Anonymous asked:

were you writing well at 23?

harmonicait:

this feels like a very loaded question! but then i realize the question is more about you than it is about me. i assume that you are 23 and hoping that it’s going to get better. bad news and good news which do you want first? okay good news it IS going to get better and it’s more than likely that when a few years have passed you’ll feel like a much better-equipped writer. you might even look back on your 23-year-old writings and laugh with fondness at their now-amusing amateurish qualities. the bad news though is that you’re going to have to work. insanely hard. you’re going to have to write things that are shitty and then rewrite them and rewrite them and rewrite them and maybe even still scrap them. you’re going to send in stuff you think is good and have it turned down. you may even land a job and then realize it doesn’t allow you to grow as a writer or express your voice and be stuck with that horror. you, above all, have to get a sense for your voice and what you want to be saying. what do you want to put into the world? why is it that with everything else you could possibly doing that would give you more stability, money and probably even happiness, you still insist on writing? because if that is in you, then it’ll eventually win out. and you’ll keep writing and suffer through it and continue to get better. but if that’s not in then ditch your early twenties ideas that you’re going to magically get better or become a successful author out of nowhere, and get a steady good job doing something else. is this a brutal response? sorry if so. but also 23 is when i moved to NYC and actually began to write stuff not for school and not just dumb poetry in text edit docs so there’s that too! :)


Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I’ve never quite understood why anyone should find this strange. Graveyards are typically very well kept and looked after—full of beautiful trees, lush grasses, blooming flowers, pretty benches, and so much history…they set the scene for the perfect picnic or reading nook. 
Whenever I see a graveyard, I stop by to visit. These photos are from Round Rock Cemetery, where the infamous outlaw Sam Bass is buried. I’ve never been much of a history buff, so I have no clue why his story is so juicy and exciting to me, but I think some of it has to do with the seeming immortality of thieves and bandits, and the sad forgottenness of the protectors amongst us.
In the same graveyard, just a stone’s throw away, is the grave of a former Texas Ranger, A.W. Grimes, killed apprehending Bass and his gang in a shootout at Kopperall’s Store. There’s a Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, but Ahijah W. Grimes is referenced only as the “Forgotten Deputy.”
In another section of the cemetery, I found myself in tears at the shrine of a young boy with the surname Perez, who passed four years ago. There were poems, angels, matchbox cars, candles, birthday banners, streamers, and so many little knick knacks on his grave. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were sobriety coins inside a dish by his headstone; and the sadness, the mystery, and the guilt resting in that space was too much, so I turned to leave.
//
I am working on my ni9e lives zine to present at Atlanta Zine Fest this summer, so it makes sense that I’ve been spending a great deal of time meditating on death. But to be honest, it’s something I’ve always written and thought about. It’s a part of life as natural as breathing or being born, and I don’t seek to glamorize or celebrate it. But I am fascinated by it, and explore with a heavy hearted sense of wonder.  
Some of my favorite findings on the topics of death and grief lately are two short films and a music video. The first is called No Aloha, and is written and directed by one of my new favorite filmmakers out of London, Danny Sangra. It follows Julia Cosway through her empty house as she deals with the loss of her mother. It’s simple, beautiful, and authentic.

The Honor Spring 2014 film written and directed by Rachel Fleit, and starring Zosia Mamet is another favorite. It made me cry and smile, striking the perfect balance between horror/creep/melancholic sadness and pure whimsy. It’s a thing that’s quite a challenge to do, and I look to Fleit, and to Sangra to produce something worthy with ni9e lives.

