Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of signing our newest author: Mary A. Perez. Her story will bring you to tears and fill your heart with joy–sometimes on the same page. It is a promise of hope and survival to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for anyone who was abandoned as a child or an adult, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.
“Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” is When I was Puerto Rican meets Glass Castle. The memoir is the journey of a coming-of-age Puerto Rican girl seeking love and security with her difficult mother in an impoverished home, who becomes a teenage bride to an abusive man twice her age. Can she overcome insurmountable obstacles of poverty, racism, alcoholism, violence, and abandonment while hope is shattered time after time?
You can find excerpts from Mary’s book in La Respuesta magazine and La Sofrita for Your Soul, and the full manuscript won first place in the nonfiction category of the Houston Writers Guild Annual Writing Competition (2014). You can read more of her story on her blog (in Spanish or English) and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
To get a taste before the book is released in January, check out her latest post:
Not That Girl
She is the girl who learned how to float to prevent from sinking when life tried to weigh her down. Who walked on pebbles and use them as her stepping-stones to get to higher ground. Who learned that childlike faith in the God above would blossom into something much greater than herself. She may have had father figures who were missing in action, but she became comforted with a Heavenly Father who never left her side.
Once dejected and rejected, she no longer is that sad, little girl. Don’t feel sorry for her. Applaud her, because it was during the dry seasons that she discovered an oasis. Rejoice with her, because in the darkness is where she found a beacon of light. Admire her for rising above her crisis in spite of her circumstances. She may have started out in the valley, pecking along like a chicken digging for worms. But then the Ancient of Days taught her to spread her wings like an eagle, and soar into the air over the mountaintop.
Don’t cry for her, feel sad for her, or grieve for her. If you’re looking for a lost and lonely child, she is not here. Misunderstood, she may be; a wonder to many she may be. If you’re looking for perfection, she is not that girl. If you expect to see sophistication or to hear profound eloquence, you will be disappointed. Her past may want to dictate her future, the voices in her head play a broken song, her name may even mean “bitter” — but she refuses to be that girl.
What kind of girl is she? A simple girl. A blessed girl. She is stronger today for everything she endured. She appreciates the beauty of living life one day at a time. She surrounds herself by those who encourage and genuinely care for her. She clothes herself with a garment of praise, amazed by the wonders of God’s grace.
Sad . . . alone . . . afraid. Not that girl anymore.
© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved (re-posted with permission)