Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Talking NaNoWriMo with Marianas Variety Guam

Just a late post for posterity. Speaking about my third year participation in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with Marianas Variety Guam. CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE. Just hit 20K words. 30K to go by November 30th! Been creating good writing sprints with the help of Youtube and music by Hozier, Vance Joy, Boyce Avenue, Birdy and Future Sunsets.

Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo-ers!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

100 Reviews of Secret Shopper on Amazon!

Thank you, Abby. Your kind words and lovely 4 star rating for Secret Shopper has made my launch into NaNoWriMo more meaningful. 100 reviews! Hooray! Phoenix and Thomas thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Round-Up, Recap and Review of Rose City Comic Con

It’s been over a week since Rose City Comic Con (RCCC)*and 3 months since I've blogged, and my family and I have finally recovered from our day trip to Portland, Oregon. It was our second time attending, my husband’s first and it was WonderWomanful.
While we were stationed in San Diego, we jumped into the San Diego Comic Con craziness two years in a row. We loved it both times then, even with the massive crowds, like 150,000 geeks strong. So, when we moved to Washington State, Rose City, although 200 miles south of us was a nice outlet for our geekiness.

Last year, we enjoyed a smooth flowing RCCC. And this year, I observed that the Con grew by about 30%, but I’m not a statistician. We were able to get there by 10AM, get our passes and rush to our first panel. My kids love Adventure Time (I do too, especially after identifying BMO’s Korean accent and falling for the Korean speaking, Lady Rainicorn). Jeremy Shada, the voice talent of Finn spoke of his work. My kids quickly broke out their 3DSs and began recording video. I urged my son to ask a question, but shyness ruled.

We scoped out the Celebrity Area, obvious with the sweeping red carpet, and an RCCC Henchman urged us to approach actors if their lines were short, so we did for a few of them, for us and their egos.

I stared at Sean Astin's busy table,(Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings, The Strain) from afar, and since you get pounced on for taking pictures in this area, I just tried to paint mental pictures of higher profile celebs like Astin and Wil Wheaton.

Dirk Benedict allowed us to take a cellphone pic with him for a mere $10.00. Meeting the man from Battlestar Galactica and “Faceman” from The A Team was a childhood dream come true. He looks well for his 69 years and still has great hair. Long after my kids and I left his table, he carried on a conversation with my husband about how TV shows have changed since his time.

We met Jeremy Shada up close (who reminds me of the late River Phoenix), but of course my kids clammed up, so I did all the talking, especially about his work with Incredible Crew (I described it to him as the SNL type show my kids could watch). He asked what their favorite skit was…silence. I told him Solar System Wolf and the Pancake Genie were cool (which made me realize that I also like IC too much--too bad the show was discontinued, as he described).

I then tentatively approached and shook Michael Biehn’s hand. His dark stare made me feel like a kid again, being scared of the intensity he displayed in Terminator, so, after an awkward moment, we turned our attention to his wife, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (CSI, Dark Angel)….she asked about my kids and gushed over my daughter’s Minecraft Creeper manicure. She offered a signed picture for free (most celebs charge $30.00 or more for a signed photo) to the kids.

My hubby and I then approached Sasha Roiz, Captain Renard of GRIMM.
He was nice, lovely to look at and thanked my husband for his service in the military. My kids could care less at this point as mom and dad geeked out, and Sasha pointed at my daughter and asked if she was having a good time and laughed when she stared back at him grimly (see what I did there).

I did pay for a photo op with Ernie Hudson. He was described as a Ghostbuster, and that was indeed cool, but for me, his role in The Crow superseded all his other roles. I’m a big Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee fan, and I wore my Crow t-shirt for the photo op. He smiled and gave me a big hug at the sight.

Cosplay was awesome this year. I was impressed by the dedication and artistry overall. Most of my pictures are with Wonder Woman cosplayers and my husband continuously pointed me in the direction of the numerous Wonder Women, but I was a bit snobby about who I posed with. I didn’t much care for the disco version of Wonder Woman, for example (spandex camel toe was not my thing). My favorite WW was Retired Wonder Woman. After a pic together, she told me to follow her on “twatter” in her raspy voice, and now I do. She ended up winning 1st place in the adult cosplay division.
I am very impressed again with the organizers of Rose City Comic Con. It is an annual family event for us and I’ve described going to cons to my non-geek friends as my Superbowl. The event continues to grow, and it may very well get as mammoth as San Diego’s, but until then (and especially when), keep up the great work and we can’t wait for next year.

