the truth

Thursday, January 30

"Girls are trained to say ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of 7 that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.’"
- Lena Dunham

Dealt with this today, Lena. I got shade thrown at me for sharing my "faux art pretentious writing" all over facebook when I'm not even a "real artist." Well, screw you guys. I think I am. (I'd like to point out that it was a boy who said this to me. Take that for what you will.) I am an artist. I love other artists. I have never sought to be pretentious. I work damn hard. I write often. I read even more. I work and I learn. I am an artist and I deserve to share. If you don't like it, get off my site, don't click my links, don't buy my books. I am talented, I am an artist, I will succeed. I'm sorry if that offends anyone here personally. 

To all my writer/blogger/painter friends. You are artists. You are talented. You work your asses off. You will succeed. Your degrees are not a waste, nor is your passion or your dreams. I believe in you. 

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Wednesday, January 29

Hi. For some reason it feels like it's been so long since I've been on here. It's only been a few days but for one reason or another, it's felt like I haven't been allowed to write on my own blog. I was scared to write and I still am a little bit. But I'm also afraid of what will happen if I don't. My heart needs it. (I mean, it also needs to not be afraid 100% of the time but one thing at a time.)

My blog is my home. It's like my baby blankets. It means so much to me and it is the place I feel safest. So when I feel like my blog has been bombed or is being watched I have a hard time wanting to come home, but where else will I go? Ugh. I hate winter.

How are you all? I don't really have a lot to say, but I wanted to check in. Today in my creative writing class, we are devoting the entire class to workshopping one of my stories. *INSERT GULP HERE* I'm very scared. I've been doubting my writing lately. It's the grey weather and the grey spirits around me. I need sunlight and an escape. And also to stop being scared of my own shadow. I'll let you know how the workshop goes. I'd love to share the story I wrote here. I'm very proud of it. It's a bit long but maybe I can share it piece by piece.

Excuse my frantic rambling. But everything feels like that lately.

I love you, readers. Thank you for being here and making me feel brave.

fossil fuels

Monday, January 27

I wrote this for my creative writing class to experiment with minimalist fiction. I'm pretty excited for how it turned out. Enjoy, loves.

Fossil Fuels

My father bought me a book to handle the divorce. It was a silly book about dinosaurs divorcing. They said crying was ok. Don’t blame yourself. I thought the dinosaurs were lucky because they were dead. Their moms weren’t crying anymore. The book got heavy in my hands suddenly. That’s when the coughing started.

I hated watching my mother cry. I hate when my father yelled. That made us all cry. I thought the divorce would mean less yelling, which meant less tears. The first night in our new house there was yelling but my father wasn’t there. My mother was yelling at God. She was crying at God. The tears in my throat cried themselves sick. They made me sick. The cough carried on with no explanation.

I lied to you earlier. My father was in the house the whole time because he was everywhere. He was my coughing fit. He was the God my mom was cursing. He was my sister’s loud music shaking our new walls. He didn’t buy me that book, though. But he was the dinosaur my book was about. He was dead but everywhere. He was fossil fuels filling our lungs.

My cough lasted for four hours. My mom couldn’t see well enough to drive. She was crying. My sister drove. She had her permit, I think. When we got to the hospital, I read a different book. The dolls weren’t coping with divorce. They were coping with shots. But I was shot too. Shot with surprise. When the doctor came in the coughing stopped. The doctor was a man. He hugged me. I don’t know why I remember that. I made it up. Nobody hugged me. The books hugged me. The fossil fuels hugged me. My dad didn’t hug me.

When we got home the bathtub flooded and my cough came back. My ribs hugged my lungs. They shot them. I was seven and I was getting a divorce from my own two lungs.

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tunnel lined with yellow lights on a dark night

Friday, January 24

I'm in need of some energy, loves. I'm entering the world of winter doldrums that always comes this time of year. It's been grey and cold for far too long. I guess I mean that personally as well as weather-wise. Rough few weeks here. I don't know.

How are you all? I feel sad and calm all at once. I am still loving school beyond words. All it is is words. I feel most alive when I'm in my classes, imprinting each and every word I hear onto my flesh and learning from my teachers and those around me. Sometimes I walk around campus and just feel myself smiling at the level of disbelief of actually being here. It still surprises me sometimes. I like catching myself smiling when I'm alone. My resting smiling face is my aunt's face and that makes me happy. We have the same lips and the same heart. I guess I've been sad since she left, in a way. She lives so deliberately and it's good for me to be around that, especially when winter starts sucking on my jugular.