Lastly, I have been inspired by a music video from The Head and the Heart’s album Let’s Be Still, for their song, “Another Story.” It’s directed by Andrew Hines and stars one of my favorite actresses, Troian Bellisario. It’s romantic and positively heartbreaking, with little resolution. If you’re the mopey and melancholic sort, you’ll really love this one too.
ZoomInfo

Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I’ve never quite understood why anyone should find this strange. Graveyards are typically very well kept and looked after—full of beautiful trees, lush grasses, blooming flowers, pretty benches, and so much history…they set the scene for the perfect picnic or reading nook. 
Whenever I see a graveyard, I stop by to visit. These photos are from Round Rock Cemetery, where the infamous outlaw Sam Bass is buried. I’ve never been much of a history buff, so I have no clue why his story is so juicy and exciting to me, but I think some of it has to do with the seeming immortality of thieves and bandits, and the sad forgottenness of the protectors amongst us.
In the same graveyard, just a stone’s throw away, is the grave of a former Texas Ranger, A.W. Grimes, killed apprehending Bass and his gang in a shootout at Kopperall’s Store. There’s a Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, but Ahijah W. Grimes is referenced only as the “Forgotten Deputy.”
In another section of the cemetery, I found myself in tears at the shrine of a young boy with the surname Perez, who passed four years ago. There were poems, angels, matchbox cars, candles, birthday banners, streamers, and so many little knick knacks on his grave. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were sobriety coins inside a dish by his headstone; and the sadness, the mystery, and the guilt resting in that space was too much, so I turned to leave.
//
I am working on my ni9e lives zine to present at Atlanta Zine Fest this summer, so it makes sense that I’ve been spending a great deal of time meditating on death. But to be honest, it’s something I’ve always written and thought about. It’s a part of life as natural as breathing or being born, and I don’t seek to glamorize or celebrate it. But I am fascinated by it, and explore with a heavy hearted sense of wonder.  
Some of my favorite findings on the topics of death and grief lately are two short films and a music video. The first is called No Aloha, and is written and directed by one of my new favorite filmmakers out of London, Danny Sangra. It follows Julia Cosway through her empty house as she deals with the loss of her mother. It’s simple, beautiful, and authentic.

The Honor Spring 2014 film written and directed by Rachel Fleit, and starring Zosia Mamet is another favorite. It made me cry and smile, striking the perfect balance between horror/creep/melancholic sadness and pure whimsy. It’s a thing that’s quite a challenge to do, and I look to Fleit, and to Sangra to produce something worthy with ni9e lives.

Lastly, I have been inspired by a music video from The Head and the Heart’s album Let’s Be Still, for their song, “Another Story.” It’s directed by Andrew Hines and stars one of my favorite actresses, Troian Bellisario. It’s romantic and positively heartbreaking, with little resolution. If you’re the mopey and melancholic sort, you’ll really love this one too.
ZoomInfo

Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I’ve never quite understood why anyone should find this strange. Graveyards are typically very well kept and looked after—full of beautiful trees, lush grasses, blooming flowers, pretty benches, and so much history…they set the scene for the perfect picnic or reading nook. 
Whenever I see a graveyard, I stop by to visit. These photos are from Round Rock Cemetery, where the infamous outlaw Sam Bass is buried. I’ve never been much of a history buff, so I have no clue why his story is so juicy and exciting to me, but I think some of it has to do with the seeming immortality of thieves and bandits, and the sad forgottenness of the protectors amongst us.
In the same graveyard, just a stone’s throw away, is the grave of a former Texas Ranger, A.W. Grimes, killed apprehending Bass and his gang in a shootout at Kopperall’s Store. There’s a Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, but Ahijah W. Grimes is referenced only as the “Forgotten Deputy.”
In another section of the cemetery, I found myself in tears at the shrine of a young boy with the surname Perez, who passed four years ago. There were poems, angels, matchbox cars, candles, birthday banners, streamers, and so many little knick knacks on his grave. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were sobriety coins inside a dish by his headstone; and the sadness, the mystery, and the guilt resting in that space was too much, so I turned to leave.
//
I am working on my ni9e lives zine to present at Atlanta Zine Fest this summer, so it makes sense that I’ve been spending a great deal of time meditating on death. But to be honest, it’s something I’ve always written and thought about. It’s a part of life as natural as breathing or being born, and I don’t seek to glamorize or celebrate it. But I am fascinated by it, and explore with a heavy hearted sense of wonder.  
Some of my favorite findings on the topics of death and grief lately are two short films and a music video. The first is called No Aloha, and is written and directed by one of my new favorite filmmakers out of London, Danny Sangra. It follows Julia Cosway through her empty house as she deals with the loss of her mother. It’s simple, beautiful, and authentic.

