What's up?

In this post I want to give my readers an update of what has been going on with me and with my website.

I’ve been gone for a while. Gone from a particular place and gone from my blog and there are good reasons for that and several other things. You might have noticed that rantinella.com is no more and that I have changed my pen name once again. Why? Let me tell you about it.

What's up with the website?

I’ve moved to a new country. For a little over two months now, my awesome husband, Maj the cat and I have been living in the UK.—Goodbye to Qatar, not gonna miss it at all.—It is a little more complicated than that, you know, Brexit, Covid and the world churning in random ways, you probably know what I mean but if you don’t that is OK because I will write more about that some time soon. Anyway, I had been under a lot of stress, not feeling like myself, running errands for which I thought I was prepared but I was not, all of which threw my personal life into giant chaos that felt as if it had no resolution in sight. Before all that, I had decided to switch my blog to another server to save some money but missed the deadline from copying my old site into my new site and suddenly I had no blog. I have pdfs of all the content and copies of all the media files that belong to me but not the knowledge nor the inclination to try to rebuild my old site. The domain name will expire this year anyway—I think, one of the reasons that I left my old hosting service is that they didn’t communicate with regular people in plain language. I since have learned that seems to be the main characteristic of the industry, that is a topic for another day.—Anyway, in crisis there is also opportunity; I've been wanting to start things from scratch and to add a few skills to my repertoire for a while. So here we are: new website and new domain name.

I feel like I am coming out of a long sleepy winter, everything is slow and yet it’s picking up speed. I think a lot of people might be feeling the same with the restrictions of Covid, the new hopes of vaccines and a better government's response, and yet still having to be cautious. My induction into British culture is similarly slowed down but it promises to get interesting at some point.

What’s up with the name? 

Branding it’s a weird thing; some people understand it, some others certainly don’t. Count me in the second group. Anyway, I was named with one of the most common names in the Hispanic world. If names really meant that much, then nobody would be able to tell me apart from all of those other people that bear my same name and my same last-name. It has happened many times before. Come book, I saw another opportunity to take charge of that pesky thing of a name by using a pen name for my creative, hobby-like endeavors. Except that one has to identify with something and be something and since I don’t really write in genres—I think they are OK, they just don’t fit me at this point in my writing life—I wanted something that sounded exotic, hence the pen name Roxanna Piedrafuette. But this pen name doesn’t sound very Hispanic or Latina and somehow makes me feel disconnected from myself, not necessarily a bad thing but a confusing one. Then I asked myself, if I could have whispered in my parents ears’ from the ether before I was born, what name would I have suggested? The answer was simple enough, I wanted to be Roxanna, so that really is a good fit for a pen name, it just feels right.—By the way, Roxanna is a character in a short story that I wrote but hasn’t published yet. It is called: Me cago en la madre: a collection of essays and lectures from the acclaimed Puerto Rican philosopher Juan Papo Cabeza.—Anyway, Roxanna stays, I use my real surname, and I am in the process of updating my platform to match the new directions of my creative career. If we can call a hobby that doesn’t even pay for itself a career, and yet a dreamer must dream and a doer must do her best to turn some of her dreams into a reality or an approximation of one.

What’s next?

In a couple of weeks I will have the new website populated. The new address is: www.roxannalopez.com and if you visit it now, you’ll see only this post and a place holder.—If you are interested in this kind of stuff, WordPress changed it’s editor to a new one they call Gutenberg or Block Editor or both, and a lot of users were enraged and confused; I was one of the enraged and confused masses but now I have accepted the inevitable changes and I have found ways to compromise with myself and my sense of outrage and to move on with my blogging life.

I am going to add all the old content to the new site just for the sake of continuity and for not having to repeat myself and my blogging history too much, and then I will create other spaces to hang out in my page. There is going to be more exclusive content, videos, electronic music, photos, and of course, sneak peaks of my ongoing writing projects and my new life in the UK.

I am getting really excited about this new stage, the new blog, the new place, the new stories being written, the new skills being acquired. There is a second edition of Lizard-Monkeys and Other Stories in the making with a new and improved cover and one more  short story, there is also the Spanish edition and an audio book in the pipeline, and many other cool things that I would like to share with my visitors, so please visit the site from times to times to find out more.

Happy spring!