overall, I aspire to create worlds and stories like Hayao Miyazaki. The imagination that are in these movies is inspiring. But Princess Mononoke is my favorite film and is the one that I draw the most inspiration from because it is able to cover these fantastical themes and doesn’t shy away from the violence that occurs when two different worlds clash. These images burned into me and come out through my words.

Llorona

This is what I’ll tell my children

 

I will say that it is okay to cry

about death, about love

about the simple way a smile

can change you

 

I will not shame them

erase their tears

use the old way of stoicism

they will not  

hide

 

I will whisper the tales of

a crying woman

how she cries for eternity

they will not

but they could cry forever

if they wish to  

 

I will tell my weeping children

Their tears are so powerful

We’ve made monsters out of them

 

-Originally published in Berry Mag 

New Podcast

If y’all have been following me on Twitter or Instagram, you should already know I do the most. On top of my regular job, I write short stories, poetry, articles, have a small zine press and attend events that deal with all that constantly. But I’d been lacking something ever since another podcast I was a part of went on a six month hiatus. So I wanted to create a solo podcast.

Enter Secret Scholar, a podcast focused on giving marginalized voices a dope ass platform to highlight their studies, hustles, hopes, worries, loves– whatever they want. The reason it’s named Secret Scholar (and maybe I’ll get more into it in a future episode) is because of the way I talk and present myself. Many people write me off immediately and underestimate my intelligence. But I’m going to turn it around and use the fact that people assume my level of understanding as a weapon. I want to use this podcast to highlight these voices that need to be heard and hopefully get better at public speaking along the way. You can listen on the player or on Google Podcasts, Audioboom, Stitcher, Tune In, Spotify and more.

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Call For Submissions

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The flyer is pretty self-explanatory but I want to make something cute and fun! I’ve had this idea for a while and from some encouragement from friends, I open this call of submissions up to anyone. Right now there’s no deadline but depending on the number of submissions we’re hoping to be done with the first round by April 15th. So submit anything dog related (and I mean anything-get creative). I’m excited to see what y’all come up with.

February 2018 Writing Recap

Hey everyone so I’ve decided to do recaps on this blog starting every month to show you where you can find more of my writing. This month was pretty eventful and I am so happy to share where I’ve been published and things I have created this month.

New episodes of Conchas Y Contras:

Ep. 2- El Cine Americana 

Ep. 3- Bibliophiles and Black History

I wrote about my fantasies of running away to Texas in Loves Me// Loves Me Not Issue #2

Articles on The Strange Is Beautiful:

Self-Care In Solidarity at Quince Night 

I hope that you will check out my work and let me know what you think! As always you can find me doing constant updates of what I’m writing and what I’m doing on Instagram @saguarito

I have some big projects coming up in March and April so stay tuned!

 

Pretend Bruja

The day before Halloween

Last minute shopping

Bargain bins at Target

Stuffed into the corner of a cardboard box

My costume

A black robe with a crest

Badger, Lion, Snake, Raven

My mother says, you can be esa niña de Harry Potter

Hermione, I mumble

Hermione, she repeats, skipping the H

I only let go of the robe when she has to pay for it

The night is spent reading The Goblet of Fire

A gift from my father

My mother wanted to burn the books until I told her

It’s about wizards

Couldn’t say witch

Wizards were okay. Brujas were not.

 

8 am- the schoolyard is filled with kids playing pretend

Power Rangers, greasers and princesses

Are you Harry Potter, a kid sneers

I tell him no, that I am Hermione

He mentions my glasses

They are round

But I am a girl

You are Harry Potter

They won’t believe me

My glasses and brown skin don’t say Hermione

They just say freak

So when the next kid asks who I am, I just say

A Hogwarts student

I am not special

I was not meant to be the hero

The kids keep calling me Harry Potter

I wish I had a spell to turn them into frogs

Or Floo Powder to transport me far away

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