We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Lazo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalia, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite quote of all time is by J.K. Rowling: “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” From the moment I read it, I was gravitated to the words. I wrote this quote onto my bedroom wall and into the margins of my planner notebook. I loved the contradiction of rock bottom being a solid foundation. Rock bottom is a place where we all hit eventually, whether it’s mental, financial, etc. I have recovered from many dark setbacks in my personal life, so the message of trudging forward speaks volumes to me because of how relatable that feeling is. The beautiful thing about life though, is that you can re-invent yourself and begin again. It’s never too late to change, and there is always room to go. This quote is an amazing reminder of this.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My poetry is an extension of me- it is my inner voice, my vulnerability, and my pride. I am very excited about continuing to write my heart out and see where my words can take me. Because I write about real life events, I am constantly inspired by the ups and downs of love and the notion that every day is an opportunity for unknown excitement to take place. I feel very new to the author world, and there are many goals I am still reaching towards. An important lesson I learned was that dreams do not have a deadline, and it is never too late to go after your goals. It has not been an easy journey because I had to overcome mental roadblocks and shyness to get my own foot in the door. I made the decision to power through school and did not even share my poems online until I was already in graduate school. At first, I never saw myself having a career outside of what I went to school for and believed I was destined to stay confined to my academic profession. Now I am entering into my late twenties, and find myself in a new world. It took me a long time to find my voice, but now I look forward to a future where I am taking off in every direction my heart desires with multiple streams of income. I really want my brand to be focused around the word FORWARD. I want the world to associate my brand and image with the idea of propelling forward, pushing through hardships, and soaring. As a woman of Black and Latinx roots from Southern California, I write for many communities and want to be a positive representation on all sides.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love living in Los Angeles county- being surrounded by consistent sunshine, clear skies, and palm trees is a constant reminder that no matter what is going on day to day, life is still good. If a friend came to visit me, I would definitely take them to eat brunch at a place called The Misfit in Santa Monica. My favorite item on the menu is the ceviche appetizer- it has such an impressive presentation and tasted savory and fresh. My choice for dinner would be Stinkin Crawfish in Gardena- I’m a huge fan of seafood boils and love loading up on their lemon pepper crab legs, lobster tails, corn, and potatoes. LA County is a huge place, and there are so many landmarks and excursions that come to mind. I would take my friend to experience Venice Beach- I love that you can get a tattoo, something to eat, watch street performers, shop, and visit the water all on the same boardwalk. In an ideal world post-COVID, I would take this friend to LA Live and catch a Lakers game at the Staples Center. I would also take them for a ride down the iconic Pacific Coast Highway to see a classic California sunset. Finally, I would take my friend to Hollywood to see the legendary Walk of Fame and go to the Museum of Illusions. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout the love and encouragement of my family. At every step of the way, from pursuing higher education to deciding to venture out into the creative world, my family has had my back. My mom has always encouraged my writing and was the sole inspiration of my first short stories. Whenever I needed help with graphic design or technical difficulties, my dad would set aside time to assist me. My sister would always share her space and laptop with me when I was in a time crunch. My grandparents are both retired educators and were always available to proofread my work. It meant a lot to me as a young kid to know that no matter what the quality of work was, my grandparents were going to read every single piece and offer reassuring feedback in response. My village has been vital to my success, and I try to remind them that whenever I can.
Julianna Salinas and W. Veland