This post of Shawnee's was really beautiful. Her photos are always a breath of fresh air to me. That girl is amazing. I love the sentiment of the post. Be refreshed, be natural, be you. For the past little bit I was sort of slipping away or letting myself be dimmed. I don't know what was doing it per se but I was feeling so stifled. Stupid inversion in my city is starting to cloud my head. But I want to live deliberately and for myself. I want to read and write and study. I want to inspire and be inspired. I want to talk with all of you and read your words and make my own. I want to go to brunch with my friends on Sundays.

I want to make it through the rest of winter.

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for Lux

Tuesday, January 21

You felt the wind in
your hair, even in the
last moments when
the wind was carbon dioxide,
snuffing out your cigarette
and snapping the flirtation
from your eyes.

The castles in your mind
toppled and crumbled as
their hands fondled and gripped,
first only one, then a score
of men by moonlight.
Their hands were the hands of
Gods and monsters.

Where was your mind?
Where were you dreaming of?
How did we fail you?
What land have you and
your sisters run to with
ropes on your neck and
pills in your bellies?

Now you can move through
us all, barely kissing our eyelids
with your ever laughing
lips, lusting for life,
hungry for love and journey.
Golden hair bleeds down your back
and brushes over us as we dream of you.

(Based on The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides)

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smatterings of writing thoughts.

Sunday, January 19

School is in SESH you guys. It's been a learning experience more than just in class. Here's what I've learned. Gotta get over my own pride, but it's the pride we all have as book lovers. We love hard and deep. We are unforgiving if people attack our favorite books because they have affected us. But sometimes hearing why people dislike books can change us for the better. They can't take anything away from how YOU read the book. My textbook said "What we do with literature alters what it does to us." Being open to discussion is hard, but so necessary.

Blogging has helped so much with this. I love reading different responses to my posts. I love reading blogs of different people going through different things. Their experiences become different experiences from me and I draw from all of them. It's also taught me to be respectful of the writing of others. I like to think I am a good writer and because of that, I tend to get prideful and snotty when other people write. But blogging has mellowed me and let me accept the gifts of others. I admire so many of you so so much and wish I could write like you do! We all have different styles and voices and that's why writing is great. Sure, these are stories we may have heard a million times but we have never heard them from YOU.

And in addition to all that, I love that you are all getting to know me through my words and vice versa. I feel most myself through my writing and I love that you are all getting such a deep peek into my mind on here. I try to stay always honest and open on my blog. My blog is my home, it's my favorite corner of my house and I am so happy you all visit me every so often. Thank you for letting me get to know you and for getting to know me so kindly. Let's all get together soon.

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Friday, January 10

I always wanted to write and I always took solace in words. My childhood was tumultuous to say the least but something vital happened to me when I was about 15 (which now looking back on it was a big year for books) I fell down my first youtube hole and spent four hours watching all of the Vlogbrothers Brotherhood 2.0 videos. It was 2007 and the project was just hitting its sixth month. John and Hank Green made videos back and forth and somewhere in there John mentioned a book he wrote called Looking for Alaska.

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I wandered into Barnes and Noble, grabbed a copy, then went home and read it all in one sitting under a pile of sheets and tears. I'd never felt so wholly understood by a book. I'd never seen a character so like me on pages. I'd never had feelings I'd always felt put into words I didn't know were the right words. I'd always loved books but this was my first favorite book. My world changed that summer night. I finally knew what I wanted to write.

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When I talk favorite books, I have my Big Three. I've talked before about Gatsby and The Book Thief and there is no better time than now to talk about Alaska. It's January 10th. It's Alaska Young Day.

I read this book every January to coincide with Alaska Young day. If you've read the book, you know the significance of January 10th. But even if the day wasn't significant I'd read the book once a year, just as I do with my other favorites. I miss these characters when I don't read the book. I think of them sometimes like I reminisce about my own friends. "Hey, remember the night in the barn with Pudge and Alaska? That was great." They are just as real to me as my friends. They've taught me just as much and helped me grow just as much.

