The Bubble

The Bubble

We never had to deal with the stress of food allergies before, so this is all new to us with Oliver. Mostly everything in our house is nut, egg and dairy free. There are some exceptions that we hide well in top cabinets for when he’s asleep. And we do order pizza every once in a while (after the kids are in bed and we feel guilty about it), but we wash our hands thoroughly afterwards and we clean every surface that came in contact with the pizza box.

We’re on constant alert every time we go anywhere. Sometimes we half-joke that we wish we could keep Oliver in a bubble in order to keep him safe. And this was the inspiration for this illustration in the book I’m working on:

little penguin in bubble

Working on a Children’s Book

Working on a Children’s Book

My son Oliver has severe food allergies. He’s not even three years old and he’s had his fair share shots of Epinephrine. Of course, I pray everyday that he outgrows all of his food allergies, or at least one of them, but in the meantime, I want him to learn about them.

For his age, he already knows a lot about which foods are “safe” and which are not (and also how to label a food that he doesn’t like as “not safe”), but I also want him to know that he’s not alone, that although we can’t go to restaurants together as a family, there are other things he can eat.

I looked around for children’s books dealing with food allergies, but honestly, I didn’t see any that were meant for his age. Also, the ones I saw, while they may have had a great message, they were really old.

So, I decided to make one. I’ve been working on it for a while. I should’ve completed it by now, but for whatever reason, I just haven’t made the progress that I wanted to make.

I plan for this blog post to be the beginning of a series where not only do I share my book’s progress, but also my struggles. Frankly, I think one of my biggest fears is completing a project (like this book) and then have nothing happen, like no one buying it, no one reviewing it, no one loving it. And although I am making this book for Oliver, I also want other children and other parents out there who struggle with food allergies to embrace it, to find solace in it.

So, here we go. Stay tuned!



Just tonight I rediscovered about 40 or more comics that I worked on when I was a teenager. The body proportions of these characters are completely out of whack, but what did I know back then? It’s fun to read through all of these and see how cheesy they were.

But also, it’s fun to just go back and look at how I created dozens of superheroes with recurring story lines and enemies and alliances. My favorite of all those was Captain All Hero. I certainly was very inspired by Superman when I created him and that’s pretty obvious by looking at him.

So, tonight, I did something fun. I scanned a character sheet I did about 19 years ago and digitally colored it. Again, the proportions are insane. His head is really small and his muscles are crazy, but keep in mind how young I was.

Here he is!


Boys and Body Image

Boys and Body Image

Much has been written and discussed about the media’s effect on girls and their self-image. But not much has been written about the same effect on boys. While girls tend to want to be skinnier, young boys are pressured to put on weight and build muscle. Both things can be potentially devastating.

Watch any TV show or movie today and without a doubt you’ll see a guy taking his shirt off to expose a perfectly chiseled body. (The fact that a lot of women lust over these guys unabashedly while criticizing men doing the same over a supermodel is the subject for an entirely different blog post.)

Or just look at any magazine rack in the store and you will see the same thing. I’m not saying that things have gotten better for women, I’m just saying that things have gotten as bad for men. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

As Dr. Raymond Lemberg, a Prescott, Arizona-based clinical psychologist and an expert on male eating disorders, said:

“But while the media pressure on women hasn’t abated, the playing field has nevertheless leveled in the last 15 years, as movies and magazines increasingly display bare-chested men with impossibly chiseled physiques and six-pack abs. “The media has become more of an equal opportunity discriminator,” says Lemberg. “Men’s bodies are not good enough anymore either.'”

And he’s right.

I don’t want my son (nor my daughter for that matter) to grow up thinking that a man must look a certain way to be a man, or to be attractive to the opposite sex. I want my kids to grow up without feeling pressured into looking certain way. And let me tell you something, our culture is not making that easy.

Please read these two articles. Let’s be part of the solution.


Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys

It’s Not Just Girls. Boys Struggle With Body Image, Too.

The Worst Case Scenario

The Worst Case Scenario

Okay, so I’m fully aware that if you mention or compare someone to Hitler then Godwin’s law comes into effect and no one should take the discussion seriously. With that in mind, I still invite you to take a wild (and hopefully impossible) ride into an exercise of speculative fiction.

First, some facts. Donald Trump has called all Mexican rapists and criminals, wants to ban all Muslims and track the ones that live here already and has said a bunch of other odious things.

Of course, we don’t live in Weimar Germany, but humor me for a moment. Again, I repeat that this is all speculative fiction and I sure hope that none of this comes true.


Trump’s America 

A few short weeks before the general elections, a massive terrorist attack takes place. It probably won’t be another 9/11, but more in the style of San Bernardino or the Paris attacks. It would be a group of armed terrorists shooting a large number of civilians.

The country is in a state of shock. People are afraid. People are angry. The terrorists are Muslim and one of them was a Syrian refugee. Immediately, Trump condemns the attack and spews his rhetoric on how to make America safe and great again. He stokes people’s fears and they eat it up. He becomes president.

Another alternative:

Trump becomes president. A few short months after his presidency, there’s a terrorist attack. This becomes Trump’s Reichstag fire. All the terrorists were deemed to be Muslim. If one of them happens to be a Latino American Muslim, then this is even more of a victory for Trump.

