So I’m Taking A Writing Course

Improvement is everything! So I decided to hop on over to EdX.org and signed up for Academic and Business Writing which is being offered by the awesome folks over at BerkleyX. Hey mom, look, I’m a Berkley student!

Our first assignment for the course was a journal entry, which I first wrote in my journal, then rewrote on their forum because I don’t know how to edit without just rewriting an entire work. Here’s the forum version:

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I Am My Mother’s Daughter

I am my mother’s daughter, she hates it.
Hates the strength and independence she bled into my veins,
hates the haughty glare in my eyes when I talk back,
hates my careless disregard for tradition.
She hates my loud, boisterous laugh,
hates how I roll my eyes and scoff at society,
hates that I don’t give respect unless earned.
Mostly, she hates the depth of her pride in me.

Forget Me, Not

forget me, not because I am forgettable,
but because the memory of me is too painful.
forget me, not because you can easily move on,
but because I haunt you.
forget my smile, my laugh, the taste of my lips.
erase from your mind my touch, my love.
forget me because to remember me is worse than death.

A Letter to The Ones Who Came Before

Dear ancestors,

I do not know your names. Your history is lost to me. An entire generation of forced silence beget a generation of grieving ignorance that beget generations of familial orphans. We are lost to each other. You will never know my smile, I will never know your laugh. Did you enjoy mangos as I do? Were any of you allergic to seafood or is that something I just developed?

Perhaps I exaggerate. My frustrations are exacerbated by the unknown. I see in my mother’s face an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather that I will never know. I feel in her love a strength and resilience passed from mother to daughter since before the time of slaves or conquistadors. My father’s chuckle, or the chainsaw snoring are ingrained lullabies from ancient times. The love of food and cooking and family gatherings near the kitchen are buried in DNA blessed by God or evolved after millennia.

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Where Am I? An Ongoing Conversation on Representation

There is nothing more impossible, even now in 2018, than asking to see myself on the television screen. As an asexual woman loving Afro-Caribbean Latinx woman, the chances of me seeing myself for a accumulation of those pieces in one person alone on a television series or in film is like asking for the sun, moon, and stars as well as a billion dollars. It’s totally possible! The probability of it is definitely there, but I shouldn’t hold my breath either. So I break those pieces down, and find comfort in characters that sort of resemble who I am. I look for Afro-Latinx, Black, or brown characters, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. I look for queer folks, regardless of racial/ethnic identity or gender identity. I find empowerment with any characters who could be genderqueer or androgynous because I can identify with them as well as female identified people. I cast a broad net and find a bit of myself with everyone because it’s the only way I’ll be able to see something of myself on screen. It’s been that way my whole life.

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A Scene Between Original Characters

Imaginary friends are the OG original characters before fan fiction ever became a thing after the internet blew up. The following is a scene in my mind if I ever had the chance to introduce my two favorite imaginary friends together (this is definitely still a work in progress):
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Wary eyes glared at each other from across the room. Ice blue locked on dark brown, both filled with judgement and more than a hint of dislike. It wasn’t about who came first, but about who did the most for their creator. Who held her when she cried as a child versus who destroyed her enemies now when the world became too much. Protectors, they both were, but friends. Did they know friendship outside what was designed in them? Love? Could they understand the dichotomy they represented in the mind of someone who once saw herself as righteous compared to the realist, the grey, the demon who wasn’t really a demon as much as a djinn with too much fire, too much power, and not enough morality to care what she did with it. Both pairs of eyes rolled. She was thinking too much again, they said without words. They didn’t need words. Just smug smirks of understanding. Of acknowledgement. No, they’d not ever be friends. They both thought they knew best, wanted to be the sole protectors and providers. Their creator apologizes, has apologized, for that glitch in their matrix. She hadn’t wanted them to become as she was: a servant, a server, a provider. But broad shoulders shrugged off her useless sentiments, not in anger but acceptance. They were who they were and happy with their places in life. One, a dark knight, a paladin, with a righteous fury that slashed at her creator’s enemies with a broadsword and held evil at bay. Another, the djinn, a creature of fire and nature, a destructive force that brushed off what was considered right or wrong and thought only of what was wanted, who catered to her creator’s every whim because why the fuck not? Continue reading “A Scene Between Original Characters”

Saying No For The Right Reasons

luna and polar sitting on a deck

If there is one thing people notice fairly quickly while getting to know me, my mom is an important part of my life. She is the head of my tiny immediate family, and will soon be a very important matriarch in my extended family (technically, she already is but that’s another tale). Family drilled its importance into my head from a very early age, usually to my own detriment although I know that wasn’t the intention. But good intentions sometimes lead to bad decisions, and I freely admit I made bad decisions thinking about how it would help my family without thinking about how it would hurt me.

2017 has been and continues to be a crazy year globally, nationally, and locally. In my own personal life, it has been a year of learning and growth. After two weeks of practicing the art of saying no, the audience being my own self-control and impulse to buy the newest fountain pen or shimmering ink to match said pen, I am increasing my goal of saying no and putting a goal and purpose to it.

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Hopeless

I can’t think with the voices in my head

The voices sound like they want me dead

I can’t act with this fear in my bones

This freezing terror won’t leave me alone

I can’t love with hate in my heart

I’m trying to forgive but I’ve had a rough start

I can’t really seem to do anything at all

Nothing to uplift when all I’ve done is fall