Posts in Books
NFAND CODA Episode 119 | Alex Rodriguez, artist, writer, sound engineer
Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodriguez, producer and emcee:

This conversation was recorded between Howard Jordan (professor, activist, journalist, and lawyer) and Alex Rodríguez a couple of years ago. Jordan was and continues to be the Chair of the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department at Hostos Community College and Alex was enrolled in the Sound Engineering program. Today, Alex works at the Hostos Sound Studio and the rhythm of this share is as real as it comes. A South Bronx native, Alex is lyricist, an emcee, producer, and a full artist at heart. 

Jordan asks and each time Alex goes at it with sincere aplomb and a whole hearted explanation. He fills the gaps with context and personal history and makes his surroundings palpable with word. I’ve been thinking of him for several weeks, his cadence, the hoarseness/softness speed of his voice, and the crux of it-the why of the spoken word, its power and confusion, resonance and displacement, history and the story, tales of souls left heartless and beloved by others. The rest is ignorance and here’s a voice.


CODA XII: Photo gallery | book week in Puerto Rico

Here CODA XII: Gallery of photos | Book week in Puerto Rico.

There’s something about sincere closeness, familial love, and streets you know that simply linger. 

Sit, breathe, and wait a bit. Take your thoughts and imagine yourself abruptly being taken by the ankles as you become a pendulum swinging side-to-side with force. You surrender to the sway. It begins to slow down until the swinging comes to a full soft stop. You drop to a body of water. When you come up for air some of those people and streets, the closeness, are out there and its safe again. That was Puerto Rico last week.

A bounty of grace and love.

NFAND CODA Episode 116 | Minerva Urrutia, clinical psychologist, artist, activist, mentor
Picture taken from an article in  Latino Sports  by Nicole Perez.

Picture taken from an article in Latino Sports by Nicole Perez.

In this episode, Minerva Urrutia shares about what it means to be a caregiver, as it relates to the Puerto Rican immigrant experience, being married, having children, and giving up almost everything to provide for an aging parent. Her tale is straightforward, poised, tempered, and loving. She is history in the talking.

November is Caregiving month and View For Death | Paisaje Para La Muerte is set for Thursday, 1 November 2018, with a presentation reception and talkback with Professor Eunice Flemister at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. See attached flyer in png format. The book was translated from English into Spanish by Marlène Ramírez-Cancio.

Grateful for Minerva’s time, consideration, and friendship.

Respect your elders.


Ebook on Amazon | Print copies on

Donate to 80grados, Prensasinprisa funding campaign.

Episode 115 | Carmen Matos, aka Bx Queen and caregiver
Carmen Matos - aka Bx Queen

Carmen Matos - aka Bx Queen

I met Carmen very recently at the Mott Haven Bar and Grill and almost instantly we got into a heart-to-heart talk about the experiences that have made us grow up and mature. We quickly realized we had both had the experience of being caregivers.

On she went to share her tale. A sad one, but also uplifting. Sometimes the darkest moments have splendor and therein stood our common ground. Her last line in this conversation is, “sometimes we have to fall to realize how strong we are when we get back up.” Word.

Unfortunately, falling seems to be a must in life and the hardest part is getting back on the road to forward. It is that journey of getting back up that I hold as the crux of the matter and feel compelled to help. The book I wrote is about just that, falling. Falling deep into grief, or as Professor Eunice Flemister told me in a recent talk, “the power of grief.” We so seldom expose it and talk about it; I feel we cheat ourselves out of a chance to connect with one another’s humanity.

It makes sense that Carmen is aka as the Bx Queen. She is stunning, tall, with piercing blue/green eyes, and warm. When you’re with her, you feel like she’s got you. I thank her for her candidness and tears, which are my own.

For the next few weeks, as lead up to share with the world a personal tale, I brace myself with bravery. Unveiling myself is a bit nutty, I haven’t always succeeded in the past when I have, but it is the only way to catch sincerity. And I won’t back down from that way of being. I want to help women caregivers in dire straights, and the only way I had to do that was to open myself for the purpose.

Carmen and the rest of the women voices I’ll be sharing with you all have that, grief, bravery, solid oak dignity, and heart.

Always from the heart.


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Episode 109 | Alberto Ferreras, writer, director, creator
Lesson 2 16.49.07.png

Alberto is amazing, loving, bountiful, exemplary, relatable, tantalizing, and original. He is. There’s this something to his creative works that just leave you smiling and wondering about him. From B as in Beauty, his novel about a fat girl who turns call girl at night to help her with self-confidence, to the beloved HBO Latino series HABLA, Alberto is full of truisms and classy creativity.