Guam Goddess in Training and her Geek family

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let's Meet...M.B. Dallocchio, The Desert Warrior.

"Writing can't change the world overnight, but writing may have an enormous effect over time, over the long haul." --Leslie Marmon Silko

M.B.(Wilmot) Dallocchio first came onto my radar via my cousin/business partner at Guam Books and Beads, Alison Taimanglo Cuasay (Tasi & Matina). I recall Alison showing me Dallocchio's artwork. They share the commonality of being war veterans and Chamorritas and that made us both instant admirers of Dallocchio's art and writing. I was excited and honored to meet Dallocchio this past March in San Diego at CHE'LU's 5th Annual Chamorro Cultural Fest. The beauty of our meeting is that we are united in celebrating each other's works and I'm thankful that we have connected.
*@ CHE'LU's Chamorro Fest, March 2014. (L-R) Taimanglo, M.B. Dallocchio, Judy Flores, Alison Taimanglo Cuasay.

Here's the wonderful interview!

1. Labels can be bad, but with someone as multi-faceted as you—it helps us understand the many hats you wear. If you could string a necklace with beads that represent what/who you are, what words would be on those beads? (Mine would be mother, military spouse, geek, Chamorrita, goddess in training, writer, self-doubter, dreamer, amateur drummer, karaoke diva, etc.)

Chamorrita, warrior, mother, friend, writer, itinerant artist, surrealist, diviner, globe-trekker, foodie, desert nomad, combat veteran, visionary.

2. Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully in Santa Fe or Taos, New Mexico with my family.

3. Tell us about The Desert Warrior. Contact information? How to purchase your art/book? Appearances?

I wrote a book under my old name, M.B. Wilmot, called “Quixote in Ramadi” and it can be purchased on Amazon (red cover edition). You can purchase my art and books at

4. You have stunning imagery with your art. What’s your favorite medium(s) for your art?

I like combining acrylic and ink the best, but I prefer to print my finished products on metal. I think my work stands out best on metal for some odd reason.

5. Who are your influences, in writing/art?

Frida Kahlo and David Cerny (Czech artist) are my two biggest influences when it comes to art, but writing is a different story. I really enjoyed “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey as well as books by Carlos Castaneda, Leslie Marmon Silko, Paulo Coelho, Winona LaDuke, and Sherman Alexie.

6. If you could rid the world of one (or two things-or more) what would they be and why?

Indifference and bigotry. Those have been the two most evil sources I’ve seen in my life.

7. You are a native Chamorro from the Northern Marianas Islands from your maternal side. Have you visited the CNMI? What do you miss most about home, the culture?

We used to visit Saipan quite a bit as a kid, but we actually moved to Guam for a few years where I attended Piti Middle School and Oceanview High School (before they moved everyone to Southern High). The parts of Saipan Chamorro culture I miss is that there is less pretension, or there was less pretension years ago. With growing influences of US and East Asian culture, I think people are changing. However, I am seeing a lot more Chamorros waking up to how events around the globe affect them, as it has always been that way since Spain colonized us in the 1500s. I would say that I miss the cooking, but my mom taught me well, but the clear water in Saipan, the persistently calm, ambient environment is always missed.

8. Your book, Quixote in Ramadi: An Indigenous Account of Imperialism has made what kind of impact in the military community? What feedback have you received? Any memorable encounter from a reader?

I have had quite a few people I didn’t know personally who read the book and thanked me via Facebook for telling my story as they could relate to it. My story is not your typical white Anglo-Saxon protestant story of Johnny or Jane going to war or coming home from war. I didn’t glorify war in any sense of the word, and I think it’s a mistake to view death and dying as patriotic or romantic. I have had more interest on the book overseas and with other veterans of color, but after presenting it at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, I think that’s starting to change.

9. Any plans for future books?

I’m currently wrapping up a memoir about coming home called, “The Desert Warrior”. It’s narrated from the point of my return from Iraq and discloses how Chamorro culture and other Indigenous cultures and people helped me to survive after being practically abandoned by VA and other veterans groups who simply didn’t have room for a minority female combat veteran.

10. Would you let your child join the military?

Joining the military is a personal decision and I’m not one to completely encourage or deny one’s vocation. However, I would encourage her to be as educated as possible before making any commitments.

11. What organizations or groups are you affiliated with?

I am still affiliated with “Los Veteranos de Arizona” in Phoenix, and a few veterans’ art projects on occasion. I also support indigenous activism in the Americas. I’m careful about who I align myself with and I tend to do a lot of my work and activities on my own or with my close friends and family.

