jueves, 31 de mayo de 2012

The Radical Write: Crunchtime: Carpe Diem

It’s crunch time. I have to start sending out work, or queries or both. I can do this, I tell myself. I have the brains, the nerve and the ability. My little Cuban friend Roberto Ornan Roche didn't let a language barrier stop him. He didn't let his naivete of American magazine markets slow him down. His reward was acceptance and. publication in two December editions of In Touch magazine, a Spanish version in his native tongue and an English version which is not.

He inspires me. He represents the full bloomed determination that is yet a seedling in me. So what is it going to take to let that determination grow stronger? What are the weeds that are trying to it choke out? Primarily, mine is procrastination. Why do today what you can do tomorrow?

Because you end up at the beginning of a new year with the same resolution as last year. My last year of  was less published than the year before. Yes, I had a job and a family and a lot of adjustments going on with all of it. I can say with some degree of certainty that with all that behind me, this year will be better. My goals are attainable with a little focus. One of my writer friends JB posted his New Year’s decisions. The one that I liked best struck the deepest cord with me. 

Live with less fear and more resolve. This is not an individual that scares easily, mind you. He’s seen more than his share of frightful and haunting images. This is an individual who charts a course and reaches destinations. This is something I deeply admire and something at which I hope to become more adept.

I have moments of fearlessness. Where I cast all gutlessness aside and plunge head first into my destiny to hell with the ego, let it get bruised. Let’s just get on with it! Those moments have been my most empowering. As a result, I have been rejected by some very prominent New York magazines. (And, with a no d to JB, lesser prominent Alaskan ones as well.)

It might serve me better to I.V. the adrenaline of those pre-rejection moments, a shot of bravery like an epi pen to the heart, when I start over thinking my work. Instead of holding off for another day, which too often turns into a month or several, I want to have enough attention for the moment to move ahead today. I want to finish well. So, as I gather the magazines that I wish to send work to, I will begin the tracking process for sending work to those magazines.

Why does it feel, then, like I’m getting ready to leap from a mountain in an untested flight suit? Oh, yeah, I remember now. Nervousness and excitement feel exactly the same. This must be me on excitement!
Carpe Diem is my anthem for the New Year. 

Are you ready?
Good, me neither.
Let's risk it anyway

viernes, 25 de mayo de 2012

A Poem in Prose - Review by Katherine Harms

I enjoy reading work by Roberto Ornan Roche. This is the second of his books that I have read. Each time his masterful prose, beautiful in translation, probably transporting in Spanish, reminds me of the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, another Spanish writer whose work I only know in translation. Roche has the same skill with words, but a much more hopeful message.
Americans don't often get the chance to read work by Cuban writers, and when that happens, we don't expect Christians. We all know that Cuba is a Marxist country, but what we don't know so well is that Christians live and worship and write and serve God with their gifts in Cuba, despite all the pressure to sit down and shut up.
Each meditation in this book is profound and thought-provoking. In some instances the English-speaking reader may need to reread context to sort out the translator's choices, but the flow of the writing is powerful enough to carry the reader through those rough spots.
Christians from anywhere will appreciate the depth of faith expressed in this book. It belongs on your bedside table for daily inspiration.
"The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections"

miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2012

The Perfect Story

"The Perfect Story" published by Christian News Today:
Blessings, from Cuba,
Roberto Ornan Roche

domingo, 20 de mayo de 2012

"Unexpected Pleasures from Cuba" Review of Martin Roth

I knew nothing about the church in Cuba. Now that I have met Roberto, in the pages of his book, I know a little.

This is a collection of about three dozen short and simple devotionals, a reflection of the author's faith and an expression of his love of the Lord.

The best are those that tell a story about life in Cuba today.

In "The Man That Ate Poppies" the author is at a bus station when he meets an elderly man carrying a flag with the motto "Cuba for Christ." They share a taxi ride, and along the way the man, while talking about the Bible, starts eating poppies, which he believes to be good for his health.

In "Roofs" we meet a woman who belongs to the author's church. She suffers kidney problems and requires regular dialysis. Yet "her faith remains" and "she smiles at me without sorrow."

