One of the most original performance poets of her generation, Melissa Lozada-Oliva has captivated crowds across the country and online with her vivid narratives. Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. Peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.

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The year of 2017 is swiftly coming to a close, and there are some things I have been meaning to say. It is so easy as a blogger to cut the shadows from your life, presenting a perfect portrait of your everyday. It is easy for us on social media to only post of our exquisite travels, our accomplishments, the expensive places we may have the honor of passing through. It is easy to put on a smile and say everything is fine. This is what we’re used to, right?

I’d like to think I’ve been quite honest on my social media outlets, but I imagine most of you think I’m always happy, always reading books and writing these lovely stories. You may think I’m successful due to the places I go, or the things I post about. You may not think of any of these things, but either way, I’m here to tell you the truth.

Here’s the truth:

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It has been MUCH too long (five months, to be exact) since I’ve updated all of you lovelies on my writing and what I’m working on. Now as you may remember from my previous posts, I was struggling with my work in progress. Compared to my first novel (YA Speculative Fiction with elements of Science Fiction), it was difficult transitioning to my WIP (YA Historical Fiction with Fantasy).

This was hard for me, because no matter how hard I tried, the words wouldn’t come. The ones that did felt awkward and robotic. I was terrified I would never be able to write another book.

Looking back, I can say these blocks were a cause of both stress and unnecessary amounts of pressure. I wasn’t allowing myself the time to soak in this world, to truly understand my characters and their stories. I was trying to force myself to write, all while I was caught up in the issues of petty problems and people. I was forgetting how it felt to be alive. To believe in magic.

After going through a few personal problems (including dozens of rejections for my first book), I again realized how important my stories are to me. I thought of my characters, the stories I have and have not yet written. I wondered what they would do, how they would feel in my situation. And I knew they would try again, even if it meant getting hurt and rejected again and again.

Once July rolled in, words began pouring from my fingertips. My characters roamed my daydreams and nighttime thoughts. They became these living beings who I couldn’t get enough of, much like how I felt with my first book. I almost cried with joy when my word count swiftly kept spiking by the thousands.

I was back, and I now know that no matter what struggles I go through, I will always return to my true loves.

So now, as of July 19, I have written about 65k words for my WIP, putting about 1k towards it almost every day. I also edited my first novel, taking it down from 93k to 90k. I’m awaiting feedback from a friend, then I plan to query once again. I’ve been staying up until midnight or one, my eyes wide like a mad scientist. (No but really, I talk to myself in accents and dance to music and scribble random notes and I should maybe be concerned??? Nah.) I feel wild and happy and free.

I cannot even begin to describe what my work in progress has already taught me. It has flooded my heart with emotions both new and old. It has strengthened my soul and given me hope. I love diving into this world and watching these characters blossom. I look forward to completing their story and hopefully one day sharing it with the rest of you.

But in the meantime, I can share a few snippets. A couple of notes about my WIP: it takes place in 16th century Scotland, along with a magical island. Girls supports girls. There are wild children and a boy with very long lashes who will make you SWOON. (But also can be childish and selfish and stupid because #nobodyisperfectinmyworld.) There also might be dragons. *smirks evilly*




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That was quite a lengthy and somewhat emotional update, but I hope it inspired or influenced any of you fellow writers (or artists) out there who may be struggling. Just know that when you are passionate about something, it will always return to you, and you must believe that.

Also, please let me know what you thought of my snippets! I would love to hear your thoughts or feedback. And to all of you artists, I would love to hear what you’re working on and how it’s going. It’s important for us creative people to stay motivated and inspire one another. Don’t be afraid to share your successes and failures. It’s makes us stronger.