12. How has life after the military been?

It was a struggle at first, but I found my way through. “The Desert Warrior” will be very detailed on how that was, but in the end and with much perseverance, I’m still standing.

13. Where can we get the latest about you?
Any updates or information is viewable on my website at or my blog

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day

My father passed away seven years ago. His legacy has touched many aspects of my writing, coming through in my blog posts, demanding a major role in my romantic comedy, Secret Shopper and creating ripples in many of my short stories.

To say that I miss him is a major understatement. There are so many reminders and echoes of my father, Tedy Gamboa Chargualaf in my everyday life. Not to mention that my son looks like him, in stature, in his handsome face, in his kind heart and also at times in his stubbornness. I’m reminded that my father is absent in my daughter’s life at major milestones like her Kindergarten promotion this week or the fact that she finally has one of her baby teeth loosening. I know he would have loved her, so I remind my children (my son was 1 ½ years old when his ‘Tata Tedy’ died), that they are extensions of this great man I love.

To honor my dad this father’s day, I just wanted to share 7 memories, some sweet, some sour.

1. I’m a Mermaid.

Massachusetts. I was the ultimate tag along. My dad was going fishing. I wanted to go too. I was about four years old. The pond, scummy and green looked otherworldly to my little girl eyes. My father went about his business of fishing as we sat in a tiny boat. He dropped tiny red balls in the water around us to attract fish, which was absolutely fascinating that I just had to dip my face in the water to discover where these things went and what they did. Along with heading into the water face first, the rest of my body followed. I had a few seconds of floating in a beautiful sea of green water, dotted with red. I’m sure it was cold, but I don’t remember that now. My father, with one strong arm, lifted me out of the water and put me back into the boat. His face was mingled with relief, horror and anger. But, in my memory I detected amusement too. My little dip into the unknown ended our fishing trip.

2. Pillow Rides!

Massachusetts. Sitting squarely on a pillow, my father grasped each side and offered my brother and I turns on a magic pillow ride. I remember soaring so high I could touch the ceiling and being in awe of my father’s strength.

3. Death Stare.

Guam. Red light. A man in a taxi stared at me while we waited at a traffic stop in East Hagatna. I was 13. I began to slink into my seat, trying to disappear. My dad, aware asked what my problem was. I told him it was nothing, but then he looked around us and found the man. At this point, I was completely on the floor of the car, both embarrassed by the unwanted attention and afraid of my father’s wrath. He told me to sit up, and in a flash flipped the bird to the man and yelled some choice curse words. The man mouthed, “Sorry,” and put his hands up in surrender. Green light.

4. The Second Love.

Guam. My first major heartbreak. A relationship of nearly seven years ended and my parents let me react the way I needed to, anger, sadness, hunger strike, desperation, chocolate binging. But, when I packed up two trash bags of my ex’s gifts and placed it by the back door, my father said, Atta girl. I never liked him anyway. Don’t worry, in this family the second love is the one that’s real.” And, he was right.

5. Common Nonsense.

My father gave tough love. And, in those times he questioned our maturity he would always say, “Wow. My kids are so smart, but sometimes you have Common Nonsense.”—his word play on our lack of common sense.

6. I’m Going to Knock You Out.

Guam. I don’t condone violence, unless it’s for survival, but my father grew up a fighter. Of course, being a family man tamed him, but my mother would share stories of my father’s shenanigans during his young Army days in Korea. When I was twelve, we were at a neighbor’s barbecue. A man, whose ‘common sense’ was soaked in the many beers he drank, set his sights on my dad. He sat next to my father and touched his arm. “Wow, you are strong.” He said derisively. My dad shoved the man, nearly knocking him off his chair and warned him not to touch him again. The drunk persisted. Then in an instant, my father had punched him in the face and he crumpled to the floor. “I told you not to f’ with me.” It was the only time I saw my father violent first hand. I was upset all day because we left the party, but also afraid that the man and his teenage sons would want retribution. We lived on the next street over and as they pulled their limp father into the bed of their truck, the son told my father he would come back for him. My father wasn’t ruffled and nothing came of it.

7. College Classmates.

University of Guam. As I was finishing my education/English degree at UOG, my father started taking courses too, already a Chamorro teacher at John F. Kennedy High School. “Would you mind if we were in the same class?” He would ask shyly. “You won’t be embarrassed?” It was interesting to see his concern, but I was an adult then and proud that my father was brave enough to step into the college realm to better himself. “I won’t be embarrassed!” I told him. “I would be proud! Just don’t ask me to do your papers for you.”

