Furlough, Boredom Led to Pandemic Passion for San Diego's Newest Author

San Diego woman pens her first book after losing her job and getting bored

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Furloughed. Bored. Beaten down.

That’s how a lot of San Diegans felt in 2020. It was no different for Alejandra Tenorio.

“I was bored,” said Tenorio.

Tenorio said she was furloughed at AMC 20 Mission Valley a year ago, but she expected to be back within a few weeks.

“I thought it was a month," the 38-year-old said, smiling. "So, OK, it turned out to be more than a month."

Tenorio admitted enjoying the break for a bit, but then boredom became annoying.

“I hear a lot of people complain, and I’m like, ‘Well, if you keep on complaining, you’re not doing anything,’” Tenorio said.

Tenorio didn’t complain. She continued taking classes through San Diego City College, where a writing class turned into a pandemic passion. Tenorio said she wrote several short stories about her favorite holiday: Halloween.

“I showed it to my teacher, and she’s like, ‘OK, well. Let’s turn this into a book,’ and I thought it was only for me,” Tenorio said while wearing a "Nightmare Before Christmas" sweater. “Apparently. it went good, because I got a book.”

Tenorio's teacher pushed her to write and publish an entire book of short stories and poems. "All You Need for Halloween," by A. Tenorio, is now for sale on Amazon.

“Knowing that Alex went out and did this, it wasn’t surprising but it’s definitely a moment of pride for everyone,” said Kelcie Kopf, the senior director of employment services at the Arc of San Diego.

The Arc helps San Diegans with disabilities find jobs. Tenorio has cerebral palsy.

Tenorio said she has difficulty with balance and talking. The Arc has helped her find work since 2012. She said she worked at AMC since 2017.

“I think Alex is a perfect example of what you can do when you believe in yourself,” Kopf said.

Tenorio said she has sold a few copies of her Halloween book and that she’s working on a sequel. In the meantime, after San Diego County moved into the red tier, movie theaters reopened. Tenorio said AMC 20 Mission Valley called her back to work last week. She returned as a published author.

“You can do it if you put your mind and your heart into it,” Tenorio said, smiling.

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