Hate crimes against Latinos and Muslims rise. Trump doesn’t condemn these attacks. In fact, his words only serve to inflame the people’s anger against minorities. Laws are passed that not only ban Muslims from coming in, but the ones already here have to carry an identification card at all times.

Right wing militia groups of “regular people” begin to take matters into their own hands. Officially, Trump condemns the violent acts by these groups. Unofficially, he not only supports them, but he funds them. These groups become his unofficial SA.

Of course, his “official” reprimand will be in the form of an offhanded comment, not paying too much attention to the issue.

Because people fear another “imminent” attack, many willingly give up their rights in favor of draconian laws. These “laws” give the federal government unprecedented power, especially the Executive branch.

Any person deemed “suspicious” (of being either a terrorist or an illegal) can be stopped by the police. In other words, anyone that looks Latino or Arab is continuously harassed and abused by the police and Trump’s right wing groups.

In order to keep people “safe” and find out if the terrorists have any weapons, people are told to register all of their weapons with the federal government. Months later, a lot of those weapons are confiscated in the name of “national security.” How so? “Well, if the government is here to protect you, and you trust the government, why not give up your weapons? Only bad guys have weapons. Are you a bad guy?”

Trump ignores the constitution, and since he’s the only one who can keep America “safe,” he makes provisions to be elected to a third term.

From then on, things will only get worse.


There you go. This is a brief worst case scenario of how Trump, and I suppose anyone, can destroy the fabric of this great nation. All it takes is for one person to use a group of people as a scapegoat, to use fear to control the population and to speak to a white minority who think this country is “being taken away from them.”

If Trump does win the Republication nomination and then he actually becomes president, then I’m afraid that this nation is actually being taken away from us, the rational and loving people who once made this country great.

Some more (factual) reading:

Is Donald Trump a Fascist?

Trump’s Weimar America

I’m Feeling 32

I’m Feeling 32

Sorry about they T-Swift reference. I couldn’t help myself.

Two days ago I turned 32 years old. Having my birthday at the end of a year allows for a long introspection. This year has been challenging in many ways, but it has also been very rewarding.

I’m beyond thankful to God for my wife and my two children. They give me the strength and the drive to become a better man every day.  A large part of why I want to become a successful bestselling author is to be able to better provide for them.

I’m also really excited to start a brand new job next week. I’m a bit nervous, naturally, but I’m really looking forward to it.

I began working on my children’s book with a brand new Wacom tablet, thanks to a VERY generous and kind investor.  I also began writing the sequel to The Mysterious Manuscript and I’m really excited about it. Also, I worked on another book, which I haven’t really publicly talked about, but I’m very excited to share in the future.

On the other hand, every year that passes without me achieving my dreams of becoming a bestselling author does bring me down a bit. In all honesty, I have only myself to blame. I haven’t put the time and effort necessary to work on my writing as much as I should have, but I plan on remedying that in 2016.

I know that I can’t control how my book sales will do, but I can control my work ethic and dedication and it certainly needs to improve.

All in all, 2015 was a good year, but 2016 and being 32 is looking a lot better.

Happy New Year everyone!

The Children of Jules Verne

The Children of Jules Verne

If you haven’t clicked on my “books” tab, then I must let you know that I love adventure novels. As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut, although I didn’t know the word for it yet. So, when someone asked me what I wanted to be, I would say a “scientist.”

Of course, that was a lofty idea since I was born in Cuba and leaving the country was hard enough, let alone the planet.

But looking up at the stars every night instilled in me a sense of wonder. Even today, when I do something as mundane as taking out the trash in the evening, I look up and take a quick second to let the beauty of a starry night envelop me.

Thanks to my mother, I’ve always loved to read and as I got older, she started to buy me adventure novels.

I had a lot of friends growing up, but I would say that my true best friends were my books. I remember reading “From the Earth to the Moon,” and reliving my boyish wonder about space travel. I remember reading “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and wanting to travel and explore, even if it was only through my imagination.

And that’s what I began to do. I began to write stories, plays, poems and draw comics, most of it dealing with adventure.

I love to travel, despite the fact that I haven’t done much of it because I’ve never had the money to do it. But one day (while I’m still young), I hope to travel to Paris, Rome, Florence and so many other beautiful cities that are filled with history. I want to absorb the history of those places and let it fill my soul.

From The Mysterious Manuscript, to the sequel I hope to finish soon, to even the children’s book I’m working on, there’s always a theme of adventure in my work.

A lot of it has to do with reading Jules Verne early on. While I may have physically been in Cuba, my mind traveled to far and exotic places thanks to his prose. Every book is an adventure, especially when that book has an adventure theme to it.

My Mysterious Manuscript is not perfect. I didn’t have money to hire an editor, but the story is there, the heart and the passion are there. (For its sequel, I do plan to hire someone professional to take a look at it) And although it’s not perfect when it comes to things like punctuation and whatnot, I do hope that my passion for telling a good story is there. I hope that my sense of awe and wonder translate to the page.

As Ray Bradbury once said, “We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne.”

I know I am.