Saturday, May 31, 2014

But I Would Drive One Hundred Miles, and I Would Drive One Hundred More.

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."--Muhammad Ali

Hundreds of miles of driving to sell one book. Yes. I did that, twice.

An indie writer’s hustle is never ending. For me, a high functioning introvert, that is taxing on my nerves. So, twice in the month of May, I sojourned south to attend two events.

On May 3rd, I attended a Guam fiesta in Graham, Washington. Miles logged? 88.

The San Jose Fiesta was hosted by the generous Leon Guerrero family. Two rows of vendors braved the rain and cold to showcase their wares. I was happy to be canopy mates with author and Principal Investigator at Hålé Chamoru ~ Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project, Bernard Punzalan.

I was grateful for the exposure to a new Chamorro audience. The extensive buffet of Chamorro cuisine was also a great pay off. Vending was free with a small contribution of two books to the hosts for a raffle. After selling one book, I resigned to the fact that I would end the day with that one success. I looked on the bright side. I had quality time with my best friend who drove in from Tacoma. My son hung out with his godparents. I met up with my former Tae Kwon Do classmate, who I last saw when he was a preteen, now a husband and father. I met a former JFKHS teacher whom I shared the honor of working in the Tourism Academy. And, I met up with a former volleyball teammate who I haven’t seen in over twenty years. So, a good day all in all.

On May 28th, I drove down to Gresham, Oregon to attend Mt. Hood Community College’s 3rd Annual Hang Loose Luau. Miles logged? 240.

I had reservations about attending a seemingly “Hawaiian” event, but the R.I.C.E. member I knew (again a child classmate from Tae Kwon Do) assured me that it was a celebration of all things Pacific Islander. Thankful that my best friend joined me, we set off for a cold, rainy luau. After three hours of vending, I sold one book. Sirena (my little mermaid) seemed to be the most popular with passerbys. I had to remind myself that there were many a starving college student who may not have the disposable funds to purchase books. It was a good day anyway, since I saw up close, hula dancing, enjoyed 90s R & B music (apparently a favorite genre of the dj, but not mine), and bonded with my bestie since the 10th grade.

In the end, after two events, I logged 328 miles of driving, make that 656 counting the drive home.
Books sold? 2.
Redemption? Selling 2 books to the owner of PDX671.
Additional redemption? People, experience, hanging with my bestie twice, Guam food and doughnuts.

Meanwhile, 6,000 plus miles away across the Pacific Ocean, in my home-island of Guam. My short story collection, Attitude 13 has been featured in a two part series for Marianas Variety Guam’s Sunday Variety-Literary Corner. The links to the digital copies are here. PART 1. PART 2. It’s a nice way of getting my short story, Resurfacing in the public eye. So, thank you to the editor, Mar-Vic Cagurangan for considering me. It’s an honor! And, as any indie author will tell you, if the experience helps me sell just one book, then it was worth the effort.

Further, a blogger friend and supporter of my writing in Poland has featured a great review of Attitude 13 on her blog. LINK here, as well as an interview of me. LINK here. Thank you, talesfrompasifika!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Attitude 13 Receives a Lovely, Honest Review

"In addition to being very interesting, the book is also beautifully written. The author is a former English teacher and that can be noticed quite easily. Vivid imagery changes the words into thousands of pictures that appear in your mind, unlocking your imagination. Suddenly you are transferred to a different place, far away from home, where the youngs and olds share their stories with you."

I never thought I could say I had a friend in Poland. But, I do.
I never thought my stories or my words would impact someone in another country. But, they do.

I'm thankful for the support of the wonderful blogger of TalesFromPasifika. Someone who loves all things Pasifika, who took the time to learn about me and my books. Someone who supports me unsolicited.

Here is TalesFromPasifika's review of my collection of short stories, Attitude 13.


You can follow this great blog on TWITTER! @PasifikaTales
Always grateful,
Tanya Taimanglo

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Meet...Tony Dela Cruz, Artist of TDCart

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."--Pablo Picasso

I've decided to start a Let's Meet...series to highlight artists, writers and the like whom I admire.

Tony Dela Cruz, a fellow islander from Guam is the FIRST subject of my series.