The Honor Spring 2014 film written and directed by Rachel Fleit, and starring Zosia Mamet is another favorite. It made me cry and smile, striking the perfect balance between horror/creep/melancholic sadness and pure whimsy. It’s a thing that’s quite a challenge to do, and I look to Fleit, and to Sangra to produce something worthy with ni9e lives.

Lastly, I have been inspired by a music video from The Head and the Heart’s album Let’s Be Still, for their song, “Another Story.” It’s directed by Andrew Hines and stars one of my favorite actresses, Troian Bellisario. It’s romantic and positively heartbreaking, with little resolution. If you’re the mopey and melancholic sort, you’ll really love this one too.
ZoomInfo

Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I’ve never quite understood why anyone should find this strange. Graveyards are typically very well kept and looked after—full of beautiful trees, lush grasses, blooming flowers, pretty benches, and so much history…they set the scene for the perfect picnic or reading nook. 
Whenever I see a graveyard, I stop by to visit. These photos are from Round Rock Cemetery, where the infamous outlaw Sam Bass is buried. I’ve never been much of a history buff, so I have no clue why his story is so juicy and exciting to me, but I think some of it has to do with the seeming immortality of thieves and bandits, and the sad forgottenness of the protectors amongst us.
In the same graveyard, just a stone’s throw away, is the grave of a former Texas Ranger, A.W. Grimes, killed apprehending Bass and his gang in a shootout at Kopperall’s Store. There’s a Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, but Ahijah W. Grimes is referenced only as the “Forgotten Deputy.”
In another section of the cemetery, I found myself in tears at the shrine of a young boy with the surname Perez, who passed four years ago. There were poems, angels, matchbox cars, candles, birthday banners, streamers, and so many little knick knacks on his grave. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were sobriety coins inside a dish by his headstone; and the sadness, the mystery, and the guilt resting in that space was too much, so I turned to leave.
//
I am working on my ni9e lives zine to present at Atlanta Zine Fest this summer, so it makes sense that I’ve been spending a great deal of time meditating on death. But to be honest, it’s something I’ve always written and thought about. It’s a part of life as natural as breathing or being born, and I don’t seek to glamorize or celebrate it. But I am fascinated by it, and explore with a heavy hearted sense of wonder.  
Some of my favorite findings on the topics of death and grief lately are two short films and a music video. The first is called No Aloha, and is written and directed by one of my new favorite filmmakers out of London, Danny Sangra. It follows Julia Cosway through her empty house as she deals with the loss of her mother. It’s simple, beautiful, and authentic.

The Honor Spring 2014 film written and directed by Rachel Fleit, and starring Zosia Mamet is another favorite. It made me cry and smile, striking the perfect balance between horror/creep/melancholic sadness and pure whimsy. It’s a thing that’s quite a challenge to do, and I look to Fleit, and to Sangra to produce something worthy with ni9e lives.

Lastly, I have been inspired by a music video from The Head and the Heart’s album Let’s Be Still, for their song, “Another Story.” It’s directed by Andrew Hines and stars one of my favorite actresses, Troian Bellisario. It’s romantic and positively heartbreaking, with little resolution. If you’re the mopey and melancholic sort, you’ll really love this one too.
ZoomInfo

Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I’ve never quite understood why anyone should find this strange. Graveyards are typically very well kept and looked after—full of beautiful trees, lush grasses, blooming flowers, pretty benches, and so much history…they set the scene for the perfect picnic or reading nook. 

