Lorraine C. Ladish
City you live in:
Occupation and why?
I´m a writer. My grandfather and my father are writers. I’ve been writing since I was a young girl, but at twenty nine I realized it was time for me to take it seriously. I´d made notes for my first book for many years, unsure of whether I would be able to actually finish it. It was a struggle because it was about my own experience with an eating disorder, but I felt it was a story that needed to be told. Once the book was published I realized I had the capacity to connect with readers because I wrote from the heart.
A regular day consists of?
I don’t have regular days! I freelance, which is by nature unpredictable, and I have a blended family. I coparent my daughters with my former husband, and my live-in boyfriend has a young son. We have to manage different visitation schedules and our own work. Some days are work-oriented and others are family-oriented. Every week I make time to write, exercise and enjoy the family. My only secret for getting things done is that I don´t watch TV.
How do you define success?
Success is a very personal concept. My own feeling of success comes from making a living doing what I love, enjoying my children and spending time with my partner, who is also a writer. We met later in life, and if either of us had been jaded, that would never have happened. Success for me is getting up every time I fall, and making the best of the most challenging situations. Sometimes I´m surprised at my own resilience, which my daughters seem to have inherited, and that makes me happy.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I’ve had a few … Growing up without a mom, overcoming an eating disorder when I was young, and later in life having to move from Seville, Spain to Florida with two young children. I had no friends, family, or work connections here. Then, as I was recovering from a divorce, I took care of my girls while reinventing my career after the recession hit. The newspaper I wrote for folded and I had no steady income for a while. I try to turn challenges into learning experiences and I usually end up writing about them, as a catharsis and to help other people who may be experiencing something similar.
What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
If you want to be a writer, realize it’s a long-term commitment. It takes determination, solitude and persistence. Realize that talking about writing won’t do the trick. You need to actually do it. Keep in mind that having your work rejected is part of the writer’s life, and that one editor who says yes is all it takes to see your writing in print. Life is too short to give up on your dreams.
What’s on your bucket list?
To finish the chick-lit novel I’m working on now. My next goal is to publish my books in English.
I am proud to be Latina because:
We really do know how to enjoy life!
How do you get your Latin fix?
Dancing salsa and cooking paella.
Spanglish, English, Spanish?
All of the above. I´m bilingual, which means I read, write and speak both, but since many of my friends in the U.S. speak Spanglish, it´s rubbed off on me.
What is your favorite Latin restaurant?
El Morro, a Cuban restaurant in Naples, Florida. They serve the best lechón.
My favorite Latina stereotype is:
I don´t believe in stereotypes, but that Latinas are passionate about life.
Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
It wasn´t something she said. My abuelita taught me how to knit, crochet and sew when I was a young girl. She also taught me how to cook Spanish dishes. I love that my daughters ask me to mend their clothes instead of throwing them away. My abuelita is 94, and I think of her every time I cook one of her recipes.
Favorite home remedy:
Té de tomillo with lemon and honey for a cold. It really works!
“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exúpery
-Publishing my first book, Me Siento Gorda, about my own struggle with an eating disorder. I know it helped a lot of readers, and it was hard to write because it was very honest and raw.
-Having my novellas El Buzón de Voz and Maldito Autor published. It´s far more difficult to publish fiction than non-fiction.
-Becoming the writer and editor of Consejos de Mamá. It´s a perfect fit: it enables me to motivate other Latina moms to relax a bit and make the best of motherhood, while not losing their identity, which is what I aspire to.
[fun]♦Both my daughters were born in Seville, Spain. My eldest was born on Viernes de Feria, during the Feria de Abril. The nurses walked in dressed in their Flamenco dresses!
♦I had my first daughter at 37, and my second at 40 and she was born 40 minutes after I checked into the clinic. I was scared because of the horror stories I’d heard about “older moms”, but both births were fast and easy.
♦The best compliment I received lately was when my 10-year old introduced me to her classmates as her “cool mom.”[/fun]
[career]♦Publishing my first book, Me Siento Gorda, about my own struggle with an eating disorder. I know it helped a lot of readers, and it was hard to write because it was very honest and raw.
♦Having my novellas El Buzón de Voz and Maldito Autor published. It´s far more difficult to publish fiction than non-fiction.
♦Becoming the writer and editor of Consejos de Mamá. It´s a perfect fit: it enables me to motivate other Latina moms to relax a bit and make the best of motherhood, while not losing their identity, which is what I aspire to.[/career]
[description]“Success for me is getting up every time I fall, and making the best of the most challenging situations.”[/description]