I've met Tony once, at a Comic Con, which is no surprise to people who know me. I set off to find him at the artists’ tables because my brother and sister-in-law told me he was there. Rose City Comic Con was a welcoming, laid back experience and finding Tony was a breeze (I compare my Portland con experience to San Diego’s, which is massive and overwhelming and tons of geeky fun having been to twice).

When I found Tony, he recognized me as my kid brother’s sister. Sonny is also an artist. We exchanged pleasantries and I recall asking him if he had any Wonder Woman art, my favorite hero of all time. He graciously directed me to another artist, but I leaned in and told Tony that I would only want to support him, both being from Guam.

Thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to watch Tony’s art portfolio grow. I’m eying several of his Wonder Woman designs and will make good on my promise. Soon, Tony, soon!

With his own words, I hope you enjoy learning more about this talented artist!

1. When did this passion for art start?

Pretty early, a couple things really stand out, I remember being a kid watching some artist on PBS drawing workers on a bridge with charcoal and I recall trying to copy what the artist was doing as he was doing it. I also grew up watching my Dad doodle on tiny strips of paper, something I find myself doing from time to time to this day.

2. Why the comic genre specifically?

When I was 13, a lot of my classmates and specifically my cousins were heavily into comic books. It was either that or Dungeons and Dragons, which I never really understood. I opened up one of my cousin’s comic books and I was just hooked from the get go. I started collecting then and have yet to stop. Comics have also helped me grow my skills too. I believe if you’re going to learn something why not incorporate things you love and make the journey enjoyable.

3. Where are you based?

I am based in Seattle, WA more specifically West Seattle.

4. Where can people see your art, purchase? Contact info.

I am currently hosting an art page on Facebook ( I also have my professional portfolio page ( This site showcases my professional work in the gaming industry. I also now have an art store ( and I can be reached at

5. How is the comic con experience for you as an attendee/fan and artist vendor?

The funny thing is have been doing conventions for 8-9 years now and have only attended as a fan once. As an exhibitor in Artist Alley it has been an enriching experience. It has pushed me out of my artistic shell and comfort zones and has forced me to grow and learn to network and market myself better as an artist. Something not every artist is taught in school.

6. How would you describe your style?

I tend to favor a very illustrative style. Comic books have definitely influenced this. I used to work as a graphic artist on Guam and some elements of that type of work also drive certain decisions.

7. Who are your influences?

In comics, I was very influenced in my youth by John Byrne, Art Adams, John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson to name a few. More modern artists have played a role as well like Alex Ross, his composition and sense of design is very strong. In terms of art as a whole, Normal Rockwell, Salvador Dali, and the great masters of course.

8. Which character(s) are you all time favorite(s) to illustrate?

My absolute favorite character to draw is the Hulk. By far, the most challenging yet most liberating. I actually find myself making angry faces/expressions as I draw him.

9. What medium do you illustrate with? Digital? Paints?

I primarily use the digital medium nowadays. Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro and Manga Studio are my go to tools now. But when all else fails I always go back to pencils and paper. I just feel I am most comfortable with a pencil in hand.

10. Any comments/observations/criticisms on any of the upcoming comic based movies?

As a whole I think we are living in a great era of cinema and comic books. Advances in technology have helped. My personal opinion though is that the writing has yet to catch up. The movies coming out of the Marvel/Disney pairing are a strong step in the right direction. There are still some curious creative choices being made from the top out there. It’s definitely a challenge when the Internet and the notion of ”creating something new and exciting” come into play. My biggest criticism is too much information gets spoiled early now. A certain movie that just came out is a perfect example of overexposure killing interest.

11. Marvel or DC?

Ah, I grew up Marvel. To this day 98% of my monthly pull box at the comic shop is still Marvel. There was a brief dalliance with the DC universe in the mid to late 80’s, but that has stopped as a whole. I’m not knocking the DC universe, but my first love of comics will always find me back at Marvel.

12. We are commonly connected because of growing up on Guam. What do you most miss about the island?

I definitely miss the people and the culture. I love Seattle, and generally people here have been terrific, but nothing beats home.

13. Please add any additional information you would like the readers to know about you.

As a Marvel fanboy, it was my dream come true to work first hand on an online game for Marvel called, Marvel Superhero Squad Online as well as providing artwork for the physical trading card game that accompanied.

Thank you, Tony! Please check him out at TDCart!

A Story of a Stolen Mermaid--(and the Infringement of an Artist)

Fact: I wrote Sirena: A Mermaid Legend from Guam in 2010. Fact: My brother, Sonny Chargualaf is the talented artist behind the imagery. ...