Whenever I see a graveyard, I stop by to visit. These photos are from Round Rock Cemetery, where the infamous outlaw Sam Bass is buried. I’ve never been much of a history buff, so I have no clue why his story is so juicy and exciting to me, but I think some of it has to do with the seeming immortality of thieves and bandits, and the sad forgottenness of the protectors amongst us.

In the same graveyard, just a stone’s throw away, is the grave of a former Texas Ranger, A.W. Grimes, killed apprehending Bass and his gang in a shootout at Kopperall’s Store. There’s a Sam Bass Road in Round Rock, but Ahijah W. Grimes is referenced only as the “Forgotten Deputy.”

In another section of the cemetery, I found myself in tears at the shrine of a young boy with the surname Perez, who passed four years ago. There were poems, angels, matchbox cars, candles, birthday banners, streamers, and so many little knick knacks on his grave. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were sobriety coins inside a dish by his headstone; and the sadness, the mystery, and the guilt resting in that space was too much, so I turned to leave.

//

I am working on my ni9e lives zine to present at Atlanta Zine Fest this summer, so it makes sense that I’ve been spending a great deal of time meditating on death. But to be honest, it’s something I’ve always written and thought about. It’s a part of life as natural as breathing or being born, and I don’t seek to glamorize or celebrate it. But I am fascinated by it, and explore with a heavy hearted sense of wonder.  

Some of my favorite findings on the topics of death and grief lately are two short films and a music video. The first is called No Aloha, and is written and directed by one of my new favorite filmmakers out of London, Danny Sangra. It follows Julia Cosway through her empty house as she deals with the loss of her mother. It’s simple, beautiful, and authentic.

The Honor Spring 2014 film written and directed by Rachel Fleit, and starring Zosia Mamet is another favorite. It made me cry and smile, striking the perfect balance between horror/creep/melancholic sadness and pure whimsy. It’s a thing that’s quite a challenge to do, and I look to Fleit, and to Sangra to produce something worthy with ni9e lives.

Lastly, I have been inspired by a music video from The Head and the Heart’s album Let’s Be Still, for their song, “Another Story.” It’s directed by Andrew Hines and stars one of my favorite actresses, Troian Bellisario. It’s romantic and positively heartbreaking, with little resolution. If you’re the mopey and melancholic sort, you’ll really love this one too.

I sat waiting for a friend and she wheeled up looking fresher than a spring daffodil. She wore a velvet dress and she looked right at me. She was looking at me. A girl who had the smoothness of chestnuts in her eyes and in her hair and the gentle assuredness of a tap dancer or some fanciful performer unknown to me. Looking at me—looking me in the eye and smiling with that smile. I would never forget.

It made me grin, grin for days. And I bounced throughout the day. Her smile has that effect.

She tied her hair back and went behind the counter to begin her shift, squeezing nutrients and vitamins into juices to revitalize walk-up customers.

I picture her always in velvet. Forest green velvet.

Always at some show, her face appears when I least expect it to, and what a welcome sight. She smiles that goddess smile at me, and I’m floored with enthusiasm. Bright eyes and a hug like home, she’s my juice gypsy, my mystical friend.

Alyssa was from the east coast, and she’d just moved from Munich. We were bound to be besties, because I was bred a Georgia girl, and hey, I just moved from Berlin. So we talked about all our favorite German things while the bass boomed and the photographer made his way into our conversation. 

SO EXCITED to meet Alyssa. I ran to the stack of coats by the speakers where my handbag was hidden, selected one of my pretty new business cards, stashed it in my bra, and hurried back to hand it to her. Because we have so much to talk about.

Is he grinding? He’s trying to grind.

From the corner of my eye I spied Heidi and Brock, so I made a bee-line to their arms, and we became an impenetrable, protective dance huddle.

Then came the pizza. Then came the Tagalongs, devoured by Karl and I in less than a minute before sleep and strange, broken dreams came to us.  