I read this book at an interesting time. I was growing and changing and my life was turning around me quickly while I stood powerless to stop the ever growing wreckage. I could see myself going down a very dangerous road and I welcomed it because what else could I have done? What else was I worth?

In the character of Alaska I saw myself. Powerful, motivated, broken, sexy, charged, enraged, empowered. Volatile, scary, passionate, self destructive. Reading her story was like holding up a mirror, or a warning. We were driving down the same road at 95 miles an hour. The difference? She turned left and after reading her, I turned right. She saved me. She was my first building block in finding myself.

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I still see myself in her when I read the book. We talk the same still. Think the same often. I'm still as moody as ever and I have my days where answering questions won't happen and you just have to accept that my melancholy streak will never die. But after this novel I grow. Every time I read it I grow. I'm reminded of the dangers of holding to your past and letting it kill you. I grow with Pudge and learn the value of my own great perhaps.

John Green, though. He's been my favorite author since I as 15. His words have kept me up half the night way before The Fault in our Stars ripped all of our hearts out. He's influenced my writing style a lot, I'd like to think. I love his always honest, never preachy way of expressing emotion. He is relatable and open and never patronizing or belittling. He knows we are intelligent people and he knows how big our hearts are. His gift really cannot be touched and if I could be 1/8 of what he is, I would be pleased with my life.

His words always inspire me, whether I'm rereading a book of his or watching his weekly videos. He is so unwavering in who he is and always full of hope and inspiration, something I want to be as well. He makes me better and he makes me hope. He makes me want to write so I can save someone like his books saved me. In a few years when some fifteen year old girl feels so alone and lost, they can pick up my book and feel heard and healed, just like I was.

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In my second year of college before I took my time off, I was in a directing class. The final project was to direct our own short 20 minute play. When I was down at that university, I was incredibly unhappy and I was not writing at all (which explains part of the unhappiness). After tearing through script after script and finding nothing, I saw Alaska sitting on the edge of my bed staring at me with her emerald green eyes, a cigarette between her smirking lips. I knew what to do.

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I wrote a play based on the book. I wrote a twenty page script in one night and cried after I was done. I hadn't written in so long. I hadn't felt my words carrying me in so long. The misery seemed to clear and I felt like myself again. This book brought my words back to me and to this day that play is the piece of writing I am the most proud of. Now, if only I could find some way of getting John Green to read it! That would be the dream.

So on this day, January 10th, Alaska Young day, I celebrate this life changing book. I'll read the book, pour myself a revolting glass of Strawberry Hill, and hold an unlit cigarette between my lips for her. An eternal thank you to John Green for this book, the life changing member of my Big Three that shaped who I am, my career goals, and everything. Thank you Pudge, Takumi, Lara, The Colonel, and Alaska most of all.

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growing where I am planted

Wednesday, January 8

Before getting too far in to talking about myself, I wanted to thank all of you so much for such a giant outpouring of love and support after my last post. It helped so much being able to walk around campus on my first day knowing that I had so much support and that you all believe in my so much. I am so lucky to have all of you :) Know that you are all loved. Every single one of you.

Anyway! I have now been in school for three days and my goodness. I am in love with it. It is everything I have ever wanted and everything I have never felt before. I leave every class with that delicious mixture of exhaustion and enthusiasm that drives me forward. My brain has been working non stop since the first day. I cannot wait to talk with you all about some of what we have been discussing in class :) I feel so hungry for this academic world and being surrounded by thinking people is a treat.

As much as I hate how long it took for me to get to the U and get to this point in  my life, I know that I wouldn't have been ready for it until now. I needed to be so sure of myself and my future before I started at this massive school where it is so easy to be lost and unsure of yourself. I know what I want, I know I can achieve it, and I cannot wait to make a name for myself.

I adore my professors. Signs of their brilliance: I'm taking a science class called Natural Disasters: Hollywood vs Reality. On the first day the professors says, "So, there isn't a super rigid syllabus because that's not my style. Also... during each class there is usually one big natural disaster. So, until that happens... we will just wait for disaster to strike and then study that." Then my Lit professor said this, "So, I prefer not using electronics in class but if you have to just... like... don't click on any pornadoes, yeah?" PORN. PORNADOES. Done. Done forever.

