Maya’s Blog

Here I share insights into my writing journey and the creation of my novel, Painting Celia. These posts offer a deeper understanding of the book, revealing the symbolism, character development, and lyrical language that define my work. They also explore my process of balancing introspection and action, crafting authentic characters, and navigating the ebb and flow of creativity. At least, they explain how I try to do all that!

I hope my perspective inspires and encourages you on your own creative journey. And maybe, to pick up the book!

 

The Book Launch Party

The Book Launch Party

See the photos! Celebrating the launch of Painting Celia with friends, family, and readers was a momentous and deeply moving experience.

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The Art of Storytelling is the Art of Community Building

The Art of Storytelling is the Art of Community Building

Writing took me from private author to public advocate for Portland's artists. Isn't it amazing what art can do?

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a painting of a woman sitting in the middle of a deseted city street, writing

The Privilege of Expression

Feeling stuck during the pandemic, I wrote a novel to transform my life. Learn how it changed me at the launch celebration in May 2024.

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a painting of a lion with a rose in its mouth

The Lion, the Rose, and the Deadline

A laugh, a lion, and a rose—a skeptic author finds insight (and humor) consulting the Tarot.

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a modern desk with an ultrawide monitor showing a book cover and list with graph

From List to Launch

From perfectionist tweaks to a joyful photo shoot, my journey through self-publishing and launching my publishing imprint unfolds.

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a painting of a woman looking anxiously at the viewer over her laptop screen

My Name is Maya, and I’m a Perfectionist

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

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five photos of people generated by ai

My Characters, Brought to Life through AI

I used an AI art generator to create inspiration images of my characters. Is AI an ally or competition to artists and coders?

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a painting of a young Latina woman crossing the finishing line in a foot race

I Heard You’re Writing a Book. When Will It Be Finished?

Step into the world of writing a novel, where 'I should be editing' is the anthem and 'finished' is a word always on the horizon.

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a painting of sparkling blue water from the bottom of a swimming pool

Blue Is More Than a Color

What is color symbolism in literature? Read how the color blue takes on multiple meanings in Painting Celia.

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a painting of an indian woman assembling puzzle pieces

Plotter, Pantser, and the Power of Spreadsheets

In the life of a Plotter, the joy of writing plots with a spreadsheet is a game-changer.

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a painting of maria from the sound of music standing on top of books

I Have Confidence in Me

Like Maria in The Sound of Music, I'm stepping into the unknown, armed with my manuscript and a hopeful heart. Will my story resonate?

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a painting of a woman in a robe, painting.

The Rebel Muse

Ever wondered 'What makes a muse?' They're more than just a spark of inspiration. They've got their own flame.

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a painting of a woman happily reading a book

The Magic of a New Romance Novel

Whether writing or reading, new romance novels captivate us all. The thrill is in the dreams and the drama!

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a painting of a cabbage

Recipe Time! Celia’s Cabbage Slaw

Step into the world of Painting Celia with Celia's own homemade Caesar Cole Slaw recipe! It's a gluten-free delight with a unique twist.

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a painting of a daybed at night, light from a window falling across it

Deleted Scene: Getting to Know You

Bonus content from Painting Celia – exclusively for blog readers! Celia and León start learning about each other.

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a painting of a pool and palm trees, from above

Published! My Research Trip to Los Angeles

In her article published at Women Writers, Women('s) Books, Maya retells her research journey to LA to "visit her characters."

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a painting of a book on fire

Admitting You’ve Written a Sexy Novel

Maya's heartfelt novel allows her to embrace vulnerability in the face of curiosity from her family.

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an ornate brass doorknob on a blue door

Writing Research or Procrastination: Which Is It?

A detour of delightful diversions can derail even the most dedicated writer. How do we avoid procrastination's siren song?

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writing perfectionism: an abstract painting of a blue scale, eggs, and pastries

The Prose and Cons of Perfectionism

Finding harmony between polished language and raw emotion.

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headshot of a somber part-asian woman with chin-length hair, in front of an abstract painting suggesting a swimming pool at night

Celia Torres

Quiet Celia knows she has to start living out loud but is unable to find her voice. Embarrassed by surprise wealth, she has the whole world before her but no idea how to fit into it.

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headshot of a focused latino man with shoulder-length black hair, in front of an abstract painting suggesting a sunset

León Alejo-Rios

My beloved flawed León. My expressive hyper-focused egoist. More than one reader has described him as an innocent mysogynist, and they're not wrong. He's got some growing up to do!

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headshot of a smiling black man with a shaved head, in front of an abstract painting suggesting clay in a kiln fire

Andrew Neal

Magnetic Andrew is confident in his own skin, not afraid to be himself. He's experienced judgment and chooses to be the change he wants to see.

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headshot of an alert caucasian woman with blonde hair, in front of an abstract painting suggesting yellow birds

Kelsey Martin

Kelsey doesn't just light up rooms with her glowing personality. She also draws insightful conclusions and bluntly illuminates them for everyone else.

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headshot of a bespectacled caucasian man with curly graying hair, in front of an abstract painting suggesting a blue scarf

Trevor Hansen

Quiet Trevor is the Dad of the group, willing to put in the work himself and aware others could do the same. His rare quips are amusing and cut to the heart of it.

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