Confessions of a former athlete Pt. 2
When did I go from peppy running store intern and staunch advocate of tending to your under or over pronating feet with the proper running shoes to shabby one shoulder top wearing chick who ambles into the hotel fitness room in CONVERSE?

The dude in the ARMY shirt is huffing and puffing and getting in what seems to be an intense and effective workout on the treadmill, and I feel instantly pressured to occupy myself with something, though I have no idea what I want to do with all this equipment.
So I mosey on the elliptical for 10 feisty minutes, fumble with the stationary bicycle seat, give up, and hide in the corner amongst the yoga balls. I flop onto one belly first, stretch my arms out and kick my legs up behind me a few times. “Isn’t that something Coach Terry had us do back in the day? What else did we do?” 
I do a few sit-ups, and start to feel really anxious with the ARMY man in the room who is surely laughing at me. Have I really become such a little creep that I can’t even workout with other people in the room? 
I can’t take it, so I accept defeat and make a beeline for the door. At the elevator, I chat with the maintenance man who asks me about my workout. Instead of feigning alpha female status, I admit, “Ehh.. I did a few situps? That guy in there intimidated me,” and he kindly quipped that he just didn’t understand his friends who worked out like three times a day. “What’s their deal?” We mirrored each other with a very quizzical shrug, and I came back to my room thinking…maybe I’ll do some yoga later. But I’ll probably order room service instead. 
What happened to the hardcore beast I once was? 
ZoomInfo

Confessions of a former athlete Pt. 2

When did I go from peppy running store intern and staunch advocate of tending to your under or over pronating feet with the proper running shoes to shabby one shoulder top wearing chick who ambles into the hotel fitness room in CONVERSE?

The dude in the ARMY shirt is huffing and puffing and getting in what seems to be an intense and effective workout on the treadmill, and I feel instantly pressured to occupy myself with something, though I have no idea what I want to do with all this equipment.

So I mosey on the elliptical for 10 feisty minutes, fumble with the stationary bicycle seat, give up, and hide in the corner amongst the yoga balls. I flop onto one belly first, stretch my arms out and kick my legs up behind me a few times. “Isn’t that something Coach Terry had us do back in the day? What else did we do?” 

I do a few sit-ups, and start to feel really anxious with the ARMY man in the room who is surely laughing at me. Have I really become such a little creep that I can’t even workout with other people in the room? 

I can’t take it, so I accept defeat and make a beeline for the door. At the elevator, I chat with the maintenance man who asks me about my workout. Instead of feigning alpha female status, I admit, “Ehh.. I did a few situps? That guy in there intimidated me,” and he kindly quipped that he just didn’t understand his friends who worked out like three times a day. “What’s their deal?” We mirrored each other with a very quizzical shrug, and I came back to my room thinking…maybe I’ll do some yoga later. But I’ll probably order room service instead. 

What happened to the hardcore beast I once was? 

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a c t i v a t e spring break

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What a fun, sexy time for us. Betwixt jello shots, feeding each other ribs in the hot tub, and intimate four wheeler excursions around the ranch to star gaze and prod dead deer carcasses, something magical occurred. It was a montage of all the best euphoric moments— a prolonged feeling of infiniteness and a desire to share hugs and kisses with the world. And in some cases, with each other.

I thought I’d missed the boat on spring breaks since I didn’t really do them in school, but adult spring breaks RULE. I highly recommend them, though my body is still in pain from sunburn, wounds from face planting into a pile of wood, and a giant booty bruise from jumping off a golf cart and falling down a hill. I wish spring break could last forever. 

Quote IconAnd so I think I learned that when you’re writing either for fun, or for your career or your side gig, it has to be inherently important to you because if you’re just doing it to please other people or because it’s glamorous or because you think it’ll make you famous in some way it’s going to disappoint you. So you should write what you want to write and not think about how people are perceiving it. I mean, it’s kinda crazy-making to try to please people all the time and it’s not a good way to frame your career.
Grace Bello, -The Reckless Pursuit