"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World

Last December, I traveled to Argentina, for only the second time in fourteen years. The first time, I traveled with my Cangri who was barely one year old, and I was eight weeks pregnant. It was April, the time between Summer and Fall (in the Southern Hemisphere). I was there for two weeks--one week was scorching Summer, the next freezing Winter. To say it was stressing and hard to go back and see everything as an adult is an understatement.

This second trip, I resolved to enjoy everything. The whole family traveled together--all six of us plus my parents. It was Summer! Christmas. What else could I ask for?


I found books, of course. And while in Buenos Aires, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting El Ateneo, only one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Years ago, a theater operated there and now it functions as a haven of culture.

My husband likes books okay. When we walked into El Ateneo, he looked at me and asked, "How long are we staying here?"
I didn't want to scare him, so I said, "An hour?" Meaning three or four.
He just nodded. "I ask because this is the coolest place I've ever seen."
And my heart flooded with love. For him and the millions of books around me.
Here are some pictures:

                                                              Unassuming on the outside
Three stories of books, music, film, art inside

Me and a part of my stack of books

 My two middle babies
 Frescoes on the ceiling

 Spanish versions of The Dark Divine and Hush, Hush. I felt I had ran into friends
 Another part of the stack

 Balconies where people can go and read and live. I would have if I could...

And more books

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sharing the Love

Last week I joined a few other bloggers in participating of a virtual Secret Valentine blogfest. I loved the concept, and when I found out whose Secret Valentine I am, I was even more excited: Kristin Miller, one of the brilliant minds behind the idea.

I don't know Kristin in person, but just reading her blogs (yes, she has multiple blogs) gave me a hint of who she is, and made me wish I knew how to design a beautiful blog--or hire someone to do it for me--, and write such insightful/useful blog posts.

Without being a stalker, I found a lot of interesting things about her just from her blog:
  • She's such a romantic. I mean, her favorite fictional couple are Anne (yes, from the Green Gables) and Gilbert.
  • She has excellent taste: among her favorite movies are The Borne Trilogy and she likes the Fiennes brothers.
  • She loves to travel. Such a free spirit.
  • She's brave. She travels by herself, and likes meeting new people in her travels. I wish more like that. I have a hard time on Sundays if my friends are not at Church.
  • She's crafty. Not only does she post wonderful ideas for crafts, like a wintery rose wreath or a pendant with charms made out of book pages, but she also links to the tutorial. She's generous and thoughtful too.
  • She writes wonderful book reviews. Even though her comments of  YUMMY: THE LAST DAYS OF A SOUTHSIDE SHORTY by G. Neri, ill by Randy DuBurke are brief, they sparked my interest in it right away. It's already on my TBR ever-growing mountain (pile doesn't really fit anymore).
  • Her favorite drink is water, and she loves yoga pants. 
  • She's hard working: not only is she a YA and MG author, but she's also an agent with the D4EO agency. She's also part of the the wonderful YA Highway bloggers.
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day, Kristin. I'm very glad of this opportunity to get to know you a little through this fun event.

And Happy Valentine's day to all of you, whether you are single or in a couple. Love is everywhere!

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm reading a book

My fellow Shark and Pebbles critique partner, Julie, shared this video with me today. From now on, I declare this as the theme song of my life. I wonder if Julian could some day make a song entitled, "Don't you ever interrupt me when I'm writing my book."
What do you think?

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Gone feising

Yesterday my Swan Princess participated of her third feis. Since she wasn't nervous at all, I was nervous for her.
I shouldn't have been. Not even for a second. She did wonderful. She participated in a reel, light jig, slip jig, treble jig and hornpipe competition. The last two on hard shoes. I could never remember the steps for one dance, let alone five.
She placed first on the reel and light jig, and fourth on hornpipe. Keep in mind that her class started practicing the dances a couple of weeks before we left for Argentina, and she missed a whole month.
I don't know how she does it. It's a wonderful feeling when your child can do things you'd never consider doing. Or that you can't do. What does she feel up on that stage, in front of so many people? Does she think the sequence of the steps she needs to take or does she just let her feet remember?
I asked her, and she just smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders.
I guess I'll never know.
My medalist and her proud mama

Isn't she adorable?

PS: She's been making bracelets to set up a booth at a boutique. I asked her what she will do with the money and she said, "I'm saving for my competition in Ireland."
She still has countless feiseanna to win before she can go to Ireland for her certification. But do I doubt she will get to do it? Not for a second.