They are all so progressive and passionate and daring. I cannot wait to absorb everything they say. The homework is so much reading and I can feel my brain muscles flexing. I have never been this tired or this moved to keep working and writing. I'm getting all sorts of story inspiration! Now I just need time to write... :)

I cannot wait to keep going. It sort of feels like I've already been back in school for 600 years and it's only been three days but I already feel brighter and better. More soon, lovelies. I hope everyone is having as good a time in school as I am.

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the time has come, my little friends, to talk of many things

Sunday, January 5

For years- years- I've anticipated being able to go back to school. I've fought and cried and dreamed and yearned for the day in January of 2014 that I'd be able to get myself onto a campus full of hungry minds and thirsty eyes. I want to sit in classrooms full of students and share ideas and learn until my brain pounds from being overfilled.

Well, the time has come. School starts tomorrow. And I'm so terribly frightened. I'm afraid I won't find my classes (even though I've already been to campus and walked between them just to get the feeling of the path under my feet), I'm afraid people won't like me, I'm so scared I won't succeed and all of this planning and hope will be wasted.

What if I'm not good enough? What if I've spent all this time thinking I could write and thinking I was intelligent only to be told I'm not good enough or ready for this? I hate so much that anticipation drives the brain into a grave of fear and hesitation. Every semblance of confidence has evaporated and now I'm just so scared of failure and future.

I'm afraid of failure, but I'm afraid of success too. Success means that things have to change. I have to grow up. The thought of actually achieving your dreams is a heavy thought. What if I'm not ready? What if I'm never ready?

I am excited. I think. I'll be more excited after the first few days are over with and I know for certain I can find my classes in 15 minutes and I know for sure where to park my car. Just have to breathe, right? Everyone has been afraid before, right? Everyone has had first days? Everyone has made it?

Send good thoughts, lovelies. This past year while I've been waiting to start school, you have all kept me motivated and going. The support I've gotten from all of you has been the biggest blessing. I love you all to the moon and back. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for taking a part of my little life in my little corner of the internet. You are all the very best.

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i resolve not to dissolve

Friday, January 3

Here's another resolution post to clog your feeds and minds at this time of year. I've seen posts of people saying they hate resolutions and some say they love them because it's nice to feel inspired, if only for the first month. Last year was the first year that I achieved any of my resolutions and that feeling of accomplishment stretched out over a year is really an amazing feeling. It's nice to work at something for an entire year and get it done. It's like the world's best to do list finally being crossed off.

I don't have as many resolutions this year because college is a thing again this year. But I do have a few.

1. Read 40 books in 2014
Last year I read 50 books and that was awesome. This year I want to read a few less to allow myself some time for school and junk. Yay books!

2. Finish my novel and have query letters ready to send out by October.
So I have my 50,000 words but I have a few more to go until the book is completely done. I hope to finish the first draft by at least March or April, edit all summer, send the book out by fall.

3. Get a 4.0 each semester in school.
I'm not letting college to to waste this time around. I'm at my dream school in my dream major. This will be my time. It will be all for me. I'm going to do the absolute best I can and settle for nothing less.

4. Read every book that is assigned to me in school in its entirety.
No sparknotes, no summaries. I want to read them all. HA we will see.

5. Do not let myself get washed away or dissolve.
I'm through compromising myself and my dreams. I'm done taking any crap from anywhere. I am my own person and I will live this life for myself before anyone else. I want to stay true to myself and who I am and never let my personality wilt for other humans. I like myself too much.

Not too many, nothing that I know I cannot do. No fitness crap that I truly don't care about. 2014 will be my year because I will make it mine.

Let's go, lovelies. Let's get this year.

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thirty dialogs bleed into one

Wednesday, January 1

Happy New Year, lovers. I was right about last night being wonderful, and incredibly surprising. Incredibly Surprising. In fact if last night is any inclination as to how 2014 will be, it will be crazy and surprising and beautiful and unexpected. I could use a bit of all of that in my life.

Last night I talked with my dearest friend for the first time in two years, and I get to see him today.
Last night I spent my new year with my James Dean and got my heart served to me on a platter.
Last night I went to bed at six in the morning after having my head scream for hours.
Sometimes there are just too many words for how you feel.

Today I feel settled. Excited. Scared. Anxious. I feel a lot of things. As it turns out, my life will never be uncomplicated. Ever. But I am surrounded by gorgeous people, inside and out. That's all I can ask for, really. I'd rather be constantly unsettled than bored and uninspired.

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