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Say no to the death penalty

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Within the last six months, events have rocked my convictions to the core.  Sandy Hook and all those murdered children.  The Boston Marathon and all that senseless suffering.  But I am still against the death penalty.  Always.  Yes, even for the perpetrators of these heinous acts.  Here’s why. I grew up believing in the great […]

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About The Secret Side of Empty

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I’m Maria, the author of the young adult novel, The Secret Side of Empty, which will be published by Running Press in the spring of 2014. If the book’s not out yet, why have I invited you here?  Well, lots of reasons, most of which that lifelong dreams are best when shared.  And getting this […]

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I See Dead People

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Today my beloved high school English teacher changed her Facebook profile picture.  The only catch?  She’s been dead two years. The first time it happened, it stopped me (pun totally intended, in her honor) dead in my tracks.  I had just gone to see her one last time, and she’d looked like a stranger in […]

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First Novel to be Published Spring, 2014

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My first novel, Illegal, will be published in the Spring of 2014 by Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Look for frequent updates on the book’s website here:  http://illegalthebook.com/

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Time to be still

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There is a magic that happens when I have enough time to be still.  A fog lifts – the fog of checklists and running and oh-I-forgot-to-go-to-the-grocery-store and late buses and workplace frustrations – and I become more myself.  I always have ideas and phrases running through my head, but give me a few days off […]

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The Journey from Illegal

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In the jumble of feelings and paperwork that is a divorce, my naturalization certificate disappeared.  My ex said he didn’t have it.  I knew he did.  Last week, 5 years after it went missing, it wordlessly appeared in a manila envelope along with my monthly child support check.  No, “Oops,” or “My bad.”  Such is […]

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The Unlikely Wedding Officiant

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I turn the channel away from the wedding shows, even the ones in which the brides are being impossible.  I secretly thrill when I read about the break-ups of celebrities.  When the ladies at work are ooh-ing and aaah-ing about the latest engagement ring (and I work in engagement ring central, another one just dropped […]

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How Much Do You Need Facebook?

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When I first got on to Facebook, I had it bad. It was so beautiful. So pretty and white and blue. In fact, like a teenager discovering the opposite sex, I wanted to be with Facebook all the time. My friend list quickly ballooned up to 900 as I indiscriminately accepted every friend request that […]

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Dark Roots

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I’m a faker.  I’m a faker and a poser and, what’s worse, I wear the evidence right on my head.  But it’s so wavy and luscious I can hardly feel bad about it. When I was growing up, my mother told me a few things with certainty.  She said getting tattoos was a horrible idea, […]

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Denied the Dream

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Every year, thousands of undocumented children graduate from high school in the U.S., into the abyss of social security number-less existence, no reliable path to higher education, and a life of exclusion and low-paying, off-the-books jobs.  As one former such child who benefited from a fortuitously-timed amnesty in 1986 that made my future bright, I […]

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