Though it would have been good to have more such stories about the people of Cuba, this remains a lovely - and loving - collection of messages that will surely touch the heart of any Christian reader.
"The Cuban Christian Writer: Redemption, Encouragement & Restoration Stories"
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"Faith's Light on the Path" Review by Katherine Harms

This book is inspiring, and you need not be a writer to enjoy it. If I were asked to provide a title for this book, I would suggest "Living with Christ in the Stream of Time." The meditations demand both thought and prayer, and they motivate self-examination under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Readers might appreciate a tidier translation. They may struggle with a some sentences or a few specific lexical issues, but nobody will fail to get the central message of the way faith in Christ shapes a life.
Any Christian would benefit from spending time reading and absorbing this book.
"The Cuban Christian Writer: Redemption, Encouragement & Restoration Stories"
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"The Lighthouse of Asaph" Review by Carol A. Brown

The Lighthouse of Asaph by Roberto Ornan Roche is a compilation of essays that will take the reader to heights and depths that many hesitate to go. I appreciated his raw honesty. Roberto shares his journey, of living as a Christian in a country that does not make it easy to keep the faith. Living that faith publically in Cuba and pursuing growth in his faith is difficult, for mentors and teachers are few. Often feeling alone in his pursuit of God, he keeps on trusting. I felt honored to walk with him for a time as I read his words. He encouraged me to persevere in my own discipleship.

This is a translation from Spanish to English--Some may be frustrated with the English translation. In places there was some trouble with idiom, but I did not find it a big enough problem to cause me to lay the book aside. I would recommend this little book to any serious Christian.
"The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections"
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sábado, 19 de mayo de 2012

A Special Feeling, by Roberto Ornan Roche Jr.


A Special Feeling

By Roberto Roche Jr.


Recently I underwent an experience that shocked me indeed At that moment I was already older than my father and I begun to live more than what my father could do it.


My father died due to a fatal traffic accident when he was only thirty six years old and I was hardly nine. His name was Roberto Roche; I was named on behalf of him. He was a wonderful father of an incredible will. One night, I did not hear the usual noise of the garden gate as he were coming home. 


 A special affection kept us together. I still remember his long walks and how he created special playgrounds for us, and made electric and mechanical changes to our toys so that they could have a better operation. He also taught me to play chess and he used to give me a present as a reward for my good behaviour. I even remember the way he scolded me. I can recall how he played with my twin brothers on the bed and how he liked to make plans about my future life. I still feel the strength of his hand seizing mine.


I have thought a lot before writing these remarks and although somebody might support an opposite statement or fact, I am sure I will see my father in Heaven. Maybe I will not recognize him as my father but he will be there, and in a certain way I will understand that there is no longer sadness or sorrow in my heart.


To cope with the sadness of a whole life, God has provided me with a wonderful mother as an angel, whose company I still enjoy. During her youth, she studied Christian Education and for all her life she has served to The Lord and to each human being whom she has met. I have never heard a rough sentence coming out from her lips targeted at somebody, on the contrary, I have only heard sweet words for thirty six years that I have lived next to her. As strange as it may seem, even to the same Christians, she has always had joy to live through the hardest tests and circumstances.


She never married again, she just devoted herself to bring up her four children, including my two twin brothers who were only two years old on that sorrowful and terrible November 18, 1979.


We never lacked of a birthday party, a picture, a pair of shoes, our clothes, vacations, trips, toys and much more than that, we have always had all her love, tenderness and the fact that Christ is the only comfort for the saddest things that may happen in a lifetime. My mother used her sewing machine from dawn to dusk to make some money for us. She sometimes took pills to keep herself awaken and not to get cut with the electric needle of her machine. Every night while we were sleeping, she worked hard without even thinking about taking any time off.


I never saw her crying. She has always been standing by, being strong enough and without thinking about her sadness, and making every effort for her children to grow in a sweet home.


She has suffered what cannot be described but she has never given her back to The Lord.. It is unbelievable that even today God uses that person to give hope to my problems and my sadness. And it is my wish to enjoy my mother's company more apprehensively to the full extent of her incredible gift of tenderness and faith, as long as God allows me to have her by my side.


Through my life I have been a steady disapproval and suffering for my mother but she has only loved me much more. I know that she thinks of me as somebody very special for her. I am sure that any thing I can do for her, it will never make me feel that I am giving back to her some love and miraculous care; and though I do not consider myself as affectionate person as she is, and even though I was a child very close to my father, I believe that all what I am at present, I largely owe it to my mother: her feelings, her dedication, her love.


It is just one of my thoughts or remarks. It is number thirty six and I dedicate it to my lovely mom, Migdalia, and to my beloved dad whom I will never forget.


(Today we still live in the house built by my father and my mother for us, and it keeps on being a Christian dwelling).


viernes, 18 de mayo de 2012

Cuban Author interview

Dear Brethrens,
Maybe some of yours don't read yet my interview with Martin Roth: http://www.military-orders.com/Blog/Writing/A-Christian-Writer-in-Cuba.html
From a country where the Christian writers are very scarce and lonely.
Blessings, Roberto