I could talk with Alberto for hours non-stop. Our conversation here hits almost an hour but we had to cover the subjects in depth. There was no other way with him. We just go fluidly through past and present projects, the process of writing, the state of the world as it relates to the creative fields, and these subjects matter to us both.

He really is a genius. His ideas, his vision of bringing moral tales to life. He has a new film project in series format called, Lessons. We delve into Lessons. Brilliant offerings for self-reflection in less than 5-minutes. With the project, he’s learning about narrative form and presenting short-films / short scenes about issues that matter in life - success, lovers, a mother’s love, bitterness, confidentiality. And he gave me a lesson in Premiere Adobe suite in sound editing. Lessons, lessons, lessons...

Alberto’ The Newyorkster, is an incredible story/podcast. We talked about that too and share on our need to explore the expansiveness of Latino, though I’m leaning towards referencing it as Pan-American. There’s no resolution to this other than, talk, talk.

Alberto darling, thank you.

Always from the heart.


Episode 100 | View For Death, my first book, Trina Bardusco talks with me
View from Herlev Hospital, Denmark 2015. Photo by Soldanela Rivera

View from Herlev Hospital, Denmark 2015. Photo by Soldanela Rivera

For episode 100 I asked my dear friend Trina Bardusco, writer, director, producer, entrepreneur, and duende to speak with me about the book project I’ve been working on for the past three years, View For Death, in memory of my late husband, Dan Larsen.

Yes, not a light title, but those of you who know me know there is really nothing light about me. I feel, think, express, and give myself from the core of my being.

How it came to be that I get to announce this self-published labor of love nearly on the eve of his of his passing on 17 April 2015 is perhaps the wind from the other realm. I don’t know, but maybe. Three is the triad: the beginning, the middle, and the end; or birth, life, and death; or past, present, and future.

The number three also corresponds to the three generous women who came through almost at the last minute and helped me realize my vision and bring me to the finish line. My Belle du Jour Lara Gallardo, graphic designer extraordinaire. The fantastical lady of words, my Spanish translator and soul-sister, Marlène Ramírez-Cancio. And, last but not least, my little sister’s mother and my friend, Damarys Reyes-Vicente, the Spanish copy editor. Without these three women, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. 

So much happens in the artistic indie journey right? I nearly gave up after Hurricane María, which for all sort of circumstances wiped out my entire budget. I had barely enough to pay Lara something, Marlène and Damarys worked for pro-bono. I sat and meditated on all I had accomplished in the past three years and sought to seek and believe that even though I had no money, there was a way to make the book a reality.

View For Death is a memoir dedicated to caregivers all over the world. The book is not only for caregivers, but for anyone who’s lost someone they love. I also hope the book can serve anyone who wants to find a way to solace during a grieving time.

So long as this book sells 50% of the money from sales are destined for the VFD Fund. To start, I aim to help women caregivers in dire straights in the United States and Puerto Rico. If all goes, the project will evolve to expand and include men caregivers in dire straights and ultimately, move on to other places, but the journey of a thousand steps begins with step one.

So. View For Death will drop on Amazon on 17 May 2018 as an electronic book, there will be print on demand, and print copies will come later in the season. After the exclusive period with Amazon, View For Death will be on digital platforms where books sell. 'Till then I'll be promoting the book. In the meantime, listen to my heart-to-heart with Trina and visit

More to come…

With strength and honor


Episode 95 | Jean-Marc Berne, voice over talent and coach, audio producer, international public speaker +
The Heart Voice Connection.png

Jean-Marc Berne has a mission - The Heart-Voice Connection. His new book is about just that, connecting to our hearts and our voice, and by extension our empathy. His travails are heavy, but his road to self-healing is the stuff of outer-time. But also, art and healing go hand-in-hand.

A working voice over artist and coach, Jean-Marc writes. Poems are coming out of him almost daily, and for it, on a whim, he launched a private Facebook group called, Poetry for the Soul. He composes songs - It’s My Time_Leave the Past Behind, and does a great deal more - Berne Media Enterprises. Woven into his reason is to speak on behalf of sexually abused victims, on vulnerability and men, about disconnection, and communicating from a place of Love.

Lindo. Lindo.